White House Gets Defensive Over Accusation Bin Laden Is Dead
Usually obedient press corps ask how a dying man on a dialysis machine can survive in remote Pakistani hill caves for six years

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet
Thursday, July 19, 2007

White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend was asked at a press conference earlier this week what evidence she had that Osama Bin Laden was still alive, considering the fact that he has been gravely ill and on a kidney dialysis machine while traversing the harsh terrain of the Pakistani border region. Townsend's response was to refuse to discuss the matter and immediately leave.

Here's the exchange from the end of the press conference (watch the video and cycle to the final 2 minutes).

REPORTER: Fran, do you know if Osama bin Laden is still on a dialysis machine, is he still ill? What? I mean, could you tell us about that? I mean, because -- it might be laughable, but people are finding it hard, six years this man is sick, moving around from cave to cave, and can't be found -- with a dialysis machine?

MS. TOWNSEND: Have you ever been to the tribal areas? I suspect not.

REPORTER: No, I haven't, but I've seen some great pictures from Ken Herman as to the rough terrain over that way. (Laughter.)

MS. TOWNSEND: It's not exactly easy. If it were easy he'd be dead.

REPORTER: But it's not easy for him to travel around with medics and machinery if he's sick. I mean, is he -- do you know from your intelligence if he's still sick? What do you know about that?

MS. TOWNSEND: I'm not going to talk about that.

(Article continues below)

Townsend immediately went on the defensive before cutting the press conference short and leaving the room.


White House Homeland Security Advisor Fran Townsend refused to talk about the implausible notion that Bin Laden is still alive and left the press conference immediately after.

Judging from all the available evidence, the White House knows for certain or at least strongly suspects that Bin Laden is dead and has been for many years, but they have chosen to maintain his myth for the purposes of political propaganda and as a hook on which to pin the advance of the imperial Neo-Con agenda. Townsend's reaction to the question is a clear indication that the Bush administration don't even want to be drawn into a debate on whether Bin Laden is still alive. The premise that he might be dead cannot even be entertained because it would strip "Al-Qaeda" of much of the menace that the Neo-Cons need to attach to the group in order to keep Americans frightened and obedient.

According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Bin Laden was on a kidney dialysis machine after he had one shipped to his base in Kandahar Afghanistan in 2000. Other accounts suggest he was also suffering from Hepatitis C at the time and had only two years left to live.

Journalists who met Bin Laden before 9/11 later proclaimed their disbelief about the fact that he didn't appear on video after December 2001 to brag about the fact that he had not been captured. Since that time, every single Bin Laden video tape released has contained vague non-specific messages and in many cases the footage is old and re-hashed. The "new" Bin Laden tape released last weekend was being aired for the third time, having been shot in October 2001 then broadcast in May 2002 before being aired again in October 2003.

"With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?" wrote the New York Times' Amir Taheri in July 2002.

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A very good reason for Osama remaining silent after the end of 2001 would be the fact that he probably died on December 26 of that year, according to a report in the Pakistani Observer, which cited a Taliban official as stating that Bin Laden died due to an untreated lung complication and that he had attended his funeral.

In addition, a leaked French secret service memo last year concluded that Bin Laden had died of typhoid poisoning in August 2006. The memo cited Saudi Arabian secret service sources who were convinced that Bin Laden had died in Pakistan.

"The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al-Qaeda fell victim, while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, to a very serious case of typhoid that led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs," states the French memo.

What's interesting to note is the fact that early Bush administration rhetoric towards the possibility that Bin Laden had died was quite favorable. Americans were still in shock and mourning after 9/11 and demanded a scapegoat, while the Neo-Cons wanted to strike a delicate balance - maintaining the fear of new terror attacks while shifting the focus to an upcoming invasion of Iraq. Hinting that Bin Laden may have already died while proclaiming Iraq as the new front in the war on terror fitted the bill.

[A Bush administration official] said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and "it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout," reported CNN.

So whereas the administration was relaxed about addressing the issue of Bin Laden's death in the run-up to the war in Iraq, the reaction now is to go on the defensive and attempt to avoid the issue altogether, if Townsend's reaction is anything to go by, because keeping the specter of Osama in the background is one of the last remaining straws the Neo-Cons cling to in order to justify a continued presence in Iraq while fanning the flames of paranoia at home.

RELATED: Osama bin Laden: A dead nemesis perpetuated by the US government


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