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Total number of comments: 9 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:02)

Chip Pitts

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  • The Muslim World Sounds off on Bin Laden's Demise
    • Mr. Barkell, you sound just like the apologists for the British Empire before its demise. Oblivious to the coming reality, yet haughtily claiming the mantle of superior knowledge and morality. It's apparent who the ideologue is here.

  • Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
    • @Ray, among the many benefits of capturing vs killing him would be (beyond vital intelligence gathering) demonstrating that the US again adheres to the rule of law, as opposed to the rule of force favored by terrorists. Sanctioning a policy of assassination, instead, only helps lead to a truly Hobbesian war of all against all, which again favors force instead of reason and law. The benefits of proving the facts in court, under adversarial standards and testing evidence, shares with the scientific method the possibility of advancing knowledge and repudiating the rumors, conspiracies, and suspicion that will inevitably proliferate based on the way this operation was conducted.

    • @William, it should be beyond obvious that the burial at sea - which most certainly was NOT in accordance with "Islamic tradition" -- by no means precludes the "physical point of martyrdom" that you reference. There are many possible options for such a physical point, including th site of the compound, etc etc.

    • @Lori and @William: here's one of the many stories correcting the key facts on which you rely which are now exposed as wrong: link to

    • Given that Osama bin Laden apparently didn't resist by firing in defense (or offense), as originally reported, or even attempting to do so, it seems to me that killing him without attempting to access the treasure trove intelligence he undoubtedly retained in his head was a major strategic blunder. Especially when combined with the shady burial at sea and the likelihood that his death will enshrine him as an untouchable martyr with supercharged ability to enhance the proliferation and recruitment for al Qaeda offshoots.

    • Do you really think that it will be that hard to come up with alternative physical places to serve as "shrines" (including the compound location where he lived, etc etc)? Doesn't that explanation for the burial at sea strike you as "fishy" -- along with the absurdly inaccurate claim that it was in accordance with "Islamic tradition"?

    • Turns out the fact wasn't that after all, William: he didn't resist. And the burial at sea of course prompts much skepticism and actually enhances rather than diminishes the chances of his being deemed a martyr. But I don't suppose that changes your view . . .

    • Kip, the reports that he shot back were apparently inaccurate early info; the latest and accurate info is that the operation was aimed more at kill than capture, and that Osama bin Laden neither reached for nor fired a gun.

      Chip Pitts

  • Kolin: How the US Became a Police State
    • There's undoubtedly a intense battle going on at present for democracy and human rights in the world, not only in North Africa, but also here at home in the United States.

      The difference is that the forces for good are currently winning there but losing here.

      Contrary to those deluded into thinking that the Obama administration has brought policies back into line with the rule of law and human rights, the administration is continuing many of the same illegal approaches of the Bush administration, including the Patriot Act, torture by proxy and restrictions on basic citizenship rights through use of no-fly lists and the like (e.g. the recent Gulet Mohamed case), massive warrantless surveillance and dataveillance, rendition, military tribunals, repression of dissent under expansive definitions of "domestic terrorism" and "material support" (cf Obama and Holder's recent FBI raids in various US states on peaceful anti-war and international solidarity activists), the expanded use of the "state secrets" privilege to achieve the complete dismissal of lawsuits against torture, rendition, and warrantless surveillance, ensuring the impunity and defeating accountability for these abuses. And Obama has embraced what you call the "clearest indication of American police state practices" -- preventive detention. He is reportedly about to sign a new Executive Order enshrining this more broadly into US law for the first time.

      The American people could usefully take a little inspiration from their North African brothers and sisters.

      Chip Pitts

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