by Enver Masud
WASHINGTON, DC -- Has the media moved too quickly to tie Osama bin Laden to the August 7 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania? We certainly don't know, but we hesitate to jump to hasty conclusions.
In August 1964 the rationale for the Viet Nam war seemed very clear. "American Planes Hit North Vietnam After Second Attack on Our Destroyers; Move Taken to Halt New Aggression," headined the Washington Post on Aug. 5, 1964.
That same day the front page of The New York Times stated: "President Johnson has ordered retaliatory action against gunboats and 'certain supporting facilities in North Vietnam' after renewed attacks against American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin."
But there was no "second attack" by North Vietnam -- no "renewed attacks against American destroyers." "By reporting official claims as absolute truths," wrote syndicated columnist Norman Solomon on the 30th anniversary of that "attack," "American journalism opened the floodgates for the bloody Vietnam War. A pattern took hold: continuous government lies passed on by pliant mass media ... leading to over 50,000 American deaths and millions of Vietnamese casualties."
"Much later it was discovered," says Norman Solomon, "that rather than being on a routine patrol Aug. 2, the U.S. destroyer Maddox was actually engaged in aggressive intelligence-gathering maneuvers -- in sync with coordinated attacks on North Vietnam by the South Vietnamese navy and the Laotian air force."
In the case of the bombing of United States embassies in Kenya and Tanzania certain events merit explanation, and relevant questions need to be answered:
How is it that the Israelis, who for some time have been seeking to attack Iran and dismember Sudan, were first on the scene? Did the Israelis contaminate the crime scene with planted evidence, or remove evidence that may point to them?
Why was the Fairfax rescue squad, ready to travel immediately following the bombing, unable to get an airplane for 24 hours, and upon arrival in Kenya, prevented from participating in rescue efforts by the Israelis?
Why did Israel, according to an Associated Press report of August 12, advise U.S. officials "to treat with skepticism a warning that the U.S. Embassy in Kenya might be the target of a bombing attack?" According to AP, "an Israeli security official said the Americans had asked Israeli intelligence to assess the credibility of an intelligence source who had warned of an attack."
Also, on August 12, the London based Independent reported that the East African Standard quotes a UIIS guard, belonging to an American-based company which specialises in government security, as saying that he and other security men were engaged in a gun battle with five armed "Arab-looking" bombers who entered the rear compound. This guard, Joash Okindo allegedly claimed several colleagues were killed in a grenade attack. However, UIIS insists none of its employees died.
The Independent also stated "the problem for the FBI is that if some of the "witnesses" were close enough to see what they claimed to have seen, it is a miracle they lived to tell the tale." How are these discrepancies in witness accounts explained? And could the "Arab-looking" persons be Israeli agents?
What is the evidence, and how was it obtained, that led to the speedy arrests in Tanzania of "14 people, including six Sudanese, six Iraqis, a Somali-born Australian and a Turk." reported by the Associated Press on August 12?
We're told by the media that the near simultaneous bombings in Kenya and Tanzania was the work of "professionals, perhaps state sponsored." So how is it that those professionals did not plan their escape better?
What is the evidence that points to Osama bin Laden? Was bin Laden's alleged fatwah the proximate cause of the Kenya/Tanzania bombings? Paraphrasing Black's Law Dictionary: Did the fatwah in a natural and continuous sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, result in the bombings? Was the fatwah the last negligent act contributory to the bombings, without which the bombings would not have occurred?
And why is it that in the case of the bombing of the Murrah building in Oklahoma City the media gives so much detail regarding events preceding the bombing, the events following the bombing, and the backgrounds and motivation of the perpetrators, while little of such detail is offered in the case of the bombings in Kenya and Tanzania?
The media, that seeks to titillate us with endless speculation in the O.J. Simpson and Monica Lewinsky matters, seems to have little appetite for critical examination of the "facts" when it comes to anything that can be pinned on Muslims.
Like the events leading to the war in Viet Nam, will truth become a casualty?
Eric Margolis, "No Shortage of
Suspects," Toronto Sun, August 13, 1998
[The first former Guantanamo Bay detainee to be tried in federal criminal
court was found guilty on a single conspiracy charge Wednesday but cleared
on 284 other counts. The outcome, a surprise, seriously undermines - and
could doom - the Obama administration's plans to put other Guantanamo
detainees on trial in U.S. civilian courts.--Peter Finn, "Ahmed Ghailani, Gitmo detainee,
acquitted of all but 1 charge in N.Y.," Washington Post, November