L: Doug, we’re going to lose a lot of subscribers talking about the news everyone is all gaga about, but I don’t see how we can shirk our responsibility to do so… So, Obama’s ratings drop to their nadir, and lo and behold, he personally orders the execution of America’s Public Enemy #1. This is a man no one has seen for ten years, but whose alleged audio messages have long had many people doubting that he’s even still alive. And now the body has conveniently been buried at sea before anyone who is not directly under the president in the chain of command can see it. Does it make me a loony conspiracy theorist to find myself feeling that this is all too convenient for the Powers That Be?
Doug: Look, a thinking person has to question authority – at all times, on all issues. It’s a matter of principle, as well as prudence. I’ve said it before, and will say it again: 90% of everything in the media is bull. If it’s not a fabrication, it’s opinion disguised as fact. Or facts that are modified or twisted. Or there’s significant data left out. Often that’s not because of some conspiracy, but rather the pure incompetence of reporters and editors today. There aren’t any H.L. Menckens on the scene that I can think of. I read and listen to the news mainly for entertainment purposes, and to learn what other people seem to believe.
Do I think this is all a con job? Well, you’d think that after spending trillions of dollars, and killing hundreds of thousands of people, that finally, after ten years, they could catch up with Osama, who is supposed to be the mastermind of evil itself. Frankly, at this point, he couldn’t have been more than just a tired, sick old man. He would probably have died naturally in a few years anyway, if he hadn’t already died years ago.
But you’d think they could get their story straight. First he’s hiding behind a woman, using her as a shield as he returned fire. Then he’s unarmed. I’ve read he was killed with two shots to the head. It sounds like a mob hit.
L: What makes you most skeptical?
Doug: The whole thing stinks, from top to bottom. You’d think that if they knew where he was, they would have gone out of their way to take him alive – at almost any cost. Think of the information he would have had! But instead they seemed to go out of their way to kill him, which impresses me as incredibly stupid and counterproductive... Unless they don’t want him talking.
After all, Osama said several times that he had nothing to do with the events of 9/11. But Bush used him, and 9/11, as the casus belli for Afghanistan. It would have been interesting to know who Osama thought was actually behind 9/11.
Then, after killing him, they dump his body in the Arabian Sea, using the excuse that he had to be interred within 24 hours as a Muslim, and it wasn’t possible to bury him because they didn’t want to create a shrine. As if they go out of their way to bury every Muslim they kill within 24 hours… I suspect that, in fact, they leave most bodies as a treat for the dogs and the crows. We’ll now never know whose body that was. Or exactly how he was killed.
So now, in any event, all the physical evidence has been disposed of. It’s unclear to me if they also executed everyone else in the house – excuse me, “compound,” as any house government agents attack automatically becomes a compound – where they took him. I suspect everyone was executed. Witnesses are never convenient.
L: Do you think Osama has been dead for years, as some people claim?
Doug: It’s said he was always a sick man, in need of a dialysis machine. Maybe he has been dead for many years. But even if those in government believe he died years ago, they never claimed it as a fact, partially because they couldn’t present the body and prove it. And partially because it was convenient to have the devil still roaming the world – the better to keep the sheep frightened and huddling, looking for their shepherd to protect them.
Who knows why they wanted him to appear dead now? Maybe it’s just a political convenience for Obama. After all, Clinton apparently started bombing the Serbs to distract attention from his problems with Monica.
L: And Bush II lied to the world about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction when his party had an election to win – that was the excuse for going into Iraq.
Doug: It’s all very much like the movie Wag the Dog, with Dustin Hoffman and Robert DeNiro. At this late and thoroughly corrupt stage of the empire, art imitates life, life imitates art, and no one knows what reality is.
L: But the government says they have DNA tests to prove it was bin Laden. It’s proof!
Doug: The same government that claims to have killed him. But I have a question: Quis custodiet ipsos custodies – Who watches the watchers? I thought it was ironic that Putin of Russia – who’s undoubtedly put out quite a few orders for hits in his day – evidenced outrage at the way the U.S. government is trying to kill Gaddafi, now that it seems expedient. I have it here – Putin said: "Who permitted this, was there any trial? Who took on the right to execute this man, no matter who he is?"
And he’s right. I find it shocking that the U.S. government just takes it upon itself to kill people now, without even a show trial like Saddam got. Of course the government has always had professional killers in its employ – but it at least had the decency to deny their existence. Now it brags about them, and parades them. It’s always had secret prisons too – but now it’s quite overt about Gitmo and renditions and torture.
L: What really gets me is the laughing, dancing, and singing in the streets. I believe in self-defense and have no problem with the use of lethal force on murderers. I even understand the urge to celebrate a victory… But the combination of credulity and jubilation seems… frankly, rather sad and frightening. Oddly enough, I find myself almost agreeing with the Vatican, which came out with a statement saying that the death should prompt meditation, not celebration.
Doug: I understand Americans were jumping around Times Square as if it was V-J Day when it was announced. It’s sad, really. And very unseemly, and degraded, to celebrate a murder. They’re celebrating an extra-judicial murder performed by contract killers. That’s what SEAL Team 6, which apparently conducted this raid, does – like the Army’s Delta Force. They’re told to go somewhere and kill any person or persons their “superiors” say, and they just do it. If you wear a uniform, and work for a state, murder becomes quite acceptable, with no questions asked by anyone.
I definitely think there are people out there who need killing. But my view is that you should do it yourself and take responsibility for it, if you feel that strongly about it. But government officials are too degraded for that by any stretch. Even worse, perhaps, are the people who go and do it because they’re told to. Certainly, they merit a measure of respect. They are excellent physical specimens. They’re skilled in the black arts and they undoubtedly possess a lot of courage and sang-froid. But they’re not heroes. It’s odd that they’re considered heroes; both they and their employers should be brought up on war-crime charges. I expect the men among them who are decent realize that they’re acting unethically, quit after a while, and suffer nightmares and post-traumatic stress disorder for many years after. The ones who stay in it are simply dangerous sociopaths, like Mafia hit men.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe Osama is dead – whenever he died. And I’m glad he’s dead. I don’t like the things he believed in, especially his especially puritanical version of Islam. But this is not the way these things should be handled. At least not by a supposedly free country.
L: Well, we don’t need to draw this conversation out – the point is made, whether people agree or not. I just hope thinking people will do exactly that: think.
Doug: One thing they should think about is that Osama didn’t actually present – or certainly shouldn’t have presented – a risk to the U.S. You’ll recall that he said he was only up in arms for three reasons: 1) the U.S. had its troops in Muslim lands; 2) the U.S. was supporting the stooges running those countries; and 3) the U.S. was supporting Israel, which he deemed an oppressor of the Palestinians. If the U.S. desisted from those things, he was happy to leave it alone, in the belief it would necessarily self-destruct.
As far as I’m concerned, his three demands are quite just and reasonable. As for Israel, I wish those people well – as I do the Palestinians. But it’s not my business, and it’s certainly not that of the U.S. government. If Jews want to support Israel, or Muslims Palestine, for whatever reasons, that’s their business too.
In any event, killing bin Laden will not solve the so-called terror problem. I believe Al Qaeda is only a few hundred people, at best. But largely because of the War on Terror, it’s metastasized into scores of little organizations, and probably hundreds of lone wolves. Announcing his death, followed by the wild and pointless jubilation of Americans will likely only reinvigorate these people.
L: It seems ghoulish to ask, but there must be investment implications – more trouble with Islam, likely consequences for oil prices?
Doug: Well, we’ve covered a lot of this in the past. Rig for stormy weather: liquidate, consolidate, create, speculate, and diversify your political risk. No point in making those points again. They remain valid. The fact that bin Laden is now acknowledged to be dead will change nothing – certainly not for the better.
L: Okay, thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Doug: Not really my pleasure, this time, but I’m glad to do it. Somebody needs to.
L: ‘Til next time, then.
Doug: Next week then.
[No investor is an island, and today it is more crucial than ever to take into account political and current world events to correctly assess imminent market swings. In The Casey Report, Doug and his team of economic and investment experts analyze big-picture trends – including those more and more frequent black-swan events – and discover the best profit opportunities that arise from them. Learn how you, too, can beat rampant monetary devaluation by investing smarter.]
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