In this BBC article, US marks seventh 9/11 anniversary, it says:
Mr Obama said in a statement “the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice,” in a reference to the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, who the US believes masterminded the attacks.
Damned if I can see any reason for that phrasing other than to cast doubt on whether it was Osama Bin Laden who masterminded the attacks. Wasn’t Bin Laden’s own video claiming responsibility good enough for the BBC?
We’ve had this despicable pandering to conspiracy theorists before. There was something of a flare-up a year ago today, as it happened. It ended with worldwide hostile interest courtesy of a link from the Drudge Report and condemnation of the BBC from a former head of the Joint Intelligence Committee and BBC governor. See this roundup post.
I’ll finish with some further observations from commenters. From “George R”:
In its report on 9/11 anniversary, the BBC presents the events of that day passively and anonymously:
“..four hijacked planes hit the Twin Towers, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvanian field.”
On today of all days a topic on the BBC HYS page is ‘Should the US review its war on terror?’
… I keep wanting to know where the ‘unsubscribe’ button is on the BBC’s website.
(Added later.) I do find it depressing to reflect how I came to write the above post. Before going to bed last night I scanned the BBC website and, remembering what happened last year, I thought, “At least they wouldn’t dare peddle that line agai– oh. They would.”
Finally, just to lay to rest any doubts: the title was intended as sarcasm.
UPDATE, 13 SEP: The wording of the BBC article has now been stealth-edited to “…in a reference to the hunt for the al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.” The “Last Edited” field at the top of the page says “17:33 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 18:33 UK”. This is untrue, as I noticed the original and offensive wording that prompted my post hours later than that and it was still there the following morning.