What is a Criminal? What is Evidence? Where is Justice?

Lou Paulsen wwchi at enteract.com
Sat Sep 22 08:29:32 MDT 2001

"According to international standards of law and morality, anyone who
incites violence against an entire people, especially for ideological
reasons, is a criminal." - U.S. State Department, "Osama bin Laden fact
sheet", http://usinfo.state.gov/topical/pol/terror/99129502.htm

So the next time you hear somebody call for the bombing of Afghanistan,
Palestine, Iraq, etc., call 911 right away!

Such "incitation" is apparently pretty much the only evidence against Osama
which the U.S. even claims to have, not only in the September 11 attacks,
but also in the embassy bombings.

This should be of interest because the Taliban persist in asking for the
evidence against Osama before they surrender him to the U.S.  On the above
cited page, State retorts:

"Extensive evidence exists against Usama bin Laden and his collaborators.
This evidence is public information available to all, including the Taliban,
at two internet web sites, which are listed below."

[btw, which spelling does the man prefer, Osama or Usama? By the way, am I
wrong in thinking that 'bin Laden' means something like 'of the Laden
family', so that referring to him as 'Osama' is more correct than calling
him 'bin Laden'?]

So the Taliban can have all their questions answered just by clicking on
these links!!  However, the first link, to an FBI page on the embassy
bombings,  is dead :-(    That's ok, a working form of the same link is up
at the top of the page, under the heading "FBI Websites Document Evidence
Against Bin Laden".

The first link, however,  http://www.fbi.gov/majcases/eastafrica/summary.htm
, doesn't have any evidence, just some photographs of the bombed embassies.
And the second link,
http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/nyfo/pressrels/1998/11041998.htm , is to an
FBI press release about the embassy bombing indictments, which contains no
evidence.  The press release page also contains a link to the indictment
itself as a .pdf file, which ALSO contains no evidence, only assertions that
the indictees committed various 'overt acts'.

And furthermore, even if all the statements in the indictment were true,
which is never a reasonable assumption in the case of U.S. government
indictments, there is very little there to actually link Osama with the
bombings.  Basically, the case against Osama is that (a) he founded
Al-Qaeda, (b) Islamic militants were trained at his camps; (c) he issued
fatwas against the U.S.  That's about it!  (Which is pretty much what Robert
Novak said in his column earlier this week: that Osama is a spiritual and
inspirational leader who doesn't run operations.) Then it goes on to assert
that 'people trained by al-Queda' and/or 'trained by members of al-Qaeda'
conducted the operation.

Hence the importance of the declaration at the top of the page about how
anyone who incites violence against a people "especially for ideological
reasons" is a criminal.   The fatwa IS the crime.  The fatwa IS the

Now, here is my personal speculation about the various currents and interest
clusters among the war planners.  First, you have the current that wants to
win Afghanistan for the various geopolitical and oil-related reasons which
have been mentioned on the list before.  Second, you have the current that
isn't even so excited about Osama or Afghanistan and wants to seize the
opportunity to finish off Iraq.  (It's worth noting that Israeli military
intelligence is using www.janes.com to push the theory that the Sept. 11
attacks were entirely an Iraqi operation.)

Third, you may have a current which believes, or is acting as if it
believes, that the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by a elements in a
movement of radical Islamicist militants, some of whom are inspired by the
thoughts of Osama and/or were trained in Afghanistan during the contra war
as thousands were; and which wants to defend the U.S. by taking action
against that movement, rather than get diverted into some separate war of
conquest.  However, IF they think that is the case, then they know very well
that it's not just a matter of 'getting Osama', but of hunting down
thousands of people all over the world who are inspired by radical anti-US
ideas and essentially exterminating radical anti-US Islamicism -as a
political movement-.  The idea that 'getting Osama' is going to 'cut off the
head' of this movement is not seriously believed by anybody.  It is
certainly not believed by Mubarak, one of the chief targets of Egyptian
Islamic Jihad, who is frantically issuing warnings that the U.S. is pouring
gasoline on the fire.  In order to really exterminate all those who "incite
violence" against the U.S., they would have to create and maintain a global
police state capable of shutting down anyone who speaks on a street corner
in Cairo or Karachi or Dushanbe.  Even in their wildest megalomaniac dreams
I doubt whether they really believe they can do this.

The propaganda flood about Osama being the international mastermind and
banker of terror, then, is just to bait people into the war, and to give the
working people an understandable 'target' in their own minds.   There is a
standard mythology that they use in these matters, a rather racist
mythology, really, which goes back to the old Fu Manchu novels - the myth of
the cult leader with 'worshippers'/'followers' everywhere who carry out his
orders without question, even to the death.  Thus the question is diverted
to 'who is this leader and where is he?' rather than 'why does this movement
exist and what does it want?'  The 'why' question is answered just by saying
that Arabs and Asians are strange people who are prone to follow cult

By contrast with this mythology, here:
is an attempt by the New York Times to trace the political development of
Mohamed Atta, who - according to the U.S. government - was a principal in
the hijacking.  (By the way, does anyone remember that they supposedly
started investigating him because the name 'jumped out at them' from the
passenger list because he was involved in a car bombing in Palestine in
1985?  He wasn't in Palestine in 1985.  That was just another lie: they were
investigating passengers with Arabic names, that was all.)

This is a man whom they have every motive to portray as a fanatical follower
of Osama, and yet they cannot cite any evidence that he ever even read
anything by Osama.  Rather, they portray a man who "was very critical of
capitalistic Western development schemes."  And although they are making a
whole case that Islamic fundamentalists are 'traditionalists' who hate
modernity, Atta was a brilliant university-trained intellectual.  It's worth
reading this article.  It should give all us Marxists a deep feeling of
sadness, because IF the USSR had not collapsed - IF we had all done a better
job of promoting the socialist cause internationally - IF we socialists, as
a global movement, had shown more solidarity with the Arab masses long ago -
then there might have been a strong socialist movement in Egypt, and Atta
might have encountered a socialist party, when he was "searching for
justice" in 1995.  If, if, if......

Lou Paulsen

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