The following article was first published 12 years ago on the 9th of September 2006, in the context of the 2006 commemoration of the tragic event of September 2001.
“Going after bin Laden” has served to sustain the legend of the “world’s most wanted terrorist”, who “haunts Americans and millions of others around the world.”
Donald Rumsfeld has repeatedly claimed that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden remain unknown: “It is like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.
In November 2001, US B-52 bombers carpet bombed a network of caves in the Tora Bora mountains of eastern Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden and his followers were allegedly hiding. These caves were described as “Osama’s last stronghold”.
CIA “intelligence analysts” subsequently concluded that Osama had escaped from his Tora Bora cave in the first week of December 2001. And in January 2002, the Pentagon launched a Worldwide search for Osama and his top lieutenants, beyond the borders of Afghanistan. This operation, referred to by Secretary of State Colin Powell as a “hot pursuit”, was carried out with the support of the “international community” and America’s European allies. US intelligence authorities confirmed, in this regard, that
“while al Qaeda has been significantly shattered, … the most wanted man – bin Laden himself remains one step ahead of the United States, with the core of his worldwide terror network still in place. (Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, InfoProd, January 20, 2002)
For the last five years, the US military and intelligence apparatus (at considerable expense to US taxpayers) has been “searching for Osama”.
A CIA unit with a multimillion dollar budget was set up, with a mandate to find Osama. This unit was apparently disbanded in 2005. “Intelligence experts agree”, he is hiding in a remote area of Pakistan, but “we cannot find him”:
“Most intelligence analysts are convinced that Osama bin Laden is somewhere on the Afghan-Pakistan border. Lately, it has been said that he’s probably in the vicinity of the a 7700m Hindu Kush peak Tirich Mir in the tribal Chitral area of northwest Pakistan.” Hobart Mercury (Australia), September 9, 2006)
President Bush has repeatedly promised to “smoke him out” of his cave,