Obama can't get his story straight on bin Laden

May 04, 2011

Anyone who didn't spot a whopper in the headline "Bin Laden surrender was nearly impossible" (May 4) obviously hasn't lived through the Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan Wars. The simple fact that the U.S. government can't get its story straight from the beginning should be the first clue that the administration is lying to the public. A detective investigating a murder case would find it elemental that the story changed so quickly. Of course Osama bin Laden could have been taken alive. The text of the article itself reveals that the government didn't want to take him alive, and the various reasons were stated. But nobody is surprised when the government lies.

Another whopper of a similar scale but different context was President Obama's claim that "justice was done." That's true in a very narrow case because the murder of 3,000 innocents in the 9/11 attacks was inexcusable. But when Mr. Obama talks about justice, and from a lawyer no less, what about justice for the 106,000 Iraqis who were wrongfully killed by American forces who were avenging bin Laden's deeds, or the uncounted numbers of civilians killed in Afghanistan and Pakistan? The selective language used by President Obama and other apologists for him is surprisingly unselective when it comes to what they apparently regard as "collateral damage" (human beings needlessly killed) or the flotsam and jetsam of what they consider expendable people.

Speaking of justice, Guantanamo is still open, many people have never been tried for their alleged crimes, the trial of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad in New York has been cancelled, torture is still defended even though illegal.

Yes, President Obama won't have Republicans saying he is soft on national security since he destroyed bin Laden when his predecessor did not. But to paraphrase Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, I would say to President Obama, "Martin Luther King was my friend, and you are not Martin Luther King." King also wrote two generations ago that the U.S. is the most violent nation on earth, which is even truer today. The White House apparently does not believe in the rule of law but of unaccounted-for, unchecked violence.

So while our warriors celebrate this recent action, note that its fruit is indeed a bitter one. It brings little or no comfort to the families of 9/11 victims, and it does not make the world any safer or peaceful than it was before. The U.S. has squandered its resources on unnecessary wars, and has learned nothing from all this bad experience. I would suggest that while others from abroad contemplated such an atrocious act as 9/11, there might also be a connection to our nation's reckless disregard for human life and law.

Christopher Boardman, Joppa

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