The United States murders an American citizen

An armed drone finally killed Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen whom the Obama administration had marked for death. Mr. Awlaki’s murder becomes another milestone passed by the American political system in its effort to replace the rule of law by the rule by law.

Boogeyman dead — now what…?

No problem!

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.”

Boogeyman immortal!

The quote can be found in a Glenn Greenwald article addressing the use of bin Laden’s name to generate fear and yet another extension of the security-surveillance state.

Maureen Dowd — Moral idiot

Dowd’s latest sees her opining:

I don’t want closure. There is no closure after tragedy.

I want memory, and justice, and revenge.

When you’re dealing with a mass murderer who bragged about incinerating thousands of Americans and planned to kill countless more, that seems like the only civilized and morally sound response.

We briefly celebrated one of the few clear-cut military victories we’ve had in a long time, a win that made us feel like Americans again — smart and strong and capable of finding our enemies and striking back at them without getting trapped in multitrillion-dollar Groundhog Day occupations.

But for the nay-sayers, Dowd would be all aglow with the sense of entitlement and efficacy she believes to be her due as a member of the American elite. She thus takes after the Republicans here and the leaders abroad for criticizing the bin Laden assassination. What she fails to grasp is that killing the Boogeyman was a political spectacle that will only justify the “multitrillion-dollar Groundhog Day operations’ she dislikes and the kind of Presidents that will start them and see them through to the end. The bin Laden assassination was an instance in which the American empire practiced the propaganda of the deed.

Capturing and trying bin Laden was the only civilized response, at least for those individuals for whom the rule of law is a key component of a civilized society.

Quote of the day

This one issued from Mike Whitney‘s keyboard:

What does the assassination of Osama Bin Laden have in common with Guantanamo Bay?

They’re both intended to send a message that the United States has sunk deeper into savagery and abandoned any commitment to conventional norms of behavior. That’s the message, and we hear it “loud and clear”.

We don’t need our Harvard-educated president to crow about his latest gangland “hit” to know that America has turned into a moral swamp. That’s obvious in every area of policy, foreign and domestic. It’s just that certain incidents draw more attention than others, like when a drone incinerates a home full of women and children in the Pakistani outback or when F-16s reduce a city of 300,000 (Falluja) to rubble leaving behind a legacy of birth defects, cancer and grinding poverty. These are the real “headline grabbers”, like shrugging off the sovereign rights of an ally, invading their airspace, and deploying special ops to conduct a Rambo-style massacre in a civilian section of town.

Booyah. You go America! U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A.

An ironic consequence produced by the bin Laden assassination

(Some) Americans have danced in the streets in celebration of a political murder. Bin Laden is dead, the Boogeyman is dead, and Uncle Sam killed him. Once more America is whole…vital…effective…. The blood of “the other” has unburdened Uncle Sam of his many failures. From blood comes purity, perfection, unity.

And yet, David Swanson offers this caveat:

Imagine the propaganda that the U.S. media could make of video footage of a foreign country where the primitive brutes are dancing in the streets to celebrate the murder of a tribal enemy. That is the propaganda we’ve just handed those who will view bin Laden as a martyr. When their revenge comes, we will know exactly what we are supposed to do: exact more revenge in turn to keep the cycle going.

We need not use our imaginations for this. We only need to do an internet search where we will find this footage:

It seems America and Americans are not at all exceptional. We are like “the other” we despise. Blowback awaits Uncle Sam. By now he has to expect consider blowback normal. Surely he does not expect to win this endless, expensive and repulsive war?