Monday, May 02, 2011

The news that will blot out everything else for the next several days

Apparently, Osama bin Laden is dead, killed by a US special ops team that raided a mansion where he had holed up some 100 km outside Islamabad.

I'll withhold certainty for a few hours: Remember the several times we "got" Saddam Hussein, at least one of which involved a body, before we finally did. Still, the claim is that DNA tests have already been done and the O. team seems in general more cautious about this kind of announcement than the Shrub gang was, so it's most likely correct.

The expected jubilation and testosterone-driven posturing have already broken out in the streets and the domestic political gains and losses are already being tallied.

I'm sure there will be more to say and more than enough voices to say it, but I wanted to get this out there now:
President Barack Obama warned Americans on Sunday night to remain vigilant even after the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and while there are no known credible threats, the risk of attacks remains.
On an occasion like this, the expansion of executive authority, the extra-legal military interventions in Yemen, Pakistan, and Libya, the torture regime, the secret prisons, the wiretapping, the growth of the Department for the Protection of the Fatherland, the whole widening apparatus of the national security state, freezes - for just one instant, its power, its legitimacy, suspended for less than a breath. Then it relaxes and carries on.

So there is one major difference between the capture of Saddam Hussein and the killing of Osama bin Laden: The national security state hoped Saddam's capture would be the end of that war. That same national security state is hoping that bin Laden's death will not be the end of this one.

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