by J Michael Waller, BigPeace / Breitbart.com – Some people will never believe the facts, no matter how effectively presented. But for those of us who are convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead, it’s still imperative that the U.S. government show the forensic evidence.
Evidence is important for several reasons. Survivors of al Qaeda attacks worldwide need and deserve closure. Americans and citizens of other coalition countries invested a fortune in hunting bin Laden down, and they deserve to see the result. Citizens of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Arab countries – civilizations where conspiracy theories that sound bizarre to American ears are treated seriously – need to know that this particular report of bin Laden’s death is indeed true. Our friends need to be reassured. Our enemies must have no doubt that Americans will stop at nothing to hunt down those who attack us.
It would have been important to place the al Qaeda leader’s body on display for all the world to see – just as it was vital to show Iraqis that their chief tormentors, Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay, were indeed dead. But now that bin Laden’s body has been sent to the bottom of the Arabian Sea, the most convincing proof is gone.
The war against international terrorism is, above all else, a war for information and public opinion. The United States has waged the intelligence and military dimensions of the war as brilliantly as humanly possible. One cannot say the same about the information and public opinion side.
The U.S. government’s delay in providing physical proof of bin Laden’s death risks turning a brilliant American victory into a public relations setback. ABC News is reporting that, from America to Pakistan, everyday people are demanding proof. Already, conspiracy theorists are arguing that bin Laden isn’t really dead, while serious people who simply ask for proof of death are branded as “deathers,” a takeoff from “birthers” of presidential birth certificate skepticism.
Providing the world with proof is a diplomatic and national security question, not a partisan political one. For the full text of this article on BigPeace.com/Breitbart.com, click here.