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Justice By Assassination

By The Reverend Published: May 4, 2011

We're being told that with the killing of Osama Bin Laden "justice has been done." For example, the Akron Beacon Journal is running a series of front page accounts with a small icon of Bin Laden next to the words "justice has been done."

Is the assassination of one of our enemies "justice?"

We now know that the Obama administration officials, in particular John Brennan, Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama, spun the account of Bin Laden's killing to Associated Press reporters immediately after the event unfolded. The Atlantic's Garance Franke-Ruta writes that Brennan's early spinning of the story had similarities with the early Jessica Lynch accounts which were later shredded by journalists and exposed as propaganda.

While Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo scoffs at Franke-Ruta's insinuations....I find Franke-Ruta's explanations convincing.

Here's what Brennan first told reporters on Monday....

"Thinking about that from a visual perspective, here is bin Laden, who has been calling for these attacks, living in this million dollar-plus compound, living in an area that is far removed from the front, hiding behind women who were put in front of him as a shield," Brennan told the world from the White House podium Monday. "I think it really just speaks to just how false his narrative has been over the years."

There was a firefight and the al-Qaeda leader was "killed in that firefight," Brennan said. There was a woman who was used "to shield bin Laden from the incoming fire." The woman killed in the raid was bin Laden's wife, Brennan said: "She was positioned in a way that indicated that she was being used as a shield."

And bin Laden was killed because he resisted capture. "If we had the opportunity to take him alive, we would have done that," Brennan told reporters at the briefing.

"Looking at what bin Laden was doing hiding there while he's putting other people out there to carry out attacks again just speaks to, I think, the nature of the individual he was," Brennan said.

More evidence that Brennan's early account was the official account out of the White House....

At a Pentagon briefing earlier in the day, a senior defense official said bin Laden used a woman as a human shield so he could fire shots. "He was firing behind her," the official said.

In another background briefing early Monday morning, a senior administration official also said bin Laden put up a fight. "He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight," the official said.

Clearly, the official Obama White House first-account of Bin Laden's death was spun to make Bin Laden appear to be a coward, firing shots at U.S. Seals using a woman as his human shield. And it's usually the first account of any story which becomes THE account.

As we know today, very little of that first account is true.

According to the Pentagon's new narrative, as relayed by Carney, Osama was unarmed, and a woman, Osama's wife, in the room with him rushed the U.S. "assaulter" and was shot in the leg but not killed. Another woman was killed on a different floor when she was caught in "crossfire," Carney said.

Despite the lack of a gun, Carney said the Navy Seal team "met resistance throughout" the operation. When asked how bin Laden resisted when he was unarmed, Carney said: "Resistance does not require a firearm."

Bin Laden was unarmed, did not fire any gun, did not use a woman as his human shield.....but somehow resisted...without weaponry....prompting the Seals to shoot him once in the chest and once in the head.

The killing of Osama Bin Laden was the assassination of an unarmed man. But Obama's White House determined that spinning a yarn about U.S. Seals shooting it out with our number one enemy while that enemy hid behind a woman sounded more Hollywood and would inspire more rah-rah from cheering Americans back home.

Don't misunderstand what I'm saying here...I wanted Osama Bin Laden killed the day after 9-11-2001....and I'm glad he's dead today.

But is assassinating an unarmed enemy "justice?" Or is it simply vengeance? Sure, acts of vengeance produce an emotional high, as seen in the raucous outbreaks of celebration in D.C., New York and elsewhere late Sunday night. But is vengeance justice? Does America only find "closure" now if the fires of vengeance are quenched with blood?

According to America's rule of law, doesn't justice require a trial? Didn't we decide a couple of hundred years ago that we wouldn't have a savage 'eye for an eye' society? Why, then, are we today calling the assassination of an unarmed enemy, "justice?"

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