May 9, 2012
We just passed the one-year anniversary of the (alleged) execution of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. But, did he really live until 2011? Ten years earlier, in 2001, his kidneys were failing, and he was on dialysis. Do you know what the life expectancy is for dialysis patients in the United States? Unless you get a kidney transplant (and Osama did not) the average life expectancy is 5 years. And that presumes that top-notch medical care is provided, which may be hard to come by in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. And being on the run and living in hiding can’t possibly help the situation.
However, Osama bin laden had a lot of other health problems besides kidney disease. They included insulin-dependent diabetes, hepatitis, osteoporosis, an enlarged heart, anemia, abnormally low blood pressure, and Marfan’s syndrome. [See Nicholas Kollerstrom, "Osama bin Laden: 1957-2001" which can be found on jamesfetzer.blogspot.com, and David Ray Griffin, Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive? (2009).]
The picture below is of Osama bin Laden from 2001, and below it is an image of him from 2011 which was released by the Pentagon immediately after the raid. I think you’ll agree that in the first picture, he looks rather pale and ashen and quite sickly, and in the second picture he looks quite robust.
Which man looks older? They say that he dyed his hair, but forget about that. Hone in on the tired, weary eyes of the “younger” Osama. Compare the fullness of their faces, or I should say the lack of it in the older-looking, more decrepit Osama from 2001. Note that we tend to lose facial fullness with age for two reasons: the layer of sub-dermal facial fat tends to dissipate with age, and the facial skin cells don’t plump up as much with water as we get older.
Look at the firmness and solidness of the musculature around the shoulders of the latter bin laden compared to how he looked 10 years earlier. Sarcopenia, which is the age-related atrophy of somatic muscle, is a universal condition, but some people experience it more than others. But, it occurs to some degree in just about everybody, and it starts rather young, about age 30. But, those are some solid trapezoid muscles on the “older” Osama. What, was he lifting weights at his compound in Abbottabad?