Be Wary of People and Sites Claiming to Have Photos of bin Laden Dead (Update: Obama Vows Never to Release the Real Photos)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Cnn says via a breaking news email that they are not going to release the photo now. Yes, I am convinced the bastard is dead. But I am concerned about those in the Muslim world who (1) can be convinced, but (2) do not trust the word of the President. And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the people who lost loved ones on 9-11 might need that visual verification for their own sake. So once again Obama is withholding basic evidence on a topic and expecting us all to be satisfied. Only this time, it’s not the American people who will doubt him, but the Muslim world. And I thought he cared about their opinion?
Now certainly the word of the daughter is helpful, but that testimony is problematic, because it is fanciful in other details. So a reasonable person might dismiss both accounts as dubious. Which leaves us nothing but the White House’s word on the subject and the word of a scientist who claims to have matched DNA. That is not nearly enough.
The original post follows.
Besides the danger of having egg on your face like the NRO and I do, there’s an actual danger involved. Just as hackers put malicious programs emails asserting that they have pictures of Anna Kournikova, they are doing the same thing with fake pictures of bin Laden:
As U.S. officials debate whether or not to release bloody pictures of a dead Osama bin Laden, hackers and scammers are using links and emails promising those pictures to try to infect your computer.
The FBI says these emails could even appear to come from your friends, claiming to show either photos of bin Laden dead or a video of his death.
But it’s actually a virus or malware that could steal personal information or cause your entire system to crash.
Officials also warn that internet searches can also direct you to sites with malware or virus. And the bad links are also popping up on Facebook and other social media.
As of now, they say there are no released photos or videos.
I doubt that this is terror related. More than likely they just figure it’s something that people really want to see, like pictures of the tennis star.
Which is interesting because it is a testament to how big the story really was as well as the assertion that there were around 5,000 tweets a second at the height of the Osama story.
Anyway, read the whole thing.
Meanwhile the White House can’t seem to figure out if it wants to release the photos or not. Right now, guys, we technically only have your word and the word of a scientist who verified the DNA. Do you really think that is even close enough for the doubters who can be convinced?
Of course there are people in the Muslim world who will believe anything…
But although conspiracy theories in that part of the world can get pretty nutty, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t present sufficient evidence that would convince reasonable people.
And it certainly helps that one of bin Laden’s daughters is saying he is dead–even if she is making up a fictional story of having him brought out before his family and being killed.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]