Monday, September 25, 2006

Can't catch him? He's dead! Um, well, he'll die eventually, anyway...

Back in the days of the Russian Revolution and Civil War (1917-1922), our elite and viciously anti-communist (and anti-labor, anti-socialist, anti-feminist, etc.) newspapers would periodically tell its readers that Lenin had died of illness, even though such reports were false (sorry, no links were found on the Web for this historical point). Eventually, in 1924, Lenin did die of illness--but Lenin's death occurred just under two years after the Bolsheviks completed consolidation of their rule over Russia and its immediate surrounding areas.

Similarly, Glenn Greenwald provides us an interesting record of pro-Republican commentators who have wrongly reported that bin Laden, the guy their guy, Bush, can't or won't catch*, has died of...illness. Maybe this last report is true, maybe not. Eventually, bin Laden will succumb. However, based upon the Republican political machine's continued ability to manufacture effective talking points with their enablers in corporate-owned mass media, we, as citizens, are forced to be skeptical of such pronouncements.

* If you scroll down in the linked article, you'll see this:

"On the videotape obtained by the CIA, bin Laden is seen confidently instructing his party how to dig holes in the ground to lie in undetected at night. A bomb dropped by a U.S. aircraft can be seen exploding in the distance. "We were there last night," bin Laden says without much concern in his voice. He was in or headed toward Pakistan, counterterrorism officials think.

"That was December 2001. Only two months later, Bush decided to pull out most of the special operations troops and their CIA counterparts in the paramilitary division that were leading the hunt for bin Laden in Afghanistan to prepare for war in Iraq, said Flynt L. Leverett, then an expert on the Middle East at the National Security Council.

"'I was appalled when I learned about it,' said Leverett, who has become an outspoken critic of the administration's counterterrorism policy. 'I don't know of anyone who thought it was a good idea. It's very likely that bin Laden would be dead or in American custody if we hadn't done that.'

"Several officers confirmed that the number of special operations troops was reduced in March 2002."

But, of course, according to FoxNews and ABC television (and its right wing talk show hosts on its radio network), it's Clinton's fault. Some things just don't change much, do they?

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