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May 07

Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories: Real or Not

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Bin Laden is Alive/ Already Dead

The Argument

The lack of photos or video evidence, plus inconsistencies in accounts of the raid, suggests everything was made up. It is also highly suspicious that bin Laden was immediately buried at sea.

Since 9/11 there have been many reports of Bin Laden’s death.

In 2005 senator Harry Reid suggested bin Laden was killed in a Pakistan earthquake. In 2007 Benazir Bhutto said he was killed by Omar Sheikh, a Pakistani militant.

The argument goes that bin Laden’s death was staged possibly as pretext for a war in Pakistan. It has also been argued that it was simply done to boost Obamas poll ratings.

J’s View

It is very odd that no pictures or evidence of any kind have been released. The US claims that releasing any pictures would provoke an anti US reaction and increase the likelihood of reprisal terrorist attacks. I am uncomfortably willing to go along with this for the moment, whilst failing to be totally convinced.

The US also argued there was no point in releasing pictures because conspiracy theorists would just claim they had been doctored. What a ridiculous argument.

‘Well we would release the evidence your honor but we fear the defence might argue against it’.

The suggestion that evidence is not needed because it might be rejected is a very worrying trend.

The US also claim that bin Laden’s body was hurriedly buried at sea to prevent his grave becoming a shrine. I go along with this argument. In my mind it makes sense. A bin Laden shrine would only have encouraged extremism. However it is convenient.

Suggestions that bin Laden was already dead, have never been conclusively proved to any extent.

Personally at the moment I believe he is dead and was killed in this attack, although I am by no means certain. I remain wholly unconvinced by arguments that this has been staged to boost Obamas poll ratings or as pre-text for a war in Pakistan.

Bin Laden was Executed. He was Never Going to Stand Trial

Argument

Bin Laden had strong links with the CIA in the 1980s. It is argued he coordinated with them during the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. Had bin Laden been tried these details would have emerged and embarrassed the US so he was killed to prevent this.

J’s View

This in my view is probably the strongest of all the arguments. That said whilst I’m suspicious I am by no means convinced. In 1979 after leaving college bin Laden went to join the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and fight the Soviet Union. During the war the US provided financial aid and weapons to Mujahedeen leaders. However this aid was provided through Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence not directly by the US. There were of course CIA members on the ground.

The CIA has denied having direct contact with Bin Laden. However a number of authorities say that the CIA brought both Afghans and Arabs to the US for military training. Was bin Laden one of them?
I’m certainly willing to consider the possibility he was killed to stop a trial.

Pakistan Already New

Argument

People argue there was no way Pakistan could not have known about Bin Laden, particularly when he was living next to the Pakistan Military Academy in a large compound. Bin Laden also had strong links with the Pakistani Intelligence Authorities going back to the war in Afghanistan.

J’s View

I don’t believe that Pakistani intelligence new of bin Laden’s existence. It wouldn’t make any sense for them to harbor him.

Pakistan wants an end to the war in Afghanistan and get rid of the US. One of the best ways to do that would be to find bin Laden. So why hide him? Moreover keeping the information secret would have been virtually impossible, particularly with the $25 million bounty on bin Laden’s head.

Capturing bin Laden would have given great prestige to Pakistan. As it is Pakistan has been left deeply embarrassed.

Whatever we conclude I don’t believe we can say we’re certain of anything. Keep doubting and the truth will reveal itself.