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The conspiracy theories that Osama bin Laden isn't really dead continue.
May 5, 2011 1:18 PM   Subscribe

The Osama Bin Laden conspiracies (CBC The Current radio segment) Jonathan Kay has been giving a lot of thought to the conspiracy theories that have emerged since the attacks of September 11th. He's the Comments Page Editor at The National Post and the author of Among the Truthers: A Journey into the Growing Conspiracist Underground of 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings and Internet Addicts (released next week)

The Current segment (linked to in this FPP) started off with an exchange between the deputy leader of Canada's new official opposition Thomas Mulcair and the CBC's Evan Solomon has catupulted the NDP into a bizarre controversy: NDP deputy leader doubts bin Laden photos exist


The suggestion that the Obama Administration might not actually have any photographs of Osama bin Laden's dead body started making waves immediately and within a few hours, the NDP was in damage control. Last night, the party sent us a statement from MP Paul Dewar saying the NDP is happy the United States tracked down Osama bin Laden and that the party quote, has no reason to doubt the veracity of President Obama's statement.
posted by KokuRyu (92 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMG what if all the different conspiracy theorists are... colluding or... something...
posted by odinsdream at 1:27 PM on May 5, 2011 [9 favorites]


Even if real photos were released, there would still be these conspiracy theories. So I agree with Obama's decision not to release them - for the little reassurance it would give, the larger extent that it would be used to incite rage in Bin Laden's followers is not worth it.
posted by lizbunny at 1:28 PM on May 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


It seems it was taken totally out of context and the actual NDP MP quote is uncontroversial. (Surprise.)
posted by mek at 1:31 PM on May 5, 2011


From the other way too unwieldy thread: Yeah, but, come on: "Armored Hounds."

Was I the only person disappointed by the lack of a photo of a dog in sunglasses, combat headphones and body armor with missile launchers on its back?


Looks like at this point artistic renderings of what exactly happened will become a mini-cottage industry unto itself and I welcome the many fantastical renderings of this momentous event come to life through the eyes of the fantasy and sci-fi and cosplay community. I predict there will be recreations of what happened with the various Star Wars archetypes at the various Dragon-Cons and other "cons."
posted by Skygazer at 1:31 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings and Internet Addicts

HEY NOW!
posted by Splunge at 1:33 PM on May 5, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm more interested in Osama bin Laden memes. Just say'n. ;)
posted by jeffburdges at 1:34 PM on May 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Here are some photos, they will end conspiracy theories about this event once and for all.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2011


Even if real photos were released, there would still be these conspiracy theories. So I agree with Obama's decision not to release them - for the little reassurance it would give, the larger extent that it would be used to incite rage in Bin Laden's followers is not worth it.

They cold have broadcast the raid live, flown the dead body to the White House, dumped it on the lawn for everyone to see and there would still be conspiracy theories.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:35 PM on May 5, 2011 [28 favorites]


Another photo.
posted by gerryblog at 1:37 PM on May 5, 2011


I welcome the many fantastical renderings of this momentous event come

I will give this brand-new shiny quarter I have in my hand to the first person who renders the bin Laden compound, bin Laden and his family and couriers, the Navy Seal team (including dog), AND the wrecked chopper in LEGOS.
posted by Danf at 1:37 PM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think I'm going to start saying I was part of Seal Team Six (retired), and charge a mere $50k per lecture or super-market/used car lot appearance.*


*Memail me for more info. Thx.
posted by Skygazer at 1:38 PM on May 5, 2011


It seems it was taken totally out of context and the actual NDP MP quote is uncontroversial. (Surprise.)

After listening to the exchange, Mulcair's comments didn't seem to be take out of context at all, although it's quite possible he spoke without thinking about what he was saying.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:41 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hell, I might just begin saying I'm Bin Laden himself, and I'm alive and well (having escaped the raid,) and moved to Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

All I need is to grow the beard and a couple of inches more of height.

Well, more like eight inches more of height, but at this point, Osama is anything wants him to be isn't he so like whatevs...
posted by Skygazer at 1:43 PM on May 5, 2011


Its funny how this is often a reaction to events. Nothing is as it seems. Why do people do this?
posted by Ironmouth at 1:43 PM on May 5, 2011


lizbunny writes "Even if real photos were released, there would still be these conspiracy theories. So I agree with Obama's decision not to release them - for the little reassurance it would give, the larger extent that it would be used to incite rage in Bin Laden's followers is not worth it."

See for example the people claiming we never landed a man on the moon despite extensive photographic evidence, LRRR still hitable today and the huge number of people directly involved not to mention all the guys who actually did it.
posted by Mitheral at 1:44 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm more interested in Osama bin Laden memes. Just say'n. ;)"
posted by jeffburdges

they are absolutely brill mate.

also: have fun with this: 911 a false flag op. (i actually wiki'd the guy to check some of their facts, and they big-him up a bit tbh)
posted by marienbad at 1:44 PM on May 5, 2011


MetafilterFreeRepublic: 9/11 Truthers, Birthers, Armageddonites, Vaccine Hysterics, Hollywood Know-Nothings and Internet Addicts
posted by Threeway Handshake at 1:45 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


"See for example the people claiming we never landed a man on the moon despite extensive photographic evidence"

Yeah totally. Also the vid of the astronaut testing Gallileos theory by dropping a brick and a feather (afair) is just fab.
posted by marienbad at 1:46 PM on May 5, 2011


Don't you know anything? It's a hollow brick.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:48 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bin Laden conspiracies?

He was on the grassy knoll. He was only five, but that never stopped a sufficiently motivated zealot, he knew that killing Kennedy would inspire us to go to the moon which would, in turn, defeat his hated enemy, the Soviets. Since the technology didn't exist to actually get to the moon, he used his families vast wealth to help NASA fake the lunar landing.

Since then, his actions have been largely responsible for funneling huge amounts of money into the military industrial complex, virtually crippling the economy of the US in ground wars that he proved a quarter century ago are unwinnable.

Also, he's one of the men in black.
posted by quin at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


So we have the folks who think he's been dead since 2001, the folks who don't believe he has ever been dead, and those who believe that we have now made him dead. Aside from a faction who believe he is UNdead, I think we've got him pretty well covered.
posted by speeb at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2011


911 a false flag op

I can do even better as a Denierist of 911. I have incontrovertible proof it never happened whatsoever.

It was a CIA experiment in mass hypnosis induced by an electromagnetic synapse disturbance field and the towers are still there, but no one can see them. BUT IF YOU FEEL AROUND ABOVE GROUND ZERO...THEY ARE STILL THERE!!!
posted by Skygazer at 1:50 PM on May 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


I will give this brand-new shiny quarter I have in my hand to the first person who renders the bin Laden compound, bin Laden and his family and couriers, the Navy Seal team (including dog), AND the wrecked chopper in LEGOS

The (updated) NMATV video has everything but the legos.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:51 PM on May 5, 2011


Bin Laden is dead...long live Bin Laden!
posted by telstar at 1:54 PM on May 5, 2011


At least O.J. finally got the killer.

... whoops
posted by Smedleyman at 1:55 PM on May 5, 2011


I think Jon Stewart made a good point on his show about the Bin Laden photos: People shouldn't be shielded from the horrors of war, for one, and for another foreign news shows bloody and gruesome pictures all the time, so the idea that it would somehow offend people in the middle east doesn't make much sense. If they've seen pictures of the corpses of children killed by U.S. bombs would seeing Osama really offend them anymore?
posted by delmoi at 1:55 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Except I shall see in his chest the hole of the bullet, and put my finger into the hole of the bullet, and thrust my hand into the exit wound in his skull, I will not believe.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:58 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read one of the most cogent comments I've seen on why conspiracy theorists don't make sense here on MetaFilter in the huge OBL thread, from anigbrowl. To quote part of anigbrowl's response to someone who complained about the US "systematically lying to me all my life":

Second, it is true that the US government has lied to the public many times during the last 48 years. But the idea that this amounts to a systematic campaign of deception is irrational. The federal government is a huge organization that governs a huge country and which is staffed by fallible human beings, many of whom are replaced every election cycle. Disagreements are inevitable in such a system, given the wide variations of interests, beliefs, and capabilities in American society. Extreme disagreements will involves disputes about ethical matters, for causes ranging from matters of principle to venality, ass-covering and sometimes corruption.
posted by bearwife at 2:01 PM on May 5, 2011


I think all these conspiracy theories are an adaptive response to 9/11.

9/11 clearly was a conspiracy, but we didn't see it as it was developing despite many opportunities to do so. If we had, stopping it would have been a triviality.

Why didn't we see it? Because there was a horrible shortage of conspiracy theorists, of course, now thankfully remedied.

Don't get fooled again if you want to be able to put food on your families.
posted by jamjam at 2:03 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


juiceCake's comment in that same thread is good on the same point: It seems to be that genuine skepticism would lead one to feel that there is a very low possibility that Osama is still alive and very skeptical that Obama and the like would bother making the claim that he is falsely, just because U.S. governments have lied before. Have they never told the truth? Why doesn't that count?

Sure it's quite possible that he isn't dead but skepticism is the last thing to lead to such a conclusion given the context and circumstances.

posted by gerryblog at 2:05 PM on May 5, 2011


After listening to the exchange, Mulcair's comments didn't seem to be take out of context at all

No, they were just repurposed. Mulcair's comments were spun as "I don't believe Bin Laden is dead" when in fact they were "I don't believe Bin Laden was killed in self-defense." The former is stupid; the latter is pretty self-evident, if undiplomatic.
posted by mightygodking at 2:09 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like how certain less honest news outlets are stoking the hoax claims for front-page skimmers with headlines like "PHOTO PROVING BIN LADEN'S DEATH TO SENATORS WAS FAKED!", failing to mention that this wasn't an official photo handed out by the White House, but a bad photoshopped image from years ago that had been showed to them by aides on a smartphone.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:15 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


So we have the folks who think he's been dead since 2001, the folks who don't believe he has ever been dead, and those who believe that we have now made him dead. Aside from a faction who believe he is UNdead, I think we've got him pretty well covered.

You seem to be implying that he actually existed at some point. When will you cast off your blinders and realize OBL was a fictional construct of the Cabal?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:24 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The bottom line in any conspiracy is how it affects the average Joe American. Let's compare the Bush conspiracy where he manufactures WMD evidence to start a war with Iraq with Obama's death of bin Laden conspiracy. Bush's conspiracy led to an expensive war that had an impact on the country's finances and gas prices. Obama's conspiracy gave Americans hope that Al Qaeda was finished and that justice was served at the price of one helicopter.
posted by JJ86 at 2:33 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rachel Maddow opened her show last night with a pretty good analysis of why the photos weren't released, including looking back at prior photo releases of persons killed by the US in its pursuits and how those scenarios played out. It's worth watching.

Transcript will probably be available here in about a week.
posted by hippybear at 2:34 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


OBL was a fictional construct of the Cabal?

As if I needed another reason to hate Madonna and her absurd religious tourism.
posted by Copronymus at 2:39 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't wait for the entertaining conspiracy theories that arise when Abe Vigoda does or doesn't pass away.
posted by juiceCake at 2:43 PM on May 5, 2011


Abe Vigoda is still alive?

/Sorry that's the first thing I always think, regardless of the fact I know he's still alive. It's strangely entertaining.
posted by Skygazer at 2:45 PM on May 5, 2011


I can't wait for the entertaining conspiracy theories that arise when Abe Vigoda does or doesn't pass away.

You shut your mouth.
posted by Nabubrush at 2:47 PM on May 5, 2011


Skygazer, if you ever need to know if Abe Vigoda is still alive, just go here.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:50 PM on May 5, 2011


Aside from a faction who believe he is UNdead,

Does this mean in a few weeks time Zombie Bin Laden will shuffle out of the ocean somewhere along the Atlantic sea board with an unquenchable hunger for BRRRAAAAAIIIIINNNSSSS!!!!
posted by Skygazer at 2:50 PM on May 5, 2011


9/11 clearly was a conspiracy, but we didn't see it as it was developing despite many opportunities to do so. If we had, stopping it would have been a triviality.

This brings up a point that I may have mentioned on the blue before. "Conspiracy theory" has now passed into general usage as "nutbar wacko plot" to the point where even a theory involving an actual conspiracy (19 guys on four planes) cannot be called that.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:52 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Skygazer, if you ever need to know if Abe Vigoda is still alive, just go here.

Can we trust the people that run that site? What is their agenda? Where is their proof? Is their proof reliable? I haven't seen Abe Vigoda on television since the deodorant commercial so this should convince all of us he's really dead.
posted by juiceCake at 2:53 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I got into a barroom argument with a Moon landing hoaxer the other day, and his position really confused me. He said he thought that we actually went to the Moon (perhaps earlier than the "official" landing) but that the photographic proof was faked because the equipment was too heavy, or not good enough, or something.

So maybe we actually killed Osama, and maybe we'll eventually see "photographic proof". But that "proof" will be fake because we don't yet have the ability to take pictures of things.
posted by brundlefly at 2:54 PM on May 5, 2011


"Conspiracy theory" has now passed into general usage as "nutbar wacko plot" to the point where even a theory involving an actual conspiracy (19 guys on four planes) cannot be called that.

So just a "Conspiracy" then? ;)
posted by longbaugh at 2:58 PM on May 5, 2011


9/11 clearly was a conspiracy, but we didn't see it as it was developing despite many opportunities to do so. If we had, stopping it would have been a triviality.

Why didn't we see it? Because there was a horrible shortage of conspiracy theorists, of course, now thankfully remedied.


No, I think the conspiracy nuts were busy with Vince Foster's suicide and David Icke's Reptilians at the time. We were short on people with functional brains in the oval office.
posted by benzenedream at 3:00 PM on May 5, 2011


No, they were just repurposed.

I know it, you know it, but it probably won't matter. This is prime grade-A Conservative talking point material.
posted by Hoopo at 3:01 PM on May 5, 2011


Thomas Mulcair is officially weird. I mean, either the guy thinks the US faked the whole thing, in which case all Osama has to do to permanently destroy the credibility of the US is release another video holding up today's paper, or, as Matt Gurney points out, he accepts that a huge variety of difficult-to-do things took place with hugely expensive equipment, but simply can't believe that someone would take a photo of the guy's corpse. Unbelievably strange.

Hey, at least he speaks French, lives in Quebec and is no longer a teenager, which is more than can be said of some of the NDP's Quebec MPs.
posted by Dasein at 3:17 PM on May 5, 2011


Juicecake: I haven't seen Abe Vigoda on television since the deodorant commercial so this should convince all of us he's really dead.


Yeah, and just imagine Abe Vigoda with a long beard and a Kalashnikov rifle and shit gets really weird.
posted by Skygazer at 3:21 PM on May 5, 2011


they were just repurposed...

Trauma repurposed is a key sign of pathology.

At least that's what I get from movies and TV.
posted by Skygazer at 3:23 PM on May 5, 2011


they were just repurposed...

I don't understand why the NDP should get a free pass for saying stupid (and blatantly anti-American) things
posted by KokuRyu at 3:28 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


also: have fun with this: 911 a false flag op. (i actually wiki'd the guy to check some of their facts, and they big-him up a bit tbh)

I couldn't find any independent information about that guy when I looked. The only people who talk up his credentials appear to be conspiracy theorists.
posted by Hylas at 3:31 PM on May 5, 2011


Everyone is trying too hard to rationalize Obama's decision not to release the alleged photos. As an athiest, I need proof before I believe this kind of seemingly carefully planned-out media stunt.
posted by weezy at 3:33 PM on May 5, 2011


As an atheist, I need proof weezy really needs proof before I believe weezy needs proof.
posted by gerryblog at 3:51 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


They cold have broadcast the raid live, flown the dead body to the White House, dumped it on the lawn for everyone to see and there would still be conspiracy theories.

Yeah, 'cause that's pretty much what happened with the moon landing, except for someone getting shot. Which is a shame 'cause the lunar module pilot of Apollo 14 was a bit of a jerk.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:59 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm begining to think the Easter Bunny didn't really deliver the eggs for the White House Egg Roll.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:03 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why the NDP should get a free pass for saying stupid (and blatantly anti-American) things

They're not getting a free pass. They're getting pounced on for it, and in some cases unfairly--look at Dasein's link to the National Post.

Thomas Mulcair is officially weird. I mean, either the guy thinks the US faked the whole thing, in which case all Osama has to do to permanently destroy the credibility of the US is release another video holding up today's paper, or, as Matt Gurney points out, he accepts that a huge variety of difficult-to-do things took place with hugely expensive equipment, but simply can't believe that someone would take a photo of the guy's corpse.

Well, no, he doesn't have to think either of those things and he's since clarified his remarks. He thinks the photos won't validate the narrative that was constructed of how the raids took place. Which is perfectly reasonable, they probably won't no matter what. You may have to look at sources other than the Post's editorial page.

Christ, how predictable.
posted by Hoopo at 4:07 PM on May 5, 2011


So maybe we actually killed Osama, and maybe we'll eventually see "photographic proof". But that "proof" will be fake because we don't yet have the ability to take pictures of things.

well duh, what do you expect when you cut costs by hiring a dog as your assassination photographer?
posted by mannequito at 4:12 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've come to the conclusion that a person's inclination to believe in a conspiracy is based more on their opinion of the person who reported the information than the facts in the matter.
For example if Bush told me Bin Laden was dead I probably wouldn't believe it without proof, because I think he and his crew are lying devious motherfuckers, but I don't think Obama is a liar so I believe BinLaden is dead.
posted by Liquidwolf at 4:13 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Skygazer: "I think I'm going to start saying I was part of Seal Team Six (retired), and charge a mere $50k per lecture or super-market/used car lot appearance.*


*Memail me for more info. Thx
"

Phony Navy SEAL of the week (not necessarily this week - but this dude has a whole series of 'em! If you do this, maybe you can be featured!)
posted by symbioid at 4:14 PM on May 5, 2011


NDP guy: "if there are other things that can prove or disprove whether or not there was a weapon and whether or not there was an issue of self-defence as opposed to a direct killing, then that also becomes germane with regard to international law and American law."

Obama: "we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to."
Obviously, the NDP guy missed the significance of Obama's remarks. International law? WTF?
posted by fredludd at 4:15 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good grief, Jonathan Kay makes it out to be a tragedy we're not all of monolithic monotheistic "faith" anymore (were we ever thus?) He then goes on to ascribe to 9/11 truthers a "need to reduce the world's complexity to good-vs-evil fables". Jonathan Kay strikes me as singularly imperceptive.
posted by telstar at 4:18 PM on May 5, 2011


look at Dasein's link to the National Post.

Heh, I tended to agree with the NP opinion piece he linked to. Look, (and I say this as someone who voted, albeit reluctantly, for the NDP candidate in my riding, someone who has knocked on doors for the NDP in a provincial election, and as someone who has done research work for an NDP MP candidate), the NDP is in the big leagues now. It's open season, and they have to play a defensive game if they want to achieve a majority. Mulcair could sound, I dunno, a little more measured and less cranky.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:25 PM on May 5, 2011


Phony Navy SEAL of the week (not necessarily this week - but this dude has a whole series of 'em! If you do this, maybe you can be featured!)

Wow. That is lame. How hard could it be to pretend to be a kick-ass OBL killin' Navy Seal. Sheesh..

Unless of course some big scary dude challenges you to a fight. In wich case you put on your frogman equipment...

and run like hell!
posted by Skygazer at 4:32 PM on May 5, 2011


You seem to be implying that he actually existed at some point. When will you cast off your blinders and realize OBL was a fictional construct of the Cabal?

I've heard this from at least one person. The idea is that he was created to be a convienent boogeyman, like Saddam Hussein in that X-Files episode.
Incoherent distrust of America runs deep, though America has lied in the past.
I also blame fiction that's conditioned us not to believe a character is dead unless we see the body. We also need it for some closure.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:45 PM on May 5, 2011


delmoi writes "I think Jon Stewart made a good point on his show about the Bin Laden photos: People shouldn't be shielded from the horrors of war, for one, and for another foreign news shows bloody and gruesome pictures all the time, so the idea that it would somehow offend people in the middle east doesn't make much sense. If they've seen pictures of the corpses of children killed by U.S. bombs would seeing Osama really offend them anymore?"

It's not about the images being to offensive to view it's about trophy taking. Trophy taking that wouldn't prove anything as I'm sure the CIA has photoshoppers at least as good as Worth1000. If you don't believe the government when they say Osama is dead why would you believe they didn't doctor a photo?
posted by Mitheral at 4:46 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abe Vigoda is Harry Dean Stanton?
posted by zoinks at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2011


I think Jon Stewart made a good point on his show about the Bin Laden photos: People shouldn't be shielded from the horrors of war, for one, and for another foreign news shows bloody and gruesome pictures all the time, so the idea that it would somehow offend people in the middle east doesn't make much sense. If they've seen pictures of the corpses of children killed by U.S. bombs would seeing Osama really offend them anymore?

I thought Stewart's step into hardcore editorial there for those couple of minutes was brilliant and should be seen by a lot more people. As a country's populace, we've been so shielded from the reality of the wars we've been fighting for the past decade, there's really no horror felt about it by the masses. I've wished for a while that we had more REAL coverage, bloody and gruesome and everything that war is. It would keep it all from seeming like a videogame (another point Stewart makes during his little speech). But as long as those who find it better that we're in an endless war feel it'll be better to keep the US media consumers shielded from seeing the reality, we'll continue to not see it.
posted by hippybear at 4:50 PM on May 5, 2011


bin ladens father died in a plane crash
bin ladens brother died in a plane crash

coincidence.
posted by clavdivs at 4:58 PM on May 5, 2011


Heh, I tended to agree with the NP opinion piece he linked to. Look, (and I say this as someone who voted, albeit reluctantly, for the NDP candidate in my riding

The point was clarified by the Foreign Affairs critic well before the editorial went to print, and Mulcair's response today was great, I thought. The editorial was a cheap hatchet job and paid no mind at all to the subsequent remarks that: "If they've got pictures of a cadaver then there's probably more going on than we suspect in what happened there...I think that if the Americans have taken pictures in that circumstance, it won't be able to prove very much as to whether Mr. [bin Laden] was holding a weapon," which makes it pretty clear he hasn't ruled out that photos exist. It was a stupid comment to be sure, but to agree with the editorial is to assume a lot about Mulcair in bad faith.

But yes, much as I hate to say it they will need to learn how to speak more clearly in easily digestible soundbites or this will continue to happen.

FWIW this is the first election I didn't vote NDP. Always out of step, I guess.
posted by Hoopo at 5:11 PM on May 5, 2011


they were just repurposed...

I don't understand why the NDP should get a free pass for saying stupid (and blatantly anti-American) things
posted by KokuRyu at 3:28 PM on May 5 [1 favorite −] [!]


Mulcair's intial response to the question was so bizzare - I thought for an instant that he was reading off the Glenn Beck playbook. His subsequent explanation gives more clarity to his choice of words - but still - I kinda don't care if OBL had a gun or not, or if he was defending himself or trying to hide.

He certainly did not give that choice to the people killed on 9/11.
posted by helmutdog at 5:19 PM on May 5, 2011


Jack Ruby. The Sands Hotel with the Zimmerman telegram.
posted by clavdivs at 5:37 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Roswell connection:

Wreckage of U.S. copter in bin Laden raid mystifies aviation analysts
posted by KokuRyu at 5:43 PM on May 5, 2011


There are so many holes in this Bin Laden story, my trypophobia is acting up.
posted by telstar at 6:32 PM on May 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


he's since clarified his remarks

A politician's "clarifications" are always good evidence of his original meaning.
posted by Dasein at 6:57 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm. This is an interesting take on why there will always be people who believe that Elvis is till alive, or that Marilyn Monroe was killed by the mob instead of committing suicide, or Michael Jackson was murdered, etc.:

“There’s [an] instinctive notion that a king cannot be struck down by a peasant,” Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his massive 2007 study of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Reclaiming History. “Many Americans found it hard to accept that President Kennedy, the most powerful man in the free world—someone they perceived to occupy a position akin to a king—could be eliminated in a matter of seconds by someone they considered a nobody.”

That quote struck me because, just today, I was talking to my oldest son about bin Laden and he was mentioning how he didn't even feel like bin Laden was a real person, that he was like this bogeyman. He'd heard so many reports about bin Laden being, basically, evil incarnate.
posted by misha at 7:34 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Heh? Elvis died straining on the toilet trying to squeeze out an opiate-impacted turd. There was no "nobody" assassinating him.
posted by telstar at 7:53 PM on May 5, 2011


how he didn't even feel like bin Laden was a real person, that he was like this bogeyman.

Yeah, this is what concerns me. What with the Arab Awakening and history moving on, the whole "al qaeda boogeyman" thing was getting pretty threadbare. Which meant the narrative had to be ended, naturally in a way that glorified the military and torture. Now that that's done, a new narrative is probably being being cooked up. No telling what we're in for as the US tries to get back in the international spotlight.
posted by telstar at 7:59 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was no "nobody" assassinating him.

Every prescription he had filled was like loading another bullet in the gun, man...

/dennishopper
posted by hippybear at 8:12 PM on May 5, 2011


Says Mr. Kay: "the phenomenon is doing real damage to the unity and health of North American society"

Well now, shall we blame the victim? Or perhaps it is the damage done to unity/health by corruption and piracy which has bred "the phenomenon". That there's something rotten in our Denmark is indisputable and empirical.

A few days ago Bill Black asked: why were there a hundreds of fraud convictions after the S&L debacle of the late 80s, and none after the "40 times larger" recent rape and pillage which cost America $10trillion "that's 10 thousand billion" and 10 million jobs? When we see that shit going down, how much more shit is going unseen?

What's doing "real damage" is the so-called leadership ... and I can't imagine rapacious extra-terrestrials pillaging and poisoning the world any more deliberately or effectively.
posted by Twang at 9:10 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conspiracy guy I work with is now saying that OBL actually died of kidney failure in 1974. At least, that's what another coworker told me he said; for some reason, he doesn't talk to me about that sort of thing very often. Possibly he's prejudiced because I'm one-quarter Reptilian. Or it's the laughter.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:20 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


why were there a hundreds of fraud convictions after the S&L debacle of the late 80s, and none after the "40 times larger" recent rape and pillage which cost America $10trillion "that's 10 thousand billion" and 10 million jobs? When we see that shit going down, how much more shit is going unseen?

1- The S&L convictions took time to close up. From the future, that history looks like a single point, but it took years to happen. I'm sure where fraud is found, there will be prosecutions.

2- It is just as plausible that the recession was going to happen, and that's what triggered the mortgage crisis.

3- It is also possible there wasn't any fraud going on. It was an asset bubble that popped, that was unfortunately highly leveraged.

4- $10 trillion? Really? Who got this $10 trillion stolen from America?

5- This is why people believe in conspiracy theories. It is too hard to fathom that bad things can happen as a result of chance and mass blundering. It is more comforting to believe in a world that is under control, even if that control is wielded by nefarious forces, than to believe that "shit happens". This is why we invented the gods. To give some context to things we just don't understand. So nowadays it is passe to invent a new Thor. So we manufacture a cabal.
posted by gjc at 5:52 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is also possible there wasn't any fraud going on.

It's possible, but it's also not part of reality. There was plenty of fraud going on, starting at the level where mortgages were being granted to people without jobs being written by mortgage agents whose goal was simply to get signatures on paper and not write quality loans... all the way to the ratings companies who took the sliced-and-diced mortgage bundles and gave them AAA ratings when they had no idea about what was really in the packages. And various steps in-between and beyond on either end were also thoroughly corrupt.

If you think there wasn't any fraud happening, then you haven't been paying attention.
posted by hippybear at 7:13 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure where fraud is found, there will be prosecutions.

In order for that to happen, they would have to be looking, and I'm not convinced that has been, is, or every will be something that actually occurs. It seems like nowadays, in order to be prosecuted, you have to do something so egregiously and outlandishly bad that you, by simple virtue of the absurdity of your crimes, have entered into the realms of cartoonish super-villainy (e.g. Madoff).
posted by quin at 7:25 AM on May 6, 2011


gjc: Points 2 and 3 indicate you haven't done even the slightest amount of reading on the financial crisis in the U.S.
posted by odinsdream at 7:26 AM on May 6, 2011


It seems like nowadays, in order to be prosecuted, you have to do something so egregiously and outlandishly bad that you, by simple virtue of the absurdity of your crimes, have entered into the realms of cartoonish super-villainy...

Or you have to be attempting to steal from the rich. I would say that the banksters' crimes were egregiously and outlandishly bad, but they got away with them because the government kept the rich from losing much.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:56 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yup. If Madoff stole from you and me instead of the Mets it would be different.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:06 AM on May 6, 2011


hippybear and delmoi, I don't think that showing pics of dead bin Laden or dead Iraquis or dead American soldiers would suddenly awaken the US populace to the realities of present wars-videogames and movies and tv shows depict such "realistic" violence that actual gore seems fake and piddling, and our register for images of suffering/death/etc is so deeply fucked that any hope of moral calibration is futile-we would first need to unsee on a national scale.
posted by generalist at 9:11 AM on May 6, 2011


I don't think that showing pics of dead bin Laden or dead Iraquis or dead American soldiers would suddenly awaken the US populace to the realities of present wars

Perhaps not... but I'd welcome the opportunity to test your theory for a solid year or three while we're still at war. Let's see what happens. Either we're so inured to it as a group that it will have no effect, or the idea that having death and dismemberment being piped into our homes will change the way we view war as a society at this point in time. Either way, the results will be interesting and worth learning, I think.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on May 6, 2011


A politician's "clarifications" are always good evidence of his original meaning.

I'm not sure why you would assume he doesn't believe photos exist at all. Again, you would have to assume something in bad faith, that Mr Mulcair is crazy or stupid rather than merely someone that said something that sounded crazy or stupid. Which you've obviously done. Everyone knows it's not hard to take photos or video these days. If American troops are taking snapshots of tortured prisoners and dead bodies, there's no reason to think they wouldn't document something as important as a raid on Osama bin Laden himself.

Frankly, Mulcair sounds to me like someone you'd like, Dasein. He worked with Alliance Quebec on behalf of English speaking Quebecers, and acted as a lawyer with the Appeal Commission on the Language of Instruction in Quebec for access to education in English.

Anyways, this is going to be a long 4 years.
posted by Hoopo at 10:02 AM on May 6, 2011


you would have to assume something in bad faith

No, you would just have to listen to the plain meaning of the words he spoke. He wasn't ambiguous, and there's absolutely no basis in what he said for the spin he's subsequently tried to put on it.

It's nothing personal against Mulcair. I'm sure he's a good guy. But I think his explanation of his words is totally unconvincing. There just wasn't any ambiguity in what he said.
posted by Dasein at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2011


A note to gjc's speculation that "It is also possible there wasn't any fraud going on":

There are reports the FBI knew about 'massive mortgage fraud' in 2004.

I suggest you listen to what Mr. Black had to say in the nearly hour-long segment I linked .. or in one of this series of videos. Mr. Black has plenty of credentials in this area, since he has the credentials to support his statements.
posted by Twang at 8:23 AM on May 12, 2011


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