Thursday, March 15, 2007

Why doesn't anyone say that Clinton is an alleged adulterer, or Bush is an alleged antihumanitarian?

Sometimes we're just so fair.

When I was reading the Pahrump (NV) Valley Times' comments on the silencing of Democratic Party candidates in Nevada, I ran across this gem of a statement.

The Ailes joke, told at a broadcasting convention, portrayed George Bush confusing the names of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden.

Barack Obama and WHAT?!?

Yup, the Pahrump Valley Times refers to "alleged" terrorist Osama bin Laden. I guess they're willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. We don't want to rashly accuse bin Laden of being a terrorist or anything like that. (Cue up Oingo Boingo's "Only a Lad" in your head.)

But the doubts about Osama bin Laden extend back - way back. Here's part of what Salon wrote in 1998:

The Clinton administration accuses Saudi renegade Osama bin Laden of being directly responsible for almost every terrorist act of the last decade. But where's the evidence?...

To the litany of terrorist acts that President Clinton laid at the feet of renegade Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden in justification of his cruise missile attacks on Afghanistan and the Sudan last week, the administration has now alleged a murky plot to assassinate the president as well....

At a time when presidential veracity is at an all-time low, one might have wished that the president and his national security advisors had laid out in detail just what was the "compelling evidence" that led the United States to launch some 75 missiles at two sovereign nations....

Clinton and his security staff have now blamed bin Laden for being behind almost every terrorist act in the past decade -- from plotting the assassinations of the pope and the president of Egypt to the planned bombing of six U.S. jumbo jets over the Pacific, with massacres of German tourists at Luxor and the killings of U.S. troops in Somalia, fatal car bombings of U.S. military personnel in Saudi Arabia and this month's truck bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam thrown in....

To date no formal request for his extradition has ever been made, either to the Sudanese government that once housed him or to his current hosts, Afghanistan's Taliban leaders.

Though it was suddenly leaked this week that a federal grand jury's continuing investigation into the World Trade Center bombing in New York City in 1993 had belatedly handed up a sealed indictment against bin Laden in June, the indictment is understood to be only for "sedition," that is, incitement to violence, not the violence itself....

"Bin Laden is a true believer and a funder of Islamic causes, rather than a planner and active participant," says Professor Shibley Telhani, a Middle East scholar from the University of Maryland who has followed his career. "His real influence is not as a mastermind of terrorism but as a person who is using a personal fortune to encourage others to wage war against the American interests in the Middle East he finds so objectionable."...

Bin Laden may be a dangerous anti-American zealot with a mouth as big as his bankroll. But the evidence so far does not support him being a cerebral Islamic Dr. No moving an army of terrorist troops on a vast world chessboard to checkmate the United States.

And perhaps there ARE people who hold this view today, even after 9/11. One could unconvincingly argue that bin Laden just funds things, and claimed responsibility for the second World Trade Center bombing only after it had been carried out.

And these people are alleged idiots.


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