“Never in the swamp of Presidential politics was so much horse-shit fed to so many media dupes by so few”

Newly captured video footage released by the White House shows a shuffling, poorly-dressed Bin Laden, grey of beard and slight of build, watching coverage of himself on a cheap, small satellite television monitor. The images bear a chilling resemblance to Hitler in his last bunker, as portrayed in the recent German movie, Die Untergang.

The Slog has posted several times during the decade since 9/11 about obvious signs that Osama Bin Laden was a sick man suffering organ failure on several levels, and requiring regular drug intake. The most high-profile and well-known dimension of the Al Q’eida leader’s health problem were his kidneys, which (allegedly) required regular kidney dialysis. Reports towards the end of that decade suggested that the 9/11 mastermind was managing to control his condition via oral drugs.

Mary Anne Weaver, author of  Pakistan: Deep Inside the World’s Most Frightening State told ABC News two days ago that espionage officials informed her  about Bin Laden’s enlarged heart. “It was a fleeting mention by intelligence officials,” said Weaver, but the author also added that he had almost certainly been injured in a 2001 battle in Tora Bora, the complex of caves in Afghanistan where U.S. forces believed members of Al Q’eida were hiding. “It does seem he may have been injured with shrapnel in Tora Bora,” said Katzman. “After his escape, he wasn’t able to move his arm much.”

“There’s no way to know for sure how ill he really was. The only way to tell would be an autopsy,” she concluded. Well, we’d all like to see the death certificate, but it isn’t on offer. And we still have no explanation for that. Either way, the newly released footage shows a pathetic man, tripping out his final, squalid years on a desperate Arabist fantasy of Imperial glory.

In no way should that description be seen as an attempt to curry sympathy for this horribly damaged human being: naive dupes  mistakenly think Osama Bin Laden to have been a brave revolutionary, but he was no such thing. The most likely diagnosis is that he was a former playboy who developed a schizoid illness during his twenties, and thus almost accidentally became a focus for murderous, fundamentalist Islam. In fact, OBL was a far from religious man: extreme Islamism was a bandwagon which suited his purpose. There is a bitter irony in the fact that he used Islamist radicals, who in turn – once he was past his sell-by date – used him to wind up the West. America in particular gobbed greedily upon the bait. I suspect we may all pay for that in the end.

What the images do tell us, however, is that Bin Laden was no longer a real ‘physical’ threat. They also suggest strongly that his ability to resist a concerted attack by Navy Seals was near-negligible. Sources in Pakistan suggest that the presence of three cooks in the Abbottabad compound suggests his need for a special diet. And, of course, the question must be asked: how could this man have gained easy access to relatively obscure and expensive drugs over a six year period without the connivance, help and financial support of indigenous sympathisers?

I understand that one of the ‘wives’ has now also turned out to be a nurse.

So we are presented, based on this evidence, with a disabled old grey-beard, with the use of only one arm, the owner of a weak heart, and drug dependent. Do we really think that US espionage hadn’t established this long before the raid? Can we really accept that this ailing man who retreated to his bedroom (after dodging a near miss in the hallway) put up resistance that forced the attackers to kill him? I can’t – even though I think what the Seals did was absolutely right. My only beef here is with the mealy-mouthed holier-than-thou crap put out by a variety of sanctimonious Obama officials.

Yesterday, latching onto a vote-snatching wave of brainless US jingosim, Barack Obama – speaking before cheering troops at Fort Campbell in Kentucky – said, “These Americans deserve credit for one of the greatest military operations in our nation’s history.” I think this to be not only bollocks, but also an insult to previous brave Americans who gave their lives for far higher causes against infinitely greater odds. I say again: this is not to decry what these brave Navy Seals achieved. It is merely a reiteration of what The Slog has insisted since Day One of Obama Bin Lyin’, viz, the largeing of this operation – and the blind eye to what the security and revenge ramifications of it might be – is far more about Four More Years than it is about the ‘war against terrorism’.