A top secret CIA report, leaked to TIME magazine, which suggests that Osama Bin Laden has between six and eighteen months to live, smacks of controlled propaganda as part of an effort to intensify the war on terror during the remaining months of the Bush administration.
The "leaks" suggest that sources within the CIA have "ostensibly managed to get the names of some of the medications bin Laden is taking" and have concluded that the former intelligence asset is dying of Kidney failure.
In essence, they know what pills Osama is popping but they have no idea where he is popping them.
The news comes in the same week that it has been revealed that Pakistan has an agreement to allow CIA-operated Predator drones fly over the country and strike targets in the so called "hunt" for Bin Laden.
In addition, details of a secret Pentagon plan to send U.S. special forces into the wild tribal regions of Pakistan to find Bin Laden have also emerged. The plans have reportedly not yet been implemented due to White House in fighting.
The TIME article comments:
If bin Laden really is dying, the news would doubtless be greeted with some ambivalence. On the one hand, his demise is what the U.S. government has been fervently trying to hasten — since before 9/11. But death by kidney disease is not exactly what it had in mind. "Wouldn't that be a tragic situation if, with all this effort, bin Laden died without it happening at the hands of coalition forces?" says one current senior counterterrorism official.
Indeed, what a glorious end to Bush tenure it would be for the President to be able to stand over the rotting corpse of Bin Laden, the man he vowed to capture "dead or alive", and proclaim that everything the neocon war machine has wrought over the past seven years has all been worth it.
Better get to work then because, according to the CIA, just like Bush, Bin Laden only has months left.
The one tiny problem with all this is of course the fact that Bin Laden has been on death's door due to chronic Kidney failure for at least eight years now.
According to French newspaper Le Figaro, Bin Laden was on a kidney dialysis machine after he had one shipped to his base in Kandahar Afghanistan in 2000, and when the CIA personally visited him in a Dubai hospital. Other accounts suggest he was also suffering from Hepatitis C at the time and had only two years left to live.
Journalists who met Bin Laden before 9/11 later proclaimed their disbelief about the fact that he didn't appear on video after December 2001 to brag about the fact that he had not been captured. Since that time, every single Bin Laden video tape released has contained vague non-specific messages and in many cases the footage is old and re-hashed.
"With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?" wrote the New York Times' Amir Taheri in July 2002.
A very good reason for Osama remaining silent after the end of 2001 would be the fact that he probably died on December 26 of that year, according to a report in the Pakistani Observer, which cited a Taliban official as stating that Bin Laden died due to an untreated lung complication and that he had attended his funeral.
In 2002 CNN reported on the fact that Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf believed Bin Laden to be dead:
[A Bush administration official] said U.S. intelligence is that bin Laden needs dialysis every three days and "it is fairly obvious that that could be an issue when you are running from place to place, and facing the idea of needing to generate electricity in a mountain hideout,".
Others have gone on record insisting they believe Bin Laden to be dead, they include:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai, FBI counter-terrorism chief Dale Watson, Israeli intelligence sources, the late former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, Bin Laden expert Professor Bruce Lawrence, head of Duke University's Religious Studies program.
In addition, a leaked French secret service memo in September 2006 concluded that Bin Laden had died of typhoid poisoning the previous month. The memo cited Saudi Arabian secret service sources who were convinced that Bin Laden had died in Pakistan.
"The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al-Qaeda fell victim, while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, to a very serious case of typhoid that led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs," states the French memo.
Judging from all the available evidence, the White House knows for certain or at least strongly suspects that Bin Laden is dead and has been for many years, but they have chosen to maintain his myth for the purposes of political propaganda and as a hook on which to pin the advance of the imperial Neo-Con agenda.