Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Justifying the Bush Years

So Obama is the man right now. 2012 is in the bag and the GOP can cancel Christmas. The mainstream media is going absolutely batshit over the death of Osama bin Laden. They're dong what they do and for the first time in so long it seems right. It's like all the time they spent on the minutiae of Brittany Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen and the Royal Wedding of Kate and William was merely practice for something this huge and it's paid off.

The re-enactments. Who said what to who and when. The burial at sea. Who gets the 25 million dollar bounty? What kind of helicopters were used. Was bin Laden's wife there and did she really get shot as well? Questions that we shrug off and mock when it comes to the usual celebrity nonsense are of interest to any and everyone and even I find myself getting drawn in to the extensively detailed coverage.

And of course every blog, every news site and web magazine is chiming in. Earlier today I was reading an Associated Press article on Yahoo today on the final lead and chance phone call that led to finding out where bin Laden was living. And because the press is so prone to getting every single detail and quote they can, they unearthed this little gem:

Phone call by Kuwaiti courier led to bin Laden
Associated Press Adam Goldman And Matt Apuzzo
Associated Press – Tue May 3, 7:57 am ET

...in 2004, top al-Qaida operative Hassan Ghul was captured in Iraq. Ghul told the CIA that al-Kuwaiti was a courier, someone crucial to the terrorist organization. In particular, Ghul said, the courier was close to Faraj al-Libi, who replaced Mohammed as al-Qaida's operational commander. It was a key break in the hunt for in bin Laden's personal courier.

"Hassan Ghul was the linchpin," a U.S. official said.

Finally, in May 2005, al-Libi was captured. Under CIA interrogation, al-Libi admitted that when he was promoted to succeed Mohammed, he received the word through a courier. But he made up a name for the courier and denied knowing al-Kuwaiti, a denial that was so adamant and unbelievable that the CIA took it as confirmation that he and Mohammed were protecting the courier. It only reinforced the idea that al-Kuwaiti was very important to al-Qaida.

If they could find the man known as al-Kuwaiti, they'd find bin Laden.

The revelation that intelligence gleaned from the CIA's so-called black sites helped kill bin Laden was seen as vindication for many intelligence officials who have been repeatedly investigated and criticized for their involvement in a program that involved the harshest interrogation methods in U.S. history.

"We got beat up for it, but those efforts led to this great day," said Marty Martin, a retired CIA officer who for years led the hunt for bin Laden.

So they found Osama bin Laden by listening in on communications and torture. Things Americans worry about as we see our country slowly detaching ourselves from the principles of innocent until proven guilty to guilty until the government clears you and maybe not even then.

Conservatives who support FOX Network have been quick to attribute the death of Osama bin Laden to the man who started it all. And while I want the cheers that followed bin Laden's death to continue- not in some erie celebration of yet more killing- but cheers of celebration that the dark days are over and that maybe what George Bush put us through was justified and we can move on from bombing anyone who may have been harboring bin Laden.

So now, the question is: When will it end?

I want to know if we'll ever be free of the Patriot Act. I want to know if gas prices will go down or if wages will go up. I want to know that the loss of life on 9/11 and the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan were worth the deprivation that we've suffered in our economy and that we did not sacrifice in vain.

I want to know what happens now that the man we've been looking for, for over 10 years is dead? If we continue on the same path of war and destruction then we know that the overall goal was not to defeat terrorism but to defeat the American spirit of liberty.

Will sanctioned torture and the complete elimination of communications privacy in America be the result of all this?

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