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Reply #188: What was the level of proof for the prior indictments? [View All]

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Flatulo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-28-08 10:47 PM
Response to Reply #179
188. What was the level of proof for the prior indictments?
> First of all, thanks for changing the tone of this sub thread.

Thanks to responding positively to my olive branch. I started with the snarkiness first, so I thought it was appropriate to try to tone it down.

> With regards to the Bush Doctrine, I don't know if I believe that the Afghanistan war really falls in the first
> element you listed.

At the time of the invasion, it didn't, since it hadn't been formally articulated yet. Bush justified the invasion post-facto one year after 9/11, at least if my memory serves me.

> First off, as listed in the OP, the taliban initially offered to hand over anyone thought to be involved with
> the attacks so long as the U.S. government offered proof they were involved. After that, the taliban offered to
> hand Bin Laden over to Pakistan even without proof.

I think the problem with handing bin Laden over to Pakistan was that Pakistan was largely sympathetic to the Taliban and Islamic militancy in general. The Pakistanis served as the conduit for much of the hardware we sent into Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation, and their ISI was rife with Taliban sympathizer (and may still be).

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/taliban/intervi...

> They said then that if the U.S. offered any proof, they'd then extradite Bin Laden to the U.S. Time for Change
> does a really good job of covering this in his OP (full disclosure, I'm TfC's son).

I think that was a pretty safe offer to make, since there was no obvious (to me at least) way to prove his culpability at the time. If we had pursued this in the World court, things could have dragged on for years. Slobodan Milosevic died of old age five years afer he was indicted by the World Court. Then there was the additional problem of even apprehending him. The Taliban could have waffled forever, blaming the rough terrain and ambiguity of the border with Pakistan for their inability to take him into custody.

> As for the majority of Americans agreeing with the Afghanistan invasion, that really doesn't mean much at all to
> me. Supposedly, the majority of Americans supported GWB and at one time, the majority of Americans supported
> slavery.

Well you're exactly right about that. Tyranny of the Majority I think it's called. The rule of law should always trump popular opinion. But wouldn't you agree that this was an (almost) unprecedented event? Afghanistan did not attack us, but their guests (allegedly) did. I'm not aware of any international standards that addressed an attack on a state by a stateless entity.

> As for the cognitive dissonance you see regarding me not believing that Bin Laden was involved with 9/11 and yet
> still wanting to see him dead, I think that can be explained rather easily. There are many dispicable acts that
> I have very little doubt that OBL did do. He's wanted for terrorist acts by the FBI, including the embassy
> bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. Also, he's been indicted by the Spanish government for his involvement
> with the 2004 Madrid train bombings.

What was the standard of evidence used to indict him for these crimes? Forensic or circumstantial? Did al Qaeda operatives testify against him? And as a practical matter, he can be indicted all day long, but unless he turns himself in or someone goes in to get him, a conviction is unlikely to be forthcoming.

> As for why Bin Laden wouldn't have claimed it was fake, I'm not entirely certain. There are so many
> inconsistencies pertaining to the events surrounding 9/11, it's hard to find a single thread that ties
> everything together and makes sense.

We're in violent agreement on that.

> I certainly don't buy the official government explanation, and probably never will.

The 9/11 Commission Report was a total whitewash - agree 100%. What I'm not sure of is whether the intention was to cover asses or something more sinister.

> However, I look at various conspiracy theories and there doesn't seem to be a thread to tie them together as
> well. One possible reason could be that Bin Laden is now dead. Another reason I can think of is that he benefits
> by taking responsibility. It's very easy to make the argument that the Afghanistan and Iraq wars have been
> extremely good for recruiting violent extremists.

No doubt on both counts. I think this was certainly anticipated by most thinking people. Iraq especially has provided a very compelling argment that we are engaged in wars of aggression against Muslims.

At the end of the day I have no good legal arguments for the invasion of Afghanistan. My reasoning is that the Taliban were playing games with us and that they would have taken advantage of the civilized worlds' adherence to law to avoid ever having to turn him over. The only practical way to bring him to justice was to go get him.

I know this action has turned out badly, as has everything else Bush has done. It would be very interesting to see how a Gore or Kerry would have handled the whole affair.

Anyway, hope you had a good Thanksgiving. I don't expect we'll agree on the whole Afghan business, except that Bush has certainly screwed it up.
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