Friday, January 2, 2009

Where in the world is Osama Bin Laden?

(My deepest apologies to all who, like me when I wrote it, are dismayed by the cheesiness of the cheap play on "Carmen San Diego." I'm sure its been done before, I just haven't had time to Google it yet.)

Really now, where is he? Some say he's hiding in London, Pakistan, Afaganistan, Turkey and others say he's been dead for some time but the mystique keeps up curious. Me? Well, I don't have a single clue on the matter. But, in the snippets of time (and I do mean snippets) I spend thinking about it, I find it hard to disuade the intuition that we, the USA, would have found him by now if we really wanted to.

But alas, I have no juicy conspiracy theory to go with that intuition. Its just a hunch. The reason its so strong, though, is largely because I am slowly learning that when any government, especially the USA, is asked these kinds of questions (like where?, who?, how?, when?, and, that deepest one of all, why?) -- which is the exception to the rule of unquestioned belief in the State, or, at least, what the States tells us about itself -- all kinds of embarrassing things spill out and stain the carpet of naivete with deep red stains of blood, booze, and lipstick.



brogonzo said...

I'd also suspect that we could have found him if we'd really made a concerted effort... however, the window of opportunity for that may have passed.

My best guess would be northern Pakistan, with Somalia a close second. These seem to be difficult places to get into, even for our notoriously dirty CIA operatives.

responds said...

"Dirty" is a cheap word for people you don't know, Ian.

Questions like these, which, due to many recent or nearly recent failures have come up more frequently, remind people that what we naturally want to believe, namely our government's omnipotence, is at best a facade.

Belief in conspiracy can actually be discredited by evidence such as the failure to catch OBL. People believe in conspiracies because at heart, secretly, many cling to the idea that those that protect us can do anything. A well crafted conspiracy is proof of it. But the fact is, government is cumbersome and complicated, conspiracy is even more so.

To answer your question, he's a caveman now so, does it really even matter? Cost/benefit game theory might lend credibility to letting him die of kidney failure rather than rolling over sensitive relationships to put a toe tag on him.

brogonzo said...

"Dirty" is a perfectly accurate word for the people I'm describing.

Here is a link to the CIA's 1963 "KUBARK" interrogation/counterintelligence manual. I suggest reading from where I've linked to through the section on "Coercive Interrogation," and then looking up the various dictators and military juntas the CIA has sponsored over the past several decades. I think using the word "dirty" constitutes a significant amount of restraint.

brogonzo said...

Here is the link:

Adam said...

A president with a popularity level in the mid to high 20s, who staked his reputation as being tough on terror would have trotted out Bin Laden long ago if it was within his power.

Bin Laden is in Pakistan which is an area that his bigger and more lawless than most Americans can even conceive of. It's not hard to imagine him still on the run if you understand the facts.

I hold a very deep belief that governments are by and large too stupid to engage in conspiracy.

samrocha said...

I certainly do not understand the fact. Which is why I never proposed an intentional conspiracy, of course.