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The admission today by the White House that their initial statements regarding the details of Bin Laden’s killing were fabrications are important for human rights investigators to bear in mind.

The White House has admitted that the claims (made mainly by chief US counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan) were fabrications, specifically:

1) The claim that Bin Laden was armed and firing an AK47 was false – he was unarmed
2) The claim his wife was used as a human shield is false
3) The claim his wife is dead is false – she is still alive, although shot in the leg

The new statement comes from Mr Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney.

In the face of these falsehoods at the highest level, it is essential for human rights organisations to really examine carefully the propaganda they have been fed by the US government at every level and particularly in relation to US wars and undercover operations.

It is important to remember that John Brennan plays a very major role in the US administration – he is titular head of US undercover operations and a key adviser to President Obama.

The statement of Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, that the US should make public the “precise facts surrounding his killing” is welcome.

Osama Bin Laden and the radical islamic movement of which he was a part were trained and funded by intelligence forces of the US, as a way of undermining the Soviet Union for geo-strategic reasons and because that is the kind of thing intelligence services do. That is a matter of record.

Subsequently, Osama Bin Laden fell out with the his earlier mentors and launched attacks against western targets which killed and injured large numbers of civilians. That these attacks were purportedly in response to attacks on Moslem countries or to defend Moslem nations is, of course, no excuse.

Unfortunately, these attacks were used as excuses to launch wars of aggression and as justification by many governments, political forces and military organisations to attack human rights and to try to redefine them in their own interests.

The death of Bin Laden provides an appropriate occasion to condemn his crimes against human rights and pay respects to his innocent victims.

It is also an occasion for us to renew our faith in human rights and the creation of a better world with mutual respect between religions, tolerance and peace between nations.

The current events around the world, and particularly the success of the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia are testament to the efficacy of non-violent struggle and to the building of solidarity between people and the ineffectiveness of terrorism and war in building a better world.

Of course, the messages which leaders give out now over the next few days will be good indications of the key messages they are trying to put across, and unfortunately, strengthening human rights, the folly of proxy wars and violence, the winding down of the War on Terror or actual repect for the rights of muslims are unlikely to be among them.