Tag Archives | Osama Bin Laden

There’s Something Great About America

Picture: USDOD (PD)

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy”.

- Margaret Thatcher

I’ve rewritten this article, in light of recent tragedy. It’s based on an original version first published on my personal blog.

In 2011 two big events were celebrated on either side of the Atlantic. In the USA spontaneous parties began as news spread that Osama Bin Laden was dead. In the UK the nation was told to celebrate a Royal wedding. The scenes of joy in America filled me with a sense of almost unreserved admiration for a great nation whereas the state sponsored merriment in my own country provided me with a deep sense of detachment from a people who appeared as mindless zombies driven by raw unquestioning patriotism to celebrate something which did not benefit them at all.

As the street parties began I became painfully aware of how unfashionable my views are and it’s important to emphasise how out of step with the broad consensus of my nation I am.… Read the rest

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Cheers for Torture Scenes? ‘Zero Dark Thirty’

WIRED.COM‘s Spencer Ackerman offers a justification for the inclusion of torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty, a Katherine Bigelow-helmed film about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden:

“It’s a movie, not a documentary,” screenwriter Mark Boal told The New Yorker. “We’re trying to make the point that waterboarding and other harsh tactics were part of the C.I.A. program.” That quote has electrified the internet as a statement of intent to gussy up the importance of torture. But the fact is torture was part of the CIA’s post-9/11 agenda: dispassionate journalists like Mark Bowden presents it as such in his excellent recent book.

Zero Dark Thirty does not present torture as a silver bullet that led to bin Laden; it presents torture as the ignorant alternative to that silver bullet. Were a documentarian making the film, there would surely be less torture in the movie: CNN’s Peter Bergen considered an early cut of those scenes overwrought in their gruesomeness and reminds that senators who have investigated the CIA torture program reject the idea that torture led to bin Laden.

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No Sailors Witnessed Osama Bin Laden’s Burial At Sea

Osama death strangeness via the Washington Post:

Internal e-mails among U.S. military officers indicate that no sailors watched Osama bin Laden’s burial at sea from the USS Carl Vinson and traditional Islamic procedures were followed during the ceremony.

The e-mails, obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act, are heavily blacked out, but are the first public disclosure of government information about the al-Qaida leader’s death. The e-mails were released Wednesday by the Defense Department.

In a response to separate requests from the AP for information about the mission, the Defense Department said in March that it could not locate any photographs or video taken during the raid or showing bin Laden’s body.

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Osama Raid Movie Airing Two Days Before Election Edited to Remove Romney, Showcase Obama

Picture Derived from US DOD Public Domain Image

Lest you are somehow under the mistaken impression (and how could you be?) that only the Right indulges in brazen propaganda…

Via Deadline:

A scene in an upcoming TV movie that depicted Mitt Romney appearing to oppose the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden was cut from the film, according to a report in the New York Times. “We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda,” said National Geographic Channel President Howard T. Owens who said he had insisted upon removal of the scene from Seal Team Six: The Raid On Osama Bin Laden. It’s scheduled to air November 4, two days before the election. Cutting the Romney scene wasn’t the only change. The Times said the movie has been edited to highlight President Obama’s role.

(Emphasis mine. The lady doth protest too much, methinks)

Also of potential interest: The extra footage for the edit was collected by Meghan O’Hara, whose resume includes several collaborations with documentarian Michael Moore.… Read the rest

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New Real-Life Role Playing Game: Kill Bin Laden

Only in the USA folks, courtesy of ABC News:
Osama bin Laden has been dead for more than a year, but dozens of  people are shelling out big bucks to kill him again in a real-life, role-play game in Minnesota. Sealed Mindset Firearms Studio, which teaches firearms and personal safety in New Hope, Minn., is offering a special, limited-time exercise in which people can enact a SEAL-type mission and kill a fake bin Laden. Billed as a “Navy SEAL Adventure,” the session simulates an actual SEAL operation. A description on the company’s website says the two-hour operation begins with a briefing in which participants will learn their target is named “Geronimo.” Geronimo was the code name for the operation that killed bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, May 2, 2011....
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Role-Playing Service Allows Americans To Act Out The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden

The 9/11 mastermind is dying a thousand deaths, in Minnesota, strangely. Via Oddity Central:

Retired Navy SEAL Larry Yacht opened Sealed Mindset, a 10,000-square-feet gun-safety and defense instruction center in New Hope, Minnesota, where he hosts a high-end role-playing game that offers people the chance to shoot and kill terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Since its inauguration in April, 137 people have signed up to take out the Al-qaida leader in a re-enactment of the famous Pakistan raid. A man wearing a white robe and fake beard plays the dreaded terrorist and the would-be SEALS led by Yacht himself have to infiltrate his hideout, reach his room and finally take him out with a few paintball rounds.

The experience of taking out Osama bin Laden in the re-enactment of the famous SEALS raid costs $325, and according to the testimonies of previous participants, it’s totally worth the price.

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Has A California Treasure Hunter Found Osama’s Body?

Osama bin LadenThe most shocking discovery to come this year? An ideal plotline for Weekend at Bernie’s 3? Or all of the above? The Week on the most sought-after treasure on Earth, Osama bin Laden’s corpse:

Last spring, days after a team of Navy SEALs shot and killed Osama bin Laden, helicoptered his body to a Navy warship, then dumped it somewhere in the Arabian Sea, California undersea treasure hunter Bill Warren decided to go find it.

A year later, Warren [claims] that he’s nailed down the spot where the Navy heaved the body overboard, and will mount an expedition this summer to drag bin Laden’s corpse up from its watery grave, photograph it, and take DNA samples. Warren says he discerned the location from satellite images shared by a Pentagon source. The images purportedly show exactly where the body was thrown overboard last May. Of course, Warren won’t divulge the location, but [says] that it’s about “200 miles west of the Indian city of Surat.”

Who exactly is Bill Warren?

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The Bin Laden Papers

So that's what he was thinking! Pam Benson and Joe Sterling report on the release of Osama's seized papers for CNN:
The United States published several documents online Thursday that it seized during the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan last year.
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Osama bin Laden’s Personal Notes and Letters To Be Declassified on Thursday

Combating Terrorism CenterThis will be interesting to check out Thursday (but I guess the press has already gotten wind of what is in the documents). Osama bin Laden reads like a troubled CEO who was frustrated by the lack of new talent and struggling with a failing brand. Brian Bennett writes in the LA Times:

Osama bin Laden’s personal notes and letters, which were seized a year ago in the U.S. raid on his compound in Pakistan, show a leader removed from day-to-day operations of the terrorist organization he founded and increasingly frustrated with the new generation of managers who were rising in the ranks.

A declassified selection of the vast trove of material — large enough, officials say, to fill a college library — will be published online Thursday by the Combating Terrorism Center, a think tank at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

In correspondence with his senior leaders, Bin Laden lamented the inexperience and poor judgment shown by the rising crop of Al Qaeda leaders.

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White House Releases Death Of Bin Laden Trailer

Barack Obama is the president, but more importantly, he's the star of the Barack Obama movie. You may not have been aware that his first term was being turned into an officially sanctioned documentary as it happened -- here's the minute-long teaser clip released by his reelection campaign on the killing of Osama bin Laden:
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