On May 1 Osama Bin Laden was killed by the Navy SEALS in operation Geronimo. President Barack Obama announced the death of terrorist number one but there was no compelling evidence that he was really killed. We came across a video of the interior of his compound featuring blood next to a bed, messy furniture, and some medications in a liquid form, yet we didn’t see any images of his dead body. According to reports from the federal government, cited by the media, the 25 commandos – the 25 brave men who completed the operation – took custody of Osama Bin Laden’s dead body, identified it as Osama Bin Laden, and later buried it in the sea. No photos or clips were taken during the ceremonial burial either which prompted a lot of conspiracy theorists to claim that the federal government was lying about Osama Bin Laden’s death. Do these theories have any merits?
No, they don’t on several counts that I will present in this article. In fact any of these conspiracy theories may go to the trash can for the following reasons.
First of all, conspiracy theorists claim that Barack Obama made it up in order to boost his approval rating. While his approval rating rose by 11 percent, as BBC reported, it is by far ridiculous and naïve to think that the President would do such a thing. Assuming that Al Quaeda haven’t confirmed the death of their leader, and he isn’t really dead, the terrorist organization would be very interested in showing a footage of its leader preaching their cause after he was pronounced dead by the U.S. government. With such kind of scenario Washington is likely to become very unstable. Both the Democrats and the Republicans will urge Barack Obama to step down while he will likely to become the President with the lowest approval rating, especially after the Americans who were very cheerful in the evening of May 1 find out that their joy was in vain.
Moreover, if it was for the sake of his approval rating, this story should happen closer to Election Day, and not a year and a half away from it. This event will not last on first page in the media for that long. Unless unemployment drops by at least 2 percentage points (it is currently at 9 percent and speaking of it, that number was released two days ago), it will most likely cost President Obama his re-election. At the end of the day, a terrorist’s death doesn’t feed a family.
Second of all, conspiracy theorists question the timing of the attack. They usually either say that it happened earlier than it was actually reported but that it was reported on May 1 in order to boost President Obama’s approval rating, or they criticize the timing after having read reports from the federal government and quotes by the media that he had been observed for nine months. I explained in the previous paragraph why the first claim is not justified. As to the last claim, it disregards the process of getting intelligence. Finding where Osama Bin Laden is hiding doesn’t mean that he has to be dealt with as soon as possible. Such an action is at best emotional. Even though there is no confirmation that they were looking for as much intelligence as possible, it wouldn’t be surprising if they had been waiting to receive a certain information, or sets of information, before they conducted Geronimo.
Arguably the most convincing argument for the killing of Osama Bin Laden was Al Quaeda’s confirmation of it. As I mentioned above, this terrorist organization is very interested in an unstable U.S. government.
While the War on Terror is far from over, the killing of Osama Bin Laden is a great victory not only for the U.S. but also for the civilized world. It sends a very clear message to the Islamists – that the U.S. army is capable of catching every terrorist and also of getting as much information as there could be. Al Quaeda’s reaction – a plethora of phanatic and religious talk – is that of a scared creature that tries to look scary in order to take control of its fears and look threatening to the “bully.”