Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Truthers Are Out There

This just in from Conspiracy Theory Central: Osama was already dead. No, wait, he's really still alive. The CIA assassination of the world's most hated mass murderer was a monumental hoax, perpetrated by a desperate United States government for the purpose of further bending us to its nefarious will. The so-called insta-DNA testing was a sham; everybody knows it takes days to get results. The dead sister's brain was really Osama's brain in a jar. The White House photo that had Hillary holding a hand to her mouth to stifle a horrified gasp was really the cabinet watching a cheesy rerun of "24".  The possibilities are endless. 

"Hey. Over Here! Anybody Seen My Dialysis Machine?"

"Think about it," writes columnist and former Reagan Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts. "What are the chances that a person allegedly suffering from kidney disease and requiring dialysis and, in addition, afflicted with diabetes and low blood pressure, survived in mountain hideaways for a decade?  If bin Laden was able to acquire dialysis equipment and medical care that his condition required, would not the shipment of dialysis equipment point to his location? Why did it take ten years to find him?.....This morning’s headline has the odor of a staged event.  The smell reeks from the triumphalist news reports loaded with exaggerations, from celebrants waving flags and chanting'USA USA.' Could something else be going on?"

Conspiracy theories usually pop up after the death of a larger than life figure.  Elvis sightings have been reported since he succumbed to a drug overdose. Princess Diana is hiding out somewhere with her lover Dodi: she staged her own death to get away from the paparazzi.  Truther Kevin Barrett claims Bin Laden has actually been dead since shortly after the terror attacks. "If in fact US authorities suspected Osama Bin Laden was involved with 9/11, and was still alive, they would have pulled out all the stops to take him alive" Barrett blogged. " And if they had screwed up royally and killed him, would they have immediately dumped the body at sea?! Given the formidable case that Bin Laden died in 2001, obviously US authorities would have taken pains to prove to a skeptical world that the corpse or specter or whatever it was they possessed was the real Bin Laden. Feeding the body to the fishes so fast looks...well, calling it 'fishy' would be an insult to the scaly denizens of the deep."  

No doubt about it - conspiracy theories are fun. I used to love wrapping myself up in the weekly paranoid cocoon of tongue-in-cheek "X-Files" episodes.  The only trouble is, I don't think our government is smart enough to have concocted such a convoluted fraud as a fake Osama assassination.  Too many people were involved.  The truth is out there, all right. A group of highly trained Navy Seals* took out a murderous creep and now the politicians are using it to their own advantage.  That seems pretty above-board to me.

* Update 5/4:  I took some well-deserved criticism from a reader, John from Louisiana, over my original characterization of the squad as "killing machines."  I have revised my copy accordingly. A more apt description is that the military utilizes its members as machines of war, damages their psyches in many instances, but by no means robs them of their core humanity. I stand corrected and thank John for his thoughtful commentary. 


John in Lafayette said...

I have a very good friend who is a high-ranking member of the USMC and is stationed at the Pentagon. If this was a hoax he's either awfully gullible or he was involved. He's too smart to be either gullible or involved.

Yes, a "group of highly trained killing machines took out a murderous creep and now the politicians are using it to their own advantage." But I can tell you this: these "killing machines" want nothing more than to see the day when their jobs are unnecessary, and they did this in an effort to bring that day closer. I don't mean to get preachy or lecture, but calling these men machines is beneath you, Karen (and no, I never served in the military). They don't like getting shot at any more than you or I; in fact they like it less as they really know what it feels like. They risk it for motives that are relatively pure (and I know enough of them to feel justified in making that statement).

It's the politicians and their masters in the MIC who are, indeed, exploiting this situation for their advantage. The Seals did a great job of removing the terrorist. Now we need to do our part here at home, get active, and create a society that isn't dominated by the people whose profiteering from warfare breeds the terrorists in the first place. We need to commit ourselves to creating a society that has no need for Seals. The Seals will celebrate that society as much as anyone, if not more.

Karen Garcia said...

My purpose was not to denigrate the Seals, and perhaps I should have chosen my words better. However war does dehumanize good men and women, turning them into machines for the state. I did not mean to imply that they enjoy killing. I hope they come home safely, too.

John in Lafayette said...


Thanks for clarifying that. I stand corrected.

Metro Journalist said...

I was also wondering about the dialysis equipment. By coincidence, I interviewed three nephrologists earlier this year and we talked about dialysis vs. transplants. They said people who get transplants live longer. Here are the possibilities: 1) bin Laden had a secret kidney transplant, 2) medical care is more advanced in Afghanistan and Pakistan or 3) the US government lied about bin Laden's health problems, just as they did about claiming Fidel Castro had terminal cancer some 30 years ago. I guess the medical care in Cuba really is superb.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

My Australian husband exclaimed, "Of course, people wonder whether Osama is really dead - no on trusts what the U.S. says after Weapons of Mass Destruction!"

John in Lafayette said...

I've been thinking about this for the past day and I'm afraid I still have to disagree, at least to this extent: the people in the military are no more or less "human" after years in the military than they were upon entering. Just look at the way our VA hospitals are filled with cases of PTSD. The people who come through the war experience with faculties intact were made of different stuff to begin with.

We can argue about whether their priorities were right in the first place, but I think we unfairly belittle these people when we say the military or war itself turns them into machines. These people are not machines. They are people who can, and do, think for themselves.

It's those thoughts, and the conclusions they lead them to, however, that can be worrisome. The one most worrisome thing is that the decision to enter the mlitary means putting a blind trust in the civilian leadership. A military person is inculcated with respect for the chain of command, which always has the president at the top. If the chain is corrupt, then the soldier at the bottom must necessarily be corrupt.

In the case of the US military, the chain has indeed been corrupted, as Eisenhower warned us it would be over fifty years ago.

I have had this conversation with my friends in the military on many occasions. Their trust in the civilian leadership has led them to do many fine things. They saved many thousands of lives in Kosovo. They work to deter piracy on the open seas. That trust leads them to do many bad things, too, like invading Iraq.

Calling these people machines robs them of the credit for the good things they do. It also absolves them of blame for the bad. We shouldn't do either.

Love your writing, Karen. No columnist in the mass media challenges me to think the way you do, and nobody else either in the MSM or on the net can cut through the BS and get to the heart of the matter the way you do, either.

Karen Garcia said...

I have been thinking more about what I wrote as well, and the more I have learned about the actual operation, the more I realize that my description of the individuals was misplaced, and have revised my post accordingly.

DreamsAmelia said...

Mid-day on, I think, MSNBC, May 2, one of the commentators said that Bin Laden was NEVER on dialysis and that is another one of those huge urban myths that never dies. Apparently it may have been started in Pakistan, whose entire "mainstream" media thrives on conspiracy theories and is currently spinning reams of them right now...which, of course, we can argue is occurring here too, but it just seems subtler to the untrained eye. All degrees of spin and unsubstantiated "facts" while truth remains a casualty.

But I am heartened by all the above discussion and could not agree more-- the Seals themselves would love to be relegated to oblivion, if only we ourselves could ever create a society where they are unnecessary. The best we can do is with ourselves. At times it may seem little, but in many ways it is a lot.

BobN said...

Why on earth did they admit that OBL was unarmed? Are they TRYING to breed more terrorists?

skyelav said...

Of course they are, Bob. What else would distract us from the reality that our middle class (longing for a lottery win) is sinking into the mire created by the Power Elite?

Marlio said...

Osama has been dead since 2001, according to ex pakistan president, buhetto. Obama did not kill osama but his ratings were plumetting and still are. ONly a man like ob would take credit for killing a dead man but then hes not like the rest of us, americans, imo...WE just dont do things the way he does.