The hunt for bin Laden - Macleans.ca
 

The hunt for bin Laden


 

The last lines of Steve Coll’s book The Bin Ladens:

The history of similar exiles in Pashtun territory suggested he would probably face betrayal, eventually, by one of local hosts. In the meanwhile, each time his audio- or video-tapes reach Al-Jazeera or CNN, Osama reemphasized, like a Barbary pirate with a marketing degree, the impunity that he still enjoyed, as well as his continuing capacity to plan and inspire mass violence by exploiting the channels and the ethos of global integration.

 
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The hunt for bin Laden

  1. good riddance, rot in he//

  2. George W. Bush authorized a hit on Osama Bin Laden, and there is no way Barrack Obama could afford the political damage he would face if he cancelled the hit. But the rest of the world is likely to look askance at the Americans' belief that they can mark someone for death without due process, and kill a resident of a supposedly allied country in cold blood.

    There is no question that Bin Laden was responsible for the death of thousands of people, including some Canadians. But he was never found guilty in a court of law, and formally sentenced to death as punishment. However, to have captured him alive, taken him back to the USA, and put him on trial would have been more damaging to the security of the USA than killing him.

    I'm glad I didn't have to decide what was the right thing to do.

    • It was, apparently, a firefight. One could presume that if he'd come peacefully, he'd still be alive. Of course, that would be a most ridiculous thing for both Osama Bin Laden to do, and the U.S. operatives to allow him to do. But still, take comfort that Bin Laden, at least theoretically, had a choice.

      • I'm sure we'll soon be deluged with conspiracy theories, alternative narratives, and threats of vengeance. I'm equally certain we will never be certain of the truth.

        It doesn't bother me that Bin Laden is dead. It does bother me that the US government puts itself above the law.

        • In another thread I recommended a documentary called "Secrecy". If you watch it I think you'll find that the US Government believes that it's not acting above the law. The law has been so severely neutered in the USA that various departments can operate with pretty much impunity.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secrecy_%28film%29

          • "Frost asked Nixon about the legality of the president's actions. Nixon replied: "Well, when the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

            Chilling. Obama has done nothing i'm aware of to repudiate such an outrageous claim.

          • If I recall correctly, there was much speculation about whether there would be charges laid against key members of the Bush Administration, based on their contravention of the Constitution. Not only were there no charges, as you say, there have been no significant announcements or changes to reverse systemic weaknesses. Very disappointing about the latter, regardless of the former.

          • State Secrets Privilege is so enshrined in the USA that Obama couldn't go after them even if he wanted to. And as soon as he saw the benefits of that privilege and what would be lost if he tried to revoke it, I doubt he wanted to anyway.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_Secrets_Privil

          • It's the slippery slope every US persident since Nixon balances precariously on. They should have impreached the bastard.[Nixon…maybe Bush/Cheney too]

            A number of things remain to be consigned to the dustbin of history, along withe white man's burden, in my opinion. Among them:

            Manifest destiny/American exceptionalism. Marxist leninism and…

            The return of Bell bottom trousers. The notion of SH ever convincing Canadians he's to be trusted or worthy of a majority in this country…and sadly the notion that the Leafs will ever again sip from the SC with anything other then a very very long straw.

    • I don't believe there will be any criticism for taking him out.

    • If you are troubled in the least by tonight's announcement, I am glad you didn't have to decide, either.

      Obama announced the mission was to capture to bring to justice. But the death of this piece of human garbage is not an event worthy of any disappointment. He was the figurehead of an organization at ongoing war with the USA, and with the free world in general. You can kill people in a war — in fact, you must.

      • Accepted rules of combat get a little sketchy about things like this, Mr. Armchair commando.

        • Sketch all you like, Mr. Armchair Tut-Tutter. It is not often I get to praise the current commander in chief of our closest ally, and so I shall continue to savour this happy moment for the free world.

        • Not really. He was a known target, and it was a military strike, not an assassination.

          There's perhaps some grey area at the idea of being at war with an organization rather than a nation, but with the continued internationalization of the world, I don't think it's a grey area of any significant depth or lasting concern.

    • I prefer to think, not knowing the details at this point, that they would have taken him alive if possible.

    • I'm just sad that there wasn't a public hanging like Saddam Hussien.

  3. He's been dead for years. Obama is using this as a tool for when he runs for re-election next year

    • First conspiracy theory post!

      • Twitter joke – Trump is demanding to see his long form death certificate.

        • nice

          • I heard they captured him, but released him somewhere in the Arabian Sea….

  4. The ends should never justify the means. This is as true in politics as it is anywhere else.

  5. Unbelievable! Totally, how can this outfit exist!

    FoxNEWS has a headline on the news "Obama Bin Laden dead"

    Seriously! Who's side are they on? It most certainly isn't the United States or the American people.

    • In an attempt to release the news of Osama bin Laden's death quickly late Sunday night, MSNBC correspondent Norah O'Donnell accidentally reported on Twitter that “Obama” had been “killed” instead.

      “Obama shot and killed,” Norah O'Donnell posted on Twitter, citing NBC Chief Pentagon Correspondent Jim Miklaszewski as her source.

      It was announced Sunday that Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, was killed by American forces. President Obama addressed the nation to deliver the news around 11:30 p.m. ET.

      Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2011/05/02/typo-msnbc-corr

      • Really? Good Lord! What is wrong with these people! That one's even worse. She should have her twitter account cancelled and never, ever Twit again.

    • Wendy Mesley inadvertently said "we'll be hearing form Osama bin Laden in a few minutes" last night. an easy enough slip of the tongue in an unscripted moment.

      • Well, no, I don't think it is "an easy enough slip of the tongue." These people are supposed to be professional journalists. They are supposed to maintain their cool under pressure. That's part of their job! (Bad enough if it was one of us on these boards–unpaid commenters on issues of the day–but these people are supposed to have training so as to not confuse the President of the United States of America with the United States' Number One Enemy.)

        I trust Wendy corrected herself immediately (as in, didn't need someone to tell her to do so).

  6. Hi was not assassinated as said in this post…. "he rest of the world is likely to look askance at the Americans' belief that they can mark someone for death without due process"………They tried to arrest him, and he wouldn't surrender.

    As another person said, good riddance. They shouldn't try to prevent the pictures from being circulated.

  7. Bin Laden is dead…good riddance. I don't see the need to dance in the streets about it though.

    No doubt many of the loved ones of his victims would not agree with me.

    Nevertheless i will not celebrate the death of anyone. It is in someone's God's hands now anyway.

    • Osama is in front of Satan's thighs receiving a reaming.

      • Yeah well watch out you aren't there one day – that's all you and i need to worry about.

  8. This result was probably the second worst outcome for the Americans (the worst result being that they never caught him at all). If they had killed him within the year after 9/11 it would have been swift retribution. If they had managed to capture him alive, they could have laid down a case against him in a court of law and robbed him of his mystique.

    Instead, they could not capture him for close to a full decade and he went out in what his supporters would call a blaze of glory. I can't imagine that that was the objective when they stormed the compound (though I'm sure they expected it would be a likely result). As a dead martyr Osama Bin Laden is far more useful to al-Qaeda than as a non-operational liability. Osama, after all, hasn't really directed his network for many years now.

  9. It has been announced that they buried his body at sea. I hope they kept his head. It would look nice on a pike on the White House lawn.

    • I'm glad they ended this, but don't minimize his impact. He's caused the USA to spend countless billions on wars, neuter the effectiveness of their economy with draconian security provisions, and one could make the argument that he even exacerbated the impact of the 2008 financial crisis with the government's response to his activities seven years prior.

      I'm sure there are many of his followers who would have their resolve strengthened by such a childish display by the USA.

      The message they sent is much better: if you attack the USA, we'll pay whatever it takes to kill you and when we're successful we will hold a brief press conference, throw your body away like a bag of trash, and never think of you again. I mean, it's not a happy message, but it's much more constructive to be dismissive than to give a martyr a soap box or a lengthy eulogy.

  10. apparently, he sleeps with da fishes.