3.5.11

THE CASE FOR LINEAR LOGIC.  Osama bin Laden is dead, unless a socially-constructed narrative that he lives emerges.
Tellingly, an al-Qaida spokesman, in vowing vengeance against America, called him a martyr, offering no challenge to the U.S. account of his death.

Even so, it's almost inevitable that the bin Laden mythology will not end with the bullet in his head. If it suits extremist ends to spin a fantastical tale of survival or trickery to gullible ears, expect to hear it.
Extremist can here refer to radio talkers and politicians of relatively mainstream Democratic or Republican instincts, to judge from the commentary about what the government has chosen to make available.  The article might have Islamist true believers in mind, for whom the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
The act denied al-Qaida any sort of burial shrine for their slain leader. Once again, bin Laden had vanished, but this time at the hands of the United States and in a way that ensures he is gone forever.

If that satisfies U.S. goals and its sense of justice, Brad Sagarin, a psychologist at Northern Illinois University who studies persuasion, said the rapid disposition of the body "would certainly be a rich sort of kernel for somebody to grasp onto if they were motivated to disbelieve this.
It helps to understand that sometimes the simplest explanation is the most compelling.
Pakistan, for one, is a land of conspiracy theorists, and far-fetched rumors abound on the streets and in blogs throughout the Arab world. But that's not just a characteristic of the Islamic pipeline. Many ordinary Americans - and one billionaire - persistently questioned whether Obama was born in the U.S. despite lacking any evidence that he wasn't.

Sagarin said most people will probably be convinced bin Laden is dead because they cannot imagine the government maintaining such an extraordinary lie to the contrary in this day and age.

Yet, he said, "as with the birther conspiracy, there's going to be a set of people who are never going to be convinced. People filter the information they receive through their current attitudes, their current perspectives."
Attitudes and perspectives ought to be receptive to logic and content. It does no good to complain that rules of logic or of evidence privilege some perspectives over others. Deconstruct that.

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