Dentons has instructed an ex-CIA spook to investigate allegations that one of its partners penned an anti-US article which accused Barack Obama of faking Osama Bin Laden's death in order to declare war on Pakistan.
The inflammatory opinion piece, headed, "The Fog of War and the Murder of Osama Bin Laden - the inevitable war against Pakistan", was published in 2011 on a now-defunct website of Cage, a controversial advocacy organisation.
The credited author of the editorial shares the same name as a commercial partner in one of Dentons' Middle East offices, and the article also states that the author is a lawyer. The Dentons partner, who worked at a Middle East firm when the article was published, denies it is him. RollOnFriday is not naming him because Dentons' investigation is ongoing.
The editorial lauded Bin Laden, who was killed by US special forces a few days before it was published, as having "dared to challenge the might of the superpower of our times".
It called Bin Laden's demise "cold blooded murder", and referred sarcastically to the troops who undertook the raid as "the ever so brave, wonderful, elite, perfect, Rambo-esque, no mistakes Navy Seals".
"A blood-thirsty American people will accept anything the US administration does on its behalf", continued the article, and described Bin Laden's burial at sea as "a deliberate attempt to humiliate the sensitivities of the enemies of the USA while at the same time appease the blood thirsty, feed-him-to-the-sharks, American public".
The author predicted that killing Bin Laden would destroy the US. "With it comes the demise and inevitable end of the American empire", they wrote.
The author also suggested Bin Laden’s death during the raid was faked. "The only 'evidence' we have of his killing is from the US administration which has historically lied to the world and covered up its actions in the name of national interests", they wrote. "Failure to provide any evidence whatsoever renders the whole episode a figment of a defeated American imagination".
The author concluded that the shooting of Bin Laden was manufactured by Obama to give a pretext for war with Pakistan. "To gain maximum political leverage Obama 'informs' the whole world that Osama bin Laden is dead and phase two of the inevitable war against Pakistan is activated", wrote the author. "If the Pakistani government can prove that Osama Bin Laden was not there in the first place it may well give them the diplomatic offensive it so desperately needs to prevent the war that Obama so desperately craves."
Hampton Grover III was unsure about his firm's new Middle East campaign.
An individual purporting to be linked to Dentons' Saudi office complained to the firm's London management late last year that the partner wrote the article, and alleged that the views expressed in the article made members of the office "fear [for] our jobs, safety and families".
Dentons tasked Kevin Hulbert, a senior adviser based in the firm's Washington, DC office, with investigating the allegations. Hulpert's previous career was at the CIA where he held a variety of high-level positions, before he moved to the FBI and provided policy advice to Donald Trump's White House.
Dentons said the partner denied being the author of the polemic, RollOnFriday has not identified evidence of other links between the partner and Cage.
In a statement Cage said, "The article is from 9 years ago. [The partner] has never been a legal advisor to CAGE and has not worked for us. The article was published as received in accordance with the policy at that time, which included the publication of significant amount of third party content on our site. Since then, following a restructure and rebrand of the organisation, our publication policy is more stringent, all articles and authors are vetted". It did not respond when asked if the Dentons partner was the author.
A spokesman for Dentons said, "Promptly after receiving an anonymous communication containing allegations against certain personnel...we attempted to engage with the anonymous sender and initiated an investigation of the claims. Our efforts to engage with the sender of the anonymous communications have not been reciprocated*. We take any allegation of violations of the law or Dentons Global Code of Conduct very seriously, and we have undertaken a thorough investigation of the claims involving both internal and external resources, which is ongoing".
*The same source has engaged extensively with RollOnFriday and provided a wealth of information. Watch this space.