The US has announced that its navy soldiers have managed to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden during an operation near a Pakistani military camp in Abbottabad.
Critics, however, cast doubt on credibility of the story after different US official gave contradictory remarks about the details of the operation.
Press TV interviewed Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, to discuss the issue furthermore.
Press TV: What do you think about the timing of the US announcement of the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden?
Roberts: Well Obama was very unpopular. The right wing has a big issue out of … claims that he was not an American citizen so we had the problem of his birth certificate.
So he faced the possibility that his own party would not re-nominate him for a second term, that he would be faced with a competitor for the nomination and that the money that he takes to finance the campaigning would go to the competitor. So the purpose of this killing of bin Laden was to show that Obama was a very much tough American guy, not a Muslim; the only person who was able to hunt down and kill the most dangerous man on earth. So it was all political theatre.
Press TV: There are many who doubt that Osama bin Laden has actually been hunted down and killed by US navy in Pakistan. You have called the incident in one of your articles as Osama's second death. Tell us what you mean by that.
Roberts: well it's well known in American intelligence community that bin Laden died in 2001. He has been dead since December of 2001; almost a decade.
That is probably the reason; there's been any further major terrorist operation from the so-called terror mastermind. FoxNews which is the American neo-conservative, very, very conservative, very patriotic media station, reported in December of 2001 that the Taliban have announced that bin Laden had died. It's well known that bin Laden suffered from kidney disease, he requires dialysis. It's less well known that he had a genetic disease that does not allow along life. It is also well known that bin Laden was visited in the American hospital in Dubai -- I believe, in July of 2001 -- by the CIA physicians.
At the time of course, this was prior to 9/11, bin Laden was still an American agent. He was created by the Americans to fight Soviets in Afghanistan. So it's well known that he has been dead almost ten years. The struggle is that the American public doesn't pay any attention to anything and so they are very easy to deceive. They love to have victories, they love to have revenge and so they have fallen in with a claim that the White House has made they found Osama bin Laden in of all places, a Pakistani military town.
Press TV: If we assume that the American version of the story is true, that Osama bin Laden has been killed by navy American troops and the US president's ratings and polls have gone up, but haven't they made the mistake of turning him into a martyr and prompting al-Qaeda to vow revenge and retaliation?
Roberts: No they haven't. The announcement that the US government said al-Qaeda is going to have revenge, is just the United States government telling another lie. Al-Qaeda leader, if it exists, has known for ten years that bin Laden is dead. Al-Qaeda isn't fooled. They know that bin Laden wasn't killed in Pakistan by navy SEALs. So what happens to the White House story is they have had to change it so much. The story did not last 48 hours.
The initial story was that there was a firefight with heroic navy SEALs fighting al-Qaeda and busting in bin Laden who hid his wife and was killed by the SEALs while he was firing away his weapon. That was the initial story. Also part of the initial story was that Obama and his entire government watched a live TV from cameras on the SEALs helmet [during] the entire operation.
Now before 48 hours passed, the entire story changed. The White House announced that there was no firefight. They announced that that bin Laden's wife was not killed. They announced that bin Laden was not armed. He had no weapons and they announced there was no tape of the live firefight and that at the White House they didn't see anything of the operation.
So the story has changed so much. It was not credible to begin with. But they have changed it so much; so fundamentally different that all the credibility has left the story. And no one who is paying any attention believes it. Unfortunately the vast amount of the population, all they hear is that they got bin Laden and for them that's the beginning of the story and that's the end of the story. And they don't pay any attention so the government may get away with its deception, because so many people are happy that they got bin Laden and they don't pay any more attention. If someone says, “Hey look the story has been abandoned, the story is contradictory, then most of the people, just say “Oh, you are an anti-American, you don't trust your government.” So that is what the situation is. There are actually other agendas that are being served by the story.
Press TV: Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said that White House staffers talk too much about the operation targeting bin Laden and that undermines the US position. What is your take on his statement?
Roberts: Well he is correct. It's not that they talked too much about it, but it's that they changed the story for several times. So what we have is that the White House itself doesn't know what the story is and it is always changing it. So in others word, the story is a lie, it is a fake, orchestrated story to serve several agendas. The main aim is President Obama's re-election but other events are also served, such as torture. Because they now claim that they found bin Laden because they tortured people.
Another one is Pakistan. They have blamed Pakistan for hiding bin Laden so the Americans may take over Pakistan. Another is that they are setting up a false flag attack on the United States so they can start another war.
Press TV: And they may be using it as a cover withdraw from Afghanistan.
Roberts: You see originally the story was “We went to Afghanistan to get bin Laden.” So if in fact they got bin Laden, they should come out of Afghanistan, but they have not said they are coming out. Instead, the Secretary of State [Hilary Clinton] said this just proves we have been successful, the war is successful, and we are going to continue the wars.