In discussing Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottobad, several media outlets have reported he was “hiding in plain sight.” Wrong! This wasn’t a guy who was in the witness protection program, using a new name, watching his kids play soccer, and going to Dairy Queen for a blizzard. This was a terrorist who never left his compound while living behind 12-foot-high walls topped with barbed wire, who had a 7-foot-high wall on his balcony so no one could see inside! That’s not “in plain sight.”
Of course there are conspiracy nuts who doubt Bin Laden was really killed because they haven’t seen the body. While this would be a wonderfully elaborate ruse to draw him out (“I’m not dead, I’m right here” BOOM!), these folks fit in the same category as the idiots who demanded to see Obama’s birth certificate, because if they can’t put eyes on hard evidence of something, it must not have happened. Ironically, they don’t require anywhere near that level of proof for their own religious beliefs — or whatever viral story shows up in their email inbox.
Speaking of religious beliefs, we’re told that the US military did everything right in ensuring that Bin Laden was buried at sea according to Muslim custom, but naturally there are experts in that religion who are nitpicking the details. I wonder who cares, and who we’re afraid of pissing off. If you’re a Muslim extremist, nothing the US does will ever be right. If you’re not a Muslim extremist, what difference does it make how we disposed of the body of a man who personified pure evil? This was a man who bastardized your religion into the basis for global terrorism, not some innocent Muslim mom gunned down on her way to the mosque.
As for those complaining about Americans celebrating a man’s death, I have no problem with it. My daughter wonders how I can support the death penalty. I tell her that there are some people who are guilty of horrible crimes against humanity — not an innocent man wrongly sentenced to death by the state after a hinky trial with dubious evidence and an agenda-driven prosecution, but really bad people about whom there is no doubt they committed a truly heinous act (or acts).
Timothy McVeigh. Pol Pot. Jeffrey Dahmer. Moammar Qaddafi. Charles Whitman. David Koresh. Those behind the holocaust in Rwanda. The world has over six billion people on it. Some of those people we can do without. Thin the herd. Society will continue to thrive despite their absence. Or perhaps because of it.
Then there are those worried that the killing of Bin Laden will make the world more dangerous; that Al Qaeda will try to strike back at us. This is one of the story lines the media glommed onto almost immediately after the story broke. The truth is that Bin Laden’s death won’t be a recruitment tool for the enemy. Murderous religious zealots were developing ways to attack us before, and they still are, but you’re no less safe today than you were on Saturday.
And you still can’t take your jumbo-size shampoo and toothpaste on the plane.