Friday, May 13, 2011
OSAMA BIN LADEN -- WHAT WOULD KANT SAY?
My recent little essay ("Drinking the Obamaid") was written only a day after Obama's mission accomplished announcement, before all the changes and contradictions in the official story emerged.
Many people have been following those changes -- some simply to record the "truth" developing out of the "fog of war", and some to note the suspicious nature of what looks like political manipulation.
Chief among the latter has been Steven Lendman, who has closely followed the administration's twists and turns, and analyzed the absurdity of some of its claims. Rather than repeat his cataloguing, let me just give you some links for the curious:
(Contained in this link, are links to two of his earlier assessments.)
Lendman has also noted the inconsistencies in the newly revealed tape of OBL watching himself on TV.
http://sjlendman.blogspot.com/2011_05_01_archive.html (blog for May 9)
In my earlier essay, I referred to a 2009 book by David Ray Griffin which reviewed the evidence that Osama was likely long dead. Here is a short summary of the contents of that book:
What bollixes my mind is not the flag-covered USA! USA! chanters outside the White House, or the dignified chest-thumping president within. It is the complete belief in a hard-to-believe story by the intelligent left -- who are now frothing over the ethics and legality of targeted assassination. You can practically watch the fangs grow, and the saliva drip:
We don't even know that OBL was responsible for anything on 911. At least the FBI doesn't seem to think so. After the attacks, he denied it for two weeks, and all subsequent "confession" tapes have proved to be poorly constructed fakes emerging at crucial moments in American political life. Big lies are a well-honed American tradition:
(Another Lendman cataloguing: scroll to entry for May 7, a little more than halfway down.)
So what really went down on May 1st? Who knows? We have taped interviews with fifty or so neighbors that say that Osama was never living in that compound or they would have known it. We have the "family" in Pakistani military custody, and who knows what they will say? Or what the photos/videos, when and if finally released, will contain -- authentic or fabricated?
We do know that the story with all its changes smells awfully fishy, and the immediate disappearing of the body with its various rationales is fishiest of all.
We do know that as Mara Liasson announced on NPR, Obama's "Republican opponents will always have to deal with the new and enduring fact that Barack Obama is the president who got Osama bin Laden."
We do know that immediately after OBL's putative elimination, calls were going up for increased homeland security money and protection against blowback and revenge.
We do know that this event, pseudo- or not, is now being used as justification for assassination, torture and future preemptive war, and for support of the Patriot Act.
We do know that acclaim for targeted assassination has risen, and will certainly serve as a protective buffer against any possible prosecution for war crimes of the Bush or Obama administrations.
As usual, Cui Bono? is a pertinent question.
What would Kant say?
He would say "All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. There is nothing higher than reason."
He might say, too, "By a lie, a man annihilates his dignity as a man."