Double-Tapping Justice and Bin Laden
Double-Tapping Justice & Bin Laden
Please excuse me for not joining in the celebration over Osama bin Laden's execution. The exuberance of Democratic leaders and Democratic liberal pundits over the crime is but further evidence of the anti democratic character of our monopoly two party system. There can be no doubt now that both parties equally support war, torture and empire; in addition to U.S. capitalism that has made the U.S. the most unequal industrial democracy on earth.
At least Saddam Hussein was given a trial; all be it, one with a predetermined outcome, conducted by our Iraqi puppet government, outside the purview of the international legal community. Hussein was convicted and executed for a relatively minor crime, while he was kept from answering for a career's worth of far more serious crimes, many with U.S. involvement.
One can only surmise that the embarrassment of bin Laden revealing a lifetime of collusion with our CIA and the very real possibility that he would continue to state that he was not behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks was a risk that our President was not willing to take. So we "took him out". This term used, while celebrating the act, by the NBA during their prime time playoff coverage. Evidently murder or execution were descriptions too grisly and accurate for the ears of young basketball fans.
We "double-tapped" him. This is the term used by our military and intelligence officers for executing with two shots, often with both shots to the head, but in bin Laden's case the first shot was to the chest. Double-tapping must be done often enough by our forces to have a name. Early reports stated that he was defending himself, but we are now told that he was unarmed. Early reports that he was hiding behind a woman now also appear to be inaccurate. We are told that he made a threatening move to one of two nearby guns. Perhaps, but it would seem that if he was going to defend himself with a gun he would have already grabbed it while the commandos stormed the first building or went through the lower two floors of the house. Instead we are told that he did ignore his alleged nearby guns until after his door was broken into and one of his wives was shot. At any rate, it appears that he was executed with one shot to the chest and then one to the left side of his head. Obama said in 2008 during the campaign "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda."  He said nothing about capturing him for a trial. He got what he wanted.
His murder is meant to give us closure on the 9/11 attacks without an independent investigation that might be demanded by the public, if in captivity Osama had continued to deny responsibility. We get closure, but no truth. We get 'justice-lite', much like a watered down beer. Is it possible, is it probable that Osama was not behind the 9/11 attacks? Or that if he was behind the planes hitting the towers, he had help from others who rigged the buildings with explosives and detonated them after the planes hit? That he had help as our air defense system stood down during the attack? He has never been formally charged with the crime. His FBI wanted resume includes the African embassy bombings and a vague mention of other terrorist attacks, but does not mention 9/11.
Before we went to war in Afghanistan, the ruling Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden to a neutral country for trial upon receipt of evidence implicating him in the 9/11 attacks. If in fact this evidence existed, wouldn't it have been in our country's interest to forego 10 years of death and destruction in Afghanistan and Iraq for an international trial that could have given real closure to the families of our three thousand 9/11 victims?
Obama justified the Afghanistan war in his Escalation Speech:
“…it is important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place. We did not ask for this fight. .On September 11, 2001, nineteen men hijacked four airplanes and used them to murder nearly 3,000 people.”
It is unfortunate that our gifted President did not choose to use his oratorical skills to enlighten an American populace that has been kept in the dark by the government and corporate media propaganda machine. His predecessor Bush Jr. told us that al Qaeda had attacked us because they hated us for our freedom. While President Obama didn’t use that line, he invoked the 9/11 attacks in much the same manner as Bush without giving bin Laden’s stated reasons for jihad (holy war) declared against the U.S. during Clinton’s presidency.
In 1998 bin Laden declared his jihad against the U.S. based on the following three points:
"First, for over seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian Peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the Peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.
If some people have formerly debated the fact of the occupation, all the people of the Peninsula have now acknowledged it.
The best proof of this is the Americans' continuing aggression against the Iraqi people using the Peninsula as a staging post, even though all its rulers are against their territories being used to that end, still they are helpless. Second, despite the great devastation inflicted on the Iraqi people by the crusader-Zionist alliance, and despite the huge number of those killed, in excess of 1 million... despite all this, the Americans are once against trying to repeat the horrific massacres, as though they are not content with the protracted blockade imposed after the ferocious war or the fragmentation and devastation.
So now they come to annihilate what is left of this people and to humiliate their Muslim neighbors.
Third, if the Americans' aims behind these wars are religious and economic, the aim is also to serve the Jews' petty state and divert attention from its occupation of Jerusalem and murder of Muslims there.
The best proof of this is their eagerness to destroy Iraq, the strongest neighboring Arab state, and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula." 
UNICEF estimated 500,000 children died as a result of the blockade and economic sanctions against Iraq during the Clinton Administration. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, not only did not dispute this figure when interviewed on CBS's 60 Minutes in 1996, she approved it, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price, we think the price is worth it." 
“Muslims do not ‘hate our freedom,’ but rather, they hate our policies. The overwhelming majority voice their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favor of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States.” 
The above quote, issued in 2004, is the conclusion of the Pentagon appointed U.S. Defense Science Board. The corporate media ignored the story with the exception of the New York Times which ran the first sentence and ignored the reference to one-sided support of Israel and against Palestinian rights and support of tyrannies in the Arab world in a sanitized version of the Defense Science Board's description of 'why they hate us'. "The report says that 'Muslims do not 'hate our freedom,' but rather they hate our policies,' adding that 'when American public diplomacy talks about bringing democracy to Islamic societies, this is seen as no more than self-serving hypocrisy.'" 
If al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden attacked us on 9/11, it was for the above reasons and the American people certainly should know the truth. In no way do I condone terrorist attacks, whether committed by Muslim sects or my own government. But we are a self proclaimed democracy, how can “we the people” direct our elected representatives to the right course of action if they refuse to tell us what’s really going on?
Back to bin Laden's assumed guilt with the 9/11 attacks. A 2006 Angus-Reid public opinion poll done for the New York Times and CBS News found that 81% of Americans either thought the "members of the Bush Administration are hiding something (53%) or mostly lying (28%)...about what they knew prior to September 11th, 2001, about possible terrorist attacks against the United States." Only 16% said the Bush Administration was "mostly telling the truth" and 3% "weren't sure". 
The 9/11 Commission was specifically charged to not find fault. Their report states that their "aim has not been to assign individual blame." The Commissioners were all selected by President Bush to investigate his own Administration. The Angus-Reid Poll cited above demonstrates that the American people despite massive government/media propaganda did not buy the prepackaged version of events presented to us by the Bush Administration and the 9/11 Commission. A public trial of Osama bin Laden could have gone a long way to providing closure for the families of those killed and 9/11 truth for the American people. That would have been closer to actual justice than what Obama served up with his clandestine 'double-tapping' in Abbottabad.
Bin Laden denied responsibility for the 9/11 attacks numerous times.
In a statement issued Sept 16, 2001 to the Arabic satellite channel Al Jazeera, based in Qatar, bin Laden said
"The U.S. government has consistently blamed me for being behind every occasion its enemies attack it. I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks, which seems to have been planned by people for personal reasons. I have been living in the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan and following its leaders' rules. The current leader does not allow me to exercise such operations." 
There were several other denials. These along with documents revealing ongoing negotiations with the Taliban to turn over bin Laden for three years prior to 9/11 paint an entirely different picture of bin Laden's assumed guilt and the accusation that the Taliban was sheltering him so that he could commit terrorist attacks. See Jeremy Hammond's "Newly Disclosed Documents Shed More Light on Early Taliban Offers, Pakistan Role", Foreign Policy Journal 
During Bush's entire presidency I advised other activists to stay away from publicly challenging the version of 9/11 that has been handed down from above. Not because their questions weren't legitimate, but because I knew that the case for the Bush Administration breaking numerous laws in the run-up to the Iraq war was open and shut and that it would be easier to convince the American people that we had been lied into war, rather than our government was complicit on some level with the deaths of three thousand Americans.
The 2005 House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Minority (Democratic) Report stated in its Executive Summary
"There is a prima facie case that these actions by the President, Vice-President
and other members of the Bush Administration violated a number of federal laws, including
1. Committing a Fraud against the United States;
2. Making False Statements to Congress;
3. The War Powers Resolution;
4. Misuse of Government Funds;
5. federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment;
6. federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other individuals;
7. federal laws and regulations concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence." 
Prima facie is Latin for "on the face of it". "In common law jurisdictions, prima facie denotes evidence that – unless rebutted – would be sufficient to prove a particular proposition or fact." (Wikipedia) This meant there was enough evidence in the public record without even an investigation that the Bush Administration had broken a whole slew of laws. The Democratic Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and their legal staff in this report made the statement that the public evidence, without a prosecutorial or grand jury investigation, was enough to indict and convict President Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top aides for breaking 7 different laws.
In 2006 the Democrats finally won control of the House of Representatives. Surely they would uphold the rule of law and investigate 7 counts of egregious lawbreaking at the highest levels of government. No, they chose not to and stated that it was more important to elect a Democratic president in two years than to pursue impeachment and that the Republicans in the Senate would not vote to remove Bush and Cheney from office anyway. So why try and uphold the rule of law?
In 2008 Obama won the Presidency, along with huge majorities in both the House and Senate. Surely, now there would be investigations into the pervasive lawbreaking by his predecessor. No, now we were told that we had to look forward and not backward. This from our constitutional law professor in chief. The fact that it stands the whole concept of law on its head was challenged by none in the corporate media. Anyone doubting this; the next time you are stopped by a police officer for a minor traffic violation, ask the officer to look forward and not backward at your violation. I'm interested in how it works out for you. A few years ago, I inadvertently ran a red light. There was no looking forward from the officer or the judge and it cost me $140.
In the course of the Orwellian War on Terror we have held 779 detainees at Guantanamo, most for 5, 6,7,8 or 9 years and most with no charges ever filed. Many were turned into U.S. forces in return for a bounty of a couple of thousand dollars. Recently released government documents by the WikiLleaks website reveal that only 220 of the detainees were considered dangerous extremists by our government. This does not mean that all of the 220 or indeed any of the 220 were dangerous extremists, just that our authorities considered them as such. It also speaks nothing to the veracity of any evidence against these 220 individuals. The leaked documents also reveal that at least 150 of the men and children held for years without charges were considered innocent of any wrongdoing, while the remainder were considered low level foot soldiers or members of the Taliban. 
The case of Mohammed Jawad caused Army Prosecutor Lt. Colonel Darrel Vandeveld to request a reassignment from prosecuting at Guantanamo because he was not allowed to give information that might help the defense, such information being that sleep deprivation was used to elicit the alleged confession from Jawad. A military tribunal judge eventually called the case an "outrage" and "full of holes" when throwing out another earlier alleged confession Jawad had given to Afghan authorities in 2002 because they had threatened to kill his family. 
The crime Jawad was accused of was throwing a grenade at U.S. troops. Jawad had a right to fight back against an occupying army and that would include throwing grenades at them. There is much dispute about Jawad's age. His mother, family and Afghan human rights workers say that he was 12 when the incident took place in 2002. Our military says a bone scan showed he was 17. The military has refused to provide access to his full medical records which could help to confirm his age, but Jawad went from 119 to 160 pounds during his seven years of incarceration which would seem to indicate that he was developing youth. UNICEF's "Guide to the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict" states that an individual must be 18 to take part in and be considered a combatant. In 2009, after 7 years of incarceration, the Obama Administration finally sent Jawad back to Afghanistan where he was released to be with family. “They violated all rights for children. The Americans say they are human rights lovers, but I am a human being. They didn’t respect the fact that I was a child. They tortured me, and kept me illegally in prison.” Mohammed Jawad 
Mohammed Jawad's case is a good one to consider when examining what type of justice the U.S. system deals out to those at the bottom like Jawad and those at the top like Bush and Cheney. Logic and justice were ignored when the Obama Administration made the decision to 'double tap' Osama. If actually guilty of the 9/11 attacks, Osama was responsible for 3,000 deaths. If guilty of breaking the law to take us into wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush Administration was responsible for deaths in excess of one million, in addition to two countries destroyed and another five million refugees. U.S. justice gives us reports of armed commandos carrying out a daring mission, a "double tapped" execution and a burial in the Arabian Sea. No indictments, no discovery, no cross examinations, no lawyers, no courts, no judges, no bother; just "double tapped" justice. Real criminals in the U.S. don't have to live in hiding in places like Abbottabad, worrying that the commandos might show up at any time to "take them out" with a "double tap". They lead lives as respected elder statesman, play golf, go hunting and give speeches for vast sums of money; with the full knowledge that no one in our monopoly two party system will hold them accountable for the death and destruction that followed their lies.
In closing, I would like to make clear that I have no direct knowledge other than what I have read and researched on whether Osama bin Laden was responsible or involved in any way in the 9/11 attacks. He deserved a trial. He deserved to be either found guilty or not guilty. The country deserves closure. Both deserve justice and neither Osama nor the country got it. What we got was an obscene celebration of how far we have fallen from the rule of law and actual justice. We too, got "double tapped".
Author's note: While I have never considered myself a member of the 9/11 truth movement, I believe they strive for justice, as do I. I have stated consistently over the years that there are so many discrepancies in the prepackaged version of events we have been fed that without an independent investigation into all facets of the 9/11 attacks, citizens can have no confidence in anything our government tells us about anything. While many other steps are needed, a completely independent investigation into all facets of the 9/11 attacks would be a good first step into making the U.S. a democratic country. I do urge citizens to investigate the seemingly endless holes in the official version of events by simply Googling 9/11 truth.
Nick Egnatz is a Vietnam veteran. He has been actively protesting our government’s crimes of empire in both person and print for some years now and was named “Citizen of the Year” for Northwest Indiana in 2006 for his peace activism by the National Association of Social Workers.
Contact Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org
1. "We will kill bin Laden."
2. Transcripts of both 1996 and 1998 fatwas
3. Madeleine Albright 60 Minutes, You Tube Video
4. "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to Military Tribunal Makes It Easier to Hide 9/11 Motives", Ray McGovern, WarIsACrime.org
5. "U.S. Fails to Explain Policies to Muslim World", New York Times Nov 24, 2004
6. Americans Question Bush on 9/11 Intelligence, Angus-Reid Polls
7. "Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks", CNN.com
8. "Newly Disclosed Documents Shed More Light on Early Taliban Offers, Pakistan Role", Jeremy Hammond, Foreign Policy Journal
9. The Constitution in Crisis
10. "U.S. blunders at Guantanamo exposed: WikiLeaks" AFP
11. "Mohammed Jawad, Guantanamo Detainee Held as a Teen, Back in Afghanistan", AP
12. "Freed from Guantanamo, Mohammed Jawad Celebrates Eid with his Family", AndyWorthington.co.uk