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Did Osama bin Laden Confess to the 9/11 Attacks, and Did He Die, in 2001?

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Author Topic: Did Osama bin Laden Confess to the 9/11 Attacks, and Did He Die, in 2001?  (Read 46 times)
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Posts: 41

« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2010, 12:54:42 am »

The Opinion of Professor Bruce Lawrence

Another reason I gave for calling this video a fabrication was that Professor Bruce Lawrence, considered America’s leading academic expert on bin Laden,94 had called it “bogus.” Adding that he had some friends in the US Department of Homeland Security assigned to work “on the 24/7 bin Laden clock,” he said that “they also know it’s bogus.”95 Having quoted Lawrence’s statements in my book, I then referred to Osseiran without mentioning his name, saying:

    “One defender of the authenticity of this ‘bin Laden video’ has claimed that Lawrence was talking about a later one.”96

I had shown otherwise by pointing out that Lawrence had called the video to which he was referring the “bogus smoking-gun tape that came out in November 2001.”97 In saying “November,” Lawrence - whose statement was made in response to a question during a radio interview – probably had in mind the fact that this video was said to have been made on November 9 and was reportedly found near the end of that month. In any case, by referring to it as the “smoking-gun tape,” he clearly indicated that he was referring to the so-called confession video we are discussing.


Osseiran, however, claimed that this was disproved by an email exchange he had with Lawrence after hearing that radio interview. Having sent Lawrence a letter criticizing his statement and explaining his own hypothesis, Osseiran received a reply in which Lawrence explained that, by calling the tape a fake, he “meant that it did not originate with OBL.
” On the basis of that statement, Osseiran concluded that it could “hardly be described as a [mere] claim on my part that Dr. Lawrence back peddled [sic].” In explaining why he interpreted Lawrence’s reply as back-pedaling, Osseiran wrote:

    “His play on words that the tape did not originate with bin Laden is either supportive of my work or, if otherwise, needs to be publicly explained.”

Lawrence’s statement, however, surely meant simply that the bin Laden figure in the tape was not Osama bin Laden himself. That Lawrence did not accept Osseiran’s theory about the tape is further suggested by the fact, reported by Osseiran, that Lawrence “has since been unresponsive to all communications.”


Conclusion: Osseiran accused me of “cherry picking” evidence in order to support my claim that the so-called confession video, which was released December 13, is a fake. This accusation is doubly problematic: Besides the fact that the examples he gave do not support his charge,98 he has himself engaged in this practice. That is, he simply ignored a major portion of the evidence I had provided in support of the conclusion that the “bin Laden confession video” is a fake. Given Osseiran’s charge that my statement to this effect is an “outrageous falsehood,” it was incumbent upon him to address all the evidence I had presented for this statement. But he addressed only parts of it, ignoring the strongest part: the various examples of things that Osama bin Laden would almost certainly not have said. Osseiran cannot expect people to take his “sting” hypothesis seriously unless he can successfully counter this evidence.


Criticism #4: The Evidence for Bin Laden’s Death Is Inconclusive – and Not Even Very Good


Near the beginning of his critique, Osseiran wrote: “I have looked into the possibility of him [bin Laden] being dead while doing my own research and found all evidence to be inconclusive.” By thus phrasing his statement, he implied that I had claimed the evidence to be conclusive. But that is not so.


The strongest assertion I made, which occurs on the final page of the book, says: “The available evidence, therefore, supports Robert Baer’s statement, made in October 2008, that Osama bin Laden is dead.” To say that the available evidence “supports” a thesis is not to say that it conclusively proves it. Moreover, to speak of the “available evidence” is to acknowledge that evidence supporting the opposite conclusion might surface.


Most of the people I quoted in support of my thesis, moreover, used the word “probably.” Dale Watson of the FBI’s counterterrorism division, for example, said: “I personally think [bin Laden] is probably not with us anymore.” President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan said: “I would come to believe that [bin Laden] is probably dead.”


Likewise, in an online essay with the same title as my book, I wrote: “If my little book, by showing that bin Laden has probably long been dead, can help shorten this war, it will have served its main purpose.”99


Osseiran, however, seemed to be saying that my evidence, besides not being conclusive, was not even very good. Supporting this claim would have required him to show that all of the evidence I provided was weak. He, however, simply ignored most of it.


In the aforementioned essay, I summarized the evidence provided in my book, dividing it into two types: objective and testimonial. The objective evidence was summarized thus:

    “First, up until mid-December, 2001, the CIA had regularly been intercepting messages between bin Laden and his people. At that time, however, the messages suddenly stopped, and the CIA has never again intercepted a message.

    “Second, on December 26, 2001, a leading Pakistani newspaper published a story reporting that bin Laden had died in mid-December, adding: ‘A prominent official in the Afghan Taleban movement . . . stated . . . that he had himself attended the funeral of bin Laden and saw his face prior to burial.”’


    “Third, bin Laden had kidney disease. He had been treated for it in the American Hospital in Dubai in July 2001, at which time he reportedly ordered two dialysis machines to take home. If you have ever wondered what bin Laden was doing the night before the 9/11 attacks, CBS News reported that he was being given kidney dialysis treatment in a hospital in Pakistan.  And in January of 2001, Dr. Sanjay Gupta said – based on a video of bin Laden that had been made in either late November or early December of 2001 – that he appeared to be in the last stages of kidney failure.


    “Fourth, In July of 2002, CNN reported that bin Laden’s bodyguards had been captured in February of that year, adding: ‘Sources believe that if the bodyguards were captured away from bin Laden, it is likely the most-wanted man in the world is dead.’


    “Fifth, the United States has since 2001 offered a $25 million reward for any information leading to the capture or killing of bin Laden. But this reward offer has produced no such information, even though Pakistan has many desperately poor people, only about half of whom have been supportive of bin Laden.”

The testimonial evidence consisted of statements by the following people:

    ·        President Musharraf of Pakistan

    ·        Dale Watson, the head of the FBI’s counterterrorism unit

    ·        Oliver North

    ·        President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan

    ·        Sources within Israeli intelligence

    ·        Sources within Pakistani intelligence

    ·        Former CIA case officer Robert Baer

    ·        Former Foreign Service officer Angelo Codevilla (who said: “Seven years after Osama bin Laden's last verifiable appearance among the living, there is more evidence for Elvis's presence among us than for his.”)

In belittling this evidence, Osseiran commented on only on the testimonial evidence and two examples of the objective evidence, and most of these comments are weak.


His strongest treatment involved an alternative explanation for my first example of objective evidence – the fact that all interceptions of communications with bin Laden suddenly ceased in mid-December 2001. Osseiran wrote:

    “Mr. Griffin and I agree on one thing, December 13, 2001 is a very important date. . . . One of Mr. Griffin’s arguments supporting the death theory is that it is the date bin Laden went quiet, i.e. no electronic intercepts. I have a more plausible take on this quietness and it is not death. December 13 also happens to be the date the Pentagon released the ‘bin Laden Confession Tape’. . . . When Bin Laden saw himself on TV confessing he realized that the taping was done by a covert camera and realized how close intelligence were to capturing him; Bin Laden would never let anyone that close again. . . . It is no coincidence bin Laden went silent on that date and into deep hiding; it was the only logical reaction to the release of the tape.”

If Osseiran’s “sting” hypothesis were plausible, this explanation for the sudden cessation of intercepts might seem convincing. As I have indicated, however, that hypothesis is, for several reasons, implausible.


Also, even if bin Laden had indeed decided to go into “deep hiding,” doing so successfully would have been no easy matter for this tall, very well-known man. Ignoring the fifth example of objective evidence I had provided, Osseiran failed to address the question of why, if bin Laden has been alive all these years, not a single person has reported his location in order to collect the $25 million reward.


With regard to my third example of objective evidence, Osseiran wrote:

    “Assuming it is true that bin Laden had kidney problems, severity unknown, to present dialysis as the only effective treatment without considering other treatments that are more effective and readily available is simply disingenuous. There is an older treatment that bin Laden could have stocked up on.”

The note for this passage, however, referred the reader to a Wikipedia article about peritoneal dialysis.100 So the treatment Osseiran had in mind was not an alternative to dialysis, but simply an alternative to the type of dialysis, called hemodialysis, given in clinics. The most important difference is that one undergoes peritoneal dialysis by means of a permanent tube in the abdomen, “with the primary advantage being the ability to undertake treatment without visiting a medical facility.” Osseiran’s claim that peritoneal dialysis is “more effective” than hemodialysis is not supported by the article, which says, in fact, that “PD is less efficient at removing wastes from the body than hemodialysis.”101


The main problem with Osseiran’s statement, however, is that the issue is not what bin Laden could have done, but what he reportedly did do, and my book referred to multiple reports that, besides undergoing dialysis in a hospital in Dubai, he had transported dialysis machines to Afghanistan. (More recently, moreover, I learned the above-mentioned fact that, according to CBS News, he was in a hospital in Pakistan getting dialysis the night before the 9/11 attacks.102) It would seem, therefore, that bin Laden preferred hemodialysis to the other type. I also reported that, according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the video released December 27, 2001, indicated that bin Laden was in the final stages of kidney failure. Osseiran’s speculation about bin Laden’s possible options did nothing, therefore, to undermine the evidence provided by these reports that he was near death because of kidney disease.


Osseiran did make a valid point in saying that, “if bin Laden survived Tora Bora and made his way to Pakistan,” he might have received a kidney transplant (which could have extended his life for many years). In engaging in this speculative possibility, however, Osseiran simply ignored my second type of evidence: the report of bin Laden’s funeral in the Tora Bora area in the middle of December – a rather striking piece of evidence simply to ignore.


Osseiran also ignored my fourth example of objective evidence – the report that bin Laden’s bodyguards were found in 2002 without him, which CNN took as a sign that he was no longer alive.


With regard to the testimonial evidence I provided, Osseiran’s only comment was to say that heads of state and intelligence officials “are not reliable sources.” That may in general be the case. But one of the principles of historiography is that, if a person makes a statement that runs counter to the official stance of the organization to which that person belongs, this is a reason to accept it as an honest statement of the person’s belief.


In sum: Osseiran’s attempt to dispute my conclusion that Osama bin Laden probably died in December 2001 consisted of an alternative to one of my examples of objective evidence, a weak responses another, a weak response to the testimonial evidence, and no response whatsoever to three examples of objective evidence. I will continue, therefore, to maintain that the presently available evidence suggests that bin Laden probably died in December 2001.
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« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2010, 12:55:24 am »



Osseiran and I share the desire to help bring the Af-Pak war to an end. We also agree that the truth about Osama bin Laden, if it were to become publicly known, could help bring about that result. We even agree that a proper understanding of the bin Laden videotape released by the Pentagon on December 13, 2001, is crucial for understanding the truth about bin Laden. We disagree, however, on the proper understanding of that videotape.


Concluding that this video was a fabrication, I believe this conclusion to be important for two reasons. First, it destroys the government’s primary exhibit for its claim that bin Laden acknowledged responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. Second, as one of the three most obviously fabricated bin Laden videos, it provides a basis for suspecting all of the post-2001 video and audio tapes to be fabrications.


Osseiran and I also disagree on the twofold question of the persuasiveness and importance of the evidence that Osama bin Laden has long been dead. For me, that evidence is strong enough to conclude that he is probably dead, and this conclusion is important because it undermines, even for people who still accept bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11, the public rationale for the continuation of the war in Afghanistan and its extension into Pakistan.


The conclusion that bin Laden has most probably been dead since December 2001 is also important because, in conjunction with the evidence that the video released December 13, 2001, is a fabrication, it provides a strong reason for considering all of the post-2001 bin Laden tapes to be fakes – fakes that were created, evidently, to maintain support for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other policies that were justified on the basis of the 9/11 attacks. If so, they constitute a massive, illegal propaganda effort directed at the American public.


Osseiran, by contrast, seems unconcerned with the question of whether bin Laden is alive or dead and also with the question of whether some or all of the bin Laden tapes issued from 2002 until the present are fakes. For him, the all-important truth is that the tape released December 13, 2001, was the product of a sting operation set up by the CIA, during which US forces could have killed or captured bin Laden. Getting that truth revealed, Osseiran claims, would undermine the war by showing that it was launched for a purpose other than, or at least in addition to, that of killing or capturing bin Laden. Osseiran was apparently motivated to attack my work because I have not accepted what he considers this all-important truth.


But the question of Osseiran’s motivation is irrelevant to the only important question, which is whether his criticisms are correct. Although three of them are not, as we have seen, I gratefully acknowledge the correctness of the criticism about the Al Jazeera interview. Becoming aware of the authenticity of that reported interview has helped me strengthen my case with regard to the crucial issue: the bogus nature of the “bin Laden confession video” released December 13, 2001.     





1 David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (Northampton, Mass.: Olive Branch [Interlink Books], 2009); henceforth OBLDA. 

2 Sue Reid, “Has Osama Bin Laden Been Dead for Seven Years – and Are the U.S. and Britain Covering It Up to Continue War on Terror,” Daily Mail, September 11, 2009 (; Bill Coles, “The World’s Most Wanted Man,” Daily Express, September 12, 2009 (

3 Conspiracy Files: Osama Bin Laden – Dead or Alive? BBC2, January 10, 2010; available on YouTube ().

4 David Bamber, “Bin Laden: Yes, I Did It,” Telegraph, November 11, 2001 (,-I-did-it.html); discussed 

5 OBLDA 20.

6 OBLDA 20-22. 

7 In later explaining why it had refused to air it, Al Jazeera gave three reasons: that bin Laden had changed the questions to be asked; that “[t]he interview was not that newsworthy”; and that bin Laden had insisted that, if any of the interview was aired, it all had to be, so Al Jazeera, not wanting to strengthen the perception that it was a mouthpiece for bin Laden, decided not to air any of it. See Sarah Sullivan, “Courting Al-Jazeera, the Sequel: Estrangement and Signs of Reconciliation,” TBS Journal, February 20, 2002 (, and Oliver Burkeman, “News Channels at War: Al-Jazeera Accused of Hiding Bin Laden,” Guardian, February 2, 2002 (

8 James Risen and Patrick E. Tyler, “Interview With bin Laden Makes the Rounds,” New York Times, December 12, 2001 ( 

9 “Transcript of Bin Laden's October Interview,” CNN, February 5, 2002

10 Maher Osseiran, “Osama Bin Laden, Dead or Alive? An Irrelevant Question Asked by David Ray Griffin,” 9/11 Blogger, December 5, 2009 ( 

11 “’Feeble’ to Claim Bin Laden Tape Fake: Bush,” CBC, December 14, 2001 (

12 “Bin Laden's Sole Post-September 11 TV Interview Aired,” CNN, February 5, 2002 ( 

13 Alan Elsner, “Bin Laden: From ‘Evil One’ to Unmentionable One,” Reuters, August 20, 2002 (

14 Samuel P. Winch, “Constructing an Evil Genius,” All-Academic, 2004 ( 

15 Karen DeYoung, “Obama to Explore New Approach in Afghanistan War,” Washington Post, November 11, 2008 (

16 “Obama: 'Capture Or Kill' Bin Laden,” CBS News, January 14, 2009 (

17 “CIA: Finding Bin Laden Top U.S. Priority,” UPI, June 12, 2009 (

18 Kim Landers, “US Says Hunt Still on for Bin Laden,” Australian Broadcasting Corporation, August 7, 2009 (

19 “Bin Laden Death Tied to al Qaeda Defeat – McChrystal,” Reuters, December 8, 2009 ( 

20 “Remarks by the President on the New Strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan,” White House, March 27, 2009 (

21 As to why Blair claimed not to have the video, Osseiran, who accuses me of “excessive speculation,” provides this explanation: “The most likely scenario is that CNN, who was very unhappy with the decision [by Al Jazeera not to air the video], informed the American government, and as a consequence, their cohorts, the British, of Al-Jazeera’s position prompting British or American intelligence to steal the tape. The quotes from the tape in David Bamber’s report of November 11 helped Al-Jazeera recognize the tape as their own and moved to prevent Blair from using it on November 14.” 

22 In a brief comment entitled “Response to Maher Osseiran’s Critique of David Ray Griffin’s Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?” History Commons, December 8 (’s-critique-of-david-ray-griffin’s-osama-bin-laden-dead-or-alive), Kevin Fenton wrote: "You have to ask the question: why did Griffin not point out that the video whose authenticity he was questioning had been public for seven years? If one is considering claiming that a video is fake, would it not be wise to actually view and analyse it, and then discuss that analysis with one’s readers? Of course, there is the possibility that Griffin remained unaware that the video had actually been broadcast, but this then says what about his research?" This second possibility is the case, and what it says about my research on this video is that it was woefully inadequate. Osseiran suggests, however, a different explanation, calling my error “intentional.” His basis for making this charge was that “[t]he truth was available” to me, because it had been “pointed out to [me] on numerous occasions” by Osseiran himself. As far as I recall, however, our discussion, carried on by email, focused entirely on the video released December 13, about which he sent me several papers. I was unaware that he had, in a paper quoted in his critique – “Bush, Blair, and the Terrorism Shell Game,” posted February 20, 2007 ( – briefly discussed the Al Jazeera interview. While preparing for writing this response to Osseiran’s critique, I discovered that I had a copy of this article. But it contained no underlining to suggest that I had read it. I suspect that, having read several 2006 versions of Osseiran’s argument about the December 13th-released tape, I assumed that this 2007 article would be simply one more version of the same argument – which it is for the most part – and filed it away without reading it. In any case, why Osseiran thinks that I, having known the truth about the video to which Blair was referring, would have intentionally engaged in speculation about it that could easily be shown to be false, resulting in embarrassment for me, I do not know (even given his assumption, expressed late in his critique, that I am a “mole,” working on behalf of insidious forces).   

23 See, e.g., David Ray Griffin, The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), esp. Chaps. 6 and 8.

24 David Bamber, “Bin Laden: Yes, I Did It” (see note 4, above).

25 “UK Offers New Bin Laden Evidence,” CNN, November 14, 2001 (

26 “Osama bin Laden's First Television Interview Since September 11; Deadline of Death Delayed for American Journalist,” CNN, January 31, 2002 ( 

27 Sarah Sullivan, “Courting Al-Jazeera, the Sequel: Estrangement and Signs of Reconciliation,” TBS Journal, February 20, 2002 (

28 Oliver Burkeman, “News Channels at War: Al-Jazeera Accused of Hiding Bin Laden,” Guardian, February 2, 2002 ( 

29 Quoted in Walter Pincus and Karen DeYoung, “U.S. Says New Tape Points to Bin Laden,” Washington Post, December 9, 2001 (

30 Associated Press, “Bin Laden Denies Being Behind Attacks,” September 16, 2001 (   

31 “Bin Laden's Message to the US,” Asia Times, October 10, 2001 (; the text of the speech can be read at “Osama bin Laden Speeches,” September 11 (

32 “Transcript of Bin Laden's October Interview,” CNN (see note 9, above).   

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.
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« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2010, 12:57:46 am »

36 This would be true, at least, until the appearance of the “October Surprise” video of 2004. But it also, I argued in my book, shows multiple signs of being a fabrication. 

37 OBLDA 23.

38 Osseiran even claims that I had “stated that believed in [his] work to the point [of trying] to include it in ‘Debunking 9/11 Debunking’ and apologized by email for [my] failure to do so.” However, the email statement from me that he quoted to support this claim merely said: “after I read Ed’s essay and your latest version, I checked to see if I could modify my account of this video in my book somewhat but it was too late.
” Although Osseiran infers from that statement that I was “not only very familiar with the work but also a believer,” my statement does not say that but merely that I would modify my discussion of the video. If I recall correctly now, I found his hypothesis interesting enough to write about, especially in light of Ed Haas’s essay of March 7, 2007, entitled “Taking the Fat Out of the Fat Bin Laden Confession Video” (, which argued that distortions caused during the production of the tape could account for the fact that its bin Laden figure appeared too fat to be the real bin Laden. Adding a treatment of the Osseiran-Haas hypothesis would have been a significant modification of my discussion of this video, but it would not have entailed an endorsement of that hypothesis.

39 Maher Osseiran, “Is bin Laden Responsible for the 9/11 attacks?” July 26, 2007 (; “Osama’s Confession; Osama’s Reprieve,” Counterpunch, August 21, 2006 (

40 Osseiran, “Osama’s Confession; Osama’s Reprieve”; “Is bin Laden Responsible for the 9/11 attacks?”

41 Osseiran, “Osama’s Confession; Osama’s Reprieve”; “Is It High Treason or Just a Simple Case of Dereliction of Duty?” January 11, 2007 ( 

42 Maher Osseiran, “Bin Laden’s Confession; Is That What It Is?” March 15, 2007. At one time, this paper was posted at Muckraker Report ( ; available at 911 Blogger (

43 Toby Harnden, “US Casts Doubt on Bin Laden’s Latest Message,” Telegraph, December 27, 2001 (

44 “Dr. Sanjay Gupta: Bin Laden Would Need Help if on Dialysis,” CNN, January 21, 2002 ( For the tape, see “”Osama Bin Laden Tape Dezember [sic] 2001” (
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Keith Ranville
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« Reply #18 on: May 03, 2010, 12:58:42 am »

I could believe he is dead already? wasn't he on dialysis?  
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2010, 06:26:51 pm »

9/11 was a NWO false-flag operation to establish an oil and drug empire in Afghanustan and Iraq.
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