In defense of history's worst: Osama Bin Laden is innocent (Part 1)
Having been inspired by Wylted's "In Defense of Evil" series I decided to start my own.
Innocent: not guilty of a crime or other wrong act 
The burden of proof in this debate is on Con to show that Osama Bin Laden was guilty of any crimes he was charged with, the standard of proof being beyond reasonable doubt.
If you don't qualify for this debate leave a comment and I'll consider you.
Round 1 - Con Arguments
Round 2 - Pro rebuttals and arguments, Con rebuttals and arguments
Round 3 - Same as above.
Round 4 - Con rebuttals, Pro may only say "Thank you for this debate" so there are an even number of rounds.
I’d like to thank Pro. I’m looking forward to reading the other debates in this series. I have to applaud Pro for his willingness to debate in favor of an extremely unpopular opinion. I too have read some debates in Wylted’s series and found them very interesting.
One more definition
Osama Bin Laden: Full name, Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden. Born: 10 March 1957 Died: 2 May 2011, founder of Islamic Militant group al-Qaeda
We all saw this argument coming. On September 11, 2001, there were various terrorist attacks in the US in which 19 terrorists hijacked four airliners with the intent of suicide attacks. The result was the loss of 2,996 lives . There were many civilian lives lost, making this a crime against humanity . Bin Laden at first denied the attacks, but in 2004 he created a video claiming responsibility
“As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way: to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women."” 
This is an admission of guilt .
Bin Laden has been charged with other crimes. His most well known before 9/11 was the conspiracy and murder of US nationals. The evidence of the charges were from courtroom testimony from a former Al-qaeda member and phone records .
Bin Laden is responsible for the foundation of Al-Qaeda . Which is a militant group that has killed many civilian and military targets . Bin Laden is the cause of these targetings, making him responsible.
The resolution is negated, there are good reasons to think Bin Laden is a criminal. He is guilty of crimes against humanity.
Now to Pro.
Before I move on, I would like to clarify Con's definition of Osama Bin Laden. Con claims that he is the 'founder of Islamic Militant group al-Qaeda', something that has yet to be proven as fact in the context of this debate. In fact, I will actively challenge that idea in my proceeding arguments.
In this round, I will simply provide a rebuttal of my opponent's arguments as the burden of proof is on Con. I would also like to remind voters that the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt. If there is any doubt in your mind that Bin Laden may not have been responsible for the crimes he has been charged with, then you must agree with the resolution that Osama Bin Laden was innocent.
I am surprised to see that Con has made such a small argument to support such an obvious and large hoax. I do not contend the idea that there were nineteen hijackers or 2966 lost lives, these facts have no relevance to the case as long as Con cannot show that Osama Bin Laden ordered the attacks. In the source Con provided, claiming that there is "video evidence" of Bin Laden confessing his crime, I urge voters to click on that source (3) and take a look at it. The video simply claims to take excerpts from the video, though the actual video cannot be seen. I thus put forward the argument that this is an illegitimate source as it provides no video and "The Guardian" is biased and not a reputable source. Furthermore, there is no columnist or writer name in the article, and thus accountability is also reduced. The quote or so called 'confession' that Con has chosen to take is therefore invalid.
Con then incorrectly claims that Bin Laden has been charged with other crimes. In the one trial that Con used as an example, the "four defendants standing trial" were "El Hage", "Mohamed Odeh", "Mohamed al-'Owhali", and "Khalfan Mohamed". El Hage is the only member alleged to have a connection to Osama Bin Laden, but this guy wasn't even "charged with direction participation in the embassy bombings". So the only person who has a connection to Bin Laden isn't charged with the direct participation in the embassy bombings. Hm. Furthermore, Bin Laden never stood in this trial and need not have a chance to have his say, which greatly harmed his chances of proving his own innocence. If that isn't enough, all this 'evidence' simply comes from one witness, the only direct quote about Bin Laden from him being Bin Laden wanted to buy a plane because they had "goods they wanted to ship from Peshawar to Khartoum", something that, by itself, is not illegal. The rest of Al-Ridi's (the only witness) accusations against Bin Laden are either paraphrased or simply stuff he said to Bin Laden. Neither of which incriminate him. "The evidence of the charges were from courtroom testimony from a former Al-qaeda member and phone records." This point is simply false, there is neither mention of al Qaeda or phone records in the source provided.
The link Con has provided for his Al-qaeda argument is yet again another article from the Guardian. Furthermore, no sources are provided from the article, I could also write a piece of journalism on a mythical terrorist committing atrocious crimes in a make-belief organisation if I wished to. This article simply cannot be taken as evidence.
Con has completely failed to prove Bin Laden is responsible for any of the crimes he is alleged to have committed. If anything, this says less about Con's debating ability and is more of a comment on the complete lack of evidence for Bin Laden committing a crime. In my next round I will not only highlight the flaws in Con's arguments, but also provide evidence myself against Bin Laden having anything to do with terrorism as well as the debunking of al Qaeda.
I would like to thank Pro.
One thing I want to clear up about the standard of proof. Yes, I must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Osama is guilty. However, note the word “reasonable”. It is not true that you can’t have any doubt whatsoever, you just can’t have a reasonable doubt. So, if we find Pro’s rebuttals unreasonable, I have fulfilled my BOP. An example, you walk in and see your child that you left alone next to a broken vase. The most plausible conclusion using abductive reasoning is that he broke the vase. Of course the child could claim that a leprechaun or a burglar broke in just to break the vase. We can’t know for certain that this didn’t happen and indeed it is a doubt. However, it is not a reasonable doubt. All I must do is demonstrate that it is reasonable to think Osama is that child who broke that vase. Moving on then.
Pro claims 9/11 was a hoax. This supports my case, as using occam’s razor it is unreasonable to think this is the case. It would be highly complex to think 9/11 and these hijackers were all one big hoax. It adds an unnecessary step making it unreasonable. It should be dismissed a priori unless there is strong a posteriori evidence to support it. Next he attacks my source. He claims it must be dismissed as it doesn’t show the video. However, this again would be claiming one big hoax to make you think poor ole Osama is a criminal. This is violating occam’s razor. Regardless, I will present the video . However I believe Pro will probably dismiss it. The Guardian has left wing bias. However, this is a fallacy of composition. Being biased in some aspects doesn’t mean being biased in all aspects, or even being unreliable. It is also a genetic fallacy. He rejects it solely because of where it’s from. Furthermore, his argument from bias fails, because this is a partyless issue. Even the right wing Fox news reported the same thing  along with other news reports .
My opponent here is doing nothing short of a card stacking fallacy. He is dismissing evidence against his case for no good reason, positing wild and unreasonable conspiracy theories .
It is irrelevant that El-Hage wasn’t charged for this bombing. It seems he was just doing legal business with him. Although, on an interesting note, Hage was charged with conspiracy to murder in 2001 and was sent to prison later that year . I meant to include source  in my original argument, but I’m not sure what happened to it. It does say Laden had contact with the Nairobi cell. Which creates the link. It is unlikely that Bin Laden would have showed up during the trial or that it would have made a difference, for obvious reasons. If he is found guilty, he has no place to hide. It is simply smart for Osama to not show up. I am not saying it is certain that Osama ordered the bombings, but it is the best explanation.
The evidence isn’t based on one witness, but on many other evidences.
Pro’s entire argument here commits the genetic and card stacking fallacies. Along with improbable statements like the guardian could have just made it all up. Regardless there’s many other sources that say the same things .
Ultimately, Pro’s rebuttals are based on an unreasonable amount of skepticism. Filled with fallacies of composition, genetic and card stacking. Along with implausible and complex claims of conspiracy that should be rejected a priori.
My arguments remain standing
I thank Con for his interesting (but mistaken) arguments on this innocent man. I will follow the same structure as Con since all I have to do is refute his arguments.
Broken vase argument
My opponent has decided to display his understanding of reasonable doubt through the analogy of the broken vase. Just because the plausible conclusion is that he broke the vase does not mean there aren't any other reasonable theories. His brother or sister could've knocked it over and blamed him - the vase could've been placed in an unstable location - the cat could've knocked it over by accident. These arguments can only be disproved through examination of evidence, the mere fact that the child happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time does not mean he is guilty. This is exactly the same with my poor friend Osama Bin Laden - the wrong place and the wrong time. Con does not only have to demonstrate that "it is reasonable to think Osama broke that vase", Con has to demonstrate there is a lack of reasonable doubt. Reasonable theory does not necessarily mean there is a lack of reasonable doubt.
Con has wisely started his argument off with the infamous occam's razor that has hijacked biblical debates for centuries. However, we aren't trying to prove if belief in a God is rational here. We aren't trying to see which is more likely. Occam's razor does not state that all other theories aren't reasonable. It doesn't say that the best theory has no reasonable doubt. You cannot walk into a criminal case and say Occam's razor says it is most likely that you killed the person. He then responds to my attack of his source - and indeed I have committed many fallacies. However, I would like to highlight that bias does not extend simply to left wing or right wing, bias is intrinsically rooted into any sort of representation. Having said that, I will now provide my own evidence in showing that 9/11 was a hoax. On a side note, I am not claiming that the hijackers were a hoax, I am simply saying Osama was not the man behind it. Nothing else.
My own evidence
In this source, Fox News, arguably one of the most 'mainstream' news sites that my opponent has also used, reveals the 9/11 hoax as a demolition. If voters believe this to be a reasonable theory, then sufficient doubt is cast on Osama Bin Laden and he is therefore innocent. On the same strain, here is another reasonable theory that someone else was responsible, as seen in this interview. Top Bin Laden expert has also claimed the confession to be of a clearly overweight and imposter Bin Laden.
Each of these sources stand on their own and cast reasonable doubt (I would argue more than reasonable) into Osama's involvement and direct order on the attack of the twin towers and terrible tragedies that happened on that fateful day of 9/11 where a single, god loving, innocent man had to shoulder the blame and hatred of the world.
Like my opponent stated, El-Hage is not relevant for this debate - I was simply highlighting a weak link in his previous argument. However, it is interesting to note that even my opponent agrees he is not "certain that Osama ordered the bombings, but it is the best explanation." I'm sorry, but you cannot simply accuse an innocent man because it is the best explanation, there must be evidence beyond reasonable doubt. It is a man's life and his legacy and his family's legacy on the line is, I'm afraid we'll have to do better than the best explanation. As I stated in my previous round, the fact that Bin Laden never stood trial should mean that he was innocent, as the assumption should always be innocent until proven guilty. Bin Laden was never proven guilty and my opponent has provided insufficient evidence.
Since my attacking of Con's sources has been argued to be fallacious, I will be using my own sources to debunk the whole Al-Qaeda myth. Again, I would like to reiterate that I am not required to provide empirical evidence, I simply have to cast reasonable doubt. I will provide a few of many videos with CIA agents and many other experts to show that Al Qaeda never existed.
I have provided more than enough evidence to cast reasonable doubt on Osama Bin Laden ever committing the atrocities he was wrongly accused of. Hopefully I have not violated any fallacies in this round, nor have I attacked my opponent with any fallacies and I hope he reciprocates this in his rebuttal of my evidence.
Unfortunately, my opponent's arguments are falling as quickly as the twin towers.
It has been a great debate. Looking forward to seeing the others in the series.
I don’t really need to respond to anything here, because this wasn’t an argument. His objections don’t touch on the main idea anyway. He claims something like a cat could have knocked over the vase. This is trivial as this isn’t the original analogy in question. Which makes it a red herring. Pro also says “Con does not only have to demonstrate that "it is reasonable to think Osama broke that vase", Con has to demonstrate there is a lack of reasonable doubt.”
The two are tautological. If you demonstrate x is a reasonable theory, it follows there is no reasonable doubt against that theory. If there is a reasonable doubt, then it is clearly degraded to a neutral theory that has an equal probability of being true or false or leaning towards false.
9/11 and Other Crimes
I’m not sure about the relevance of mentioning the existence of God or the truthfulness of the bible. Occam’s razor has been used in those discussions, but it is not solely used for that purpose. Likelihood and the reasonableness of something is innately linked. To negate that view is to take a highly indefensible position bearing many absurdities. It is not reasonable to believe in an unlikely theory. If there is a reasonable doubt in a theory, its likelihood will be reduced to 50/50 or leaning towards it being false. How can you have a reasonable doubt without having any effect on the likelihood? In order for 911 conspiracy theories to have equal or more standing than the mainstream view, they would have to be just as parsimonious as the mainstream view. Which is clearly false. Positing a big secret hoax is not as parsimonious as the mainstream view.
This extends into the other crimes section. As his main criticism in this section is the same. However, he repeats his claim that Bin Laden being there would have somehow made him innocent. He ignored what I wrote about that in the previous round and never explained how this would be the case. He then talked about the presumption of innocence. I do agree that the presumption of innocence should be used, but we are dealing with inductive reasoning. In order for us to know for certain that Osama committed the crime, it would have to be deductively true, but the claim is not a deductive one . The only way to prove someone is guilty is to show the best explanation available with the current evidence demonstrates that the person is likely guilty. Pro’s conception of what the presumption of innocence means is unworkable.
Pro concedes that his other rebuttals in R2 are fallacious. He also says bias isn’t just a left wing, right wing thing. This is a strawman, as I never claimed that. This also irrelevant, since his attack on the baisness of The Guardian came from it being a left wing paper .
Pro’s evidence and Al-Qaeda
Pro mostly doesn’t make any arguments of his own here. He just links us to other people making arguments. I will cite websites rebutting Pro since that’s all I can do, but that is not a debate, it’s just trading links.
Furthermore, Pro has used the debate tactic of spreading, most commonly known as the Gish Gallop . Pro cites 7 videos, one of them is an hour and a half long. I counted a combined total of 2.3 hours and this is a low estimate because I only counted the minutes, not the seconds. There is no way I can rebut more than 2.3 hours worth of information under 8,000 characters. There have been entire websites formed around the claims in those videos.
Fox news isn’t just one person, Fox hosts a variety of TV personalities. Napolitano is just one person on Fox. So, the claim that Fox revealed 911 was a hoax, isn’t entirely accurate. Nonetheless, demolition theories have been debunked many times . The claims of Al-Qaeda’s nonexistence have also been refuted .
The only statement Pro made that can count as an argument is this
“Top Bin Laden expert has also claimed the confession to be of a clearly overweight and imposter Bin Laden”
The website referenced is this one.
I have found no evidence of Bruce Lawrence making these claims, however I have found evidence of that this is an entirely fabricated story.
Mike Williams writes 
“.....there are a few points about this story that you might like to keep in mind.
We're not entirely sure why Lawrence is referred to here as "Top U.S. Bin Laden Expert", other than to try and make the story more convincing. We've not seen anyone else make that claim about him. And while he edited a book of bin Laden's speeches, the cover, author biography and introduction make no mention of any special expertise on the man.
The introduction to Lawrence's "Messages to the World" does contain other useful comments, though:
...Three years later, al Qaeda activists hijacked four planes in the United States and in suicide missions destroyed the World Trade Center, and severely damaged the Pentagon, killing 3,000 people, most of them Americans. It was not until 2004 that bin Laden publicly acknowledged his role in planning and organizing the attacks of 9/11 (Statement 23), but from the start few doubted that he was the author of this epochal act of terrorism. The Bush Administration's response was not long in coming… 
When he wrote this book Professor Lawrence seemed in no doubt that al Qaeda were responsible for 9/11, then. And his book actually includes the October 2004 bin Laden statement that Lawrence says claims "direct responsibility for 9/11", with lines like "as I looked at those destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the oppressor in kind by destroying towers in America, so that it would have a taste of its own medicine. and would be prevented from killing our women and children."
If Lawrence believes that al Qaeda were behind the 9/11 attacks, then, and that a legitimate 2004 bin Laden statement claimed responsibility for this, then his comments on the 2001 video don't seem nearly as significant as the original story made out.”
Pro’s claim here is unjustified
Pro conceded that most of his second round is fallacious. Pro also misconstrues the link between probability, reasonability and Occam’s razor. His evidence come from the fringe debunked 911 truther movement coupled with the Gish Gallop. I have indeed provided evidence that Osama Bin Laden is guilty and provided evidence against the highly complex and fringe 911 truther position. My arguments remain standing, whereas Pro’s fall faster than free fall.
simpleguy forfeited this round.
Well, thanks for this debate anyway.
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