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Osama bin Laden: Murder Without a Corpse

In a photograph, Bush is shown in an Army jacket, his hands holding a tray with a picture-perfect turkey, garlanded by grapes. He is surrounded by American troops, most of whom are not looking at him. This is meant to convey that the photo was spontaneous, casual, and not posed. It is authentic.

In another photograph, Obama is shown in the Situation Room of the White House, surrounded by his top security advisors. They are watching something. Of the thirteen faces, none is looking at the camera. Again, this is to convey that the photo was natural and spontaneous. Obama is shown in a casual jacket, Biden in shirt sleeves, details that indicate they are at work, and not posing for a propaganda photo, god forbid. This image is so authentic, in fact, that it borders on the illicit. This was a secret session, after all. That’s why all of the laptop monitors have been blackened out, and the photo in front of Hillary Clinton has been blurred. We should be thankful, then, at this courtesy peep at a scene we shouldn’t even have access to. The spontaneity is also reinforced by an unfamiliar face at the back, peeking in. She is younger and shorter than the rest, truly a little person among heavyweights, nearly all of whom are men, by the way, yet only the most cynical would conclude that this small woman was added to double the female representation in the room. A really tall and large woman would not do. Like that worm in the British royal wedding photo, this tiny woman provides just enough intrigue without distracting.

As we all know, Bush served up a plastic turkey, so the turkey propaganda photo was itself a turkey, but a much bigger turkey is the Situation Room image. Releasing it, the White House explained that Obama and company were watching the raid and execution of Bin Laden in real time, with the snuff film made possible by a camera mounted on the helmet of a Navy Seal. Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that any head during a firefight is not likely to be stationary, not long enough, in any case, to broadcast steadily and clearly to the folks back home, not unless it wants to be a dead head, that is.

“Hey, Seal with the camera, run up that stairs and fix your gaze on Geronimo, will you? Remember to stand still and don’t duck, so our Commander in Chief will have a vivid stream of images, OK?”

Soon after, the White House explained that there was no live feed of the crucial moment, after all, that the camera actually didn’t work for 25 of the 38-minute raid, so there was absolutely no video footage of Bin Laden, but why this sudden reversal? Can’t these people work out their lies before they broadcast them to us?

The White House had to backtrack because it had painted itself into a corner. It had already refused to produce photos of a dead Bin Laden. He had been shot above the eye, it said, shattering his skull, so such a gory image would inflame Muslim sentiments. “We don’t want to spike the football,” Obama explained. But if we can’t see a dead Bin Laden, how about a photo of him alive? If a helmet mounted camera could deliver a live feed to the Situation Room, surely it can produce at least one image of Bin Laden with his head still intact, and in that house? But this, too, was out of the question, incredibly enough.

With webcams, surveillance cameras, Google street view and the ubiquitous camera phones, it seems that the entire world is always photographed, or ready to be photographed these days, that anyone at any moment can be captured by that voracious shutter, then uploaded onto a screen. There are cameras hidden inside pens, books, boom boxes, clocks, air purifiers and smoke detectors. You can probably google any name, a grade school chum, your first lover, long lost cat, dead grandma, bless her soul, and find photos of them online, uploaded by the Pentagon, or maybe God himself.

We are drowning in photographs, most of which we can do without, yet the one the image that everyone wants to see this week, of a Bin Laden dead or alive during the raid, is not available. Instead, we are treated to a wealth of irrelevant information. We are told that there was “a hero dog” involved; that Obama and company had turkey pita wraps, cold shrimp, potato chips and soda, bought from Costco, the cheapo outlet—how nice, this common man touch—in the Situation Room; that Obama has met to congratulate his commandos, all highly intelligent and responsible family men between the ages of 30 and 40. Whatever.

The Bin Laden photos would not matter if there was a corpse, but that too, has gone missing. Less than six hours after news came that he had been killed, it was announced that Bin Laden had already been tossed into the ocean. The official explanation: The US must respect the Islamic tradition that a corpse be buried within 24 hours, and since no country was willing to be his final host, not even Saudi Arabia, his homeland, Bin Laden had to be dumped where he could never be exhumed. How convenient. Case closed!

Such respect for a Muslim corpse from a country that seems to be fighting Muslims everywhere, that kills, imprisons and tortures Muslims, whose soldiers draped panties and smeared shit on Muslim heads, raped Muslim women and collected Muslim ears as trophies. America hasn’t exactly been shy about abusing Muslims, dead or alive, so why this sudden delicacy? Remember also that Uday and Qusay Hussein were killed by American troops on July 22, 2003, then buried on August 2, 11 days later.

So the CIA is basically saying to us, The dog ate my cadaver, but, hey, if it can’t show us something, maybe it never had it, especially since it is a chronic liar and in the cloak and dagger business. For most English-language trials since the disappearance of William Harrison in 1660, there has been the principle of no corpse, no murder, but here you actually have an open admission of murder, widely broadcast, but no corpse, which is tantamount to destruction of evidence, whatever it was.

So without a cadaver or even the flimsy evidence of a photoshopped photograph, what is there to this sensational murder, really? Nothing but words from the CIA and the White House. Though they lied to us about Jessica Lynch’s “rescue” and Pat Tillman’s murder, we are to believe them this time because they have suddenly decided to speak the truth. Honestly.

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