Saturday, September 23, 2006

Unconfirmed

The French newspaper l'Est Republicain published a French Intelligence report that Osama Bin Laden may have died of typhoid last month. The report is unconfirmed, and French President Chirac was understandably concerned that an intelligence report went to the press.

Now, I don't necessarily believe the report - it's unconfirmed, and seems unlikely, though it is plausible. As such, everything after this is hypothetical consideration only. But, what I think is interesting is, given our intelligence capabilities, if this report were true, why would we not have had anything disseminated about it? (This is part of why I disbelieve the report.) Would it be too outrageous to believe that the Administration would hold on to a report of the demise of public enemy number 1 until such time as they could tout it as a significant victory in the war on terror (close enough to election time to really rally the base)? Or that by releasing this information, it would serve to satisfy some of the public's bloodlust in the war on terror, the man most believe to be responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center, and the only real positive for the administration is the war on terror and the fact that a majority of americans believe that Iraq is tied to it? If Bin Laden is gone, then the task becomes greater to convince the public that our fighting in Iraq is tied to terror (remember, that was one of the subordinate reasons in the first place, and now the only one that the administration can use for a foothold).

Would withholding information on Bin Laden's death be a good thing for the administration, if indeed he were dead?

Again, I don't think I believe the report. It's one report, and it's from the French Intelligence, who likely have fewer resources devoted to this than some others. But, it was fun to make believe a conspiracy theory.

2 comments:

Matthew said...

That seems like rather irresponsible journalism. Publishing reports like that cannot do much for a newspaper's credibility.

Bookworm said...

I can't help but think that the reports of his death are greatly exaggerated. After all, this is the second or third time he's been reported dead and, Phoenix-like, he always reemerges. I'll believe he's dead when I see a reputable source touch his cold, hard body, and then swear an oath that it's Osama and he is, indeed, dead.