Rejoice! Osama bin Laden was found in Pakistan by Navy SEALS and double-tapped twice in the head. After a religiously-sensitive funeral service aboard a military vessel his body was buried at sea. Follow the jump for discussion and observations.
The facts seem to have shifted over the last few days, and I'm assuming most readers know the basics, so I'll head straight to my observations.
Wow, it took almost a decade.
I'm glad it happened now rather than later, but justice delayed is justice denied. True, OBL (like Obama) was unable to enjoy the simple things in life like just going to the park and people-watching. But instead of the oft-pictured OBL lair of a cave (with a sheep-powered dialysis machine in the background) the arch-terrorist was housed in a luxurious (for Pakistan!) mansion, less than a mile from Pakistan's military college. This is the equivalent of the world's most wanted man living just outside West Point.
Uh, Pakistan, anything to say?
The Pakistani government was not notified of the raid that bagged OBL, and that irks them. But really, what does this say about our 'alliance' with Pakistan (that's pronounced 'PACK-i-stan' not the nuanced Obama 'pahk-ees-STAHN' I heard during the debates, thank you) -- are they inept, corrupt or both? I'm betting on both. They have reported that they took part in the raid, and then retracted that claim.
The best thing to take away from all of this is that the Muslim world now knows that there's never any real escape from American justice; that if you go the jihadist route against America you will eventually be caught and perforated. You won't be able to safely manage a network of suicide bombers in perfect safety yourself, no -- if you plot against America, then consider yourself as suicidal as your henchmen.
Why No Miranda Rights?
I'm confused. It is being reported that the SEAL team had orders to kill Osama, not capture him. And then there are reports that the team was forced to kill Osama because he resisted. Well, which is it? And why wasn't his Miranda Rights read to him? I'm being facetious of course, but the Obama administration has openly tried to try the prime architect of the 9/11 attack as a civilian. To me, OBL is the spiritual leader of al Qaeda -- whereas KSM bought the plan tickets, trained the men, etc.
If it seems positively ridiculous for OBL to have been read his Miranda Rights, then why are considering civilian courts for terrorists? Despite the Obama Justice Department's reversal on the suitability of civilian courts to process terrorists, why did they want it in the first place?
Why did this happen now? Other reports claim that the SEAL team practiced on a two mockups of the building that they thought housed OBL. How long did Obama know about this? Is it a coincidence that OBL was cashiered at almost the precise moment that Obama's polls are at their nadir?
He actually gave a great speech and did what a president is supposed to do -- inspire people. As always, America's Wide Awake Nightmare President transparently tried to take full credit. Which I suppose is fair in the sense that if the raid failed Obama would have taken the full blame. I just take mild umbrage at his phrase, "at my direction." This was a long time in coming, and I believe President Bush deserved some credit for cutting al Qaeda's many tentacles over his presidency, reducing OBL to a de facto figurehead in the process. When President Bush made a statement he congratulated and thanked Obama, as well as the military. As usual, Bush is a far classier act than Obama.
Is it just me, or does it feel strange to go to the trouble of killing OBL and then giving him a religiously sensitive burial at sea? It feels like a rapist sending his victim a thank you card after the rape. If Osama was the monster we all consider him to be, why the kind sendoff, a generosity he never would have given his victims?
NPR ran an article recently pondering whether it was morally right to cheer over the death of another person. Leonardo di Vinci once said that "Whomever does not punish evil demands that it be done." It is well and good for good people to rejoice in justice and the defeat of evil.