May 6, 2011

Elite Unit Gets Post-bin Laden Bounce

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – In a startling measurement of public opinion since the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, Americans in record numbers are signing a petition to replace Congress with SEAL Team Six, the elite unit that took out the al-Qaeda madman.

The petition echoes the results of a new poll by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, in which the Navy SEALS trounce Congress by a lopsided 97% to 2% margin, with the remaining 1% answering, “Superman.”

Professor Davis Logsdon of the University of Minnesota said that the numbers behind the numbers were even more striking: “By a wide margin, Americans favor SEAL Team Six landing on the Capitol building with helicopters and taking out Congress by force.”

Added Professor Logsdon, “There’s a broad consensus out there that the Navy SEALs get things done, and that they would make C-Span more fun to watch.”

News of the petition and the survey caught the attention of Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who issued a strongly worded denial of rumors that SEAL Team Six were practicing maneuvers on a life-size replica of the Capitol building  constructed inside an abandoned Linen ‘n’ Things in suburban Virginia.

In other post-bin Laden news, the White House said that they were “no longer concerned” about the American people being grossed out by images of Osama bin Laden: “After all, they’ve been looking at Trump for weeks.”


  1. Not surprising that Superman's cache has been so diminished after threatening to renounce his citizenship. Suck it up, Soop Baby!

    Meanwhile it looks like happy sailing for Obama's legislative program, since as Commander in Chief he now stands to have Constitutional control over a popularly revamped Congress.

    A pity the economy's going down Shit Creek, but surely the SEAL's will fix that.

  2. Solomon5:22 PM

    I am 50-55% sure that this made me laugh.

  3. Kinda makes me wish we had our own super SEALs, Sol.

    81% of people are sure that Bin Laden is dead and nearly 92% of Pakistanis are indignant about the US operation to take him out; the other 8% live in caves formerly occupied by Bin Laden and don't have televisions.

  4. Solomon10:45 PM

    I am sure he is dead. I am not so sure I am alive. I don't know what just happened. I know Bin Laden was not wearing a suicide vest underneath his pyjamas. I don't know why it was ever assumed he might.

  5. Mobile phone and some Euros trumped the suicide vest.

    Turned out that wasn't much of a plan.

    He didn't get to phone a friend or buy a vowel.

  6. Jacob2:14 AM

    Osama's dead (yay for that!), Solomon, you're very much alive (yay for that too!), and no one else knows what happened either. The pyjamas story is an amusement for simpletons.

  7. Solomon4:42 PM

    Without becoming existential about it I think we would have a better idea what happened if they released the video of the raid. I'm not holding my breath, since there has been so much manufactured hoo-ha about the photo of Osama's corpse. I think this is more than justified given the initial misinformation presented by the administration.

    Based on the administration's own account we know: 1) that justice was exacted by Presidential order, 2) it was based on intelligence which on their own assessment was strong but not conclusive and 3) the rules of engagement left no room for capture except in extremely unlikely circumstances.

    The end result being that they killed four people before they even discovered Osama and verified his identity. I don't mourn his death but I do think there is value in the way we conduct ourselves and this falls short in a number of ways.

    It was not how we handled Saddam Hussein. Ok so I am against the death penalty in principle but if it must be done then due process and the rule of law become paramount.

  8. Solomon6:20 PM

    I think I just killed the real Osama Bin Laden. He was just standing there on the porch in his pyjamas, smoking his pipe and stroking his beard. First I killed four people on his lawn playing totem tennis. Then I shot his wife in the calf. He rushed to get some guns or euros or something and so I blew open his skull in front of his wife. But this is okay because Obama just called me and told me I could. By the way, I destroyed all the evidence, so you can't have it. Where is my medal?

  9. Solomon - you know as well as I do that resistance doesn'y require a gun or a vest-bomb-thingy.

  10. Solomon8:07 PM

    They were going to kill him in any event unless he happened to be naked and immediately put his arms in the air.

    I don't know precisely how he 'resisted' but I would like to.

  11. geoffff9:39 PM

    Not anywhere do the moral hand wringers consider the lives of the brave men who achieved this astonishing feat. How can anyone have any serious doubt that the alerted now dead terrorist boss in question was a threat to the mission until the very end? Not until they examined the corpse. The man knew he was dead. He would not have considered surrendering for a second.

    Bringing them back and putting them on trial in a glass booth like Eichmann is a fantasy. No one can do that without an unacceptable risk to the lives of the men. An order that seriously contemplated the fantasy as a possibility would have been immoral. I could not imagine any modern military issuing such an order even if they had a team as skilled and precious as this one. Civilised countries, like the US, Australia and Israel, can no longer play fast and loose with the lives of their soldiers. Not for a long time. Apart from the morality issue, such a thing would be illegal in these countries.

    The pyjamas thing is not irrelevant, as amusing as simpletons like me find it. Had the man been naked, and presumably even Islamist lunatics get naked once in a while, then perhaps there was a chance. But this was always exceedingly unlikely and no doubt that entered into the amazingly careful planning.

    Either you accept the necessity and correctness of this killing or you do not. This was an act of war being fought in self defense. Neither "justice" or "revenge", at least in senses the words are usually being badied about, have nothing to do with it.

    Pacifism, at least in the Gandhi or Bertrand Russell versions, is an intellectually respectable position to take. Fine if that's where you're coming from. The hand wringers should say so if that's what this is about. Otherwise they do not have a moral or legal leg to stand on.

  12. Sol - even babies (fully clothed) manage to resist eating vegetables, or having their nappies changed.

    People do not and have never required guns or bombs to "resist" whatever thing they wish to resist.

    Ask a greenie hugging a tree how it's done.

    Ask the local constabulary to take you on a tour of duty around Sydney, to see how the average person resists - sans gun / bombs and fully clothed.

  13. In other words, it takes little imagination to envisage bin Laden "resisting", and everyone else killed or wounded.

    Why you or anyone else feels a burning need - out of some utterly misguided belief that a gross injustice has been done - to know exactly how, in what exact manner, he resisted, is beyond my framework of thinking.

    Quite frankly, if he was cowering in a corner weeping and begging to be taken alive, and they still shot him, I wouldn't so much as shrug or arch an eyebrow.

    And what Geoff said.

  14. geoffff10:56 PM

    "Neither "justice" or "revenge", at least in senses the words are usually being badied about, have nothing to do with it."

    Jesus, did I really say that? Mothers' Day. Always especially traumatic around here. Anyway you get my drift.

    Another thing. I feel more squeamish about an execution, even after due process, than this killing. Much more squeamish. On moral grounds. I expect there are a lot of other people who feel the same.

    The very concept "Though shall not kill" is a pretty good gift to the global culture of our species, I should have thought. Even on it's own. Even after all these years I couldn't resist the capital "T". But it never meant you had to bear your neck and let the mad killers slaughter you and your people if you could help it. Of course. Otherwise the ethic would not have survived a decade.

  15. geoffff10:59 PM

    And what Caz said

  16. geoffff11:30 PM

    And another thing. I don't buy the Saddam Hussein analogy at all. Saddam was found in a hole in the back of some hovel after the Marines were tipped off. He had no one to protect except an old lady in the hovel. I don't remember the exact details but I think he had a gun but didn't use it. Not even on himself. He surrendered as meekly as a half drowned rat.

    They are all nazis underneath but they are different types of nazis. Saddam was more your secular nazi type. Pictures of hitler and that sort of shit. The Islamists are more your religious type nazis and have this death cult thing going on. Surely you have noticed this by now.

  17. Solomon6:30 PM

    I doubt some of the details of the official version and would like to see them independently verified. I doubt them because they sound like wishful thinking and also because some of the first reports from the administration were, in the vernacular, lies.

    Specifically I'd like an independent body to verify that:

    1. A courier actually shot at the SEALS.

    2. That the wife of the courier was actually shot 'in the crossfire' and not that she was merely standing next to the courier when they shot them both.

    3. That the SEALS had some reason or other to shoot courier #2 besides his not being naked.

    4. That Bin Laden's son actually lunged at the SEALS and wasn't merely standing on the staircase minding his own business, scratching his head & saying: what's that noise?

    5. That Bin Laden's wife actually jumped at the SEALS and wasn't just standing in the middle of a room wondering wtf is happening whilst unidentified men shoot her in the calf and kill her husband.

    It doesn't matter to me if he resisted or didn't resist. It seems entirely probable to me that he did, and with whatever means were available to him.

    If it were a question of a lawful arrest then those involved would have to act with reasonable force proportionate to the threat Bin Laden posed to their own safety, as well as to identify themselves and give him a chance to surrender. But oh, oh, oh, it is a war so different rules apply.

    I have no quarrel with the SEALS themselves. They acted, so far as I am aware, with professionalism appropriate to the orders they were given. If you are told Bin Laden might be wearing a suicide vest unless he is nude then you shoot him in the head to prevent him from setting it off before he gets close to you. That is your job.

    It is for others to assess whether it is reasonable for you to make the assumption that a man who has no idea you are coming and has lived there five years would routinely wear a suicide vest underneath his pyjamas. Or that when he heard the commotion he might take off his pyjamas, take his suicide vest out of his closet (pausing over his AK-47, before shakings his head) and then put his pyjamas back on.

    I am not a pacifist. I just don't think this was part of a war.

  18. Solomon7:19 PM

    On second thoughts I am a pacifist. I just booked a team meeting in a room named after Gandhi. My own name was chosen for me because it means 'peace'. What chance did I have? I shall leave war to the men (and women) who like war.

  19. No one likes war Sol. That's like saying that anyone who supports abortion likes killing fetuses. It doesn't logically follow, yet there you are, detailing no end of logical questions. For what end, I'm not sure. Anyone who likes bin Laden being dead, and being dead because some nice Navy SEALS shot him, must like war? Where's the connection? Without resorting to unrelated legalistic smoke and mirrors; rhetorical questions that have no moral grounding.

    They only shot his wife in the leg, which showed great restraint. They could have killed her.

    Give him a chance to surrender? Really? You think the circumstances would have engendered a little chat:

    "Now, come along sir, you don't want to dilly dally or do anything silly. We were sent by the president, we're quite serious about our mission, and if you'll just slip off your jim-jams so that we can see that you're not wearing a bomb about your person we can all be peacefully on our way. You'll have a nice bowl of cereal waiting for you when you wake up in jail. There's a good man."

  20. geoffff10:02 PM

    Soloman, admit it, have you ever fired a gun?

    I'm not at all being patronising here. One of the things I love about my country is that very few people of your age have. Do they still have cadets?

    The threshold question for you here is are you or are you not a pacifist? In any sense? It's a fair question to ask of anyone and it is most certainly a fair question to ask of yourself. I did when I was your age or younger. I read the books. I even read fucking Bertrand Russell. Maybe I was trying to impress a girl. I usually was.

    It's an important question because a lot flows from it. Not the least of these is whether you believe there is a need for a military.

    Having a military has huge implications.

  21. Solomon10:46 PM

    Caz, I was responding to the idea that I was a Gandhian pacifist because I object to how this particular incident was handled. At first I thought to deny it, then figured: why bother? You can have your war on terror if you want it so much.

    Geoff, I used to shoot targets with a .22 rifle. I didn't shoot at people nor in combat so I don't see how that adds or subtracts from my ability to judge..anything..except possibly how to shoot targets with a .22 rifle.

    I think there is a need for a military. I don't think Osamagate needed to be a military operation. There is no war in Pakistan. Osama was a civilian guilty of a horrible crime. He should have been arrested, charged, convicted and kept in an American prison for the rest of his pointless life.

    Not: kill the bad guy, get the glory, as if it were a video game.

  22. geoffff7:15 AM

    There is a war in Pakistan actually. This is hardly the first military strike by the US in Pakistan and one of many overseen by the Seal Rear Admiral who planned the attack. There can be no question the strike was lawful. What passes for the Pakistani Govt is pretty sore about it but not even they are saying something different.

    They had to be kept out of the picture. In any event it had to be a military strike. I am practiced with this issue because it comes up occasionally in another context and it never fails to amuse. For fuck sake Soloman think. Do you have any idea of who these people are? What do you suggest? A bobby on a bicycle?

    Sorry to say there are bad people in the world and these are among the worst.

    It's a poisonous and hateful ideology they spread and it is a threat to everyone.

    Ultimately it's not about the people of course. I sometimes get into trouble for being a racist or something for saying this but this is no more about the Muslims than Nazism was about Germany.

    Islamism. Militant Islam. Islamofascism. Call it what you will. In it's purest forms, such as in Tehran and in the recently departed spiritual leader compound, it is identical for all practical purposes to the political culture of the Third Reich.

    And just as nazism killed more Germans than just about anybody else so does this ugly thing kills more Muslims than evryone else combined. It is a threat to them most of all.

  23. Sol - I think it's interesting that you've assessed yourself to be a pacifist, in the true sense, but no, that doesn't make the rest of us fall into line.

    Perhaps in some other era I'd take the pacifist path; context matters.

    That's not to detract from your stance, nor to suggest that my own views might not shift sometime, I just think it unlikely in this lifetime.