Via Radio Equalizer, what’s the biggest news from this clip? That Rosie, like many delicate European flowers of discerning temperaments, thinks Osama deserved better than he got? Or that Rosie now apparently accepts the official narrative of 9/11? Why, it seems like just yesterday that she was musing — on national television — that “I do believe that it’s the first time in history that fire has ever melted steel. I do believe that it defies physics that World Trade Center tower 7—building 7, which collapsed in on itself—it is impossible for a building to fall the way it fell without explosives being involved. World Trade Center 7. World Trade [Center] 1 and 2 got hit by planes—7, miraculously, the first time in history, steel was melted by fire. It is physically impossible.” Maybe she’s compromised since then and concluded that Bin Laden was an accomplice to the real masterminds.
Eighty percent of Americans say it was right to kill him instead of capture him versus 11 percent who think it was wrong. The crosstabs for that question will be out tonight, but I wonder how many in the majority approve of the killing because (1) Bin Laden deserved to die, (2) Bin Laden posed a physical threat to the SEALs and therefore had to be taken down, or (3) Bin Laden’s capture and trial would have been an endless legal and media clusterfark, with no standard of due process and imprisonment sufficiently high for the self-styled intelligentsia whom Brendan O’Neill tore apart here. Like Jeff Greenfield, I assume it was that third consideration that weighed most heavily on Obama. He knew that most of his base would either happily or unhappily tolerate Bin Laden being shot in the face — ever since he banned enhanced interrogation, they’ve given him carte blanche to go the full Bush on counterterrorism — but that 11 percent would have been a headache for the rest of his presidency. Bin Laden emphatically had it coming, and the SEALs understandably feared that either he or the compound was wired with explosives, and they had already recovered scores of hard drives and thumb drives for intelligence purposes, so they shot him on sight. Problem solved, zero American casualties. Everyone’s happy — almost.
After you listen to the clip, enjoy Hitchens laying into Noam Chomsky for his own quasi-Truther lament over the weekend about Bin Laden’s killing. Apparently, despite endless evidence of Al Qaeda’s responsibility for the attacks (Hitchens cites just a few key pieces), the great dissident remains agnostic about whodunnit. Anyone think a trial and conviction, whether here or in the Hague, would have convinced him? Me neither.