Pentagon officials recently disclosed to the Associated Press (AP) that they could not find any photo or video evidence to confirm that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden was killed in the Navy Seal raid in Pakistan a year ago.
AP has submitted more than 20 requests for information surrounding the raid on Bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound to the U.S. Government under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
In response to the request for visual evidence of Bin Laden’s death, the Pentagon stated that it could not find any pictures or video footage of the raid itself or of Bin Laden’s dead body. It also told AP it could not locate any images of Bin Laden’s body that were taken on the U.S.S. Carl Vinson, the Navy aircraft carrier that reportedly lowered him into the sea after his death.
In addition, the Pentagon admitted that it could not find an autopsy report, death certificate or results of a DNA identification test for Bin Laden, in spite of claims made by President Obama and reported by CBC News that a DNA test was performed.
These admissions follow a related FOIA response by the Department of Defense in February, in which it stated that it had no emails concerning the Bin Laden raid that were sent prior to its execution.
The Atlantic Wire reported in February that the CIA claimed it had visual proof of Bin Laden’s death, but the Pentagon’s admission that it does not have any evidence of this kind still raises significant questions, since its jurisdiction includes the Navy Seals that conducted the raid and the Navy ship that buried Bin Laden at sea.
The latest revelation drew the suspicion of Lt. Col. Robert Bowman (ret.), the former director of Advanced Space Programs Development for the U.S. Air Force. “It makes the official story sound very fishy,” Bowman said in an interview with Digital Journal. “Without proof, I’m not buying it carte blanche.”
Bowman also pointed to the reports that Bin Laden died in 2001 or 2002, which have been supported by former FBI counter-terrorism chief Dale Watson, former assistant Secretary of State Steve Pieczenik, former U.S. foreign intelligence officer Angelo Codevilla and other intelligence experts. “This smacks of a cover-up,” Bowman added.
Some organizations contend that the cover-up extends beyond the Bin Laden raid, including Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, a group of over 1,600 technical professionals that is calling for a new 9/11 investigation. "The raid is not the only part of the Bin Laden narrative that doesn't add up," said founder Richard Gage, AIA. "It's also highly unlikely that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had access to plant the explosives that brought down the Twin Towers and Building 7."
Meanwhile, President Obama called for a time of remembrance and contemplation on the anniversary of the raid. "I think for us to use that time for some reflection, to give thanks to those who participated is entirely appropriate, and that’s what’s been taking place," he said on Monday, according to McClatchy News. It remains to be seen how the public will reflect on the lack of credible evidence surrounding the demise of the world’s most wanted terrorist.