From Publishers Weekly
In this cumbersome if intriguing extended essay, Griffin (The New Pearl Harbor) argues that Osama bin Laden is dead and that the tapes attributed to him are fakes designed by the U.S. to maintain support for antiterror initiatives and the Iraq war. Griffin sifts through a mountain of circumstantial evidence including statements from such officials as former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Afghan president Hamid Karzai, who have both stated that bin Laden may have been killed shortly after September 11. Keeping him alive serves propaganda purposes, Griffin contends, and he meticulously, if not entirely convincingly, dissects each message, of bin Laden's messages, from December 2001 to October 2008, to reveal how these communications have been conveniently timed and constructed to suit the needs of the Bush administration (particularly when it came to linking al-Qaeda to Iraq), going so far as to suggest they were fabricated with voice morphing technology. Griffin's research is worthy of consideration, but as the war in Afghanistan intensifies, the question of whether or not Osama bin Laden remains alive becomes an afterthought as newer challenges emerge. (Aug.)
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After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one of the reasons for George W. Bush's invasion of Afghanistan was to uproot al Qaeda and "get" its leader, Osama bin Laden, "dead or alive." President Bush was widely criticized by his opponents, including presidential candidate Obama, for failing to achieve this objective. Why has the United States, with its massive intelligence apparatus and military might, not been able to apprehend bin Laden? In this provocative book, Griffin (codirector, Ctr. for Process Studies, Claremont Sch. of Theology: The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions), a leading conspiracy theorist on the subject of 9/11, seeks to solve this puzzle by asking, What if Osama bin Laden is no longer alive? He points out that the last time a message to or from bin Laden was intercepted was December 2001. Using a vast array of public statements and writings by public figures, military analysts, and former CIA officials and relying on publicly available data, Griffin deconstructs the report of the 9/11 Commission and highlights its omissions. He also examines purported messages from bin Laden since 2001 and finds little evidence that these in fact have come from bin Laden himself. VERDICT After presenting evidence worth pondering about bin Laden's possible demise, Griffin concludes more broadly by evaluating the policy implications of pursuing a debilitating war in Afghanistan. His highly recommended work is worth consideration by both general readers and students of 21st-century international affairs. Nader Entessar, Univ. of South Alabama, Mobile --Library Journal June 1 2009