Saturday, May 7, 2011

Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death

By Noam Chomsky

It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”

Nothing serious has been provided since. There is much talk of bin Laden’s “confession,” but that is rather like my confession that I won the Boston Marathon. He boasted of what he regarded as a great achievement.

Read the rest here.


  1. Hasn't Chomskey ever heard of an admission against your interests? It is not viewed with the same weak varasity value as a boast, it is an exception to the heresay rule for example, because it is viewed as not likely to be uttered unless true.

    Even considering that, I think Chomsky is correct, the US actions were against established and agreed up on International Law, which is why International Law is a farce and seldom enforced by anyone. Nations stand to each other much like individuals in Hobbs fictional state of nature: is war of all against all, and force replaces justice.

  2. Just so I understand, nineteen al Qaeda members were on the the hijacked planes, and the leader of al Qaeda has been recorded saying that he planned the attacks, but saying that bin Laden was behind 9/11 is no more plausible than saying Chomsky won the Boston marathon.

    Chomsky is a funny guy.