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Aug-16-2010 17:49printcomments

Bin Laden is Dead; Long Live 'Bin Laden'

Who’s keeping the terror myth alive?

Image of bin Laden

(OSAKA, Japan) - In the trigger-happy post-9/11 world, the favoured way to instigate a war is to demand that the designated “evildoer” prove a negative 

Iraq was invaded because it couldn’t prove that it didn’t have WMDs. Iran is under constant threat of attack unless it can demonstrate that it’s not seeking nuclear weapons. And now Pakistan is being chastised for allegedly harbouring Osama bin Laden—who in all probability has been dead and buried for eight years.  

Questioning Pakistan’s willingness to pursue bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last year told a group of Pakistani editors, “I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to.” And in a recent interview with Fox News, Clinton charged that “elements” of the Pakistani government know where bin Laden is hiding.  

But what if bin Laden is not hiding in Pakistan? What if he’s been dead since December 2001? How then does Islamabad prove that some of its government officials are not concealing his whereabouts?  

While the mainstream media rarely if ever question the belief that bin Laden is still alive, some cracks have been appearing in the consensus. In a September 11, 2009 piece in Britain’s Daily Mail, Sue Reid wondered, “What if everything we have seen or heard of him on video and audio tapes since the early days after 9/11 is a fake—and that he is being kept ‘alive’ by the Western allies to stir up support for the war on terror?”  

An even more prominent sceptic is UPI Editor at Large Arnaud de Borchgrave whose July 26, 2010 commentary titled “Elvis bin Laden” may herald a new consensus. Sifting much the same evidence as Reid, the “legendary journalist” stated that “some key intelligence officials are taking bin Laden’s reported demise seriously.”   

Both articles cited experts who have studied the post-December 2001 audios and videos and concluded they are fakes.   

In 2007, Switzerland’s Dalle Molle Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which does computer voice recognition for bank security, found that the voices on recordings after mid-December 2001 differed clearly from earlier recordings of bin Laden.  

Professor Bruce Lawrence, head of Duke University’s religious studies’ department and the foremost bin Laden expert, noted in a 2007 book the inconsistency between the increasingly secular language of the audios and videos and bin Laden’s earlier distinctive religious speech.  

Assessing the evidence, Angelo M. Codevilla, a former U.S. intelligence officer who studied Soviet disinformation techniques during the Cold War and a professor of international relations at Boston University, wryly concluded that “Elvis Presley is more alive today than Osama bin Laden.” 

So, if bin Laden is as dead as Elvis, who’s been faking all those scary threats in his name?  

According to U.S. and British intelligence officials, al-Qaeda’s media wing, As-Sahab Foundation for Islamic Media Publication, has been run since 2001 by Adam Gadahn, a California-born convert to radical Islam who now goes by the name Azzam al-Amriki.   

Gadahn found his way to the Islamic Society of Orange County while living with his grandfather, Carl Pearlman, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League. Ostensibly a civil rights organization set up to fight anti-Semitism, the ADL is “little more than a de facto adjunct of the Israeli government” which has even been caught spying on American critics of Israel.  

Adam’s parents changed their surnames to Gadahn in the mid-1970s. The name refers to the Biblical warrior Gideon who, with the aid of trumpets and clay jars, defeated Israel’s enemies.  

As editor Justin Raimondo put it, Adam Gadahn is “an awfully odd figure, whose sudden evolution from a nice Jewish boy into Osama bin Laden’s Goebbels is just a little hard to take.” 

Equally hard to take is the means by which the public learns of bin Laden’s latest pronouncements.  

“Almost every statement by Osama bin Laden published on the first made public by SITE and IntelCenter,” according to a Spiegel Online profile of Rita Katz, Josh Devon and Ben Venzke, who founded the two companies that supposedly track al-Qaeda online.  

SITE co-founder Rita Katz is an Iraqi-born Jew, whose father was publicly hanged in Iraq after the 1967 War as an Israeli spy. Katz, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces, tries to downplay the significance of her background but is not always successful. “When you grow up in a place like Iraq,” she told Spiegel, “you understand maybe a little bit about how Arabs think, and also what they are capable of.”  

When Neal Krawetz, a researcher and computer security consultant, analysed a 2006 al-Qaeda video of Ayman al-Zawahiri for alterations and enhancements, he discovered that the As-Sahab and IntelCenter logos had been added at the same time.  

Attempting to make light of the understandable suspicions that the “terror trackers” are working for Israeli intelligence, the Spiegel article jokes: “And the conspiracy theories pontificating that SITE and IntelCenter shoot the bin Laden videos themselves will continue to exist in the future. And Katz, Venzke and Devon will continue to see the humor in such theories: Yep, this is Mossad Headquarters. Exactly!”  

But with the hunt for the elusive bin Laden having already cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, perhaps Americans should demand conclusive proof that Israel hasn’t conned them into fighting a phoney “war on terror.”  


Maidhc Ó Cathail is a writer and educator. Born and raised in Ireland, he has been living in Osaka, Japan since 1999. is happy that this extremely diverse writer has joined forces with our team. In addition to writing a monthly column for the Irish language internet magazine Beo!, Maidhc's work has been published by, Dissident Voice, Foreign Policy Journal, Khaleej Times, Media Monitors Network, Online Journal, Palestine Chronicle and many more. Maidhc Ó Cathail was asked to join the Salem-News team because of his fantastic world coverage. His reports covering events like the conflict in Palestine, show a fantastic overview of the developing events that are shaping world history. We look forward to sharing stories from this well connected individual with our readers. It is a tough and complicated world out there, and we're all better off with the additional education gleaned from Maidhc Ó Cathail's research and reporting. You can write to Maidhc at:

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Anonymous August 17, 2010 8:48 pm (Pacific time)

We (the US) and other Western powers set up the huge problems in the Middle East by meddling or outright interfering in their internal affairs. We created the problem in Iran by destroying their democratic system'%C3%A9tat lost it in 79 and then we went on to build up our good buddy Saddam to counteract the monster we had created. The same in Afghanistan we created our own worst enemies. My opinion is just from publicly available facts who knows how much of this effed up world is caused by things we'll never truly know Starting to think we (The West) are either very stupid or very evil

Anonymous August 17, 2010 6:36 pm (Pacific time)

Editor you wrote "Saddam Hussein killed the Kurds because they rose up and threatened his government, it isn't that hard to understand why he revolted against them; not that there is an excuse, but you have to admit any nation would do the same." Saddam used nerve gas, a WMD. So according to your logic we should see this more frequently when we open up history books and newspaper dailies?

Editor: Ever heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaki?  Perhaps if the US hadn't spent trillions interfering with Mideast affairs none of it would have happened, what do you think?

Anonymous August 17, 2010 1:54 pm (Pacific time)

the kurds stood up against saddam because at the time, saddam was a U.S./zionist/miitary industrial complex puppet.

Anonymous August 17, 2010 1:52 pm (Pacific time)

Editor: great comment. This is all about globalism. The zionist military complex (rothschilds creating zionism to get into israel, and using the U.S. to be their firepower) put saddam in power, and even tho he got too big for his britches (which happens time and again),and the zionist military industrial complex had to stop him, they have killed far many more people than any muslim/islam.. These same globalists have killed so many people, have destroyed so much of our habitat (then blame you and I for doing it and want to tax us to fix it), etc. done for now..tired

Ken August 16, 2010 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

Iraq was invaded because of numerous types of criminal behaviors the civilized world asked for them to stop. They ignored 17 United Nation Resolutions, they killed tens of thousands of their own people, and in the case of Iraqi Kurds, they killed them using WMD's, and threatened others of doing the same. Forget about the invasion by them of Kuwait and burning the oil fields that caused an ecological disaster, the firing and shooting down of our aircraft during the Clinton Administration, in violation of the treaty they signed, they were a rogue nation that the collective world at the UN decided that there must be a regime change. Even prior to the Bush presidency, democratic senators were rattling the sabers of war. The primary mission of the invasion was to remove Saddam and his henchmen from powwer. As the banner said on that naval ship "Mission Accomplished." And that is what the banner referred to. As far as Osama, who cares, he is hiding in a rat hole where he belongs.

Editor: Ken, I appreciate what you are saying, and I am not sure if you are a Veteran, but I can tell you that I spent a month in different parts of Iraq as a reporter and talked to a lot of unhappy people.  I failed to meet a single one who was not on the US payroll, who thought their country was better off. 

Yes, Saddam was a rotten egg,  One of his sons in particular was a real bastard and the other only marginally better.  All of that is true, and yes they used to grind bodies up and into the river at the palace and yes the grinder is still there, I know all of that, but the United States destabilized a country that was not a threat, and that part is tragic. 

US forces have killed up to a million Iraqi people based on some estimates, Several hundred thousand by other counts.  How does that balance out?  Iraq was a mistake among world level mistakes. 

Why worry about bin Laden? Because the whole pair of wars was hung around his neck- by the warmongers and those looking for justification of the violence.  I know quite a bit about the guy and almost nothing is what it seems, at least for those who watch national media like sheep and actually believe the BS they pump out in the nightly news. 

My lesson in Iraq and Afghanistan, where I spent two months, was that the people of the Mideast are incredible and fascinating.  They aren't spoiled like American kids bopping to music in the car their daddy bought them, kids over there often bury their parents.  It is just sad and traumatic and all of this has caused Hellish conditions for our own forces to endure.  I just can't do the curt 'that's how it is' thing and connect that to some imaginary level of success. 

Saddam Hussein killed the Kurds because they rose up and threatened his government, it isn't that hard to understand why he revolted against them; not that there is an excuse, but you have to admit any nation would do the same.  I visited al Dujayl where the townspeople tried to assassinate Hussein in '84 or so.  The people were either killed or locked up, that is what happens when people rise up militarily without the means to subsist.   Besides, there was Bush #1 encouraging the Kurdish revolt, then turning tail and leaving them to be slaughtered.   Does anybody remember that part?  What a setup for war and war profiteering .  I have seen that, I've seen Iraqi detainees beaten, I saw things over there that are not good memories.

I suggest reading this article if you want the real scoop on some of our national 'enemies',  You will be surprised what these people were like in the past:   Aug-01-2010: Great American Heroes: Ho Chi Minh, Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden Tim King

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