I am half asleep. I have been working the Plano Balloon Festival almost non-stop and after twelve hours of giving the World’s Smallest Political Quiz, my brain is nearly mush. BTW, , the Libertarian candidate for US Congress, District 3 rocks. Now that I have apologized for what is sure to be sloppy re-reporting, here goes:
From BBC now. NOTE: I originally linked to a Yahoo news report that gave the following info- when I rechecked the link- it was not working. (don’t have a clue what happened) I will leave what was copied and pasted and will add BBC’s text at the end of the blogpost.
PARIS/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – France and the United States said on Saturday they could not confirm a report that Osama bin Laden had died and France launched a probe into how a secret document containing the claim was leaked.
French regional daily L’Est Republican, published in Nancy, quoted a document from France’s DGSE foreign intelligence service as saying the Saudi secret services were convinced the al Qaeda leader had died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August.
Time magazine separately posted an article on its website citing an unidentified Saudi source, who claimed bin Laden was stricken with a water-borne disease and may already be dead.
In Paris, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie ordered an investigation into the leak of the classified DGSE document.
L’Est Republican printed what it said was a copy of the report, dated September 21, and said it had been passed to Chirac and Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin the same day.
“According to a usually reliable source, the Saudi services are now convinced that Osama bin Laden is dead,” it read.
“The information gathered by the Saudis indicates that the head of al Qaeda fell victim, while he was in Pakistan on August 23, 2006, to a very serious case of typhoid that led to a partial paralysis of his internal organs.”
The report, which was stamped “defense confidential” and with the initials of the French secret service, said Saudi Arabia first heard the information on September 4 and was waiting for more details before making an official announcement.
Time magazine said its source claimed Saudi officials have received a number if reports in recent weeks that bin Laden had been struck by a water-borne illness and was likely dead, but had no solid proof.
“He is very ill. He got a water-related sickness and it could be terminal. There are a lot of serious facts about things that have actually happened. There is a lot to it. But we don’t have any concrete information to say that he is dead,” Time quoted the source as saying.
The U.S. has been unable to confirm the reports, but damn I hope it is true. If terror’s mastermind is dead, the war is over. Right? I would start praying again tonight, but we are cautioned against hope.
Senior U.S. intelligence figures have cautioned against assuming that bin Laden’s death or capture would automatically have a substantial impact in the war on terrorism.
They note that the death in June of al Qaeda’s leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has failed to lead to any let-up in the violence there.
I guess that given that attitude, I should instead find a shooting star and wish that our efforts at the Balloon Fest translate to many more libertarian votes. I will hedge my bet by blowing out all the candles on my cake next month too.
*stubs out cig*
Whatever the case, I have to be back at the Balloon Fest at 6:15 tomorrow morning. I need some sleep if we are to get the contact info that we have received over the last two days. 34% of the people we talked to asked for libertarian info and even gave all their contact info.
Thinking of that, I may pray anyway.
Here is the BBC cut and paste:
President Jacques Chirac has ordered an inquiry into the leak of a French secret service memo claiming that Osama Bin Laden had died.
Mr Chirac told reporters he was surprised the memo had been leaked, and refused to comment on the claim itself.
A French newspaper quoted a document as saying the Saudi secret services were convinced the al-Qaeda leader had died of typhoid in Pakistan in late August.
Officials in Pakistan and the US said they could not confirm the account.