It looked like some kind of a dinner where Obama got up to talk. And he said something about OBL's death. The entire room burst into applause and stood up as well.
I turned the TV off in disgust. I mean, are we not done celebrating that? Isn't it time to get to the details? To start asking tough questions?
I then find out that Obama is heading to NY, to Ground Zero. Come on, enough with the theatrics and let us get on to serious content.
Glenn Greenwald is way ahead of me (when is he not, eh,) and notes how the media folks are happy to parrot any administration's testosterone-filled messages, instead of digging deeper. Greenwald cites TPM's comment on the entire Osama and wife as human shield spin:
Turns out the woman that was killed on the compound wasn't bin Laden's wife. Bin Laden may have not even been using a human shield. And he might not have even been holding a gun.It is not any surprise then that there are people who think that was not Osama either.
William Saletan has this to say about the administration's false narratives:
The reason U.S. officials bought and sold this story is that it fit their larger indictment of Bin Laden. It reinforced the shameful picture of him hiding in a mansion while sending others to fight and die. It made him look like a coward.Well, in other places it would be called propaganda, right?
This is the narrative that's really at stake. A narrative isn't just a chronology. It's a tale woven with themes. For 20 years, Bin Laden peddled a tale of oppression and jihad. In elaborate video and audio messages, he depicted al-Qaida's trail of bombings as a Muslim struggle against Western persecution. He wasn't just a terrorist. He was a storyteller.
That's the story Brennan sought to undermine when he cited Bin Laden's use of a human shield to show "how false his narrative has been over the years." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also targeted Bin Laden's story. In a statement trumpeting his death, she argued that "people across the Middle East and North Africa are rejecting the extremist narratives and charting a path of peaceful progress." Carney, too, warned against false interpretations. "It would be a shame," he warned, if Bin Laden's killing "became a piece in a partisan narrative."
Carney is right. So are Brennan, Clinton, and Cameron. Bin Laden was a delusional mass murderer, and his narrative was false. But you can't debunk one false narrative with another. The firefight at Bin Laden's compound, it now appears, pitted two or three men against a dozen or more commandos. Bin Laden didn't engage in the firefight and used no human shield. He wasn't even armed. We shot him dead anyway. That's the truth. Deal with it.
The more the administration wants to control the flow of information so that it will all be spun in a way it wants, the more this entire thing comes across like Bourne going to kill the African leader in the middle of the night.
The Guardian quotes an American prosecutor at Nuremburg:
Benjamin Ferencz, an American lawyer who was a US prosecutor at the Nuremburg trials and who lives in New York state, asked whether the killing was justifiable self-defence or premeditated illegal assassination. He would have preferred he had been captured and put on trial.Attorney General Holder:
Ferencz, 92, said : "The picture I get is that a bunch of highly trained, heavily armed soldiers find an old guy in pyjamas and shot him in the chest and head and that borders, without access to more facts, on murder." He added: "Even [the head of the Luftwaffe Hermann] Göring had a right to trial."
"The operation in which Osama bin Laden was killed was lawful," Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. "He was the head of al-Qaida, an organization that had conducted the attacks of September 11th. He admitted his involvement and he indicated that he would not be taken alive. The operation against bin Laden was justified as an act of national self defense."Meanwhile, back in Afghanistan, the wily Hamid Karzai is making use of the political opportunity to distract attention from himself and his corrupt government:
Although president Karzai made sure he included a word of appreciation for the sacrifices of NATO and the United States, the frustration in his tone was clear. "NATO and the world did not hear our call for ten years," he said. "We burned and burned. Osama was killed in Abbotabad."There is only one way I can calm myself down then ... with the Daily Show!