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Eye On The World – With Glenn Williams & Selwyn Manning

Radio Wammo: Eye On The World – With Glenn Williams & Selwyn Manning

Glenn Williams hosts Eye On The World, a weekly look at foreign affairs with Scoop's Selwyn Manning. This week: The killing of Osama bin Laden.


What we know is the operation was carefully planned, stealth-like, based on meticulous intelligence, triangulated and multiplied, a courier becoming the unknowing mole leading US special forces to the United States' public enemy number one.

What we have witnessed is the dark side of Obama's presidency. Irrespective of whether bin Laden's killing was justified, Obama now has blood on his hands, responsible for ordering his death. You can see it in his eyes.

There appears to be a defining difference to his predecessor though, one can imagine George W. Bush parading bin Laden in public, holding a trial in Afghanistan, resulting in a horde jeer and redicule the man before the gallows floor falls from beneath him.

Obama was satisfied with a clean kill, as grotesque as that may sound. He has the photographs, he witnessed the killing in real time, he will not release the images, preferring to re-tell the imagery that lurks in his memory.

Some will say bin Laden is still alive, others that he died ages ago. Obama says, such skepticism does not matter.

Geopolitically, the US is using bin Laden's death to lever Pakistan's complex political elete into permitting the US to hunt down other senior members of Al Qaeda's inner core.

Politically, bin Laden's death may just have won Obama a second term in the presidency... Despite that, there is clearly a tense and dark relationsip between Obama and his CIA officials. Just check out the stern-exchange between Obama and the CIA director Leon Panetta.

Since Obama came to power, he reigned in the CIA's power. Obama ruled out the use of torture no matter what legal definition was applied to it.

Under Bush the CIA was almost a law unto itself. Torture techniques once only used by the worst extremes of China and Soviet torturers was perfected by the CIA and US special forces.

Some this week stress bin Laden would not have been tracked down without the torture techniques being used.


Former George W Bush Administration secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheyney said that the torture techniques used by CIA and US Special Forces during the Bush Administration's reign led to Osama bin Laden being located.

Was torture justified? Was it worth torturing people so as to get their man?


But others say the use of torture actually hindered the ability to get reliable information.

There's a documentary directed by a Danish investigative journalist that revealed how Danish special forces were handing over Afghani prisoners to US interrogators knowing that they would be tortured. In that documentary US interrogators broke down and cried while remembering what they did to their captives, they recalled how they killed some of them for the information they may have possessed.

Denmark, like the US Obama Administration, faced a moral dilemma: Should it publically own up to the wrongs it had done? Under US President Obama, the USA has done so.

It is a pity, that this National-led Government here in New Zealand does not have the moral fibre running through it to do the same...


Eye On The World broadcasts on KiwiFM and Radio Wammo at 7:40am on Tuesdays. Video on demand episodes also webcast on

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