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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