The bin Laden raid kind of exemplifies a lot of what is wrong with the US.
First, the warfare mindset despite the lack of any formal declaration thereof, and in spite of the reality that the dreaded enemy who supposedly declared war on us is a loose confederation of squabbling groups totaling no more than a few thousand people who pose no existential threat to the US or its overseas imperialism. This mindset has dragged the country into two inconceivably expensive quagmires that are older than the people fighting in them, and may outlive even the ones who make it home.
I certainly don't fault the CIA for taking its time to gather and verify intelligence in such an important case, but I can't help thinking that the search might have gone quicker if the US had worked with the Pakistanis rather than pepper them with drone bombs and infiltrate them with fake doctors. On the other hand the US has a marvelous track record of fucking over local sources, so what do I know?
Once they did track him down, they sent the JSOC door kickers to put a bullet in the brain of—not Dr. Doom—but a soft spoken unarmed middle-aged man who walks with a cane. They did this because:
- The United States is so far from the moral high ground that taking bin Laden alive would have made him the hero political prisoner.
- The federal government is unequal to the task of proving his guilt in a fair, public, adversarial courtroom as required by the constitution, so they would dick around for decades while he turned to dust in a Gitmo holding cell.
- Even if they did have the evidence and casework to convince a jury, doing so would necessarily bring to light the dirty shit the CIA did to bring him in, and plausible deniability beats justice any day of the week.
- At the end of the day the powerful (and even the powerless) people in America consider constitutional protections to be mere suggestions that can be circumvented when they become inconvenient because we're at war and fuck that guy.
Then after the murder squad earned their bonuses they dropped the body unceremoniously into the sea, and never released photos or DNA evidence to the public, partly because something something national security and something something public safety but mostly because of the culture of secrecy and dissembling bullshit in DC that can't even be bothered to get its story straight first because it knows nobody is going to bother calling them on it.
Instead, everyone cheers Obama's pimp walk
because we live in such a degenerate society that institutional ineffectiveness is the order of the day and scarequote war justifies any atrocity and the premeditated murder of a human being without so much as a fart in the direction of due process seems like a victory over evil because fuck that guy.