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September 14, 2005
Get Dead Soon!

The terror rumor mill has spit out yet another Osama-is-sick announcement, although this one comes from a named source, Reuters reports. The London Arabic newspaper quotes an American colonel in Kabul as stating that the US knows that Osama bin Laden has urgently sought medical attention recently, although he declined to say how he knew or what kind of health problems the terror leader might have:

Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden is in poor health and is seeking medical attention, the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat said on Wednesday, quoting a U.S. officer in Afghanistan.

"Osama bin Laden is trying to obtain medical attention," Colonel Don McGraw, director of operations at the Combined Forces Command in Kabul, told a group of British reporters, including one from al-Hayat, it said.

"He (McGraw) refused to say what the Qaeda leader is suffering from or whether it is the same kidney disease which Pakistani officials said in the past he was suffering from," the newspaper added.

If true, and we've heard about Osama's bad kidneys for four years now, my reaction would be joy tempered with the slight disappointment that he could die of natural causes after commanding the murders of thousands. His capture would make a large impact on the morale of the Islamofascists arrayed against us. A natural death, on the other hand, would tend to perpetuate his reputation for elusiveness and cleverness, especially in relation to American efforts to get him.

However, on further reflection, one has to wonder why Colonel McGraw made such a statement at all. The news that the boss may soon die or at least may become incapacitated might be a trigger for hidden "sleeper" cells to jump into action. His death almost certainly will have that effect. Unless the FBI has identified these cells already but want to see an interaction between them and the network, giving these kind of signals could get dangerous fast -- especially given the way Katrina has our resources stretched at the moment. So why repeat an old piece of information that really reflects little progress anyway?

I'd love to see us pick up Osama on his way to the doctors' office, but that doesn't appear terribly likely. We may want to keep the rumors to a minimum until we actually have him in hand for the time being.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 14, 2005 5:13 AM

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» Bin Laden Said to be Dying from The Jawa Report
Jawa Report readers will recall that on Sept. 7th we received information that some major news would be coming out of Afghanistan in the following weeks. At the time we labeled our information 'a rumor' since we could not confirm... [Read More]

Tracked on September 14, 2005 8:47 AM

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