Following up on several Facebook postings that she made yesterday alleging that the U.S. government faked Osama bin Laden's death (read here), Cindy Sheehan has written a rambling blog post further detailing her conspiracy theory. (Read here: Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox: I'm not the Deather )
In the post, Sheehan asks why the U.S. would dispose of bin Laden's body at sea, arguing that this indicates concealment of a conspiracy. In fact, the more likely explanation is that the United States simply did not want to create a bin Laden shrine, so instead found a convenient way to dispose of the body within acceptable, if somewhat unusual, Muslim practice.
She also asks (in a somewhat confusing paragraph) whether it was technically possible to conduct conclusive DNA testing so quickly.
The only proof we were offered was Obama telling us that there was a DNA match between the man killed by the Navy SEALS and OBL. I didn’t realize it was possible to get DNA done so quickly, and I can’t imagine where they got a sample to compare with. Did OBL go into the nearest clinic in the past to get his cheek swabbed and then send it to the FBI on Terrorist ID Day? Here’s some more food for thought—one doesn’t have to be dead to have a DNA test done. They don’t kill deadbeat dads to prove paternity, yet.
The logic of that paragraph is a bit shaky, but the real questions behind it -- could DNA testing be done so quickly, and were comparison samples from bin Laden relatives available -- have been answered in the affirmative by those who know. (Read here and here.)
Sheehan then asks about the motivation for the purported conspiracy:
"Why would the president who can pronounce “nuclear” boldly lie to the world (again) about the US’s convenient enemy? Because the distraction of the Royal Wedding is over and Obama’s policies were beginning to reek? Even people who chastised me for being against the humanitarian bombing of civilians were starting to come around.The economy is in the toilet and partially due to the new US misadventure in the oil producing world, we are paying four-dollars plus per gallon for fuel. The ongoing Fukushima disaster is too scary for us to think about so we needed something to be jingoistic over and to buy Chinese made American flags so we could dance in the streets?
Many wagging tongues have exulted over the fact that this “triumph” assures Obama’s reelection in 2012—I guess that means that A) He won’t need to raise the one billion dollars his campaign is seeking, and B) The new re-killing of OBL was his campaign kick-off."
Sheehan goes on to say that the U.S. government didn't fake bin Laden's death during the Bush administration because President Bush's credibility was so low that the public would not accept his administration's word about the death. In conclusion, she writes that widespread criticism of her conspiracy theory is a right-wing attempt to abet the conspiracy to deceive the world:
Is the US war of terror against the Arab world now over? All I do know is that this Empire is the Empire of Death—and to call someone who questions the fables, a “Deather” is just blatant demonization and a reactionary response to fortify the fraud.
That is one explanation. A simpler one is that the public, upon hearing a public figure make an outrageous and completely unsubstantiated accusation, looks for points of comparison to put it into perspective. The uncomfortable truth is that bin Laden death skepticism has a great deal in common with Obama birth skepticism. Both birthers and deathers are skeptical of obvious, easily verifiable, truths, yet are credulous of the existence of the most implausible conspiracies. The sad fact is that, when skepticism gets that selective, it verges on paranoia. It raises concerns that the skeptic has lost touch with the reality of the events about which she has such strong opinions. To observe this is neither demonizing, reactionary nor indicative of being part of a conspiracy.
Illustration from Cindy Sheehan's blog: