The New York Times reports

The New York Times reports that senior Special Operations commanders are requesting that their elite units be released from hunting for bin Laden on the ground that he is, in all likelihood, dead. This view, which apparently is held by the senior commanders on the ground in Afghanistan, is based largely on the fact that the last intercept of a communication believed to come from bin Laden was last December. Since the assault on Tora Bora, he has been silent, and the ongoing search for him has been fruitless. Nor have intercepted communications from other Al Qaeda members contained evidence that he is alive. On the other hand, some intelligence officials are quoted as saying that if bin Laden were dead, other Al Qaeda leaders, as well as his family, would behave differently. “If he is dead, very few people in Al Qaeda know it,” one official says. My own guess is that, as Mark Steyn put it some time ago, bin Laden has been laiden six feet under.

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