MIT professor Noam Chomsky criticized the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Friday, saying President Barack Obama could have provoked a nuclear war.
“We were very close to war with Pakistan, which easily could have turned into a nuclear war, which could have destroyed all of us,” he told Jason Liosatos of Global Peace Radio. “The Obama administration was willing to take that chance, though there were other ways of finding and apprehending bin Laden.”
Chomsky explained that U.S. Navy SEAL special forces were secretly sent into a heavily fortified mansion in Pakistan, with orders to “fight their way out” of the compound if Pakistani forces arived. Pakistan had mobilized its air force to respond to the 2011 attack, according to Chomsky, but only reached the compound after the SEALs had left.
The leftist intellectual also criticized the use of a fake vaccination campaign to discover the location of bin Laden. Chomsky said the CIA operation cast doubt on legitimate vaccinators, hurting efforts to eliminate polio.
“Polio has been almost eradicated in the world,” he said. “It could go the way of smallpox. Totally eliminated, and it’s a dreadful disease. Pakistan is one of the few places where polio is still [in existence.] There were UN vaccination teams working in Pakistan to try to overcome and eliminate this dreaded disease. Well, as soon as the fake vaccination campaign was exposed, the fears that people already had were given a solid basis, and pretty soon UN health officials were abducted, some of them killed. The UN had to pull out the whole vaccination team.”