Reality Check: Osama bin Laden's burial at sea

By Ben Swann email | bio

Right now, the body of Osama Bin Laden is somewhere at the bottom of the Arabian Sea.  The U.S. government says they had few options and exercised the best one.

In accordance with Islamic tradition the body must be buried within 24 hours.

Already,  the Muslim rights group CAIR has spoken out.

"The question was raised about the burial of Osama Bin Laden. We have received so many calls and questions by respected media journalists and we say this is a trivial issue." says Nihad Awad, the Executive Director of CAIR National.

The issue is not entirely trivial.  The Obama administration felt strongly enough about that possibility, that they determined the only way to dispose of Osama Bin Laden's body was to do so in accordance with Islamic tradition.

John Brennan, an assist to President Obama for Homeland Security told reporters that the decision to bury Bin Laden at sea was made months ago when the military was running through scenarios.

But, is burial at sea, actually in accordance with Islam?  That depends on who you ask.

The correct form of burial is for the body to be placed in the ground with the head pointed toward the Muslim holy city of Mecca.  Islamic law does allow a body to be buried at sea, that is true, but according to a number of Muslim clerics, "only" if the person dies at sea.

The other time burial at sea is permitted is if the person has no land to be buried on.  The U.S. claims no countries were interested in taking Bin Laden's body, but to be fair, we have no list of countries contacted.

Here's what you need to know:

Bin Laden's body was washed and placed in a white sheet. He was placed in a weighted bag.  Religious remarks were made by a military officer and Osama Bin Laden was slipped into the Arabian sea about 2:00 A.M.

Bottom-line, the Obama administration was in an impossible situation.  Remember when the son's of Saddam Hussein were killed and there was a delay in their burials?  Their dead faces were shown on newspapers across the world, sparking outrage.

The U.S. government and military just couldn't fall into that again.  Not this time,  Not with this man.  Burial at sea really was the "only" option.

And that is Reality Check.

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