Osama Bin Laden Dead.

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ocelot
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May 3 2011 15:58
Samotnaf wrote:
[...] why there's no genuine photo of the body, and why the assault and killing - according to anything I've seen so far - wasn't filmed close up. [...]

The official line being put out by UK & Irish news is that Obama insisted on special forces rather than drone attack precisely in order to get the photos, videos, etc. Given the amount of spin going on at the moment it appears the intention is to feign reluctance to release the photos with some references to Geneva Conventions etc, so as to look like 'public pressure' has forced their hand when they do release the photographic and video material. One could also speculate that this initial 'reluctance' may be part of an attempt to increase the impact of the images to people around the world who will be being told that it wasn't Osama for the next days or weeks, so that when clearly recogniseable images are produced, they discount all the conspiracy theories they've been laden with by the deniers. Maybe. I find it hard to believe that the US would intentionally build up all this hype around the video (see pics and footage of Obama, Clinton & National Security heads watching the live stream, like an advert for a new video game) if they were unable to deliver the "product". Naturally this will not convince those who believe the moon landings were faked, etc, etc.

But all this conspiracy shite is always a deflection from genuine class politics - in this case that the man who's death has had the most effect on galvanising the 'oppressed arab masses' in their struggle for freedom, is not Osama bin Laden but Muhammed Bouzizi. Conspiracy theory is always about denying real agency to the working class - hence why the Italian CP promoted it to explain the vritual civil war in Italy from the late 60s to early 80s - dientrologia is always reactionary in content and intent.

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May 3 2011 16:05

That publicity pic for "Death of Osama, The Movie", coming to a multiplex (or Youtube exclusive) near you soon...

I'll bet good money that some of the people involved in planning this gig, briefly seriously considered filming it in 3D (probably on the 3-4th day without sleep).

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Steven.
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May 3 2011 17:50

Yeah, the conspiracy stuff being spoken by some new posters on here is ridiculous.

With regard to video/photos, they couldn't publish them because parading the dead is not permitted under the Geneva Convention. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they were leaked or released at some point to stop speculation.

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May 3 2011 18:16

If it is a conspiracy, why now? There doesn't seem to be much reason for it. No doubt people will join up some random dots and come up with a dumbo in the room.

Samotnaf
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May 3 2011 18:18
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But all this conspiracy shite is always a deflection from genuine class politics

Since I made it clear that the attack on the class struggle is an essential part of the reason for this possible conspiracy (note: I've always said "possible"; I'm certainly not as dogmatic as those who think conspiracies don't exist - "Zinoviev letter? history will prove it was genuine!"), clearly this can't be aimed at me.
However, I concede that, even if a conspiracy exists (absolutely no evidence so far exists to show that Osama was killed yesterday) the essential thing is the counter-revolutionary use of it: the miserable spectacle of "community" in the US, the increased likelihood of terrorist activity (and the possible transformation of the struggles in the Arab world, where Al Quaida has so far had no influence whatsoever, into pro-Jihadist madness, or at least its characterisation/caricaturisation as such), the increased presence of armed military everywhere, the distraction from the struggles that have been happening all over the place and probably a few more miseries resulting from this show...
It seems bizarre to me, though, that all those who are quick to dismiss conspiracies are as dogmatic as those who wallow in them. The Falklands war was clearly a "conspiracy" (ie allowed to happen in order to undermine the class struggle). You could go overboard and fetishise it, but you can do the opposite as well - both to the detriment of understanding the world in order to change it.

Samotnaf
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May 3 2011 18:40
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With regard to video/photos, they couldn't publish them because parading the dead is not permitted under the Geneva Convention. That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they were leaked or released at some point to stop speculation.

Are you joking? What exactly is the Geneva Convention on this? The amount of photos in the media of dead bodies of people killed in combat is endless. Besides, what about the fake photo of the dead Bin Laden? Was it the fact that it was fake that meant that it didn't contravene the Geneva Convention?
As for Mr Jolly :

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If it is a conspiracy, why now? There doesn't seem to be much reason for it.

- do you bother to read these posts? I, at least, have given reasons - the fear of the escalation of class struggle globally.

Somehow most of you here just continue your reactive attitude to the stupidity of conspiracy theories with its equally moronic undialectical opposite - that there are never any conspiracies. If anybody can tell me anything about the official discourse so far about yesterday's events that rings true (other than the fact that Obama is President of the USA), I'd be interested to hear it. Or maybe it's the fact that it all sounds like really crude bullshit (including animated computer generated cartoons of the assault, still pictures of a room full of bourgeois scum looking at a screen you can't see etc.) that somehow proves that it's true - after all, if they were faking it they'd do it better.

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May 3 2011 18:51

I just wanted to make it clear that in this situation the distance between what actually happened and what is being reported can be much greater than in the case of 9/11, simply because the latter was so much more public. Ultimately Osama's assassination is of propaganda import to the Obama administration and to Al Qaeda, and not much else, so I'm not really going to lose sleep over it either way. I wonder why they threw the body out to sea - maybe to cover up the fact that his killing was unnecessary - but, well, it's not really that essential.

bzfgt
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May 3 2011 20:27
gypsy wrote:
Quite a coup for Obama. This will probably see him win the next election just off of this one assasination?

Negative. The election is still a year and a half away, and lots of things could effect the outcome. The economy will be a huge factor, and also it will depend in part on whether the GOP can find a viable candidate. Remember Bush I lost an election a mere 7 months after the conclusion of the Gulf War, at which point he was sporting a 91% approval rating.

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May 3 2011 21:11

The anti conspiracy people seem to be the ones being dogmatic here. This is exactly what I was talking about in my first post. People claim things were conspiracies, or not conspiracies, often not based on tangible evidence, but rather based on their political world view.

"What incentive would they have to hide this from the public?"

I have no clue, you tell me. But that question is irrelevant. We have been offered no evidence of the body, and so, absent evidence, why is it implausible for people here to call "fake!"? I personally don't think its insane to doubt things absent evidence, I'd hope others would agree here, regardless of our political imaginations.

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May 3 2011 21:18

In this particular case we have statements by the White House and news reports as evidence. It may be very dubious evidence, but it still is information that it makes sense to take into account. It's not true to say that there isn't any information at all. (Also, we have learned that the initial claim that Bin Laden was armed was later retracted. It would seem to be useless to retract a statement about something that did not happen).

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May 3 2011 22:20
NoRefunds wrote:
Both of these groups ignore one thing, evidence we can observe on site. Most of the sane people in the truth movement point ONLY to physics and engineering based evidence which absolutely refutes the official story

I don't know what you mean by "the official story" but if you are reffering to the idea that the the two main buildings of the WTC coplpsed as a result of being hit by airoplains and set on fire and that at least of other building (WTC 7 i think?) colapsed as a result of being hit by debries and set on fire then you are absolutly wrong.

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May 3 2011 22:34
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do you bother to read these posts? I, at least, have given reasons - the fear of the escalation of class struggle globally.

The cult of OBL has little traction in the struggle in NA and the middle east at the moment. Even more moderate groups like the Muslim Brotherhood are haemorrhaging in Egypt. Its seems to me it will only really have an effect in American or Pakistani politics, but as someone pointed out, its not particularly near the presidential election.

My conspiracy, Maybe AQ sees its influence slipping and wanted to re energise its organisation, tipped off the yanks. The Yanks are just happy he is dead and also quite happy that there is some conspiracy around it all to dissipate anger.

Mark.
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May 3 2011 22:36

Angry Arab on the conspiracy theories

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Let me first address the various conspiracy theories about his death that are being circulated in the Arab world. I feel that I may be the only one (naively in their eyes) who buys the general story that US forces killed Bin Laden. All the smart Arabs I know don't believe anything about the American story. I realized that the US is so hated and that its arrogance and self-righteousness are so jarring to Arab ears, that they feel it is their duty to disbelieve anything coming out of the American government. There is so much skepticism: many believe that Bin Laden had long been dead or that he was in the US custody, or that he had been working for the US all along. Sep. 11 is now more unbelievable than ever among Arabs and Muslims: I may seem naive in shooting down all Sep. 11 conspiracy theories...
ryuit
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May 4 2011 00:06
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The problem with your arguments is that you are making an assumption that the Government has nothing to hide and then fitting absoutely no narrative around that. Regardless of whether this conspiracy is one of the genuine ones or not (I'm not into most conspiracy theories, as you should know from my posts here), no-one has yet explained why they destroyed the body, why there's no genuine photo of the body, and why the assault and killing - according to anything I've seen so far - wasn't filmed close up. But then maybe you'll be able to come up with a mix of

Quote:

the bloody obvious, the slightly obscure, the downright implausible and coincidence

to explain why the official version of events is true. Because it just seems

Quote:

downright implausible

without any of the other stuff so far.
.

The absence of the body does not automatically mean that there has been some conspiracy. Think about it, even if they had killed him months ago and had planned to release the news at a more convenient time do you not think they would have been smart enough to take a picture of the body for when they actually needed it? It would have been just as easy to get a picture of him dead then as it would be now so the absence of the body doesn't suggest that he has been dead for a long time at all.

You have to look for a clear motive when claiming these things and I accept that you have put forward some reasonable points but I just don't believe that they are convincing enough to act as the 'opportune moment' which the authorities would theoretically be waiting for to break this news

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May 4 2011 00:48

My huge problem with conspiracy theory is not that our rulers lie - duh! - but that it allows them to set the agenda. There's a passage in Fabbri's "Bourgeois Influences on Anarchism" where he talks about the trap of people assuming that whatever the class enemy says is wrong must be right and vice versa. Politicians are not stupid, they know this effect (that people will argue the opposite of whatever they assert) and they use it to steer the public debate away from questions that might be dangerous to them. So the question of whether Osama was really killed or whether he was legally killed, is a distraction from the relevant question of "who the fuck is/was Osama anyway?"

In that frame, I find the accusations from NoRefunds and Samotaf that "anti-conspiracists" are being dogmatic, most pernicious. First of all, there is an implication that anti-conspiracists are mainly folk who accept the official story in complete credulity. I'd like to think that a review of this thread by any critical reader would show that this is a strawman.

What anti-conspiracists (and I accept the term) refuse is the pretence of competence that "the powers that be" like to project, and that conspiracists reinforce at a higher level of appearance, is just that, a pretence. The "powers that be" are bureaucrats who couldn't find their arse with both hands - hence why we so often are able to run rings around them, despite the enormous asymmetry between their resources and ours.

Now we're getting to the unravelling of the initial story phase. So the question is (i.e. about the target being armed) , is the unravelling of the first story all part of the conspiracy? Or is it just another example of tactical responses to systemic incompetence?

Anti-conspiracism is not a negative - it is not the lack of belief that the executive of the ruling class lie - but a positive. It is that liberatory thinking refuses the speculative and metaphysical perspective that assumes (like theists) that behind the veil of appearances of evil or incompetence, there is a "hidden hand" of an unseen power that is omnipotent and infallible. This is gnosticism, not communism.

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May 4 2011 01:01

While I think celebrating the death of anyone is fucked up in the extreme, remember who this guy was for a minute before you judge the people who were in front of the White House last night. For the American public, this represents the death of someone who killed thousands of people and has been an internationally recognized Biggest Dick Ever for at least 10 years now. But it doesn't make it any less fucked up that there's celebrations in the streets over the death of one man we haven't even heard anything from since 2007.

The first thing I thought when I heard he was dead was, "What is the US gonna do for an enemy now?"

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May 4 2011 01:09
ocelot wrote:
Anti-conspiracism is not a negative - it is not the lack of belief that the executive of the ruling class lie - but a positive. It is that liberatory thinking refuses the speculative and metaphysical perspective that assumes (like theists) that behind the veil of appearances of evil or incompetence, there is a "hidden hand" of an unseen power that is omnipotent and infallible. This is gnosticism, not communism.

I agree with this part of your post entirely, which is why I think it's pointless to stress issues like these when it comes to real social change.

However if we're on the subject of the matter, which we are, I'm just offering my opinion that I see no real evidence aside from that which has been given to me by the state, which, as you say, lies all the time. I accept however, that this issue is totally irrelevant when it comes how our political system functions.

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May 4 2011 07:50

Perhaps it all comes down to 'trust', or the lack of it:

[url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-13276540]Pakistan dismisses US raid fears[/url

The Pakistani authorities are trying to desparately bat away allegations of ineptitude and co-operation with international terrorism. Much of what US - and virtually every capitalist country - does politically, has a very large dose of 'legal fiction' about it. Many people feel intuitively, that they are being lied to - which they are - by the various powers that be. The search fruth, or something like it, then ensues. For legal fiction to work, random circumstance that comprise an event, only have to be interpreted in a certain, so as to present a possible explanation for what is happening. national governments, Police forces, the military, welfare institutions - all make use of this concept in such a way so as to keep the elitest social power they already possess. Often, conspiracy theories are intellectual shots in the dark, at other times, they are spot on. But perhaps the most important aspect of them however, is that they represent the free use of the human mind.

Red-Metta
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May 4 2011 12:15

No wonder people sense something amiss. The US authorities are now denying that Osama Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield, and Bin Laden's daughter is saying that US soldiers captured her father unarmed, with no fight, and then executed him whilst he was already in US custody. If President Obama really watched the event unfold, then he witnessed the cold-blooded murder of a man in hand-cuffs, carried-out by his troops, under his orders. Perhaps all the rightwing racists will now view Obama as being as brutal as they are?

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May 4 2011 13:21

Yeah the story is mutating by the hour, so now we have:

Quote:
1311: According to an interview with CIA director Leon Panetta on PBS, there was video of the approach to the compound but no direct video feed from the operation itself. Mr Panetta said there was a twenty five minute blackout once the team went in.

1309: Despite widespread reports that President Obama and others watched the Bin Laden operation happen live, it is now clear they did not see the shooting itself, says the BBC's security correspondent Gordon Corera.

(from bbc)

A likely story...

You'd have to say that so far, textbook media management this ain't.

Still, I guess they'd much prefer people to be arguing over whether bin Laden's killing was "legitimate" or not (safe in the knowledge that most people don't care), than whether it was significant or not.

Quote:
[...]
Iran, for once, spoke for millions of Arabs in its response to Bin Laden's death. "An excuse for alien countries to deploy troops in this region under the pretext of fighting terrorism has been eliminated," its foreign ministry spokesman has said. "We hope this development will end war, conflict, unrest and the death of innocent people, and help to establish peace and tranquility in the region."
[...]

From Bob Fisk's piece today - If this is a US victory, does that mean its forces should go home now?

In other words (sarcastically) - "Well done. Now sod off"

petey
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May 4 2011 13:25
NoRefunds wrote:
We have been offered no evidence of the body, and so, absent evidence, why is it implausible for people here to call "fake!"?

because if he wasn't killed, he'll let us know: he has the habit of issuing taped statements. and the administration knows that he'll let us know. so they made as absolutely sure as they could that it was him.

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May 4 2011 15:20

Yeah, far too easy for Osama to prove himself alive by getting a flunky to convey a tape to Al Jazeera. The other alternative, that yer man died a while back, while seemingly more possible to carry off, has the complications of family. At the moment (on available info) the survivors of the raid on the compound are in hospital in Pakistan, including one of his wives (the one that got shot in the leg) and the 12 year old daughter who gave the interview to Al Arabiya (nb Saudi channel) alleging that she was made to witness dad's execution (see here). So that would mean that you're having to involve probably the ISI at the least, to carry off the Pakistan end, plus there's the problem of the rest of the (immensely wealthy) bin Laden family, some of whom will be presumably turning up (or sending their servants) to look after wife & kids etc, who are not going to be taken in by impersonators, etc, etc. It's just too complicated - too many parts, too many people, too many unpredictable variables.

Be interesting to see what pull the bin Laden family has over the body thing. A number of islamic commentators have already said they're more upset about the disposal of the body than the killing itself.

wojtek
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May 4 2011 16:09
petey wrote:
NoRefunds wrote:
We have been offered no evidence of the body, and so, absent evidence, why is it implausible for people here to call "fake!"?

because if he wasn't killed, he'll let us know: he has the habit of issuing taped statements. and the administration knows that he'll let us know. so they made as absolutely sure as they could that it was him.

In case anyone thinks that they can't fake Bin Laden videotapes

However, if he did die last week, the part that I find most frightening is it that it was a cowardly extra-judicial execution of an unarmed person on foreign territory - hardly "justice" at all!

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May 4 2011 16:23
wojtek wrote:
petey wrote:
NoRefunds wrote:
We have been offered no evidence of the body, and so, absent evidence, why is it implausible for people here to call "fake!"?

because if he wasn't killed, he'll let us know: he has the habit of issuing taped statements. and the administration knows that he'll let us know. so they made as absolutely sure as they could that it was him.

In case anyone thinks that they can't fake Bin Laden videotapes

However, if he did die last week, the part that I find most frightening is it that it was a cowardly extra-judicial execution of an unarmed person on foreign territory - hardly "justice" at all!

If you've just now found that frightening, you haven't been paying attention. At least this wasn't execution-by-drone.

petey
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May 4 2011 16:30

and fail, in case your comment was meant seriously

Quote:
However, if he did die last week, the part that I find most frightening is it that it was a cowardly extra-judicial execution of an unarmed person on foreign territory - hardly "justice" at all!

crikey

baboon
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May 4 2011 17:01

One resident of Abbottabad told the Guardian yesterday: "It's going to destroy property prices in this area". How's that for a conspiracy?

I would think that he's dead and I would think that elements of the US state have known where he's been for ages. Does his death hasten the exit of of the US from the Afpak theatre? Not a bit, because its presence there wasn't concerned with him but with wider geo-strategic issues including Iran. Osama was actually a bit of an "asset" to the US - but now past his sell-by-date. The administration is certainly strengthened by his death and the bourgeoisie everywhere jump on the bandwagon.

There's talk that he was never on the CIA payroll. Maybe not. But in the 80s he was blasting and bulldozing roads through the mountains of Afghanistan that just happened to end up in the exact places that the CIA wanted to deliver their heavy ordnance to. Even when he turned foe, some years later, he could have been taken out any number of times.

I agree with Sam's analysis above of the nature of the Falklands War and the British bourgeoisie; ie, a patriotic war directed against rising class struggle.

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May 4 2011 17:32
baboon wrote:
One resident of Abbottabad told the Guardian yesterday: "It's going to destroy property prices in this area". How's that for a conspiracy?

I would think that he's dead and I would think that elements of the US state have known where he's been for ages. Does his death hasten the exit of of the US from the Afpak theatre? Not a bit, because its presence there wasn't concerned with him but with wider geo-strategic issues including Iran. Osama was actually a bit of an "asset" to the US - but now past his sell-by-date. The administration is certainly strengthened by his death and the bourgeoisie everywhere jump on the bandwagon.

There's talk that he was never on the CIA payroll. Maybe not. But in the 80s he was blasting and bulldozing roads through the mountains of Afghanistan that just happened to end up in the exact places that the CIA wanted to deliver their heavy ordnance to. Even when he turned foe, some years later, he could have been taken out any number of times.

I agree with Sam's analysis above of the nature of the Falklands War and the British bourgeoisie; ie, a patriotic war directed against rising class struggle.

Again there's no evidence for any of the theories that are circulating regarding a planned mission by the government to undermine social movements, or fuck with the left, or the Arab uprisings in general. What we are doing here is proposing theories that cannot be proved or disproved, a total waste of time

ryuit
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May 4 2011 17:39
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While I think celebrating the death of anyone is fucked up in the extreme, remember who this guy was for a minute before you judge the people who were in front of the White House last night. For the American public, this represents the death of someone who killed thousands of people and has been an internationally recognized Biggest Dick Ever for at least 10 years now

This is typical of the American psyche in its relations with foreign enemies. Somebody talked earlier in this feed about people in the west being in a 'permanent state of childishness' and I couldn't agree more with that assertion. The image of Americans outside the White House celebrating Bin Laden's death conforms to the very simplistic outlook prevalent in Hollywood culture that its 'us against the world' and that there is a definitive line which can be drawn between good and evil in this conflict. Bin Laden was the devil incarnate whereas America is the embodiment of supreme goodness. Its that simple. So in condemning these crowds who chant U-S-A mindlessly while waving their stars and stripes we are really condemning the simplistic attitude which doesn't ask the obvious questions like was it worth ripping apart Afghan society at a cost of tens of thousands of innocent lives just to kill one man? Or how will this death make the west safer from jihadi terrorism? These questions are never discussed and its due to this collective jingoism in society where people celebrate incidents like this in the same way as they would victory in a football match. Safe to say this is an attitude that the ruling elite must count as one of their greatest assets in their attempt to retain their power and prestige

Sir Arthur Stre...
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May 4 2011 18:15

Seriously WHY would the US fake Bin Laden's death???

Firstly this is not something that the American public are begging for. Osama was off the radar and no criticism had been labeled on Obama for not getting him. Sure it will boost his ratings, but so do lots of things. As another poster pointed out Bush I lost 7 months after the Gulf War. Just because a party stands to gain from a certain event does not mean it's a set up.

Secondly if it's a fake and Bin Laden pops up in a weeks time then Obama will be in so much shit, the democrats will be shown to be so desperately bad at protecting America that they lie about it. It is much more likely that Obama wouldn't get re-elected if its a fake, than vice versa.

This is also the fundemental reason why 9/11 wasn't an inside job... If Cheney is caught crawling around on all fours planting cartoon TNT then he and everyone connected with the administration are finished. Not only that but the federal government itself would probably fall apart as no-one would trust them ever again.
The key to so called conspiracy theories is to look at what each side gains compared to the risk of being caught. So the CIA organizing death squads in El Salvador or Guatemala is real because the reward of setting up pro-western free markets greatly outweighs the risks, proven by the fact no-one has done anything about it.

The most likely reason is usually incompetence. Key information is classified not only to protect those involved but because events like 9/11, JFK etc are highly embarrassing already even without the detail.
In this case Bin Laden as set to be armed so as to justify killing him, his wife as a human shield vilifies him even further and the body at sea so as to stop his grave becoming a shrine. The most likely set of events before the killing was that the Pakistani military knew where he was for some time then used this information as leverage with the USA, probably to try and reduce the hated Drone attacks.

Finally as for "USA! USA!" frat boy shit, I don't like quoting Gary Younge but I will...

Quote:
If "they" (Patriots) killed Bin Laden in Abbottabad then "they" also bombed a large number of wedding parties in Afghanistan, "they" murdered 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha and "they" gang-raped a 14-year-old before murdering her, her six-year-old sister and their parents near Mahmudiyah.
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May 4 2011 19:19
Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling wrote:
Seriously WHY would the US fake Bin Laden's death???

Firstly this is not something that the American public are begging for. Osama was off the radar and no criticism had been labeled on Obama for not getting him. Sure it will boost his ratings, but so do lots of things. As another poster pointed out Bush I lost 7 months after the Gulf War. Just because a party stands to gain from a certain event does not mean it's a set up.

Don't think that our limited perspective on the political situation can at all compare to the plans of those in power. We have no idea what the bourgeois elites want when it comes to specific details.

Quote:
Secondly if it's a fake and Bin Laden pops up in a weeks time then Obama will be in so much shit, the democrats will be shown to be so desperately bad at protecting America that they lie about it. It is much more likely that Obama wouldn't get re-elected if its a fake, than vice versa.

Not if he was previously dead or in league with everything, which is a possibility seeing as he was a boy in the 80's and his existence has aided the oil bourgeois more than anyone I can think of.

Quote:
This is also the fundemental reason why 9/11 wasn't an inside job... If Cheney is caught crawling around on all fours planting cartoon TNT then he and everyone connected with the administration are finished. Not only that but the federal government itself would probably fall apart as no-one would trust them ever again.
The key to so called conspiracy theories is to look at what each side gains compared to the risk of being caught. So the CIA organizing death squads in El Salvador or Guatemala is real because the reward of setting up pro-western free markets greatly outweighs the risks, proven by the fact no-one has done anything about it.

That would be a reasonable critique if it didn't contradict onsite evidence. The risk is high, I admit, and it seems crazy to me too if you think about it in a political context. But when you look at the physics of the situation, which any reasonable and intelligent person would base their analysis on, exclusively, you can easily come to the opposite conclusion. We cannot confirm or negate any conspiracy based purely on a political context. Indeed the conspiracy in El Salvador is true not because it made sense for the US to eliminate the priests but because we have evidence which proves they did. This is the same with all political theory, show me the evidence, not some a priori you think proves this or that conclusion.