The Hunting of Assata Shakur

From Revolutionary Icon to Most Wanted Terrorist in 40 years.

Suddenly hearing the name of Joanne Chesimard, a.k.a. Assata Shakur in the wake of her dubious distinction being named to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List jerked me back to the Seventies when I was young man.   I was never a true Black militant like Shakur, but I knew who she was, identified with her fight against a racist, oppressive U.S. government and saw her as a strong sister who had escaped the reach of the system by leaving the country only to turn up as an honored guest in Fidel Castro’s Cuba.

The feds are serious about branding Shakur as an enemy of the state.  The FBI placed a $1 million dollar reward (or bounty) for her arrest which along with the money New Jersey has kicked in puts a $2 million price tag on her head.

What did Shakur do to make her the only woman on a list of primarily Arab terrorists including Ayman Al-Zawahiri,  the replacement for Osama bin Laden as the leader of Al Qaeda?   The details why are found on Shakur’s wanted poster with the FBI’s version of events.

Joanne Chesimard is wanted for escaping from prison in Clinton, New Jersey, while serving a life sentence for murder. On May 2, 1973, Chesimard, who was part of a revolutionary extremist organization known as the Black Liberation Army, and two accomplices were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike by two troopers with the New Jersey State Police. At the time, Chesimard was wanted for her involvement in several felonies, including bank robbery. Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. One trooper was wounded and the other was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene, but was subsequently apprehended. One of her accomplices was killed in the shoot-out and the other was also apprehended and remains in jail.

In 1977, Chesimard was found guilty of first degree murder, assault and battery of a police officer, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault with intent to kill, illegal possession of a weapon, and armed robbery. She was sentenced to life in prison. On November 2, 1979, Chesimard escaped from prison and lived underground before being located in Cuba in 1984. She is thought to currently still be living in Cuba.

Shakur was prosecuted, but is she now being persecuted?

A few of the details missing from the FBI’s version of events is Chesimard/Shakur was shot while seated with her arms raised, her fingerprints were not found on any guns nor was any gunpowder residue detected on her hands.   Despite the curious lack of evidence against her, in 1977 Shakur was convicted and sentenced to 33 years plus life

“No person, no matter what his or her political or moral convictions are, is above the law. Joanne Chesimard is a domestic terrorist who murdered a law enforcement officer execution style,” said FBI Special Agent Aaron Ford at a press conference announcing Shakur’s addition to the Most Wanted Terrorists list.

In an interview with Democracy Now,  Shakur’s attorney Lennox Hinds and Angela Davis,  another target of the government’s wrath, J. Edgar Hoover’s racism hatred, COINTELPRO and other initiatives declaring open season on Black revolutionaries denounced the renewed  hunt for Shakur.

“…It was a major shock to hear that Assata Shakur has become the first woman to be added to the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list and then to learn that they’re adding another million dollars to the reward, the bounty. Really, it seems to me that this act incorporates or reflects the very logic of terrorism. I can’t help but think that it’s designed to frighten people who are involved in struggles today. Forty years ago seems as if it were a long time ago, four decades; however, in the 21st century, at the beginning of the 21st century, we’re still fighting around the very same issues—police violence, healthcare, education, people in prison, and so forth. So I see this as an attack not so much on Assata herself, although of course she deserves to be brought home. She deserves to be able to live out her life, and with justice and peace. It was wonderful that you allowed people, through this program, to hear Assata’s words, because, 40 years later, people really don’t know the details of the case and are not aware of the extent to which she was targeted by the FBI by the COINTEL Program, as Lennox pointed out. And it’s amazing that in 2013, where she is living in Cuba as a political refugee, having given—having been given political asylum by Cuba, she is still pursued. And actually, this is an invitation for anyone to travel to Cuba illegally and to kidnap her and bring her back to the United States, if not shoot her dead. This is—as I said, was an extremely shocking revelation.”

Angela Davis knows something about being a political prisoner.

I cannot fathom what Attorney General Eric Holder thinks going after a 65-year-old fugitive is going to accomplish.   Cuba won’t extradite Shakur and she certainly isn’t about to return to stand trial.  Sending the Navy SEALS in after her might work in the movies, but odds are it wouldn’t work as well as Zero Dark Thirty.

Perhaps what’s driving this renewed effort to get Shakur now is in the wake of the Boston bombings the Obama Administration is in search of another head to mount on the wall.   Shakur has successfully evaded the grasp of her pursuers for decades and they’re still ticked off about it.   Break out of prison, evade your captors, escape to Cuba and you’re not going to be forgotten by your enemies.   They will remember your name.

What does it gain the Obama Administration to pursue a vendetta against Shakur?   Is this Holder and Obama trying to look tough?   Is this their “Sistah Souljah” moment where they show how they won’t play favorites even when the terrorist (that’s a laugh) is a Black woman?

If Shakur was a threat to the United States before, she certainly isn’t now.   She isn’t mailing any letters contaminated with ricin or bombing any marathons.   The timing of branding her a terrorist is as curious as it is misguided.   Shakur has gone from a young revolutionary to a political prisoner to a old woman who will likely as not live out her last years in exile 90 miles away from her homeland.

Shakur should be left alone.   The good guys don’t always win and in this case, it’s not clear who the good guys are.

Leading From Behind, Coming Out Ahead

Need a nap Gaddafi? Take one. Forever.

There’s no trophy room in the White House, but if there were one, President Obama could add Libyan dictator Mohammar Gaddafi’s pelt to the wall next to Osama bin Laden and the radical American-born cleric, Anwar al-Awlaki, spiritual adviser to Major Nidal Malik Hasan whose shooting spree at Fort Hood, killed 13 people and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the failed Christmas Day bomber.

Libyan rebels found Gaddafi hiding in a drain pipe and shot him.  No big loss to the world.

While elitist jerks like Mitt Romney sniff, “It’s about time” in response to the news Gaddafi is finally cold meat and neo-cons refuse to give the president any credit for the part the U.S. played in bringing a dictator down and isolationists like Ron Paul would have had simply sat on the sidelines and watched with disinterest, a larger principle was served here.

A measure of justice for the relatives of the 259 people killed when Pan-Am 103 was blown out of the sky over Lockerbie, Scotland on orders from Gaddafi.

Cape May Courthouse, NJ — Susan Cohen, mother of Syracuse University student Theodora Cohen who died in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, was watching reports of Moammar Gadhafi’s death this morning on CNN. Cohen was waiting for confirmation of the death, but she was fairly confident.

“I think it’s marvelous,” Cohen said. “This will be the happiest day of my life since Dec. 21, 1988. I owe it all to the Libyan people.”

Cohen said she would open a bottle of champagne today and raise a glass to the people of Libya.

“You could not deal with him,” she said of Gadhafi. “He was a ghastly tyrant.”

“It’s just absolutely marvelous. It’s a day of joy.”

Cohen said that it was absolutely horrible that 35 Syracuse University students, “young people with futures, their lives ahead of them,” were among the 270 who died in the bombing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland.

Cohen blamed Gadhafi for her daughter’s death.

“I hope he suffered,” she said.

“I’m going to celebrate his death. It should have happened earlier by the hand of the United States,” she said.

Gaddafi finally pays in full for the bombing of Pan-Am 103.

The neo-con job artists, led by Evil Dick Cheney will claim it was George Bush’s intel that led the Navy SEALS to bin Laden’s address, but it was also Bush’s bungling at Tora Bora that allowed bin Laden to get away and inspire more terrorist attacks around the world.

Intelligence without a Commander-in-Chief to differentiate between what is actionable and what is not is the difference between invading Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction that didn’t exist and successfully ending the evil of a murderer who killed innocent American citizens.

Without question it’s the Libyan people who rose up against Gaddafi who deserve the lion’s share of the credit and all the responsibility to go forward in the aftermath of the tyrant’s demise.

Obama recognized that fact when he said, “Today belongs to the people of Libya. This is a moment for them.”

But the steadfast refusal on the part of some of the usual suspects to give Obama any credit for ordering the killing of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki and now the successful topping of Gaddafi can be explained in two words: sour grapes.

It’s not enough to have the military bullet in the gun. You also need someone with a steady hand to aim it. Presidents don’t personally take out the garbage, but they have a lot to say in deciding who deserves to go out in it.  The president saw an opportunity to get rid of Gaddafi and he took it.  Good for him.  Obama was roundly criticized from all sides of the political spectrum with a few nuts like Dennis Kucinich suggested bombing Libya was an impeachable offense.   The president’s “leading from behind” strategy was vilified at the time, but it got the job done.

You don’t have to give Obama credit and he’s not going to parade around waving the bloody shirt or the head and horns. He could have taken a “hands-off” and this day still might have happened anyway.

Or it might not have happened at all.

Reagan wanted Gaddafi. Bush wanted Bin Laden.

Obama got ’em both.

When one has made a decision to kill a person, even if it will be very difficult to succeed by advancing straight ahead, it will not do to think about doing it in a long, roundabout way. One’s heart may slacken, he may miss his chance, and by and large there will be no success. The Way of the Samurai is one of immediacy, and it is best to dash in headlong.

~ Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Samurai Obama Bags Another One

Bush’s Wars Are Obama’s Wars Now

Obama stands alone

I consider myself a supporter of the president, but I don’t support his attack on Libya and the continued occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which is why it troubles me to learn President Obama ignored legal advice that he did not have the authority to wage air strikes against Libya without the authorization of Congress.  The president’s insistence he does not need their approval has angered Congress and found both Republicans and Democrats demanding answers from the White House or they may decided to end the funding of the wars in three Muslim countries.

Maybe this time John Boehner and Dennis Kucinich are right.  Congress should pull the financial plug on these endless wars.

The president should either get Congressional approval of the war in Libya (and make no mistake, it IS a war even without ground troops being involved) or get out.  The same thing applies for Afghanistan and Iraq.   End the war.  Bring the troops home.

The U.S. has been in Afghanistan for ten years and for what?  Osama bin Laden is dead and most of what’s left of Al Qaeda is holed up in Pakistan beyond the reach of a drone attack.  Iraq can handle its own affairs  Why is the U.S. maintaining four PERMANENT bases there?

There is only one answer.  The U.S. plans to stay in Iraq.  Just the same way the U.S. has stayed in Germany, Japan and South Korea long after the wars there ended.

Like I said, I am a supporter of President Obama, but I’m not so blind I can’t recognize there are some things he has NO power to change and the imperialistic nature the U.S. has to occupy and keep up military forces wherever we are is one of those things.  It is a manifestation of this country’s wish to put its footprint on the entire globe.

America is one of the world’s superpowers and trying desperately to keep China from overtaking it.   Failing to fend them off economically, the decision seems to have been made to keep the military option strong and a counter-balance to China’s globe-spanning plans.

Especially when they run counter to America’s own plans for global superiority.

In geo-political games of power and dominance even the President of the United States can be a manipulated pawn of forces beyond him.

The president has drawn down the number of troops in Iraq, but he’s not talking about dissembling the bases built there.  Those will stay and that means U.S. troops will continue to remain in Iraq to occupy those bases. I imagine Israel must be pleased by that prospect.

Afghanistan isn’t a lost cause.  There was never a cause in the first place.   Karzai is as crooked as a dog’s back leg and only controls a small part of that ungovernable country.  The rest is run by the Taliban and warlords.  Nobody can impose order on the chaos there and many other nations have tried before the U.S. and failed dismally.  Afghanistan is a trap.  All it does is bleed money and lives.

As for Libya, Qaddafi is a madman AND a racist, but he’s not America’s problem.  This is a civil war and it should left up to Libyans to depose Gaddafi or not.   After all this time, the superior strength of NATO hasn’t brought the dictator to his knees.   What’s the upside of continuing to pour money down a rat hole to kill one particularly tenacious rat?.

I think its possible to both support the president and still criticize him when he makes mistakes (and he has made his share of them like everyone else).

Going the route of a Cornel West or Lupe Fiasco is going too far because they make the criticisms personal.   I don’t believe Obama is a bad guy because he has done some bad things.  I’ll take him on his worst day compared to any of the Republican challengers on their best.

But waging wars in three Muslim countries is a lousy way to win them over and it wont get gasoline under $4 bucks a gallon either.

Three years ago it was possible to say Obama inherited the wars George Bush started.  You can’t say that anymore.  These are Obama’s wars now and he owns them.   It’s up to him to end them.

But these wars are bleeding America dry as the costs run into the millions daily and billions yearly.  We cannot continue to throw good money after bad to do little more than kill a few terrorists and a lot of civilians.

It’s time for the president to earn that Nobel Peace Prize.  He knows how to.  He has to decide he wants to.

Then Came the Last Days of May

A big winner on the field and a big loser off it.

As the last few hours of May 31 tick away, my assessment is it was a rough month for a lot of folks.

Rough for Ohio State University head football coach Jim Tressel.  He was forced to quit under a cloud of scandal and lies.   Shed no tears for him as this is a mess he put himself in trying to clean up after star quarterback Terrelle Pryor.  The NCAA is now turning their investigation toward Pryor as they look into whether he got the hook-up from a local car dealer.

The NFL announced they will hold a supplemental draft in July before the first training camp opens (IF any training camps open) giving Pryor a potential escape route provided he can find a team willing to take a chance on a college QB with a rough skill set, tremendous potential and character issues.

Rough for the folks of Joplin, Missouri where tornadoes ripped through the city killing 139 and leaving hundreds more injured.

Rough for President Obama who had an uncomfortable meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  over the president’s call for Israel to return to the 1967 borders, a request Netanyahu flatly rejected.

Rough for the ex-Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger as it was revealed he had fathered a “love child” with a housekeeper some 14 years ago and the child was born less than a week after Schwarzenegger’s son Christopher was born to his wife, Maria Shirver.   Shriver and Schwarzengger have separated ending their 25-year marriage.

"Remember when I said I'd impregnate you last? I LIED!"

Rough for the GOP who lost a special election in New York in a district which had been drawn to be a stronghold rejected the Republican candidate and sent a Democrat to Washington instead.   The key issue was Medicare where Kathy Hochul pounded Jane Corwin for her support of House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize the program.

Rough for Cornel West who gave an interview where he ripped President Obama as having a problem with “free Black men” and a “mascot for Wall Street.”  West also came off as a clueless and entitled elitist when he whined how his “dear brother Barack” hadn’t thanked him personally for working for his election and how he hadn’t been invited to the inauguration but a hotel bellhop had.

Rough for my family as my wife Vanessa lost her dear mother Delores who passed away at the age of 81.

But Osama bin Laden had it roughest.   He finally lost his world champion Hide and Seek title. His hiding place was besieged by a Navy SEALs  team who shot him in the head, dragged his corpse away and dumped his corpse in the ocean.   That was both rough and well-deserved.

Wonder what June will be like?  Guess we’ll know in 30 days.

Gotcha!

No Tears. No Guilt. No Apologies.

Heard Michael Moore say Americans “lost something of our soul” by killing Dead Osama  instead of bringing him in alive and putting him on trial. Got an e-mail today from a friend who says this is all a diversion to win Obama a second term and boost flag sales while all the idiots applaud the CIA and the SEALs murdering Osama and shooting up the joint in a kill mission.

Let me say this about that.

I do not care if Osama was armed, unarmed, strapped to the max or buck naked while stroking his junk to an old issue of HUSTLER.

I refuse to feel bad about a cold-blooded murdering son of a bitch being shot in the eye and turned into fish food. So what?  He brought it all on himself.  Fuck Osama! I hope he burns in hell forever.

I really don’t give a damn who loved bin Laden or is in sorrow about his overdue, richly deserved demise.

My sympathies are with the families and the husbands and the wives and the children and the loved ones of those whose lives were snuffed out so cruelly and senselessly on 9/11, on the U.S.S. Cole, in London, Madrid, the Philippines and everywhere else bin Laden reached out his bloody hands and snatched innocent lives away.

Osama bin Laden made understanding him quite easy.

“We love death. The U.S. loves life. This is the difference between us two.”

It’s kind of hard to find a middle ground between those two extremes.

Though I would love to see all those misguided souls who suggest we just needed to try harder to understand bin Laden get that point across to him.

Osama bin Laden made his point abundantly clear on the morning of September 11, 2001 around 8:46 when American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Then, just in case that was too subtle he provided additional emphasis when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South tower at 9:03.

Apparently, some people have ample reserves of indignation but terribly short memories.

Michael Moore and my childless friend didn’t have to pick up a stressed-out six-year-old from elementary school on September 11 and have her ask you when night finally came, “Are the terrorists going to kill us too, Daddy?”

He should have been put down like a rabid dog years ago.

I’m glad the motherfucker is dead and there is nothing anyone can say that will convince me the world is not a better place without him in it.

If that makes me sound bloodthirsty, heartless or cruel, I do not care and I will not apologize.

In the days after the devil died…

Three Presidents and the one terrorist that united them.

If I were unlucky enough to be a member of the Pakistan government or military I would be sleeping rather badly worrying about what exactly Osama had on his hard drive.

Obama’s National Security Adviser says bin Laden may have been holed up in the mansion for SIX YEARS!!! Kind of makes you wonder what all those billions of dollars funneled into Pakistan bought the U.S. for their bucks. I’m sure there will be lots of senators and representatives on Capitol Hill who will want answers to these questions and more.

Osama is dead, but he might continue to make the lives of others pretty miserable.

Some commentators say the Obama Administration shouldn’t have revealed they confiscated information from bin Laden’s crib and they may have tipped their hand to Al Qaeda.

That’s one way of looking at it. Another is to make Al Qaeda think U.S. intelligence has found a treasure trove of info on names, addresses and what side of the bed they sleep on.

If Osama was playing house in his gilded palace of sin for six years and this entire ops was over within 40 minutes, do you really think the SEALs and CIA were able to snatch up everything of value? I know I don’t. But you can bet your buns the Pakistan intelligence services have snatched up whatever was left behind by now.

Additionally, information gathered today does not immediately translate into plots foiled and bad guys killed tomorrow. Whatever information Khalid Sheikh Muhammad provided by being water boarded by the Bush Administration, it didn’t turn into feasible intelligence until May 1, 2011.

This is not a game of checkers. It’s chess, and a lot of moves remaining to be made and strategies implemented before a final champion is determined.

The Obama Administration has played this smart for a while now. I doubt they suddenly got stupid by telling the world and the terrorists anything they did not want them to know.

I understand the heated response, but Pakistan is a nuclear power with over 100 missiles, a weak central government, a powerful and corrupt intelligence agency and some of the most rabidly anti-American fundamentalist Islāmic extremists who would make Osama look like a sell-out.

The U.S. can’t even pacify a backwater hole like Afghanistan. But that’s a walk in the park compared to going to war against Pakistan. There has to be some serious and fundamental examining of the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan, but if you think they’re just going to roll over and beg, you’re more than angry, you’re kidding yourself.

Team Obama on the job.

Do we really want to take out Pakistan and try to sell that as not declaring war on all Muslims too?

The reluctance (and outright refusal) by some conservatives to give President Obama his just due (like a certain clownish ex-governor who thanked his predecessor by name, but pointedly not him) exhibits an appalling degree of graceless on their part.

That, and they’re just a bunch of dicks.

Obama should have put on a Top Gun flight suit and landed on an aircraft carrier with a big ass “MISSION (FINALLY) ACCOMPLISHED” banner behind him as he took a victory lap.

Stay classy guys.

Al Qaeda wasn’t created as an a liberation struggle or to overthrow oppressive regimes and replace it with a system of governing more to Osama bin Laden’s liking.

It was a cult. A death cult of personality fueled by one hate-filled man’s evil wish to set the Muslim world at war with the West and he damn near made it happen.

Don’t try to tell me Al Qaeda was fighting for any kind of freedom. They feared and hated freedom and wanted no part it.

I appreciate the ability of some to intellectualize the deaths of nearly 3,000 people as if it can be written off as “Well, there’s two sides to the story,” but it really doesn’t carry any weight outside of discussion boards and on to the man and woman in the street that are predominantly pretty happy to be living in a world without Osama bin Laden in it.

The truth is not a pie that is sliced evenly in half or quarters. Sometimes the truth is one side is right and the other side is wrong and there is no divvying it up in equal slices.

Was there too much celebration? Were you expecting tears instead?

Osama bin Laden was wrong. He lived wrong, he died wrong and he believed in all the wrong things.

People who are displeased by how he met his demise and the passionate reactions to it are perfectly justified to express their disapproval. However, they should restrain themselves from sugar-coating what bin Laden stood for and tampering with history to suit their own narratives

When you send in the Navy SEALs it’s not to deliver a pizza.

They should have killed him about 3,000 times and it still would only be a good start.

The next great debate is whether or not to release the grisly photographs of Osama’s dead body (shot twice in the left eye and apparently once in the chest) and the video of his burial at sea. Not that any of this will dissuade the conspiracy theorists who prefer the cozy comfort of their unprovable fantasies to cold reality.

As a journalist, I believe in full disclosure, but only to the point it does not harm the national security interests of the U.S. or put our troops, diplomats and citizens at greater risk.

The terrorists have wanted to kill Americans whenever they could get the chance to. That hasn’t changed and I doubt they need any more motivation than they already have.

Yet, I’m hard pressed to argue the greater public good is served by putting a picture of Osama bin Laden with half his head blown away on the front page of the morning papers. It might be “news” but is it really “newsworthy?”

If it were my call, I don’t think I’d publish the photo.

What exactly is it I need to see here?   Osama’s head still smoking from the two bullets the SEALS put in it?  A bloody hole where his left eye was?  I’m not one of those freaks who cruise the Internet looking for the most graphic and repulsive images of dead bodies.

The president has decided not to release the photos and I totally agree with the decision.   There is nothing good that can come from the world seeing bin Laden in his dying moments.   He’s dead and he’s gone and that’s enough for me.

His fanatical supporters have already been denied a shrine. Why give them an image for a t-shirt?

It's all over but the paperwork

The Death of a Death Lover

Haters gonna hate. That’s what they do best. That’s all they do best.

To all the haters that do not and will not give President Obama ANY credit for taking out Osama bin Laden, I have one question: Would you be withholding your criticism is Obama had approved this action and bin Laden had escaped?

Never mind.  That was a rhetorical question.

Eight years ago yesterday, a self-aggrandizing asshole and liar stood on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and declared, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!”

Only took until 5/11 to bring a small degree of justice to the evil bastard behind the attacks of 9/11.

Just like a certain presidential candidate said in 2008.

I should be surprised the haters on the Far Right along with the haters on the Far Left are intellectually incapable of giving President Obama any credit for signing off on the order to take Osama bin Laden out.

I should be, but I’m not. When some people find out they’re wrong they change their minds. The others just insist they’re still right.   But I’ll be more gracious and say President Obama finished the job President Bush began.


People need to understand where Osama bin Laden came from and need to read The Looming Tower, the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Lawrence Wright which painstakingly reveals how bin Laden became radicalized and the roots of Al Qaeda were sown. The HBO documentary, “My Trip to Al Qaeda” is based upon the play Wright created about his experiences.

The joy and excitement of 5/11 is the flip side of the grief and depressing most Americans felt after 9/11 and it is equally as valid and authentic a response.

What some people do not get is for many young Americans, there were two major historical events to occur within the last decade of their lives: the election of Barack Obama and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Taking down OBL is now the third biggest thing to happen within their lives.

This is a “win” for the United States just as September 11 was a loss. I don’t care even one little bit if some folks are put off by the outpouring of patriotism. These kinds of spontaneous expressions of happiness from the man in the street is EXACTLY the natural response to be expected.

Or did were they expecting quiet reflection instead?

It was a military operation that took out bin Laden and the Navy SEALS deserve the credit.  But Obama is the Commander-in-Chief and it was his call.   He gets some of the credit too.   Is this a clean win for the president?   Not entirely, as the relative ease and comfort in which bin Laden lived in under the noses of the Pakistan government (or with their nodding approval?).  That is an issue that isn’t resolved yet, but that is a story for another day.

The end of bin Laden is not the end of terrorism.  The threat remains, but the world is still a much better place without Osama bin Laden than it ever was with him.

I am very proud of my country and my president today.

Osama been forgotten?

Where does a 66 terrorist hide?  Anywhere he wants for the last seven years

Where does a 6'6" terrorist hide? Anywhere he wants for the last seven years

Relax.  This isn’t yet another sad and sober reflection about where I was on September 11, 2001 or how the world has changed forever.  It changed all right, but when the dust settled it changed right back.

This is about the man who brought this shitstorm of evil upon America:  Osama bin Laden, and really there’s only one question that needs to be asked.

Why is this son of a bitch still walking above ground drawing breath?

I scanned Barack Obama’s website  and found it disappointingly thin with specifics about the War on Terror. There is a page on Homeland Security that also links to a PDF  that can be downloaded, but it too lacks specifics about how he would fight the war on terror.

That is a serious shortcoming by Obama because one of his biggest weaknesses with unconvinced  White voters is whether he’s tough enough or committed enough to wage a war against terrorism and Islamic extremism.

I will point out that he said at his joint appearance with Senator McCain at the site of the World Trade Center, “Let us remember that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice.”

Why is that significant? Because while supporters of how President Bush has waged the war on terror proudly point out there have been no attacks on American soil for seven years, it is also seven years where Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri have roamed free and without punishment for the murders of 3,000 Americans.

Strangely we didn’t hear anything about that at the Republican National Convention or from George Bush.   For all the talk about how tough Sarah Palin is I haven’t heard how she plans to hunt down bin Laden and gut him like a fish.

There is a long, but very interesting article on Salon.com written by Michael Smerconish where he painstakingly details where bin Laden and al-Zawahri are holed up and the seemingly lack of effort or will to capture or kill them. Smerconish, a host of a talk show in Philadelphia and a contributor to both daily newspapers, has only found one candidate who seems to be serious about getting tough with Pakistan and that is Barack Obama.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets, and President Musharraf won’t act, we will. We can’t send millions and millions of dollars to Pakistan for military aid, and be a constant ally to them, and yet not see more aggressive action in dealing with al-Qaida.”

~ Barack Obama/8-1-07

The reaction by other presidential candidates and the media was one of eye-rolling derision. How could Obama threaten to invade a sovereign nation and one of our allies in the region? How naive was this neophyte Senator anyway? As it was, Obama was only taking the next logical step of The Bush Doctrine where the president said, “Any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.”

Smerconish’s article is well worth the reading. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the U.S. efforts to hunt the heads of al-Qaida down and the frustrations and brick walls experienced by those tasked with the job of bringing them to justice.

Don’t get me wrong, a more sustained United States assault against the terrorists squatting in Pakistan is welcome news, and it signifies a more urgent effort to hunt down and snuff out the greatest threat to Americans’ safety on our own shores.

But it’s about 2,555 days late and $11 billion short. Seven years after 9/11, the country is stoking what was supposed to be a complete and consuming “war on terror” with faint signs of a sustained operation in the country where the bad guys have been hiding for years.

How appalling. I doubt the families of the 3,000 innocents murdered on 9/11 — and of the 4,000 Americans killed in Iraq — are content with it. After all, it’s seven years, thousands of troops and billions of dollars later, and our country has failed to deliver on what we really owe them: justice.

Nor have we answered the most important question pertaining to our nation’s future: Can we really win this war with Islamic extremism? Because if we don’t have the fire in our belly to defend the American troops stonewalled by the Afghan-Pakistani border; to hunt down and destroy the Taliban and al-Qaida militants camping out on the other side of that border; and do everything we possibly can to capture and kill Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, I fear we’ll be left to deal with another fire — one raging in another building, burning a hole in another American city.

Why this lifelong Republican may vote for Obama.

McCain can talk shit about how he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of Hell, but he’s looking in the wrong place.   It gets mighty cold on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.   Should he be elected, McCain may want to dress a little more warmly while hunting for bin Laden.

It’s not enough to remember the victims of al-Qaeda’s savagery with moments of silence and laying wreaths.  Seven years of bin Laden running free and laughing at our memorials is seven years too long.

Conservatives like to act as if only a Republican President can protect the country from another terrorist attack and conveniently choose to ignore the greatest act of terrorism occurred under a Republican President.

But hey, they regrouped and got their shit together.   Let’s see al-Qaida try and start something now.

Wouldn’t it ironic if it took a President Obama to put Osama bin Laden down like the rabid dog he is?