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Fox News/New York Times: "Bin Laden is Dead"

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The Bush administration, it seems, has kept Bin Laden alive for about seven years now, despite reports by the Fox news network that the alleged terrorist mastermind has been dead for years. On December 26, 2001, the Fox network reported that Osama bin Laden died of "serious lung complications" in mid-December of that year. If so, it means that Benazir Bhutto was correct to say that bin Laden is dead but it does not mean that she misspoke when she said that bin Laden had been murdered. The original Fox report is as follows:
Fox News: "Bin Laden Already Dead" Wednesday, December 26, 2001 Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader. "The Coalition troops are engaged in a mad search operation but they would never be able to fulfill their cherished goal of getting Usama alive or dead," the source said. Bin Laden, according to the source, was suffering from a serious lung complication and succumbed to the disease in mid-December, in the vicinity of the Tora Bora mountains. The source claimed that bin Laden was laid to rest honorably in his last abode and his grave was made as per his Wahabi belief. About 30 close associates of bin Laden in Al Qaeda, including his most trusted and personal bodyguards, his family members and some "Taliban friends," attended the funeral rites. A volley of bullets was also fired to pay final tribute to the "great leader." The Taliban source who claims to have seen bin Laden's face before burial said "he looked pale ... but calm, relaxed and confident." Asked whether bin Laden had any feelings of remorse before death, the source vehemently said "no." Instead, he said, bin Laden was proud that he succeeded in his mission of igniting awareness amongst Muslims about hegemonistic designs and conspiracies of "pagans" against Islam. Bin Laden, he said, held the view that the sacrifice of a few hundred people in Afghanistan was nothing, as those who laid their lives in creating an atmosphere of resistance will be adequately rewarded by Almighty Allah. When asked where bin Laden was buried, the source said, "I am sure that like other places in Tora Bora, that particular place too must have vanished."
If Fox was correct, then Bin Laden could not have issued a video tape of October 29, 2004 --just two days before the US election. It was a tape that many pollsters and pundits believe swung the election to George W. Bush over John Kerry.
On October 29, 2004, two days before the US elections, the Arab television network al-Jazeera sprung an October Surprise by broadcasting a videotape of a healthy looking bin Laden addressing the people of the United States in which he took responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks. He also condemned the Bush government's response to the attacks, and presented the attacks as part of a campaign of revenge and deterrence begun after personally seeing the destruction of the Lebanese Civil War in 1982. See 2004 Osama bin Laden video. President Bush opened up a six-point lead over John Kerry in the first opinion poll to include sampling taken after the videotape was broadcast. [21] Walter Cronkite found the video very convenient for the Bush administration, and said of it "I'm a little inclined to think that Karl Rove, the political manager at the White House, who is a very clever man, he probably set up bin Laden to this thing." [22]

--Colin Bett, A 'Conspiracy Theory' Too Far?

Not only Fox, but the New York Times also reported the death of Bin Laden.
Osama bin Laden is dead. The news first came from sources in Afghanistan and Pakistan almost six months ago: the fugitive died in December [2001] and was buried in the mountains of southeast Afghanistan. Pakistan's president, Pervez Musharraf, echoed the information. The remnants of Osama's gang, however, have mostly stayed silent, either to keep Osama's ghost alive or because they have no means of communication. Click for full sized image With an ego the size of Mount Everest, Osama bin Laden would not have, could not have, remained silent for so long if he were still alive. He always liked to take credit even for things he had nothing to do with. Would he remain silent for nine months and not trumpet his own survival?

--New York Times. July 11, 2002

NYT has apparently re-published the story. The original publication date was: July 11, 2002. Fox, it would appear, scooped the NYT but, apparently forgot what they had reported. The issue of bin Laden's pulse surfaced recently when the venerable BBC clearly censored remarks by Benazir Bhutto to the effect that bin Laden had been murdered. It still fair to ask why the BBC would have deleted only that portion of the interview. Following is the original, unedited version in which Bhutto states that Bin Laden had been murdered.
The BBC's Censored version can be found here. A fallacious rationalization has surfaced: Bhutto misspoke, that she had meant to say "Daniel Perle". There is absolutely no logical reason to believe that Bhutto misspoke. She did not pause. She did not struggle to find a name. Secondly, only an idiot would mistake Bin Laden for Perle. Bhutto is not an idiot. Even if Bin Laden were alive, it would not prove that Bhutto misspoke, only that she was wrong. Not the same thing. In fact, Bhutto was probably correct that Bin Laden is dead but wrong about the cause of death.
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Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The (more...)

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