A lot of people the last couple of days have been citing the famous clip where Benazir Bhutto said Osama Bin Laden had been murdered as evidence that he's been dead for years. While I am not necessarily denying that Bin Laden probably has been dead for years, I think the debunkers are right on this one. It's always sounded to me like she simply misspoke.
A few days after the November 2, 2007 David Frost interview, she was interviewed over the phone by FOX News' Greta Van Susteren, and she said:
I think Osama Bin Laden must be rubbing his hands with glee as he looks at what's happening in Pakistan and how there is civil unrest in the country, how large parts of the tribal areas have fallen under the sway of his supporters...Listen to the audio here. The quote about Bin Laden is at 11:14.
So it appears she still believed he was very much alive. Her original 'revelation' was probably just a misspeak. The only other explanation is she was an active perpetrator of the war on terror scam and knew Bin Laden was dead but played along in public and the famous quote was a freudian slip. Possible I suppose, but it's more likely that she meant to say "... Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Daniel Pearl" and simply misspoke.
So why then did the BBC 'censor' her statement? Well here is their response:
In the past week or so, the BBC - and more specifically, the News website - has been accused on various websites, blogs and bulletin boards of censorship.This Benazir Bhutto thing is another one of those annoyingly persistent truther myths like the living hijackers and fake phone call nonsense or the widely held belief that YouTube meddles with the view counts of truther vids because they seem to get stuck on around 300 views for a while (It happens to every video, okay! The view counts don't update in real time!!).
The claims relate to an interview with the late Benazir Bhutto, originally conducted by Sir David Frost for the al-Jazeera channel, and later rebroadcast in part on this website (the BBC has an agreement with al-Jazeera which enables both broadcasters to share certain news material).
During the interview, first broadcast at the start of November last year (more info here), Ms Bhutto made what was, on the face of it, an astonishing allegation - that Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. The claim was brief, and went unchallenged by Sir David Frost.
Under time pressure, the item producer responsible for publishing the video on the BBC website edited out the comment, with the intention of avoiding confusion. The claim appeared so unexpected that it seemed she had simply mis-spoken. However, editing out her comment was clearly a mistake, for which we apologise, and it should not have happened. There was no intention on our part to distort the meaning of the interview, and we will endeavour to replace the edited version currently available via our website, with the original interview as broadcast by Al-Jazeera, which, in the meantime, you can find on YouTube here.
UPDATE Wed 09/01/2008: As promised above, we've now updated the original clip with the full version of the interview.
"Conspiracy theories are more sexy, aren't they?" ~ John-Michael Talboo
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." ~ John F. Kennedy
Unfortunately, myths tend to spread faster than the truth. Some people out there are still circulating that fake body scan image.