Let me make it abundantly clear right from the outset that I am not a supporter of Osama Bin Laden and I believe that he was a well-qualified candidate for the hottest part of hell. I despised the man and all that he stood for and I am one of those that are firmly of the view that the world is a far better place without him. This is because firstly he was directly responsible for the untimely and violent deaths of literally hundreds of thousands of innocent souls from all over the world over the last 20 years and secondly because he struck terror and brought tears and sorrow to the hearts, souls and minds of millions of people from every corner of the globe over that same period of time with his chilling and reprehensible activities and evil agenda.
On a more personal note he was also responsible for the gruesome murder of my brilliant and promising young nephew , Anthony Fatayi-Williams, who was on the threshold of what would have been a fulfilled and prosperous life and career but who was sadly and brutally killed in the Al Qaeda London bombings of July 2005. There is no question in my mind that Osama Bin Laden needed to be caught and brought to justice for his heinous crimes. However I also believe that in order to avoid being found guilty of falling to his bestial standards, bringing such a man to justice, as evil and reprehensible as he undoubtedly was, must surely be done within the confines and ambit of the law.
Furthermore the enforcers of that law , which in this case were the Americans, must be as transparant and honest about their administration of it as possible, the sequence of events that took place and precisely how they actually carried out the whole operation so that we can properly determine whether, firstly, their story is true and, secondly, whether they were operating firmly within the boundries of international law and indeed American law itself. To that extent I believe that it is regrettable and indeed a grave error of judgement on their part that the Obama administration has finally announced that it would not release the pictures of the dead Osama Bin Laden. I say this because such a refusal will only help to fuel the various conspiracy theories that are presently making the rounds all over the world. I believe that the dangers that this decision may pose to the American government in terms of of it's credibility before the international community far outweigh the dangers that they may face if the world were to have been allowed to see the bullet ridden body of Osama Bin Laden in the form of a simple picture. The display of such a picture would have brought the matter to complete closure for many in the international community who are still a little skeptical about the veracity and legitimacy of the claims and indeed the whole exercise. Yet we have now been told in clear terms by the White House and President Barrack Obama himself that ''the man is dead'', ''he will never walk the earth again'' and that we ''should just take their word for it''.
We are told that we ''should'' take the American government's word for it even though we are not all Americans? We ''should'' all take their word for it even though no-one, outside of those that actually took part in the operation, those that were in the house that was attacked, those that watched the action live from the security room of the White House and those that buried Bin Laden's body at sea actually witnessed the events or have seen any footage, hard evidence or pictures of it? And we are expected to just accept it all like that because they said that we ''should'' and because they said it with a nice smile? Is that not how they said we ''should just take their word for it'' when they sought to convince the world that there were weapons of mass destruction hidden away in Saddam Hussein's Iraq in order to justify the invasion of a sovereign state and the prosecution of an illegal war. This was a war in which no less than 150,000 innocent Iraqi women, children and unarmed civilians were ruthlessly murdered and blown to pieces in the name of ''collateral damage'' by the airforce of the ''coalition of the willing'' led by Tony Blair and George W. Bush during the infamous carpet bombing of Baghdad and before the ground troops were sent in. Those claims about ''weapons of mass destruction'' were late proved to be false just that the war in Iraq itself was later declared to have been illegal yet now the same people are telling us that we ''should just take their word for it again''? Is it just me or is the world literally under some kind of deep luciferean spell? Who on earth has bewitched us and for how long willl we continue to swallow this type of childish codswallop? This matter raises questions on so many fronts and on so many levels.
Questions that are important and that should not be shrugged off or wished away simply as a consequence of the euphoria and immense joy of the moment. Whether we like it or not a disturbing precedent has now been set and we must be prepared to live with it's consequences and expect it to be repeated over and over again if not by the Americans alone but certainly by others. If history teaches us nothing else it certainly teaches us that. The only question is ''who is next'' and on whose supposedly ''sovereign'' soil will it be done. Yes we are all happy and relieved that the beast called Osama Bin Laden is dead. But do we not all, as world citizens, have a right to know precisely how it actually happened and whether it was done within the narrow yet clearly defined limits of international law?
Unless the Americans have something to hide what is wrong with the idea of coming up with better andconvincing evidence of his execution and under what circumstances it was done and showing it to the world. As a great admirer and supporter of President Barrack Obama I certainly expected at least that much from him. This is not an American affair alone but it is rather an international one.
Anyone that has watched the Oscar-winning blockbuster film that stars Denzel Washington and Nathan Hawke titled ''Training Day'' and that remembers the scene in which a notorious, evil, low-life and psychotic criminal and professional drug dealer was illegally executed and despatched to eternity and then robbed by a small unit of of merciless, ruthless, efficient and exceptionally cold-blooded law-enforcement officers led by Washington would understand my concerns. After they ''killed the beast'' and stole his money they covered up the evidence in a very efficient manner and they calmly reserached and agreed on what each and everyone of them would say when the main body of the police arrived in order to cover their tracks. This was their modus operandi and they had, of course, done it many times before. I assure you that that sort of thing is not limited to films but it happens regularly with the police in America and in virtually every other country in the world.
For example does anyone remember the Rodney King incident in Los Angeles a number of years back which immediately sparked off riots amongst the black American community in that city and which resulted in many deaths? Or perhaps more recently the case of the Englishman that was ruthlessly pushed to the ground for doing absolutely nothing by a Metropolitan police officer in London during the Piccadily riots in central London just a few weeks ago and who then, sadly, just dropped dead. In both of these cases if a camera that was secretly being operated by an innocent bye-stander and a patriotic and honest member of the public had not been there to film the whole proceedings we would have been told a completely different story by the authorities and the law enforcement agencies as regards the series of events that transpired. And I am told that when it comes to the military it is even worse. If anyone has any doubts about that let them just consider the sort of things that were going on at the notorious American military-run Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad until those infamous and sickening pictures were released to the world and the whole thing blew open. Would anyone have believed up until then that American soldiers would turn a dog on a prisoners face to tear it out whilst they watched and laughed or that they themselves would happlily defecate or urinate in the faces of their Arab prisoners?
The bottom line is this- when armed men and women in uniform are given absolute power over their victims or targets and when there is no-one to watch or monitor their activities to ensure that things are done according to the rules, the regulations and the law men and women tend to behave in an utterly bestial and unecessarily cruel manner and if they feel that they can get away with it they will break the law, take life when it is not absolutely necessary and humiliate and torture their victims and targets before doing so. And in most cases they will enjoy it. That, sadly, is human nature and this is especially so when the target or the victim is as hated and as despised by virtually every civilised and right-thinking person in the world as Osama Bin Laden cetrainly was. I have tremendous respect for the discipline and professionalism of the American military and especially for their Delta Force and their Navy Seals (who I believe are second only to the British Specail Air Service or SAS when it comes to their ability to perform ''special ops'', ''wet work'' and getting the job done in a clinical and professional manner) but the fact that the whole operation was not on camera (as we are now being told) worries me.
What happened to the camcorders on the helmets of the Navy Seals? Did they suddenly stop working? If this is not the case then why were they removed?
We are now being told that it was only the helicopters that were outside the building that actually filmed the proceedings and all the action from where it was hovering outside the building and in the compound which means that there is absolutely no record or footage of what transpired when the soldiers entered the house itself and confronted, killed and apprehended the occupants none of whom, by their own admission, were armed. Rather conveniently we are told that the helicopter that would have been used to bring the other occupants of the house out of Pakistan with the Seals suddenly crashed which meant that they would not be debriefed in a country with rules and regulations but they would be left in the hands of Pakistan's ruthless and notorious ISI intelligence agency who certainly have ways of compelling them to tell the ''right'' story and not to rock the boat.
Could the ''Training Day'' experience be the sort of thing that happened at Osama Bin Laden's home when the Navy Seals arrived there and stormed the building?
Perhaps so and perhaps not so and the truth is that most people really don't care? The popular refrain all over the world today, except perhaps amongst the more conservative muslim populations, is that even if they had raped Bin Laden's wife and children before his very eyes and then slowly skinned him alive in their presence whilst making him eat his own guts before finally putting a bullet in his head and between his legs it really doesn't matter. They feel that regardless of what actually ''went down'' and how it was done justice has been served, that Bin Laden deserved no better and that ultimately the fact that he has been killed is all that matters. I understand and appreciate this position but I have to say that I respectfully disagree with it.
This is because I believe that our humanity can only be truly measured by our ability to operate with decency, discipline, compassion and restraint when dealing with even the most monstrous of characters and we must always resist the strong temptation of operating outside the confines and limits of the law. That is, after all, the only thing that makes us better than the Osama Bin Laden's of this world and his ilk and once we throw that away we can no longer lay claim to being on the morale high ground. The fact that Saddam Hussein was tried in an open court by and before his own people is what demystified him and denied him the status of martydom. The fact that the leaders of Nazi Germany who between them caused the death of no less than 50 million people during the Second World War (bar Adolph Hitler who died in Osama like circumstances also on may 1st and whose body was also never found) were openly and publicly tried according to the law and were each convicted and hanged like the common criminals and murderers that they were reduced their stature and denied them the cult-figure and hero status that they so desperately craved for themselves even after death.
They were hopelessly and shamelessly demystified and that is the beauty and power of doing things openly and properly and according to the law when dealing with mass murderers who have a massive following in the world like Osama Bin Laden. In the light of all this kindly permit me to share just a few interesting posers about the Osama case with you and allow me to put them directly to the American government and to those that believe everything that they have been told by them concerning this matter hook , line and sinker and lock, stock and barrel.
Firstly, if Osama Bin Laden was not armed why did you blow his brains out?
Secondly, if he did not resist arrest why did you murder him?
Thirdly, if you could have taken him alive and brought him home for trial and to face justice whydidn't you do so?
Fourthly, if you really had his body why did you bury it at sea?
Fifthly, if you have his picture why not show it to the world?
Sixthly, if his wife was not a human shield why break her leg?
Seventhly, if he did not resist arrest why execute him in front of his twelve year old daughter?
Eighthly, if she did not resist arrest or carry a weapon why was the other woman in the building shot dead?
Ninethly, if the Pakistani's were not in any way involved how did you manage to enter their airspace without detection, violate their sovereignty, commit an act of murder and war on their soil, launch a full scale military assault in the middle of a secure and well guarded military community which was just ten minutes away from their military officers training college, remain there with guns blazing and rockets booming for 45 minutes and get in and out without being challenged by them with the firing of even one bullet?
Tenthly and most important of all, why does your story about the sequence of events and what actually transpired during the assault keep changing?
Someone, somewhere is not giving us the true picture and is not telling us the complete truth about the series and sequence of events.
Of that I am sure. The only question that is left for us to answer is just how far the deception and the cover up goes. Is it fundamental or is it peripheral? Was there an Osama Bin Laden there at all or did he actually die many years ago?
Was it really him that was attacked or was it a body double?
Was the whole thing real or was it all stage-managed?
Was he killed at the premises, assuming that he was killed at all, or was he flown off in the American chopper and killed elsewhere after a period of brutal interrogation, questioning and torture?
Why were the two couriers killed even though they did not resist arrest? Why was Bin Laden's young son killed?
Why were there no armed men guarding the premises if the leader of the world's most notorious and dangerous terrorist was really living there?
How come not even one American commando or Navy Seal was shot or even wounded during the operation? Remember that we are talking about the leader of the dreaded Al Qaeda here. I mean the whole thing is beginning to sound so unlikely and implausible. It sounds more like a script of a second-rate Hollywood movie than reality. There are so many scenarios and conclusions that one can draw up and arrive in all this but ultimately it is only God (and possibly Obama) that really knows the truth and that has the answers to these questions.
Whichever way one looks at it and whatever one chooses to believe, I can smell a very big dead rat here and the smell is getting stronger by the day. Quite apart from anything else the fact that the American Presidential elections are just around the corner present a veritable motive for all this subtefuge and deception, if indeed that it was it really is. How I wish that I could have ruled that out in my mind but without the evidence I simply cannot do so. I for one am very skeptical about governments and what they tell us. The line between truth and fantasy are very often blurred when it comes to any gospel according to any government. Things are very rarely as they appear and things are hardly ever as the public is told. And the more advanced the country or government that is involved the better they are at it.
Remember the death of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Princess Diana, Moshood Abiola, Sani Abacha, Adolf Hitler (also on May 1st), Josef Stalin, Anwar Sadat, Zia Ul Haq, Benazzir Bhutto, Indira Ghandi, Rajiv Ghandi, Marilyn Monroe, Kwame Nkrumah, Sylvanio Olympio, Murtala Mohammed, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba, Juvenal Habyamira, Cyprien Ntaryamira, Pope John Paul 1, Abraham Lincoln and so many others?
We may have identified who pulled the triggers or administered the poisons in some of these examples but does it really stop there? Who was behind them? Who funded them? Who gave them the orders to do it? Which intelligence agencies were really behind it? Who covered up the real reasons and motivations for these killings and why? Who benefitted the most from these deaths and these distortions of fact and official cover-ups? Who stood to lose the most if the truth came out? All these cases are unresolved and all have been furnished with questionable conclusions as to who it was that actually gave the orders for the assasinations to take place and who was ultimately responsible. Food for thought? Yes indeed. Just remember one thing....in the covert world of special operations, espinage and the intelligence services anything is possible and very rarely do they ever tell the truth about anything, even to their own Presidents. That is why they are called ''spooks''. They live in a grey world filled with it's own very real fantasies and ghosts.
Secrecy and loyalty is their armour and disinformation and a licence to take human life when it is in the national interest are their most potent weapons. Armed with those four things they can do anything, to anyone, at anytime and get away with it.
Permit me to end this contribution by sharing the following observation, which was made by the god-daughter and niece of my dear friend and sister Donna Wayas, with you here. Her name is Antonia Ally and she recently posted the following contribution as her fb status. "How can we just believe these lies? 21st century man is so dumb. Ok so they threw Osama's body into the river, how convenient? We have always suspected that he died of cancer years ago and now u throw the body away. American troops can take pictures of them abusing innocent Iraqi prisoners and they can make the hanging of Saddam Hussein so public but they quietly throw the head of Al Qaeda away after 10years of searching. Please". A simple yet poignant contribution from an insightful young lady wouldn't you say? The only thing left to explore is motive.
Why would the American government be indulging in all these games now assuming that is what they are doing. The answer is not too difficult. There is an election next year in America and with this great achievement and ''smooth operation'' by the Obama administration can anyone stop him from winning again? He has given the American people what they have craved for the most over the last 10 years and he has done so without suffering one American casualty. His approval ratings have soared and trust me when I tell you that he will win the elections next year with a landslide victory unless something dramatic and terrible happens before then to expose the whole thing for what it may very well be to the American people. Yet as each day passes the plot thickens more and more and as each morning dawns the smell of the dead rat gets stronger and stronger. God bless America.
Chief Femi Fani-Kayode was the former spokesperson to President Olusegun Obasanjo; he subsequently became Minister of Tourism and Culture and later served as Aviation Minister for Federal Republic of Nigeria.