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July 15, 2007


ALRIGHT, I confess, I'm a scientist (but I have never given anyone syphilis to experiment on them, or anything). However, when it comes to Osama Bin Laden, I like to stick with Occam's Razor (the Law of Parsimony). This is a rule about scientific hypotheses, which insists that if you have two hypotheses to choose from, and they both account for all the relevant observations and data, you must take the simplest one. Occam’s Razor cuts out unnecessary complexity.

So here are the relevant observations and data: (1) Osama’s last verified location was in Tora Bora, Afghanistan, November 2001. Death of close associates of Osama at Tora Bora (Zawahiri's wife & kids)... (2) The US and Pakistan seem to have given up looking for Osama... (3) Zawahiri has taken over as principal spokesman, despite obvious shortcomings in oratory and charisma... (4) Al Qaida has made repeated claims that Osama is alive (while admitting that few have seen him)... (5) If he was dead, I would not expect the US or Al Qaida to admit it (the US does not want Osama as a martyr, and Al Qaida needs a figurehead).

(6) Only one video of Osama since the one from October 2001 (which was just before Tora Bora). Notice in this October 2001 video, he is smoothly articulate, extremely emotional, and constantly making complex hand gestures with both hands... the only other video since then shows a man who looks like Osama, shot at a distance, showing little emotion, no real hand gestures... (7) There have been audio recordings, but all of strangely bad quality, with lots of static, whereas other Al Qaida audio and video production values have become quite good... after Tora Bora, the first audio tape attributed to Osama was called a fake by a Swiss Research Institute... they and other voice simulation experts claimed that software has existed for years which can duplicate human speech patterns almost perfectly, including accents, pausing, intonation, etc... to make it impossible to differentiate from the real thing, add background static... (8) Suddenly the Swiss Research Institute in question stopped all public commentary about Osama’s audio tapes, as if someone had asked them to be silent... (9) Even Osama’s audio tapes have now stopped... (10) Silence is out of character for Osama, before Tora Bora, he was talking his head off... (11) Al Qaida now releases an old video, calling it new, but why, unless Osama was dead?

Hypotheses: (A) Osama is alive, but has abandoned public speaking, reason indeterminate... or (B) He’s dead.

CONCLUSION: Hypothesis (A) does not seem to explain most of the observations and data noted in 1 to 11 above. On the other hand Hypothesis (B) explains them all. Ergo, he’s dead.

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