In 1950 a transfixed nation watched Senator Joseph McCarthy wave a list of “known Communists and their sympathizers.” The list was never divulged publicly, though those at political or social odds with the Senator were successively fingered, and their lives ruined, as so too were many of their acquaintances.
Today we're offered a list headed by Osama Bin Laden, a man declaring hatred of our country's policies and encouraging the use of deplorable tactics against us. His admitted role in training the killers of eighteen U.S. servicemen in Somalia makes him a convenient and deserving target of our wrath. Of concern in charging him in the latest attacks, however, is that we're shown evidence only that Bin Laden applauded them, and, may have met a couple of the terrorists. Our government's claim that we have stronger, unrevealed, evidence against him doesn't hold water. Were the security of either an informant or our technology actually the issue, our search for Bin Laden would have been both short and successful.
The reality is, that, had we actual proof of Bin Laden's complicity, short of being plastered across every newspaper in minute detail, it would be conveyed to the leaders of the world to gain the unanimous, unconditional, support that hasn't materialized.
Has Bin Laden committed acts that warrant his punishment? Assuredly. Was he in contact with, and encouraging, the terrorists? Possibly. Did he actually orchestrate the attacks on September 11? Doubtful. I fear his name appears on a list we've seen before.