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The ever changing explanation of Osama Bin Laden’s death

Everything was clear. Osama Bin Laden was shot dead in a battle with US Navy Seals at his luxury mansion in Pakistan while president Barack Obama watched on live video.

Issue No. 2251

He went down in a hail of bullets while firing an AK-47—too fanatical to capture.

No, wait a minute. He died a coward, using his wife as a human shield and causing her death.

But actually, Obama wasn’t watching live and Bin Laden’s wife wasn’t killed.

And perhaps there wasn’t a battle. But there probably was—why else would the Navy Seals have had to shoot so much ammunition?

And Bin Laden wasn’t living in luxury. He was a non-entity reduced to watching videos of his “glory days”.

The US government’s ever shifting narrative shows that, for them, there is no truth beyond what it can get away with.

Remember this the next time it denies a drone has wiped out a wedding party elsewhere in Pakistan.

So much misinformation makes it difficult to remember what few facts have been revealed.

But this was clearly an extra-judicial execution.

It further exposes the hypocrisy of leaders who demand that others follow international laws while they ignore or redefine them as is convenient.

It goes alongside attempts to redefine the invasion of Afghanistan as a success, and to present Obama as a “war president”—something he was once very keen to avoid.


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What We Think
Tue 10 May 2011, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2251
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