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Opinion: Talking about conspiracy theories

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Many times when something major happens, almost always when it involves national security, the conspiracy theorists come out of the woodwork. They all have some explanation of how it is not what it seems to be, and is a government plot to extend federal control. The recent raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound was no different.
There are two main classes of theories here. Some say that the raid was faked and others say that bin Laden had been dead for years. Quite frankly, both are ridiculous.
People say that the raid was faked, in order to justify maintaining such tight security measures that violate civil liberties, give the government more power, and help Obama get reelected. There is one key detail that all these seem to forget. If the raid was faked, that means bin Laden is still alive. If bin Laden were to release another tape, like he had been doing for years, he would not even need to say anything. The simple fact of his presence in the image would prove that he was, in fact, alive, proving that the federal government had lied to the American public, undermining anyone’s trust in their government.
This in turn, would undermine the quality of the service of civil servants, including our troops in Afghanistan. It could even start a few riots. Surely bin Laden would have thought of this, were he still alive. The media would be all over it in half a second, broadcasting it all over the nation, bringing these impacts about immediately. So, the fact that it has been so long since the raid means that bin Laden is definitely dead. Government 1, conspiracy 0.
Alternately, some claim that Bin Laden had been killed years ago. No one specifies when, exactly, they claim he actually was killed. Perhaps they mean that it was done during the Bush administration, and Obama is trying to take credit for it.
If so, it could have happened during either Bush’s first term, or his second term. Had it been during his first term, he would indubitably have announced it then, as it would have silenced all who criticized his method with the war on terror, i.e. the PATRIOT act and the TSA’s more stringent security measures, thus guaranteeing him the reelection.
Proof comes from a pattern of “connecting the dots” between events that may not be causally connected.

--Cary Bronson