News & Analysis
Esquire Portrait of bin Laden's Death Fails to Convince
The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden... Is Screwed. For the first time, the Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden tells his story — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. And the startling failure of the United States government to help its most experienced and skilled warriors carry on with their lives. – Esquire
Dominant Social Theme: Bin Laden is dead.
Free-Market Analysis: This article attempts to provide us with a blow-by-blow description of Osama bin Laden's death by putting the killing within the context of the "shooter's" life.
The article is purportedly about the injustices being heaped upon the killer of the world's most famous terrorist. He has injuries, can't move his neck much and is facing a good deal of difficulty in paying his bills, as he can't find a job to replace his regular service salary of about US$60,000 a year.
The article is by Phil Bronstein, who works out of a non-profit called the Center for Investigative Journalism in Berkeley, California. Bronstein and his colleagues are all eminent journalists who appear to have run major newspapers and are now keeping the tradition of independent journalism alive as best they can.
But one thing that struck us about the article was that it used a photo of Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others in the White House's "situation room." In the famous photo, Hillary has her hand over her mouth as if watching something grave or terrible on the screen in front of them (which cannot be seen from the photographer's vantage.) Her colleagues, including the President of the United States, look terribly grave.
But as we learn from Wikipedia and elsewhere, these notables were NOT in the White House situation room but in a side room nearby. And Hillary had her hand over her mouth because she had allergies and was trying to suppress a cough.
This photo has been published numerous times and usually with the implication that Hillary, Obama and the others were gathered there watching the death of bin Laden. But as has been stated numerous times, there were no interior shots of the "compound" and therefore, none of the people pictured saw bin Laden's actual death.
There are other problems. Osama bin Laden had perhaps been dead for ten years of Marfan syndrome that elongated his body, made him sickly and ruined his kidneys. He was reportedly on dialysis in 2000. It is highly doubtful that a man in such a condition could have survived another decade before being shot by a Navy SEAL.
Additionally, as we have reported, there are various eyewitness accounts that cast doubts on how the operation was conducted and whether the SEALS even landed as described.
One point that sticks out is that the SEALS came down on top of the compound supposedly but such an approach makes no sense. Ordinarily in such occurrences, the landing is done well away from the target. For our extensive reporting on the subject just conduct a 'Net search for "bin Laden's death" and "Daily Bell."
It is the photo in the Esquire article that we are fixated on because it has much resonance and has been thoroughly debunked on the Internet. In a pre-Internet era, we would have no way to fully understand the falsity of what is presented to us. And even the Wikipedia article about the photo reads like something out of a schizophrenic's description. While virtually admitting the photo is false, the article continues on and on – explaining the importance of the photo as if it were real. Here's some of the description.
Some historians have commented on the historical significance of the photograph, particularly its depiction of the crossing of gender and racial boundaries. Lehigh University political science professor Saladin Ambar said that the picture suggests "a new American landscape that we're still crossing into." He continued "When Obama was elected, there were some people who thought that we had crossed a racial threshold. What his presidency is revealing is that there are many crossings."
The photograph has also been noted to depict a change in presidential leadership style. Historian Clarence Lusane said that past presidents have felt a need to project "machismo" and "swagger." Meredith College sociology professor Lori Brown said it is significant however, that Obama is neither in the center of the room nor in the tallest chair. Political analyst Cheryl Contee said "Obama's willingness to be photographed without the typical Oval Office swagger gives birth to a new type of swagger." She said that the image shows Obama's leadership style as a collaborator.
The New York Times commented on Clinton's expression in the photograph, writing, "She is what the French critic Roland Barthes called the 'punctum,' the not necessarily conspicuous detail that gives a photograph its emotional resonance." They also stated the mystery of the photograph—what are they looking at?—was analogous to the uncertainty of Western democracy's relationship with Islamic militant terrorism.
Ambar stated that the photograph also shows how entrenched women have become in U.S. politics; Hillary Clinton and Audrey Tomason are in the photograph, while the similar photograph of John F. Kennedy and his staff during the Cuban Missile Crisis does not show any women. Lori Brown said in a CNN article that the photograph also shows how women have made progress in U.S. political life, although Brown said that Clinton's visible reaction dulled the impact somewhat, because women "are often more physical in their emotional responses and in a 'power situation' it may not seem as acceptable."
But it is not "history" – or not at least the history that has been described. Again, the facts are seemingly not in dispute. The photo did not take place in the actual "situation room." The people in the room were not watching the death of bin Laden, as the live feed – or whatever it was – did not extend inside of bin Laden's compound. Finally, the photo's so-called punctum, Hillary Clinton, was putting her hand up to her mouth to shield a sneeze, not because she'd just seen something awful.
If great evil is also great banality, then this banal photograph of a number of people crammed into a small room watching a phony feed – while one suppresses a sneeze – shall go down in history not as a great gathering of leaders but as a gathering of political actors playing out their assigned roles.
Because that's what is more likely going on. The power elite that wants to build world government and controls governance in many countries already, has created a phony war on terror to justify its depredations regarding civil liberties. People must lose their freedoms so that global institutions can be built.
The killing of bin Laden was doubtless part of this phony show. These people were just following orders like everyone else, and all the fulsome articles in big US magazines cannot alleviate the narrative's phoniness.
More likely, if someone was shot it was a blameless, aged victim – perhaps the man who actually owned the house. Or perhaps no one was shot at all. The article ends by pointing out that the shooter may be in danger from other al Qaeda types that know his name. But he is probably more in danger from the US government that concocted this phony bin Laden death – in part to re-elect Obama – and is desperate to ensure that the truth does not leak out.
But the truth already HAS leaked out, just like the truth about the photo that Esquire uses to punctuate the gravity of the moment when shooting occurred.
It seems to be a phony photo, a phony moment, a phony shooting and a phony narrative. If it tells us anything at all, it is how what we call the Internet Reformation has changed the context of 21st century information.
Twenty-five years ago, this would have been a significant article. Today, knowing what we do about the US government and its serial lying at the behest of a tiny and impossibly wealthy power elite, we can only shake our collective heads in wonder that those orchestrating these promotions still don't understand how things have changed.
It is this as much as anything else that makes us confident that plans to gather up the world are not going well. The photo discussed above is an apt metaphor for how little they have learned and how unable they are to respond with legitimate anti-Internet strategies.
They have no idea how to contain the knowledge that the Internet has dispersed about the Way the World Really Works short of shutting down the Internet, which they cannot do.
Instead, they run long articles in magazines that are way past their prime telling people what they ought to think about this or that promotion. Don't they understand that thinking people can go on the 'Net and debunk these strategies with a single click of the keyboard?
Conclusion: It's not that they don't know anything better. It's that they cannot think of anything else. And what does that tell us? Think about it ...
Posted by RED on 02/19/13 11:21 AM
Sorry I was not able to get back to you sooner, but it seems that all there is to life is work 12 to 16 hours per day / pay confiscatory taxes / and "fix" things.
Your own follow up article on 02-13 caught and explains the "Esquire lie". Good work and good follow up.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by turtle995 on 02/12/13 08:30 PM
The alternative story from witnesses that were there is that Bin Laden wasn't in that compound, it was a warlord protected by the Pakistan government. The SEALs ran into the building and then ran out, took off, and their helicopter crashed, killing everyone on board. They reported bodies and blood everywhere. The other helicopters never landed. When the first crashed, they turned around and went home. In other news, several members of SEAL team 6 were killed a week later in a suspicious attack when their helicopter was shot down with a RPG.
Posted by csilk13 on 02/12/13 08:08 PM
What's frustrating me more and more is seeing another mass media example of the fictitious bin Laden narrative used in a clever way to compound a now accepted "truth", or as TDB calls it, Directed History. Once you have a book like "No Easy Day" and a movie like "Zero Dark Thirty", history becomes cemented in the minds of the American public. Argo is another interesting example of mass media manipulation. Has anyone seen the movie "Wag the Dog"?
Posted by 1776 on 02/12/13 06:56 PM
Valerie Jarrett (also known as: Valerie Bowman Jarrett, Valerie B. Jarrett) born November 14, 1956 in Shiraz, Iran is an American politician . Valerie Bowman Jarrett is a senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama administration. She is also a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader. Prior to that she served as a co-chairperson of the Obama-Biden Transition Project.
Click to view link
Posted by Ol' Grey Ghost on 02/12/13 06:13 PM
The supposed "historical significance" of the photo reminds of a cartoon I saw in a German magazine several years ago. A group of art critics were heatedly discussing the significance of a blemish that an artist had placed on the face of a person in a portrait he had painted - did he intend to "show the fraility of life" or the "insignificance of the human condition" - when a janitor walks up and cleans the glass covering the painting.
The blemish was now gone and the group of art critics quietly and sheepishly, dispersed...
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 02/12/13 05:41 PM
Reply from The Daily Bell
Abu, wow, they really do look like bad stage props...
Posted by GWBramhall on 02/12/13 04:30 PM
I always believed that they were watching the attack real time by either
satellite or by Predator drone. The reaction I had always assumed, was
to the second helicopter crashing and the thought that all was going
terribly wrong. I feel this is more plausible than to think that such a vast conspiracy could be effectively assembled on the fly. I know this is not the way of this site, but sometimes the simplest explanation is most likely to be the truth.
Posted by dave jr on 02/12/13 03:18 PM
Cripe, give Obama and Staff an Emmy already, god knows they've earned it. Then Esquire would have something to report on.
Posted by John Q. Parvenu on 02/12/13 03:12 PM
The rendering of the clustered War Criminals is pluperfect propaganda -- redolent of the 1960s Chinese depictions of Chairman Mao Himself traversing the River Yangtze with mighty, manly, breaststrokes...
And -- a bonus this -- the captured image brings out the dreamer in me... wherein I see them -- one and all -- attired in the Correctional Oranges, wrists and ankles chained, and arrayed on the dais of a War Crimes Tribunal awaiting rendition to Guantanamo.
Except for Dirty Barry. Being the President and all, He gets special treatment... We're talking a one-way, all expenses paid, trip to to the southerly sectors of New Jersey where He's a Rahway-Pookie-in-a-Halter-Top pimped out for Newports-a-deux, or 50 cent crack rock bellringers...
Who says there are no Second Acts in American lives?
Posted by RED on 02/12/13 02:14 PM
I believe that the esquire article regarding the "shooter" and his post active military "maladies" has been debunked rather quickly. I am in the middle of a lot of other paperwork, but will research the sources and perhaps submit an addendum later.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Ok, Thanks. Infowars covered it here:
Click to view link
Posted by David_Robertson on 02/12/13 01:58 PM
The Osama bin Laden assassination was perhaps one of the most contrived "Hollywood" events of recent modern history. It is difficult to believe that anyone was taken in by it but that they were is beyond question. There is still a large inchoate mass of humanity mindlessly absorbing and transmitting the elites' narratives.
The saying that in the kingdom of the blind the one eyed man is king is self evidently false. The evidence of history demonstrates that in the kingdom of the blind the man who can see is ineluctably crucified.
Posted by David_Robertson on 02/12/13 01:48 PM
Early on in the article we read:
"And Hillary had her hand over her mouth because she had allergies and was trying to suppress a cough."
However later on the situation has changed somewhat:
"Finally, the photo's so-called punctum, Hillary Clinton, was putting her hand up to her mouth to shield a sneeze,"
In the interests of consistency, the very topic of the article, perhaps we could sort out whether it was a sneeze, a cough or perhaps both. Given that she allegedly has allergies a sneeze seems to be more likely.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Hillary is not sure what she is doing; thus we have provided several options ...
But Hillary Clinton has downplayed the whole hype surrounding her wide-eyed and open-mouthed expression. No she is not frozen in fear, she insists, but she has 'no idea' what she was doing.
Read more: Click to view link