May 3, 2011
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.”
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.”
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.
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
|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…
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.
|You've got to be|
Mel Brooks does spectacular coffee spit-take into his copy of the New York Times, wipes his mouth and mutters: Meshugah!
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.|
|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,
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)
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.