Strong E-Mail Evidence That UBL Died in 2011, Not 2001

The date of the Judicial Watch article to be quoted is February 10, 2014. The article contains an e-mail sent by U.S. Special Operations Commander, Admiral William McRaven in which he orders that photos of UBL’s remains that have not already been turned over to the CIA be immediately destroyed. If the 2011 operation had been a hoax, would it have gone to such lengths as to concoct an e-mail in advance that was ready to be released when a Freedom of Information request was made? This is highly implausible.

“Judicial Watch announced today that on January 31, 2014, it received documents from the Department of Defense (Pentagon) revealing that within hours of its filing a May 13, 2011, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit seeking photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden, U.S. Special Operations Commander, Admiral William McRaven ordered his subordinates to ‘destroy’ any photos they may have had ‘immediately.’ Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request for the photos 11 days earlier.

“The McRaven email, addressed to ‘Gentlemen,’ instructs:

‘One particular item that I want to emphasize is photos; particularly UBLs remains. At this point – all photos should have been turned over to the CIA; if you still have them destroy them immediately or get them to the [redacted].’

“According to the Pentagon documents, McRaven sent his email on ‘Friday, May 13, 2011 5:09 PM.’ The documents do not detail what documents, if any, were destroyed in response to the McRaven directive. The Judicial Watch FOIA lawsuit seeking the documents was filed in the United States Court for the District of Columbia only hours earlier. Judicial Watch also announced the filing at a morning press conference.

“On May 2, Judicial Watch had filed a FOIA request with the Defense Department seeking ‘all photographs and/or video recordings of Usama (Osama) Bin Laden taken during and/or after the U.S. military operation in Pakistan on or about May 1, 2011.’ Federal law contains broad prohibitions against the ‘concealment, removal, or mutilation generally’ of government records.”

Addendum. I’ve been asked a good question: “If Admiral McRaven knew that the pictures of the person murdered in Abbottabad by Special Ops were not of Bin Laden, wouldn’t it stand to reason that he would order them destroyed?”

The answer is “Yes”. The e-mail is not a smoking gun. However, let’s consider what is assumed by the query.

It assumes that possibly compromising fake photos were around and could reveal the hoax. But if there is to be a hoax, why have taken such photos?

Under that logic, which is fear of a hoax discovery, why take pictures at all? And if one took fake pictures, why let any such fake pictures go out of control, even temporarily? Why bother to turn them over to the CIA?

Indeed, if one wants to stage a fake killing of UBL, why bother to have a raid at all? Why not just report that a drone strike somewhere killed UBL? Why assemble so many people who can attest to its being a hoax?

A complex hoax is a very implausible hypothesis because it requires silence and cooperation from so many people.

The best argument for a hoax is that no hard evidence of UBL’s killing in 2011 has ever been presented to the public. Photos are not that hard. What was needed then and now is an independent panel. But as time passes, proof becomes more and more difficult. But this argument is a negative one and has a logical error. It says that because something wasn’t done to prove the case, that the case is false or a hoax. The latter conclusion doesn’t follow from the government’s lapses or decisions to suppress evidence.


12:39 pm on May 14, 2015

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