Today our country marked an incredibly momentous occasion with the death of Osama bin Laden. Even if you believe that the celebrations have been premature and that we should be focused more on comfort and love, the fact is the terrorist mastermind behind the September 11 attacks is dead and no matter how you look at it, that is a good thing.
Unless you believe it is all one big lie. Of course when the big news broke late Sunday night, the conspiracy theories started swirling immediately.
And why not? We searched for him for 10 years to no avail and then all of a sudden he is found, executed and dumped at sea almost immediately thereafter, with no photos, film or any other documentation provided.
Officials insist that the terrorist leader is dead, citing numerous identification methods including DNA, family identification and more, but some just will not believe until they see the photos of bin Laden's corpse. John Brennan, President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser, said this:
We are going to do everything we can to make sure that nobody has any basis to try to deny that we got Osama bin Laden. (The US will) share what we can because we want to make sure that not only the American people but the world understand exactly what happened.
In the past the US has been forced by conspiracy theorists to release such photos like when they showed us all the corpses of Saddam Hussein's two sons to prove American forces had killed them. That seemed to shut them up.
But this is so much bigger than them and the theories have had a decade to fester. According to Politico, radio host Alex Jones, one of the most vocal supporters of the idea that the government orchestrated the 9/11 attacks, says that he believes that the government had bin Laden frozen for years.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan has also called the announcement a fake as did an arm of a Pakistani Taliban group, according to the website. Naturally, many have also taken to Facebook where several Osama bin Laden is NOT DEAD groups have been forming and one even sent out obviously fake photos of his death.
White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in an email: "The United States Government has not yet been made a decision on whether there will be a photo release."
That sounds just one step short of a promise to me. My guess is that within weeks, maybe even days, we will see those photos and finally get some closure and end the speculation once and for all.
Do you believe the conspiracy theories?
Image via Ben Sutherland/Flickr