Now that Osama bin Laden has been found and killed, it's just a matter of time before the conspiracy theorists start coming out of the woodwork. I'm going to beat them to the punch and offer up these theories in advance. If you are a conspiracy theorist, consider this a favor — I've done the hard work for you.
So here they are, out of left field and in no particular order:
- It wasn't really him — I mean, they apparently did a DNA test, but did you see it? Neither did I. Maybe bin Laden had already died somewhere in Afghanistan, or was presumed dead, and the US government just wanted bragging rights. The fact that theyburied his body at sea means this theory isn't going to go away anytime soon. Photos of his body would help, however.
- He was actually killed earlier — This possibility suggests that bin Laden had actually been killed quite a while ago, but the announcement was delayed until it was politically expedient, or perhaps until he was no longer effective as a source of fear. It becomes a bit harder to defend when one considers that the raid was quite public and probably witnessed by neighbors, but I suppose that could have been staged to look like the real thing.
- He tried to surrender but was killed anyway — The basis of this theory is that the US government wanted to avoid a lengthy and controversial show trial that could drag on for years, and simply wanted to kill him and be done with it. Actually, an anonymous senior official has already said that it was a "kill operation".
- Pakistan knew all along — If you read all the details about the compound where bin Laden was holed up, it should have raised some red flags within Pakistan's government long ago. It was in a military neighborhood for goodness' sake! How did nobody know? Pakistan wasn't told about the operation that killed bin Laden — was that out of fear they'd tip him off and allow him to escape?
- The date of the announcement is suspicious — May 1st is International Worker's Day. It's also the anniversary of the founding of the Illuminati. But perhaps most conspicuously, the announcement came 8 years to the day after Bush's "Mission Accomplished" speech, suggesting that this time the mission is well and truly accomplished.
Some of these theories seem to have some logic to them, but on the whole I can't say I believe any of them fully. The possibility that he actually died years ago while fighting in Tora Bora seems to hold the most weight, in my mind at least.
Have I missed anything? Let me know if you hear of any other theories, and post your links in the comment section below.