Montag, 12. Februar 2007

Bin Laden met CIA in Dubai

Loose Change claims:

July 4th, 2001.

Osama Bin Laden, wanted by the United States since 1998 receives medical attention at the American Hospital in Dubai, where he is visited by a local chief of the CIA.

And here's the debunking from Screw Loose Change:

This was reported by the French paper Le Figaro, (not exactly a pro-American paper*). Quoting an anonymous source. The story is unconfirmed. I’m not aware of any evidence at all that this happened.

* This statement was in the first version of the guide.

Let's check the facts:

It was not only reported by the Le Figaro, also by Radio France International and other medias. It was reported that bin Laden receives lifesaving treatment for renal failure from American surgeon specialist Dr. Terry Callaway at the American hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is possibly accompanied by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (who is said to be bin Laden's personal physician, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, and leader of Egypt's Islamic Jihad), plus several bodyguards. Callaway supposedly treated bin Laden in 1996 and 1998, also in Dubai. Callaway later refuses to answer any questions on this matter.(Le Figaro 10/31/01, Agence France-Presse 11/1/01, London Times 11/01/01)
During his stay, bin Laden is visited by „several members of his family and Saudi personalities“, including Prince Turki al Faisal, the head of Saudi intelligence, as well as two CIA officers ( Guardian, 11/1/01, FTW)

Al-Faisal, head of the intelligence service for 24 years, is replaced on August 31. 2001 without any explanation.( Seattle Times, 10/29/01, Wall Street Journal, 10/22/01 Al-Faisal is later sued in August 2002 for his role in 9/11 (Associated Press, 8/15/02, MSNBC, 8/25/02) Back to bin Laden.

On July 12, bin Laden reportedly meets with CIA agent Larry Mitchell in the hospital. Mitchell, a retired Air Force Col, apparently lives in Dubai as an Arab specialist under the cover of being a consular agent.

Surprisingly (caution: irony!), the CIA, the Dubai hospital and bin Laden deny the story. However, Le Figaro and Radio France International stand by their reporting.( Radio France International, 11/1/01)
The explosive story is widely reported in Europe, but barely at all in the US (possibly only by UPI, 11/1/01)
French terrorism expert Antoine Sfeir says the story of this meeting has been verified and is not surprising :
It is nothing extraordinary. Bin Laden maintained contacts with the CIA up to 1998. These contacts have not ceased since bin Laden settled in Afghanistan. Up to the last moment, CIA agents hoped that bin Laden would return to the fold of the US, as was the case before 1989.(Le Figaro 11/1/01)

It's reported that
Exactly one year ago, from July 4 to July 14, Osama bin Laden was undergoing medical treatment at the American Hospital in Dubai. He arrived by plane from Quetta, the capital of Baluchistan (daily flights either with PIA or Emirates Airlines). He met many wealthy Saudi princes and businessmen. He was also visited by the local CIA chief. He could have been arrested on the spot - and there would be no excuses for a war against terrorism. He was not arrested. The rest, of course, is history - with an al-Qaeda hand in the screenplay. (Asia Time, 7/13/02)

Reuters, 13.11.2003:
Richard Labeviere, author of "The Corridors of Terror", released on Thursday, says the CIA's Dubai station chief approached bin Laden while the al Qaeda leader was being treated for a serious kidney complaint in the United Arab Emirates.
He said the meeting took place in the American Hospital in Dubai on July 12, barely eight weeks before al Qaeda militants slammed fuel-laden hijacked airliners into the Pentagon and New York's World Trade Center, killing almost 3,000 people.
"Such an allegation is sheer fantasy, no such thing occurred," CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield said, echoing an earlier rebuttal by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency of French media reports in October 2001 about tne alleged Dubai meeting.
Labeviere said he learned of an encounter from a contact in the Dubai hospital, and said the event was confirmed in detail during a separate interview in New York with a Gulf prince who presented himself as an adviser to the Emir of Bahrain.
The prince, who the author met in a Manhattan hotel in November 2001, appeared very well-informed about the CIA-bin Laden meeting.
Labeviere said the second contact told him the face-to-face had been arranged by Prince Turki al-Faisal, the head of the Saudi General Intelligence Department.

To put an end to the CIA-meets-Bin-Laden-story there's a new argumentation: Bin Laden never suffered any kidney diseases!
This article from the Washington Time states that there's no evidence at all that Osama ever suffered any kidney diseases. (Osama debunks a myth) But the argumentation isn't conclusive.

But before we examine the debunking of the kidney-disease stories, let's take a look at these stories first.
We begin with the Pakistan-Hospital-Story also mentioned in Loose Change:
CBS News has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan.

Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

"The military had him surrounded," says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, "and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time," he says, "I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after." Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

AHMED RASHID, TALIBAN EXPERT: There were reports that Pakistani intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines. And the rumor was that these were wanted for Osama bin Laden.

PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

(voice-over): But it was Pakistan`s President Musharraf who said in public what many suspected, that bin Laden suffers from kidney disease, saying he thinks bin Laden may be near death. His evidence, watching this most recent video, showing a pale and haggard bin Laden, his left hand never moving. Bush administration officials admit they don`t know if bin Laden is sick or even dead.
CBS Report

Intelligence sources believe that bin Laden bought a dialysis machine earlier this year which he had shipped to KandaharLondon Times 11/01/01

Osama bin Laden seemed weak and gaunt at a meeting about President Clinton's visit to Pakistan, a witness said, and a Western intelligence official said the alleged terrorist leader is suffering from kidney and liver disease.

Bin Laden has kidney failure and ``his liver is going,'' the official said, speaking on condition that neither he nor his nation be identified. He said bin Laden's followers were trying to find a kidney dialysis machine for their ailing leader.
Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia, however, insist bin Laden is fine.

``His health is good. There is no problem with his kidney or liver,'' said Ahmad Ullah, a Taliban spokesman in southern Kandahar, the headquarters of the religious militia.
Bin Laden, a Saudi exile accused by the United States of organizing the deadly 1998 attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, was seen March 17 with 100 followers in a remote mountain valley in Afghanistan's eastern Laghman province, said an Afghan who attended the meeting.

``He is very much weak. His face is very thin,'' said the man, who has close contacts with Afghanistan's ruling militia and accompanied a Taliban security officer to the meeting. .....
Bin Laden, believed to be in his late 30s, coughed frequently and seemed to become easily exhausted, even while seated, said the man, who did not want his name used because of the potential danger. Bin Laden took milk, rather than the traditional tea, for refreshment, he said.

``The sheik speaks for five or 10 minutes,'' he said, ``and then he drinks some milk and gets up and walks around.''

The Afghan also spoke to a doctor who accompanied bin Laden to the valley and was told bin Laden's ailment is related to his circulation and his blood ``is not being cleaned in the right way.''

``I asked him, 'Why is the sheik very weak, very unhappy looking?' and he told me, 'He is very sick.'''

The Afghan doctor also told the man the problem was with bin Laden's ``jigger,'' the Pashtu word for liver.AP, 3/25/00

Suspected Saudi Arabian terrorist Osama bin Laden, wanted in the bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa, is dying of kidney failure, the Hong Kong-based Asiaweek magazine reported Thursday. Bin Laden, reportedly holed up in a secret location in Afghanistan, is dying of a kidney disease that is now affecting his liver, said a preview of the magazine's March 24 issue.

"The man is dying," a Western intelligence source told Asiaweek.

Bin Laden's host, Afghanistan's Taliban supreme leader Mullah Mohammad Omar, has refused to hand him over the U.S. authorities.

U.S. President Bill Clinton is expected to discuss the suspected terrorist's case when he meets with Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf next week.DPA 3/16/00

Suspected Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden is dying of kidney failure, according to a Western intelligence source who has been tracking him. Bin Laden's kidney disease has now begun to affect his liver, and close associates are trying to obtain a dialysis machine to stabilize his condition.Asiawekk 3/24/00

In September 2001, it was reported that Moosa Wardak, an Afghan doctor, had travelled to India not long before on a diplomatic passport issued by the Taliban government to buy some medical equipment for bin Laden. Unnamed intelligence sources say a dialysis machine was bought for bin Laden earlier in 2001 and shipped to Kandahar.Source

bin Laden, who suffers from a kidney ailment, reportedly comes to Peshawar periodically for dialysis at the local military hospital. (Saprra, India, 3/7/00)

A veteran Islamic militant who is known by the nom de guerre Abdullah claimed that last February he was assigned to deliver medicines to an ailing bin Laden in Afghanistan's thickly forested Kunar province. "He looked weak and frail," said Abdullah. "He moves with a few close aides and guards and never stays at any place for long. To avoid detection he often travels during nights and in bad weather," he said.MSNBC

Now lets start with the Washington Time - Osama debunks a myth-Article:

There is only one presumably well-informed source who has gone on the record to say that bin Laden was on dialysis: Pakistani Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf.

No, we've seen that there are other sources, Pakistan and Western intelligence, the Taliban-Expert Ahmed Rashid, a medical worker, a 'pretty relaible journalist', and others. Here's what Musharaf said in 2002:
"I think now, frankly, he is dead for the reason he is a ... kidney patient," Gen. Pervez Musharraf said on Friday in an interview with CNN.

Musharraf said Pakistan knew bin Laden took two dialysis machines into Afghanistan. "One was specifically for his own personal use," he said.

"I don't know if he has been getting all that treatment in Afghanistan now. And the photographs that have been shown of him on television show him extremely weak.CNN Interview 1/18/02

Washington Times:
In December 2004, when Gen. Musharraf again sat down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, he all but reversed himself.

Here's what he actually said:
BLITZER: Over the years, when we've spoken, you've suggested he was a sick man, Osama bin Laden, that he had kidney problems, he needed dialysis. Do you still believe that?

MUSHARRAF: I'm confused, really. I thought that all the intelligence said that he suffers from kidney problems, that he got dialysis machines into the area, but since then, he is alive, that I am sure of. I don't really know how much he's suffering.CNN Interview 5/12/04

Not really a withdrawn, he's just saying he "don't really know". Furthermore, whenever you evaluate his statement, take also this into consideration, as it does prove that he's under pressure by the US-Government:US 'threatened to bomb' Pakistan. Back to the WT-Article:
"In fact, there is a mountain of evidence that bin Laden is not on dialysis. No medical report has been produced that shows bin Laden is on dialysis."

That shouldn't be a surprise as Osama was number one wanted terrorist. Who should why make a medical report and store/publish it? And if he was treated in Dubai and later in Pakistan hospital, it is safe to say that they won't have any record of their highly wanted guest. Additionally,we've already seen that they refused to show any records.
No reporter who has actually met bin Laden has seen the archterrorist hooked up to a dialysis machine or heard him talk about it. Robert Fisk, the only Western journalist to interview bin Laden three times, makes no mention of dialysis.

How many Western journalists have met Bin Laden since the first reports of a kidney disease were published? None of that I'm aware of. And let's not forget that the first reports, like the report in the Asia Time from March 2000, speaking of a kidney infection. But the Washington Times article suggests that if he had a kidney disease he would have it the whole life. But no one claimed this, this is obviously a straw man-tactic. And btw. the last interview Fisk was doing was in December 1996.
Peter Bergen led a CNN team into Afghanistan to interview bin Laden in 1997. Bin Laden appeared healthy and strong; neither the reporters nor bin Laden mentioned dialysis or kidney trouble.

Again, this was 1997 and not the period we're talking about. See what Peter Bergen actually has to say about it:
I think there may be something to the kidney story, but I don't think he has a life threatening condition based on kidney problems. A pretty reliable Pakistani journalist was the guy who broke the story. I've spoken to him directly.

Bin Laden apparently two years ago may have gone to a military hospital in Kabul for some sort of kidney ailment. But I don't think he is in need of sort of daily or weekly dialysis. ....
O'BRIEN: Why haven't we heard from him, seen him?

BERGEN: Possibly because he's in bad shape. I mean I think he does have some pretty serious health problems. We talked earlier about this possible shrapnel wound. If you remember the last videotape, Miles, he looked like he was in early '60s. The guy is only 45. He's obviously got some pretty major health problems. They may not be life threatening, but perhaps he doesn't want to show himself looking ill. ......
O'BRIEN: You know, and when I think about your interview with bin Laden, which was back in, what, '96 thereabouts?

BERGEN: '97.

O'BRIEN: '97, compared to what we saw in that last video, it's dramatic his health degradation, just very evident. So clearly if he's alive, he's in a bad way. CNN Interview

Sounds otherwise then the Washington Times claims, doesn't it? Back to the article:
Even bin Laden's longtime associates dispute the kidney ailment meme. Saudi newspaper editor Khaled Batarfi has known bin Laden for two decades, ever since the two were neighbors in the Saudi port city of Jeddah. He told the Sunday Tasmanian, an Australian newspaper, that bin Laden "does not suffer from kidney disease."
Foreign government officials who have met bin Laden also insist that he has no problems with his kidneys. Bin Laden lived in Sudan from 1991 to May 1996. I interviewed political leaders and intelligence officials there who knew him. Gutbi al-Mahdi, Sudan's former intelligence chief, told me bin Laden had no health problems during his time in Sudan. In fact, every Sudanese I spoke with denied that bin Laden had any health problems, let alone a kidney ailment requiring dialysis.

Again, this is irrelevant. We're not dealing with the period in question. Again the strawman-tactic. But it's getting better:
Bin Laden himself is of the same opinion. Hamid Mir, an intrepid Pakistani journalist who writes for the Pakistani daily Dawn, landed one of the only two authentic post September 11 interviews with the world's most wanted man.
In the course of the wide-ranging interview, Mr. Mir asked bin Laden about his kidneys: "A French newspaper has claimed that you have a kidney problem and have secretly gone to Dubai for treatment last year [2000]. Is that correct?"
Bin Laden responded: "My kidneys are all right. I did not go to Dubai last year. One British newspaper has published an imaginary interview with an Islamabad dateline with one of my sons in Saudi Arabia. All this is false."

(Posted Image)
When this interview was one of the two post 9/11 interviews, which was the other one? Why don't they mention it? Because in the other one Bin Laden denied any involvement into the attacks. (Ummat Karachi interview)
When we trust him on the kidney-thing why then not on the other one?
So, when he backs up the official version Osama is a reliable person, when he contradicts the official version he's not. But wait, we have another reliable witness that he doesn't suffer on kidney disease:
Osama Bin Laden's half brother told CNN that the Al-Qaeda leader is not only alive, but does not suffer from a kidney disease that requires dialysis. Ahmad Muhammad Al-Attas also said that his brother Osama was not behind the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. "He is my brother. I know him. I lived with him for years. I know how much he fears God," Ahmad said in an interview with CNN. Ahmad and Bin Laden have the same mother but different fathers . . .

Ahmad said that their mother learned through a telephone call three weeks ago that Osama was well, without revealing the source of the call. However, Ahmad affirmed that the call was true and that his brother Osama is fine. Informed Bin Laden family sources told Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, that Ahmad's statement did not represent the family's views. "It's his personal opinion," the sources said. They also pointed out that Ahmad had no relation with the Bin Laden Group's activities.

So, when he backs up the official version, Osamas brother is a reliable person, when he contradicts the official version he's not. But wait, we have another reliable witness that he doesn't suffer on kidney disease (WT-article again.):
Perhaps the definitive account comes from bin Laden's doctor, who was arrested on October 21, 2002, in Pakistan and held incommunicado for a full month. "It was a very extensive investigation, eight hours a day," he said. "It went on and on." He added, "I was not physically tortured; there was just mental anguish."
Dr. Amer Aziz, a British citizen born in Pakistan, was interrogated by eight CIA and FBI agents, as well as by Pakistani intelligence officers. Strongly sympathetic to radical Islam, Aziz had treated bin Laden for years. He reportedly admitted to visiting bin Laden after the September 11 attacks. Upon his release, he talked freely to Paul Haven of the Associated Press in November 2002. The doctor said he had given bin Laden a "complete physical" in 1999 and treated him for back injuries after bin Laden was thrown from a horse. "His kidneys were fine," the doctor told Mr. Haven. He said "If you're on dialysis, you have a special look. I didn't see any of that," and added that bin Laden "was walking. He was healthy." Aziz was emphatic: "I did not see any evidence of kidney disease; I didn't see any evidence of dialysis."
Aziz later discussed the dialysis issue with the New York Times. "When I hear these reports, I laugh. I did not see any evidence."
He has good reason to laugh -- legions of Westerners have bought the story that bin Laden is on dialysis, with no proof at all.

So, when he backs up the official version Osamas supporter is a reliable person, when he contradicts the official version he's not.
Let me get this straight: here we have a man who sympathizes with al-qaida ideologically, who has close ties to Bin Laden for years and who still supports him and visited him after 9/11! And the CIA caught him and let him go!
And notice the date: they arrested him six weeks after 9/11! And within this six weeks he met Bin Laden and they let him go just four weeks later, when the hunt of Bin Laden was the big deal!!
Here's a question that comes to my mind: how many are there still in Guantanamo who don't sympathize with Al-Qaida, who don't have close ties to Osama even for a single moment and never met him before or after 9/11? Quite logical to keep them still locked and to let a proven Al-Qaida-Supporter go free, don't you agree?
If that's "perhaps the definitive account" then they have no account!

Let's summarize regarding the kidney-disease:
Pro: Musharaf, a "pretty reliable journalist", Western intelligence, Pakistan Intelligence, hospital employees and doctors, the Taliban-Expert Ahmed Rashid, several combatants and not to forget the sources of the Dubai-Story: an adviser to the Emir of Bahrain (testified by Richard Labeviere), French intelligence, French terrorism expert Antoine Sfeir, a partner of the administration of the American Hospital in Dubai (testified by 'Le Figaro')

Contra: Bin Laden, his brother, a doctor who's "strongly sympathetic to radical Islam", and a Taliban spokesman

My Diagnosis: the official story has a very serious health problem!

Finally, we come back to the "debunking" of Loose Change by Screw Loose Change:

-This was reported by the French paper Le Figaro
Yes, but also by other media outlets and for several times. The Figaro stands by it's story.
-The story is unconfirmed
Here's the question 'confirmed by whom'? The CIA? Bin Laden? Obviously there's no way for a confirmation that would satisfy the maker of Screw Loose Change as it is absolute unlogical to think that the CIA would confirm this.
But let's not forget: "French terrorism expert Antoine Sfeir says the story of this meeting has been verified"
-I’m not aware of any evidence at all that this happened.
We have a lot of information explicity mentions date, locality, names of persons like the surgeon specialist Terry callaway, the CIA-Agent Larry Mitchell (who was recalled to the CIA's headquarters in McLean, Va., on July 15., a day after Bin Laden left!) visitor Turki al-Faisal, even the origin of the flight to Dubai is mentioned. I think there are too much details mentiond for a fantasy-story. Notice that CIA-Agent Mitchell left Dubai on the 15th. Whoever invented such a story would have had plenty of luck by inventing a timeline which fits so perfectly.
Also notice, how sceptics (i.e.defenders of the official version) draw on Osamas statement as prove for their version because it fits with their theory but would completely deny his account if it doesn't, for example when he says that he has nothing to do with September 11th!

Screw Loose Change (and I have also taking other arguments into account like the 'he has no kidney disease at all', ) hasn't debunked the claims made by Loose Change. Summed up, their argument is "don't trust French papers".