U.S. Official: Prince Bandar is alive.
Remember those unofficial reports from last month that said Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia aka the Arab Bush was killed in a strike on July 26?
A lot of people speculated about who killed him. Here were some of the suspects: Syria, Iran, Washington, Israel, an internal Saudi faction, Bigfoot. I went with Washington.
Rumours of his death went away for the bulk of the month of August. The blackout worked. Nothing was getting out of Saudi Arabia or the United States about the story for weeks.
But eventually the Saudis gave in to the media pressure, acknowledged the Internet rumours, and lifted the blackout on the story.
On Friday, August 24, Brent Gardner-Smith wrote in an article for The Aspen Times called, "Bandar still alive, insiders say," that the Saudi and Qatar governments reported Prince Bandar was "in Mecca and Jeddah in mid-August." He added:
"Since then, the speculation about Bandar's death has quieted, but there have been no stories confirming that he is, in fact, alive.The author does an excellent job of recapping the origins and spread of the rumours about Prince Bandar's death.
Wednesday's statement from a State Department spokesperson appears to be the first acknowledgment from a U.S. official that the reports earlier this month of Bandar's death were in fact false."
The rumours will persist because the dark Prince has still not been seen in public since late July. This is unusual because it is an ancient custom for high-level figures and government leaders to appear in public to end rumours of their deaths. I guess Prince Bandar is not an important enough figure so the Saudi government feels politically justified in not following this custom.
But they are making a big mistake.
Customs matter. Appearances matter. Pictures matter. Evidence matters.
We cannot take the words of US and Saudi officials at face value.
Until proven otherwise, Prince Bandar is dead.
The question on everyone's minds is: when is his funeral?
Maybe there will be no official state funeral.
Could Prince Bandar be sleeping with the fishes in an unknown ocean alongside Osama Bin Laden? Where are the bodies of these two Saudi pimps? The whole world wants to know.
Don't pay attention to what U.S. officials say. For all they know, Bin Laden is still alive, too.