Today the family of Osama bin Laden–or is that families?–spoke up in his defense. Or, at least, in opposition to his killing. Where did they send their manifesto? The New York Times, of course:
I Omar Ossama Binladin and my brothers the lawful children and heirs of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) have noted wide coverage of the news of the death of our father, but we are not convinced on the available evidence in the absence of dead body, photographs, and video evidence that our natural father is dead.
So, doesn’t Omar have any sisters? Well, sure, lots of them. But they aren’t “the lawful children and heirs” of OBL. For those who are paying attention, Omar is already getting off on the wrong foot.
The point of this introduction is that Omar wants “conclusive evidence” of his father’s death. An odd request, given that his own sister says she witnessed his death and al Qaeda is calling him a martyr. Sisters don’t count, I guess, but al Qaeda?
If OBL has been killed in that operation as President of United States has claimed then we are just in questioning as per media reports that why an unarmed man was not arrested and tried in a court of law so that truth is revealed to the people of the world.
The “truth” has already been revealed. Osama has released a number of videos in which he has proudly taken credit for September 11. The testimony of any number of his confederates, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, confirms what happened. Virtually every detail is now known. There is no more “truth” to come out. There is a real irony in the bin Laden family’s falling into the American liberal fallacy that nothing can ever be known except through a jury verdict–which certainly is not the prevailing rule of epistemology in the bin Ladens’ native Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
If he has been summarily executed then, we question the propriety of such assassination where not only international law has been blatantly violated but USA has set a very different example whereby right to have a fair trial, and presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law has been sacrificed on which western society is built and is standing when a trial of OBL was possible for any wrongdoing as that of Iraqi President Sadam Hussein and Serbian President Slobodan Miloševic’.
Let’s not try to parse this incoherent appeal. I would merely note that the presumption of innocence is a right accorded to American citizens accused of crimes, and extended to aliens residing in the U.S. as a matter of policy. Bin Laden and his confederates, who on the most charitable construction have waged war against the U.S., are no more entitled to a presumption of innocence than an S.S. officer who was blown away during the Battle of the Bulge.
It is also unworthy of the special forces to shoot unarmed female family members of Binladen killing a female and that of one of his son.
This takes quite a bit of nerve. Under Omar’s father’s direction, al Qaeda has killed thousands of innocent people, a large number of them women and children, and has tried to kill many thousands more. In fact, there is no known instance in which bin Laden made the slightest effort to spare civilians, women, children, etc., in the course of his attacks. On the contrary, the whole point of his terrorist attacks was not to achieve some sort of military victory, but rather to sow terror, which is maximized by slaughtering wholly innocent people.
Isn’t it noteworthy that bin Laden’s sons expect an infinitely higher standard of conduct from America’s special forces than from their own father? Actually, one of the remarkable aspects of the SEALs’ raid was how few casualties were inflicted on the relatively–an important qualification–innocent occupants of the compound.
Most importantly, when it is a common knowledge that OBL’s family is residing at one place outside KSA, why they were not contacted to receive his dead body. His sudden and un witnessed burial at sea has deprived the family of performing religious rights of a Muslim man.
I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time working up a lot of sympathy when it comes to dead bodies. Of the 3,000 or so people who were murdered by bin Laden and his confederates in the World Trade Center, how many bodies were turned over to their relatives for burial? Hardly any. How many bodies were recovered for the performance of “religious rights [sic]”? Almost none. Nearly all of the bodies were vaporized and lost forever. One good thing is, they weren’t eaten by fish.
Without agreeing to the ways of OBL as to how he professed, believed and operated, We Omar Ossama Binladin, and my brothers, the lawful children of the Ossama Binladin (OBL) herewith demand an inquiry under UNO to reach to the accuracy of the facts as stated by United States into the fundamental question as to why our father was not arrested and tried but summarily executed without a court of law.
Yes, that is a good question. It is most easily answered by pointing out that combatants in a war–even a legitimate war, conducted under the age-old rules pertaining thereto, let alone a war of terrorism–are not “arrested and tried.” Where possible, they are shot. Did Germany arrest French soldiers and send them back to the Reich for “trial” when they swept across France in 1940? Um, no. They shot or captured them. Likewise, when the Allies swept across France and into Germany in 1944, were they arresting every Wehrmacht soldier they came across, and sending him to the U.S. for “trial?” Of course not. Prisoners were taken, of course, but they weren’t “arrested,” they were simply detained until the hostilities were at an end. That doesn’t even get to the fact that terrorists and pirates have historically been shot or hanged without ceremony, according to the rules of war.
In making this statement, we want to remind the world that Omar Ossam Binladin, the fourth-born son of our father, always disagreed with our father regarding any violence and always sent messages to our father, that he must change his ways and that no civilians should be attacked under any circumstances. Despite the difficulty of publicly disagreeing with our father, he never hesitated to condemn any violent attacks made by anyone, and expressed sorrow for the victims of any and all attacks. As he condemned our father, we now condemn the president of the United States for ordering the execution of unarmed men and women.
One thing we can say for the bin Ladens is that they know their audience. They sent their manifesto to the New York Times, knowing that it would be read by liberals who take their theme of moral equivalence seriously. So Omar opposed mass murder by his father. Great! So did we all. Unfortunately, like many readers of the Times, he cannot make the most elementary distinction between the evil of massacring thousands of random, innocent people and the good that results from putting that mass murderer out of business.
Finally comes the threat to lawyer up. The phalanx of liberal lawyers is unknown in the lands ruled by the bin Ladens and their allies; there, liberal lawyers generally turn up dead. But that doesn’t stop Omar from calling on them to advance his family’s interests:
Failure to answer these questions will force us to go to International forum for justice such as International Criminal Court and International Court of Justice and UN must take notice of the violation of international law and assist us to have answers for which we are lawful in seeking them. A panel of eminent British and international lawyers is being constituted and a necessary action may be taken if no answers are furnished within 30 days of this statement.
I have no doubt that a “panel of eminent British and international lawyers” could be assembled on the bin Ladens’ behalf–a new, international “dream team.” Actually, an even better team could be assembled from liberal American lawyers who would be happy to advance the bin Ladens’ cause. So we can all say a prayer of thanks to the Bush administration, which kept the U.S. out of the clutches of the International Criminal Court, over howls of protest from Democrats.