Monday, May 9, 2011

Unbecoming America

In the past week I've heard the President proudly report that the US killed an unarmed, if wicked, man (5/1 announcement); I've watched grown ups turn into frat boys and cheerleaders, celebrating the killing of the wicked, but unarmed, dead man (all week); and I've heard the President tell "anyone" who has qualms about the Kill Mission to "have their head examined" (5/8, 60 Minutes).

I've watched the mainstream media downplay the fact that the official story changed each day, each change making it more clear that the US either executed or assassinated the target.  The mainstream media seemed to forgive the shifting facts -- some reporters called it "normal" for official reports to be inaccurate.

I've heard people say that the stealth killing of Bin Laden was more efficient and cheaper than trying him, because he was widely reviled as a bad guy. I think it's this claim that most sticks in my craw.

The actions and the discourse of the past week raise all kinds of questions and are laden with implications -- about the constitution, the conduct of foreign and military policy, the integrity of alliances, and about ends justifying means.  All questions should be discussed and the possibility that sane Americans can disagree ought to be the value that guides the discussion.

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