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Tuesday, 10 May 2011
The Associated Press's Case for Releasing the Bin Laden Photo - (Read Full Story)
President Obama's decision to withhold the visual evidence of Osama bin Laden's death has created a fundamental disagreement between the White House and one of the largest journalism organizations in the world. "This information is important for the historical record," said Michael Oreskes, senior managing editor at The Associated Press. "That's our view."
Last Monday, the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the photographic and video evidence taken during the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The organization's FOIA request included a reminder of the president's campaign pledge and a plea to be more transparent than his predecessor. "The Obama White House 'pledged to be the most transparent government in U.S. history," wrote the AP, "and to comply much more closely with the Freedom of Information Act than the Bush administration did."
Two days later, the president told 60 Minutes he would not release any of the footage related to the raid, including video of bin Laden's deep sea burial and photographs of his slain corpse. Though Oreskes voices his disagreement diplomatically, there's no way around it: The AP believes the president is wrong to maintain exclusive ownership of the evidence. "We're asking to see it," said Oreskes in an interview with The Atlantic Wire. "It's about us saying we would like to make our own news judgements about news worthy material."
The president insists that releasing bin Laden's photograph violates common decency and puts U.S. troops in harm's ways. "We don't trot out this stuff as trophies," he told Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes. "I think that given the graphic nature of these photos, it would create some national security risk."
Tuesday, 03 May 2011
Paul Craig Roberts: Bin Laden “Assassination” Has Odor of Staged Event - (Read Full Story)
If today were April 1 and not May 2, we could dismiss as an April fool’s joke this morning’s headline that Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight in Pakistan and quickly buried at sea. As it is, we must take it as more evidence that the US government has unlimited belief in the gullibility of Americans.
Think about it. What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade? If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?
Consider also the claims, repeated by a triumphalism US media celebrating bin Laden’s death, that “bin Laden used his millions to bankroll terrorist training camps in Sudan, the Philippines, and Afghanistan, sending ‘holy warriors’ to foment revolution and fight with fundamentalist Muslim forces across North Africa, in Chechnya, Tajikistan and Bosnia.” That’s a lot of activity for mere millions to bankroll (perhaps the US should have put him in charge of the Pentagon), but the main question is: how was bin Laden able to move his money about? What banking system was helping him? The US government succeeds in seizing the assets of people and of entire countries, Libya being the most recent. Why not bin Laden’s? Was he carrying around with him $100 million dollars in gold coins and sending emissaries to distribute payments to his far-flung operations?
This morning’s headline has the odor of a staged event. The smell reeks from the triumphalism news reports loaded with exaggerations, from celebrants waving flags and chanting “USA USA.” Could something else be going on?
Monday, 02 May 2011
Osama bin Laden corpse photo is fake - (Full Story)
An image apparently showing a dead Osama bin Laden broadcast on Pakistani television and picked up by British newspaper websites is a fake.
The bloodied image of a man with matted hair and a blank, half-opened eye has been circulating on the internet for the past two years. It was used on the front pages of the Mail, Times, Telegraph, Sun and Mirror websites, though swiftly removed after the fake was exposed on Twitter.
It appears the fake picture was initially published by the Middle East online newspaper themedialine.org on 29 April 2009, with a warning from the editor that it was "unable to ascertain whether the photo is genuine or not".
Since then, however, the image has been claimed as genuine on a number of conspiracy forums and used to substantiate claims that the terrorist responsible for the 9/11 bombings had been killed.
The Guardian was one of the few sites to hold back from using the manipulated image on its front page, reporting the picture's existence in its live blog but questioning its legitimacy.
The image is based on a genuine photograph of Bin Laden taken in 1998 and used by the Reuters news agency.
Wednesday, 30 March 2011
Threats Claim Nuclear Bombs Hidden All Over U.S.
The letter inside said, “The Al-Qaeda organization has planted 160 nuclear bombs throughout the U.S. in schools, stadiums, churches, stores, financial institutions and government buildings.” It also said, “This is a suicide mission for us.”
The writer, who claims to be Osama Bin Laden, tells the reader the nukes are remotely controlled. “It was clear the writer wanted to scare me,” said Rizzo, “Yes, it frightened me.” Rizzo was one of eight people in the Chicago area to contact the FBI.
Agencies in Oregon, California, Texas and Florida also got the letter with the Chicago postmark.
“There are items in the letter that lead us to believe it is a hoax,” said Zavala. “There are several demands documented that aren’t fully coherent.”
He said much of what’s in the message doesn’t add up, but in a post 9-11 world, the FBI can’t let it go – even if it does appear to be a hoax.