Saturday, September 23, 2006


Osama bin Laden may have died...again

"France's Defence Ministry said on Saturday a secret service report saying al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had died could not be confirmed but said it would launch an inquiry into the leak of secret documents.

The Defence Ministry issued the statement after a French regional newspaper, L'Est Republicain, published a report quoting a French secret service report as saying Saudi Arabia is convinced al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.

"The information published this morning in the L'Est Republicain newspaper relating to the supposed death of Osama bin Laden cannot be confirmed," the Defence Ministry said." -- from Reuters, UK

The media is buzzing about this latest report of the unconfirmed death of Osama bin Laden. In fact, I just watched CNN's terrorism analyst and author Peter Bergen comment on this very story, expressing cautious skepticism. And in typical CNN style, the story is being repeated about every 3-4 minutes. We all will obviously have to wait and see if bin Laden has actually died...again. Yes, again.

It is no secret that bin Laden has reportedly "died" numerous times in the past few years.
  • In December 2001, Fox "News" published a story that bin Laden died of an "untreated lung complication."
  • In January 2002, Pakistan's President Musharraf speculated that bin Laden's kidney ailment may have taken his life or that he is alive somewhere in Afghanistan.
  • In July 2002, Dale Watson, while serving as the FBI's counter-terrorism chief, speculated that bin Laden is "probably" dead.
  • In early October 2002, Afghan President Hamid Karzai commented that he is "probably" dead.
  • Also in October 2002, a London based Arab news magazine, published a document, purported to be Osama bin Laden's will that allegedly indicated "he's dying or he's going to die soon.

If the current story were to be confirmed, it would certainly be ironic that typhoid or some other health related ailment caused his death, rather than a bombing or other military action. It's clear that the Bush adminstration would rather have bin Laden dead than have him captured and brought to justice. The possibility of bin Laden having to testify could potentially reveal information that Bush (and Cheney) don't want revealed. If bin Laden died sometime in 2001 or 2002, keeping that information quiet undoubtedly benefits the Bush agenda. Fear, and the existence of a bogeyman, is a vital tool this adminstration uses time and again to polarize, divide, and confuse the American people for self-serving political gain. Fear mongering is a vital component of the GOP's fall election platform. Is it a surprising that Bush said " bin Laden" 17 times in a single speech on September 5th, 2006? I think not.

Do I want bin Laden dead and/or captured? Of course. And if he happens to die from a disease instead of an attack, so be it. Is he already dead, and will this latest story be confirmed? We simply don't know...yet. We may have to wait until October to find out.

Whatever the outcome, Vote this November 7th. Vote early or absentee if possible. I urge you to Vote for change.

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