The (Jessica) Lynching of Osama bin Laden

Wow. You expected this kind of shit from the unelected Bush regime, with its lies about and cover-ups regarding the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman sagas, but you (or at least I) expected more from the Obama administration.

Until now I have held off on repeating any of the details that have been released regarding Osama bin Laden’s actual moment of death because I was skeptical of them – and for good cause, because now, they are reporting, apparently bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in the head and did not use one of his wives as a “human shield.”

The “human shield” charge especially was repeated all over the corporately owned and controlled mass media, because it fit in nicely with the pre-existing jingoistic narrative of bin Laden as actually being a “coward” instead of a bad-ass — a charge that is probably more false than true and that says a lot more about Americans’ actual collective level of courage than it does about bin Laden’s. (Americans, after all, kill with high-tech weaponry and they usually kill from a distance. [Which makes American killing “civilized,” you see, while the less technologically advantaged “terrorists” often if not usually kill others more closely and personally, which makes them “terrorists,” as does the fact that they’re not Americans.])

Anyway, so now the latest word is that bin Laden was unarmed and that the woman who was shot dead along with him was not his wife, but was another woman, and that his wife was injured in the firefight, but was not used by bin Laden as a “human shield.”  

These are just basic facts of what the fuck happened. You would think that the “transparent” Obama administration would have done a much better job of getting out accurate information about such a momentous news event.

And the fact (well, the fact du jour, anyway…) that bin Laden was unarmed raises the legal, moral and ethical question of whether or not he should have been captured and brought to trial instead of executed on the spot. Does a “civilized” nation of “laws” and “order” and “human rights” execute someone who is unarmed, even someone like Osama bin Laden, on the spot?

I recognize the huge problems, including, of course, security issues, that putting bin Laden on trial would have presented. But do we have principles or not? Do we mean what we say in our Constitution about human rights — including the right to a fair trial and the right not to be summarily executed, no matter what it is believed that you have done – or don’t we?

All of this — the initial misinformation about bin Laden’s summary execution, the apparent fact that bin Laden could have been taken alive — makes Barack Obama way too much like George W. (“W” for “Wanted Dead or Alive”) Bush for my sense of right and wrong, and I have to wonder how much of bin Laden’s execution was calculated to benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

I mean, fuck: In January, Team Obama did indeed roll out, as part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the lame meme of “We do big things” in the State of the Union Address. Yesterday, Obama said of bin Laden’s execution, “Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do.”

I mean, that looks like a link to me. It’s fairly apparent that Team Obama sat around and pondered: Hmmm… How can we fit Osama bin Laden’s death into our re-election campaign narrative?

Even in this great age of cynicism, that’s some sick shit, in my book.

Again, I’m not crying that Osama bin Laden is dead, but we cannot claim to be a “civilized” nation that respects human rights and laws and at the same time do shit like summarily execute the “bad guys.” (As far as body counts of innocents go, we Americans actually are the biggest global bad guys, but because we’re Americans, we’re fucking saints.)  

And to watch Barack Obama act as though he went over to Pakistan and got bin Laden himself – when that long, hard work was done by other people, including some who apparently put themselves at the potential risk of great injury or death – is nauseating, especially when Obama apparently plans to use bin Laden’s scalp for political gain.

But that is the history of the slimy political opportunist Obama: taking credit for others’ work, such as how he only rode, all the way to the White House, the wave that Howard Dean had created with the left-leaning “netroots.”

Now, it appears, it is the execution of Osama bin Laden that is going to keep Obama in the Oval Office for another four years.

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