Saturday, 7 May 2011

Osama Bin Laden: The Changing Story

Since the death of Osama Bin Laden, officials at the White House have already issues a number of statements that contradict previous assertions. To date, no clear account or solid evidence has been presented to the public who continue to remain in darkness.

At present, White House has decided to stop providing details about the firefight since it has attributed mistakes and contradictions to "the fog of war." The President's spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters on Tuesday: "We provided a great deal of information with great haste in order to inform you ... and obviously some of the information came in piece by piece and is being reviewed and updated and elaborated on".

Osama was ARMED and RESISTED

A senior Pentagon official reported on Monday that the Navy Seals engaged in a firefight and Bin Laden resisted giving a strong impression that Bin Laden had been armed and may have been shooting.

John Brennan, White House security adviser, stated that, "He (Osama) was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in, and whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don't know. The president put a premium on making sure that our personnel were protected and we were not going to give Bin Laden or any of his cohorts the opportunity to carry out lethal fire on our forces. He was engaged and he was killed in the process. The concern was that Bin Laden would oppose any type of capture operation. Indeed he did. It was a firefight. He, therefore, was killed in that firefight."

He further told a reporter: "There were some firefights that were going on as these guys [the Navy Seals] were making their way up the staircase of that compound."

The Change:

Contradicting his account Carney said that, “The only shots fired by those in the compound came at the beginning of the operation when Bin Laden's trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, opened fire from behind the door of the guesthouse next to the house where Bin Laden was hiding. After the Seal members shot and killed Kuwaiti and a woman in the guesthouse the Americans were never fired upon again."

He further added, “Bin Laden was also shot as he resisted the assaulter. He was not armed but resistance does not require a firearm." 

Asked by a reporter: "Is the fact of a firefight solid?", Carney said: "You heard the account that I read yesterday, and that is information that I provided. And I'm not – I'm just simply saying I'm not going further than that." 

Leon Panetta, the CIA director, stated that though Osama was not armed but there were "some threatening moves that ... represented a clear threat to our guys. And that's the reason they fired." 

The Pakistani Intelligence Agency reported that Bin Laden's 12-year-old daughter had told them that the US forces captured her father alive and shot him dead in front of family members. 


Brennan said on Monday: "There was family at that compound and there was a female who was in fact in the line of fire that reportedly was used as a shield to shield Bin Laden from the incoming fire."

Pentagon backed this story that some other male combatants "certainly did use women as shields".

The Change: 

The president's spokesman on Tuesday reported, "In the room with Bin Laden, a woman – Bin Laden's – a woman, rather, Bin Laden's wife, rushed to the US assaulter and was shot in the leg but not killed."

Osama's son, Khalid, was KILLED

Brennan told reporters: "Bin Laden died, along with the two al-Qaida facilitators, the brothers, who were the courier and his brother in the compound; Bin Laden's son Khalid; and the woman, presumed to be his wife, who was shielding Bin Laden."

The Change: 

Later the name of the son changed to Hamza in the transcript.

The LUXURIOUS $ 1 MILLION compound

Defense officials, on Monday, said that Bin Laden's luxurious compound was worth $1m and was highly discernible compared to the "much more dire conditions" endured by his "terrorist colleagues" and speculated on what they might be thinking "when they see that their leader was living, relatively speaking, high on the hog".

The Change:

The local estimate of the house is worth $250,000. Videos captured from inside the compound paint a different picture, with cooking equipment on the floor, shabby furniture, medicines left on a shelf with no cabinet and the pantry seemed rudimentary. The paint was peeling outside the building with grass growing off a ledge below the roof. The outside walls were scarred with damp and mold and there was no air-conditioning in the compound. A hand-painted advertisement for Jamia Girls College, in Urdu and English, was painted on one of the outside walls of the compound. 

Obama watched the raid unfold LIVE

Brennan reported, on Monday: "We were able to monitor in a real-time basis the progress of the operation from its commencement to its time on target to the extraction of the remains and to then the egress off of the target. We were able to monitor the situation in real time and were able to have regular updates and to ensure that we had real-time visibility into the progress of the operation. I am not going to go into details about what type of visuals we had or what type of feeds that were there, but it was … it gave us the ability to actually track it on an ongoing basis."

The Change: 

Carney clarified, on Tuesday, that the updates were "minute-by-minute" and "they were looking at and listening to those updates". Leon Panetta said: "Once those teams went into the compound, I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes that we really didn't know just exactly what was going on."

Carney was caught in a crossfire of his own when he was asked about the number of floors in the compound in Pakistan. “Even I’m getting confused,” Carney said as he looked through his notes.

Another recent detail was released that after Osama was killed the Navy Seals attempted to identify him by his height, which was 6ft 4in, but since they did not have the necessary equipment to do that, one member of the team volunteered to lie down next to his body so they could make an estimate.

And the biggest change of all is the name change of "Osama" to "Usama' in official American documents so as not to get confused with the fact that ‘Osama’ was killed by ‘Obama’.

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