Just to add to the discussions, I've circulated the following as an Op-Ed
(was picked up in New Zealand, go NZ!) and as a flyer:
Eight Questions for
1) Why would the U.S. government order the summary execution of an
unarmed and frail individual – even an alleged terrorist, criminal, and
former CIA “asset” like bin-Laden?
Brooklyn Greens / Green Party of NY
2) Why would they dump the body – and thus the proof of his identity and
wounds -- into the ocean, preventing an autopsy? Is there something they
are trying to hide?
3) Why would the rulers of the most powerful country on the face of the
earth be afraid to capture and arrest Osama bin-Laden and put him on
trial, as was done with the World War 2 Nazi Adolf Eichmann?
4) Why was bin-Laden not captured and at least questioned about further
terrorist plans if he was the mastermind, as charged?
5) Why did the President not re-visit former President G.W. Bush’s
rejection of the offer by the Taliban to turn bin-Laden over to the U.S.
for prosecution following the 9/11 attacks?
6) Who was responsible for initial reports released to the media and the
public that bin-Laden was armed and that he was using his wife as a human
shield, when neither of those were true?
7) Will President Obama allow the questions by the 9/11 families to
finally be heard, recorded, and answered? When will he order a criminal
investigation of the events of 9/11?
8) When will the President order home the troops from Afghanistan, Iraq,
and Libya and provide them with the medical support they need, but which
has been to a large extent cut out of the budget?
The Green Party has called for an immediate withdrawal of
U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, and for an independent criminal
investigation into the events of 9/11.
At 12:54 PM 5/6/2011, Michael Balter wrote:
This is one of Greenwald's best
posts, and despite its length I read it all. It is well argued, although
I would add a third group to the two he characterizes:
"I think what's really going on here is that there are a large
number of people who have adopted the view that bin Laden's death is an
unadulterated Good, and it therefore simply does not matter how it
happened (ends justify the means, roughly speaking). There are, I think,
two broad groups adopting this mindset:Â (1)Â those, largely on the
Right, who believe the U.S. is at War and anything we do to our Enemies
is basically justifiable; andÂ (2)Â those, mostly Democrats, who reject
that view -- who genuinely believe in general in due process and
adherence to ostensible Western norms of justice -- yet who view bin
Laden as a figure of such singular Evil (whether in reality or as a
symbol) that they're willing to make an exception in his case, willing to
waive away their principles just for him: creating the Osama bin Laden
The third group would be leftists like me, who are very interested in
knowing all the details, but who think the left has nothing to gain by
making a big fight over the way bin Laden was killed and want to move on
to higher priority issues. Stuart continues to misunderstand my position
on this. And, there is little relationship between the news media
updating its coverage of this as it learns more details and the
conspiracy theories that are already circulating and which I have made
Also, I see little so far to criticize in the news media's handling of
this. During the first 24 hours, the media had little choice but to
report what it was told by Obama adminstration officials. Since then,
reporters have developed their own sources, both within and outside the
administration (including among Pakistani officials) and have
increasingly reported new versions of the story as the week as gone on.
Most or all of what Greenwald and members of this list now know about the
killing of bin Laden, and most of what they will know in the future,
comes from the very news media they are accusing of being in cahoots with
the White House.
On Fri, May 6, 2011 at 5:58 PM, Stuart Newman
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
- Since the retailing of the Government's excuses by Elizabeth Bumiller
- New York Times, and the implicit self-justification by the Times for
- slapdash journalism, are now offered as a scientific lesson to the
- theorists on this list, I present Glenn Greenwald's latest commentary
- issue. I don't deny that it is "long", which was one of the
criticisms Michael B
- lodged against Greenwald's posts. But those not too busy to read it
- for themselves whether it is also (as claimed) irrelevant or
- On Fri, 6 May 2011 16:11:15 +0200, Michael Balter
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
- >I'm sure conspiracy theorists won't believe a word of this, but
- >scientists, we should realize that the most parsimonious
- >usually the correct one.
- >May 5, 2011
- >Raid Account, Hastily Told, Proves Fluid By ELISABETH
- >WASHINGTON ï¿½ On Monday, the Obama administration said that
- >been killed after a firefight with Navy
- >and that he had used his wife as a human shield. On Tuesday,
- >administration said that Bin Laden was not armed at all, and that
- >had not been a shield, but had rushed her husbandï¿½s assaulter
and was shot
- >in the leg.
- >On Wednesday, the administration backtracked again. This time
- >its initial accounts of a firefight that raged throughout the
- >gunshots fired only at the beginning of the nearly 40-minute
- >Bin Ladenï¿½s courier, who was quickly dispatched by the
- >What happened?
- >In the view of officials from past and present presidencies, it
- >classic collision of a White House desire to promote a stunning
- >security triumph ï¿½ and feed a ravenous media ï¿½ while
collecting facts from a
- >chaotic military operation on the other side of the world. At the
- >White House officials worked hard to use the facts of the raid to
- >Bin Ladenï¿½s legacy.
- >ï¿½There has never been any intent to deceive or dramatize,ï¿½ a
- >official said Thursday, asking that he not be named because of
- >imposed by the Department of Defense. ï¿½Everything we put out we
- >believed to be true at the time.ï¿½
- >Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the National Security
- >said that as more and more members of the 79-member assault team
- >debriefed after the raid, revisions inevitably occurred.
- >ï¿½It was the middle of the night, it was a hectic operation in a
- >country, there was gunfire, so peopleï¿½s accounts are clarified
- >with more interviews,ï¿½ Mr. Vietor said. ï¿½What we did was make
- >information available to you guys as quickly as we could, and
- >mistakes as quickly as we could.ï¿½
- >But the shifting narrative may have distracted from the
- >the Seal team and raised suspicions, particularly in the Arab
- >the United States might be trying to conceal some of the facts of
- >operation, including that Bin Laden was unarmed.
- >ï¿½Itï¿½s had a hugely negative impact,ï¿½ said Ahmed Rashid, a
- >author who is an expert on the
- >radical Islamism. White House officials ï¿½were overexcited,
- >Rashid said.
- >ï¿½Liberal Muslims who are very sympathetic to the death of Bin
- >donï¿½t know what to think,ï¿½ he said. ï¿½The American story is
- >From Europe, even the archbishop of Canterbury weighed in. At a
- >briefing on Thursday, the Most Rev. Rowan
- >that the killing of an unarmed man left him ï¿½uncomfortableï¿½
and that ï¿½the
- >different versions of events that have emerged in recent days
have not done
- >a great deal to help.ï¿½
- >Many of the discrepancies at the White House came from the man
- >part of the Bin Laden hunt for 15 years, John O.
- >the presidentï¿½s chief counterterrorism adviser.
- >ï¿½Here is Bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks,
living in this
- >million-dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far
removed from the
- >front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a
- >Brennan said at a White House
- >Monday. ï¿½I think it really just speaks to just how false his
- >been over the years.ï¿½
- >The White House recanted Mr. Brennanï¿½s assertions about the
- >next day, and news media accounts later suggested that the $1
- >put on Bin Ladenï¿½s compound in the affluent hamlet of
- >generous. The administration stuck with the number, but The
- >has reported that the four original plots of land that were
joined to create
- >the compound were bought for $48,000 in 2004 and 2005.
- >Administration officials said they felt an obligation to the news
- >the public to put out information about the raid after the
- >speech late Sunday night that announced Bin Ladenï¿½s killing.
They said they
- >were also eager to get the facts out before the Pakistanis and
- >countryï¿½s powerful spy agency, the Directorate of
- >or ISI, offered their own facts and interpretation of
- >ï¿½Do we think itï¿½s a good thing for the ISI to be the first
ones out of the
- >box?ï¿½ an administration official asked rhetorically, alluding
to the belief
- >among administration officials that some elements of the ISI may
- >to Bin Laden and the Afghan Taliban.
- >But the people who had the best information about the raid, the
- >members, did not undergo detailed debriefings until after they
flew back to
- >the United States, a Congressional official said. As the official
- >the Seal commandos returned to their base, went to sleep, were
- >Tuesday morning ï¿½ and then the extensive debriefings
- >It is unclear whether the early information about the raid came
- >conversations with the Seal members, their commanders or other
- >involved. But administration officials said Thursday that
everyone in the
- >American government ï¿½ in the White House, the Pentagon and
- >was working off the same sheet of information.
- >Public affairs professionals from previous administrations in
- >were generally sympathetic. ï¿½They were in a tough spot,ï¿½ said
- >a Pentagon spokeswoman from President George W.
- >first term. ï¿½First reports are always wrong. Itï¿½s a
fundamental truth in
- >military affairs.ï¿½
- >David Rohde contributed reporting.
- >Michael Balter
- >Contributing Correspondent, Science
- >Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
- >New York University
- >Email: Â
[log in to unmask]
- >Web: Â Â
- >NYU: Â Â
- >"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I
ask why the poor
- >have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hï¿½lder Pessoa
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University
[log in to unmask]
NYU: Â Â
"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why
the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." -- HÃ©lder Pessoa