Metro, 3 May 2011
All that is certain, is that you should never believe anything the U.S. government tells you –and certainly not the second and third versions of the event. The depths of official U.S. duplicity (triplicity?) are so staggering, they may never be plumbed. “We do know that people were assassinated in a planned execution and there was never any intent of putting them on trial as civilized nations usually do.”
First casualty of war
by Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report, 5 May 2011
“Now that bin Laden is dead we have the American passion for bloodlust on full display.”
The past month has been a difficult one for anyone who wants to be at all knowledgeable about our world. First it was necessary to avoid the endless and endlessly useless reporting of the British royal wedding. No sooner had that media monstrosity ended when we were told that the United States government had succeeded in killing Osama bin Laden. The orgy of hatred and rancid triumphalism was immediate and a sickening sight to behold. Crowds of rabid Americans descended upon “ground zero” the world trade center site, to wave flags and chant as if they were the winning football team.
While the savagery was on full display, so were the lies. The version of events kept changing as the week went on. First we were told that bin Laden resisted and was shot as a result of that resistance. Then he was using a woman as a shield. Both claims were then refuted. First, his safe house was worth $1 million dollars and he was “living high on the hog.” Now it turns out that the home was worth approximately $250,000 and was shabby and dirty, a bit like a home on a reality show about hoarders.
Mansion or hoarded home? Fighter or hiding behind his wife’s skirt? We will never know. We do know that all the inhabitants of the house were not captured. It turns out that because a navy SEAL helicopter broke down it prevented the commandos from capturing bin Laden’s wife and daughter and other occupants. The Pakistanis have them in protective custody and so far refuse to allow the Americans to interrogate them.
“The version of events kept changing as the week went on.”
We don’t know what is true. We don’t know if the president and his team, as first reported, watched the entire attack in real time, or if what CIA director Leon Panetta now says is true. “I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes that we really didn't know just exactly what was going on.” We do know that people were assassinated in a planned execution and there was never any intent of putting them on trial as civilized nations usually do.
The killing has exposed the dark underbelly of American society. The outside group, in this case Muslims, are supposed to disassociate themselves from their members, proclaiming loudly that they are glad bin Laden is dead and they can prove their loyalty. Of course, Christians and Jews don’t have to proclaim denunciation of the occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya which were planned by their co-religionists.
This ugliness has been put on hold for the last ten years. Bin Laden was a specter used to justify unspeakable acts but he was still just a specter. Now that he is dead we have the American passion for bloodlust on full display.
Having succeeded where Bush failed, Obama strutted his way into New York City, meeting firefighters and other deified first responders making the case for more death. The corporate media keep up their dirty work with bizarre and ludicrous portrayals of the SEAL team. Newsweek calls them “the coolest guys in the world” who are the “America’s quietest killers.” The New York Times calls them “elite of the elite” and “all-stars.”
“Bin Laden was a specter used to justify unspeakable acts but he was still just a specter.”
There is no longer any pretense of a civilized nation run by civilian authority.
We were treated to an ordinary photo of the president and his staff but it was immediately dubbed “iconic.” Hillary Clinton felt compelled to claim that allergies caused her to show some emotion upon seeing the video or photos or whatever it is she actually saw. Her decision to tell a strange tale was unnecessary and a reminder of why she, a bad liar unlike Obama, is secretary of state and not president.
So now we have years of the Obama the conqueror theme to watch and hopefully not be nauseated by. The disarray of the Republican party made his re-election probable and now he is the bin Laden killer. His only disappointment is that he didn’t succeed in killing Muammar Gaddafi that same weekend. Well, even a Teflon president can’t always win.
* Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com.