Latest Update HERE.
So we are all greeted with the news that Osama Bin Laden has been killed during a raid to capture him. But no worries about identification and what to do with his body, because it was DNA tested (against DNA from his dead sister) and then “buried at sea”.
Just a small matter though, something that should be obvious to anybody who knows the reality outside the world of CSI (whatever). DNA testing doesn’t take 30 seconds in a big machine with lasers. That’s a myth.
But I suspect you might think, how would HE know. So here are some sources for you to look at and make your own mind up.
DNA Worldwide – Forensic DNA Tests offer a 10 to 15 day turn around time.
Cell Mark is a company that specialises in DNA testing, in fact it’s apparently the UK’s most recommended. They say it takes 3-5 DAYS.
All Experts goes into some very helpful detail of forensic DNA testing. 5-10 DAYS.
International Biosciences has a “Rush” service. I contacted them by phone and they tell me it’s 3 days.
Genetic Testing Labs – Fast job service – 3 days.
Genetics Home Reference – (a part of the U.S. National Library of Medicine) says weeks to months
Can it be done quicker?
Now the BBC ran a story in August last year (2010) that a scientist had developed a test that can match DNA in just FOUR HOURS. But the process is labour intensive and required laboratory conditions. Just like a ship, yeah? HOWEVER, it’s use has NOT BEEN APPROVED for use and, as the story reads “Neither the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) CoDIS DNA database, nor the UK National DNA database can currently support rapid DNA testing technology.”
Incidentally, a truly RUSH JOB takes 8 hours. “At the UK’s Forensic Science Service (FSS), urgent samples can be prioritised on request and, once delivered to a lab, can be processed in about eight hours.”
From experience I know this basically means that an individual is assigned to “walk” the sample through the processing in order to get the timeline down. But the current DNA process cannot be rushed any further due the nature (pardon the pun) of how it’s carried out.
UPDATE – Those timings in detail.
The following times are source from the BBC report and AP.
The attack ended at 18.15pm GMT, 23:15 Islamabad, 14:15 Washington time.
The US first news announcement was 02:15 GMT (2nd May) which was 22:15 Washington time (1st May).
That’s 8 hours (not 30 hours, dasdas). Out of which you have to take the time to transport the remains from Islamabad to Afghanistan by helicopter. That would take approximately 2 hours (230 miles at 115 mph… which is PUSHING IT).
Then what? Do the DNA work in Afghanistan in less than 6 hours. Of course, you’ve got to manage the speech, sort the media out. So let’s take another hour. At which point we have 5 hours TOPS to carry out the DNA test. Assuming that they can separate the sequence from the initial samples and you don’t have issues.
That’s not including the time getting the “sample” to the necessary lab.
UPDATE 2 – Wikileaks leaked email suggests no burial at sea
6 March 2012
This is pure conjecture, albeit from somebody on the inside of the “security theatre”.
Fred Burton, vice president for intelligence at Stratfor, wrote to colleagues on May 2nd, the day Bin Laden was killed:
“Reportedly, we took the body with us. Thank goodness.”
Then at 5.51am, he followed it up with:
“Body bound for Dover, DE on CIA plane. Than [sic] onward to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Bethesda.”
It should be noted that by 3.10pm, he sent this email to George Friedman, Stratfor’s chief executive.
“Down and dirty done, He already sleeps with the fish…”
Very “Godfather”, if you ask me. Or is he just covering his backside? Who knows.