Front and Center

Politics, society, and other random randomness

Category Archives: terrorism

Thoughts on Bin Laden: Credit, Sea Burials, and Other Randomness

Just some thoughts on the dispatching of Osama:

ATTABOY AWARDS

Let’s start by making sure credit for this is given to all the parties that deserve it.  First, I hope they make a movie about the SEAL team that got to go in and execute the plan.  It has all the parts of a good movie:  overall plot (kill the terrorist mastermind), buildup (years of searching and intelligence), suspense (one chopper lost on the ingress), action (fast roping on the roof, gunfight), and a happy ending.

Kudos also to everyone from top to bottom that was involved in the search.  that includes folks under Bush as well as the current folks under Obama.  The president was very classy in mentioning that the effort started under Bush, and also in calling him to let him know OBL was dead.

And yes, credit to Obama.  Though I give more credit to the folks below him, he gets credit not only for being the final go-no go decision maker, but for keeping good folks working for him in order to get this done.

LET’S NOT GIVE HIM A CAPE JUST YET

I’ve noticed that many of Obama’s supporters have gone beyond the simple idea of giving him credit for getting OBL.  Many are already running the victory lap for the 2012 election.  My friends, slow your roll.  There is a lot of time between now and election day.  And with gas prices going up, unemployment still around 10%, and other issues going on, getting rid of OBL is not enough to punch his ticket into term #2.

If all else fails, look at Bush I.  He had the whole world behind him as the US and its allies went in and kicked Saddam out of Kuwait and back to Baghdad.  But on inauguration day in 1993, the person sworn in was named Clinton, not Bush.

OBL BURIED AT SEA

Evidently, the body of Osama was buried at sea.  Per Muslim tradition, a person must be buried within 24 hours of death.  So nice of the US to go ahead and adhere to such.  The reasoning behind the move makes sense.  Finding a country to take OBL’s remains may have been tough, and on top of that, burying him at sea preventing OBL supporters from creating a shrine.

But lets just count how long it takes before the conspiracy theorists take this and run.  Was it faked?  Why not show everyone the actual body?  Is he really dead?

INTERESTING BITS OF INFO EMERGING

–OBL was given a chance to surrender.  He opted not to.  He caught a bullet in the left eye as a result.  In the left eye.  that’s some impressive shooting.

–Is someone going to try and convince me that authorities in Pakistan didn’t know OBL was living in the city in a massive mansion?  !t was located within sptting distance of the Pakistan Military Academy.  Yeah, right! 

–There was a plan to bomb the compound in March.  They were going to use two B-2 stealth bombers to drop a bunch of bombs on it.  But Obama didn’t sign off because there wouldn’t have been enough left to confirm OBL was dead.
Bottom line:  Osama Bin Laden is taking a dirt nap.  Good riddance.

Advertisements

Rep. Keith Ellison’s Teary Hearing Speech Gets a Lot of Press. Too Bad It Wasn’t True

Yesterday, Rep. Peter King conducted a hearing into radicalization in America:

Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) rejected calls from nearly 100 Democratic members to cancel the highly controversial hearing as he carried out his attempt to explore whether the U.S. Muslim community is being radicalized.

King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said the four-hour hearing was “successful” and announced plans to hold another in the next several months on the radicalization of Muslim Americans in the U.S. prison system.

“This was an extremely productive, worthwhile hearing,” King told reporters after it ended. “I am more convinced than ever that it was the appropriate hearing to hold. We broke down a wall of political correctness on an issue which has to be addressed.”

There was, of course, plenty of drama on hand due to the controversy stirred up leading to the hearing, but one speaker who received a lot of press–even before the hearing was even over–was Rep. Keith Ellison, for his teary presentation at the beginning of the hearing:

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the first Muslim elected to Congress, broke into tears during the hearing as he spoke of a 23-year-old Muslim New York Police Department cadet and paramedic named Mohammed Salman Hamdani who was killed trying to save people from the crumbling World Trade Center buildings on 9/11.

Ellison became visibly emotional when he began describing how people spread false rumors after his death that Hamdani had helped the terrorists attack the U.S. Ellison was barely able to finish his statement but said he was concerned that fear-based rumors and prejudice could arise from Thursday’s hearing as well.

However, an interesting thing came to light: either Ellison got his story mixed up, or it just isn’t true:

Does Ellison’s account check out with reality?

No. It is actually pretty close to the opposite of the truth. In fact, six weeks after the September 11 attacks — before Hamdani’s remains were identified, which Ellison implies to be the turning point of public perception — Congress signed the PATRIOT Act into law with this line included: “Many Arab Americans and Muslim Americans have acted heroically during the attacks on the United States, including Mohammed Salman Hamdani, a 23-year-old New Yorker of Pakistani descent, who is believed to have gone to the World Trade Center to offer rescue assistance and is now missing.” That is, Hamdani was actually singled out for particular high honors among the thousands of victims of the September 11 attacks.

There’s little evidence of the “rumors” of which Ellison speaks, either. Poke around yourself. Go to Google and search for Mohammed Salman Hamdani’s name, using various time frames from before today’s hearings (say, in the week after the September 11 attack). You’ll discover two discordant sets of returns: none for sites and news reports accusing Hamdani of being a terrorist, and many thousands of pages honoring him as a hero while claiming that he was “widely accused” of being a terrorist.

So, one has to wonder if Rep. Ellison didn’t realize that his set of facts is incorrect, or if he was simply out to make a dramatic splash.