Friday, May 06, 2011

bin Laden: From Dead and Nearly Forgotten to Freshly Martyred

Since the Fox News article in December 2001 reporting the possibility that Osama bin Laden was already dead, the profile of the alleged mastermind of 9/11 has dropped dramatically. Reports were that he no longer commanded al Quaida, the group, formed from the remnants of the anti-soviet Mujahadeen in the 1980s, which was given popular blame for the terrorist attacks against the US in 2001. He was still an enemy to be located, though, if only for the closure his corpse would bring.

And, perhaps, simply finding his corpse would have been better for American foreign policy. The recent news coverage of a brutal, bloody raid shot bin Laden back to the front of the collective subconscious. If a rotting corpse from 2001 had been located, and positively DNA tested, it would have brought the same closure, only without igniting the kind of disdain the death of a martyr brings to his killer.

Killing him publicly, even without photos or video, has created a martyr from a nearly forgotten has-been. Withholding the evidence, now, makes no sense. At least the Americans who were terrorized by him would get to have closure, instead of giving all the motivation to our enemies.

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