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Friday Talking Points [166] -- Osama Bin Laden Is Still Dead

[ Posted Friday, May 6th, 2011 – 16:01 PDT ]

Mission freakin' accomplished.

I don't care how ironic that sounds to some, it's true. Osama Bin Laden declared war on America, waged that war for years (and killed Americans in doing so), then hid for many more years, and was finally hunted down and killed like an animal. Mission accomplished.

I wouldn't care, at this point, if the White House dusted off the old Bush banner and hung it out on the front of the building. Because the mission of killing our number one enemy was successfully accomplished last week, which pushed almost all other news aside. Some days in the news business you find a "single-story day." This was a single-story week. It was that important.

America, to be blunt, doesn't have these moments very often. In actual fact, we've had more severe disappointments on this level than achievements. Jimmy Carter was just as bold and daring as Barack Obama in greenlighting a helicopter raid, but the raid crashed and burned in the deserts of Iran instead of accomplishing the mission. Had this mission been a success, the 1980 election would have been a whole different story.

Ronald Reagan had his days of disaster as well. The bombing of a barracks in Beirut was probably the biggest of these failures, although taking a cruise missile potshot at Ghaddafi was also a mission failure as well. George H.W. Bush had a military victory in Kuwait, but refused to pursue Saddam Hussein to Baghdad (rightly or wrongly), setting up a stalemate that went on until his son was in the Oval Office. Bill Clinton fired a few cruise missiles off that didn't hit paydirt, either. And George W. Bush had 9/11.

In short, moments of spectacular victory such as this aren't as common as moments of spectacular defeat seem to have been. George W. Bush did catch Saddam Hussein, but by the time he did the public had so soured on the Iraq war itself that it was a tainted victory at best.

Back to the present, what struck me about the past week was how America almost seemed to be searching for the proper way to celebrate this victory. And how petty the complaints were from the political ankle-biters. Which is why, this week, rather than contribute to partisan mudslinging (which we normally enjoy the heck out of, to be honest), I have written a rant instead of the weekly talking points. The subject of this rant is: "Can't we all just breathe a collective sigh of relief in unison here, rather than being back at each other's throats right away?" Or, more pointedly, perhaps: "We got him, and I simply don't care about the rest of it."

So we'll just very briefly get the awards out of the way here, and then we'll move directly on to the rant.

 

Most Impressive Democrat of the Week

President Barack Hussein Obama is truly the only choice for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. This week might just qualify him for Most Impressive Democrat Of The Last Fifty Years, in fact.

Successfully killing the avowed enemy of America, Osama Bin Laden, is a historic event. How much luck had to do with this is immaterial at this point. Obama chose the gutsiest military option, and it almost didn't work. I'm sure visions of Carter were dancing in everyone's heads when they heard one of the helicopters had gone down. But it all turned out OK in the end. Not unlike the Canadian Mounties, we got our man.

The political smear of Obama being "weak" isn't going to be tossed around much anymore. Neither is the smear that he can't make up his mind what to do. He chose the hardest route, and it worked. Bin Laden is dead. End of story.

For this, Obama deserves a nation's praise. He also deserves the heck out of his record-setting twenty-fifth Most Impressive Democrat Of The Week. Well done, Mister President, well done.

[Congratulate President Barack Obama on the White House contact page, to let him know you appreciate his efforts.]

 

Most Disappointing Democrat of the Week

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may have just missed a window of opportunity. He was boldly stating, a few weeks ago, that he was going to bring up the Ryan budget which had passed the House (and which kills Medicare as we know it) for a vote in the Senate, when it resumed work. The past week was his best chance of doing so. He did not. I don't know if Harry just backed down, or whether he bargained it away behind the scenes, but it was a mistake not to hold this vote.

Putting every Republican senator on the record as voting to replace Medicare with vouchers would have helped Democratic Senate candidates enormously next year. This is why the Republicans senators are so terrified of voting on the Ryan budget in the first place. They fear the Tea Party on one side, and the seniors on the other. As they rightly should.

Reid could have forced the issue this week -- nobody was paying the slightest bit of attention to the Senate, so it would have been perfect timing. Shove the vote through, and the Democratic campaign ads next year would have just written themselves.

By the end of the week, Republicans had already cracked under the pressure, and are now admitting that they're tossing the "kill Medicare" Ryan idea under the bus. This is because the idea is not popular at all with the voters out there, as Republicans just found out in two weeks of town hall meetings back home.

Reid threatened to throw his weight around, and force the vote. Then he didn't do so, in the best week he had to make it happen (to be fair, we will consider rescinding this award, if Harry does force a vote soon). For showing such weakness, and for issuing such an empty threat, Harry Reid is this week's Most Disappointing Democrat Of The Week.

Don't you want to help Democrats win Senate elections next year, Harry?

[Contact Senator Harry Reid on his Senate contact page, to let him know what you think of his actions.]

 

Friday Talking Points

Volume 166 (5/6/11)

It seems that, ever since President Barack Obama announced the good news last Sunday night that Osama Bin Laden was dead, the Monday-morning quarterbacking began. After a very brief moment of unity, the pundits and the politicians asked themselves the question they always asks themselves, whenever virtually anything of any importance happens: "How does this fit into politics-as-usual?"

But you know what? This is precisely what the rest of the country hates about both politicians and the media. The knee-jerk reaction to see "who's up and who's down?" in the political word is the core reason most Americans (outside BeltwayLand, of course) get so frustrated with Washington. In fact, this is the perfect week to put this thought into words: "Want to cover a horserace? Go to Kentucky! Just let me enjoy the fact that we got Bin Laden for a minute, would you?"

I mean, seriously. Does this nation even know how to celebrate a victory anymore? Have we had so few true victories in recent times that we've actually forgotten how to handle them when they happen?

Sure, it's all schadenfreudey of me to say so (to coin a phrase). You know what? I don't care. We got Bin Laden. It may be politically incorrect by some standards, but it is still a valid reason for Americans to feel good.

Osama Bin Laden was not a criminal, in the normal sense of that word. He was an enemy. He himself made this clear, by declaring war on the United States of America. He led not a country but a gang of ruthless thugs, but that doesn't mean we should treat him any differently than a state enemy. He declared himself a military target. And we took him out as a valid military target. Mission accomplished.

So can we all stop squabbling and breathe a sigh of relief together? The death of this one man has -- overnight -- changed our geopolitical position as a country. This summer, we'll be discussing withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and Bin Laden's death changes that discussion in profound ways, for the better. That is something to celebrate, indeed.

I have to admit I was taken aback personally as I saw the spontaneous crowd gathering Sunday night to wave signs saying things like "DING DONG BIN LADEN IS DEAD!" at the gates of the White House, and at Ground Zero in New York City. It's a bit unseemly, and I remember how incensed Americans were to see people in other parts of the world actually celebrating 9/11 when it happened. But at the same time, I realize that such outpouring of emotion is an entirely human thing to do, and that there were probably plenty of Americans who felt like giving a big "Hip Hip Hooray!" in public when they heard the news last Sunday.

In fact, I've been surprised at how lame the late-night comedians have been on the issue. Is it too soon? No! It most certainly is not! In fact, I am looking forward to watching Saturday Night Live this week, just to see if Chevy Chase puts in an appearance on "Weekend Update" to utter the line: "This just in... Osama Bin Laden is still dead."

Is this belligerent of me? I don't really care. In fact, "I don't really care" has become somewhat of a mantra for me, as I watch the media fill endless hours dissecting this or that particular aspect of killing Bin Laden. I really don't care about a lot of it, even though (as a blogger) I am supposed to get downright indignant over this or that particular detail. Because what really makes me indignant is that we're even discussing this or that detail. My feelings on the death of Bin Laden can best be summed up as that mythical quote from a Wild West gunslinger: "He's dead, and I'm not, and that's the way I wanted it." Everything else, at this point, seems like small potatoes to me. Bin Laden's dead. He's still dead, in fact (come on, Chevy, you just know you want to say it this week...). Everything else is picking nits, really -- or naked partisanship, which is even more disgusting.

Was the raid "legal" or "extrajudicial execution"? I don't care. Bin Laden's dead. The Navy SEALs aren't. Mission accomplished.

Is the public going to get to see gory photos of Bin Laden's body? I don't care. I know he's dead. Even Al Qaeda itself has now admitted he's dead, so what exactly would be the point, other than to feel American's almost-endless appetite for gore?

Anyone who doubts this appetite exists, please see for proof: Bones, CSI, NCIS, or any of the other alphabet-soup prime-time shows where rotting corpses are now the star attraction. We've entered into a whole new level of the world described by the "Gang of Four" musical group back in the 1980s, in "5.45" -- their song about the gore on the evening news:

Down on the street assassinate
All of them look so desperate
Declared blood war on the bourgeois state
Watch new blood on the 18-inch screen
The corpse is a new personality

As they scream repeatedly at the end, "Guerilla war struggle is a new entertainment!" Indeed.

But slaking this bloodthirst is not in the nation's best interests, President Obama has decided. And you know what? That's OK with me. I'm no better than anyone else -- I surely would have examined closeups of the photos, were they to be released, along with many Americans. But I take the president at his word when he says that the release of the photos would put American soldiers at heightened risk. Good enough for me -- their safety is much more important than my curiosity.

The White House, as in all such situations, didn't have the full and complete story (what reporters call the "tick tock") on the raid in the first days after it happened. Debriefing was, obviously, not complete, and details were provided which were later recanted. I don't really care, one way or another. Was Bin Laden killed? Yes, he was. Were any Americans killed? Nope. Was there collateral damage? I don't care. Anyone living with the number one target of the United States is taking their lives in their own hands by doing so. Which is why I don't care exactly what went down in the raid -- only in the results.

Was Bin Laden's body treated with proper respect and buried according to Muslim tradition? I don't care. I really don't. He had no compunctions about treating fellow Muslims to death, and were the position reversed is there anyone alive who thinks Bin Laden would bury an American soldier with a Christian burial? I mean, it's nice that America shows we're "better than that," but would I have cared if they had just tied a rock to his body and kicked it overboard? No, I would not have. I will say that Obama's decision to bury him at sea was a brilliant one, though, since it provides no shrine for his misguided followers.

This all may sound shocking to some. But in my opinion, we've had too much cerebral thoughts and dissection of what happened. When most Americans feel like celebrating, instead. So I'm feeding my Jingoistic id this week, as I mostly ignore the petty squabbling coming from other quarters (both right and left). Osama Bin Laden's dead. The rest is merely details.

I have to say, this may be a barbaric stance for me to take, but, once again, I don't care. Because the people who are carping and complaining about this or that detail just look small to me right now. This is a big deal. This is the type of thing that people will remember years from now: "Where were you when you heard...?" All the partisan horse manure will not be remembered at all, that's my guess anyways.

Do you want to give every tiny shred of credit to Barack Obama for this accomplishment? Feel free. Do you want to give the lion's share of credit to George W. Bush? Go right ahead, doesn't bother me. Do you want to crow about the vindication of torture? Be my guest. Do you want to decry the use of torture once again? Hey, I'm with you. I simply don't care, at this point.

There will be plenty of time for all that later. There's plenty of time now, for those interested, as these (and many other) debates rage online and over the airwaves. But you know what? I don't care. This weekend I will pop open a beer and raise a toast to the fact that Bin Laden is feeding the fishes in an unidentified part of the ocean. I'll toast Navy SEAL Team Six (even though they're not supposed to exist, officially) -- the same team reported to have killed the pirates at the beginning of Obama's term, by the way. I'll toast Barack Obama, Leon Panetta, and Robert Gates. I'll even, for the first time in my lifetime, toast the Central Intelligence Agency. I'll toast whomever you please, as long as the refrain is: "This just in... Osama Bin Laden is still dead."

 

-- Chris Weigant

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Cross-posted at: Democratic Underground
Cross-posted at: Democrats For Progress
Cross-posted at: The Huffington Post

 

49 Comments on “Friday Talking Points [166] -- Osama Bin Laden Is Still Dead”

  1. [1] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    You have taken FTP to new heights with this absolute masterpiece of a rant that was a complete and unadulterated joy to read!

    Bravo! Bravo!

  2. [2] 
    mecormany wrote:

    This piece is total jingoistic American-exceptionalism crap.

    Yeah, I know. You don't care.

    Obama ignored three Executive orders, international law that prohibits heads of state from sponsoring or planning the assassination of any leader - no matter who he is or what the reason is, invaded a supposed ally's sovereign space (and then had the gall to declare this a precedent that would allow him to do it again) and ordered this man to be murdered in cold blood if that's what it came down to. And the highly trained assassins made sure it did. Then in a speech full of lies, tells the country an entirely bogus account of it all and, a man who's signed off on the drone deaths of thousands of citizens in six countries so far, continues the Bush practice of telling us what evil personified our enemies are, while America is good and just and our history is to do what we set out to do.

    That's become the head of a world empire, Chris, in case you haven't noticed. There is no proof bin Laden had anything to do with 911. He denied it 4 times and even if you scoff at our CIA agents who said this was a man who would not lie, he like most heads of groups fighting against what they perceive as an unjust power, take credit for anything they do that damages it.
    This president --who I unfortunately worked and voted for -- has shown he is an imperialist, empire building sociopath who can kill innocents and joke about it with the Jonas Brothers, has claimed rights for his office that supersede anything mentioned anywhere making the executive branch an imperial presidency, has acted as though he is above the law. has no respect for the rights of law or due process, and but for a bad break would have in one glorious weekend, assassinated one recognized head of state and one "leader of a band of ruthless thugs" which is exactly how people over there describe our presidents and our military -- but small matter. You were born here, so screw them.

    This was not justice. Surviving Nazi's and Japanese military after World War 2 received justice, even if it was a victor's justice.

    "The right of a government to use deadly force against (anyone) is constrained by both domestic criminal law and international human rights norms that seek to protect the individual's right to life and liberty...Guilt must be proved in a court of law, with (charged) individuals (given) the protections of due process guarantees."
    "Killing an individual without trial is allowed only" in self-defense or need to save other lives. "In almost any other case, it would be clearly unlawful, tantamount to extrajudicial execution or murder."
    This cold-blooded murder of a cold-blooded murderer puts us on the same level as AQ, as if our acts in the wars haven't already, and does nothing to solve any problem facing the country, be they international or domestic, beyond pumping up the patriotic volume which was starting to run down, so we can continue on against Libya, Iran, and as it's starting to look like - - Pakistan.

    And to all this, Chris Weigant says,

    "Was the raid "legal" or "extrajudicial execution"? I don't care. Bin Laden's dead. The Navy SEALs aren't. Mission accomplished. . .We got him, and I simply don't care about the rest of it."

    When I read rank Obama USAUSA cheerleading like this, I better understand why he hates professional lefties. And I better understand why we don't care.

  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    mecormany -

    First off, welcome to the site. Your first post was automatically held for moderation (we do this to cut down on comment spam), but subsequent posts will appear immediately, just to let you know.

    As for your points, I can't really rebut or disagree with most of them. The article is indeed Jingoistic. It is in the spirit of empire. I cannot deny it. And, you're right, I don't care.

    The thing is, this isn't exactly normal for me. I don't ask you to take this on faith, just browse through the archives at random if you don't believe me. But on some visceral level, no matter how far Left (or even Libertarian, at times) I lean, I am still an American and actually take pride in flying a US flag on the 4th of July. So sue me.

    There are many moral reasons to condemn what the US (led by Obama) just did. I routinely take such moral high roads in my writing, and defend these positions against people who strongly take exception (you'll be meeting one of these, Michale, as soon as he wakes up, that's my guess anyways) to such positions.

    But, with Bin Laden, I simply don't care. What's more, I think I speak for most Americans when I say that (although this is just a gut feeling, and I have nothing whatsoever to back that statement up, I fully admit).

    One point, though, your last paragraph didn't make much sense. Why would Obama hate cheerleaders for what he's doing? As far as I could tell, it was mostly Rahm Emanuel who hated the Professional Left, and he's gone now.

    Anyway, I have to say, your point of view is just as valid as mine. And maybe yours is more solidly grounded, even I'll admit. But sometimes emotion wins out over intellect, and this was one of those times for me.

    I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about an article I wrote last week (before either of those weekend events you mentioned happened) entitled: "Should America Assassinate?" as it is a much more balanced take on the whole question.

    In any case, thanks for posting. Your points are valid, I just don't agree with them, that's all. And I could easily be wrong in the bigger scheme of things, I'd be the first to admit.

    -CW

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    Ronald Reagan had his days of disaster as well. The bombing of a barracks in Beirut was probably the biggest of these failures, although taking a cruise missile potshot at Ghaddafi was also a mission failure as well.

    Not to be nit-picky, but Reagan's assault on Tripoli consisted of F-111 bombers, not cruise missiles..

    President Ronald Reagan ordered a strike on Libya on April 14. Eighteen F-111F strike aircraft of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, flying from RAF Lakenheath supported by four EF-111A Ravens of the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing, from RAF Upper Heyford in England, in conjunction with fifteen A-6, A-7, F/A-18 attack aircraft and EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft from the aircraft carriers USS Saratoga, USS America and USS Coral Sea on station in the Gulf of Sidra, struck five targets at 02:00 on April 15, with the stated objective that their destruction would send a message and reduce Libya's ability to support and train terrorists. Reagan warned that "if necessary, [they] shall do it again."[6]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1986_Bombing_of_Libya

    They fear the Tea Party on one side, and the seniors on the other. As they rightly should.

    I can't speak to the Tea Party, but I think you are overestimating Seniors resistance to the Ryan Budget... Every poll I read shows that Seniors prefer Ryan's budget to the Democrat's budget...

    As to the rest??

    HOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

    Well said indeed!! :D

    Mecormany,

    "The right of a government to use deadly force against (anyone) is constrained by both domestic criminal law and international human rights norms that seek to protect the individual's right to life and liberty...Guilt must be proved in a court of law, with (charged) individuals (given) the protections of due process guarantees."

    That is not what "war" is...

    We don't have a grand jury when war is declared, we don't issue indictments, we don't arrest enemy combatants.

    We kill them.

    It's really that simple...

    This cold-blooded murder of a cold-blooded murderer puts us on the same level as AQ,

    You are confusing the act with the intent.

    Using your reasoning, a cop who employs deadly force to save an innocent is no different than the mob hit man who kills for fun and profit..

    The intent is the key...

    Just step back and look at thing realistically for a second.

    Can you imagine the threat that putting Bin Laden on trial would present? How many more innocent people would die if that were to happen?

    Isn't it immoral to allow that to happen? I mean, isn't the whole point to SAVE innocent lives??

    It's clear that the only moral choice in this matter was to execute Bin Laden summarily and throw his body to the sharks.

    Michale.....

  5. [5] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    mecormany,

    It is quite obvious that you know NOTHING about Chris Weigant.

    And, yet, here you are posting about a subject you know nothing about.

    How do you explain that special brand of nonsense? You know what ... DON'T ANSWER THAT! Because, none of us around here care about reading anymore of your patently nonsense rants.

    Good-bye! And, good riddance.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Not to be nit-picky, but Reagan's assault on Tripoli consisted of F-111 bombers, not cruise missiles..

    If I recall correctly, we lost a couple of F-111s to AA fire....

    Interestingly enough, I read a spy novel sometime in the 90s that postulated a scenario where the bombing raid over Tripoli was actually a cover so that the Reagan Administration could deliver a couple of F-111s in exchange for something. I don't recall what.. But at the time, the F-111 was the best strike aircraft we had in our arsenal..

    But, I digest... :D

    Michale.....

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's clear that the only moral choice in this matter was to execute Bin Laden summarily and throw his body to the sharks.

    Let me rephrase that...

    It's clear to me that executing Bin Laden and feeding him to the sharks can be morally justified..

    Michale......

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    Liz,

    Don't beat around the bush...

    Tell us how you REALLY feel! :D

    Michale.....

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Mecormany,

    continues the Bush practice of telling us what evil personified our enemies are, while America is good and just and our history is to do what we set out to do.

    If two leaders, who are diametrically opposed politically, come to the same conclusion regarding a certain course of action, wouldn't a logical and rational person have to at least CONSIDER the possibility that it is the proper course of action??

    Michale.....

  10. [10] 
    dsws wrote:

    Even Al Qaeda itself has now admitted he's dead, so what exactly would be the point, other than to feel American's almost-endless appetite for gore?

    Really? I think I missed the "almost" part.

    I'm no better than anyone else -- I surely would have examined closeups

    I don't make any general claim of being better than anyone else, but on this particular point -- I wouldn't have.

    Was Bin Laden's body treated with proper respect and buried according to Muslim tradition? I don't care. I really don't.

    I do. Desecrating a corpse isn't about the deceased. It's about the people who do it, or in this case, the people who could but don't.

    mecormany -

    What's wrong with empire? Nation-states brought us worse wars than empires ever did. Does it even really matter whether the state is an empire or a nation-state? I don't think so. I think what matters is having institutions configured so that effective exercise of power depends on the consent of the governed, and so that everyone has at least as much opportunity to influence policy within established institutions as they would by open conflict.

  11. [11] 
    dsws wrote:

    Oops, I left two one: having power be exercised in accordance with law rather than according to the arbitrary will of whoever's in a position of authority, and having the right to a reasonable sphere of privacy be explicitly and effectively protected.

    I think if those criteria are met, it doesn't really matter whether the state is nominally a country, an empire, or a tribe; whether it's nominally a democracy, a dictatorship, or an oligarchy; or whether it's nominally a theocracy, a nation-state, or a dynastic monarchy.

    I'm all for criticizing the US. It's our duty as citizens. But criticize it for what it does, or is predisposed to do by its institutional structure, not for what category it falls into.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    I do. Desecrating a corpse isn't about the deceased. It's about the people who do it, or in this case, the people who could but don't.

    I disagree...

    It's not "desecration" if one treats a corpse in the manner that is deserved...

    It's not as if Bin Laden was an honorable soldier on a battlefield.. He was a coward and an animal and deserved no more consideration than one would have stepping on a cockroach.

    Further, as I have stated, by giving Bin Laden a semi proper Muslim burial, the US has, in a way, validated Bin Laden's tortured and perverted version of Islam...

    The US should have dumped Bin Laden's body in the wilds of Africa and let him be food for the hyenas and then dared any Muslim to speak against such treatment...

    Was Bin Laden a real and true Muslim??

    Of course not...

    So why treat his rotting corpse as if he was???

    Michale.....

  13. [13] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    As for your points, I can't really rebut or disagree with most of them.

    That is disturbing.

  14. [14] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Chris,

    Anyway, I have to say, your point of view is just as valid as mine.

    That's more disturbing, still.

  15. [15] 
    Osborne Ink wrote:

    I'm glad bin Laden is dead and I hope it hurt when they shot him in the face. I don't need to see pictures and I won't tolerate conspiracy fucknuts one instant.

    And what Colonel McQueen said:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfBndSv8qaE

  16. [16] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Any week that ends with Michale and Elizabeth in total agreement was a good one.

    Heh.

    Michale, you're right, Reagan did use jets. I wrote that paragraph from memory, and forgot to fact-check. I should have remembered, since France and Spain refused overfly rights, and they had to go around through Gibraltar to do the mission (they took off from Britain, as I recall). But anyways, I blew it. Mea culpa.

    I should also have included "Blackhawk Down" under Clinton, forgot about that one too, which also involved helicopters going down.

    Anyway, what Matt Osborne said above is pretty close to the way I was feeling when I wrote this.

    Now I'm off to watch SNL... to see if Chevy shows up...

    :-)

    -CW

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    But anyways, I blew it. Mea culpa.

    No worries.. As I said, it was a minor nit-pick to your over all theme...

    Anyway, what Matt Osborne said above is pretty close to the way I was feeling when I wrote this.

    As do I.... As I said, I really don't have any doubts..

    But the people who DO want to see the photos also have good points.

    Every momentous event in the history of this country (at least, the modern age) has been followed by complete and utter visual disclosures... Moon Landing, Kennedy Assassination, Katrina, 9/11 etc etc has visuals up the wazoo...

    We get public enemy number one and where are the visuals???

    The American people have absolutely no concrete evidence that Bin Laden is actually dead...

    As I am wont to do, turn it around...

    Would the Left have accepted this so easily if it had been a Republican administration??

    I honestly doubt it...

    I'm just sayin'....

    Michale.....

  18. [18] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:

    Michale,

    I don't believe for a second that you don't have any visuals of bin Laden's demise.

    :-)

  19. [19] 
    Michale wrote:

    I don't believe for a second that you don't have any visuals of bin Laden's demise.

    :-)

    Touche' :D

    But here's the thing...

    There are two main reasons given by TPTB for NOT publicly releasing the photo ...

    1. Conspiracy nuts will claim it's a photo-shopped fake...

    and

    B. It will inflame radical Muslims..

    On the face, those appear to be logical and rational reasons...

    But, when one examines them closely, the logic falls apart...

    1. Conspiracy nuts are already pointing to the lack of photo as "proof" Bin Laden wasn't really killed... So if a photo is released, they will just whine about 'fakery'.. But they are going to whine regardless, so why not be the transparent government that the American people were promised?

    B. You know my feelings about appeasing radical Muslims.. Beyond that, there are plenty of photos available that the radical Muslims can use to inflame their followers.. One more will make little difference in that regard...

    Finally, as I stated to David above, the kill photo WILL come out. There is no legal reason to keep it from an FOI request... So, the photo WILL come out.. It seems to me it would be better to release it now, when the radical Muslims are already hysterical...

    If the photo comes out 3 months, 6 months, a year down the road, it will just bring it all back again..

    Better to release now rather than later...

    Michale.....

  20. [20] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    It seems to me you're not addressing the stated reason Obama gave for not releasing the photo -- a reason I would think you'd agree with: it might put American forces in the field at risk. Wouldn't you want to err on the side of caution on that one?

    How about: we release the photo when the last US soldier leaves Afghanistan? Seems a reasonable compromise...

    -CW

  21. [21] 
    Michale wrote:

    It seems to me you're not addressing the stated reason Obama gave for not releasing the photo -- a reason I would think you'd agree with: it might put American forces in the field at risk. Wouldn't you want to err on the side of caution on that one?

    That comes under the heading of Inflaming Muslim radicals.

    Further, there is absolutely ZERO supporting evidence to support that reasoning...

    Our forces are already at risk, simply by virtue of the US offing Bin Laden...

    A photo that shows it will do little to increase the risk...

    Besides, I would be willing to wager that if you polled the grunts on the ground, their attitude would be, "BRING IT!!".... :D

    How about: we release the photo when the last US soldier leaves Afghanistan? Seems a reasonable compromise...

    Not really, because THEN the reasoning would be that releasing the photo would increase the likelihood of terrorist attacks on US proper..

    It's a self-fulfilling prophecy that has no supporting evidence whatsoever...

    Michale.....

  22. [22] 
    Michale wrote:

    This all heralds back to the overall issue that this administration has with the world's Muslim population and their outright refusal to police their own..

    The Obama administration is simply rewarding bad behavior...

    The world Muslim population has absolutely NO incentive to change because they know all they have to do is get hysterical, cut a few heads off and the US government will bow to their wishes...

    I am getting sick and tired of the psychotic Muslims determining US policy...

    It's frack'ed...

    Michale.....

  23. [23] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I am getting sick and tired of the psychotic Muslims determining US policy.

    I don't see any Muslims determining US policy much less psychotic ones.

    Is there someone in particular you're referring to?

    Sometimes I'm with 'ya, Michale, but on this one 'ya lost me.

    -David

  24. [24] 
    Michale wrote:

    David,

    It's simple..

    If it wasn't for the psychotic Muslim fanatics, the photo of a dead Bin Laden would have been released..

    Especially since the Obama administration swore to be the most transparent administration in US history..

    Ergo, the psychotic Muslim fanatics determined US policy with regards to the release of Bin Laden with his head blowed off...

    And, it's interesting to note that no one has addressed the point that the photo WILL be released.. There is no legal reason to deny an FOI request for the photo..

    So, why not just do the right thing and be the transparent government they promised to be??

    I am at a loss to understand their particular brand of logic...

    You have to ask yourself.. If Bin Laden was John Q Smith, a domestic Christian terrorist that did what Bin Laden had done, and caused as much terror and mayhem as Bin Laden has, would the administration hesitate in releasing a photo of his corpse??

    Of course not...

    So there we have psychotic Muslim fanatics determining US policy...

    The dreaded PMFs!! :D

    Michale.....

  25. [25] 
    akadjian wrote:

    If it wasn't for the psychotic Muslim fanatics, the photo of a dead Bin Laden would have been released.

    I think its more about the Muslim non-fanatics and the non-Muslim non-fanatics.

    Forget about the fanatics for the moment. There may not be much you can do about them.

    But if you take the moral high road, everyone else is with you. This as a way to win support for our side by doing the right thing.

    Al Qaeda confirmed his death. DNA evidence has confirmed his death. So there's really no need to release the photos to prove anything.

    Its about us doing the right thing.

    Most Americans agree.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/09/us-binladen-poll-photos-idUSTRE74725920110509

    If Bin Laden was John Q Smith, a domestic Christian terrorist that did what Bin Laden had done, and caused as much terror and mayhem as Bin Laden has, would the administration hesitate in releasing a photo of his corpse??

    I don't believe they'd release the photo even in your hypothetical.

    Why? Because it wouldn't be the right thing to do. No one else is "making" us do this. It's the right thing to do.

    I know it bugs 'ya because its Obama, but there it is.
    Cheers,
    -David

  26. [26] 
    Michale wrote:

    I think its more about the Muslim non-fanatics and the non-Muslim non-fanatics.

    I disagree. More important, Obama disagrees...

    "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head-are not floating around-as-an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool,"

    We don't have to worry about moderate Muslims using propaganda tools...

    It's the fanatical Muslims that Obama cited as the reason why he won't release the photo...

    But if you take the moral high road, everyone else is with you. This as a way to win support for our side by doing the right thing.

    Yea??? That's right up there with "HOPE" and "CHANGE"...

    Howz that workin' out for us so far???

    Most Americans agree.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/09/us-binladen-poll-photos-idUSTRE74725920110509

    That's funny..

    The CNN Poll says that 56% of Americans want to see the Bin Laden photo...

    That's what's funny about polls. You can pick and choose and have them say anything you want.. :D

    I don't believe they'd release the photo even in your hypothetical.

    Bull carp... The Left wouldn't have a problem with releasing it whatsoever.. And a Dem Administration could not release it fast enough...

    I know it bugs 'ya because its Obama, but there it is.

    Sorry, that dog won't hunt.. I think my admiration for Obama's actions in this issue has been made extremely clear...

    I simply point out that he is making the wrong decision on the photo issue.

    He is letting fanatical Muslims determine US policy..

    Where do we draw the line??

    And again, you and I both know that the photo WILL come out... This is inevitable...

    Don't you think it's better that it comes out now amidst all the hysteria?? That it's "the most transparent administration in history" that releases it voluntarily now, rather than have the courts force a release 6 months from now???

    Michale......

  27. [27] 
    Michale wrote:

    Pressure's building..

    Last Monday, the AP filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the photographic and video evidence taken during the raid on bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The organization's FOIA request included a reminder of the president's campaign pledge and a plea to be more transparent than his predecessor. "The Obama White House 'pledged to be the most transparent government in U.S. history," wrote the AP, "and to comply much more closely with the Freedom of Information Act than the Bush administration did.'"

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2011/05/associated-press-case-releasing-bin-laden-photo/37510/

    Like I said, isn't it better that the most transparent administration releases the photos voluntary?

    Rather than having to be forced by the courts AND public opinion??

    Michale.....

  28. [28] 
    akadjian wrote:

    Michale,
    It's not who we are. At least its not who I am. I don't believe in releasing murder photos period. Not unless there is some possible good that could come out of it.

    In this case I don't see any. So I guess we'll just have to disagree.
    -David

  29. [29] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's not who we are.

    Maybe it's not who you are...

    But the majority of Americans feel different..

    Don't they count??

    Not unless there is some possible good that could come out of it.

    It will end the RATIONAL controversy surrounding the issue..

    So I guess we'll just have to disagree

    Most likely..

    The photo WILL come out...

    Surely you can see the logic of doing it now, voluntarily rather then doing it later by force...

    Michale.....

  30. [30] 
    dsws wrote:

    1. Conspiracy nuts will claim it's a photo-shopped fake

    Right. So there's no reason to release it, except to appeal to the base appetites of the public.

    B. You know my feelings about appeasing radical Muslims

    It's the opposite of appeasement. Appeasement is acceding out of cowardice to something that's not right. Not releasing the photos is acting out of a "who we are" aspiration, i.e. acting according to a belief about what is right. Not releasing the photos is standing up to the political urges of the moment. It's the opposite of appeasement on both criteria.

    why not be the transparent government that the American people were promised?

    Transparency is avoiding hidden conflicts of interest, and secrecy for secrecy's sake. It's providing the public with the information we need in order to function as informed citizens. There's no transparency value in peddling gornography that doesn't tell us anything new.

    It seems to me you're not addressing the stated reason Obama gave for not releasing the photo -- a reason I would think you'd agree with: it might put American forces in the field at risk.

    That depends how it would do so. If it were going to give away operational intelligence that would be of use to our enemies, that would be justified. But if the idea were to be sensitive to our enemies' sentiments in the hope that they'll play nice, I would have to flip-flop on the issue. Stationing troops in the Sudetenland would have put them at risk too. The willingness to be put at such risk is precisely what we honor the troops for.

    That comes under the heading of Inflaming Muslim radicals.

    No, it comes under the heading of providing Muslim radicals a tool with which to recruit Muslim moderates to their cause. The more we say "Muslim radicals" as though it were redundant, the more we do to make it so.

    We've given OBL too much power over us already. He shaped our foreign policy for a decade. He wanted to be a big deal. We should let him fade into well-deserved oblivion, not build him up into a martyr for everyone who has a grievance with us to rally around.

    We should have treated the 9/11 attacks with the same relatively-calm seriousness we would give to an extra 3000 deaths from car accidents or tobacco or salmonella. Instead we gave OBL exactly what he wanted.

  31. [31] 
    akadjian wrote:

    It will end the RATIONAL controversy surrounding the issue.

    You mean, like the birther controversy?

    If this is a rational controversy, what is the desired goal you hope to achieve by releasing the photos?

    Ending a "controversy" that doesn't have a point to begin with is circular logic.

    Yours in Spock,
    -David

    p.s. Here's an advertising tip. Any time a commercial has to tell you something about a product, there's a good chance they're exaggerating or the claim is simply not true. For example, if a commercial tries to tell you that a product has high QUALITY or that its EASY TO USE. If it were so easy to use, you'd know it - Apple products, for example. When companies have to resort to telling you about a product, its a good idea to question these claims.

  32. [32] 
    dsws wrote:

    Another point about building him up into a martyr. From the Jaynestown episode of Firefly: "It's my estimation that every man ever got a statue made of him was one kind of sommbitch or another. Ain't about you, Jayne. It's about what they need."

    Being a superpower, even the most wise and benevolent superpower imaginable, gives people grievances. It just comes with the territory. As Gil in Girl Genius said, the particular grievance isn't the point. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070514

    People with grievances against the same opponent need a symbol to rally around, same as any other political group. If we continue to make OBL the most prominent figure of opposition to the US, we will make him that symbol for at least some people -- including people who would otherwise have despised him, and it would have been mutual if he had still been here to have an opinion of them. Ain't about him. It's about what they need.

  33. [33] 
    akadjian wrote:

    @dsws

    Jayne!
    The Man they call Jayne!

    Oh, He robbed from the rich
    and he gave to the poor.
    Stood up to the man
    and he gave him what for.
    Our love for him now

    ain’t hard to explain.
    The hero of Canton
    the man they call Jayne.

    That's one of my favorite TV episodes ever!
    -David

    http://www.pixiepalace.com/tv-snippets/jaynes-song/

    Sorry, got distracted, but that's good stuff.

  34. [34] 
    Michale wrote:

    It's the opposite of appeasement. Appeasement is acceding out of cowardice to something that's not right. Not releasing the photos is acting out of a "who we are" aspiration, i.e. acting according to a belief about what is right. Not releasing the photos is standing up to the political urges of the moment. It's the opposite of appeasement on both criteria.

    And THAT is utter carp...

    If it's "who we are" why are so many other photos released???

    Why did the Left howl and whine to release the Abu Ghraib photos??

    Where was the "who we are" sentiment then???

    The facts are, the Obama administration are appeasing the fanatical Muslims..

    Don't take my word for it..

    Listen to President Obama..

    "It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head-are not floating around-as-an incitement to additional violence. As a propaganda tool,"

    As I said.. There are Americans out there who want to see it...

    Why are they wrong and you are right??

    Transparency is avoiding hidden conflicts of interest, and secrecy for secrecy's sake. It's providing the public with the information we need in order to function as informed citizens.

    Fine.. So there is a segment of the American people who need to see that Bin Laden is, in fact dead..

    Loved ones that were brutally murdered by this scumbag...

    And President Obama (and ya'all incidentally) are giving them the finger and telling them they are disgusting for wanting to "spike the football"..

    Pretty damn insensitive, if ya ask me...

    We should have treated the 9/11 attacks with the same relatively-calm seriousness we would give to an extra 3000 deaths from car accidents or tobacco or salmonella. Instead we gave OBL exactly what he wanted.

    Oh give me a frakin' break..

    That's like saying the woman who wore a short skirt is somehow to blame for the rape...

    What would you have Americans do??

    Treat 9/11 as a car accident!!???

    Are you frakin' KIDDING me!!????

    David,

    Ending a "controversy" that doesn't have a point to begin with is circular logic.

    See the part above about the big 'FRAK YOU' that Obama is sending to those Americans and people all over the world who lost loved ones to Bin Laden's terrorism...

    Michale.....

  35. [35] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Michale -

    I have a few questions for you.

    1. Did you agree with the release of the Abu Graib photos? Why or why not? Do you think they had a real-world effect on our military in the field?

    2. Note, in that AP bit, that they want the video, too. David Sirota just wrote a piece demanding the release of the entire video of the operation (don't have link handy, sorry). Do you want the video released as well (even assuming, as Sirota does, that you could hide the identities of the US soldiers)? Sirota also said the gore should be pixelated out. Do you agree, or not?

    3. As for FOIA, it ain't gonna work. Remember about a year ago or so, someone filed a FOIA for ALL of the Abu Graib visuals (movies and images, reportedly) -- most of which had never been seen by the public. Obama said "No" on national security grounds, and I believe the courts backed him up. Do you think Obama was right to use the "national security" trump card in this case?

    Interested to see your responses to those.

    -CW

  36. [36] 
    dsws wrote:

    That's like saying the woman who wore a short skirt is somehow to blame for the rape...

    Exactly like, except for having nothing in common in any way whatsoever.

  37. [37] 
    Michale wrote:

    CW,

    Ooooo I just love it when ya get specific!! :D

    1. No I do not, but not for the reasons you might think..

    I was against the release of the Abu Ghraib photos because it painted the entire military with the brush of a few miscreants.. Further, the actions of the "miscreants" weren't really that big of a deal as say, the Afghanistan Kill Team photos. No one was killed, murdered or maimed.. At worst, they rose to the college hazing or prank level.. They were blown way way out of proportion by the Media and the Bush-bashers for completely partisan political purposes...

    That's why I was against the release of the Abu Ghraib photos..

    2. That's a tougher call.. As long as the video is edited to protect the identities of our SEALS, I don't have a problem with it being released... Any tactical data (assault techniques, etc etc) can be gleaned from many MANY other sources all readily available, so that's not a big issue..

    Imagine if it had been an assault on a Christian fundamentalist group.. The Obama Administration would fall all over themselves releasing all the videos they could find to show how big and mean those evil Christians are...

    Oh wait. We don't have to imagine.. Do you know how many videos are available of the actual Waco assault and siege??? And I do believe it was a Democratic Party administration....

    But, because it's a MUSLIM fundamentalist group, we must do ALL we can to make sure we don't upset the Muslims.

    Once again, we see how the US Constitution is voided to appease the psychotic Muslim fanatics...

    3. This harkens back to your commentary on what "National Security" truly means?? Is it protecting the security of the country? Or is it protecting the Administration from embarrassment??

    Regardless, there are absolutely ZERO National Security implications to releasing the photo of Bin Laden with his head blowed off...

    Now, if you want to point to the psychotic Muslim fanatics as a threat to National Security, then you MIGHT have an argument. But you would then have to concede that the US Constitution is being voided by a bunch of religious fanatics...

    dsws,

    Exactly like, except for having nothing in common in any way whatsoever.

    And your reasoning is....what exactly??

    Michale.....

  38. [38] 
    Michale wrote:

    Looks like Obama just blew his ONE chance to keep the Bin Laden photos from being released..

    Members of the Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees were informed Tuesday that they could make an appointment to see the photos taken of the killed terrorist leader in a viewing room at the CIA, sources said.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/54707.html#ixzz1M3HGuCU8

    FOI requests can only go to Government Agencies. The White House has near complete immunity from FOI requests. One can FOI a letter to Obama from the Commerce Department, but one cannot FOI say, a picture of Obama's children that sits on his desk.

    If Obama had ordered all copies of the Bin Laden photo to be sent to the White House and kept the pictures there, an FOI request would fail.

    But now that it's been reported that photos are at the CIA (a government agency subject to the FOI) there is no way those photos can be protected from FOI requests...

    "National Security" won't fly.. The Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional freedoms cannot be curtailed based on the policy of what an angry mob MIGHT do...

    The photos will come out.

    It's funny though.. Once again, President Obama finds himself on the opposite side of the majority of the American people..

    He sure has a habit of this...

    Michale.....

  39. [39] 
    Michale wrote:

    "National Security" won't fly.. The Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional freedoms cannot be curtailed based on the policy of what an angry mob MIGHT do...

    ACK!!!

    "National Security" won't fly.. The Supreme Court has ruled that constitutional freedoms cannot be curtailed based on the POSSIBILITY of what an angry mob MIGHT do...

    I have NO IDEA where 'policy' came from...

    Michale.....

  40. [40] 
    akadjian wrote:

    I have NO IDEA where 'policy' came from.

    I ask myself that question everyday about our government policies :)

    David

  41. [41] 
    Michale wrote:

    I ask myself that question everyday about our government policies :)

    Good one.... :D

    Michale.....

  42. [42] 
    Michale wrote:

    Well, the truth comes out!

    It wasn't Seal Team 6 that took out Bin Laden...

    It was the Maquis!!!!

    http://a57.foxnews.com/static/managed/img/Scitech/660/371/star-trek-seals-550x343.jpg

    Once again, proving that Trekkers are on the cutting edge!!! :D

    Michale.....

  43. [43] 
    Michale wrote:

    Oh, hay, CW??

    You asked me before about DADT??

    http://apnews.myway.com/article/20110512/D9N5S42G0.html

    Michale.....

  44. [44] 
    dsws wrote:

    And your reasoning is....what exactly??

    That question is like a rubber chicken.

  45. [45] 
    nypoet22 wrote:
  46. [46] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hay CW, ya wanted some Bin Laden jokes?

    “Osama bin Laden was apparently shot twice in the face. It looks like Dick Cheney may have been involved.”
    -Jay Leno

    :D

    dsws,

    That question is like a rubber chicken.

    "Very good, Lewis. Short, yet.... pointless"
    -Egon, GHOSTBUSTERS II

    You blamed the US for "giving Bin Laden exactly what he wanted."

    In other words, you blamed the victim for the crime.

    Ergo, it's akin to blaming the victim of a rape, saying she deserved it because she wore a short skirt...

    The United States absolutely and unequivocally holds ZERO responsibility for the terrorist acts of 9/11

    Do you know how I know this??

    Because absolutely and unequivocally NOTHING justifies terrorism...

    Since there is absolutely and unequivocally NOTHING that can justify terrorism, there is absolutely and unequivocally no possible way that any victim of terrorism could share some responsibility for the act..

    "Simple logic."
    -Admiral James T Kirk, STAR TREK IV, The Voyage Home

    NYpoet,

    news travels fast in this galaxy...

    http://www.galacticempiretimes.com/2011/05/09/galaxy/outer-rim/obi-wan-kenobi-is-killed.html

    Oh my frak'in gods, that was hilarious!!!

    And, some of the comments were priceless...

    "Why are we still giving aid to Tatooine? They probably knew of Kenobi's existence the whole time and even helped him! That whole planet is just a big hive of scum and villainy. "

    "I love how the liberal rag GET keeps referring our Defense Star as the "Death Star". Take that propaganda back to Courescant, Nerfherder!!! "

    "Why won't Lord Vader show us the body?! "

    That made my day, NYPoet

    Much Ass Grassy Ass :D

    Michale.....

  47. [47] 
    Michale wrote:

    By the bi...

    Happy Friday The 13th! :D

    Michale.....

  48. [48] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    "Why won't Lord Vader show us the body?!"

    that commenter is just prejudiced against the dark side. :D

    Hooper X:Check this shit: You got cracker farm boy Luke Skywalker, Nazi poster boy, blond hair, blue eyes. And then you got Darth Vader, the blackest brother in the galaxy, Nubian god!
    Banky Edwards: What's a Nubian?
    ~chasing amy

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0118842/quotes

  49. [49] 
    Michale wrote:

    that commenter is just prejudiced against the dark side. :D

    From one of the comments..

    "Sadly, even this victory likely won't satisfy Vader's critics -- they can't stand that he is black."

    That has to be one of the funniest things I have read in a long time... I am still smiling about it.. :D

    Michale....

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