Jason Burke’s Bin Laden obituary perpetuates myth that Taliban refused to hand Bin Laden over

Jason Burke’s Osama bin Laden obit­u­ary for The Guard­ian per­petu­ates the myth that the Taliban never offered to hand Bin Laden over:

Faced with an ulti­matum, the Taliban again refused to sur­render Bin Laden, who ini­tially denied involve­ment, and an American-led aer­ial bomb­ing cam­paign followed.

In fact the Taliban pub­licly offered in Octo­ber of 2001 to hand Osama bin Laden over to a third coun­try, provided the U.S. hal­ted the illegal bomb­ing of Afgh­anistan and pro­duced the neces­sary evid­ence about involve­ment of Bin Laden or any of his asso­ci­ates in the 11 Septem­ber attacks. Would they have gone through with the offer? We’ll never know because Bush rejec­ted it, put­ting an end to any pos­sib­il­ity of a poten­tially peace­ful, legal res­ol­u­tion to the events of 11 Septem­ber 2001, and opened up the way for the inva­sion and occu­pa­tion of Afgh­anistan and Iraq, along with the mil­lions who have lost their lives or had them des­troyed as a result.

Update I: Jason Burke says he’ll cor­rect obit­u­ary.
Update II (14 May):  He hasn’t.


One Comment so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Nick McFarlane,

    Can someone please tell me why Bin Laden, sit­ting hap­pily in his com­pound with access to a video cam­era and cour­i­ers to the out­side world, decided not to send out any videos taunt­ing the West or rous­ing up his own people? Are we to believe that for all those years, he sat idle, with his greatest weapon – the abil­ity to incite ter­ror and fear through video releases – yet decided not to so? I just don’t get that strategy. Anyone?

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