The professional screechers on the puritan "Left" are apparently having some problems with the fact that President Obama and his team was successful in taking out Osama bin Laden. They can't quite figure out a way to discredit the president for doing this, so there's a new approach: go after the people's reaction, caused by the announcement in a very creepy, nasty way. Oh, and bash the president for not getting bin Laden alive. Glenn Greenwald leads the clan.
Did you know that hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden is just like killing an innocent infant baby? Greenwald thinks so. No, I'm not making this crap up. From Greenwald's yesterday's piece of turd:
It seems telling that hunting someone down and killing them is one of the few things that still produce these feelings of nationalistic unity. I got on an airplane last night before the news of bin Laden's killing was known and had actually intended to make this point with regard to our killing of Gadaffi's son in Libya -- a mere 25 years after President Reagan bombed Libya and killed Gadaffi's infant daughter.See, Reagan bombed Tripoli, and Gaddafi's infant daughter was killed. Obama authorized an Navy SEAL operation against the compound where Bin Laden was hiding out and the operation actually resulted in the killing of Osama Bin Laden himself. Same thing. Pretty much. More or less. Oh, and I'm sure Mr. Greenwald will soon produce evidence of all the festivities that spontaneously erupted across the United States celebrating specifically the event that an infant was killed. Anytime. I'm sure.
This Glenn Greenwald dude is seriously creepy. Dude's seriously messed up. Hunting someone down and killing them, Glenn? Someone? Uhh, this someone only happens to be Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al Queda, and the world's most wanted terrorist. Let's be sure about something: Americans aren't celebrating because we hunted someone down and killed them, okay? We are celebrating the end of a terrorist leader who is not simply responsible for killing innocent Americans but innocent civilians across the globe. We are not even really celebrating the death per se; rather we are celebrating what Bin Laden's death means - it means closure for a country, severe weakening of Al Queda's terrorist apparatus (discussed later), and not to mention, a whole heap of intelligence information.
Now, many people of good will struggle to reconcile the obvious goodness of the outcomes of bin Laden's death with the moral difficulty of celebrating death, and that is understandable, even admirable. But Greenwald is using that conflict of emotion only as a shield for his nasty, perverted, sick arguments.
How sick? He argues in essence that bin Laden should have been arrested, and if he resisted, the Navy SEALs should have acted just like your local police:
I'd have strongly preferred that Osama bin Laden be captured rather than killed so that he could be tried for his crimes and punished in accordance with due process (and to obtain presumably ample intelligence). But if he in fact used force to resist capture, then the U.S. military was entitled to use force against him, the way American police routinely do against suspects who use violence to resist capture.You see, Greenwald doesn't really believe that bin Laden resisted capture. I mean, yes, the President's counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said emphatically that the special forces were prepared to take bin Laden alive had he not resisted, but hey, what does Brennan know? He's only one of the top members of a team that tracked down and took out the world's most notorious terrorist.
And, even if you believe Brennan, hey, why didn't the SEALs act like the police? You know, chase the bastard down, throw him on the ground, and cuff him? Don't the elite special forces carry standard issue tasers? Or couldn't they have pointed a gun at him and say, "it's over, put your hands above your head and kneel on the ground!" when they were engaged in a firefight that started as soon as the helicopter showed up overhead the compound where bin Laden was staying(while the details are emerging that bin Laden himself may not have been armed, there is no question that a firefight took place)? How dare we not hold back fire, risk American lives, and risk letting bin Laden get away?
Umm. Yeah. You see the absurdity. And remind us what the local police does if the suspect is not just fleeing but actually firing at the police? Oh, right. They shoot back.
About that "obtain[ing] ample intelligence" from a live capture of bin Laden thing. Ahem:
Most counterterrorism experts did not view bin Laden as an exploitable source for intelligence, Orr reports. There was little chance he could substantively add to what the government knows about his organization.Well, most counterterrorism experts don't know shit! They need to go to the Glenn Greenwald School of Counterterrorism! I hear it's the West Point of counterterrirsm and intelligence gathering!
Oh, by the way, did you know that killing Bin Laden will only make us Americans thirsty for more blood? I mean, yeah, we are fatigued with the wars and what not, but we tasted new blood! Hell, we're having an orgy! That's right, an orgy.
We're feeling good and strong about ourselves again -- and righteous -- and that's often the fertile ground for more, not less, aggression. [...]Yeah, you over there. You think bin Laden being killed is a good thing? You feel good that finally, the families of 9/11 can have some closure? You take pride in our country and our President and our intelligence professionals and military personnel who made this happen - proud enough maybe even to raise the American flag? You feel good that finally, after 10 years, we got the person who was actually responsible for not just 9/11 but many many more attacks targeting innocent civilians? You are glad for the lives of those who would have become his victims if he continued to live freely? Well, you're a blood thirsty orgy lover! Next thing we know, you will be clamoring for a full scale war in Pakistan! Because you see, Glenn Greenwald thinks that you're stupid.
In sum, a murderous religious extremist was killed. The U.S. has erupted in a collective orgy of national pride and renewed faith in the efficacy and righteousness of military force.
Like I said, dude's creepy. Yes, I am proud of my country. I am proud of my President. I am proud of our intelligence and military professionals. I think it's a damn good thing that Bin Laden is gone. It has nothing to do with any desire for blood, or any nationalistic "orgy." Greenwald is at his finest, most disgusting form.
But hey, he has to take a shot at sounding smart and non-crazy at least, right? Here it is - his best shot.
The first is the question of what, if anything, is going to change as a result of the two bullets in Osama bin Laden's head? Are we going to fight fewer wars or end the ones we've started? Are we going to see a restoration of some of the civil liberties which have been eroded at the altar of this scary Villain Mastermind? Is the War on Terror over? Are we Safer now?Too bad, Glenn. They are not rhetorical questions. Are we going to end the wars we started? Uhh, yes. The combat mission in Iraq is already over, if you haven't noticed, Mr. Eyes Wide Shut. Troop withdrawal from Iraq is scheduled to be completed by the end of his year. In some ways, Obama's Af-Pak focus is responsible for the end of bin Laden. I mean, after all, it was bin Laden who declared that Obama couldn't end the wars, and now President Obama has ended bin Laden.
Those are rhetorical questions. None of those things will happen.
As for civil liberties, hmm. Right after taking office, President Obama abolished Bush era torture methods. And Greenwald's right to bullshit and spew garbage seems to be quite secure.
Yes, the "war on terror" is over. But it has been since Obama took office. President Obama has made clear that we're not fighting an emotion ("terror") - we are fighting extremists and terrorists who target innocent civilians for mass murder. No, that fight is not over.
Yes, we are safer now. Without a doubt. The death of the world's most wanted terrorist and the worst mastermind and top leader of terrorism makes us safer. Yes, it does. And it's not only prima facie. Noting that much of Al Queda's appeal involved the leadership of bin Laden Fareed Zakaria writes:
In the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, a number of people are saying that this does not mean that al Qaeda has been destroyed. Some argue that the organization may, in fact, be thriving. Front-page articles in both The New York Times and The Washington Post make this claim. Many officials from Obama downward are saying this.Zakaria is not your average media blowhard. He's a serious journalist, a Ph.D from Harvard, and one of the leading intellectuals on foreign policy of our time. Foreign policy is what he does. Greenwald doesn't have a prayer here.
I understand why officials have to say this. They want to be cautious. They don’t want to overpromise.
But the truth is this is a huge, devastating blow to al Qaeda, which had already been crippled by the Arab Spring. It is not an exaggeration to say that this is the end of al Qaeda in any meaningful sense of the word.
Then, Greenwald has the galls to do this. He thinks he's the Howard Dean of 2003, courageously opposing the Iraq war when it wasn't politically safe. He thinks he's the same as the guy who first made it okay in American mainstream politics to view the Iraq war as the disaster that it was.
Recall what happened in 2003 when Howard Dean interrupted the national celebratory ritual triggered by Saddam Hussein's capture when he suggested that that event would likely not make us safer. He was demonized by political leaders in both parties, with Joe Lieberman finally equating him with Saddam by accusing Dean of being in a "spider hole of denial." That will be the same demonizing reaction targeted at anyone who deviates from today's ritualistic script.Glenn, I knew Howard Dean's campaign. I worked for Howard Dean's campaign as an intern in New Hampshire. I was intricately familiar with Gov. Dean's leadership in bringing the stupidity and outrage of the Iraq war to the forefront. And on the day Saddam Hussein was captured, Howard Dean came to San Francisco and declared that it didn't make us any safer. I was there at that event in San Francisco. Glenn, you are no Howard Dean.
Saddam Hussein's capture didn't make us safer because it - or for that matter the whole Iraq war - didn't have anything to do with our fight against terrorists. Saddam Hussein did not direct an attack on American soil to kill 3000 civilians. Saddam Hussein, evil as he was, was not a threat to US security. That is why his capture didn't make us any safer. That is not same case as Osama bin Laden.
In fact, Glenn Greenwald's argument here is exactly like George W. Bush's argument, which is essentially, at least in this context where he's trying to equate himself with Howard Dean, that Saddam = bin Laden. Umm, no. Glenn, you're no Howard Dean, and Saddam Hussein was no bin Laden. Okay?
So let's recap. Let's see what we have so far. Greenwald thinks killing bin Laden in a precision strike is exactly like killing an infant baby by bombing, that celebrating bin Laden's death for all of its positive implications is the same as blood thirsty animalistic nationalistic orgies, that maybe the Navy SEALs should have tried tasing Osama bin Laden during the firefight, and fancies himself the 2011 version of Howard Dean by equating, if unwittingly, bin Laden and Saddam Hussein. This is freaking insanity. This is creepy-ness at its worst. Oh and in the mean time, he manages to miss the point of us being safer by about a mile and then some. The whole nutjob package.