Why Obama silenced bin Laden

Glen Ford
Glen Ford

Five years ago U.S. Navy SEALS killed Osama bin Laden in a fully wired, real-time assassination that was observed half a world away by President Barack Obama and much of his entourage.

It was as if the high commission of the Mafia had gathered to watch the silencing of a witness who might testify to what the whole gang had been up to all these years.

The SEALS who carried out the hit, supposedly the most disciplined troops in the U.S. military, made no effort whatsoever to capture bin Laden. Instead, they shot him on sight in the head and then raked his body with at least one hundreds bullets.

Bin Laden wasn’t going to do any talking to anybody; that was the purpose of the mission.

The United States government had no interest in learning the real history or capabilities of al Qaida; they already knew every detail. They had been there, with bin Laden, from the very beginning, back in Afghanistan in the late Seventies and early Eighties, when the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Pakistan created the world’s first international Islamic jihadist network, with bin Laden at the centre.

The U.S. and its allies have been manipulating that network like attack dogs, ever since, siccing them on their enemies with one hand and then pretending to wage never-ending war against the jihadists, with the other.

It’s been one hell of a scam.

There was an urgent need to take out bin Laden in May of 2011. The United States and its European and royal Arab allies were in the midst of another Shock and Awe offensive to bring down the secular governments of Libya and Syria and they needed all the jihadist foot soldiers they could get.

The trick was to pretend the jihadists in Libya and Syria were really just freedom-loving political dissidents and patriotic “moderates” who were oppressed by their governments and, therefore, deserving of U.S. arms, financing, and air support.

To pull that one off, Washington had to create the impression that al Qaida, the international jihadist network, had been drastically weakened and marginalized, so that Westerners would not be terrified watching Islamic fighters on television running around cutting off heads and shouting “God is great.”

Al Qaida had to be symbolically decapitated, through the killing of bin Laden, so that the U.S. could trick its own citizens, if not the world, into believing the Arab fighters Washington was backing were the good guys, even though they behaved just like al Qaida.

In short, bin Laden had to die so that al Qaida could live to fight another day for U.S. imperialism in Libya and Syria. The U.S. is still arming and protecting al Qaida, whose Syrian affiliate, al Nusra, is the main force holding the so-called “rebel” lines in Aleppo, Syria’s largest city.

The U.S. would be protecting the al Qaida off-shoot ISIS, as well, if ISIS had not decided to fight its own war, for its own reasons.

Even so, the U.S. did not mount serious attacks against ISIS in Syria until the Russians intervened, which showed the whole world that Washington had been collaborating with the terrorists, all along – something that we might have learned of in great detail, if Osama bin Laden had been captured and put on trial.


Glen Ford is executive editor of U.S.-based Black Agenda Report and can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.