Bin Laden trained and funded by the CIA
"Osama bin Laden was trained and funded by the CIA" - you'll read the claim everywhere, and it's rarely opposed: everyone just seems to accept that it's true. But why? How much evidence have you ever seen presented to support this?
The reality is that there are many people who say this is simply a myth. And we're not just talking about neo-con friendly journalists, either.
Take Jason Burke, for instance, a major contributor to the BBC documentary "The Power of Nightmares". In his book "Al Qaeda", he wrote the following:
Steve Coll, former Managing Editor of the Washington Post, also suggests bin Ladin passed largely unnoticed by the CIA, in his book "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001":
In a Q&A session following the release of his book, Coll said:
Peter Bergen expanded on the supposed CIA/ bin Ladin links in his book, Holy War Inc:
This level of hostility to Westerners doesn't suggest a warm working relationship with the US, and there's some confirmation in a story retold by Richard Miniter:
bin Ladin was himself asked about US funding by Robert Fisk:
And Ayman al-Zawahiri, second-in-command of al Qaeda, explains more in his text "Knights under the Prophet's Banner". Here he claims the "Afghan Arabs" had plenty of funding from various Arab sources, and points to other indications that they never supported the US:
Richard Miniter has a little more on this in "Dispelling the CIA-Bin Ladin Myth", and while you may not exactly trust the source, there were further comments worth at least a look on the US State Departments “Identifying Misinformation” site.
[NOTE: We’re aware that this page is just scratching the surface of what is a substantial, and hotly-disputed topic. It will be expanded in the future, as time allows]