“Osama Bin Laden is Dead”

I remembered reading at least one columnist declare that Bin Laden was dead some time ago, so I decided to search for the article. I couldn’t find the piece I was looking for, but along the way I found some interesting quotes that today bear repeating.

Mark Steyn definitely wins the prize for having the most egg on his face.

As for this Bush-failed-to-get-bin-Laden business, 2-1/2 years ago I declared that Osama was dead and he’s never written to complain. There’s no more evidence for his present existence than there is for the Loch Ness monster, which at least does us the courtesy of showing up as a indistinct gray blur on a photograph every now and again. Osama is lying low because he’s in no condition to get up.

Oh well, Mark — you can’t win ‘em all. In the NY Post, Amir Taheri, too, has cause to be embarrassed. This is really precious.

With none of those labels having stuck to Bush, another conspiracy kite has been flown: the claim that Bush is cooking a big surprise to be sprung in October. Perhaps the sudden introduction of Osama bin Laden, the fugitive terrorist, on television just days before the election. We’ve been told that bin Laden was arrested months ago in Pakistan but kept on ice on Bush’s orders to be conjured, like a rabbit out of the magician’s hat, in October…… Well, there will be no “October Surprise,” and bin Laden, as far as I know, has been dead since December 2001 (despite CIA claims to the contrary, based on a couple of dubious audiotapes attributed to bin Laden).

Finally, at Democratic Underground, a writer known as The Plaid Adder prophecies exactly what transpired, but writes it off as most likely being absurd.

For instance, producing Osama bin Laden on October 31st would certainly be a nifty surprise for them; but frankly I don’t believe they can do it. This administration’s incompetence in matters of intelligence gathering and foreign policy has been shown up at every stage of the Iraq campaign. Why should we assume that the same team that actually did not bother to put together a plan for the occupation before they started the war could also manage to finally get their mitts on the man who has been either dead or eluding them for the past three years?

Plaid Adder, oh ye of little faith! Don’t be surprised if, on Tuesday, Pakistan captures Bin laden just in time for the Today Show. If you can imagine it, Rove can do it!

(And no, I don’t really believe Osama’s sudden return yesterday was a Karl Rove trick. I do believe it was Osama trying to make sure shrub gets re-elected so al Qaeda and other terrorists can thrive. You almost expected to hear after Bin Laden’s ravings, “I’m George W. Bush, and I approve this message.” Bin Laden is smart; this was no accident. Brilliant, and it really could throw the election back to bush. Maybe.)

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Richard Burger is the author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, an exploration of China's sexual revolution and its clash with traditional Chinese values.

The Discussion: 9 Comments

I’m glad you wrote “Maybe.”

October 30, 2004 @ 10:16 pm | Comment

Bin Laden is better as an iliusive phantom than as either a man or a dead body.

If you kill him, half of the Islamic world will be in uproar shouting for revenge and the other half will say that it is an American trick and refuse to believe that he is dead, and then use it as a call to war.

If you prove that he is alive, half of the Islamic world will see it as a call to war because their hero is untouchable and has defied the Us for so many years, and half of the US population will say that it is a trick to get them to support the war on terror.

What proof would you need to see before you would beieve that he is dead or that he isn’t. I certainly wouldn’t believe anything that the US government showed me, no matter which way it went. Dead or alive, if it comes from Bush I wouldn’t believe.

October 31, 2004 @ 12:30 am | Comment

Pepaget, loking at the latest tracking polls it appears the new tape has not made any discernible difference. The new Fox poll shows Kerry advancing a point (!) while on all others he is stuck at 48 percent — a very ominous sign for any incumbent.

October 31, 2004 @ 11:35 am | Comment

Take a look here, Richard…

Don’t know if thats what you were looking for… but maybe it is…

October 31, 2004 @ 12:27 pm | Comment

Great find, Forrest, I think that’s what I was looking for. Tyrrel, of course, is the man behind the “destroy Clinton at any cost” movement back in the mid/late-90s, and is a good truth barometer — whatever he says is the polar opposite of the truth.

October 31, 2004 @ 12:43 pm | Comment

The college I attend, Whitworth in Spokane WA, has open access to their database subscriptions… some of which I think are actually subscription based and paid for by my tuition bills. ;)

Could be wrong, but they’ve been quite useful in digging things up at times…

Take a look here if something is hard to track down…

October 31, 2004 @ 5:04 pm | Comment

Does anyone know where I can find a transcript of (a translation of) Bin Laden’s actual words? Specifically, I want to know if he said anything that is actually dateable … for example, did he mention Kerry? The invasion of Iraq? That kind of thing?

October 31, 2004 @ 5:31 pm | Comment

He definitely did mention Kerry — he said it doesn’t matter whether we choose Bush or Kerry, that it only matters whether we give the Moslems of the Middle East their liberty. Funny thing, hearing Bin Laden talking of giving people “liberty”! Bastard….

It’s hard to find a complete transcript because Al Jazeera edited sections out. if you search google news, there are thousands of articles about it.

October 31, 2004 @ 5:50 pm | Comment

You guys have got it all wrong. What, a look-alike in a fake beard is enough to fool you? Ask yourself why the U.S. has stopped even looking for bin laden!? Three years ago he was public enemy number 1!!! How can it be that he’s become, “unimportant to the war on terror”. Huh??? If you’ve got the chestnuts to stare at the ugly truth, the answer is plain as day. Because they know something you don’t. They know bin laden is long dead. And if you need help theorizing a motive for such deception, then I’m giving up on you.

November 12, 2004 @ 1:14 am | Comment

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