Monday, May 02, 2011

Bin Laden: Hang 'Em High Comedy

May 3, 2011

by Jeff Huber

Osama bin Laden’s reported death marks a transition in America’s Long War on Evil from vulgar burlesque to Plautus-class high farce.  And the appointments of Leon Panetta and David Petraeus to take over the Department of Defense and the CIA respectively all but assures that the show will go on longer than The Producers ran on Broadway

Hang 'Em High Comedy

A new screenplay by Noel Voltaire

 Opening scene:

My fellow Americans...
Dwayne Johnson as President Barry “The Rock” Warbomber broadcasts a Sunday night address from the White House. 

Warbomber:  Today, at my direction, a small team of Americans carried out an operation with extraordinary courage and capability during which they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body…

Cut to:

Mel Brooks as Joe B. Average sits at his breakfast table the next morning, drinking his coffee and watching the rebroadcast of Warbomer’s speech.  As Warbomber says, “they killed bin Laden and took custody of his body,” Mel nods approvingly, then glances at the front page of his New York Times. 

Cut to:

You've got to be
drecking me!
Close up of text on front-page story that reads:  “American officials said bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.”

Cut to:

Mel Brooks does spectacular coffee spit-take into his copy of the New York Times, wipes his mouth and mutters: Meshugah!

Cut to:

A large, well appointed office in the inner ring of the Pentacle.  Clint Eastwood as newly appointed CIA chief David Petraeus stands tall in front of Pat Hingle as defense secretary Leon Panetta.  Facially, Buddy Hackett would have been a better casting choice for Panetta and Paul “Pee Wee Herman” Reubens would have been the spitting image of Petraeus, but neither of them were in Hang ‘Em High, the western we're spoofing just now.

I aimed low, but I shot him in the head.
Eastwood as Petraeus is dressed in black battle dress utilities and jump boots.  Pinned above his left blouse pocket are a Navy Seal badge, an Army infantryman’s rifle, silver Air Force Jump Wings, gold naval aviator wings and twenty rows of ribbon decorations.  On the shoulder of his left sleeve are a Ranger tab and a Special Forces tab.  Above his right blouse pocket is an oversized nametag that reads “David Petraeus, Ph.D, Director, CIA.  On his head Clint wears a black campaign “fishing” hat similar to the one worn he wore in the combat scenes of Heartbreak Hill that recalls the cowboy hats he wore in spaghetti westerns like Hang ‘Em High.   A Blackwater logo is displayed on top of the back of his BDU blouse, and the bottom reads “This Space Available.” 

You did WHAT with the body?
Hingle slash Panetta stands to confront Eastwood slash Petraus, his face twisting in consternation the way Buddy Hackett’s did the first time Herbie the Volkswagen spoke to him in the Disney film The Love Bug.

Panetta:  What do you have to say for yourself, Super Dave?

Petraeus:  Well, we aimed low, but we hit him in the head.  Then as we were taking DNA samples to positively identify the body, we accidentally buried it at sea. 

Panetta:  Well, things happen: frog of war and all that.
Did I mention that
it smelled really,
really bad?

Petraeus: That’s “fog” of war, sir.

Panetta:  Oh, yeah.  Well.  I’ll get the hang of this soldier patois eventually…

Petreaus: That's “military jargon,” sir.

Panetta:  You’re right, you’re right.  No, no, it goes “Your left, your left, your left, right, left.” Right?

Petraeus: Yes, sir. That’s very good...


The official line is that they tossed bin Laden’s corpse over the side because Muslim law demands a quick burial, but it sounds more like they were following the Sicilian tradition of ditching the stiff where nobody will ever find it.  Conspiracy theories are flying through the info-sphere like bats in a blimp hangar.  One attempt to quash the naysayers is a press release that says the CIA'S facial recognition technology has identified bin Laden's face with 95% certainty.  That recognition technology must be dynamite if it can recognize the face of a guy who just got his head blown off. 

I’m inclined to believe that however badly they botched the message line of this operation, they really did bag old Evil Eyes.  If they said they bagged them and they really didn’t, he'd have a video of himself out the next day on al Jazeera holding up a copy of the New York Times with the headline about his demise on the front page.  I’m pretty sure the “Chess Masters,” as psuedo-journalist Robert Dreyfuss once laughably called Obama’s national security team, aren't quite that stupid.  But you won’t find me betting a house payment on that because, after, they’re the bozos who okayed putting the body in bed with the fishes before anybody could independently confirm its identity.

The cement shoes gambit gives a certain amount of credence to the theory that whatever DNA evidence the Pentarchs finally produce came from the corpse that’s been on ice since the CIA/Navy Seals/Green Berets/Blackwater whacked bin Laden in the early days of the Obama regime.  This theory goes on to postulate that they kept Binnie's death a secret so they could spring it on us when Obama needed a boost in his approval ratings.  No comment on that angle from me just yet.  

Director David H. Petraeus
(official CIA photo) 
The normal nabobs are nattering up sinful amounts of bandwidth agonizing over what bin Laden’s death means vis-à-vis the War on Evil.  My take is that it mainly lets young Mr. Obama keep young Mr. Bush’s wars—as well as whatever new ones he can twist open on top of his Libya travesty—going indefinitely and still be able to boast that he finished the “dead or alive” job for his predecessor.  Other than that, bagging bin Laden won't have any more effect than bagging Hussein did.  

As for Panetta and Petraeus: putting them in their new jobs adheres to the Sun Tzuian principle of keeping your friends close and historic weasels like those two even closer.  Obama has given the okay for things torture-wise, assassination-wise and otherwise that might actually have gotten old “Mission Accomplished” impeached, and Panetta and Petraeus were in on it so they know where all the bodies are buried.

Except, of course, for the one that right about now is sitting down to dinner with Jonah.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) is author of the critically lauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon on America’s rise to global dominance. 


  1. Is Bin Laden buried at sea:

    Near the Iraq WMDs?

    In the Gulf of Tonkin?

    Across from the USS Maine (but turn around if you come to the USS Liberty -- you've passed it)?

    Behind the box containing all the unrecovered 9/11 airliner flight recorders?

    On a shelf with the US weapons COL Oliver North sold to Iran in his little Enterprise just after convincing his buddies in Iran to wait to release the American hostages until AFTER the 1980 US presidential election and induction ceremony on Jan 3?

    In a cupboard that's holding the video cameras the government confiscated from Manhattan on 9/11?

    For the same reason the world trade center debris was shipped over seas before anyone could investigate the material?

    Because the Republicans would still want his birth certificate, then his other birth certificate, then his school records?

  2. There will be no end to it, ER.

  3. That was hilarious, thank you kind sir.

  4. “The cement shoes gambit gives a certain amount of credence to the theory that whatever DNA evidence the Pentarchs finally produce came from the corpse that’s been on ice since the CIA/Navy Seals/Green Berets/Blackwater whacked bin Laden in the early days of the Obama regime.”

    Personally, I like a close shave with Occam's Razor, so I think a more plausible version of the above is: Osama dropped dead a long time ago (most likely of kidney failure) and they whacked somebody else in his place. How hard can it be to find a six foot-five Arab guy who will make an acceptable corpse once he has a crater where his face used to be?

    I'm not saying I believe it. Just my conspiracy two cents (why should everyone else have all the fun?).

    Of course, any graduate of Conspiracy Theory 101 knows that the most important task in unraveling a conspiracy is to follow the money. Which means the most likely culprits behind this conspiracy are, you guessed it, U.S. flag manufacturers in China. But of course they had to get Obama behind their mad scheme. Hmmm, what possible reason would he have to go along with it?

    Oh yeah, right:

    Obama's Re-Election Odds Exploded Higher After The Bin Laden News

    Four more years of “change.” I can hardly wait.

  5. Thanks, Nun. JP, how much more of the same old change can we take?

  6. Oh, not much, surely. I could go for some of that different "change," myself, but it doesn't seem to be on the Obama menu.

  7. No, I don't see different change in column A or column B or anywhere else on the slate.

  8. I never really thought of it before but you're right -- Paul Reubens is a dead ringer for Petraeus. Almost like they were separated at birth... So which one is the black sheep in that family?

  9. Interesting question of morality and ethics,Trevor. Offhand I'd say the things Dave has done are magnitudes more obscene that Pee Wee's big adventure at the dirty movie theater.

  10. Excellent sir.
    As this is a remake of "Hang 'em high" I would go with your first choices. Pee Wee and Buddy are a better fit for the roles. Just my 2 cents worth.
    OK, bi-Laden is dead. Do the troops come home now? I had more than a few people ask me that since the "announcement" Sunday evening. Of course they won't, silly persons. The war OF terror just goes on and on and on and infinitum.

  11. Did the troops come home when they hung Hussein high?

  12. I literally laughed out loud.

  13. Great, Charley. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. I wonder why no one has mentioned the obvious: that they could very easily have taken "Geronimo" alive (if they'd wanted to, that is). All that was required was a siege of his compound and a few thousand watts of Nancy Sinatra playing on giant speakers 24/7. In other words, the Manny Noriega treatment.

    So why didn't they do that, instead of the death squad approach? Does it really bother no one in this country that Bin Laden's "guilt" was only asserted, and not proven in a court of law? ("Guilt by repetition," one might call it).

    Naive questions, I suppose, but still they should be asked.

  15. The questions should be asked, JP. The only thing is that we'd just get a pile of cockamamie answers like the ones we've gotten already.

  16. Wow, Jeff, I can see why you were kept on the payroll; you’re a freakin’ comedy genius.
    I was put on the payroll right after high school but quit to search for civilization and can’t get there from here.

    Anywho, I’d like to offer me we parody song, “Oh, Osama,” as something to roll the closin’ credits over.
    (As you know, you don't allow HTML so ya gotz ta copy & paste for me wee parody)

    Once again, you are at an
    Jonathan Swift strata of satire and there ain’t nothing any higher.

  17. I’d think they bagged him, too, if I were getting a pension.
    Personally, methinks he heard my parody song (way back when) and died, perhaps laughing.

  18. Sometimes, (not very often), but sometimes, it's still worthwhile to read the NY Times..... or at least Maureen Dowd in the NY Times.

    I agree. Doesn't bother me at all that we killed a mass murderer.

    Maybe "boasting" about killing people isn't the same as "confessing" to killing people, but it's close enough.....

  19. Yes, EL, but sadly, in the process of bagging him we have slaughtered far more innocents than he ever could have.

  20. With regard to your last comment, JH, Jonathan Schwarz at A Tiny Revolution said, in his ruefully witty way, "Lots of Americans were mad it took ten years to get bin Laden, but I think it was worth being extra careful to make sure no one else was hurt."


    I didn't watch the interview with Obama on 60 minutes last night, but when I reviewed the transcript this AM I had a thought. Obama pointed out how the U.S.'s moral superiority was shown by the care with which bin Laden's body had been disposed of, after he had been captured, and then summarily executed with gunshots to the head.

    >>KROFT: Was it your decision to bury him at sea?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: It was a joint decision. We thought it was important to think through ahead of time how we would dispose of the body if he were killed in the compound. And I think that what we tried to do was, consulting with experts in Islamic law and ritual, to find something that was appropriate that was respectful of the body.

    Frankly we took more care on this than, obviously, bin Laden took when he killed 3,000 people. He didn’t have much regard for how they were treated and desecrated. But that, again, is somethin’ that makes us different. And I think we handled it appropriately.<<

    I recognize that hindsight is always 20/20, but notice how Obama is claimin' clear foresight here. The option of takin' bin Laden prisoner had been rejected. The plan for tossin' his corpse in the ocean was already worked out. Anyone who doubts whether bin Laden deserved his fate "needs to have his head examined." Given all this planning for likely eventualities, why couldn't they have planned to shoot him in the heart a few times, once they'd grabbed him, instead of in the head? The post-mortem pictures would have been much more presentable. It would have been much more feasible for bin Laden's head to have been examined. It's too late now, of course, but they ought to keep this in mind for the next Emmanuel Goldstein.