Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is not buying the news that Osama bin Laden is dead after all these years. "I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you're stupid," Sheehan wrote on Facebook. She's one of the more visible in the ranks of bin Laden death deniers, or "Deathers" as Slate's Dave Weigel dubs them. In a fast-moving digital age, conspiracy theories only need a few hours to take hold.
"Just think to yourself--they paraded Saddam's dead sons around to prove they were dead--why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea?" explained Sheehan, who famously protested outside then-President George W. Bush's Texas home after her son died in Iraq. "This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent--just put your flags away and THINK!" Sheehan is far from alone. The New Republic's Jonathan Kay reports that a mere 12 hours after President Obama announced bin Laden's death, 9/11 conspiracy theorist Kevin Barrett had posted his essay about why it must be a hoax. "Bin Laden has almost certainly been dead since December 2001, when far more reliable reports of his death were published," Barrett wrote on Truth Jihad.
"That means the guy they killed and threw in the ocean must have either been a ghost, or one of Bin Laden's many reported doubles. The controlled demolition of the World Trade Center, which pulverized about 3000 people into dust in a few seconds, was the most elaborate and spectacular ritual human sacrifice ever orchestrated. Now, almost ten years later, an almost equivalently unspectacular human sacrifice has been arranged to reinforce the sacred myth of the original sacrifice, which founded a new, homicidal pseudo-religion."
At Global Research, David Ray Griffin explains that the government has been pretended bin Laden is alive for years, issuing "fake bin Laden tapes" as "one part of an extensive propaganda operation, in which the US military intelligence is using tax dollars--illegally--to propagandize the American public, with the aim of furthering the militarization of America and its foreign policy."
Deutsche Presse-Agentur's Aya Batrawy reports on other conspiracy theories already circulating in Cairo: that bin Laden was a CIA agent, that Americans killed him in the mountains and brought his body to the city, that it's a way to scare Muammar Qaddafi. "I don't think that they killed him,' she said. 'Obama is glorifying himself because of the upcoming elections," a journalism student said.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.