Osama bin Laden Dead. It was the biggest news all over the world. And it was also the biggest flop for the media internationally. Not a single newspaper, magazine, TV channel, or a source could publish or show or talk about the final moments of the al Qaeda chief as he was killed by the US forces in Pakistan. No exclusive even.
Umesh Parab, a netizen, tweeted: “Pity on newspapers… they won’t have the perfect picture to carry out the biggest story on terrorism and Pakistan.” Yes, mere showing of the Abbottabad compound where bin Laden is claimed to have been killed in Pakistan is not enough.
I was watching White House officials briefing the press Monday on the killing of bin Laden. They were… to an extent… subjected to some… quite uncomfortable questions by the scribes on the entire event. Did I smell lot of gaps !!! [see excerpts below]
Osama bin Laden was a “high-value target”, no doubt. Shortly after the announcement by US President Barack Obama of the big news, even UN chief Ban Ki-Moon called it a “watershed moment in our common global fight against terrorism”.
That is why the world needed to be shown the images of the dead bin Laden and the footages of his claimed burial in sea, immediately. And why not when the CIA officials reportedly monitored the raid on Osama bin Laden via live video on the 7th floor of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia !!!
Well, it’s been several hours since the Breaking News of Osama being killed but the world is clueless about the real images. Some cartoons did come… even spammers flooded internet with fake images.
But… I… as a world citizen … who heard about Osama bin Laden’s death … I demand … I demand … the US must release the related photos and the proof of his burial. Or should we wait until WikiLeaks gets-and-releases the claim or the truth of the lie?
Qs & As at the briefing:
Q One question. You said “a small U.S. team.” Were these military personnel, can you say, or non-military?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Can’t go into further details at this time; just a small U.S. team.
Q Good morning. Can you tell us specifically what contact there was with bin Laden at the compound? You referred to someone using a woman as a shield that was not bin Laden. But how was he killed? Where? What occurred at the compound?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: As the President said this evening, bin Laden was killed in a firefight as our operators came onto the compound.
Q Thank you. Just to go back to what you were talking about with the attacks in response to this operation, are you hearing any specific threats against specific targets?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. But any type of event like this, it is very prudent for us to take measures so that we can ensure that the security measures that we need to institute here and throughout the world are in place. This is just something that we normally would do. We don’t have any specific threats at this time related to this. But we are ensuring that every possible precaution is taken in advance.
Q Yes, hey, how are you doing? My question would be, what was the type of the helicopter that failed? And what was the nature of that mechanical failure?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Can’t go into details at this time.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We didn’t say it was mechanical.
Q Was bin Laden involved in firing himself or defending himself? And then any chronology of the raid itself?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight.
Q Thank you. Thank you for taking this call. Can you give me a comment on the very fact that Osama bin Laden was just in Islamabad — and has long been (inaudible) Afghanistan (inaudible) also from India, that Osama bin Laden is hiding somewhere near Islamabad? What does it signify, that? Does it signify any cooperation or any kind of link that he had with establishments in Pakistan?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: As the President said, Pakistani cooperation had assisted in this lead, as we pursued it. So we’re continuing to work this issue right now. We are very concerned about — that he was inside of Pakistan, but this is something that we’re going to continue to work with the Pakistani government on.
Q But the very fact you didn’t inform the Pakistani authorities — did you have any suspicion that if you informed them, the information might lead somewhere?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: An operation like this that is conducted has the utmost operational security attached to it. I said that we had shared this information with no other country, and that a very, very small group of individuals within the United States government was aware of this. That is for operational security purposes.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: I would also just add to that that President Obama, over a period of several years now, has repeatedly made it clear that if we had actionable intelligence about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, we would act. So President Obama has been very clear in delivering that message publicly over a period of years. And that’s what led President Obama to order this operation. When he determined that the intelligence was actionable and the intelligence case was sufficient, he gave us high confidence that bin Laden indeed was at the compound.
Q Thank you. What is going to happen next? And what is the U.S. going to do with bin Laden’s body?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We are ensuring that it is handled in accordance with Islamic practice and tradition. This is something that we take very seriously. And so therefore this is being handled in an appropriate manner.
MR. VIETOR: Great, thanks. Just to remind everyone, this call is on background, as senior administration officials. We have time for one more question, and we’re going to go to bed.
Q Do you have a sense of the vintage of the compound and how long bin Laden had been there?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The compound has been in existence for roughly five years, but we don’t know how long bin Laden lived there. We assess that the compound was built for the purpose of harboring him. But again, don’t know how long he’s been there.