Opinion: The October surprise: Osama bin Laden in a morgue?


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The day after the seventh anniversary of the horrendous 9/11 attacks comes word from NPR and our colleagues over at the Countdown to Crawford blog that the U.S. seems to have launched a major semi-secret offensive in the rugged Afghanistan-Pakistan border area.

The possible goal: to get Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda, before the election or by the time George W. Bush’s second term ends Jan. 20.

How secret the offensive is now is questionable and the tribes in that wild area that have been harboring terrorists for years do not have an air force.


So they presumably would regard helicopters and sophisticated, armed Predator drones patrolling overhead as unfriendly and stay in their caves.

According to the reports, there’s been a surge of CIA agents into the tribal areas. They’ll blend in nicely with their ties and coats. No word on why now when previous searches have proved fruitless.

Because this is a political blog, we must ask the question: Who would such a deadly event benefit the most politically? Well, maybe Bush, who got scolded by Laura for once saying he wanted Osama dead or alive. But, wisely, Bush is not running for anything these days.

Barack Obama did suggest back in the primaries that he would unilaterally bomb parts of Pakistan if necessary, which Hillary Clinton criticized as naive and provocative to an ally. That sounds like precisely what we’re doing now.

If bin Laden was annihilated, John McCain would not, as he has vowed, have to follow him to the gates of hell, wherever they are, reportedly somewhere in the Pittsburgh suburbs.

Meanwhile, Countdown has more on the story right here.

-- Andrew Malcolm