Monday, May 30, 2011

O Say Can You See

Bin Laden is dead. I was in Florida on business that Sunday night when President Obama made his near-Midnight Address. My partner had texted me to turn on the TV and I waited to hear what the news media couldn't contain themselves to announce. I sat through the growing crowds outside of the White House and wished I was there in the streets with them. But I had business to attend the next morning and contented myself to roll over after CNN started to repeat itself and sleep. Soundly.

I'll never forget where I was when the news finally came any less than I will forget where I was that Tuesday morning almost ten years ago. That time the day had barely started in Chicago when the still horrifying images flashed endlessly that day and much of the next few weeks. I and 300 million other Americans waited, patiently, frustratingly, with growing and diminishing hope that this killer would be caught. And killed.

Many felt that George W. Bush's legacy would be made if he could find and kill bin Laden before the end of his second term. Nearly all in his administration, especially the second term, would be forgiven if Bush could bring him in. Many worried that if he were captured some defense lawyer, though it might pain him deeply, would do his absolute best to at least get a mistrial and turn the S.O.B loose on the world again to laugh at the American "justice" system and terrorize the world again merely by continuing to live.

The media tried to stir up questions about whether or not his killing was legal. Much of America and the rest of the world quickly and eagerly jumped on the viewpoint that it was a legitimate act of war against an enemy of the state. HE declared war, we accepted, and executed the rules of engagement. Justice, thank God, was done. Even the most deeply religious member of my family had only one thing to say: "Goooooooood!"

The debate will rage on capital punishment, the eye-for-an-eye system of justice and whether or not he should have been captured alive or if the Pakistan special forces should have been involved. Recall one thing: the Pakistan government was reluctant to grant overfly rights to American forces to reach Afghanistan. They were persuaded to come around but the message was clear early - there was a lingering trust factor. The other serious issue is the similar to that of capital punishment: should anyone pay tax dollars towards jail and safe harbor through a lengthy trial. VERY few on this side of the Atlantic would have been willing to shelter and try such a criminal for even that long much less "life in prison?" Seriously?

It is Memorial Day Weekend, and one we all will hopefully remember for some time to come. This man deserved to die and I'm quite proud and comfortable to say that I am glad he's gone. He took thousands of lives and ruined millions more but guess what? Our flag was still there.

Gotta go.


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