It’s disheartening to see how many people all over the world are just accepting the OBL story with no proof at all, purely on the word of a group of known liars. For the last decade we have heard almost nothing about Bin Laden that hasn’t come from people with zero credibility and strong motives to mislead the public.
We know nothing for sure, but based on this week’s news, it is very likely that the man is dead, if only because this group would not make its claim if there were any risk of him popping up alive. The complete lack of evidence*, lame excuses for such**, changing story***, and the incentives of the storytellers lead me to believe this is pure fabrication. He may have died years ago from kidney failure or in some other assassination scenario to keep him silent. By 2011 he had long lost his usefulness as a bogeyman, so the PR points were harvested.
That’s my opinion. Other conclusions could certainly be drawn, but they are baseless if they rely solely on statements from the US government. After all, the government is nothing but a group of self-interested individuals with very low professional ethical standards for whom lying is second nature.
* An image of a dead OBL would not constitute proof, but the only photos from the scene so far released were purchased by Reuters from a Pakistani guard who took them 1 hour after the incident. They show three dead men and no arms other than a neon water pistol. I’m inclined to believe that they haven’t released an OBL image because a) they don’t have a real one, b) there are too many people skilled at identifying fakes, and c) the public is so credulous that they don’t need to try.
** Islamic law does not require immediate burial, just that dogs and rats don’t chew up the corpse.
As for the photo being too gory, gore doesn’t even bring an R rating anymore, and the world is used to seeing Muslim bodies mangled by the US military.
*** First OBL was firing from behind his wife and they both were killed, then he was unarmed and not hiding behind her and she was shot in the leg, then she was also reported dead. Oh, and photos show that the “million dollar mansion” or “compound” is just a crumbling, unairconditioned house like any other in this dingy town (they all have walls around the property, as is typical in that part of the world).