WASHINGTON -- First there were truthers. Then there were birthers. Now come the "deathers."
Like their refusing-to-believe brethren, a small minority is quietly beginning to insist that there is some doubt about whether Osama bin Laden is really dead. And like their skeptically minded cousins, the movement is beginning innocently, merely asserting that a few questions remain unanswered.
In a Sunday interview with the television station WMUR, New Hampshire state Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker (R) joined the deathers' ranks.
When asked about her reaction to President Barack Obama's announcement that bin Laden was killed, Blankenbeker referenced the "possibility" that the al Qaeda leader was dead.
"I was obviously very excited by the possibility that Osama bin Laden is no longer around. That's great," she said. "You know, my first thought went to the victims from 9/11 and their families."
Blankenbeker has been a member of the armed forces for decades. The New Hampshire Republican said that one of the reasons she questioned the news of bin Laden's death was that she hadn't heard anything from her superiors:
As a military person, I have received nothing from my superior officers. We've had no message trafficking for the first time ever. Every single time there has been a national disaster or an event: 9/11, my email was just on fire with 'be on alert, don't go any where, stand downs' and those sorts of things; Haiti after the earthquake; Katrina after the hurricane; Japan recently; any major event; and -- of course every holiday -- Christmas, New Years, the anniversary of 9/11.
We are always on a heightened alert. If you drive on to a military base you will see the folks in the Kevlar. This is the first time I have received nothing. Nothing.
Which makes me take pause -- it seriously makes me take pause. Because you know -- and I heard your interview earlier with the colonel -- and he was talking about the need to see pictures or not to see pictures. It was just baffling to me that we didn't get a single message saying anything.
Although in the minority, Blankenbeker is not alone. There's a Facebook group called "Osama bin Laden NOT DEAD."
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan wrote to her supporters, "I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you're stupid. Just think to yourself -- they paraded Saddam's dead sons around to prove they were dead -- why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent -- just put your flags away and THINK!"
Alex Jones, a radio host who is outspoken about his 9/11 skepticism, also said on his show, "My friends, this is a complete and total hoax," putting out the theory that bin Laden has been dead for years.
In a recent radio interview with conservative talker Hugh Hewitt, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) disputed these deathers.
"What people need to know is that Osama bin Laden is dead," he said. "There is no doubt about it. ... If he's not dead, let him produce another video."
Blankenbeker did not return a request for comment.