(NOTE: As with all my posts on this blog, what I post here are my opinions, based on what I believe to be the facts of the matters at hand; if I have misconstrued those facts, please be assured that it was unintentional. Oh, one more thing: Constructive (non-obscene!) feedback is appreciated, so if you’d like to offer some comments, please use the “Comments” link somewhere below the bottom (or to the right) of the commentary; there, click the link, register, log-in, and post your comment. Thanks!)
Blog & Commentary:© protonius.wordpress.com, 2011 & 2013, all rights reserved.
(NOTE: 09-28-2013 Update to my Commentary below: According to today’s edition of Infowars.Com, “Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh says that the raid which killed Osama Bin Laden in 2011 is “one big lie” and that “not one word” of the Obama administration’s narrative on what happened is true”. Source: http://www.infowars.com/seymour-hersh-bin-laden-death-one-big-lie/).
The Ghost of Osama: Be Afraid — Be VERY Afraid?
(New York, 05-04-2011, with subsequent updates) — So, today, the alleged body of Osama Bin Laden — or what may be left of it by now — or of his double, or of somebody, or of anybody who “just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time” — or even of nobody — is, allegedly, somewhere in the depths of, allegedly, the Arabian Sea.
Or is it?
But, whatever has been the fate of Bin Laden himself, where, in effect, is Osama’s GHOST?
Could it be, perhaps, ululating a ghostly, reverberating, call, to Osama’s followers around the world, that the time for a renewed and revitalized “jihad” is “now“?
(August 2011 Update: Along those lines, isn’t is interesting that since that alleged “liquidation” of Bin Laden, the Department of Homeland Security has ratcheted the warning of terrorist-attacks on the U.S. upward, declaring that, as a result of this purported killing of Bin Laden, the U.S. and all Americans are now under greater threat of terrorist-attack than if he had been left free and alive?)
Talk about the power of a ghost!
If Bin Laden is dead (or alive) — which is still open to debate — or if he was indeed killed in this alleged raid (or perhaps has been dead since December 2001, as some allege) — could it be that his Ghost, perhaps, is nonetheless continuing to serve its intended purpose — roaming the halls of the White House, the Pentagon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, and much of the mainstream media, whispering influential “guidances” into political decisionmakers’ ears, and appearing before worried — or pleased — Government officials as a politically convenient bone-chilling phantasm whose “Threat From the Grave” gives them power to do things that the American people would otherwise never let them do?
Is his Ghost, even now, forcibly altering the course of American politics? (SUGGESTION: Ask a guy named Snowden).
Is Osama’s Ghost, in the darkness of his spirit, sauntering with even greater determination — and breadth of impact — than before, through our lives and former freedoms, as it continues to spread fear wherever it goes — fear that, as this Ghost — and those persons in political leadership positions well know — can so easily be utilized to vastly increase a Government’s control over the nation’s people and can, also by design, transmogrify a nation’s previous traditions of openness and freedom into an all-consuming, society-distorting, nightmare for its people, one of near-total subservience to and dependence on that same Government?
Could it be that Osama’s Ghost may even now be silently knocking at your door — or even, and without your conscious knowledge, be letting himself in — as he, in spectral form, and with the full backing of _______ (Fill-in the blank), surreptitiously glides into your life and observes — and reports on — your every move?
The U.S. (and parts of Europe) have now been reportedly ratcheting-up their “terror-alerts”, based upon, they say, just the possibility — but no specific threat — that supporters of the allegedly assassinated Bin Laden may now, as a consequence of his newly-alleged assassination, have become so “fired-up” by that alleged killing that they are now likely hurrying to launch some horrendous, massive, new attack or attacks against the U.S. (and the West).
Talk of “hidden nuclear bombs”, those devices to be exploded somewhere in the U.S. and Europe, perhaps, is also an element of this newly-released cloud of fear.
So, to what extent, if at all, is the story of Bin Laden’s recent alleged capture and “liquidation” real?
SO MANY QUESTIONS:
Was this really Osama Bin Laden who, allegedly, this past weekend, was summarily executed and dumped in the sea?
Is the renewed, heightened, alleged “terror-threat” real, and if so, to what extent, if any, does it merit a ratcheting-up of our nation’s systems of surveillance and detection?
Or, whether false or real, how can we know whether or not the threat was facilitated not so much for purposes of security as for purposes of advancing a political agenda?
It would seem that in politics, some ghosts — even the Ghost of Osama — can also serve a political goal.
Again, it would seem that this issue comes down to the key question of whom, and what evidence, one chooses to believe.
Even if this latest alleged execution of Bin Laden was genuine — although, at present, that’s debatable –, to what extent might it, and the alleged renewed terror-threat, also be used as a convenient excuse by the “powers-that-be” — particularly in the U.S. — to empower the Federal Government and various of its agencies to clamp-down yet further on the rights of the American people?
For example, might the TSA, for instance, consequently be given yet greater authority to institute yet more stringent “protective” measures that, arguably, would further impinge on the Constitutional rights and health-freedoms of the American people?
Or that other methods and systems of surveilling American citizens will be empowered to take another step forward?
Could it be that such a hypothesized — or even real — increase in the “terror-threat” might also be employed, by the “powers-that-be”, to justify the implementation of the equivalent of yet another, perhaps even more far-reaching, rights-diminishing, PATRIOT ACT, and other such impingements on our traditional Constitutional freedoms?
Or, along those lines, might we expect to soon be experiencing an expanded and intensified observational intrusion — as has already been happening — by elements of the Federal Government, into every American’s communications, financial transactions, and various other previously “private” activities, perhaps soon also including, among other things, into where we travel, with whom we associate, what our political views may be, and more?
Aren’t those the very things that the Constitution is said to prohibit, and which the United States — until Bush II — has traditionally and vociferously opposed as constituting a fundamental violation of human rights?
And, for that matter, what about the use of torture as a tool to obtain information from a person? Much of the American news media, and the Obama Administration, are now saying that much of the information that lead to the identification of Bin Laden’s Abbottabad wherebouts was revealed via the application, on various “enemy combatants” imprisoned at Guantanamo, of “enhanced interrogation techniques” — techniques which you and I would probably call “torture”.
Yet, how does this sudden, glowing praise of the use of torture, square with the fact that the use of torture has been decried, by many experts, as being not only unjustifiably cruel but also, in almost all cases, as being essentially ineffective as a means of extracting truthful information, such that, typically, a person being tortured will fabricate and confess to just about anything, just so long as doing so may grant that person a relief from pain?
So is it true that, in the current case, the use of torture — by whatever the name — actually did work?
Or, even if it did work, that it is therefore now considered to be acceptable as a tool for extracting “the truth”? If that’s the case, then how far down into our civilian judicial system might that acceptance of torture also travel?
What is the precedent here?
In other words, in what ways and to what extent does this whole thing — including the use of torture to extract information, plus the manner of, and official justification of, the alleged killing and disposal of the person that the Obama Administration says is Osama Bin Laden — provide a precedential basis for this Government to redefine, and possibly reduce, our range of rights and freedoms?
And what does this affair demonstrate to the world about this particular — and now Presidentially reinforced — American view of “justice”?
How can it not be logically expected that, in particular, this affair may well be interpreted — even if the view it out of balance with the rest of reality –, by much of the world, as indicating that the United States of America now demonstrably believes that “justice” comes not from “the fair, objective, and impartial, application of the law” but from the use of torture and “from the barrel of a gun”?
How about the global ripple-effect that such an example might generate — and which it is already generating?
And how might this particular version of “justice”, if it’s permitted to serve as an acceptable precedent, someday personally affect us all?
But, for that matter, is this form of American “justice” all that new? Perhaps not quite — or did the eight years of the Administration of George W. Bush, with its acceptance of the use of “torture” (albeit by other names) and “rendition”, and, reportedly, its authorizing extra-judicial executions of high-level “terrorists” — even if those targets might be American citizens –, not happen? And, too, did Obama, as President, not only continue that policy of “rendition” and of permitting the extra-judicial killing of high-level “terrorists” and of Americans citizens deemed to be involved in or carrying out terrorist acts against the U.S.?
There is, of course, an on-going debate as to whether or not, or to what degree, these policies are justified, much as there is also an on-going debate as to what and from where the threats to the United States may actually be.
If the threat to the nation is as terrible as we’ve generally been lead to believe, then certainly it would seem that our Government must be permitted the tools necessary for the nation’s defense against that threat. But, at the same time, shouldn’t our own personal, Constitutionally guaranteed, rights and freedoms also be protected?
In that context, what may be the impact on those rights and freedoms, as a consequence of how the Obama Administration has now been handling this Bin Laden affair, including the alleged raid, extra-judicial summary judgment and execution, and rapid disposal of the body, as well as the outpouring, in the U.S., not only of jubilation at this alleged set of events but also at how, reportedly at least, in this case the use of torture (of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay) actually worked??
How much of a “leap of imagination” might it be to also ask if this Obama-Osama development, this renewed and heightened fear of “terrorism”, predicated on this event that took place at the behest of the highest levels of the nation’s Government, might now also be used as a means of persuading the American public to relinquish yet another aspect of personal security and protections of law to what seems, to some, to be an increasingly authoritarian-prone Government?
Or, conversely, might this entire “End of Bin Laden” episode somehow actually strengthen our freedoms, our nation, and the positive values that most Americans have traditionally held dear?
I would certainly hope that the latter choice is the case.
For that matter, suppose that this proverbial, widespread, collective “sigh of relief” — if justified and not rooted in a primal “blood-lust for revenge” — does take hold:
How far might it go toward, at the least, reducing the kind of psychological tensions that hold a people — and a nation — back from pursuing what could be a wonderful destiny?
And, who knows? Perhaps it could also enable the “ratcheting-down” of all those freedoms-sucking, finances-draining, controversial anti-terrorism “protections” that most Americans seem to dislike or even despise — including the idea of “Constitution-free zones” within the U.S., or those roving warrantless police-roadblacks and searches, or those infamous TSA “pat-downs” and x-ray scans at airports and train stations.
And that’s just for starters.
Well, it’s a nice dream, anyway. A more peaceful, friendly, freedom-cherishing, world would be nice, for a change, wouldn’t it?
But, getting back to reality:
What’s the more likely truth of the matter?
WAS THIS ACTUALLY BIN LADEN — OR HAVE WE BEEN FED SOMETHING THAT’S LESS THAN THE TRUTH:
As to whether or not the executed person whom this Administration identified as Osama Bin Laden was actually Osama Bin Laden, for example, presumably somebody knows for sure. But who? And whose version should we trust to be the true one?
This Administration says that the man whom it executed was indeed Osama Bin Laden.
Yet critics point to evidence that, they say, shows that Bin Laden has in fact been dead and gone since the 2001 Battle at Tora Bora, where he was allegedly killed, or that he died of an incurable medical condition not long thereafter.
And what about the claims of various critics why maintain that the subsequently-released audio- and videotapes of, supposedly, Bin Laden, show definite indications of being fraudulent, one of those videotapes even featuring, allegedly, an Osama look-alike, and not a very convincing one at that?
According to these critics, it is only the the myth that “Osama lives” that has been intentionally kept alive, by the Bush II and Obama Administrations, among others, in that the myth, whenever needed, could usually be relied upon to serve the tremendously valuable purpose of mobilizing the public behind — or misdirecting them away from interfering against — policies and actions that the “powers-that-be” wished to implement.
So how can we, the public, determine whom best to trust? How can We, the People, who have been so long the target of misinformation and manipulations emerging from the mass media, Madison Avenue, and the realm of realpolitik, ascertain that what we are being told about this whole affair — regardless of which point of view we are being presented with — is indeed the unvarnished, complete, truth — if indeed, it is the truth, which it may or may not be?
So this, we are told, was Osama Bin Laden. Was it?
And now, with this latest event, in which even the body — of whomever this purported person was — was allegedly quickly, summarily, and irretrievably, disposed of, without so much as an independent, professional, full medical autopsy, what are we to believe is the truth?
At the very least, the summary judgment, on-the-spot execution, and hastily dumping the body at sea, would certainly seem to cast a justifiable pall of suspicion over not only the Obama Administration’s view of justice and the application of law, but also over this Administration’s credibility — because now — even if they were acting honestly and honorably — it begins to look as though this Administration had something to hide — such as the facts as to (a) whether this murdered man was the real Osama Bin Laden or (b) whether this Administration thought that Bin Laden — if that’s who this man was — may have possessed secrets which the Administration preferred should never be revealed.
So are either of those latter two possibilities at play? I don’t know — I just read the news like everybody else.
But in any case, it certainly would seem to me that the summary judgment, execution, and quick disposal of the body, now justifiably gives rise to the appearance, and to the consequent suspicion, that something “untoward” may have been afoot in how this affair was planned and managed.
What really happened? Was the disposed-of victim really Bin Laden — and if not, who was it, and where is the real Bin Laden? Or has the real Bin laden not only been really been dead, but also “really most sincerely dead”, and gone, all these years?
The whole affair would seem to cry out for careful examination.
Too, a key part of that concern revolves around how, in this affair, the American concept of “justice” appears to have taken yet another step away from the pre-Obama, pre-Bush II, concept of the importance of not only affording an accused a fair trial, but also of, at the least, assuring that the evidence involved is accurate, independently verifiable and fully available for subsequent re-analysis and review:
Rather, and even if this was Bin Laden and even if it had already been proven, for the sake of discussion, that he is a mass murderer, this current affair seems to suggest that the concept of “justice”, under Obama, has now been reshaped to fit a perceived predetermined goal — a situation not unlike the Bush II effort to reshape reality to fit a predetermined pro-invasion policy-goal, as evidenced in the “Downing Street Memos”.
With that particular issue in mind, I can almost picture the Ghost of Osama — even aside from whatever punishments he may be receiving as a consequence of the evils that he himself wrought — accusingly haunting the American political discourse for years to come.
SO, THE TRUTH AS TO EACH OF THESE ISSUES IS … WHAT?
I recently sought to explore possible answers to that question, in a forum at NaturalNews.com. There, a writer asserted his belief that the official excuse for the current raising, instead of there being a lowering, of the “terror-alert”, in the U.S., is, in essence, part of a Governmentally-run fraud, which he asserted is little more than an intentional power-grabbing ploy, by the Government, in its effort to yet again take freedoms away from the American people.
Here — with some modifications — is the essence of my response: ——————————————————————————
IMO, you’re half wrong and half-right:
(1) RIGHT about the assertion that this”War on Terrorism” is predicated on fighting against a quality, rather than targeting on a specific tangible physical entity, and that, as such, this is a ploy that allows the “war” to become essentially endless and to be manipulated as the given situation (as defined by whomever are the “powers-that-be” of the moment) warrants.
(2) RIGHT – in a sense – about what appears to be a contradiction between the assumption that –
(a) once Bin Laden is out of the way, the “terrorists” will presumably have consequently lost one of their most important strengths, versus –
(b) the fact that the U.S. is now ramping-up, instead of reducing, the “terror-alert”, whereas logic – at least in part – would seem to suggest that now is the time for the U.S. and the West to reduce their concerns over the “terror-threat”.
(3) WRONG — at least partly so — in your implied assumption that the removal of Bin Laden will throw the “terrorists” into disarray, resulting in their sudden major weakness and, presumably, loss of heart, from which we can then all relax. That assumption, in my view, is at least to some degree wrong because of many factors, including the fact that –
(a) Ayman Al Zawahiri, who in recent years came to the fore as a major Al Quaeda mastermind perhaps equal or complementary to Bin Laden, is still presumably out there;
(b) Al Quaeda, and related elements of the so-called “terror networks”, have long been said to be running their operations on a sort of cell-based, insular, confederational, almost “holistic”, system of command-communications-control, such that if one unit – even Bin Laden – is “taken out”, the system nevertheless purportedly has alternate, parallel, operational mechanisms in place and can thus continue to successfully function.
That’s not to say that the sudden removal of Bin Laden’s mindset, knowledge, connections, and “hands-on” influence, is having no effect on those “terror networks”. Nor is it to say that the U.S. gain of access to Bin Laden’s computerized and other such operational data, as a result of this raid, will not potentially have a huge impact on this “terror-network”.
Because, logic would also seem to dictate, that if that alleged “treasure trove” of digital data taken in the raid is deciphered and gives massive and critically important information about these terror-networks and their operations, those participants in those terror-networks may well soon meet their end.
But to what extent will that now happen?
And how quickly and effectively, if at all, will new networks, with “new” “terrorists”, spring up to replace them?
However, I would say that it remains to be seen whether the removing of Bin Laden, by itself, will also defuse — or further inflame — the anti-West and anti-U.S. beliefs, intentions, desires, and, efforts, of his supporters.
But certainly, it would appear to me that there is, as yet, no informed basis upon which to make the assertion that any possible “terrorist-initiated “ attacks against the U.S. and the West have now, suddenly, become purely and exclusively the phantasms of a paranoid imagination, and that we now, as of the day of Bin Laden’s alleged death, no longer need to have any “anti-terrorist protections” in place.
The “bad guys” are still “out there”.
Are they as much of a threat as we’ve been told? That’s another issue.
Much of this planet’s population – even many of those persons who, in the name of “freedom”, are battling against their nation’s own dictatorial regimes – despise the U.S. and the West with a passion.
For that portion of the populace who are already, or who will now become, supporters or admirers of Bin Laden, and who may possibly come to despise the U.S. with an even greater, or more immediate, passion than they had already possessed, the issue is not so much that their ire has been inflamed by the Bin Laden’s execution, but that their heightened ire, coupled with a sense of time-urgency, may now likely spur them to desire to initiate actions against the U.S. at this time – e.g., to do it “now”, because of either of three powerfully motivating reasons:
(1) In the “terrorists’ ” view, to wait would be to disrespect and betray, rather than honor, Bin Laden, their “brothers”, their God, and all that they and, in their view, hold dear;
(2) Now that the U.S. authorities have gained access to Bin Laden’s trove of digital terror-data — assuming that the data is still timely and can now be deciphered and used — the survivability of many of these “terrorists” and “terror-cells” may soon, at any moment, be brought to an abrupt and deadly end — making the initiation of any terrorist-desired action and of any effort to block such an action an imperative race against time.
(3) But even putting those rationales aside, there’s this: Even at its most simple level, have you never heard of the game – and unfortunately, on the global-level, it’s also often a deadly game – of “tit for tat”?
Or, more simply put, of how hatred, anger, violence, and fury, feed on hatred, anger, violence, and fury?
So, is there legitimate reason to believe that there may now be increased efforts, by “terrorists”, to inflict damage on American interests in the very near future? I suspect that the answer is “yes“.
Will there consequently be an increase in actions by the U.S. Government (and by various of its agencies, such as CIA, DoD, DHS, FBI, and TSA) to detect and block — or to appear to detect and block — those possibilities, even if it means enacting yet further intrusions into the American people’s lives, and energizing a further tightening of restrictions on Americans’ freedoms, and a putting Americans’ health further and more deeply at risk? In my view, the answer to that question too is, most probably, “yes“.
But I also ask this:
Should those negatives, of our rights of privacy and our personal liberties being taken away, and of our Constitutional freedoms being diminished and our health being threatened by carcinogenic and in other ways harmful x-rays and millimeter waves (and who knows what else will be “coming down the pike”), all in the name of “security”, be considered “acceptable risks” — somewhat, perhaps, akin to “collateral damage” — by us or by our Government? Do we really wish to live as an increasingly and overbearingly subjugated, life-threatened, people? Especially if there are better alternatives?
Or, if, hypothetically, the Ghost of Osama Bin Laden were to be able to make that choice for us, what do you suggest should be our answer? —————————————————————————–
SO, WHERE IS, ACTUALLY, THE “GHOST of OSAMA”?
Alive and gleefully active in the “terror-alert” machine? Insidiously roaming the nooks and crannies of a fear-driven American psyche? Wildly dancing in the hearts and minds of his “terror-attuned” supporters? Lounging happily in 72 mansions (perhaps not unlike the “mansion” of his alleged Abbottabad compound?) in which each room has 72 virgins (but virgin what?)?
Or someplace where it’s, perhaps, just a bit exceptionally warm?
Haunting, perhaps, our very psyche?
Or, perhaps, just fading away, bit by digestible bit, inside a school of wide-eyed fish happily swimming along the bottom of a sea?