General Question

anartist's avatar

Do you think we will ever know why they dumped the body at sea?

Asked by anartist (14781points) May 2nd, 2011

No matter what condition it was in, even if it was in pieces like many of the bodies at ground zero, it was additional proof. And since they got that far with it, why not just throw it in the fridge along with the head instead of “burial at sea”?


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49 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t think we will ever know. The media is already giving several different reasons and so is my facebook wall.

Qingu's avatar

So he wouldn’t have a shrine, according to the NYT. Also Islamic rites dictate disposing of the body within a day.

I also, frankly, don’t see a reason to keep his corpse around beyond placating conspiracy theorists who insist on believing everything is a conspiracy and I’m sure that these folks wouldn’t believe bin Laden was dead if Obama walked up to the podium carrying his severed head (they could have cloned his head from DNA!)

cazzie's avatar

I can only speculate that they didn’t want to give the body back to the extremists to give a martyrs burial to, or bury him somewhere the remains can be stolen. (it has happened more often in history than you may think.) The last thing the Western powers want is for the Taliban to build a shrine to the man.
I haven’t seen any media coverage of this, so I have no idea what the powers that be are saying about it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Most of the reports I’ve seen say what @Qingu said. And really, why not? Who needs to actually see it other than those who have already?

Obama_got_Osama's avatar

Any country that accepted his remains for burial would look like an asshole in the eyes of much of the world.

Judi's avatar

Im not sure of the details, but Islamic law requires that he be buried in a specific amount of time.
It was done in order to comply with their customs out of respect for the law abiding Muslims around the world.

skfinkel's avatar

What on earth could they have done with his body? Burying him at sea was pure genius.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I have a hard time believing that is the reason. Why would it make sense that we care about giving him a proper burial? And, from what I understand burial at sea is not a Muslim thing? Not sure though.

klutzaroo's avatar

Islam dictates burial before nightfall on the day of death if at all possible. As we’re not interested in pissing off the non-radical Islams, the US respected that custom (and religious law). Nobody wanted his body, and the liability that his grave would be, in their country. Where else was there to put him? Burial at sea is permissible under Islam, but generally only when the person died at sea. With the fact that no one wanted his body on land to be a rallying point for radicals and a huge security risk, there was nowhere else to put him quickly enough to satisfy Islamic law.

marinelife's avatar

I think it was so that there would be no grave where people could go and gawk or followers could gather.

FutureMemory's avatar

You gotta wonder how many cell phones were whipped out during the process of burial.

“No way I’m NOT getting a pic of this…”

jrpowell's avatar

Apparently the body was offered to Saudi Arabia (his birthplace) and they said they didn’t want it.

Judi's avatar

@JLeslie, it’s part of threading the diplomatic needle. The proper burial was out of respect for Islam, not for Bin Laden.

wundayatta's avatar

If they had kept the body for a while, it would have seen as rubbing it in. Like putting his head on a stake to show they had finally gotten bin Laden.

They want to get as many points as possible for their handling of the situation. It’s a very touchy situation. I think it could turn out to be an elegant way to handle the matter. We will see.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi But, if the guy was Jewish I would not care at all if they follow Jewish rituals. He has nothing to do with my religion in that case, he is a murderer, Jewish is secondary, less than secondary.

But, I guess it sounds good. I don’t know. I think it was a convenient way to get rid of the body, so the issue of the body could not be an issue. I don’t want it to sound like I am arguing with you, it’s just a perspective of mine.

mazingerz88's avatar

Does this mean Bin Laden fanatics and followers when they want to commune with him need only to turn their faucets on?

WasCy's avatar

They could have fed his body to pigs, then slaughtered the pigs and buried them… anywhere. Make a shrine out of that, whoever wants to.

klutzaroo's avatar

There was the possibility of an unmarked grave on land somewhere, which might be preferable to burial at sea for many clerics. But that still leaves the problem of what piece of land and whether people would go looking for his body.

mazingerz88's avatar

@WasCy Very Deadwood! Give it to Wu!

john65pennington's avatar

A red flag went up, when I learned Bin Laden was buried at sea. What was the big hurry? Did this military assault actually occur as stated?

It appears the military was hiding or dumping the proof in the ocean, for a reason.

Not to second guess the military, but personally, I would have loved to witness a photograph of dead Bin Laden, no matter the condition of his body.

Did President Obama need a big boost in his popularity for the upcoming election and killing Bin Laden, at this time, was the perfect morale booster?

A lot of unanswered questions here.

mazingerz88's avatar

@john65pennington Got an email with dead Bin Laden photo but don’t know how I can share that here.

Roby's avatar

I wonder why they didn’t just ship him to US and let the vulturs eat him.

Scooby's avatar

All sounds a little suspicious to me, white wash springs to mind. :-/

anartist's avatar

@mazingerz88 upload and post link!
@john65pennington me too! Panetta also mentioned that bin Laden had become “marginalized”—I wondered if we may have killed a crippled dying man [not that it was a wrong kill, just that any infirmity of his may have tarnished our success a little]
He still could have had burial or cremation within 24 hours.

Now we really will need his head on a stick in Times Square!

janbb's avatar

I do believe it was so there would be less of a chance of making a rallying point and shrine of his body and gravesite.

cazzie's avatar

If he truly is not dead, for all you conspiracy theorists out there, all he’d have to do is release a video to Al Jazeera and shame the hell out the US and score major points for his side, don’t cha think? I’m sure he’s dead and I’m sure they had plenty of time to plan what to do with his body when they caught him… like.. 10 years to work it out. I’m sure everything has been documented and discussed well in advance of this eventuality.

Scooby's avatar

Personally I think he‘s been bought off & is now living next door or just down the road a bit from Idi Amin back in Saudi.. :-/

Qingu's avatar

The dead bin Laden photo is apparently a forgery.

I do hope they videotaped the dumping of the corpse over the side of the aircraft carrier, and I hope the SEALS hi-fived each other and then drank shots. But I would understand if that video was not made public. :)

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I guess I’m one of the “conspiracy theorists” because I’m very suspicious of the whole thing. He was dumped in the ocean just hours after his supposed death, and he was killed on pretty much the same day as Hitler. And all this happens when Obama desperately needs to start regaining his lost popularity… It just stinks to me.

As to why he was buried at sea, it is as others above have said: apparently they didn’t want anyone to build a shrine at his burial site. Although, it does piss me off that he was afforded “burial” according to Islamic customs. WTF? Did he give any of our murdered Americans a proper burial? Fuck no, he didn’t. I wouldn’t have afforded him jack shit. It would have been a quick ceremony in which he was kicked over the side as we all said “Sayonara asshole”.

flutherother's avatar

I was a bit shocked when I heard they had done that as I thought they would want to demonstrate to the world that he was really dead. Do they think he is still dangerous?

cazzie's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Hitler wasn’t killed, he committed suicide, sometime around the 30th of April in an underground bunker. The Russians got there first and found the mess. What they did to his corpse, I hate to think, but I’m sure they thought he had it coming. I think he was burned, or something… not sure.. for what it’s worth.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@cazzie Yeah I know… I should have said “the same day that Hitler died”. I hated history class, but I did know that much. ;) I was just pointing out that both deaths were announced on May 1st, which is really weird, and that the body was dumped before any sort of real evidence could be given out instead of just having to take someone at their word.

dxs's avatar

Yeah, I second the whole Islamic get-rid-of-dead-body-as-soon-as-possible rule. Why a sea? I don’t know.

Trojans40's avatar

@Qingu It possible that they killed OBL double, and realize that after the Obama made the annocement. So they dump the body knowing that most of the voters don’t really see through all the rules of Muslims and Islam.

Qingu's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate, affording him the slightest of Islamic rites was masterful image control. It projects class, and reaffirms that we are not the enemies of Islam.

Would you prefer that we taunted him and strung him up and then danced around the corpse like savages while recording it on a cell phone, like the Iraqis did with Saddam?

@Trojans40, it’s also possible that aliens killed him. It’s also possible that Osama bin Laden is an illusion and never existed. Anything is possible. You could make any bullshit up and say “it’s possible, prove that it didn’t happen.”

Do you have any reason to believe it was a body double?

Brian1946's avatar


”...if Obama walked up to the podium carrying his severed head (they could have cloned his head from DNA!)”

If they could clone a dead head, would that dead head seek a way to clone Jerry Garcia? ;-)

Obama_got_Osama's avatar

@cazzie Hitler instructed his people to burn his corpse.

jrpowell's avatar

Fantastic.. Now that we cleared up the birth certificate thing the rubes can have a new conspiracy theory.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Qingu No, I would have preferred that after his death, his body was shown to the public, instead of being dumped so quickly, like there was something to hide. I also would have preferred that just before he was dumped, he was doused in pig’s blood as the ultimate insult. But I’m a vicious bitch and I often voice an unpopular opinion.

Trojans40's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Nothing wrong with being a vicious bitches with a voice of unpopular opinion. In fact, I think we need more of them.

@Qingu I am gonna say that a tan guy with brown eyes and lots of long black facial hair is very easy to copy in the Muslim world. Who knows, during the firefight, they could simply pick the wrong guy.

Qingu's avatar

@Trojans40, not all Muslims look alike. Maybe to ignorant Americans, but presumably our special forces and CIA are better trained.

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phaedryx's avatar

I’m sure they took all kinds of pictures and other evidence. I’ve heard that they will release it in due time. Making sure everything is in order is more important than satisfying people’s morbid curiosity.

jasper1890's avatar

I think it was handled almost perfectly by the US. Burying him at see takes away the opportunity of a proper shrine being built and anyone publicly mourning his death. The only thing i would have liked to see was a picture of him just before the shooting to put alot of minds at ‘complete’ rest

janbb's avatar

Apparently there is all kinds of documentation that was done by the Seals and the CIA; they are just debating whether to release it.

klutzaroo's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate It was taken care of quickly for a very good reason. If you choose not to respect that reason or listen to it and decided that there’s something fishy behind it, that’s up to you. The Islamic laws on swift burial and the respect that was shown for the religion, not for the man, is good enough reason for most everyone.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

They faked his death.

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