My (For now anyway.) final thoughts on OBL.

-First off, why the fuck didn’t anyone think of referring to Bin Laden as OBL during the 2008 election? Do you know how much aggravation that could have saved us?

-My own personal reaction to finally hearing that Osama had taken down.  You know that moment in every “Dragnet” episode where Joe Friday looks at the just captured perp and nods at him while managing just the hint of a smile? (Which was Jack Webb’s repressed fifties version of “Blow me, asshole”.)
That was my reaction.
Sue me.  I’m not the type to hoot and holler at the sight of death.  Although I also refuse to hold it against anyone who does.  We’ve all been living with this for too many years and we all have our own different methods of processing this news. When I talked to my mom about this, her reaction (And keep in mind, this was someone in my youth had chastised me for hoping for the death of Idi Amin.) was “Well, maybe this once.”.

-To be honest, I would have been happier if they’d caught the son of a bitch alive and turned his sorry ass over to the ICC.  Then we would have had the pleasure of watching trying to defend his ideology to a group of stone faced judges.  There would have been added bonus points if somewhere down the line, they finally bagged Bush and Cheney and all three had to share a cell.  (Worst remake of “Down By Law”…EVER!)

-I think I’m not fist pumping about the Osama thing is that I’m just not a big fan of the death penalty in general.  And it’s not because I’m a Liberal and think all life is sacred. Or that the whole death penalty system is flawed. (Although both facts are true.)
It’s because I just don’t think that the Death Penalty is really that harsh a punishment.
Okay, stay with me.  I do have an explanation for this.
You see, I’m an Atheist.  I don’t believe in God or an afterlife.  Therefore, when someone dies…that’s it.
You no longer exist.  You are unaware of space and time. You are unaware of anything.
So, when you are put to death, you are immediately unaware of your punishment.  Yes, you are gone but you are also free of pain and guilt and all your memories. There is just blackness.  There is just nothing.
Take a moment and try to imagine what that is like.
Now, try to imagine a five hour layover at O’Hara Airport without Wi-Fi.
Seriously, what would you consider to be worse?

-And for those of you who believe that killing Osama means that we won, let me remind you that death does not necessarily mean defeat. Via Glenn Greenwald at Salon.

On Friday, government officials anonymously claimed that “a rushed examination” of the “trove” of documents and computer files taken from the bin Laden home prove — contrary to the widely held view that he “had been relegated to an inspirational figure with little role in current and future Qaeda operations” — that in fact “the chief of Al Qaeda played a direct role for years in plotting terror attacks.”  Specifically, the Government possesses “a handwritten notebook from February 2010 that discusses tampering with tracks to derail a train on a bridge,” and that led “Obama administration officials on Thursday to issue a warning that Al Qaeda last year had considered attacks on American railroads.”  That, in turn, led to headlines around the country like this one, from The Chicago Sun-Times:

The reality, as The New York Times noted deep in its article, was that “the information was both dated and vague,” and the official called it merely “aspirational,” acknowledging that “there was no evidence the discussion of rail attacks had moved beyond the conceptual stage”  In other words, these documents contain little more than a vague expression on the part of Al Qaeda to target railroads in major American cities (“focused on striking Washington, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago,” said the Sun-Times):  hardly a surprise and — despite the scary headlines — hardly constituting any sort of substantial, tangible threat.

But no matter.  Even in death, bin Laden continues to serve the valuable role of justifying always-increasing curtailments of liberty and expansions of government power.  From Reuters (h/t Atrios):

Sen. Schumer proposes “no-ride list” for Amtrak trains

A senator on Sunday called for a “no-ride list” for Amtrak trains after intelligence gleaned from the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound pointed to potential attacks on the nation’s train system.

Sen. Charles Schumer said he would push as well for added funding for rail security and commuter and passenger train track inspections and more monitoring of stations nationwide.

“Circumstances demand we make adjustments by increasing funding to enhance rail safety and monitoring on commuter rail transit and screening who gets on Amtrak passenger trains, so that we can provide a greater level of security to the public,” the New York Democrat said at a news conference.

Yeah, we got Osama. But now before we blew trillions of dollars on two wars. (One of which was illegal and unnecessary.) Threw out all the laws about torture, ceding the high moral ground. And began constructing the largest state security system in the history of the human species.
Osama may be dead.  But someone explain to me how he failed.

About theragingcelt

Actor/Writer/Homegrown Pundit/Cranky Progressive/Sometimes Filmmaker.
This entry was posted in Chuck Schumer, Democrats shooting themseves in the foot, great depression 2.0, Politics, terrorism, Torture. Bookmark the permalink.

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