The REAL beheading to fret over:
The costs of the nation's obsession with the 9/11 attacks and going after the Saudi (and other) terrorists that caused it are now well-documented. Indeed, in a 2011 WaPo analysis Ezra Klein nailed it:
"For Bin Laden, success was not to be measured in body counts. It was to be measured in deficits, in borrowing costs, in investments not made in our country's domestic economic strength."
At least $4 trillion of these deficits - up to 2011- arrived from the occupations in Iraq, and Afghanistan and included not only veterans' health costs, but also a doubling of the Pentagon defense budget over ten years (to nearly $600 billion a year, or an additional $300 billion/yr). It's now nearly $730 b.
The other $3 trillion in deficits came from starting those occupations but refusing to pay for them with higher taxes, and instead implementing Bush's tax cuts - yielding an added $2.1 trillion in deficits. Alas, too many Americans are blind to the ongoing plunder the 9/11 attack caused. But the Right's militarists (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz et al) were salivating to exploit it.
Americans' fear after the 9-11 debacle made the Bushie militarists realize it could be exploited to ramp up military and security spending to unheard of levels. In effect, from 2001, Pentagon spending effectively doubled until by 2006, reaching a level that exceeded the next 25 nations combined - including the Russians, Chinese and India. This according to the sobering look at the expanse of the American Empire (up to 2007) as provided in the book: The State of the American Empire, particularly the highlighted maps showing its expanse (pp. 70-71), as well as the total of over 55 U.S. military interventions from 1945-89 (pp. 76-77).
Meanwhile, the comparable military spending per person (page 67) boggles the mind into insensibility, and this was published before the Afghan "supplementals" budget was effectively nearly doubled after 2007. (With the percentage of GDP consumed increased from 2.2% to nearly 4.7% by 2004, according to former defense analyst Chuck Spinney). The folly of an Afghan extension dropped another trillion into the mounting deficits.
So, along with the Afghanistan incursion in 2001, then launching into a totally fabricated war of choice against Iraq in 2003, the Bushies and radical Right repukes had their "two fer". They had the back door mechanism to drain the Treasury and force back door cuts to "entitlements" and social services spending (including for Medicaid, as well as unemployment benefits) if they just held strain and refused to raise taxes. The last was critical because if taxes were ever allowed to go up, say even by expiring the Bush tax cuts, it meant revenue would pour in and the deficits arguments would be scuttled along with the chance to rip away "entitlements".
All of this would generate a further nightmare of mad spending if the Afghan folly could have been extended another 20 years or more. And that spending wouldn't even include the costs to meet medical needs of existing Afghan vets, estimated to be $2 trillion over the next 20 years. Mercifully, Biden finally pulled the plug on this bin Laden -designed deficit sinkhole - but all he got in response was whining and yelping from the reactionary Right and most of the mainstream media. The latter, especially, should have been licking the soles of his wingtips for extricating the country from the endless monetary morass.
It was clear from the get go bin Laden was not an existential threat to the U.S. It was clear on 9/11 that this robed lunatic operating from his cave could not destroy America. But we could destroy ourselves, our national honor and principles - by legalizing torture (water boarding), legalizing detention without trial - as well as legalizing the stripping away of our own civil rights via the Patriot Act.
Meanwhile, as attention has been fixated on Isis, al Qaeda, etc. homegrown terrorists have exploded in number. They very nearly overthrew the government on January 6th, including with the assistance of then deputy AG Jeffrey Clark, e.g.
That this traitor terrorist slime is still walking around free as a bird is beyond comprehension. But then, so is his terror leader, Trump. Traitor Trump slaughtered upwards of 400,000 innocent victims by virtue of his cavalier treatment of the Covid virus - deliberately downplaying it as he admitted to Bob Woodward in his book, 'Rage'. In addition he did everything possible to impede necessary resources for besieged hospital staff last year causing morgues to fill up. In addition, as the authors of 'I Alone Can Fix It' note, his downplaying of the virus and dismissal of masks led to tens of thousands of additional needless deaths.
In many respects, then, this is a terrorist many times worse than Osama Bin Laden. No, he didn't blow up a city or buildings, but he literally blew up the fabric of a nation including beheading the core of its democracy via the Big Lie - that he really won. For all these reasons, this monster ought to have been prosecuted by now and certainly put into a full security slammer, like "KSM" at Guantanamo:
One thing he can never be allowed to do is hold power ever again. Not this criminal, not this traitor terrorist who continues to lead a lethal cult full of domestic terrorists every bit as vile as al Qaeda or Isis. The January 10 Sunday Denver Post, in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection, bore the header: Should the president be held accountable?
Which to me had the same ring as asking: Should The Terrorist Osama Bin Laden Have Been Held Accountable for the 9/11 Attacks? Hyperbolic comparison? Histrionic? Excessive? Not at all. Bin Laden had orchestrated a vicious al Qaeda attack on the capital of American finance, while Donald J. Trump had orchestrated a domestic terror attack on the nation's Capitol - its abiding symbol of democracy. Yes, many more were killed in the first, but as we've since learned, many more could have been slaughtered in the second. But in Trump's case one must add possible death of this Republic, which is now on life support thanks to his treachery .
So let's cut the crap and admit - even as more images and evidence have emerged from the Capitol insurrection- that what Trump did was unconscionable and differed from Osama bin Laden's external terror strike only in degree. As I noted in my January 7 post:
"As for the chief terrorist he ought to have been hung by now. But at the very least he needs to be impeached again to ensure he can never again hold a public office. Yes, this is what it has come to and how far our nation has descended into the abyss under this detestable, depraved criminal rat."
Historian Michael Beschloss has put what happened January 6th in even more stark terms, speaking on MSNBC January 11th:
"An attempted overthrow of our government has never in American history included the president of the United States. We Americans have never before been in a situation when a president with all his awesome power tried to incite an attack on the Capitol and congress. An act that might have involved an assassination attempt against Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi, with people shouting for that- or some kind of hostage taking. This was a horrible event, but almost in a way we're not paying enough attention to."
But this post is not about regurgitating past events but asserting we now need to change the focus of our terror threats to the domestic gang of Trump followers, their fellow traveler, Hitler-loving white supremacists and all the other red state rabble. For too long, 20 years now, 9/11 has held this nation in thrall to fixate only on the Islamic radicals while the domestic radicals are running amuck - damned near taking over this nation and converting it into a fascist autocracy. In fact, these traitors are actually planning a protest a week from today. The protest, “Justice for J6,” is being orchestrated by a group called Look Ahead America, directed by another traitor, Matt Braynard, who was part of the data team for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. This misbegotten fiasco will also attempt to further paint Ashli Babbitt as some kind of victim - instead of another hidebound Trumpy terrorist.
The use of “political prisoner” (which is defined as “a person imprisoned for their political beliefs or actions”) in this context also perpetuates conspiracy theories that the Biden administration is an authoritarian regime in sheep’s clothing, one that likes to round up and jail political dissidents.