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Bloggingheads 05-03-2011 05:03 PM

Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 

David Edenden 05-03-2011 05:49 PM

The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
The killing of Bin Laden may be a tipping point in stemming the attraction of jihadism for young Muslim men. Bin Laden convinced a large number of alienated youth to die for their religion/country. The "Arab Spring" may convince them to live for their religion/country.

The President of the USA can help the "Arab Spring" .. by stop lying.

Example:

"Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield to protect himself"

I am not young, not an Arab, not a Muslim but I still recognize a lie when it is fed to me by a self-serving politician.

Barack Obama is in possession of a video showing the assault in real time. Release it.

If it showed Bin laden using his wife as a human shield ... great. If it shows his wife desperately trying to shield an unarmed Bin Laden ... assuming no civilized man would shoot a woman ... as he tries to frantically push her away ... yet was still gunned down by Americans, then ... Washington ... we have a problem.

Support the "Arab Spring" ... by stop lying to Muslim Arabs!

olmeta 05-03-2011 05:57 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
What is plain to see now is that the Pakistani military class -which is to say that nation's most relevant class- through American funding, while guarding and growing a nuclear weapons program aimed at our allies, knowingly and deliberately hosted and harbored the world's most dangerous terrorist, a mass-murderous religious lunatic (and our number one declared enemy) as their honored next-door neighbor.

We will soon resume referring to these very men as our trusted allies in "the struggle" against extremism.

Special thanks go out to Bill Clinton and the go-go generation of 1990's global "leadership" who (slept?) while these repressive pricks acquired nukes and thus became strategically relevant in a way their society simply and patently does not deserve to be.

operative 05-03-2011 06:13 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by olmeta (Post 207102)
What is plain to see now is that the Pakistani military class -which is to say that nation's most relevant class- through American funding, while guarding and growing a nuclear weapons program aimed at our allies, knowingly and deliberately hosted and harbored the world's most dangerous terrorist, a mass-murderous religious lunatic (and our number one declared enemy) as their honored next-door neighbor.

We will soon resume referring to these very men as our trusted allies in "the struggle" against extremism.

Special thanks go out to Bill Clinton and the go-go generation of 1990's global "leadership" who (slept?) while these repressive pricks acquired nukes and thus became strategically relevant in a way their society simply and patently does not deserve to be.

The biggest winner in it all is India.

Starwatcher162536 05-03-2011 06:42 PM

Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
I do not have a strong opinion on the likelihood of Osama being a coward who tried to use his wife as a shield, but I do share with you a certain skepticality about any narrative being pushed by the US government that contains charges of cowardice. I have this view for two reasons. The first reason is that the US populace has a history of falsely charging cowardice* where it is unlikely (9/11 hijackers). It's almost like we as a populace can't get our heads around the idea that very bad people can be brave. The second being is it doesn't really fit the narrative of Osama. Wasn't Osama a rich kid who went and fought the Soviets in Afghanistan? Not to mention making his face the face of terrorism by his own volition.

Starwatcher162536 05-03-2011 06:46 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/359...3:08&out=43:23

Measuring what liberals or conservatives do by the actions of a president that shares their party affiliation is sub-optimal. Presidents are constrained by the composition of their paired legislature and past Presidents policies. The Unites States government does not turn on a dime.

tom 05-03-2011 08:11 PM

Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by David Edenden (Post 207101)
The President of the USA can help the "Arab Spring" .. by stop lying.

Example:

"Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield to protect himself"

I am not young, not an Arab, not a Muslim but I still recognize a lie when it is fed to me by a self-serving politician.

The incorrect statement made by John Brennan was corrected (within a few hours) by White House officials last night, and the correction was officially reiterated by WH press secretary Jay Carney today. It seems quite likely that Brennan mixed up some facts, as reports indicate that another of the men at the compound was shooting from behind a woman.

All of these corrections occurred with maximal publicity before the timestamp on your post.

Accusing Obama of "lying" based on this is just silly.

piscivorous 05-03-2011 08:32 PM

Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
Latest line by CIA Director Panetta is that the woman with bin Laden charged the SOF guys and was shot in the leg and then the unarmed bin Laden was summarily executed. Oh and by the way it seems that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were directly responsible for some of the intelligence used to track Osama down which included water boarding (about 8 min into the video).

tom 05-03-2011 08:45 PM

Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by piscivorous (Post 207123)
Latest line by [URL="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#42886480"] Oh and by the way it seems that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were directly responsible for some of the intelligence used to track Osama down which included water boarding (about 8 min into the video).

I couldn't get the video to load, so perhaps there's something more definitive than what I've been seeing, but reports are all over the map on this issue.

There seems to be a consensus that the alias of the courier was ascertained in '05, therefore after enhanced interrogation had stopped.

Here's Rumsfeld, today:
“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

And Lindsey Graham:
"This idea we caught bin Laden because of waterboarding I think is a misstatement. This whole concept of how we caught bin Laden is a lot of work over time by different people and putting the puzzle together. I do not believe this is a time to celebrate waterboarding, I believe this is a time to celebrate hard work."

And the NYT on what happened after the courier's alias was ascertained:

“Operation Cannonball, a [2005] bureaucratic reshuffling ... placed more C.I.A. case officers on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. With more agents in the field, the C.I.A. finally got the courier’s family name. With that, they turned to one of their greatest investigative tools — the National Security Agency began intercepting telephone calls and e-mail messages between the man’s family and anyone inside Pakistan. From there they got his full name. Last July, Pakistani agents working for the C.I.A. spotted him driving his vehicle near Peshawar.”

I don't mean to say that any of this is definitive, and again I'll try to get that video to load again later (heading out for a bit now), but I would caution against jumping hastily to a conclusion on this issue.

Update: I got it to load. Your statement that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were "directly" responsible for the information is absolutely unsupported by the portion of the video I saw. I can spell this argument out in greater detail when I have time to do so, if someone else doesnt beat me to the punch.

piscivorous 05-03-2011 08:55 PM

Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death
 
I clicked on the link and it worked fine for me. It is a Brian Williams interview with Director Panetta from tonight's nightly news. Since it is direct from the horses mouth, so to speak, and thus the current official position I would discount the pieces, that are as you say all over the place, attributed to anonymous sources.

operative 05-03-2011 09:20 PM

Re: Martin Luther King, Jr. on why not to celebrate the "death of an evil man"
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207133)
"I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that" -- Martin Luther King, Jr.

http://gizmodo.com/#!5798029/those-m...itter-are-fake

Wonderment 05-03-2011 09:26 PM

Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal
 
The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.

Wonderment 05-03-2011 09:30 PM

Re: Martin Luther King, Jr. on why not to celebrate the "death of an evil man"
 
Thanks for pointing that out. I retract. :)

uncle ebeneezer 05-03-2011 09:30 PM

Re: I Don't Celebrate Death
 
Well...maybe just a little. ;)

JonIrenicus 05-03-2011 09:36 PM

Celebrating the death of evil men
 
The very start of this diavlog contained a key schism between certain peoples. Are you satisfied when an evil man meets his end? Indifferent?


For the sake of argument, let us say we could be 100% certain that after 911 Osama would not have been involved in any more terrorist attacks, he simply wanted to go into hiding for the rest of his days.

We could choose to spend billions finding him, and expend American and some innocent lives in capturing him, or we could simply let him go free without chase.

If you are simply trying to maximize saving human life, and minimize further suffering and loss of wealth and lives, the rational choice would be to leave off.

But we are not merely rational creatures, we have this wiring that has served us well enough for thousands of years called a sense of justice, a desire to right wrongs for its own sake - independent of any additional benefits. And so we did.

Those who are less moved by that will prefer to call it revenge or retribution, but the result is that some of us find some satisfaction in seeing the perpetrators of murder punished. In my case, the type of murder I am happy to see end in death is wanton, proud, righteous murder, unrepentant murder. That was Bin Laden, and that type of human being is Not the type of being I want to expand the circle of concern over and value their lives.

The husband who leapt in front of his wife to shield her from sprays of bullets at the Giffords shooting is NOT the same man who stabbed Van Gogh to death. Their lives do not hold equal value, they are not equally worthy of having the rest of us respect their right to life. The murderer has less right because of what he does and what he is, a poison to humanity.

I want to see them as the other, something so abhorrent as to prefer it be destroyed than allow to exist. And I guess that bothers many people.




**************Song of Ice and Fire Spoilers ***************

Basically, if you read that series and take no satisfaction in the demise of Joffrey Lannister, that piece of human filth, I don't understand you at all.




Last edit, for now - I am not big on celebrating the death of anyone personally. I am more satisfied with certain deaths and ends than celebratory. But I do see a difference between celebrating the deaths of evil men and good men. And to those who bring up the eye of the beholder card, not all ethical frames are created equal when it comes to human welfare and thriving, some systems are better.

operative 05-03-2011 09:44 PM

Re: Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207137)
The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.

I don't see the case for this level of alarmism. So far as I can gather, the extent of damages from and rapidity of climate change from carbon emissions is anything but concluded (note that I do not dispute that it has been reasonably established that at a basic level there is some causal relationship between carbon emissions and the surface temperature of the Earth).

ohreally 05-03-2011 09:56 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
If killing bin Laden is a great victory worth celebrating, as Lake asserts, then true enemies of the US will wish more American victories of that sort. One guy and 19 losers win the lottery by killing, against their own expectations, 3,000 innocent Americans. To get that one guy, who happens to enjoy a perfectly happy life in a mansion right next to an army base of one of its close "allies," the US:

1. sacrifices more of its own soldiers than people killed on 9/11.

2. spends $1.5 trillion (and counting).

3. exhausts itself in a 10-year pursuit that marks the end of the American century.

4. throws overboard basic civil liberties and turns itself into the "Home of the Scared."

Celebrating bin Laden's death, sheer vulgarity aside, smacks of desperation. This is the basketball team losing 100 to 0 and "celebrating" its 3-pointer at the buzzer. No matter how you spin it, bin Laden, the most successful terrorist in history won, and the US lost -- not even a close contest. Worse, the US defeat was entirely self-inflicted. But, hey, let's celebrate our "victory."

operative 05-03-2011 09:59 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207146)
If killing bin Laden is a great victory worth celebrating, as Lake asserts, then true enemies of the US will wish more American victories of that sort. One guy and 19 losers win the lottery by killing, against their own expectations, 3,000 innocent Americans. To get that one guy, who happens to enjoy a perfectly happy life in a mansion right next to an army base of one of its close "allies," the US:

1. sacrifices more of its own soldiers than people killed on 9/11.

2. spends $1.5 trillion (and counting).

3. exhausts itself in a 10-year pursuit that marks the end of the American century.

4. throws overboard basic civil liberties and turns itself into the "Home of the Scared."

Celebrating bin Laden's death, sheer vulgarity aside, smacks of desperation. This is the basketball team losing 100 to 0 and "celebrating" its 3-pointer at the buzzer. No matter how you spin it, bin Laden, the most successful terrorist in history won, and the US lost -- not even a close contest. Worse, the US defeat was entirely self-inflicted. But, hey, let's celebrate our "victory."

By the notions you have outlined (cost in lives and money, civil liberties and years), Hitler won WW2, the South won the Civil War, and the British won the Revolutionary War.

Wonderment 05-03-2011 10:00 PM

Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

In my case, the type of murder I am happy to see end in death is wanton, proud, righteous murder, unrepentant murder. That was Bin Laden, and that type of human beings is Not the type of being I want to expand the circle of concern over for care about their lives.
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

The execution was wrong according to the Geneva Conventions and wrong to all civilized countries (and several religions) that have abolished capital punishment.

A case could have been made that Bin Laden couldn't have been captured without greater casualties (innocent people), but I don't see the US government really making that case.

I also don't buy into your psychology of vengeance. It's true that we all have these malicious impulses, but the notion that they have "served us well" so we should just keep on indulging them seems ridiculous to me.

Saying that some people are outside "the circle of concern," however despicable their deeds may be, also sets a dangerous precedent for future killings, grants an implicit license to other governments in their law enforcement pursuits, and tarnishes our humanitarian values.

We don't allow our police forces to operate on the principle that it's ok to kill very bad people; we hold in contempt other countries (like Israel or Russia) that engage in political assassinations; in the pre-Bush era, we had ruled out executing our "enemies." But suddenly, everyone is not only comfortable with it, but eager to celebrate it.

One of the real dangers of terrorism is how quickly it erodes our values. If the terrorists get us to build Guantánamos, torture prisoners, hold detainees without trial and summarily execute the "masterminds," then we lose our moral grounding and the terrorists win.

JonIrenicus 05-03-2011 10:26 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207149)
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

Killing most people without trial is illegal and immoral. Fixed that for you. On the legal question that could go either way, the rightness or wrongness of the action has nothing to do with the legality.

Osama being taken out was in no way immoral, especially if reports of him firing on the soldiers is accurate. That is not a summary execution, now granted, to a pacifist any killing is borderline a summary execution because all human life has equal value and is sacred.

This is where we differ. I reject that view, Osamas life does not have equal value in my eyes. This is not a rational statement, neither is yours, it is a preference. Your preference sees all human beings as worthy and deserving of life, mine sees dramatic circumstances where that desert can be forfeited.


The content of a human beings character is irrelevant to you, the only concern is that they are a human being. Decent? Indecent? Who Cares !!!!!

They are human and alive, they deserve to live !!!!! No matter WHAT they do, they deserve to live, no matter how many they murder and slaughter, there is no diminution of worth, their lives are just as sacred and worthy as any others.

I cannot follow you there. To treat the lives of the decent and the indecent with equal worth, is to devalue goodness in my view. But then, you never said you gave a crap about goodness and decency, you care about human life, and think such cares are the same thing.


How perverted and confused one of us is, I guess most think I am? Fine. It is what it is.

ohreally 05-03-2011 10:32 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 207148)
By the notions you have outlined (cost in lives and money, civil liberties and years), Hitler won WW2, the South won the Civil War, and the British won the Revolutionary War.

No. The British lost their richest colony; the South lost slavery; Hitler lost his "1,000-year" reich. They lost because they failed to reach their main objectives. The US wanted to defeat terrorism and it hasn't. Bin Laden wanted to defeat the US and he has. He doesn't deserve all the credit. Goldman Sachs did its part. So let's say that bin Laden and Wall Street together engineered the end of US dominance. Is that worth celebrating? You tell me.

operative 05-03-2011 10:36 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207156)
No. The British lost their richest colony; the South lost slavery; Hitler lost his "1,000-year" reich. They lost because they failed to reach their main objectives. The US wanted to defeat terrorism and it hasn't. Bin Laden wanted to defeat the US and he has. He doesn't deserve all the credit. Goldman Sachs did its part. So let's say that bin Laden and Wall Street together engineered the end of US dominance. Is that worth celebrating? You tell me.

What do you mean by "the end of US dominance," because I did not find that to be established in your previous post.

ohreally 05-03-2011 10:47 PM

Re: Celebrating the death of evil men
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JonIrenicus (Post 207141)
Those who are less moved by that will prefer to call it revenge or retribution, but the result is that some of us find some satisfaction in seeing the perpetrators of murder punished.

You're pre-Enlightenment, pre-Christian, and in fact pretty much pre-Everything if you ground your moral system in what makes you feel satisfied. Satisfaction and impulses are disastrous guides for leading a moral life.

operative 05-03-2011 10:49 PM

Re: Celebrating the death of evil men
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207163)
You're pre-Enlightenment, pre-Christian, and in fact pretty much pre-Everything if you ground your moral system in what makes you feel satisfied. Satisfaction and impulses are disastrous guides for leading a moral life.

The killing of Bin Laden could be justified by a number of post-Enlightenment philosophies, including Bentham's (well, I suppose we would count him as Enlightenment and not post-Enlightenment, but that's a quibble).

ohreally 05-03-2011 10:54 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 207158)
What do you mean by "the end of US dominance," because I did not find that to be established in your previous post.

The US is bankrupt -- much in the position Britain was after WWII. That's perhaps Hitler's only victory, I mean defeating Britain. Britain would have lost its empire anyway, but Hitler catalyzed the process by driving the UK into bankruptcy and ensuring that not only the US would increase its lead but that Germany itself would leap ahead. Of course, that was not Hitler's stated intention (he admired the British empire) but since he lost on all fronts that's one victory he must cherish from the grave.

operative 05-03-2011 10:58 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207167)
The US is bankrupt -- much in the position Britain was after WWII. That's perhaps Hitler's only victory, I mean defeating Britain. Britain would have lost its empire anyway, but Hitler catalyzed the process by driving the UK into bankruptcy and ensuring that not only the US would increase its lead but that Germany itself would leap ahead. Of course, that was not Hitler's stated intention (he admired the British empire) but since he lost on all fronts that's one victory he must cherish from the grave.

I agree with you about our economic state, actually, but I think you are crediting the wrong forces. Here's a very brief explanation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Enpz...layer_embedded

Wonderment 05-03-2011 10:59 PM

Precedents: Israel?
 
The Israelis are already talking about taking out Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad based on the Bin Laden precedent:

Quote:

Will the assassination of bin Laden at the hands of the United States pave the way for similar moves by Israel in the future, against [Hezbollah leader] Hassan Nasrallah or even [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad?

ohreally 05-03-2011 11:20 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by operative (Post 207168)
I agree with you about our economic state, actually, but I think you are crediting the wrong forces. Here's a very brief explanation:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Enpz...layer_embedded

Yeah, why blame Wall Street, bin Laden, or the greedy bastards running health care when, instead, you can blame Granny and her arthritis medicine. We all know Paul's Ryan anti-poverty plan: To kill poverty, kill the poor!

operative 05-03-2011 11:22 PM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207171)
Yeah, why blame Wall Street, bin Laden, or the greedy bastards running health care when, instead, you can blame Granny and her arthritis medicine. We all know Paul's Ryan anti-poverty plan: To kill poverty, kill the poor!

It's abundantly clear that the drift toward fiscal insolvency has been occurring for a few decades now, and that the war on terrorism contributed spectacularly little to it. Entitlement reform is absolutely necessary.

AemJeff 05-03-2011 11:28 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207149)
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

The execution was wrong according to the Geneva Conventions and wrong to all civilized countries (and several religions) that have abolished capital punishment.

A case could have been made that Bin Laden couldn't have been captured without greater casualties (innocent people), but I don't see the US government really making that case.

I also don't buy into your psychology of vengeance. It's true that we all have these malicious impulses, but the notion that they have "served us well" so we should just keep on indulging them seems ridiculous to me.

Saying that some people are outside "the circle of concern," however despicable their deeds may be, also sets a dangerous precedent for future killings, grants an implicit license to other governments in their law enforcement pursuits, and tarnishes our humanitarian values.

We don't allow our police forces to operate on the principle that it's ok to kill very bad people; we hold in contempt other countries (like Israel or Russia) that engage in political assassinations; in the pre-Bush era, we had ruled out executing our "enemies." But suddenly, everyone is not only comfortable with it, but eager to celebrate it.

One of the real dangers of terrorism is how quickly it erodes our values. If the terrorists get us to build Guantánamos, torture prisoners, hold detainees without trial and summarily execute the "masterminds," then we lose our moral grounding and the terrorists win.

I'm not here to support JI's pov; but, I think it's worth pointing out that in regard to bin Laden it's pretty easy to make a "clear and present danger" case generally for going after him; and likewise you can argue that the risk to the people carrying out the assault might have been greater had they tried to capture him under the circumstances. We don't know those circumstances (and aren't ever likely to have full knowledge of them) so I don't think there's a good counterargument to that, except to imply that the JSOC guys ought to have been saints, and assumed that risk anyway.

Don Zeko 05-03-2011 11:43 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 207173)
I'm not here to support JI's pov; but, I think it's worth pointing out that in regard to bin Laden it's pretty easy to make a "clear and present danger" case generally for going after him; and likewise you can argue that the risk to the people carrying out the assault might have been greater had they tried to capture him under the circumstances. We don't know those circumstances (and aren't ever likely to have full knowledge of them) so I don't think there's a good counterargument to that, except to imply that the JSOC guys ought to have been saints, and assumed that risk anyway.

If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court would look like, noted that the trial might well be ongoing during the 2012 election, and decided to just simplify the situation

AemJeff 05-03-2011 11:49 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 207176)
If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court, probably shortly before the 2012 election, would look like and decided to just simplify the situation.

That's a kind of cynicism that I'd hate to think they'd entertain. There are also certain risks involved in trying something like that when you plan to make the outcome as public as this has become. Nevertheless, it could have happened that way.

Don Zeko 05-03-2011 11:53 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by AemJeff (Post 207177)
That's a kind of cynicism that I'd hate to think they'd entertain. There are also certain risks involved in trying something like that when you plan to make the outcome as public as this has become. Nevertheless, it could have happened that way.

Well don't think that would have been the whole story. I suspect that taking him alive would mean complicating an already risky operation, not to mention creating some additional diplomatic headaches for the administration. But it's hard to imagine that this cynical point wasn't at least in the back of Obama's mind when/if he made that call.

AemJeff 05-03-2011 11:57 PM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 207178)
Well don't think that would have been the whole story. I suspect that taking him alive would mean complicating an already risky operation, not to mention creating some additional diplomatic headaches for the administration. But it's hard to imagine that this cynical point wasn't at least in the back of Obama's mind when/if he made that call.

Hell, if they didn't consider it, I'd say they were incompetent. But if they actually planned it that way, then they were something a lot worse than incompetent.

BornAgainDemocrat 05-04-2011 12:21 AM

Please, God, let us get out of Afghanistan
 
Declare victory and come home. The place is not worth one more American life.

Wonderment 05-04-2011 01:16 AM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court would look like, noted that the trial might well be ongoing during the 2012 election, and decided to just simplify the situation.

It's not just about The Great Satan and Mastermind, OBL. There's been a lot of chatter about how kills have become US military/CIA policy with regard to "known terrorists" (i.e., suspects on foreign soil.)

I think the theory is that letting the suspect go is too risky, but arresting him is too fraught with the political perils and legal niceties of detention, charging and conviction.

Thus, Obama (and any US president) has an interest in minimizing the number of detained suspects who never go to trial, but an incentive and cleaner path to a favorable outcome by shooting-to-kill in a "fire fight."

Being in this moral quandary is one of the unintended consequences of compromising our values (under Bush/Cheney) in the "war on terror."

Don Zeko 05-04-2011 02:08 AM

Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207183)
It's not just about The Great Satan and Mastermind, OBL. There's been a lot of chatter about how kills have become US military/CIA policy with regard to "known terrorists" (i.e., suspects on foreign soil.)

I think the theory is that letting the suspect go is too risky, but arresting him is too fraught with the political perils and legal niceties of detention, charging and conviction.

Thus, Obama (and any US president) has an interest in minimizing the number of detained suspects who never go to trial, but an incentive and cleaner path to a favorable outcome by shooting-to-kill in a "fire fight."

Being in this moral quandary is one of the unintended consequences of compromising our values (under Bush/Cheney) in the "war on terror."

Exactly. I should add, I suppose, that I don't mean to endorse the logic that I'm describing. Once someone has been disarmed and could be captured alive with no more than a minimal increased risk to the lives of our soldiers and the success of their mission, killing that person is wrong.

rfrobison 05-04-2011 02:21 AM

Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)
 
Perhaps you'd care to explain just what it is you believe the Islamist terror dudes have "won"?

Far as I can tell, their biggest accomplishment was to make everybody take off there shoes at airports. Your overwrought rhetoric notwithstanding, the U.S. remains much the same as it was before 9/11, for good or ill.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207146)
If killing bin Laden is a great victory worth celebrating, as Lake asserts, then true enemies of the US will wish more American victories of that sort. One guy and 19 losers win the lottery by killing, against their own expectations, 3,000 innocent Americans. To get that one guy, who happens to enjoy a perfectly happy life in a mansion right next to an army base of one of its close "allies," the US:

1. sacrifices more of its own soldiers than people killed on 9/11.

2. spends $1.5 trillion (and counting).

3. exhausts itself in a 10-year pursuit that marks the end of the American century.

4. throws overboard basic civil liberties and turns itself into the "Home of the Scared."

Celebrating bin Laden's death, sheer vulgarity aside, smacks of desperation. This is the basketball team losing 100 to 0 and "celebrating" its 3-pointer at the buzzer. No matter how you spin it, bin Laden, the most successful terrorist in history won, and the US lost -- not even a close contest. Worse, the US defeat was entirely self-inflicted. But, hey, let's celebrate our "victory."


JonIrenicus 05-04-2011 02:58 AM

Re: Celebrating the death of evil men
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 207163)
You're pre-Enlightenment, pre-Christian, and in fact pretty much pre-Everything if you ground your moral system in what makes you feel satisfied. Satisfaction and impulses are disastrous guides for leading a moral life.


The satisfaction is a bonus, not the foundation. That he should be punished for the murders he caused is standard justice that all agree with.

The rub is in what punishment is fitting. Death is my answer, life in prison is probably yours and others. And again this is where we part. I cede to you all that you value human life more than I do. Because you value all of it. I am the same except that there is a subclass of human life that I value much less, generally unrepentant murderers. The people I call evil and you generally cringe at the concept.

The aversion is natural for most secular people as I think it has too many connotations about religious judgments and morality from on high. I just take it to mean a kind of added malevolence, and cruelty in nature far above the standards of most men.


But of course by classifying people in this way I am separating them out from the larger body of humanity, I commit the horrible taboo of throwing them out of the circle where all people belong because all people are equal and deserving of life.

I reject the idea that they are essentially the equals of decent human beings.

But you can't give that up can you? Equality over all else. I wonder, you seem perfectly fine stripping such people of their freedom, but what is the rationale there?

Is there ANY sense of retribution in such acts by you? or is it merely to deter the criminals from harming others?

What if you could achieve such deterrence without even inflicting the harm of stripping them of their freedom? Full deterrence and zero effective punishment? Let's say in another 10,000 years we catch someone slaughtering scores of people for the pleasure of it because of some cracked beliefs, we catch this person and we have a choice:

Imprison them for the remainder of their lives in a traditional prison with restrictive freedoms or Imprison them in some sort of virtual reality universe where they are perfectly free in this constructed universe to slaughter as they see fit without actually harming any real people.

The deterrent effect on society is the same. Lets even say the cost is the same - they still have to be housed either way - but in the second case the prisoner is allowed to roam free in his own created universe.

Which would you prefer?

I suppose the enlightened among you would choose the virtual reality simulator, deterrence has been achieved, so why needlessly punish the person for his murders? Why should he suffer anything?

You see, you are asking me and everyone else to reject a piece of our humanity, all sense of just deserts, of punishments for wrongs committed in the name of a more "enlightened" approach.

I'm not that enlightened. And happy for it.

Globalcop 05-04-2011 06:41 AM

Re: Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wonderment (Post 207137)
The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.

That is pure comedy genius.


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