Patterico's Pontifications


Osama Dead?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 1:43 am

I don’t know, but Ace seems to think so. He’s got fireworks going and everything.

Here is why he thinks so:

PARIS (AP) – The head of terrorist network al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, has died, according to information from the Saudi police, transmitted by the Directorate-General of External Services (DGSE), and reported on the Lorraine daily newspaper L’Est republicain in its Saturday edition.

“According to a commonly reliable source, the Saudi police believes that Osama Bin Laden has died,” said a September 21st confidential note from the DGSE classified as “defense.” L’Est republicain will publish it in its Saturday edition. The note, specified the daily newspaper, would be re-printed “un-edited.”

According to the note to be published by the L’Est republicain, the Saudi police “would try to obtain more details, in particular the location of the burial site, and then announce the news officially.” The DGSE specified in the note that no “jihadist Internet site has for the moment been made aware of the death of Osama bin Laden.”

According to the note, “the head of al Qaeda may have fallen victim to a strong case of typhoid fever while in Pakistan, on August 23, 2006,” and may have died within a matter of days.

The French news organization transmitted this note to the President of France, to the Defense and Prime Minister and the Ministers of the Interior Department on September 21, according to the regional daily newspaper, which added that a prior note transmitted on September 19th to the leaders of France explained why the Saudi police “sought to confirm the death of Osama bin Laden.”

That’s a Free Republic link — apparently a translation of an AP France story.

Can’t be an October surprise. It’s still September.

Well, it’s a completely unsubstantiated story. We’ll see what the morning brings. It sure would be nice.

(H/t See Dubya.)

UPDATE: See Dubya notes that this isn’t even on Drudge yet. While the Man with the Fedora snoozes away, some of us bloggers are hard at work bringing you news of unsubstantiated rumors.

OK, I gotta go to bed now.

UPDATE x2: I lied. It’s 2:13 a.m. and I’m watching Fox News Channel. They’re not saying a word about this.

Google News and the wires have nothing. This is just weird.

UPDATE x3 2:18 a.m.: Via See Dub, Reuters has the story here. Nothing new, but the lede makes it clear how shaky this is:

A French regional newspaper quoted a French secret service report on Saturday as saying that Saudi Arabia is convinced that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan last month.

Now I really am going to bed.

UPDATE x4: Mary Katherine Ham has a big roundup. She puts a lot of faith in whether Drudge is running it as his lead story, which gives too much credence to the Man in the Hat for my taste. Pakistani and Saudi authorities sound skeptical. The U.S. Government is not saying much, but this seems to throw cold water on the story:

U.S. officials have suggested that his death would be accompanied by a surge of e-mail and telephone chatter among bereaved al Qaeda members, if not an actual announcement from the militant network.

But officials said they were not aware of any such chatter in recent weeks.

Stay tuned. Gateway Pundit has another roundup.

UPDATE x5: Captain Ed is skeptical. So is Hinderaker. As I think we all should be.

27 Responses to “Osama Dead?”

  1. Hmm.

    I can only hope its true, however about a year ago I’d decided the dude had to be dead and he popped up in a video a week or so later.

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Not that it really makes that much difference anymore from a national security perspective, at least from the PoV of what Bin Laden can do to us. If he’s alive he’s long since been effectively neutered.

    Dwilkers (a1687a)

  2. Osama bin-Laden Dead….Again?…

    Could this possibly be true? Was it something I said yesterday…..
    Via WND I find in the early hours of this morning that a French daily newspaper L’Est Republicain has published that the al-Qaeda leader Osama bin-Laden died within days of contractin…

    All Things Beautiful (72c8fd)

  3. Well saudi arabia is convinced.

    actus (10527e)

  4. Fox just reported it, without any new details.

    I guess typhoid would be as good a death as any for him.

    Pablo (08e1e8)

  5. Unconfirmed reports that Osama bin Laden is dead…

    Since that b*st*rd Castro won’t have the decency to stay dead when I report it I am shifting targets.
    The  French newspaper L’est republican is reporting that Saudi Arabian police have told the French DGSE that Osama bin Laden died o…

    Independent Sources (dd41d6)

  6. So which is it right wingers? If Osama is alive it does not really matter, but if he is dead it is a great thing.

    The Support Bush At All Costs Syndrome is still alive and well. Of course the fact that your presnit didn’t have nuthin to do with enemy number 1’s death or capture will not trouble your little minds. If it had been Clinton HOLY MOLLY.

    Paul (4ab6a8)

  7. Oh, bullshit, Paul.

    Osama is definitely not worth sending two divisions bounding and clanking across the landscape in pursuit of a single man. For me, personally, the ideal would be for him to live forever in perfect health and total irrelevance, unregarded, unrespected, and ridiculed. He’s been near to that for a while.

    If he’s dead we can forget about him entirely. Lagniappe.

    Putting Bush, Cheney, Rove & Co. as the ultimate source of every bad thing in existence is just as much a case of invalid focus as claiming they can do no wrong.


    Ric Locke (c109ff)

  8. Oh, bullshit, Ric.

    Who cares what your ideal would be when the reality is there for all to see.

    Osama planned,financed,and carried out the 9/11 attack and is now a beloved figure in much of the Arab world. Every day that goes by with him free aids the perception that terrorists can attack America and get away with it without consequence. It is hard to beleive I even have to debate this with a fellow American.

    If you all now say that it is no big deal that Osama is alive and well, or dead, then I say that the only reason you feel that way is because it is Bush who has failed us and many have a mental block when it comes to admitting any failings of Big Brother Bush.

    Bush, Cheney, Rove, are not the ultimate source of every bad thing that happens. The ultimate source is the lazy American people who know nothing of their own history and are now willing to accept torture as if it were no big deal, when it goes against every value I grew up believing America stood for.

    As long as Americans sit back and accept what is happening to their country things will continue to decline. There can be no democracy without the participation of the masses.

    Patterico said, “You sound like Glenn Greenwald.” Thanks for the compliment.

    Paul (4ab6a8)

  9. osama dead or not dead? bring me the head of the corpse and i’ll have forensic analysts look at it, after which i will anoint it with bacon grease and embed it in a solid block of clear lucite for my mantel.

    assistant devil's advocate (bd2929)

  10. Paul, you are hysterical. Anyone who believes that the American style of torture involves pain is an idiot. Any sane person would prefer being a prisoner of the US Army as opposed to being held in Attica and certainly our version of torture certainly does not frighten anyone. If it frightens you, you need to get around more rather than sit all day swallowing leftists slogans.

    As for Osama living in a cave somewhere like a rat, that is fine with me, since I believe death is too good for him. Certainly whether he is a live or dead doesn’t matter since it was never about him. Muslims learned way before 9/11 in Jimmy Carter’s day, that America would do nothing.
    The hostage crises emboldened them, nothing to do with killing or not killing OBL. The time to have killed him was BEFORE 9/11. Now it’s a moot point.

    bernie (6d773f)

  11. Bin Laden’s Death Saddens Me…

    I’ll tell you why in a moment. First, here’s the swirl of news bits: French investigate report of bin Laden’s ‘death’…

    planck's constant (59ce3a)

  12. On the First Day of Ramadan……

    …the French news gave to me….the (maybe) death of Osama B….
    (Proving once again that Yaks can make a song out of anything.  Truthfully, the header was originally going to do with the fact that the news broke on Rosh Hashanah – the da…

    The Random Yak (dec680)

  13. LIve by the sword, die by the sword, paul.

    Rove’s beat you again at your own game.

    And wasn’t it really the French who originally created the vile attempt to discredit Joe Wilson and destroy his femme fatale?

    They’re in on it again, for sure. You never know who your friends are, eh what, paul?

    J. Peden (918fce)

  14. Eh what J. Peden?

    You make about as much sense as Sesame Street on LSD.

    Learn to speak coherent english then I’ll debate ya.

    Paul (4ab6a8)

  15. If Osama, alive in hiding and occasionally popping up with a pronouncement from on high, is a hero-figure, what shall we expect of an Osama being pursued by ten thousand American troops with M1A2s, Apache Longbows, and the whole kit of high-tech toys, popping up to thumb his nose and disappearing into the cracks and crevices?

    The big problems with the “law enforcement” paradigm are two: addressing the symptoms rather than the disease, and access. The problem is a pervasive attitude, not a single malign individual plotting destruction. Doing Osama in would do nothing whatever about the attitude — and when Joe Friday comes asking for information, and the person being questioned knows for sure that the imam will call in the heavy squad to kneecap him if he rats, and the LAPD will do nothing whatever to protect him or discourage the goons, how likely is anybody to get “just the facts, ma’am?”

    Treating Osama as the source of all the trouble is lionizing him just as certainly as any Islamic propaganda. The man doesn’t matter. What matters is getting other Islamics to ignore him and follow some better leader and/or philosophy. If you can’t and won’t do that, “getting Osama” will return more bad results than good.


    Ric Locke (c109ff)

  16. “Learn to speak coherent english then I’ll debate ya” Paul

    Try thinking about it first. That would be new.

    J. Peden (918fce)

  17. Ric, I agree that the larger problem is a pervasive attitude, but your conclusion that capturing or killing Osama would do nothing to affect that attitude seems doubtful to me.

    If that is the case we may just as well stop the war in Afghanistan, as even a “win” in the war would not change the “attitude” there.

    Remember, we are debating on a assistant district attorney’s site. If we were to follow your logic that capturing or killing the bad guy after the fact had no affect on the pervading attitude, then he would be out of a job except for bloging. I propose that getting the bad guy does have a negative perceptual affect on other bad guys, though I don’t have the data to back it up. It just seems like common sense.

    Paul (4ab6a8)

  18. Paul is right. Osama bin Laden has been immortalized. Unlike Hitler and Mussolini whom we crushed like roaches along with their followers and ideologies. Unless we are willing to extirpate every radical Islamist and remake every Muslim nation in accordance with western civilization as we did with Germany and Japan. Which we are not. Yet. I hope that we will not leave it for our children to do it. If they can by then.

    nk (5a2f98)

  19. I don’t know if it’s “really” better to have bin Laden around, or not. If we get him, fine. If we don’t, so what? That’s life, and it’s a *consistent* approach to have, not a hypocritical one.

    What is interesting, though, is that many others want his place – especially Faux Liberal Democrat Leaders. They most want his high attention quotient. So they attempt to sound like him, even appear to be his “brother”, and actually abet his malignant ends. Naturally, Bush is the “real” enemy.

    It is obvious to me that what such Faux Liberals do and manifest makes no sense in terms of bettering the World, the Country, or even their own Party, which they may well have finally destroyed. Faux Liberals epitomize the antithesis of Classical Liberalism, at the very least.

    Republican strategists know these things, as do many other people. Sounding like bin Laden or appearing to agree with him is just not a winning strategy, imo.

    It’s high time Faux Liberal followers ask themselves, “who’s cheatin who?” Do they really want to elect “bin Laden”? Or do they want to defeat him? [Little Milton]

    Trying go gin-up a pseudo-issue about alleged Republican hypocrisy as to how important bin Laden’s current existential status is is a pure diversion from the real issue of our continued existence. It’s the result of a delusionary mechanism, taken advantage of by brilliant strategists who themselves want to be elected “bin Laden”.

    J. Peden (918fce)

  20. …we may just as well stop the war in Afghanistan, as even a “win” in the war would not change the “attitude” there.

    All of which is to say that you don’t actually know what’s going on in Afghanistan, and by extension in Iraq. You have an impression, and that impression is wrong; furthermore you have a sense of what ought to be happening — and it’s not only wrong, if it were correct it would have been stupid and futile from the start, and so was never considered.

    You and the rest of the proggs (not “liberals”, you haven’t been remotely liberal in a long time) see it as punishment, don’t you? Revenge. They hurt us, so we’re supposed to hurt them, so Afghanistan is OK because the Taliban were part of the system, but it’s wrong to take revenge on Saddam, because he wasn’t. And we ought to be hunting Osama down, because he was the mastermind.

    Which is bullshit. That wasn’t the goal, and to the extent it’s been allowed as a goal it’s strictly a PR effort. In both places, the war — in the sense of military units meeting one another — is over, and has been over for a long time. What’s going on now is an attempt at attitude changing, and in reality Afghanistan is less successful than Iraq in that respect. The reason for the Iraq war is exactly what Bush said it was: to remove Saddam and let Iraqis build a Saddam-free country. In Afghanistan the desired end-state is Afghans building a Taleban-free place. It’s not for revenge. It’s not for punishment. There are people around who believe both things, and some of them are useful as supporters, but they aren’t running the show.

    As for Patterico being a prosecutor, well, that system has unfortunately been breaking down for a long time; it was never particularly strong to begin with — see the last few chapters of David Copperfield. It depends on convincing the malefactor that what he did was wrong; that is, the criminal is assumed to be a part of the society, and accepts his punishment as a part of the society. Even in the absence of that, we’ve discovered, as Westerners, that systematizing and codifying our revenge-system is a good thing to do, but it is absolutely ludicrous to extend even that, much less the philosophy of “conviction”, to people who aren’t part of our society and in fact feel themselves obligated to destroy it.


    Ric Locke (c109ff)

  21. If he’s dead, I guess it’s good, but I kinda wanted his head on a pike on the White House lawn, or fed to pigs.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  22. Amen, Ric. It’s amazing how Faux Liberals think “torture” to extract info is instead punishment. You nailed the “punishment” model as not being a rational approach toward solving problems, like dealing with sadomasochists who want to kill us and erase our values.

    Faux Liberals are instead talking about themselves in several ways, one of which, imo, seems to be that they think *they* deserve to be punished or forced to “confess”. Which makes them a perfect foil for the Islamofascists.

    Nor are Fliberals rational in the slightest. In my view, they threaten to give Chaos a good name.

    J. Peden (fd4d7d)

  23. We need to keep UBL and anything said about him, in context and focus.
    1. ‘The Saudis reported…’ OKaaaay and NOW we are going to start trusting them again? So thats a problem with the report.
    2. UBL is wanted for his part in the terror attacks of 9/11/2001. Really, thats what we want him for. But some of our ‘Tinfoil Gladiators’ have a tendency to pile all the good/Evil of a an argument on a person. (Bush is the problem for everything, UBL is the reason for terrorism).
    Keep it in focus if he’s dead, good then I won’t have to pay to keep him in GITMO if not,w’ll get him. Sooner or Later we’ll get him.

    paul from fl (464e99)

  24. Osama bin Laden could be dead, we just don’t know. But if he has died, al Qaeda will tell us soon enough, telling us how the Great Man defied the Evil Crusaders, how they never caught him, and how he died safely in his own bed, untouched by all of the malevolence of George Bush.

    Expect videotapes of the great funeral.

    Dana (1d5902)

  25. Perhaps this is a ruse because Osama has travel plans for Ramadan

    Hepzibah (840487)

  26. Featured on BuzzTracker… (db9469)

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