do you think osama is still alive?

very tired one, i know…

but am i the only one who thinks that he’s dead? otherwise why wld he not send out a VIDEO tape instead of audio?

I agree that he’s dead for the reason you express. From his prior conduct, he strikes me as a real showboater. Thus, if he were still alive, he would prove it to the world. But he hasn’t.

I suppose it’s remotely possible that there is something seriously wrong with his appearance about which he is ashamed. But this seems unlikely to me.

you mean like a scud blew his nose off or something? doubt that, wld most probably wear his wounds as a badge of honour or something…

but if he IS dead, then why isn’t the US tom-tomming it from the roof-tops?

If he wanted us to believe that he’s alive, wouldn’t one of these tapes include something like “And by the way, yesterday’s UN vote was such and such”.

Sure, such things could be faked, but it does add an extra layer of authenticity, doesn’t it?

Why doesn’t he do this? Why does he make it into a guessing game about when the tape was even made, let alone it that’s really him or not?

My conclusion is that he doesn’t care whether we believe it is him or not.

Moving to Great Debates in 5…4…3…

Dead. Definitely! He is a showboater for sure. He would have sent a video not an audio tape.
And to be honest it really doesn’t matter anymore anyway. Bush won’t put his head on a pole for the world to see, simply because we have other fish to fry. IMHO he’s camel food. And the voice on the tape didn’t even sound like him. It is most likely one of this upper captains trying to hold onto any sentiment of control over the cells that are systematically dissappearing.

Unfortunately it is only a matter of timebefore another Osama comes around…

Since December 2001 there have been three tapes that say basically “Hi-yo folks it’s Osama here & I’m alive”, or tapes that the U.S. has taken as real:

The one that brought the issue to a head was the tape of last November.
The U.S. treats this as the real deal you can see from the link their reasons – not too shabby. There are legit doubters as well tho:

France 2 TV commissioned the Swiss IDIAP (the Dalle Molle Institute of Perceptual Artificial Intelligence) to test this tape, first aired by al-Jazeera. IDIAP Professor Herve Boulard concluded that “The voice could be that of bin Laden but it could also not be. It could be an impostor but it is necessary to be prudent,”

“In order to have an irrefutable conclusion, you would need around 100 recordings of bin Laden. We only had 20, and of poor quality,” he said. Also making it difficult to be sure : it was apparently a tape of a tape recorded over the telephone.

The tape praised attacks that took place as recently as Oct. 28 2002, and has been considered the hardest evidence since December 2001 that bin Laden has survived the U.S. bombing campaign in Afghanistan.

There have also been two other tapes in the past 2 weeks – one of which Colin Powell said (to Congress) it was from “who we believe to be OBL”. The other one folks are taking as real too. But I personally have seen no hard evidence or testing of these latest 2, NOT claiming fakes – just I personally haven’t seen anything - but Powell saying that to Congress is pretty good indicator of the current thinking.

Here’s an even better question: Why don’t we just stage his “death” and be done with it? With the cinematic technology available, set up a perfectly plausible scenario of a raid on a “hidden terrorist camp” in which Osama is captured/killed and get it all on film. Then “leak” the tape to CNN or some such and watch for the results. At the very least, we would upset the balance of power within the terrorist network. We might, however, get a good break if the terrorist network over-reacts and leads us right to Osama. Either way, we win. And the best part is that we don’t have to listen to any more drivel from “experts” on television who debate his continued existence. This action might even discourage some underlings from assuming command - “The U.S. can reach out and touch you, no matter where you hide.” The best part of this whole thing is that there would be no way for the terrorists to say, “You didn’t kill Osama, he’s been dead for months.” And if the terrrorists say that the raid didn’t happen, we could then say, “Well, if he’s not dead, show us tangible proof that he’s still alive.” Elegant, eh?

IMHO, it is in the interest of the US leadership to have him thought alive. This makes it easier to rally support among their constituents to engage in a crusade against terrorism, Iraq, whatever.

I think he’s alive. If he was dead, the U.S. government would be trumpeting it from the rooftops because it (hopefully) would give us a propaganda advantage in the War on Terror. I am normally skeptical of the gummint, but in this case, I think the administration can be believed.

lucwarm: It seems to me that Bush is fanning the crusade against Iraq quite well by demonizing Saddam.

“to Great Debates in 5…4…3…”

Why? Wouldn’t it be better in IMHO?

I say sure & he probably has an apt behind the white house cause who would think to look for him there?

Well I don’t think it’s a matter as much if he cares about what we think. However in order to establish the country of BinLadenstan (which to me is his actual goal, run by him or his sons) he does care what possible constituents think. In either case, dead or alive, he can make in roads with them. If he’s dead he’s a martyr and they love him for “dying for the cause”. If he’s alive he “able to stand up and win against the great satan.” (Pretty ironic huh since as far as I can tell he’s not actually interested in helping any muslim if it doesn’t give him his country in the end.)

Anyway my thoughts are he’s dead but the people that would know that were also killed. So basically no one knows were the body is. I think the ones doing the tape are doing the “least risky thing” until the facts are known. Basically they still want to maintain his support but they can’t come out and say he’s dead without a body. If he turns out alive later that would wreck his power base for being a manipulating hypocrite.(He could of course hide and let his sons run Binladenstan for him but some how I don’t think he’d like it.) If he is dead and that becomes known they can just say that he died later on.(And would maintain support for his sons.)

Off to IMHO.

I tend to this POV as well lucwarm.

Someone on the SDMB suggested that he has changed his appearance. I’d go along with that as a possibility and the reason for audio tapes.

IHMO, OBL is alive but dying. A recent letter attributed to him pretty much corroborates that he is planning on dying this year. Problem is he might be planning on doing that with a big bang. He may have barely escaped a laser Guided bomb with his name on it. He may be crippled, blind, paralyzed, burnt very badly. Any picture of this would dishearten his ignorant followers. Better to have them remember him as the strong virile image he sent before the war rather than the broken defeated body he has now.

Perhaps, but I don’t think this changes the fact that it’s in the interest of our leaders to have him thought alive.

Admittedly, it’s not blindingly obvious which is better for US leaders - to declare him dead for propoganda value, or to have him alive (for propoganda value!). But IMHO, I think that they would prefer the latter.

X~Slayer(ALE) I have to agree with some of what you say. Osama is too much of a showboat to not show a video of himself. And if he shows a video of himself, all hemmed up, it is quite possible his constituents would think him unworthy of whatever, martyrdom etc…etc… And if he showed himself all messed up he would lose the propaganda war immediately.

I do not want to say it - without knocking on wood - but he and his cronies may have been a one hit wonder. And I doubt they get a chance to pull something off again with the same magnitude of WTC tragedy.

If he were dead, I would’ve thought Al Qaeda would’ve used that to glorify him - a martyr is great for rallying support.

On the other hand, I don’t know why they’re audio tapes either. And the most recent one, which talked about ‘our Iraqi brothers’ is pretty vague and could have been made before he died, just in case Iraq became a hot spot again.

I guess I think X~Slayer’s guess is the best one. He knows he’s going to die soon anyway.

Or, he has altered his appearance in some way and does not want us to know what he looks like. I don’t know.