Saturday, September 23, 2006

Is Osama Dead?

A Lingering rumor gets new legs!cui bono?The two questions arise:
  1. Who benefits from continued suppression of this story?
  2. Who benefits from leaking this story at this time?


  1. Rumors of OBL's death from kidney failure, Hepatitis C, diabetes, lack of access to dialysis and a wound in his left foot have been floating around since December 2001.

  2. If this big, narrowly-kept Saudi/French secret - now suddenly leaked - is for real, Bush has known about it for weeks, maybe months. Was this his October surprise? A blockbuster story breaking a month too early?

  3. OBL dead again?

    Well, didn't we want him to die a thousand deaths? About 3,000, at least...

  4. In 1984 they kept a bogeyman as a focal point during the 3 minute hate period, when they would yell at the telescreens.
    If he is dead we will transfer his bogeyman status to another to keep up the misdirected loathing from where it should go, our Political system, that is corporate controlled.

  5. Saw a report on Raw Story website yesterday which had Karl Rove talking about an October surprise. Like recidivist said, something that got leaked to soon?

  6. It is interesting that the French Defense Ministry is essentially neither confirming or denying that OBL is dead; it is only intent on finding out who leaked the secret document and seeking criminal charges against the leaker.

  7. If bin-Laden is dead, we'll probably find out around the end of October: right before the election.

  8. To answer the two "who benefits" questions asked in this post, I have to say that both al Qaeda and Bush-Cheney benefit from continuing suppression of this rumor - assuming it's true.

    Osama is worth more to both if his death is kept secret. In fact, to al Qaeda he is better off secretly dead because he cannot be killed or captured and - therefore - al Qaeda cannot be politically decapitated. As long as OBL's myth of invulnerability survives, al Qaeda does not have to give up the mantel of being the leading anti-American terrorist group.

    Secondly, if the fact of Osama's death becomes indisputedly disclosed, what then becomes of Bush's so war on terror? I mean, once Hitler's body was identified, Hirohito deposed and Mussolini hung, wasn't FDR's World War II over?

  9. Juan Cole (Informed Comment) would support Messenger's contention that al Qaeda might have an interest in keeping Osama's death a secret:

    I don't think al-Qaeda would disappear if UBL did. But it would be weakened for a while, and would lose a compelling symbol. Both would be all to the good.

    Cole is also skeptical of these premature death announcements.

  10. Hamid Karzai, asked where Osama was, he smiled and replied:

    “If I said he was in Pakistan, President Musharraf would be mad at me. And if I said he was in Afghanistan, it would not be true.”

    Maureen Dowd, Axis of Sketchy Allies

  11. Personally, I would put more credence in French intelligence services than in our CIA.

    Thanks to Bush, our intelligence has been outsourced and privatized to mercenary interrogators, much like our pursuit of Osama was outsourced to Afghan war lords and much like we have outsourced much of the Iraq occupation to privateer security corporations.

    The French DGSE is just a traditional, bureaucratic, professional group of spooks, which is what the CIA used to be.

  12. Perhaps this controversy is subtly crafted device by the various spook agencies to get OBL to "disprove" his death by making a cameo appearance by video.

    BTW, here's a poll which asks Internet readers,

    Do you think Osama bin Laden is dead or alive?

    Total Votes: 96,845 so far.

  13. The importance or significance of the death, or pseudo-death of OBL has been magnified beyond all rational belief. If he were dead I suspect al Qaeda would announce it, and use his legacy as a recruiting tool. After all, this is not some two-bit operation. al Qaeda is a MAJOR organization with ties to countries all over the world. Their soldiers number in the millions world wide. To think that his death is of ultimate importance is to demonstrate great arrogance. As for Bush knowing about it, who cares...Bush is a boob, a boob with power, but he is not the anti-Christ. We can't credit or blame him for everything that happens.

  14. I respectfully disagree, M. Mike. I think the mere possibility of OBL being alive lends strength and vitality to al Qaeda. Having his head on a spike - martyring him - is a major goal in the GWOT: it's necessary to demonstrate the inevitable end of their retrogressive and nihilistic struggle against modernity. As far as the rest of al Qaeda and the like, there is nothing more we can do with jihadists except kill them or lock'em up and throw away the keys. But we have to do it intelligently, so we don't create/recruit more of them. We are currently going about it stupidly.