Why Did It Take 10 Years to Get Osama bin Laden?

Some questions about the killing of Osama bin Laden:

Is any U.S. citizen not paid directly by the federal government going to review the video and audio records of the attack on the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan? (I ask this as a realistic request – that some mainstream media trustee or other reliable person be allowed to view the footage under DoD supervision. In my America the unedited video would already be up at dod.gov, but we don’t live in my America.) 

If not, what are the reasons for continuing to keep this material classified, given that so many specifics (down to the claim that the special forces can say with confidence that bin Laden's wife was being used as a "human shield") have already been released? 

How important was President Obama’s decision to apply more resources to the hunt for bin Laden to this outcome? (A story on Joint Special Operations Command in The Nation indicates that it was quite important, with one unnamed Special Ops source telling author Jeremy Scahill, “JSOC has been more empowered more under this administration than any other in recent history. No question.”) 

How much longer can the mission in Iraq (not Afghanistan, which may get a second wind thanks to this plot turn) be justified, given that demonstrators in Mosul and other cities are demanding the United States leave according to its timetable? 

Given the popularity of this outcome, is it possible that the contradiction of liberal empire has been resolved, and that there is no longer any tension between maintaining an open society and maintaining a permanent military wing to assassinate and suppress challengers? 

Presuming the anger and denial stages of bin Laden supporters pass without a major successful terror attack, how long will it take the American people to strap on a pair and demand an end to TSA groping, TSA probing, and DHS bloat? (In fact, how long before it's safe to revisit the whole formation of the DHS and start the difficult process of dismantling this vast, incoherent, anti-republican, anti-democratic beast?) 

And the one question that’s really burning me up: What crooked Pakistani Realtor convinced the western media that that compound is worth $1 million

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Jack Bauer||

    The operation faked bin Laden's death. He's actually in a top-secret location with electrodes attached to his nuts and a barbed-wire dildo shoved up his ass with the "enhanced"-interrogator threatening to feed him bacon and whisky if he doesn't disclose the locations of his jihadi brethren.

  • Jack Bauer||

    The body they actually threw into the sea was Nate Dogg's. Rest in peace, my friend.

  • Paul||

    You don't wanna step to meeee,
    'til the day I D-I-Eeee

  • ||

    a barbed-wire dildo shoved up his ass...bacon and whisky

    Where I work, we call it "coffee break."

  • Jack Bauer||

    I shove barbed-wire dildos up my ass every day. It helps to toughen me up in case I'm captured and tortured.

    Chloe, she likes to get fucked by a serrated blade strap-on. She won't be broken by any known instrument of torture.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    After he used his wife as a human shield, you should have used her as a human-barbed-wire-dildo and repeatedly shoved Mrs. Bin Laden up her Mr.'s ass.

  • ||

    Hey! I want bacon and whisky! And yes, I mean whisKY. No e in the real thing.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

  • Bingo||

    Hahahahaha!

  • ||

    Ha indeed. Their animations are always funny and tasteless and politically incorrect.

  • Apogee||

    Why can't they at least run these on cable news?

  • ||

    He's actually in a top-secret location with electrodes attached to his nuts and a barbed-wire dildo shoved up his ass with the "enhanced"-interrogator threatening to feed him bacon and whisky if he doesn't disclose the locations of his jihadi brethren.

    Some people are into that sort of thing.

  • Osama bin Laden||

    Oh, baby! Yeah, stick that in my ass, you bitch. Stick it in there. Oh, yeah! Now, shock my nuts! YES!!!! Now, feed me bacon, you whore. Now, the whisky. Oh, FUCK! Oh, FUCK!!!! Get down there and swallow my load before I spill it on the floor!!!!

  • Osama bin Laden||

    Just spit out the kidney stones.

  • OO||

    it took longer than 10 yrs. when bin laden fled sudan (~'95), we had reliable, credible, & actionable intel but didnt intercept the flight. gore gave one of the most asinine excuses in saying there was no "controlling legal authority".

  • ||

    Bushy-boy didn't have the balls to go into Pakistan when he had OBL cornered in Tora Bora after 9/11.

    Obama, OTOH, deployed the strategy any guy does with his g/f - ask for forgiveness and not permission. But the real issue is the $2 trillion and 4400 US soldiers wasted on the Iraq Nation Building Plan.

  • ||

    Obama, OTOH, deployed the strategy any guy does with his g/f - ask for forgiveness and not permission.

    Are we going to break up now?

  • OO||

    if clinton had ordered bin laden's plane forced-down, then 9/11 would not have happened

  • ||

    I can play this game.

    If Reagan hadn't run like a frightened vagina when 241 US Marines were blown to shreds in Lebanon and instead shown some brass then none of this would have happened.

  • ||

    Oh shriek, is there anything you can't blame on Bush? You're so. Fucking. Stupid. You are the ultimate partisan cunt. Tell us about the market, shriek! I need a laugh!

  • ||

    He was that goddamn bad, you miserable ass carbuncle.

    He fucking sent 4400 US troops to their fucking death and had to lie to do it - not to mention the $2 trillion.

    You don't intimidate me - you squalid shitstain of a human.

  • ||

    Uh oh, shriek is feisty today! Hey shriek, tell us how much you like to lick Obama's ass. What does it taste like? Does it taste like craven sycophanticity? You must love that flavor, you fucking loser scumbag.

  • PIRS||

    Shrike, what I don't understand is if you hate Bush this much why don't you show the same hatred for Obama who has continued the same policies that Bush has? Obama is just as much of a warmongering progressive as Bush was.

  • ||

    The only reason Shrike is upset about that $2 trillion is that he was counting on it to fund Obamacare in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

    Well, maybe to fund part of that fiscal year.

  • Skip||

    He has a handle at Daily Kos. What do you expect?

  • ||

    I expect shriek to achieve increasingly greater levels of stupidity and brainless partisanship, and he never disappoints.

  • ||

    Oh yeah? Well, I blame Neville Chamberlain.

  • ||

    Somebody's in their manic phase!

  • ||

    Remember the Maine!!

  • ||

    T-Rex code translated by John Edwards:
    "remember Chicxulub!"

  • ChrisO||

    It's actually the fault of the Sassanian Persian Emperor Khosrau II. If he hadn't waged a prolonged and disastrous renewal of conflict with the Byzantines, then the Muslim invaders would have received a big old smackdown from the Persians a few decades later.

  • ||

    sorry for messing up the chronology...

  • ||

    If Woody had gone right to the police, this would never have happened.

  • Sandy Burglar||

    Hey, I stole and destroyed those documents! And right after hell freezes over the media and justice dept. will show interest.

  • ||

    Have you seen that sad-sack group of GOP trash that call themselves candidates?

    Who are you for, btw? Need Intrade fodder GOP candidate. The only three with a chance are Romney, Pawlenty, and Daniels (according to current odds). One of them will triple in price when nominated.

  • ||

    Romneycare. Yeah, I'd say he's unelectable.

  • PIRS||

    Hi Shrike!!!! It is good to see your bubly personality today!

    I am going to register as a Republican and vote for Ron Paul.

  • ||

    I am definitely voting Ron Paul or Gary Johnson in the Georgia primary (whichever has the best chance).

    But I don't think either will win.

  • PIRS||

    Good. Glad to hear it. I did not know you had changed so much.

  • SIV||

    GA is an open primary state. He doesn't even need to change his registration. The Dem ballot will be boring and inconsequential in shriek's district.

  • Bee Tagger||

    If Obama lied to us about killing Osama, that's an impeachable offense.

    To seriously construct this if/then scenario, shouldn't the "if" be, at least, remotely reasonable?

  • PIRS||

    It is. The government has lied to us many times before. Why do you assume it is telling the truth this time?

    Yellowcake?

    WMD's in Iraq?

    Ballanced reporting at NPR?

  • ||

    The problem with the economy was a liquidity crisis...

  • ||

    Gulf of Tonkin
    USS Liberty

  • PIRS||

    Those too.

    And Pearl Harbor was a complete surprise to the Navy.

  • ||

    That show was just on yesterday. Quite convincing.

  • PIRS||

    Thanks, I forgot that one!

  • Paul||

    It is. The government has lied to us many times before. Why do you assume it is telling the truth this time?

    Because it's too ballsy a move. Imagine for a minute, Osama Bin Laden showing up in a video tomorrow night mooning Obama while yelling, "A Jihad on you! Wrong door raid mufu! Reckanize!"

  • matt||

    I think he already died of natural causes a couple of years back and that the body was already destroyed. There was alot of regional intel about this but was never confirmed. I think Obama kept this in his back pocket for re-election bid. Sorry no body we dumped it at sea so sorry. Little less ballsy if you know he is dead.

  • Paul||

    I was an early adopter of the theory that OBL was already dead. I started touting his death in late 2001, and continued to follow the stories of some foreign intelligence agencies which believe that even the videos had been faked.

    For the record I believe the administration on this one.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I do too. But it seems like they're just inviting conspiracy theories by dumping the body that way.

  • Gray Ghost||

    Thing is, if UBL has been dead all this time, and this was some crazy elaborate scheme to end the hoax, why do it now? Why not a year from now, when it actually would save his ass for reelection?

    It's just the weirdness of the whole story that's causing some of the eyebrow lifting. I mean, you go to all the trouble to get this guy, and you just dump him at sea? You couldn't get a dozen newsies to video the whole thing on the Vinson? Sure didn't stop them from dragging out the bodies when Uday and Qusay bit it.

    But hey, taking it at face value, great job Obama. (Probably the only time I'll ever say that.) You did something good that W was never able to do. Now bring the troops home.

  • President Black Bush||

    I didn't want to say this. The motherfucker bought yellow cake. All right! From Africa. He went to Africa and bought some yellow cake.

  • prolefeed||

    Yellow cake with frosting. Not uranium.

  • prolefeed||

    It is. The government has lied to us many times before. Why do you assume it is telling the truth this time?

    Because if they lie about it, Osama shows up on a video holding a current copy of The New York Times, conspicuously alive, and Obama gets crushed in 2012.

    It would be beyond bone-crushingly stupid to lie about Osama being dead.

  • Apogee||

    It would be beyond bone-crushingly stupid to lie about Osama being dead.

    It would be if they don't have him as a prisoner.

    Not to get too truthy about it, but AFAIC, the reason for deployment of JSOC instead of the F117 option was to capture what is arguably the head of the organization and access what strategic information he possesses.

    Quick burial at sea, no pictures? C'mon, they displayed Hussein's dead kids for everybody to see, and that didn't set off the Islamic world.

    What makes sense is the declaration of death - it completely eliminates rescue attempts, international pressure for 'trials' (see Khalid Sheik-M), and the eventual necessity of his elimination.

  • ||

    Uday and Kusay didn't have an international terrorist organization swear allegiance to them, nor were they considered radical Islamist heroes. Hitler is a more apt comparison: for similar reasons the Soviets repeatedly relocated and eventually cremated his remains.

  • Apogee||

    Uday and Kusay didn't have an international terrorist organization swear allegiance to them, nor were they considered radical Islamist heroes.

    Maybe, but Saddam had for quite some time donated funds to the families of suicide bombers - and they were fighting the 'Great Satan'.

    They also displayed pictures of Zarqawi after his death, and he was indisputably a radical Islamist hero, and one of the heads of that very same international terrorist organization.

    True radical Islamist heroes seem to be quite fungible, apparently.

  • Reformed Republican||

    Presuming the anger and denial stages of bin Laden supporters pass without a major successful terror attack, how long will it take the American people to strap on a pair and demand an end to TSA groping, TSA probing, and DHS bloat?

    A lack of a terrorist attack after this would be proof that TSA methods are effective.

    Of course, an attack would be proof that TSA is needed. Either way, it is not going anywhere.

  • ||

    Once the Democrats get the TSA unionized, does anyone think they'll want to abolish them or even rein them in?

  • mtc||

    That it almost took a decade to get Osama can be understood perfectly well in terms of incentives. Republicans are (wrong or right) perceived as being 'strong' on national security (whatever that actually means), so it was better for Bush and friends to have a terrorist bogeyman running around to keep them in office. There's a clip of Bush from the early 2000s that's re-emerged of him basically saying he doesn't care about getting Bin Laden and that the focus is on disrupting Al Qaeda's operations rather than going after their symbolic and marginalized figurehead. It's an interesting admission, but he knew having Bin Laden out there helped keep him in office.

    Democrats are perceived as being 'weak' on national security, so when they are actually in a position of power Obama and company had every incentive to achieve a huge symbolic victory in the war on terror to make them look stronger and maintain their elected office. In the end it probably took so long just because it took so long, but it sounds like we've applied a lot more effort in the past two years than the previous seven plus years. And it's easy to see why.

  • sounds real good||

    Good analysis on the incentives of both parties. I suppose it's useless to wonder how events would have progressed if ObL had been killed during the Bush administration. Regardless of the impact his death might or might not have now, I'm glad it's done and I credit Obama for it. But if we just continue with business as usual I won't credit him with much else..

  • hazeeran||

    "...how long will it take the American people to strap on a pair and demand an end to TSA groping, TSA probing, and DHS bloat?"

    Sadly I think we'll get used to it. Hope not.

  • jasno||

    I can understand not releasing the video. Innovative tactics(developed after years of experimenting on unsuspecting crack dealers, no doubt) or innovative weapons(i.e. - see through walls kinda shit) may have been used.

    How long to roll back the TSA? Never. Welcome to the permanent safety state. We couldn't put all of those poor TSA agents out on the streets now, could we?

    If all we ever wanted was Bin Laden, why didn't we make Pakistani aid payments conditional on the presence of OBL's head in a box? We'd have gotten it back in 2002.

  • rather ||

    Thank God you are covering the OBL story

  • Orgazmo the Flying Chimp||

    but will they cover the Canadian Election? #elxn41

  • ||

    Only if the Shat gets elected.

  • Otto||

    Canada has elections? I thought they just took our cast-off politicians and appointed them to different offices. You know, like the minor leagues or something.

  • ||

    Actually, that's true, but it's supposed to be a secret.

  • Paul||

    Bryan Adams as veep?

  • AlmightyJB||

    The reason writers seem to be in foul mood today. Very bitchy. I guess it is Monday though.

  • Tony||

    For once you guys seem the reasonable crowd... compared to the drivel I'm reading at Greenwald's blog.

    They are outraged that we didn't give OBL due process.

  • ||

    I am a liberal and I hate Greenwald.

    Read Yglesias. Or Frum and Bartlett are good. I like non SoCon Republicans - its just conservatives that are the shit and stench combined.

  • Tony||

    I read everyone. I think I hate Greenwald cultists more than the right-wing libertarians who dominate here. At least they don't moo endlessly about poor Bradley Manning here.

  • ||

    One of us ... one of us .,..

  • RyanXXX||

    You really just hate anyone with principals, Tony.

    All Greenwald said was that he would have preferred to capture bin Laden, but if he actually did resist capture we were justified in killing him. What's to argue?

  • Tony||

    I generally don't have much of a problem with what GG writes... it's the cretins who populate his comments section.

    From which I gather, OBL deserves due process because he isn't actually the one responsible for 9/11, our government is.

  • Tony||

    Oh, and on "principals." It's not like I don't agree with the sentiment that everyone deserves due process. I just fail to see why you should expect to be taken seriously by anyone if you cry about OBL not having it.

  • ||

    Tony, the self-loathing cretin.

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    It's not like I don't agree with the sentiment that everyone deserves due process. I just fail to see why you should expect to be taken seriously by anyone if you cry about OBL not having it.

    It is flabbergasting. Did you forget about the first sentence by the time you wrote the second?

  • Tony||

    I'll cry about bin laden's treatment once every other recipient of injustice in the world has his situation rectified.

  • Mike M.||

    Yeah, Greenwald is an even bigger piece of crap than you are. He's one of the worst Muslim terrorist lovers in the blogosphere.

  • ||

    I hate all religion, you fucking idiot. Christo-shit and Allah-shit are the same to me.

    When you get down to brass tacks that is the difference between a liberal and conservative. Religion.

    The Middle East is conservative.

    Ayn Rand, Hitch, other rationalists hate conservatives as much as I do.

  • Invisible Finger||

    When you get down to brass tacks that is the difference between a liberal and conservative. Religion.

    Uh, no.

    Religion is belief in the palpably untrue. That describes both conservatives and liberals (and yes, some libertarians) to a T.

  • Tony||

    Liberals are mostly right.

  • Apogee||

    Agreed. It's leftists that have everything wrong.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Due process for criminals? What country do they think this is?

  • Tony||

    Apparently one in which, given a community of libertarians and Greenwaldians, a fair trial for OBL might actually be possible.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    He got to live 9 years and 8 months longer than his victims. Longer, if you count the first WTC attack. I only hope he experienced some of the fear his victims felt.

  • Paul||

    He spent the first 20 minutes of the raid thinking Kato was performing his nightly programmed attack.

  • ||

    Are you implying that bin Laden was French?

  • sasob||

    Took a moment, but I actually did catch that. Peter Sellers was always hilarious.

  • jasno||

    Kato Kaelin?

  • Otto||

    I would have preferred a capture-and-trial. I can accept the outcome as is, given that he had no problem taking "credit" for such a massive crime - repeatedly.

    Tony - poor Bradley Manning. Moo.

  • Paul||

    For once you guys seem the reasonable crowd... compared to the drivel I'm reading at Greenwald's blog.

    They are outraged that we didn't give OBL due process.

    Once in a while, you just gotta bust a cap in someone's ass.

  • ||

    Given the popularity of this outcome, is it possible that the contradiction of liberal empire has been resolved, and that there is no longer any tension between maintaining an open society and maintaining a permanent military wing to assassinate and suppress challengers?

    Careful, Tim- If you don't tow the neocon vengeance porn lion, you're a left-wing concern troll hopped up on stupid pills.

  • ||

    Not that I think they deliberately waited, but I actually thought way back in 2001 that it would be much better if he didn't die until after he'd been rendered irrelevant and nobody gave a shit anymore.

    If they had killed him right away, he would have been a martyr and his death would have been a rallying cry for Islamists. If he had been captured, his trial would have been a media circus like no other, and a magnet for suicide bombers.

    Waiting until his movement was dead and the Arab world had left him behind ... was the ideal end for him.

  • The Gobbler||

    From today's Best of the Web (WSJ):

    Finally, last August, they found the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. ABC News's Jake Tapper reports that in March, President Obama authorized "the development of a plan" to bomb the compound with 2,000-pound Joint Direct Attack Munitions carried by B2 "stealth" bombers. "But when the president heard the compound would be reduced to rubble he chose not to pursue that option. . . . The president wanted proof" that bin Laden was dead. So he assembled a small death panel, which went to the compound in Pakistan and shot him.

  • matt||

    And then immediately destroyed that proof. Makes perfect sense. But of course we who question the lunacy of this are crazy and you stupid fucks that keep drinking the state's kool-aid are the sane ones. OK.

  • shep the herd & his brass band||

    this newsletter of yours, may I subscribe to it?

  • He did give....||

    proper Islamic Burial Honors to the evidence before he got rid of it.

  • A Serious Man||

    And in related news, Cindy Sheehan has started the Deather movement by claming this is all a hoax set up to further the goals of the American Empire.

  • pmains||

    I thought you were kidding. Holy freaking ...

  • Otto||

    It's also easier just to swallow the lies of the Empire like Monica Lewinsky swallowed Clinton's sperm. It works for me.

    Um, she missed a bit, IIRC...

  • Bill Clinton||

    I produce quite a load.

  • Paul||

    It's also easier just to swallow the lies of the Empire like Monica Lewinsky swallowed Clinton's sperm. It works for me.

    Sheehan swallowed Clinton's sperm?

  • Bill Clinton||

    (shrugs) I take what I can get.

  • .||

    Apparently so.

  • marlok||

    Sad lady. She loses her son. Then, the Dems use her and dump her the second they get into office. She seems genuinely unwell.

  • Paul||

    Sad lady. She loses her son. Then, the Dems use her and dump her the second they get into office.

    They dumped her before that-- in anticipation of coming into office. The deepest crazies in your base are always useful when the other guy's in charge. But you always round them up and arrest them when you get into power.

  • matt||

    You are like an abused white trash bitch living in trailer. How often does the state have to lie for you to figure out that is exactly what they do.

  • The Ben Bernank||

    What crooked Pakistani Realtor convinced the western media that that compound is worth $1 million?

    What's wrong with that?

  • Deather||

    I won't believe it until I see the long form death certificate.

  • ||

    @anthonyjeselnik:

    I bet God killed Osama Bin Laden, as a reward for America's increasing tolerance of homosexuality.

  • Gray Ghost||

    He is really funny. Love his tweet about the pit bull and the dead baby.

  • Skip||

    I was SO happy to see on my browser headline that we cleansed Osama's body before burying it at sea. Because after all, he deserved to have his body prepared for meeting Allah less than 24 hours after death.

  • ||

    Wouldn't dumping a body into a large body of water count as cleansing it?

  • Lord Googoo||

    Is the ocean halal? And does this mean that if I order seafood there is a chanch that what I am eating nibbled on OBL?

  • ||

    How much do you want to bet that the Marines spat on it ?

  • ||

    I'd be extremely surprised if that's all they did to it.

  • ||

    Really, that's probably why they had to bury him at sea.

  • ||

    That is the most plausible reason I've heard yet for the sea burial.

  • .||

    It would be nice to think his body got sucked through the ship's screws after it was tossed overboard committed to the deep.

  • Otto||

    Interesting story:

    "With bin Laden's death, one of the reasons for which violence has been practiced in the world has been removed," said Essam al-Erian, a senior member of the Brotherhood which renounced violence to achieve change in Egypt decades ago.

    Other Islamists in Egypt, whose thinkers have inspired Islamic movements and activists around the world, said bin Laden's followers should review their methods because their actions had only made the "enemy" more aggressive.
  • ||

    The British didn't shoot Gandhi, after all.

  • Paul||

    And the one question that’s really burning me up: What crooked Pakistani Realtor convinced the western media that that compound is worth $1 million?

    Tim...Tim...Tim. It was the county tax assessor which produced that estimate.

    Y'see, Tim (Can I call you Tim?) how this works is, it's not how much your house is actually worth, it's how much money the taxing authority needs.

    The county government goes to the Pakistani assessor and says, "We need $20 million from property taxes... go find it."

    The $1 million price tag is merely what percentage the total tax pie - if you will - that the courrier needed to bear. Voila! $1 million in value.

  • ||

    Cindy is right in this case.
    Where is the body? Why didn't they show it? Where are the videos and pictures?
    Why were they so damn quick to get rid of the body, especially when they had a moral duty to present it to America as proof that 9-11 has been avenged and their sacrifices have not been in vain?
    This also goes against human nature, which is to gloat and celebrate the victory as proof of a leaders worthiness. Not happening.
    And this is coming from a guy who said they earth's oceans will stop rising just because he was elected.

    This stinks. Not "something is wrong here", its "everything is wrong here."
    They

  • Paul||

    Why were they so damn quick to get rid of the body, especially when they had a moral duty to present it to America as proof that 9-11 has been avenged and their sacrifices have not been in vain?

    Setting the new tone. Muslim have strict procedures with dealing with the dead, and the Obama administration didn't want to be perceived as "burning Korans" by parading bin Laden's body around.

  • ||

    We showed Saddam's sons bodies. We showed Saddam getting hanged.
    Besides, Bin Laden committed the sin of attacking civilans, which is a no no according to the Koran.
    It's ironic that we show more respect to Islam then does the average muslim.

  • Russ 2000||

    Nah, I just think they didn't want video evidence to enhance any possible martyrdom.

  • Paul||

    Saddam and his sons were largely secular, "westernized" thugs. Not the same.

  • ||

    And they we're still muslim. Saddam was building the biggest mosque in Iraq for himself to show how pious he was when the Iraq war stopped it in its tracks.

  • Skip||

    The Panderer in chief still didn't even satisfy all the Muslims with that burial b.s. They are angry he wasn't buried on land.

  • Paul||

    Obama has already made the mistake of believing that you can appease radical islam.

  • ||

    "They are angry he wasn't buried on land."

    Frankly, I love the part about burying him at sea. He's now lost and will never be found again.

  • ||

    Nick Berg and the Mogadishu dragging guy notwithstanding.

  • cynical||

    What does the Koran say about the sensitivity of infidels killing Muslims?

  • Munson||

    It's against it.

  • ||

    Because the Great Divider is setting up another group for marginalization?

  • BBell||

    Good article in aggregate, but the following is too overwrought: "Given the popularity of this outcome, is it possible that the contradiction of liberal empire has been resolved, and that there is no longer any tension between maintaining an open society and
    maintaining a permanent military wing to assassinate and suppress challengers?"

    After a dude sponsors the murder of 3000, 12 hours of adulation at this action against him hardly represents what is stated.

  • ||

    I don't think that particular quote you've cited is about the post-announcement revelry. It seems more about the seemingly unanimous approval of the action taken coming from all corners of mainstream America.

  • marlok||

    I was surprised by the word "challengers" in the quoted passage.

    The man proudly took credit for mass civilian murder. He isn't some south american socialist who says he hates the U.S. (that would be a "challenger").

  • ||

    Given the popularity of this outcome, is it possible that the contradiction of liberal empire has been resolved, and that there is no longer any tension between maintaining an open society and
    maintaining a permanent military wing to assassinate and suppress challengers?

    Help me out here. How do I tell the difference between a "liberal empire" with a "permanent military wing to assassinate and suppress challengers", and a free society with trading interests and alliances around the world* with armed services charged with defending that society against aggressors?

    *Hypothetical, I know.

  • Otto||

    The second one doesn't continue to occupy aggressors' home nations after the aggressive government has been toppled?

  • ||

    The second one resembles a jackalope; i.e., it does not exist?

  • ||

    It's extremely dubious that bin Laden was still a threat, so just up and killing him is really hard to justify. Now that the inital wave of dopamine has passed, I really wonder if we should have attempted to detain him for trial.

    Yes, that course of action would have been a logistical nightmare, but we have to respect the rule of law.

  • ||

    Even better, just keep tabs on all of the visitors to the compound.

  • ||

    How do you know they didn't try to detain him, but he shot back?

    I'll take bin Laden dead, if we couldn't get him alive.

  • ||

    I suspect the video won't be released because it would show a deep lack of concern for taking Osama a live. Also, it would humanize the fact that they shot 4 people to death. Now it's a nice abstract victory, no visible blood, no video of the Seal shooting through the wife, heads blowing up, or whatever. It's nice and clinical.

    Now, I'm happy as shit they did it. But releasing the video of it would be like watching video of a sausage factory right before dinner.

  • ||

    Yea, and no concrete evidence that they killed Osama. How can you be happy about that?

  • ||

    Yeah a shaky camcorder of a bearded dude getting show would silence the conspiracy nuts.

    I'm confident he is dead for one reason--- all Osama would have to do to embarrass the shit out of Obama would be to release a video with today's NYT. Obama wouldn't expose himself like that if he wasn't 100% sure. That is what convinces me, not DNA tests or some shaky, grainy video.

  • ||

    Osama is dead, and most likely, he was killed in 2002(2003?) in that battle in Tora Bora.
    Obama could use this as a diversion from his lousy handling of the economy and to help his re-election.
    Clinton staged on attack on an "immediate threat" to divert attention from his impeachment votes.

    Besides, what was the rush? Osama obviousley planned on staying in that place a while. He was safe from the Pakistanians, actually, they were protecting him. So why not put it under surviallance and try to see if he could be taken alive? It was worth a shot.

  • ||

    That idea doesn't make a lot of sense. Aside from the fact that if Bin Laden died in 2002 or 2003, the guy's been dropping more postmortem tracks than Tupac, you've got some basic logical issues.

    If you were staging this for a poll bump, you wouldn't do it now when the election is a long time away. You'd at least have dropped it at the midterm.

    Two, the Republicans would know if Osama got clipped on their watch. Exposing this as a lie next November would all but guarantee that the Republicans could kill in the election. Given this risk, why lie now, (and expect everyone in the know in the military to keep their lips shut).

    Basically, that is some dumbass conspiracy bullshit. Full stop.

    It doesn't compute.

  • ||

    What postmortem tracks? The video of him was of very poor quality and there was no indication of time and date and recent developements in the speech he gave, which was out of sync with his mouth.
    The audio tapes? The were of worse quality then the video and nobody could verify it was bin Laden who was talking.
    Obama panicking and the first thing that goes is timing. Election to him is in August.
    Republicans can't prove it because he was blown to bits. So his death cannot be 100% verified.
    Remember all these guys in the special ops are there because they can keep a secret and not ask too many questions.
    Oh, and how do you know Americans participated in the raid? Have you seen video and pictures of them? Have they given interviews?
    No, since they're "team six" seals, they don't even officially exist.
    How fucking convenient.

  • ||

    Republicans can't prove it because he was blown to bits. So his death cannot be 100% verified.--- So, you know he is dead how?

    Obama panicking and the first thing that goes is timing. Election to him is in August--- right. Is anyone even pretending to run against him the democratic primaries? Only some guy named Randall Terry.

    This is some very weak sauce. You have no evidence Osama died in 2003. You have no motivation for the lie. It's a tremendous risk with no upside.

    The Kennedy conspiracy at least has lots of people with a motive; Fidel, the mob, the CIA, the military industrial complex. Guys who knew guys who knew guys. That's the stuff of quality conspiracy theories.

    When I was a kid I really hated this one kid. I hated him so much that when he said there were peanuts in peanut butter, I contradicted him and I stood my ground. I wanted him to be wrong so much that I would deny that there were peanuts in PEANUT BUTTER.

    Your theory is marginally less stupid than that.

  • ||

    BTW: Where can I get a video of a sausage factory in action?
    Probably not as disgusting as you think.

  • Sandi||

    I took a shit in a sausage factory once.

  • ||

    Ok, maybe they don't want to release the video because it shows US troops desecrating the corpse.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    Again, "releasing the video" is just my Tim's-Dictatorship fantasy.

    The honest question I'm asking is: Shouldn't some outside party, whose general reliability is reasonably well established, review the evidence? It's like Matt Hooper says: I want to be sure. You want to be sure. We all want to be sure.

  • Jim||

    I'm not saying this isn't Osama; it probably is Martin, it probably is! He's a Saudi, they're extremely rare in these mountains...but the fact remains that the beard on this speciman doesn't match the beard on the Osama videos.

  • ||

    Agreed. The day we shut down the TSA's groping and invasion of privacy is the day Osama's taint washes away from our shores.

    http://www.intellectualtakeout.....nistration

  • Obama's taint||

    You're talking about washing me? What?

  • Urkobold's Minion||

    Shh! He'll hear you! And it's withering you slobbering ignoramus!

  • Apogee||

    That's ignoranus!

  • Fire Tiger||

    Personally I am a little disconcerted how much government sponsored assassinations have become accepted. I just have to wonder if we haven't given up too much of the moral high ground by bragging that the whole point was to kill him, not capture him.

  • ||

    Why is it ok to blast any number of indoctrinated foot soliders but wrong to kill the head honcho?

    In a just world, all the generals and presidents would enter the Thunderdome and fight the other presidents and generals to the death. I have less of a problem clipping Osama & high level leaders than bombing some truck of illiterate goat herders who signed up with the Taliban for the food. Just my take.

  • ||

    I've drifted into this camp over the years. Fuck the leaders. If the common folk can be killed, why not the guys at the top? In this case, though, bin Laden wasn't a leader of government. . .he was just a murderer with political ambitions.

  • ||

    I'm actually pretty sympathetic to the "why the fuck did they dump the body so fast?" meme.

    I'm awaiting more detailed proof that it was Osama. Videos, pictures, identifying marks. I'm confident that they took LOTS of evidence before dumping the corpse. LOTS if evidence, which I am presuming will be publicly released.

    So I'm not jumping on any conspiracy theories until we give them 2-3 days to clear and declassify the evidence.

    But yeah, it does seem like a kinda hasty burial.

  • ||

    "But yeah, it does seem like a kinda hasty burial."
    Yes, and the reason for it?
    Bin Laden committed a sin by attacking civilans according to the Koran, so he is not deserving of religious burial.
    And even if he is, SO WHAT!.
    Obama's duty is to the American people and to ensure them that they are safe and their sacrifaces and money are not being wasted in vain. Not offending Muslim sensibilties come way down on the list.
    There is only one explanation for it and thats it was a diversion from his overall incompetence. Bin Laden is dead, but he was killed 8 or 9 years ago in Tora Bora.
    There is no rational for dumping the body quickly and all the rational right reasons for keeping it. Hell, not only keep it, but bring it back to America and give it a public tour.

    I am really stunned how quickley everybody is swallowing this when there is NO evidence what so ever that Bin Laden was killed yesterday, and all the evidence of a coverup.

  • ||

    What crooked Pakistani Realtor convinced the western media that that compound is worth $1 million

    HORSE SHIT!!!

    He got the numbers from the county assessor, and he clearly noted that those numbers come from public records.

  • ChrisO||

    And the one question that’s really burning me up: What crooked Pakistani Realtor convinced the western media that that compound is worth $1 million?

    C'mon now, I heard that bin Laden had granite countertops installed. That has to count for something.

  • ||

    Upon hearing the radio soundbites about bin Laden this morning, my wife said, "So I see the world changed while I was asleep." I thought about that for a moment. DID the world change with the death of bin Laden? Was the PATRIOT act repealed or at least amended to restore some of our liberty? Has the TSA quit groping kids? Is Guantanamo closed? Does Mr. Obama no longer assert the authority to execute Americans suspected of terrorism without benefit of trial?

    The world did not fundamentally change on 9/11/2001. It was still the same, dangerous place it always was, but afterward, Americans maybe paid more attention to the situation, even if they didn't adjust their behavior to respond effectively to it (i.e., we continued imperial practices, and we ended up LESS free by the authority of our own government). Now that we suppose bin Laden is dead, the world also seems not to have changed -- it is still dangerous and there are no calls (much less action) to take the US back to its pre-9/11 footing. Our government officials declare that the War on Terror goes on, which can only mean continued losses of liberty for Americans, whether or not the world becomes any more dangerous for us.

    I wish bin Laden had been taken alive and brought to trial here in the US. Mr. Obama said that killing OBL did "justice," and I suppose it is good for American morale to be able to say, "we got him," at long last. But I think it would have meant so much more to us and the world, had we all been able to see the US justice system dispense actual justice instead of the violent vengeance implied by a SEAL helicopter raid.

  • ||

    Why Did It Take 10 Years to Get Osama bin Laden?

    Because they had to go through Greg Mortenson to get to him.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Some good questions, but here's a better one: when are we going to end this fucking charade where we treat Pakistan as an ally and actually give them money to fuck us over with?

  • ||

    The Department of Homeland Security isn't going anywhere. Do you realize how many jobs would be lost? Not going to happen under a Democrat or Republican administration.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement