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Joe Guzzardi Is Osama bin Laden dead or alive? Evidence says he's gone

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Joe Guzzardi

Posted: Saturday, September 11, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 7:00 am, Sat Sep 11, 2010.

On the ninth anniversary of al-Qaida's Sept. 11 attacks against the U.S., the cable television channel Investigation Discovery will broadcast its in-depth look at how it is possible that in nearly a decade no one has been able to find or kill Osama bin Laden. The special, titled "Why Is bin Laden Alive?" and hosted by CNN's national security analyst, Peter Bergen, will air Sunday.

Despite the world's biggest, most expensive and longest-standing search, bin Laden, the main enemy in the war against terror, is still at large and has virtually vanished from sight.

The ID documentary will probe why, given the United States' sophisticated surveillance technology and capabilities, America and its international allies have not been able to capture the man who killed nearly 3,000 of its citizens and who remains an ongoing threat to national security.

While the U. S. government and major media outlets like CNN insist that bin Laden is alive and hiding in the tribal territories on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, compelling evidence exists that he is long dead, possibly since late 2001.

Numerous U.S. experts in counterterrorism and counterinsurgency agree. They point to a Dec. 2001 video in which bin Laden appears gravely ill from kidney disease. They also mention the total cessation since Dec. 2001 of any surveillance intercepts of bin Laden communications.

Furthermore, during the months immediately following 9/11, various high-level officials in the U.S. and Pakistan governments, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Pakistan's former President Pervez Musharraf, also speculated that bin Laden was dead.

But, if true, those views would not support the continuation of what President Barack Obama and former Vice President Dick Cheney call "the long war." In other words, a dead bin Laden makes the argument for continuing the Afghanistan War harder to sell.

That raises the main point to be considered on this grim anniversary: What purpose is there in extending the Afghanistan War?

Through the first week of September, U.S. casualties in Afghanistan total about 1,200. Although less significant than the human cost, the fiscal burden is acute. The cumulative cost of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, including spending for veterans and foreign aid, exceeds $1 trillion. Given the nation's $12.9 trillion debt, it's increasingly difficult to justify the conflict.

The war's feasibility is under increasing scrutiny in Congress.

In March, Congressional opponents led by Dennis Kucinich urged a debate on the House of Representatives floor on a resolution to end the eight-year war by bringing the troops home. The debate took place as Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, on a recent visit to Afghanistan, suggested that a drawdown of U.S. forces could begin before July 2011.

Kucinich's objective was to force Obama to withdraw U.S. forces within 30 days of passage of legislation to end the war by the House and Senate.

Although the Kucinich measure lost 356-65, it provided war opponents a chance to express their frustration with the continued troop buildup in Afghanistan and to go on record that the original mission of U.S. forces, defeating al-Qaida, is lost.

What Americans should realize is that we are in a period of endless and expensive war. The House recently approved $37 billion in extra war funding for the balance of 2010, and the Obama administration wants another $159 billion for 2011.

Most outside observers estimate that when and if the conflicts end, the total outlay will be between $5-$7 trillion.

If you are worried about your Social Security account, medical costs and America's crumbling infrastructure, your first concern should be the wisdom of Operation Enduring Freedom. If the United States wasn't spending trillions on foreign wars that cannot be won, more money would be available for domestic services that would improve our quality of life.

Joe Guzzardi is a Senior Writing Fellow at Californians for Population Stabilization. Contact him at guzzjoe@yahoo.com.

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Welcome to the discussion.

8 comments:

  • Joe Baxter posted at 11:32 am on Sat, Sep 18, 2010.

    Joe Baxter Posts: 1849

    I am sure al qaeda wants the US to believe bin laden is alive. They would think that bin laden poses a greater threat than al qaeda would be without him. If he is dead, I am sure they would go to great lengths not to reveal that fact. Yeah, I also recal "O" shooting his mouth off that GWB failed to get bin laden but HE would, Laughable at this point, like most everything else that egomaniac says he has accomplished.

     
  • Alice Dodson posted at 8:43 am on Fri, Sep 17, 2010.

    Alice Dodson Posts: 20

    I think Joe Guzzardi makes many interesting points. The US has always gotten involved in everything there is, spending trillions of dollars we don't even have.
    As far as Bin Laden, who really knows??? Everyone has an opinion and that is just what it is until there are actual facts. I don't think anyone really knows, yet we continue to spend all this money looking for him.
    I wish people would quit attacking others personally for what they write in this column and concentrate on writing better posts themselves with maybe some actual facts for a change.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 3:28 pm on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 10:14 pm on Mon, Sep 13, 2010...he imagines that he has read something that does not in fact exist! One does not write a, oh, let's call it a supposition or "speculation

    Joanne... I am so sorry I offended you... you do have an expertise at putting great energy and thought into matters that make no difference and have no value... I expect someday you will write a novel explaining why the chicken crossed the road... How dare I think it was to get to the other side... I will try to eliminate humor for you.. as it may cause you stress and anxiety in understanding the joke.

     
  • Jerome Kinderman posted at 9:54 am on Tue, Sep 14, 2010.

    Jerome R Kinderman Posts: 2357

    I would have thought that since bin Laden was such an overriding issue during the 2008 election, President Obama would have had him in chains by now - as he claimed he would.

    But of course for the majority of this administration's time thus far, these wars have taken a back seat to the economy. And right along with a general disinterest in Iraq and Afghanistan, so went the former overwhelming desire to capture the mastermind behind 9/11.

    Could bin Laden be dead? Yes, of course. But if he is dead and our government is aware of his demise, why would they want to keep it a secret? What would be the motive? Regardless of who may have perpetrated the killing, anyone who would be president at the time surely would want to participate in that victory, if not also taking a little credit for it as well.

    The thing is, no one knows for sure either way. I'd rather he still be alive so that unlike Hitler, we might have the ability to bring him to justice. But then again, in this era of treating terrorists as nothing more than jay-walkers, he might just get a reduced sentence as a result of learning about his terrible childhood. After all, even bin Laden is only human – or is/was he?

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:14 pm on Mon, Sep 13, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Baumbach has quite a sense of humor and an active imagination. In fact, he imagines that he has read something that does not in fact exist! One does not write a, oh, let's call it a supposition or "speculation," and then back it up with several references that back up that supposition/speculation, without projecting the message that that is what the writer meant.

    Guzzardi "believes" that bin Laden is dead. Does he state that in his column...no. But he supports that opinion with the evidence he supplies.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 4:03 pm on Mon, Sep 13, 2010.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Joanne Bobin posted at 10:24 pm on Sun, Sep 12, 2010...where Guzzardi has been for the last nine years; how does he explain the numerous videos;This is a revelation? Please!

    All Joe did was speculate that Bin Laden may be dead…. You respond as if he is an idiot for contemplating the possibility. Joe, you better not speculate about Elvis as well. After all, there have been many people reporting he is alive. I think Joanne may request congress investigate you if you keep up these outrageous speculations.

     
  • Larry Hamilton posted at 1:51 pm on Mon, Sep 13, 2010.

    Larry Hamilton Posts: 52

    The last video I saw was a guy about 5ft 10 with a black beard trying to look like Bin Laden it was really bad. I would say Bin Laden has been dead a least 5 years maybe more. We cannot afford these wars so I have no idea why we are spending our money over there.

     
  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:24 pm on Sun, Sep 12, 2010.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Not sure where Guzzardi has been for the last nine years: "What Americans should realize is that we are in a period of endless and expensive war. The House recently approved $37 billion in extra war funding for the balance of 2010, and the Obama administration wants another $159 billion for 2011." This is a revelation? Please!

    And if Guzzardi believes that bin Laden has been dead all this time, how does he explain the numerous videos, that have supposedly been authenticated, in which bin Laden refers to events that occured close to the time the videos were released?

     

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