Six conspiracy theories about the death of Bin Laden and their flaws

All of this week I’ve been observing the political and media reaction to the death of Osama Bin Laden. I’ve also been keeping an eye on the host of conspiracy theories that have started to emerge. While I’m going to keep documenting them for my own research, I’m probably going to stop blogging about them, as it would take me forever to write about each one individually. What I am going to do though, is to outline six of the most interesting I’ve come across and comment on what I think their weaknesses are.

1) The entire operation was a fake and Osama is still alive out there, hence the lack of photos of his death and the ‘quick’ burial at sea.

If this was the case and Obama deliberately lied about it, then this would be one of the biggest government deceptions of all time. Surely Osama himself would be appearing on video tape to deny it. Also, there are dozens, if not hundreds of people in the Pentagon and the CIA who would come forward to deny it (unless they’re all in on it to). Obama doesn’t strike me as the sort of person who would take such an obvious risk for so little gain (a temporary bump in the polls). There are also dozens of good reasons why the body was disposed of so quickly and why the photos of his death are not being released.

2) Bin Laden’s death was fabricated to distract people from the media debate surrounding Obama’s birthplace.

Obama released his birth certificate last week convincing 99.9 per cent of commentators and the media. Only the die-hard Birthers are still calling for an official investigation. I don’t see the point of fabricating the death of America’s number one enemy for such a transient reason.

3) Bin Laden was killed by US Troops last week, but the announcement was delayed so that it wouldn’t clash with the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Are we really meant to believe that the US government would suppress news of something so incredibly important because it would upset someone’s wedding? There would be lots to lose by doing this, and little to gain.

4) Bin Laden died back in the early 2000s and his body has been kept on ice ever since waiting for a politically opportune moment to exploit his death. His death was originally covered up so they could use his ongoing threat to help promote the War on Terror.

If this was the case why didn’t Bush announce Bin Laden’s death back in 2007/2008 to prop up his falling popularity? Also why did Obama do it now rather than during next year’s election campaign when it would have more of an impact?

5) Bin Laden has always been an American agent, acting to stir up war between the West and the Middle-East. Now that he has outlived his usefulness he has been disposed of

This theory was put forward by the Iranians who are no stranger to conspiracy theories. My main problem with this one is that it really makes very little sense. Why would America employ someone to start a war with Afghanistan? A country with no resources worth stealing. Also surely if the USA was going to fabricate evidence to that degree, it would have hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

6) The person killed by US Troops was either a double of Osama or his clone.

Now we’ve officially entered the Twilight Zone. This plays into the idea that Bin Laden was a Blofeld-esque super-villain

About matthewashton

I'm a Politics Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University. I specialise in the fields of American, British and media politics.
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