Doesn’t Matter When

I’ve been running a poll on this site for some time, trying to determine when MO readers thought that a capture or kill of Osama bin Laden would begin to look like it was “staged” or timed for political gain.

The results are pretty clear. It doesn’t matter.

Two-thirds of voters don’t think the timing matters. The event either will or will not appear staged regardless of when it happens, and they’re pretty evenly split between “will” and “will not”.

For the one-third of voters who think timing might matter, the beginning of September seems to be the cut-off. This seems pretty reasonable to me.

Here are the final results:


My intent with this was to gauge opinion BEFORE a kill or capture of OBL occurred. I wanted to get an idea of what people thought before it happened, so that if/when it did happen we’d have a baseline idea to start the discussion from. The fact that two-thirds of voters have already made up their mind and don’t think timing matters is a little troubling to me. I understand the feeling that timing might not matter, but to have already decided makes me wonder a bit.

Thanks to all who participated. Hopefully we WILL catch or kill ObL and these results may help us make a little sense out of events and coverage. (I predicted on New Year’s Day that we would catch/kill/get-proof-of-death in May. Fow what it’s worth, I’ve long thought he was probably killed in/around Tora Bora.)

In the extended section of this post you can read the comments left on the poll site if interested.

Comments left on the site for my poll:

he would never be found and if he was going to be caught he would rather be dead. 04/30/04 2:25:55 AM MST

No comment 04/15/04 8:57:43 PM MST

I trust this President 03/26/04 5:48:37 PM MST

your all idiots when we get him theyll tell 03/19/04 12:06:06 PM MST
Too bad…soo sad 03/16/04 4:16:45 PM MST

american bad ass 03/11/04 8:57:40 AM MST

After the conventions is the biggie. 03/11/04 8:40:52 AM MST

If the President had the power to choose a day between now and election day to capture bin Laden it would of course be today . The sooner the better. The President can be trusted to what is best to win the war ahead of winning his campaign. To do the reverse – that’s a dem thing. 03/10/04 8:56:52 PM MST

If the President had the power to choose 03/10/04 8:53:34 PM MST

Hi Murdoc. As we know, polls don’t really change anything…but I appreciate this chance to share some views with you…the administration MUST get him out of circulation…Bin Laden is a scapegoat for G. Bush Sr. and Donald Rumsfeld, who are scared to death the citizens of the US are going to PROVE they planned and executed the 911 terrorist attacks. They are running out of time. They hear the whispers but turn a deaf ear to reality. There is a growing faction of 100% Americans who are calling for full disclosure of the scientific and forensic facts, to see that these men and their operatives are taken away in handcuffs for the deaths at the WTC, Pentagon, PA, and many others afterward to cover it all up. Look up Pete Raffa, 180th Airborn Ohio ANG. Heart attacked at age 44 for knowing too much. Army, Air Force and Marines MUST stand up for their own! Otherwise, complicity is implied. Those who step forward now with the truth will be the heroes of 911..I am not a ‘conspiracy theorist’, I am a realist looking for the truth…Intelligent people are not going to accept the lies about 911 any longer…I live in fear of my own government, the “HOMELAND TERRORISTS”. They could kill anyone who speaks out, too, but they can’t kill the truth…Bin Laden did not mastermind nor finance the 911 attacks. The sleepers [intelligent freepers] must awaken! With all due respect to involved intelligent, Republicans everywhere…Blackheart 03/09/04 9:28:25 PM MST

It’s too bad we live in such a cynical time. I hope we catch that son of a bitch ASAP and if it is two days before the election so be it. It would be equally bad to delay the capture to avoid the appearance of policital motivation. If it turns out that the capture was in fact staged for political effect I would consider that an impeachable offense. I mostly believe that even the Bush Administration is above that, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it… 03/09/04 11:31:09 AM MST

you guys are truly naive!!! 03/06/04 11:11:54 AM MST

Freegards 03/06/04 7:37:17 AM MST

It won’t look politicized to me & I think the Left will try to politicize it no matter what. However, I think they will have more success at that if the capture happens after the Republican convention — sometime in September. 03/06/04 6:33:30 AM MST

I believe if it happens on Sept 1 or after – and certainly on 9/11 – the LEFT will go insane with screaming that it was staged, even though I do not believe it will be staged no matter when it happens. 03/06/04 6:06:37 AM MST