Benazir Bhutto in Karachi (AFP Photo/Amir Qureshi
The Clinton administration had entered into negotiations to get the Taliban to hand bin Laden over to a third country to face justice. The Taliban were totally uncooperative ... Pakistan, the nation most closely supportive of the Taliban, was also unhelpful. In a meeting with Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif in December 1998, Clinton upbraided him for not arranging to hand bin Laden over ... in March 2000 in Pakistan, [Clinton] pressed Musharraf [who had seized power in a coup in October 1999] to use his influence on the Taliban to apprehend bin Laden. "I will do as much as I can," Musharraf said -- and did nothing. Sidney Blumenthal, The Clinton Wars, Plume, 2003, p. 660
Hard Rain Journal: Bhutto, Bin Laden, 9/11, What Should Have Been Uttered From the Well of the US Senate Several Years Ago, & What Must Be Done Now
By Richard Power
In a November 2007 interview with David Frost, only a few weeks before she was assassinated, Benazir Bhutto made a very disturbing remark, she referred to Omar Sheik, as “the man who murdered Bin Laden.” (Scroll down to view the You Tube video clip.)
The seemingly tangential comment went unchallenged by Frost (do not be so sure that he “missed it”); and at first, it was mostly ignored in the public discourse.
But in the aftermath of the hit on Bhutto, as Musharraf’s regime brazenly attempts to cover-up the circumstances of her death, Benazir’s seemingly off-hand remark is getting intense scrutiny in the only venues left to freethinkers in the USA, i.e., the blogosphere and progressive talk radio. (Kudos to Mike Malloy and Thom Hartmann for getting out on the air waves.)
What was Benazir -- intelligent, articulate and courageous -- trying to tell us?
Bhutto's comment has also rekindled fascination with Egyptian and Pakistani newspaper articles proclaiming the death of Bin Laden several years ago(albeit under different circumstances than those eluded to by Bhutto).
Is Bin Laden alive or dead?
We (that is, you and I) don't know beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The timely tapes purportedly received “from Bin Laden” do not establish that he is truly still alive, anymore than they reveal his whereabouts if he is. Video and audio can be (and is) manipulated expertly.
That is why I often say, “Bring me the Head of Osama Bin Laden.” (See, for example, Words of Power #15: Bring Me the Head of Osama, Nero Fiddles while the Planet Burns, Religion as the Crystal Meth of the People, & The Democrats' Plan and Hard Rain Journal 6-19-07: Bring Me the Head of Osama Bin Laden, or Shut Up & Release the CIA Inspector General's Post 9/11 Report.)
I choose my words carefully.
Yes, in one sense I am making a darkly humorous reference to Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia, a strange and wonderful film by the great Sam Peckinpaugh; but in another way, in a deadly serious way, I mean literally “bring us the head,” i.e., give us irrefutable forensic evidence.
Do not be distracted by the mystery.
It does not matter.
What matters is that the Bush-Cheney national insecurity team has failed you either way.
If Bin Laden is dead, or even if it is likely that Bin Laden is dead; then the Bush-Cheney regime has intentionally misled you both for domestic political advantage and to further its military adventures in the Middle East and Central Asia.
If Bin Laden is alive, than it has allowed him to escape death or capture on numerous, documented occasions.
I adhere to the story line that Bin Laden is alive, because it is the story line that the Bush-Cheney national insecurity team itself perpetuates, and at every turn I throw it in their face -- if Bin Laden is alive and free, than it is a condemnation of Bush-Cheney’s will and intention in the so-called “war on terror.”
It is similar to the question of what really happened on 9/11.
I do not allow myself to indulge in speculation about what happened to Building 7, what it was that hit the Pentagon, etc. Do not misunderstand me, I acknowledge that there are many serious unanswered questions about that dreadful day. The 9/11 Commission’s final report was a piece of wet white toast. But, again, that is not the point.
But do not be distracted by the mystery.
We already know enough about 9/11 to act.
There were numerous and repeated attempts to warn Bush and he did nothing.
Meanwhile, Cheney was making sure that all the good that had been done leading up to the foiling of the Millennium Plot under Clinton-Gore (e.g., the principles meetings, the crisis footing, etc.) got undone.
(All of this is a matter of public record. Refer to Richard Clarke’s US Senate testimony, the books of Woodward and Tenet, the 8-6-01 PDB itself, etc.)
All we need to know about 9/11 is that Bush had numerous, serious, high-level warnings delivered to his face and to the face of Condi Rice, his national security advisor, and NOTHING was done to respond to them.
That is enough to discredit Bush, Cheney, Rice and the rest of their “team” forever; or at least, it should be. Unfortunately, you are reading this, once again, in the blogosphere; it should have been uttered on the floor of the US Senate long ago.
Is Bin Laden dead or alive?
It doesn’t matter.
Either Bush-Cheney have been lying to you, or they allowed Bin Laden to escape on numerous occasion, once as recently as several months ago.
Was 9/11 “an inside job”?
The question itself is a distraction.
We know enough.
They did nothing to stop it. Nothing.
Likewise, in regard to the assassination of Benazir Bhutto -- do not be distracted.
We already know enough.
We know that Bhutto told a friend that if she died it would be Musharraf's fault:
In an e-mail sent to a confidant in the US two months ago, assassinated Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto said she would hold the country's current leader Pervez Musharraf "responsible" because his government did not do enough to provide for her security.
We have reports that Bhutto was about to disclose evidence that the Musharraf regime was going to fix the election:
The day she was assassinated last Thursday, Benazir Bhutto had planned to reveal new evidence alleging the involvement of Pakistan's intelligence agencies in rigging the country's upcoming elections ... Bhutto had been due to meet U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rep. Patrick Kennedy, D-R.I., to hand over a report charging that the military Inter-Services Intelligence agency was planning to fix the polls in the favor of President Pervez Musharraf. McClatchy Newspapers, 12-31-07
We have reports that the Pakistani police melted into the crowd at the crucial moment:
Police abandoned their security posts shortly before Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto's assassination Thursday, according to a journalist present at the time, and unanswerable questions remain about the cause of her death, because an autopsy was never performed. Nick Juliano, Raw Story, 12-28-07
We have reports that the crime scene was not preserved:
According to the reporters, "the scene of the attack also was watered down with a high-pressure hose within an hour, washing away evidence." John Byrne, Raw Story, 12-29-07
We have reports that the Rawalpindi police chief prevented an autopsy:
The police chief of the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi prevented doctors from performing an autopsy on the corpse of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, according to a lawyer on the hospital's board. Raw Story, 12-31-07
The intrepid Robert Fisk goes for the jugular:
It doesn’t, after all, take much to comprehend that the hated elections looming over Musharraf would probably be postponed indefinitely if his principal political opponent happened to be liquidated before polling day. ...
Question: Who forced Benazir Bhutto to stay in London and tried to prevent her return to Pakistan? Answer: General Musharraf.
Question: Who ordered the arrest of thousands of Benazir’s supporters this month? Answer: General Musharraf.
Question: Who placed Benazir under temporary house arrest this month? Answer: General Musharraf.
Question: Who declared martial law this month? Answer General Musharraf.
Question: who killed Benazir Bhutto?
Er. Yes. Well quite.
You see the problem? Yesterday, our television warriors informed us the PPP members shouting that Musharraf was a “murderer” were complaining he had not provided sufficient security for Benazir. Wrong. They were shouting this because they believe he killed her. Robert Fisk, They Don’t Blame Al-Qa’ida. They Blame Musharraf, Independent/UK, 12-29-07
We know enough about the slaughter of the innocents on 9/11, we know enough about the Bush-Cheney regime, we know enough about the assasination of Benazir Bhutto, we know enough about the Musharraf regime, and we know enough about why we still do not have the head of Osama bin Laden.
We know that Musharraf, Bush-Cheney's "strong ally" in the "war on terror," is a joke, a cruel joke, and that joke is on the USA.
There is nothing much you and I can do about this cruel joke that is Musharraf's Pakistan, except to support India militarily, and to see to it that the comedian responsible for this cruel joke is either removed from office via constitutional means before the end of his term (increasingly unlikely) or, at the very least, that he gets hounded -- like Pinochet -- throughout his retirement, until he is compelled to answer to charges (quite plausible).
See also Osama Bin Laden, the Terrorist, is Safe in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, the Democrat, was Not; Musharraf Truly is Bush-Cheney's "Strong Ally"
For an archive of Words of Power posts on 9/11, Terrorism, etc., click here.
Benazir Bhutto, Musharraf, Bush, 9/11, Pakistan, Osama Bin Laden, Richard Power, Words of Power