Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
I’m going to start off this week by saying I have no proof that Osama bin Laden is dead. Neither do you. We all have to take it on faith that the government isn’t lying to us when they say they killed him. I, for one, think they did. It’s not that I necessarily trust the government, but I think if they were lying about killing him, bin Laden himself would probably have issued a statement by now claiming the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.
However, if you choose not to believe that our special forces got Bin Laden, I can respect that. The government offered no real proof to back up their claims – by which I mean they released no lurid photos that could potentially inflame the passions of the world’s remaining terrorists – so if you take that to mean the whole story was fabricated, I understand. Of course, you have no real proof that bin Laden wasn’t a fabrication in the first place, but we can overlook that.
What I can’t respect, though, is people trying to generate unwarranted publicity for themselves by making a big stink about their not believing bin Laden is dead. Such is the case with a man named Bill Warren, a salvage diver from California who says he’s heading to the Arabian Sea to search for Bin Laden’s body, which was supposedly dumped there.
In an interview with the BBC, Warren said he had “some doubts” about whether bin Laden was dead due to the lack of photographic evidence. He also mentioned that people he’s talked to from London to Russia don’t believe that bin Laden was actually killed, so he’s made it his personal mission to go find a body that he doesn’t really think is there.
I’m guessing that by now you’re starting to see some of the gaps in Warren’s logic.
His plan, which is slated to begin in about a month and will cost, by Warren’s estimation, about $400,000, is to locate the body with side-scan sonar and then bring it to the surface with a remote operated vehicle. Once he has the body aboard his vessel, Warren plans to take pictures and video of the corpse and remove a hair sample that he thinks he’ll be able to match against a sample that he’ll somehow obtain from one of bin Laden’s living relatives.
When asked if he was at all worried about desecrating a dead body, Warren claimed he had no qualms whatsoever. (No word on whether he’d have any qualms with a fatwa being issued on his head.) “If, hypothetically, this was the body of Jesus Christ or his bones,” he said, “and I had an idea that I could find them in the deep blue sea, I would do it. I would go find his bones, and I would sell them to the highest bidder.”
Warren also mentioned that he didn’t have many friends, as shocking as that may sound. He does, however, apparently “hang out with [Navy personnel] at some of the pubs” in his native San Diego, and he hopes to use those connections to learn where the body was dumped to narrow his search a little. I won’t comment on what sort of currency a 59-year-old man who hangs out at sailor bars would use to pay for such information, but feel free to let your imagination run wild.
While he admits finding the body is a long shot, Warren thinks he has a decent chance because he’s used side-scan sonar in 10,000 feet of water and spotted “a toilet, a tire, a coffee cup.” Granted, he wasn’t actually searching for any of those things. Oh, and none of those things decomposes or gets eaten by fish, which, presumably, a bloody, bullet-riddled body would.
I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Warren won’t find bin Laden’s carcass. This, naturally, proves nothing, but I imagine he doesn’t care. He’s already gotten his name splashed across the headlines, which I’m sure was his real motivation for announcing such an inane quest to begin with.
There are some people in America, though, who will care very much if Warren fails to find the body, and I’m sure they’ll take it as proof that the government lied about killing Bin Laden. I’m not going to name any names, but suffice it to say that these people will probably celebrate this non-event with a tea party (wink, wink).
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