Julian Charles: It is my very great pleasure to be speaking, for a second time, to Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. Dr. Roberts is the Chairman of the Institute for Political Economy. His career has spanned academia, journalism, business and public service. He has held numerous senior academic positions in universities. He was an associate editor and columnist for the Wall Street Journal, and he was appointed by President Reagan as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during Reagan’s first term in office, after which he served as a consultant to both the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce. Dr. Roberts, thank you ever so much for joining us again on the programme - it's wonderful to be speaking to you again.
Paul Craig Roberts: Thank you, Julian, I am pleased to speak to you and your audience.
JC: Now, the issue that I would like to ask you about today is something that we have been taking quite a bit of interest here on this programme, and that’s the subject of the assassination - or the reported assassination - of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad by Navy SEALs in 2011. And, as listeners to this programme will know, it was this claimed event - which I found, I have to say, completely unbelievable at the time, and I still find completely unbelievable - that was one of the main catalysts that prompted me to start this particular Podcast. And, if I may, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you Dr. Roberts for the way that you publicly expressed your doubts about that story at the time, because I found that very helpful, and I am sure many of other people did also. So, thank you very much indeed for doing that. The reason why I want to ask you about this subject now is because, a few weeks ago, you published an article on your website (at PaulCraigRoberts.org) entitled “Pakistani National TV Reveals That Obama’s Claim to have Killed Osama bin Laden is an American hoax.” And that article contains a translation of an eyewitness account of the claimed bin Laden Raid that radically conflicts with the official story. So, could I start by asking you to tell us what that eyewitness actually said and how you came by this information?
PCR: Yes, Julian, that is a re-posting of what I published, I think, two years ago, or at the time of the so-called SEAL Team Six killing of bin Laden. There was a YouTube video of Pakistani National Television interviewing the next-door neighbour to the alleged bin Laden compound. It was in the Pakistani language, but at the bottom there were English subscripts so that you could follow what was being said, and I was quite astonished reading these subscripts because it was totally inconsistent with the story that had been put out by the Obama regime. I didn’t know if these could be trusted or not, and I mentioned this in a column, provided the link to this interview, and said that surely there are some people who are able to translate this and we can see if these English subscripts are really right. And I got several offers. One was from a British-educated Pakistani with a Master of Law, I think from one of your better schools there, and he said he could do that, and someone else could do it, and the translations were the same, so I then published the translation. The translator also provided various explanations of what terms meant and what context meant and all that was in with the translation. Now, what the next-door neighbour said was that there were three helicopters altogether, but only one ever landed, and the one that landed never left. It blew up when it attempted to lift off, and there were no survivors; everyone was killed. He witnessed the whole thing. He also said that, when the one helicopter first landed, the men who got out of it shouted to everybody in Pashto - which, as well as I remember, is an Afghan language - not to come out of the house, or they’d be killed if they came out. And this small group of men then proceeded to enter the compound, came back out and got in the helicopter - it started lifting off and blew up. The other two helicopters never landed, one went off to the east, one went off to the west. A large number of people rushed into the compound and observed the carnage, and dead bodies, and pieces of bodies, and the burning flaming helicopter, until the Pakistani Army came and told them to leave. So, this was the interview he gave to the Pakistani National TV. And they pressed him on it, because they were having a hard time believing it; they got very interested in it. I asked the person who translated it if he could follow up with Pakistan National TV and find out if they pursued the story. He said that they had actually - within 24 hours - they had changed their mind and gone cold on it, and then nothing else was said about it. His explanation was that the government had gotten notice from Washington to cool their jets. You might remember at the time the United States was putting a lot of pressure on Pakistan, blaming them for hiding bin Laden from Washington. This was disturbing to the Pakistani Government, that they were being blamed for hiding bin Laden, and this was probably part of Washington’s effort to shut up the news media. But anyhow that was the account. There were no survivors, and the people who came out of the helicopter were not speaking English, they were speaking Pashto, or both. They used one, then the other, but if I remember correctly this is the Afghan dialect, and I doubt very much the SEALs would have known this language; it’s not something they specialise in. We also know that the United States lost a helicopter there. There was a diplomatic fight between Washington and Pakistan about returning the pieces of the helicopter. So we can confirm that part: that there was a helicopter that didn’t return. So, as Bashir said (I think that was the name of the Pakistani who lived next door): How did they take bin Laden off when nobody was left? - they were all killed.
JC: And this man, Mohammad Bashir - (the TV station, I think it was Samaa TV or something like that) - they did actually check out quite extensively, didn’t they, to check this was really the person he claimed to be?
PCR: Yes. Oh no, there is no doubt about him being the person. He lived next door. He watched the whole thing from the roof of his house until the explosion, and he came down and he said two hundred people went inside. The gates were open. He also said that the man who lived in the house was not bin Laden. He knew the man. He had a small business of importing foreign exotic foods, and had given some recently to Bashir’s cousin. Other people said they had garden lots inside the wall, inside the compound - “There is no bin Laden here.” There was even a BBC interview with the residents of the town. It was a woman - (I think this is still up on YouTube) - and she interviewed fifty of the residents, and forty-nine of them said it is strictly impossible there was any bin Laden there: "We know who is in the town, and we go by there all the time."
JC: Yes, absolutely.
PCR: Some of them said they had gardens inside the gate, and that there was no such person there. So this is fairly compelling evidence. None of these people have any reason to make this up. And this is immediately after the event. It wasn’t days, or weeks, or months after, that somebody has concocted the story. It was immediate - it was like the next day, or close to that, I don’t really remember - so that is a very contradictory piece of evidence to what the White House claims. So they didn’t have anybody - any body to drop in the sea.
JC: This Bashir interview - I tried to look for it recently on YouTube, but it seems to have disappeared. But I did actually find it a couple of years ago when I was trying to find out things about the subject, so I actually have a copy of it sitting here on my computer. So I know it does actually exists. It was a broadcast, but it seems to have disappeared now.
PCR: Well, my article two years ago had a link to it, and I did notice that when you click that link now it says that this video is no longer available, but in my recent posting I found another video that looks like it might be the same one. It doesn’t have any subtitles, but I believe it is the same interview - I’m not certain. But there is no doubt that it exists. What was puzzling, you would have thought that the news media would have gotten very interested in that, but there was no mention of it anywhere in the American press.
JC: So, the main way in which this testimony of Mohammed Bashir conflicts with the official story is that there were these three helicopters, and only one of them landed; and anybody who came off that helicopter, and went into the building, and then came back out again, or was taken from the building into the helicopter - then everybody was killed.
PCR: There were no survivors; he is clear about that. Of course, the Pakistanis have never said they had any. They never said: “Oh we have got a couple of guys that survived it; we’ll turn them over.” There has never been any mention that there were any survivors. I don’t remember the American claim at the time. I think they claimed that the helicopter had a mechanical problem, but nobody was injured. I don’t think that the White House at the time acknowledged any casualties from the fact that the helicopter didn’t return. They do acknowledge that they lost a helicopter. There was the fight with Pakistan about turning it over, or not turning it over, and I don’t know why Pakistan resisted turning over the pieces - there was nothing but pieces. It wasn’t an intact machine that just caught on fire; it was blown up.
JC: So, if we have a situation where (if this testimony is correct) nobody came out of that situation, then there is nobody to ask about what happened, then presumably any story could be constructed about that.
PCR: That’s true.
JC: I’d like to ask you about other problems with this story that go beyond this particular interview we have been talking about. One of the major barriers that people have in accepting the official story about this Raid is the fact that it was reported many times before - in mainstream media indeed, by some very prominent people - that bin Laden had in fact died back in 2001, probably December 2001. In fact, David Ray Griffin wrote a book all about that showing that the evidence for that was pretty good. Do you agree that he probably died back in 2001?
PCR: Well, based on my understanding, which is that he had kidney disease and underwent dialysis in October of 2001, and based on all the reports of his various health problems, I think it’s very likely that these news reports were right. The reports came also out of countries over there. I think it was reported in Pakistan and India; it was a widely reported thing that he had died. I can’t see why they wanted to make that up. I never saw any convincing answer from the Unites States government, that No these reports are wrong and he is alive. I think that bin Laden - you know, at least initially - worked with the CIA against the Russians in Afghanistan, and was an asset. And I think what happened after 9/11 was that they needed somebody to blame. And the only thing they could come up with was al-Qaeda - that they had created themselves, apparently - because there was nothing else to blame it on. If there had been some other so-called Muslim terrorist group, they could have chosen that; but I think al-Qaeda was all they had to blame 9/11 on, and so I think that’s why they kept bin Laden alive as the bogeyman.
JC: But some people would point to those videos, and the tapes that came out claiming to be by bin Laden, and say, “Well that's evidence then that he did not die in 2001.”
PCR: Well, I am not an expert on all that, but I have seen a number of reports by experts, including intelligence officers, and they point out these videos are fakes. Bin Laden gets progressively younger as the years pass, and progressively fatter, and his beard goes from grey to black, and it is clear that these are not the same people. Particularly people who have medical problems don’t do the reverse of ageing. So, I don’t think those videos have any credibility. I have seen the last video that experts certified is bin Laden, and he is saying that he had no responsibility for 9/11. He says: “I’ve nothing against the American people. My objection is to the American colonialism, or imperialism in their rule over Muslim people, and their disrespect for our culture”. His opposition is to the government, not to the American people. There is no doubt that this is a bin Laden video. Now, what we do know is that any leader of a terrorist organisation - or any kind of organisation that is trying to gather support - would claim credit for a deed like this. This is a massive success - (if you believe 9/11) - it’s a massive blow; it’s the most punishing, most humiliating blow in human history against a superpower. So, anybody trying to build a movement would claim credit. I’m surprised that he didn’t claim it anyhow. Would you say, “No, I didn't have anything to do with it”? You would be giving away all this sort of prestige that would accrue. Look how he brought America low. Look what he did. He outsmarted the CIA, the FBI, all sixteen intelligence agencies. He outsmarted NORAD, the National Security Council. He caused air traffic control to fail; the air force couldn’t get jet fighters up. He caused airport security to fail four times, the same hour, on the same day. I mean this is a super hero here. I mean this is beyond James Bond, isn’t it. So why would you not say, “Oh sure I did that”? I can remember years ago when there were bombings in Italy or somewhere. Every so-called “red group” claimed credit. So you never really knew who did it, because everyone wanted it. It turned out it was CIA and Italian Intelligence doing it. Because that is what the Italian President - Operation Gladio - remember he revealed that? And it came out that all these bombings that these “red brigades” - whatever they were called, this Baader-Meinhof Group in Germany - all these people would claim credit for this, and the whole time it was CIA and Italian Intelligence. So that is another reason not to believe bin Laden has any connection to any of this.
JC: And the amazing fact, that the FBI actually didn’t want bin Laden for the crime of 9/11, sort of corroborates that position doesn’t it?
PCR: Yes, he is not wanted for 9/11. And when asked, the FBI spokesperson said, “We have had no evidence against him.” At that time, I remember it was a big thing here on the Internet. People wanted me to get into it, so I called the FBI and spoke to this person. I said, “Did you really say this?” He said, “Yes, it is true, but please” - he said “please” - “I am under so much trouble for saying this” and “can’t we just end it?” I felt sorry for the guy - didn’t really push him myself. But there was no doubt that he said that. This is the official spokesperson - said, “Yes, there's no FBI charges against bin Laden for 9/11.” “There is no evidence”, he said. But you see, this gets buried in the media; there are some things you are just not supposed to talk about. You can talk about them on the Internet, but even there are a lot of places on the Internet you can’t talk about them.
JC: Sure. As soon as you start talking about it you're called names, essentially. You're called a “conspiracy theorist” straight away - which is just to reduce you down to the level of “2 IQ”, or something like that - so people don’t need to listen to you. It’s very depressing.
JC: I would like to ask you about how this story was messed up immediately after the operation, where the White House seemed to have huge difficulty getting a straight version of what happened. I mean, we were told that bin Laden was killed “in a fire fight”, which implied that he had a gun, and then we were told that he wasn’t in fact armed. We were told that he used his wife as a “human shield”, and then we were told that he had not used his wife as a human shield. And this was all explained away as being due to the “fog of war”. So my question is: Do you think that all this mess can be explained as the fog of war? Or do you think it was the difficulty in constructing a story out of whole cloth?
PCR: Yes, I think it was just the difficulty in constructing a story. There wasn’t any fog of war, because I don’t remember Bashir reporting any gun fire - certainly not a fire fight. The initial claim was that there was a forty-five-minute fire fight. Well, Bashir does not report forty-five-minutes; I think he says that they weren’t there more than twenty minutes. The most telling aspect of the original story - I mean, you are right, it changed three or four times in twenty-four hours - but you may remember they released this photograph of Obama and the Cabinet and everybody sitting around intently staring. You couldn’t see what it was, but we were told they were watching it live - that the SEALs had cameras on their helmets and they were watching the live operation. That was the original story - the reason they released that photograph. Well, whoever put that out wasn’t thinking, because it meant that they had filmed some if it was true. So, everybody starts saying: “Give us the film. We want to see. This is the evidence. You don’t have any other evidence, so let’s see it.” And they said: “Oh well, it wasn’t filmed. We were wrong to put that out. There isn’t any film. We were trying to listen to relayed reports, and the reports were not always clear, and they were garbled in the transmission.” They had some other story they told. And of course, it did change many times, about whether there was any resistance, or bin Laden was armed. It turns out he is unarmed; there are no body guards. I mean, this is the terror mastermind, all alone with two women and no al-Qaeda protection. I mean, this doesn’t make any sense, does it? So, the SEALs have the mastermind in their hand - the key to all the terrorism. All they have to do is pick him up and bring him out, bring him to Washington and make him testify, and they know everything, and the whole thing's over. So what do they do? They just blow him away. Well this is unbelievable. Nobody would kill the terror mastermind when they can capture and interview him and find out about all the terror plots and all the rest. So that’s a totally unbelievable aspect of it Julian.
JC: He would have been a trophy as well to parade around for everybody to see.
PCR: Oh yes, and Obama could have brought him back. He would have gone on TV. I mean, he would have been a hero. And another dead giveaway - look, I was in Washington for a quarter of a century and involved in all of it. No President would forgo a White House ceremony pinning medals on SEALs. It's just not possible. So, when they were asked about it they came out with this lame story: “Oh we have to protect the SEALs from al-Qaeda. They they would want revenge; the SEALs would not be safe.” Well, how in the world is al-Qaeda going to reach a SEAL? It is not possible. If the SEALs are this effete, and have to be hidden and protected in anonymity, how could you send them out into the field? So the whole thing is ludicrous from start to finish. It’s ludicrous, and of course as you know, we are along way from the end of the story.
JC: I was just thinking that the most ludicrous part to the story - at least for most people reading and hearing about it at the time - was the supposed fact that he was buried at sea. Because that seemed like a way of saying: “We got him, but you have to trust us, because we haven't got a body.” So, could I ask you to comment on those claims: that it was done, say, to avoid an al-Qaeda shrine, or that it was done because no country wanted the body and so he had to be buried really quickly for Islamic reasons, and all that kind of thing? What do you make of all that?
PCR: It’s just a cover story. Look, we know there was no burial from the aircraft carrier that they claim, because the sailors on the ship sent home emails to family, to friends: “We don’t know about any burial. We didn’t see any burial.” So many of these were coming out. And the authorities picked up on it. They said, “Oh my goodness, here goes the cover story.” So they quickly put out a story. I don’t remember whether it was the White House or the Navy - somebody quickly put out a story: “Oh, we buried him in secret. Nobody knew he was there; nobody saw it.” Well now, an aircraft carrier, if I remember correctly, has got some six thousand personnel - unless they were all locked in their bunks, which they don’t report having been the case. There are sailors all over that boat - all hours of the day and night - all kinds of tasks - watches. There is no way you could carry on a burial ceremony and not be observed. If you could do that, then pirates could come on board and seize it. I mean, it is not possible. And the fact that the report - as soon as they learned about these emails going from the sailors home, the report came out: “Oh, we did it in secret.” That is also very suspicious. They said only a few officers knew about it. Well, why don’t they say who those officers are? Let them come forward and say, “Yes I witnessed it.” So we have no evidence of any kind that supports the official story. This is very curious because, as you noted, the evidence would be worth a gillian dollars to Obama. They didn’t even take a photograph. You know, a doctored photograph appeared on the Internet - somebody that they claim is bin Laden. He looked like he was shot through the eye or something, which is not where the SEALs said they shot him. This was exposed as a fake. So there is no evidence. And yet this is 'the greatest coup of all time', and there is no evidence for it, and they intentionally destroyed all the evidence, and they intentionally have no witnesses, and they intentionally kill the terror mastermind who could reveal everything to them. So the story - I can’t figure out why they made up a story this way. If you were going to make up a story like this you could make up a better one.
JC: A lot of people at the time were making quite a bit about the supposed DNA evidence that they had. Do you think there is any credibility to that part of the story?
PCR: No one has ever seen it, but - you know look, why should you believe it? They had evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, right? They said that to the UN with Colin Powell, and everything he said was an outrageous lie. He later apologised for it. So they tell lies that serve their purpose. You can’t believe anything they say about these matters.
JC: I suppose DNA is just one of those sort of buzz terms, isn’t it. People see that, or hear that, and they think, “Oh, that’s science, therefore it’s proven in some way.”
PCR: That's right.
JC: Would you be able to comment upon the “leak” - (I’m putting this in inverted commas) - the Stratfor “leak” that came out - I think it was about a year later - through Wikileaks, where senior figures at Strategic Forecasting Incorporated (Stratfor) seemed to believe that bin Laden’s corpse was on its way to the US and not, of course, therefore at the bottom of the ocean? Now, given that that “leak” sort of serves to bring into question certain parts of the narrative (that he was buried at sea), but serves to reinforce other parts of the narrative (that they did in fact kill him and had his body), do you think that that “leak” is possibly an example of disinformation? Because an awful lot was made about that when it came out.
PCR: Yes, of course it is. When stories get in trouble, you have leaks that sort of explain away the trouble-part of the story but keep the story, and that’s what that is. There is no reason to disbelieve Bashir’s eyewitness, or the fact that all of these people in that village (it was called Abbottabad) - I mean two hundred people went in there and witnessed this. If there were survivors - and the Pakistani TV is under American pressure - they would find them and get them to say: “Find these two hundred. Say how many survivors. Did you see survivors?” Well, they haven’t done that. So I am quite confident that there were not any survivors, and I doubt that the people were SEALs in the first place.
JC: And I think a lot of people would also think about that video that was released of bin Laden watching himself on television as proof that he was actually there in that building.
PCR: Well the BBC, in Abbottabad, asked about that. They have got this whole crowd of residents, and one guy says, “No, that's not bin Laden, that’s my neighbour.” And he gave his name: “I've known him all my life.” This is still online. You can still get this BBC woman there interviewing these people, and he says, “No, that’s not bin Laden, that’s my neighbour.” And gave his name. You see, to an American, any older Muslim with a beard looks the same; they all look like bin Laden. So the government says, “That's bin Laden. Look, bin Laden is vain: he’s watching his own videos.”
JC: Well, that’s something I have always found very difficult to understand: why he would actually take a video of himself watching himself on TV. It doesn’t actually make any sense from bin Laden's point of view.
PCR: It doesn’t make any sense. But you see, the authorities can rely on the vast majority of the people not to notice these things. You have already got to be a little bit alert - a little but suspicious - to even notice them. For example, just think how many people have watched the Twin Towers come down, over and over, and they can’t see these towers are blowing up. They think they're falling down because airplanes hit them. But if you get out of that mind frame, and you look at them, you can see them blowing up. You can see the explosions; you can see it blowing up. So people - they have to be alert and have some awareness before they can even pick up on the obvious inconsistencies.
JC: But the trouble is that there are many factors that are brought into play to stop people being alert, to dampen people’s curiosity by providing cover stories, as you say. I mean, one that comes to my mind particularly here is that there were various claims made that bin Laden’s family - I believe a wife, a child - were interviewed and described something of their life there at the hideout. We’ve had testimonies, apparently from a couple of the SEALs themselves, in a book and an interview. We’ve had this Hollywood movie. Do you believe that all these things are also produced as covers stories?
PCR: That’s my opinion. I can’t prove it. Look at the case of the alleged SEAL who writes the book. Supposedly, it was too dangerous for the SEALs to be named or revealed, and that’s why Obama didn’t have the ceremony that would have boosted his standing by having the SEALs at the White House. Yet here is one of them revealing who he is - writing a book. It’s totally inconsistent with the secrecy that surrounded the whole thing, isn’t it.
PCR: Yes, indeed. And the movie, of course, is a propaganda thing. I’ve forgotten the various explanations, but people explained the connections that went into the making of the movie, and it all seems to be something that was done to convince the public, because they believe movies more than anything else. More of them see movies than see Internet sites, and so this is how we put the quiet on the whole thing. So I think that they are just part of the cover, yes.
JC: And that, presumably, would go for those electronic documents that were supposedly collected as well during the Raid, which have now been translated - a book has been made - studies are produced about them.
PCR: Right, it’s all made up. I am convinced it’s all made up. Look, if the terror mastermind is deserted, and he’s living somewhere with two women, he’s got no body guard, what has he got all these sensitive electronic documents for? They wouldn’t be there. Whoever was running the show would have them somewhere else, right? They are not going to be there, undefended in some village next to a military base. The whole thing is absurd; it makes no sense whatsoever.
JC: Absolutely, indeed. Could we move on to talk a little bit about the matter of the SEAL Team Six tragedy that happened in August 2011? Now, I understand that there is a legal case that is being pursued by some of the families of the members of that team that died. As many listeners will remember, a large number of Navy SEALs from Team Six were killed just three months after that claimed Raid, when the helicopter in which they were travelling in Afghanistan was shot down by the Taliban on August 6th 2011. Now when this story first broke, I think there was a kind of sense of disbelief that so very many people from that team, that had allegedly assassinated bin Laden, had been killed in this way. And since then, some of the families of these fallen SEALs have investigated the circumstances surrounding this shoot-down, and they have found many disturbing issues that need to be answered. So, could I ask you to give us some idea of their concerns about what happened?
PCR: Well, I have not investigated this, but I did watch an interview with the father and mother of one of these SEALs. I did read a report on what other of the families were saying, and what had got them aware and alarmed. What they said was that, when they first read the government's account, it was fine; they didn’t think much about it. They were just sorry they’d lost their sons. But the second time they read it, they started to have some questions. And the third time they read it, it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. So they played the role in the SEAL affair that the 9/11 families played in the 9/11 investigation. You may remember that the White House, right after 9/11, said there would be no investigation, and the families of the survivors fought for a year, demanding, and of course they never got an investigation, but they did get the Commission which sort of covered it all up. So, the White House had to deliver the Commission just to get the families to - and yet some of the families are still going on about it. So, the SEAL families now are playing the same role. They are saying: “Look, why was the entire unit put on a fifty-year-old Vietnam helicopter? Where did you get the helicopter? Out of a museum?” These are not the modern attack helicopters that the SEALs operate in - they are dispersed - you never put the whole unit in. You have a fifty-year-old Vietnam helicopter with no fire suppression capability...
JC: This is a Chinook - is that right? - designed in the 1960s?
PCR: Yes, a '60s thing. These are expensively trained troops. I think I read it costs a million dollars to train one SEAL. And you stick them all in there together, and send them into a combat fire zone? This is just some of the incongruities of the situation that the families brought up. Other families said that their sons had expressed a great deal of unease recently. One father said his son made a will. Others were sending messages home that they were concerned about their safety. And they weren’t talking about the enemy.
JC: I believe there were about seven Afghan commandos who were switched over at the last minute, and there is no answer to that either.
PCR: There is no answer to that either. You see, since I never believed the Raid story, because it was implausible in every aspect, when I saw the report that the SEALs had been killed, the whole unit - the White House quickly said, “Except for those SEALs that got bin Laden.” They somehow weren’t on that helicopter. Well, that seemed strange too, to me. I mean, why quickly say that? I think what happened was that there weren’t any SEALs sent to Abbottabad, and the SEALs were doing the same thing that the sailors on the ship were doing initially, saying: “Did you see the burial? What burial? Did you see it?” And the SEALs were saying: “Were you on the mission? Who was on the mission?” And nobody was on the mission. And the next step would be they would be writing home: “Well we don’t know about this. None of us were there.” And so they shut them up. I can’t prove that. I am not even asserting it. But I am saying it makes the most sense. It does tie the whole thing together in a way that makes sense of it. You see, why would you put - if the SEALs had all gone into combat, why put them on a fifty-year-old helicopter - they can’t deflect enemy fire - unless you want them dead? Why would you want such a crack, heroic team dead?
JC: There is no explanation as to why this highly-trained team were put into this situation at all; the mission is not clear.
PCR: Right, and that is what the families were saying. This whole mission - every protocol, every operating procedure, they say, is violated. Nothing that was supposed to be done was done, and there was no reason for it. It makes no sense. And this comes on top of the reports from the various parents: the son has made a will, they feel threatened, they are uneasy about their safety. These are the sort of things the families were reporting.
JC: I was very struck when I saw Charles Strange’s address. (This is the father of Michael Strange, one of those who died in this helicopter shoot-down.) And it is a heart-wrenching address that he gives. One of the things that I found difficult to come to terms with was that he was saying something along the lines of: “Well, this was done in order to win the hearts and minds of the United States’ greatest enemy, the Islamists.” This is the position that seems to be coming from these families. To my mind that does not seem to make much sense. Can you explain their thinking there?
PCR: I wrote about this one time that I mentioned the families and their doubts, or if I didn’t write about it I was interviewed about it. It’s on my site either as an interview or column. What I said at the time, as best as I remember, is that Strange’s father was blaming Obama and saying that he cared more about Muslims than he did his own troops, and that Obama had let al-Qaeda kill the SEALs to get revenge for the fact that the SEALs had killed bin Laden. They were saying this kind of stuff. So what it really is, in my view, is a combination of three things. First of all, these families are not particularly sophisticated people: they are not well-educated; they don’t follow foreign affairs; they don’t have Washington experience; they don't know how things really work. They may also be Republicans; the military is often Republican. They may not like Obama. The Republicans have been flooding the Internet with these unsourced messages that Obama is a Muslim - that Obama is Marxist. I get them; they come across my computer almost every day. So you can see how families that are - first of all they're very unhappy that they've have lost a son. They have all this propaganda that Obama is a Muslim, and a lot of people say that he is not even an American citizen - that he won’t produce his birth certificate. All of this affects a lot of people, in the way they think, and so they are looking for an explanation: “The troops are on some broken-down, out-of-date, fifty-year-old helicopter. What for?” So they just see that it was because Obama was appealing to Muslims. I forget the exact way Mr. Strange put it, but I said at the time it does not make any sense. But what it shows is that they still buy into the story that the SEALs killed bin Laden. So, they don’t really see what could be the real explanation for the death of their sons. And the real explanation could be that the sons were asking each other who was on the mission, and that was too dangerous. So they had to stop these questions before they went too far, or reached back home. You have already had the sailors saying, “Did you see the burial?” - and all the sailors saying, “No I didn’t see it, did you see it?” - and they are writing home about it. So now, if it is repeated a second time - “Were you on the mission? No I wasn’t, were you?” - and that gets back home too, then the whole story blows up. There is a limit as to what they can cover up. And if any of the SEALs are alive - they get out of service - I mean, they don’t stay in the service for ever - and people want to interview them, and they say, “Well, we never knew Osama.” So if they are dead, they can’t be asked questions. Now, I am not saying that they arranged to kill the SEALs to cover up the false story. I have got no evidence. All I’m saying is that is an explanation that makes more sense than the other ones so far.
JC: Yes, I agree with you. It does seem to make sense.
PCR: Yes, it fits the facts.
JC: But it is very difficult for many people to accept that these kinds of things go on, and that the official stories may well be false. And so, I want to ask you about that. When the alleged Raid was first reported, and Obama came out and addressed the world, there were all these people celebrating: “Now we've got the world’s greatest terrorist, and justice has now been done” - all that kind of thing. Why do you think so many people seemed to be ready to swallow the story quite so enthusiastically?
PCR: Well, I don’t know exactly. One reason is that the desire for revenge is strong, and now they have revenge: “He blew up the World Trade Centre, and now we blew him up. He didn't get away with it. Our honour is protected.” That would appeal to a lot of people, particularly people who never have any doubts about anything. Another thing could be that a lot of these celebrations could have been planned and orchestrated. I remember seeing, after the Boston Marathon bombing, when the second brother was found in the boat and captured and announced, the TV showed hundreds of people in Boston, out in the streets, celebrating and partying and thanking the police for locking down their city - thanking the police for bringing in tanks and going through people's homes and for catching this bad guy. Now, you would have to think: Is this real, or is this orchestrated? Why would anybody be glad that they were ordered to stay inside all day and have troops marching through their house, all looking for one wounded 19-year-old kid? This is unprecedented. So I don’t really know. I don’t know the answer. I haven’t tried to find out or study it. But basically, if you have two football teams, and last year the other side won, and this year your side wins, you feel like you have had revenge. People get very excited; they get all wrapped in some kind of vicarious participation. I think that saying that we knocked off bin Laden made people feel: “Okay we got back; he didn’t get away with it.”
JC: And looking at it from Washington’s side, why do you think - if indeed it is as you say, and I agree with you that this was essentially a faked military operation, more of a psychological operation - why do you think Washington did it?
PCR: Well, as well as I remember, at the time Obama’s approval ratings were very low. He was in a mess with his own constituents, and there was talk among the Democrats of actually running a candidate against him for the nomination, which is unheard of - that a sitting president gets a candidate from his own party running against him. (Well, I can’t say it is unheard of, but it is very rare.) So, I think they had to come up with something that boosted him way up and put an end to the notion of: “Well we may run somebody else for the nomination. Obama will have to go out and campaign for his renomination. He can’t take it for granted, because we are going to run somebody against him.” And it could have been various constituencies of his that he had abandoned and not delivered on: he did not end the wars; he didn’t close Guantanamo; he didn’t do all the things he promised to do; he did none of them. I think that is the reason. They had to have something, and they were sitting around, and: “What can we do that really boosts us and puts the quietus on all this challenge?” And somebody said: “Oh well, we’ll kill bin Laden; that's the way we'll do it.”
JC: I certainly agree that this seems to present itself as part of the solution - part of the reason - but I find it difficult to believe that this is the whole reason, because it seems so extravagant.
PCR: Well, if you are fighting for power it’s not extravagant. Look at everything they have gotten away with: weapons of mass destruction, Iranian nukes. They almost got away with the charge that Assad used chemical weapons. And people say: “Oh, governments would not lie to us; they would not kill their own people.” People who say that need to go online, go to Wikipedia, and look up Operation Northwoods. This was a project presented to President Kennedy in the early '60s by the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States military. The project called for the United States military, the CIA, or some combination, to shoot down Americans on the streets of Miami and Washington DC, to shoot down American airliners, to strafe the refugee boats coming from Cuba, and to blame Castro, so they could then invade and have regime change. It is an official, recognised document. It was released some years ago, and you can read all about it. It's not a conspiracy theory. You can see it's all the official documents, stamped and everything else. And we know that the second Kennedy Commission released it to the public. It's all a matter of public record, so they are willing to do these things. They were willing to do this a half century ago.
JC: Absolutely, people can look at my website in fact. Because it is in the public domain now, I have recently uploaded it to the website. So people can just go to the documents tab and read Operations Northwoods for themselves. I think one major concern that I have about all of this - which is why I want to keep on talking about this subject - is the way that this whole story has become official history, and I find that really quite disturbing. Everywhere you look in the mainstream media, and all sorts of establishments publications, this is now taken to be historical fact, and sheer repetition just seems to make this an “actual fact”: bin Laden “was” assassinated on that day; it could not be questioned. So my question here is: Given the success - and one has to say that psychologically this operation was a great success - do you think it gives the planners of that operation the sense that they can pretty much get away with anything they want now?
PCR: Yes, sure. I think 9/11 did that. But they always have. Look, remember the Gulf of Tonkin? This was a false-flag event - or an event that didn’t even happen - where the United States claimed that its navy ships were attacked by North Vietnam, and this was the beginning of the whole huge American commitment to the Vietnam war. It took historians years. I mean, everybody believed that. It took historians years to peel that away and point out that no such thing every happened; it was a lie they used to go to war. I think, the Maine – “remember the Maine...!” - was an American battle ship in the harbour of Havana when Cuba was under Spanish control, and the thing blew up. Washington blamed Spain, and went to war and drove them out of Cuba, and also took the Philippines away from them. It took historians years to establish that the Spanish did not blow up the Maine. And wherever you look - for example, the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At the time, the explanation was that the Japanese had a million-man army, and they were defending the homeland; if we had invaded, it would have cost hundreds of thousands of dead Americans; the war would have gone on forever, because the Japs would have fought tenaciously on their own ground; so we had to drop these bombs to end the war, without having huge American casualties, as well as Japanese casualties; and actually, fewer people died because we dropped the bombs. This was the story for years and years. And now it comes out. The true facts are that the Japanese government was falling over itself trying to surrender, and we wouldn’t let them. They were even trying to get the Russians to intercede with us so they could surrender. The only thing they wanted was to keep the Emperor; they did not want the Emperor to be shot, or hanged, or executed, because they said there would be nothing to hold the country together as a country - to be both invaded/occupied and have the Emperor shot. They had to have some figurehead in order to still be a country. And so, the Americans were demanding unconditional surrender. They said: “We will surrender everything, but please do not do anything to the Emperor.” And the Americans would not agree, so they dropped the atom bomb. All these stories - the historians, over time, pick away at them. It becomes easier as time passes because the people who invent the stories, and have the vested interest in them, die and go away. Then it becomes possible to doubt it easier, and everybody who was there - who remembered and was affected by it and fell for it - are gone. And so, stories come out subsequently; half a century later the story comes out.
JC: Do you think it is more hopeful as time goes on that people seem to be more aware that these false flags and false claims are going on? Do you think there is a sense in the population that we are being lied to? And so, do you think there is a hope that - if enough people cotton on to what’s going on - things might change?
PCR: I don’t know that the governments will ever stop lying, because you see, governments have agendas that they can’t take to the people. For example, Bush wanted to invade the Middle East and take over these countries. If he stood up and said: “Look, I want to invade Afghanistan, and Iraq, and Syria, and Iran, and knock them all off, and put our puppets there, and rearrange things”, people would say, “What for? They are not bothering us.” So they orchestrate events to provide a justification for their undeclared agendas, and this is the way governments traditionally work.
JC: But do you think more people are becoming aware that some of these things are in fact orchestrated, and if people do become aware of that, is it going to become harder for governments to pull this off?
PCR: Well I think Julian, we saw that recently in the world blocking Obama’s military attack on Syria - even the British Parliament. I mean look, Britain has been an American puppet state ever since the end World War II. It is a puppet state; it does exactly what Washington wants, and it’s always there for Washington. Look at all the cover Tony Blair provided Bush for the invasion of Iraq. Bush couldn’t have done it without him. So now we saw, when they tried to do the same thing again - I mean, Washington took it for granted that Cameron was going to bring the Parliament to sign up attacking Syria. And what did the British Parliament do? They said, “You are not doing it without us voting.” Well, that surprised Cameron, and then they voted No. So clearly, they have caught on. Parliament said: “We are not providing cover for another American war crime.” And then we saw the rest of NATO - except for the French - nobody would participate. The NATO Secretary General said it was up to each country to decide. He passed it off. Nobody would support it. The Russians came in and said: “Look, you are not telling the truth about this; here is what the truth is.” Then they said: “Look, we’ve got this deal; what is wrong with the deal?” So nobody would support; they're catching on. They said: “Okay, you lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, why would we believe you about Syria? Where is your evidence?” The Americans claimed to have all this evidence, but they never showed it to anybody, and that’s why Cameron lost the vote. If you go back and watch the films of Cameron arguing with Parliament, he says: “Yes I don’t have any evidence. I know I don’t have any evidence, but it’s just my gut feeling.”
JC: Indeed, and we had John Kerry talking about it: “It's so convincing; you just need to 'join the dots.' ” And I was thinking: I read this UN document, and I am trying to 'join the dots', and I don’t seem to draw the same picture at all.
PCR: Right. There was no evidence. One of the most remarkable things was that Putin said publicly: “We tried to deal honestly with the Americans. We tried to think of them as decent people, but John Kerry is lying, and he knows he is lying, and it is sad.” So, I think the world has caught on. Now, what about Americans themselves? I keep seeing these polls. I don’t know how accurate they are, but now, fifty percent of the American population has at least some doubts about the explanation of 9/11. So, if you have got half the population beginning to say “Wait a minute”, then it does show people catch on, and if enough catch on in time it will put a constraint on the descent of the United States into a Gestapo police state. Because that is where we are headed, you know. And everything they have been doing in the 21st Century is illegal, unconstitutional, and there has been no accountability for it. The courts look the other way; the Congresses look the other way. We have the National Security Administration spying on the whole world. I call it the National Stasi Agency. And you may remember, just before the Syrian thing came up, Congress was trying to cut that back - close a lot of it down. And the vote was very close. It looked like they were picking up steam. So very quickly, we had this Syrian thing rise up, and that got them off shutting down the N.S.A., and then as soon as the Syrian thing is over we have the government shut down. So they keep Congress away from the real issue, which is the National Security Council spying on everybody - every email - they are listening. Everything I am saying to you is being recorded - every email, every online purchase, every website visited, every letter written (they read the mail now) - every telephone call, of everybody, and not just Americans. And as Brazil found out, they used this to spy on Brazil’s businesses, so the American corporations know how to undermine them.
JC: Well, although this is illegal, Edward Snowden who reveals this is called a traitor.
PCR: Right. Well you know, it had already been revealed. William Binney is the person who actually devised the spy system. I don’t think he knew they were going to use it to such extremes, but the guy who actually devised it blew the whistle on it early in the 21st Century. His name is William Binney. You can go online and find his videos in which he talks about it. Now they tried to do something to him. He didn’t run for it. But the difference between Binney and Snowden is that Binney didn’t take any documents - not a single one. They couldn’t find a single document. So, he had no proof; it was just his word. And so, they could just say, “Oh, he is disgruntled.” Now Snowden didn’t reveal anything Binney hadn’t already revealed, but Snowden had all the proof. That’s why they are after Snowden. In other words, they say: “He stole the documents; he is a traitor. Binney is just disgruntled; he has no proof. We don’t have to worry about him."
JC: The attack on Snowden seems to be pretty merciless. I mean, a few days ago on the BBC News Night programme, Glen Greenwald was attacked again and again as being in collusion with a traitor, essentially.
PCR: Was that that woman?
JC: Yes, that’s right - Kirsty Wark.
PCR: Yes, I have that posted on my site, but he tears her to pieces. I mean, he makes a complete fool out of her. She was not any match for him. That didn’t do her or the BBC any good, but it sure did a lot of good for Greenwald. He is able to outsmart them; they are no match for him.
JC: I thought it was quite revealing, actually. People watching that would get the impression that the BBC does clearly have an angle here.
PCR: Yes, it clearly had an angle. Yes, it most clearly did. That’s why I posted it. I said: “Look you can see, if you tell the truth, what you are up against.” I don’t know Julian. You see, also recently we saw the President of Brazil at the UN denouncing the United States for violating international law, spying on other governments the way they are doing. We see two other South American Presidents bringing a law suit against the United States for human rights violations. So we are seeing the world start to stand up to Washington, instead of simply folding up or accepting the bagfuls of money, which is the traditional way Washington gets everybody to do what it wants. It just gives them enough money until they give up and say: “Okay, that's such big money, I can’t turn it down; you've just bought me.” So, I think the influence of Washington is not what it was, and this has reduced its power, because it's more isolated. It can’t get the co-operation that it got. We saw that in Syria - to repeat myself. The outcome of the Syrian thing shows the United States was unable to achieve its purpose this time. And this is unusual.
JC: There seemed to be a kind of victimisation of Assad: “Now Osama bin Laden is gone, who else can we victimise and make into the Big Baddy?”
PCR: Well, if you want to do somebody in, you first demonize them. You create a bogeyman. I mean, bin Laden was their bogeyman. Now they don’t really have one, do they? They tried to make the Iranian President one, but the new guy is so much milder and gentler and diplomatic. They tried to make Assad a bogeyman, but that didn’t work either. They tried to make Putin a bogeyman, but he beat Kerry and Obama, and the whole world sees it was the Russians who stopped the war. So, I don't think it’s working for them. And now they are demonstrating, Julian - and this is not exactly off subject - they are now demonstrating in Washington that they can’t govern themselves. The government's shut down. So here is a superpower - it knows best for the whole world, it knows what’s best for Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Syria, and Iran, and China, and Russia - and it can’t govern itself. It’s shut down. And in seven days, the Treasury runs out of money - can’t pay any bills - and the bonds default - and there's flight from the dollar - and the economy collapses. So they have got one week to come to some agreement, or the whole thing just blows up. We become, overnight, a third-world country. You know, look at this! This is absurd, isn't it – a superpower? And it knows best for the world? And it deserves - it's exceptional - it’s indispensable - it should have hegemony over the whole world. But it can’t govern itself; the government is shut down. It is an absurdity. I think that this shutdown, on top of everything else that has happened recently, is making the world wonder about the United States, and I really don’t think the United States will emerge from this with the same kind of power and influence that it had. It's seen differently. People are beginning to resist and stand up for themselves. Various people have said: “We're not an American colony. Quit calling us that, and giving us orders.” And sooner or later the British Prime Minister will say that.
JC: Well, that will be the day! Yes indeed, I look forward to hearing that. Well, I would like to end on a slightly more upbeat note. So much of what we have been saying is really quite depressing. But at the end of your article, you describe Osama bin Laden as “the man who died twice.” So I want to ask you if you think there's a chance that they might actually try to get him a third time?
PCR: Well, I don’t think they can pull that off.
JC: Are you sure?
PCR: I don’t even think the American media would fall for that. What could you say? You could say: “Oh yes, we didn’t bury him. We brought his body back secretly, so we could resurrect it. We went to Area 51 where the aliens landed, and we have their machine for restoring bodies to life, and it worked, and we have him back now - but he escaped!”
JC: Do you know, if it was said with sufficient solemnity on the right news channels, I think some people would actually believe it. Well, Dr. Roberts it has been wonderful to speak to you again. Thank you ever so much for coming on. It really is a great privilege, I am aware of that, having you on the programme. So, thank you very much for spending all this time to talk to us again.
PCR: Well Julian, you just you keep on renewing their minds, because that's what we have to do. We have to break everybody out of the Matrix, and anybody who is trying to do that I am going to co-operate with them. So, all the best to you.
Disclaimer: The views expressed by Dr. Roberts in this interview are his responsibility alone; they do not necessarily reflect those of The Mind Renewed.