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OTHER VIEW: Conspiracy nuts having a grand time

It's no surprise that enemies and detractors of the United States are denying that a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaida. It's all a hoax, they are saying. Bin Laden would never be living ...

It's no surprise that enemies and detractors of the United States are denying that a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the terrorist organization al-Qaida. It's all a hoax, they are saying. Bin Laden would never be living in a relatively posh suburban neighborhood, they are saying. They are asking: Where is the proof, the photos? It's another Western ploy, they say - and, we suspect, really believe it.

It's the routine response from factions in many Arab and Muslim nations.

But when the same brand of conspiracy nonsense taints the airwaves on American talk radio -- on Fargo-Moorhead talk radio -- it confirms that some Americans are, well, not bright. Of course, a requirement of getting sucked in by talk radio is donning a "No thinking allowed" T-shirt. Maybe that's why some (not all) talk-radio shows are so much fun. They demand no serious thought or accountability for saying stupid stuff. Good for laughs, if nothing else. We all need a laugh now and then.

The stupid stuff has been flying since last week. It's been an orgy of extreme silliness that ranges from denying U.S. Special Forces were even involved in the killing of bin Laden to charges that President Barack Obama staged the whole thing to shore up his sagging job approval ratings. When more responsible talk-show hosts (yes, Fargo has a couple) press a caller to provide credible evidence that such charges are remotely true, none can. Not one. The best they can do is reference an obscure Internet site as a "source." How's that for credible?

It's important to stress that by painting the raid to kill bin Laden as a hoax, the conspiracy nuts are dismissing the skill and courage of the commandos who got the job done. They are positing that literally hundreds -- maybe thousands -- of people in government, the military and media are engaged in a massive lie. They cling to that goofiness even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the world's most wanted terrorist was indeed killed by U.S. Navy SEALs.

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The crazies won't be convinced. They will have their say, mostly on talk radio, and most Americans will shake their heads at callers' ignorance.

After all, conspiracies have no limits for some folks. The people who won't accept the facts of the bin Laden raid are the same people who believe the John Kennedy assassination was a Mafia hit, the moon landing was faked and Elvis lives. Don't believe it? Pull on that T-shirt and listen to talk radio.

The Forum, like The Daily Republic, is owned by Forum Communications Co. of Fargo, N.D.

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