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A note to selected readers: Osama bin Laden really is dead

Osama Sunday's announcement by President Obama that a team of U.S. commandos had killed Osama bin Laden gave rise to a number of, umm, interesting comments on the blog and at the Opinion section's Facebook page declaring that the whole thing was faked. Like the moon landing, I suppose, or Elvis' death. Convinced that the burial at sea was a telltale sign of a cover-up, some argued that bin Laden wasn't really dead. Others said that he had been dead for years, but Obama staged an assault on a Pakistani compound in order to boost his popularity.

Sometimes the same people made both arguments.

So I wonder what the skeptics will make of the Associated Press' report Friday morning that Al Qaeda had confirmed its leader's passing at the hands of the Great Satan? According to the AP, the shadowy terrorist group posted an 11-paragraph statement online that said, in part:

The blood of the holy warrior sheik, Osama bin Laden, God bless him, is too precious to us and to all Muslims to go in vain. We will remain, God willing, a curse chasing the Americans and their agents, following them outside and inside their countries.

Of course, there's no proof that the statement actually came from Al Qaeda. Like the Mafia, the group doesn't have an official spokesman. The new statement, dated Tuesday, appeared Friday on the same jihad-friendly websites that had posted previous statements purportedly from the terrorist organization's upper echelon. So that may be too flimsy to convince hard-core skeptics.

Still, I thought I'd throw this out there so the naysayers would come forth again to explain how we're all being suckered into believing that U.S. troops pulled off a Mission: Impossible in the shadow of an elite Pakistani military installation. Granted, the ever-shifting versions of what actually happened inside the compound haven't helped the administration's credibility. But given the apparent confirmation from Bin Laden's comrades in improvised arms, why persist in the unbelief?


Osama bin Laden "deathers"

Osama bin Laden: Why the burial at sea?

Killing vs. capturing Osama bin Laden

A return to the torture debate

-- Jon Healey

Photo: Count these protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Cairo on Friday among those who believe Osama bin Laden is dead. Credit: Maya Alleruzzo / Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (108)

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Mitchell Young

"why persist in the unbelief?"

I, like John Boehner, will take the White House at its (ever-changing) word. But others are more skeptical...and given things like the Jessica Lynch, uh, embellishment


Or the Tonkin gulf 'incident'


maybe they have reason to be.

kalyn smith

I peronally think bin laden is still alive.Cuz how re we fat lazy americans going to finally catch bin laden after 10 freakin years???How do we really know he is dead?For all we know the goverment might just have given up and just had a shoot out in one of their simulator thingys.they just want to make us feel all safe and secure mean while bin laden is still out oplotting his revenge.


Abbottabad is in the east, close to India border and much further from Afghanistan -on the west. Pakistan administration and military luv'd that and kept their mouths shut.

Bush Sr-Head of CIA (before he became Prez) recruited Osama to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. They didn't know how much misery Osama would create later by turning against former boss-Sr Bush and employer- USA, by causing 911. Pakistan and Islam crusaders have caused lots of 911s within Asia (including India) and Africa- but the first one in the Americas.

India dueled Pakistan in 1971 and forced the split of Bangladesh (formerly East Pakistan). US and world should now cut off what's left of Pakistan and get rid of its nukes. Actually, at the end of 1971 Bangladesh war, Indian troops had penetrated into Pakistan to bust it up. But Prez Nixon sent in the 6th fleet into the Indian Ocean to protect Pakistan. 911 wouldn't have happened if Pak had been conquered in 1971 by Indian troops and whipped into shape- and there'd be no Paki nukes built.


Here's the thing: conspiracy theorists cling to their beliefs to satisfy certain emotional needs that have absolutely nothing to do with logic or common sense. Regardless of the merits of the argument, these folks will never change their opinions because it's not within their makeup to do so.

Stephen J. Smith

To the author of this article: are you basing your allegations on fact or just what you 'hope' is true?

1. No body.
2. No photos.

Until then, it's just your 'belief.'

Stephen J. Smith

Anotherwhiner: then the antithesis must be true. Hapless dupes who blindly follow a leader who offers not a shred of proof.

Such dupes are major causes of world problems.

Gerald J. Miller

My God, Al Qaeda itself is in on the hoax. The conspiracy is even broader than we expected!


Osama IS Elvis, and he (they) live(s)!

Terry Black

I won't be convinced until I see his long-form death certificate.

michael hardin

clearly, this piece only permitted the moronic deathers yet another venue to doubt reality.
obama was never born,
osama never died,
the world is 6000 years old.
my god, you're a bunch of blithering (and loud) idiots.
go to the washington times (not the wash post--it's a real paper) and annoy your like minded planaria.


Malcolm x was prepared for an Islamic burial by a Sudanese Muslim friend
Sheik Hashun, who wash and anointed Malcolm x's body in scented oils then wrapped it in
white sheets.

Public Advocate

The LAT post and Anotherwhiner are correct. OBL is dead but some zealots will never believe it. Their hatred of Obama and/or mistrust of the U. S. Government is a matter of Faith which cannot be challenged by facts or science or any rational arguement. It's best to ignore them unless they become dangerous at which point they have to be lanced like a boil.

Lulu Moore

Dear John Haley: Sho me the body and show us the photos of him getting eaten by sharks aka his funeral


i'm really sorry la times... but i'm reading "desperation" in this piece of party line propaganda, let's dissect it:
part 1: speculation ossamy bin has been hanging with elvis for some time. yes, he very well could have "been dead for years", either on ice or in cryo;
part 1a: the oceanic destruction of the most viable let alone valuable body of evidence in the world certainly goes against this lacking apologetic you're trying to peddle;
part 2: "according to the ap" according to what? they posit "The blood of the holy warrior sheik..." blah, blah, blah... copy any 12 year old can write.
in a world drowning in black ops, even this scenario of bogus "terrorist" disinfo/misinfo run by western intel is no new concept including websites. you yourself even self-cancel that alleged report, "Of course, there's no proof that the statement actually came from Al Qaeda...”
part 3: finally we must add "the ever-shifting versions" of this entire alleged account. a rainbow (appropriate word for this administration) of this has been at best a day one, to day two, to day three comedy of shoelaces tied together watching the yobammy team tripping at every step. we fall back to there is no apparent (simply ALLEGED) "confirmation from Bin Laden's comrades", more circular speculation. indeed as you proffer "why persist in the unbelief..." conversely then, why persist in the face of such strong opposing circumstantial evidence... evidence upon which some yet-to-shave jr. prosecutor can likely claim a conviction?
I track three “jihad websites” and a few normal arabic news sources and I need to inject, I must have missed this alleged ap “scoop”. What I did read is that osammy bin has a large outraged following of common muslims streaming into the streets. these people don't know the same as we don't know whether ossammy was dead on sunday night or ten years ago from kidney failure.
All lack of credibility squarely falls upon this inept yobammy administration. this/his bad pr coup is irreparably damaged and rendered worthless… that is unless this is more than some cheap-shot re-election ploy but also and/or rather an intended tactic to deliberately further polarize the country. (“by uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!” – john dickinson, the liberty song) fitting and plausible.
To consider that this was the alleged terrorist of all terrorist WHO WAS CERTAINLY OWED TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE... OR AT MINIMUM TO THE 9/11 SURVIVORS AND VICTIMS dead or alive, is beyond rational comprehension. this ALLEGED event is now covered up deeper than even the kennedy assassination.
The only question remaining is… what gives?


oh, and just for a post script: no shamelessness that you're obviously slamming all the detractors of this badly written novella.
when in written history has the messenger ever been casually welcomed through the front door?


Are you sure he's dead? I heard Osama and Glenn Beck are actually partners in a new media venture, 'The Blaze of Allah, Blessed Be His Name', and that Becks' sale of his Connecticut home is so he can move to Kandahar and join forces with 'The Sheik'. And starting in August they'll be touring in a show that promises to be a laugh riot, as well as spiritually uplifting, 'Beck/Bin Laden: Holy & Bold'. The rehearsals start in Peshawar on June 1.


Stephen J Smith: My. I don't recall ever seeing Elvis or Kennedy's dead body either, or 99.999999999999....% of ALL DEAD people.

Are you sure all those dead people are really dead? Could be a conspiracy, right?

Why is Osama Bin Laden's dead body so very special to you and yours that you require tasting his dead spleen? It just couldn't be because you and yours will forever deny anything positive that Obama does, could it? It just couldn't be that, could it? I mean, he's *different* than you and yours are in some fundamental ways, right? Just couldn't be that slightly darker skin color, could it?

don joebob

And becoming an icon. Not allowing us to see his death photo doesn't help.

See the best darn Osama art gallery on the web at.


This is just an attempt to pick a fight.


There will always be truthers, birthers, and...what do we call them...deathers? There will always be those who say Bush lied people died, Bush blew up the World Trade Center, Bush blew up the levys in New Orleans, all Republicans are racists, waterboarding didn't assist in getting Bin Ladin, etc., etc. Either nut cases or in total denial of truth.

Paul Stewart

The fact is that bin Laden is dead. No need for pictures. We know he is dead. No way this can be a fake. Its over and done. Get on with life everyone. A safer life once all the dust settles. The noise over not releasing pictures is childishness.


Why the persistent and blind belief?

Gregory Parks

The key to this story is the cell phone. The cell phone battery continuously broadcasts a GPS signal (whether it's in use of not), so authorities can identify where people using them are located. Civilian uses of this technology include things like "fish finders" for sports people, and car map "locators" on new vehicles. Police and military authories have a FAR more accurate version that let's them know where anyone on Earth is within a small radius (details of that are classified). So, we know how to "take out" anyone we need to, at any time, from a technical stand point. The decision then comes down to someone giving the order to "launch", whether it's a missle, or "laser-guiged bullet". The key is the need for many thoughtful people to be involved in the decision, as I'm sure it was here. As Winston Churchill put it decades ago "..Democracy is the worst form of government....except for everything else..."


You can't publish photos of Bin Laden otherwise they will get trolled on the internet, every tom, dick and harry will photoshop them into jokes of Bin Laden wrapped in bacon or dressed as a woman, the insults may lead Bin Laden's family to suing the US government for releasing them.


"Al-Qaeda" is a creation of the Pentagon, a straw man that they shake with strings whenever they need to scare us with a Boogeyman...into blind support for wars.


Everybody believes in a 9/11 conspiracy theory. The only question is which one: 1) the "inside job" theory, or 2) the Official U.S. Government Conspiracy Theory (a group of guys with boxcutter knives and rudimentary flying lessons).

common sense

Dear Padre Pete and other conspiracy theorists:

Hello. I am the voice of reason. I would ask you to take one moment out of your rabble-rousing, hysteria inducing diatribes to listen to me. If you truly believe that the government is faking Bin Laden's death, I ask you to consider, to what end? Obviously, it's an important event that helps them gain votes.

Yet have you noticed who is NOT claiming it is a false event? The military. What party do members of the military usually support at the polls? Republicans and the conservative right. By an overwhelming margin. And yet there they were today, the very base that trains and supports the troops that conducted this brave and historic mission, cheering on this great success, in fact tearing up in the background while Obama spoke today. THEY know the truth, the rest of the world knows the truth. Please tell me where in the constitution of the United States it gives you the right to view the slain bodies of enemies killed in war on foreign soil? Did you need to see the bodies of VietCong to know that a lot of them were killed?

The editors of the Times understand this and have supported the decision not to release the photos. Wisely. Please take your conspiracy theories back to where they belong: the lunatic fringe. I'm sure you will find a broad base of support there.


Common Sense

Sumero Kolcak

There is no way in hell if the president of united states wanted obama alive, he would have still been killed, US army has high tech gear to ensure they can catch osama alive if they wanted to, i suspect george bush received a call from obama and obama asked what to do, and bush requested osama to be killed, his texan style attitude really, he is all about fullfilling the legacy of his racist mother, and so the us troops in iraq, their chief receives a call from obama and obama tells them " captain you know what to do' or 'chief' something of that sort. when the chief responds with " yes president, we will do everything in our effort to capture osama alive, don't worry we have all the necessary hidden cameras and technology as well as 3 months worth intel about the building '.. 5 minutes later OBAMA calls the chief again with an angry tone of voice and says " well captain can you explain what you want to do again ? ".. of course all of the captain's staff is in talk with obama's close friends, and rumors begin spreading in their arena that obama wants osama dead because it's the only way bush is going to permit republicans to give obama a gift in the house, the captain responds with " yes president i perfectly understand, we are all on the same page here, if osama reacts we will shoot him fatally "..

think about it, a bullet to the head, not to the shoulder, not to the leg, not to the chest not to the chin, the forehead, precision you ask.

yes it's the high tech era, gadgets nowadays are precision based, if the target is a woman she gets shot in the leg, if the target is osama, it's bulls eye in the forehead's center.

because bush wanted it to. because obama works with 'both parties' because the senate has like 50+ republicans with powers to pass bills because obama has interests before he leaves presidency because we are talking about $billions of free american dollars that lean towards obama if republicans comply.

- Sumero Kolcak


Heh, this article is just throwing out a pack of doggie biscuits to a flock of boneheads -- kind of fun to see their inarticulate blatherings at this point because they have become so marginalized and such a vast majority of people recognize how stupid and crazy they are. But throwing doggie biscuits like this isn't so funny during those periods of time when the boneheads have their "45% of the repub party" thing going...


Ever notice that the longer the post, the crazier the content?


If He is dead God have Mercy; if they are playing that He is dead and then he is alive in their hands, they are gathering a lot of information, I feel sorry for this guy on one or the other.


one of the best written op-ed pieces analyzing and detailing this entire osammy vs. yobammy scam!



it's NOT my problem that the only common sense you have is your screen name. because if you read through my lengthly points (thank you la times) you'll see towards the end my mention to keeping the american public off balance. this is one of the primary means to retain political (read parasitical power).
where you read "conspiracy" is simply your own inadequate lacking ability to perform as a free thinker using ALL the facts at hand.
what makes you imagine this all happened simply because all those soldiers gathered around their yobammy-in-chief? likely NONE of them were anywhere this ALLEGED event... and not a peep from any who ALLEGEDLY were!
your argument is illogical and patiently unreasonable compared to what facts are at hand.
i see the times posted my op-ed link. i suggest you check that out.


Are you nuts? I won't believe a word of it until he shows us the long form death certificate!


My apologies to Mr Black who posted his remark earlier. Great minds do think alike.


And we wonder why American kids are 32nd in scholastic aptitude. They're just as DUMB as their parents.


This is a very interesting blog post. Since when have you ever directly brought into question any opposition to something which the Obama Administration puts forth before? Not on healthcare, not on any domestic issues, not on the Administration's stances on Libya, Egypt, etc. The President faces a constant barrage of negativity, criticism and opposition on nearly everything he does, presents and says. And yet you question the disbelievers on, of all things, THIS? Lol.

I am far from a right wing nut, but your blog post is very odd Mr. Healey.

Herb O'Fallon

I agree with Stephen J. Smith and PadrePete. The U.S. government likes Americans who don't question anything, who just take their word for everything. The U.S. government doesn't like Americans who have a mind of their own and use it to analyze what makes sense, remembering, too, that the government has lied to the American people on previous occasions.
It's unbelievable how many details of the raid changed over the first several days. The White House couldn't take a step (open their mouths) without tripping over its own shoelaces.
Call me a Conspiracy Theorist. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong. The U.S. Constitution gives me that right. So either way, I'm okay. But whichever way it is, at least I'm exercising the mind God gave me and am not just some programmed robot.

Herb O'Fallon

Or, I should say, without tripping over their own tongues.


This wasn't some personal crime tragedy, this was a NATIONAL tragedy! This affects us all! And I, for one, don't take the word of some guy, who's my age, who has lied before and flip flopped when it has been convenient for him and who has talked down to me as if I was a child! The storyline has been muddied because, unlike the Navy Seals, this administration doesn't know what they're doing. Simple. But, as I've said before, Obama can hunt small children in the forest with a crossbow and still stand a good chance of being re-elected! Ask Barbara Walters and Joey Bahar- they actually think he's the mastermind tactical planner who created the mission the Seals had to depend on! Ask NBC news- they think he's the Professor who became the General and saved us all! Such is the sickness of the media who cover for a puppet!


Of course Osama's still alive. He's in a cell right next to Elvis, and just three doors down from the Kryptonite alien dude from Roswell...


ofcourse he is dead...don't you BELIEVE everything the gov. tells you lol?Reptilians shape shift and they are really hard to kill...they didn't wanted to bury him in the ground because if he was dug up then everybody would know he was Pindar...come on guys get with the program.


The propeller beanie people sure are a hoot!

Michael Hoffman

Bodyguard of Lies protects the truth about Osama bin Laden

Los Angeles Times Says: Time to Stop Doubting the Media and Government

You really believe the American people are stupid. Or perhaps stupid is too inadequate a word to describe the depth of contempt the media and the government have for our intelligence.

Notice the resort to denunciation by association: moon flights, Elvis.

Hey media dorks, all we are asking for is a little something called e-v-i-d-e-n-c-e. We walk by faith when dealing with the Word of God. The government and the media are not God and do not speak the Word of God. With them, we walk by sight, because more often than not, they speak with a forked tongue.

For stating this truth we are ridiculed. For requiring forensic evidence we are mocked. For asking why the alleged body of Bin Laden was dumped at sea before being brought to the U.S. for forensic examination, we are scorned. For pointing to the imaginary story issued by the White House of a gun battle in the supposed Bin Laden compound, we are derided.

It is declared from the media on high, that we must believe Bin Laden was killed by Navy Seals in Pakistan last week because “Al Qaeda” has said so. Isn’t this the same Al Qaeda that issued a press release attacking George W. Bush, timed to coincide with the eve of the 2004 presidential election?

"President George W. Bush said his 2004 re-election victory over Sen. John Kerry was... aided by Osama bin Laden, who issued a taped diatribe against him the Friday before Americans went to the polls...'I thought it was going to help,' Bush said. 'I thought it would help remind people that if bin Laden doesn't want Bush to be the president, something must be right with Bush.” ("Bush says bin Laden tape aided re-election,” Reuters, Feb. 28, 2005).

The record shows that, as if on cue, "Al Qaeda" issued proclamations from its leaders at crucial moments when George W. Bush needed a boost in his presidency. In addition to helping get Bush reelected in 2004, "Al Qaeda” conveniently responded to his State of the Union speech on Jan. 23, 2007 announcing an additional 21,000 troops for Iraq, by challenging Bush to “send the entire army.” (“Group Says Al-Qaida No. 2 Mocks Bush,” AP, Jan. 23, 2007).

To what degree is Al Qaeda a creature of U.S. Intelligence agencies or their assets? Why is it naughty for America’s infantilized citizenry to ask these questions? Why are we being herded into Group Think on this subject?

Winston Churchill, the American government’s most esteemed foreign statesman, stated, "In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.”

Is this truism no longer the case? Have the Pentagon and the CIA suddenly been transformed into units of the Boy Scouts? Have they shuttered their psychological warfare departments? Of what does psy war consist?

What if the “truth” decided upon by the Cryptocracy is that Barrack Obama needed a boost in his sagging presidency, and that the ghost of Osama bin Laden had to be resurrected in order to achieve that objective? Bin Laden has not been seen in public in any verifiable appearance, since the American carpet-bombing of his redoubt in the Tora Bora mountains of Afghanistan in December, 2001, where it is believed by intelligence analysts such as Ghislaine Alleaume, a historian and Arabist at the French national research center, that he was killed.

There’s one final hole in the Obama administration/Establishment media account of the "raid on Bin Laden in Pakistan,” and it’s the size of the Grand Canyon. They now tell us there was no gun battle, just a lone sentry on the ground floor who was quickly neutralized. Everyone else in the compound was without a firearm. Navy Seal Force Six, possibly the most formidable commando unit on earth, then proceeded to kill Bin Laden and his aides rather than capture them alive.

Those of you who have a police detective or prosecuting attorney in your family, or among your acquaintances, without mentioning Bin Laden, please ask them which they would prefer the police do when they have apprehended a murderer and his gang — kill or capture them? Almost invariably, the answer will be “Capture them," because no computer disk or hard drive is equivalent in intelligence value to what can be elicited by interrogators from the perpetrators themselves.

And yet, the Navy Seals needlessly executed the leader of the western world’s most feared terror network, thereby forfeiting priceless sources of intelligence on terrorist operations which could have been extracted from him. Anyone who questions why this would have been done if it really were Bin Laden that had been apprehended, is made the object of scorn and ridiculed as a “conspiracy theorist."

We’re dealing with a case in which the story changes day to day, the body cannot be produced and the alleged execution of the master criminal violates the most basic procedures of any police department in the United States.

But how dare we doubt the tale? To do so is equivalent to doubting the death of Elvis. To be considered a patriot, we must believe and obey the bodyguard of lies in this, the low bottom twelve of the history of America.


I believe Osama is dead, but I'd still like to see the pictures. But then I also believe that Lee Harvey Oswald killed Kennedy, that Americans landed on the moon, that Elvisv is dead, that Obama was born in the USA, and that George W Bush did not plan the 911 attacks.

Gayland Combs

come on. enough of this. he's dead. end of story. now let us move on.

Bill Sardi

Uh, let's see, we were supposed to believe "Gulf of Tonkin" and "weapons of mass destruction," and "mission accomplished," and just when the reigning President needs to boost his public rating for his re-election, that a semi-muslim, semi-Christian President captained the gunning down of a villain the CIA had admittedly monitored for 2 years, and since bin Laden had been known to have doubles, we dispatched our brave and bold stealth-helicoptered Navy Seals against a weakly armed foe with obvious instructions to shoot him in the face (so if it was one of his doubles, well, so what?). The news media is not doing their job, which is to be skeptical. That something happened in Abbottabad is certain. That we left a burned up helicopter is certain. But the White House story changed three times and just how did they obtain DNA confirmation from his sister's DNA in such short time? If bin Laden was shot and killed, US intelligence is either inept or intentionally delayed his assassination to spy on his plans. If bin Laden's lair had a telephone and computers, then he should have easily been captured at an earlier date. The weekend he as killed, gold had soared $50 on Ben Bernanke's statement the Federal Reserve was going to print even more money and proceed with planned inflation. Without the bin Laden story, the financial markets may have tumbled that day. Good timing. It's all for theatre.

Lucky nelson molekoa

I declear that osama isn't dead coz he has been using so many weapons to protect himself.he can't just die easly.infact he is a devil's son!.

Lucky nelson molekoa

I declear that osama isn't dead coz he has been using so many weapons to protect himself.he can't just die easly.infact he is a devil's son!.

Lucky nelson molekoa

I declear that osama isn't dead coz he has been using so many weapons to protect himself.he can't just die easly.infact he is a devil's son!.

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