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French Intelligence Also Suspects Osama bin Laden Is Dead

By September 23, 2006

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AP reports today that "leaked" French intelligence documents report what many world leaders already believe: that Osama bin Laden is dead.

Reports the Chicago Tribune today, via AP:

"The regional newspaper l'Est Republicain on Saturday printed what it described as a copy of a confidential document from the DGSE intelligence service citing an uncorroborated report from Saudi secret services that the leader of the al-Qaida terror network had died."

French President Jacques Chirac told the press that he is "a bit surprised" that French intelligence leaked this information. Not that he's furious or embarrassed, or will pursue the leaker, or is even surprised... just a "bit" surprised. (Translation: this is planned leak.)

Chirac also told AP that while he has "no comment" on the suspected death of Osama bin Laden, he stated that the report is not confirmed. (Translation: Chirac never denied the accuracy of the report, nor stated that he doesn't believe it. In fact, he gives the story great credibility and international attention merely by commenting on it. And he knows it... )

But this is hardly news. Dozens of world leaders have fully believed for years that bin Laden is dead. And in November 2005, our own US intelligence told Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid back that bin Laden is likely dead. If Mr. Reid revealed this to the public, then he, too, must have believed it with great certainty.

Dead or alive, bin Laden has been enormously useful to Bush and Rove

This, of course, would be a great disappointment to Karl Rove, who leads the Bush-Republican election campaign machine which has faithfully spooked US voters with politically-useful images of bin Laden during every election season since 9/11.

And more and more Americans find it weirdly coincidental that bin Laden tapes "surface" exactly when George Bush needs to shore up his support (like two days before the November 2004 election). And almost never happens at any other time.

Dead or alive, Osama bin Laden has been a politically-useful ghost to Karl Rove and George Bush. And I don't hear Republicans denying that obvious fact. Do you?

Why did the French "Leak" bin Laden's Death?

But I digress... the question today is why would French Intelligence suddenly "leak" the news of bin Laden's long-whispered death? And more curiously, why would French President Chirac lend the story massive credibility by ambiguously not "confirming" it? He clearly didn't deny the story.

To rebuke and reveal the Bush White House in all its deviousness and dishonesty? To end the possible charade of bin Laden as living, breathing threat to world peace?

Or was this leak coordinated with, as a favor to, the Bush White House, which looks like bumbling idiots for not capturing bin Laden 5 years after 9/11? Perhaps bin Laden has lost his sting as fear-invoking image, and now merely reminds Americans of the incompetence of US intelligence under George Bush.

Intrigung and important questions, for sure, and yet, unanswerable.

But one black-and-white fact remains: more and more of the world believes that Osama bin Laden is dead. And perhaps has been dead for several years.

UPDATE: "U.S. and Pakistani officials have said recently that they had not received a credible lead on his whereabouts in more than two years," reports the Washington Post on September 24, 2006, in an artcle in which US and French officials express skepticism that Osama bin Laden has died.

Related Reading
Is Osama bin Laden Dead? Are bin Laden Tapes Fakes?
Senator Harry Reid Told Osama Bin Laden Killed in Pakistan Earthquake
Top Five Signs Bush and Rove Are in Election Season 2006: Smear, Fear & Two Useful Ghosts
Is bin Laden Dead? , Time magazine on September 23, 2006


September 23, 2006 at 2:53 pm
(1) Nezua Limon Xolagraifik-Jonez says:

I’m guessing they’ve had it with Bush and his ilk, and are trying to out news of a Dead Bin Laden before Karl did, in Oct or Nov, thus damping any traction the Republicans might have milked from it. Or maybe outing OBL’s death before another “authentic” video of OBL campaigning for the GOP can be released.

Just a guess, of course. Chirac won’t answer my phone calls anymore.

September 23, 2006 at 6:52 pm
(2) Deborah White says:

Fox News has jumped all over this story today, though, and they almost never report stories that the White House doesn’t want trumpeted.

In fact, the one breathless account I saw on Fox about this story was immediately followed by a report of new video message by insurgents which includes the “new head of Al-Qaeda.”

No kidding!!!

September 29, 2006 at 6:52 pm
(3) Michael Edelson says:

The issue is not if Bin Laden is dead but rather is George Bush alive? Has anyone checked lately or is it too difficult to determine?

September 30, 2006 at 2:00 pm
(4) Doug says:

The secular socialist pacifist demolib party has no realistic ideas so they plod on with factless assertations, jr. high smears and fantasy scams where those they call stupid control the country and the world thru some X-Files thinking, go figure…

January 11, 2008 at 1:02 am
(5) a.p. says:

doug, i love the cute words you use! you clearly seem to have proof bin laden is alive. have you two spoken lately?

January 11, 2008 at 4:20 am
(6) european says:

Actually the current french president is not Chirac. It’s Nicolas Sarkozy

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