Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Three Questions About Bin Laden's Death

1. Was bin Laden found due to the results of waterboarding or other extraordinary means of interrogation?

--Why ask?  The very question lends a hint of legitimacy to the practice.  A civilized culture must not resort to this treatment.  The end does not justify the means.

2. It seems impossible that Pakistan could not have known about Bin Laden's whereabouts; should Pakistan be held responsible for protecting Bin Laden?

--While the idea is worth exploring, it's silly to jump to this conclusion based on what little information has been released.  The FBI's Ten Most Wanted list contains the names of fugitives sought for crimes committed as early as the mid-1980's. (Notice that Bin Laden, also on the list, is marked Deceased.) Why can't the US, with its world-class intelligence apparatus, find these men?  Suppose one of them is found residing in Washington DC?  I doubt that means that the U.S. is protecting him.

3. Should pictures of Bin Laden's body be released for public scrutiny as proof of his death?

--I heard of the capture while waking up to the news.  Still fuzzy from sleep, I remember hearing that "they got him", and had waking dreams of the Trial of the Century. Then I heard he was killed, and raised an early morning eyebrow (in need of trimming!) when I heard Bin Laden was already buried at sea.  As I pulled myself together, I gave this some thought, and assumed that there was some cultural or religious explanation, or that any burial place other than the ocean would become vulnerable. 

I don't think it is necessary to air photos of a deceased Bin laden with his head blown apart.  I would ask: Would it be possible for the American public to see the video that was being scrutinized by Mr. Obama and his team, in which their reaction is captured in a now-famous photograph (shown below)?  I don't require proof; but I think the pictures they were seeing would be interesting as history, and would provide closure.

And it would nip the conspiracy theories in the bud if there is nothing to hide.

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