Tag Archive | "Osama Bin Laden"

Ode to Usama

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As we mark a year since Osama bin Laden was brought to justice, the following verses are apropos:

 

As we gather at ground zero

to honor and  respect the heroes

that gave it their all as the towers did fall

and a wrong that won’t be forgiven

 

As America wept our flag it waved

A salute in solemn splendor

for the land of the free

and the home of the brave

with a message “no surrender”

 

A Presidential pledge

 to his people he said

We’ll get them if it takes years

 

And years it did take

but then came a break

of the whereabouts

of the villain

 

Covert plans were made

for the debt must be paid

And justice demanded a killin’

 

Swiftly they came in the dark of night

on the wings of Black-hawks

in stealthy flight

 

To settle a score that was made

and a pledge that was overdue

 

As they swarmed the compound

with that in mind

Usama would get his due

 

There once was a man named Usama

that envisioned himself like Obama

he got shot in the head

and the last words he said were

“Oh shit” I’m having a trauma.

 

Top Secret!

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Many events that shaped our country were recorded; perhaps just as many were not.  To protect our citizenry, our military, and the masterminds involved, certain military missions and materials were labeled Classified, Secret, and Top Secret.  These were privy only to members of government sworn to secrecy.


Within our Department of Defense, clandestine matters were relegated to the broad category of “Intelligence.”  Under Intelligence, the OSS and the CIA were formed.  Prior to their formation, the U.S. Army and Navy had separate decoding departments for purposes of national security and defense. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the OSS (Office of Strategic Services) in the midst of World War II: June 13, 1942.  He fashioned it after British Intelligence. 


The OSS was charged with the collection and analysis of strategic information.  This information facilitated strategic decision making on the part of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  During 1943 through 1945, the OSS also recruited and trained troops in China and Burma to fight the Japanese Army.


In January 1946, President Harry S. Truman established the CIU (Central Intelligence Unit), which later came to be known as the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency).  So much for history of the CIA, whose directors and agents were was skilled at keeping secrets.  As I just said, that was history.  Now, it’s a new dawn, a new day, and the concept of Top Secret has devolved.  Case in point:


Recently, the world learned of the demise of Osama bin Laden.  Based upon information concerning his whereabouts, our Intelligence developed a covert mission: via the U.S. Navy Seals, we found and destroyed the engineer of 9/11.


Although the Secretary of Defense wanted the mission considered Classified at the very least, the White House either indulged or cultivated the media’s frenzy to break the news before President Obama had announced it.  In light of Obama’s subsequent escalating ratings in polls, one wonders if this was done to elevate the President’s sinking popularity.


Needless to say, the bin Laden coverage has been an unending soap opera depicting everything that went down, including the burial at sea.  It was originally announced that the bastard “swam with the fishes” in an undisclosed location because a) no nation would receive his remains and b) we wished to discourage reprisals from Muslim terrorists.  Explain, then, how the media has now come to reveal the body of water in question as the Arabian Sea, as well as the name of the ship charged with the burial!


I guess the next step will be paparazzi divers taking photos of the deceased in Davy Jones locker, or maybe an underwater tour.  You’ve heard of The Hunt for Red October?  Well, get ready to book passage on The Search for Osama bin Laden!


Our media hounds also informed the world that during the siege of bin Laden’s compound, Navy Seals risked their lives in an attempt to locate the weasel’s diary and other vital information.  Who needs spies and lip service to “transparency” when we have the media?


In addition to the media fest, we are now being criticized by the United Nations for improper conduct (!) and condemned by Muslim extremists for bringing the 9/11 butcher to justice.  Maybe Secretary Gates was right.  But, in the words of a well-known rapper, “It’s too late to debate.”


Our friends the Chinese are now examining the wreckage of the destroyed Blackhawk helicopter for knowledge of Top Secret stealth equipment.  I don’t know why they’re wasting their time on this investigation.  All they had to do was tune into the media, which gives away military secrets for the sake of boosted ratings.


During World War II, any plans or movement on the part of Allied troops were considered vital information to our enemies.  To guard against this information falling into enemy hands, posters were placed strategically to warn of the threat of spies in the area.  Some of the slogans were, “Loose Lips Sink Ships” and “The Enemy is Listening.”  By contrast, our military men and women are now exposed to unnecessary risks while the media expounds, “We support our troops.”  Sure it does!


During WW II, the British Intelligence managed to keep confidential a plan that helped POWs escape German prison camps.  Before finally making the plan public in 2007, England had maintained this secret for more than 62 years.  But us?  “We can’t keep two beans in our mouths,” as my grandmother used to say.


In bringing bin Laden to justice, we rid the world of a terrible evil.  Martha Stewart might remark, “It’s a good thing.”  How, then, do we classify the resultant media exposés?  I guess that will have to remain a secret.


What’s Your IQ?

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What is your first thought when you hear the word intelligence?  Webster defines intelligence as:


  1. The ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations (to reason)
  2. The ability to apply knowledge to manipulate one’s environment or to think abstractly as measured by objective criteria


In the case of, “Who shot Osama bin Laden?” the intelligence factor was a carefully crafted CIA plan to seek out and destroy the self-proclaimed architect of the 9/11 devastation.  But, how much reason (i.e., intelligence) was involved in attaining an objective set forth ten years ago by President George W. Bush remains unclear.


The announcement from the Oval Office that bin Laden no longer drew breath was upstaged by the news media; they were the first to announce the assassination of Osama bin Laden.  Many Americans greeted this news as we would a World Series or Superbowl victory, with people gathering in the streets to whoop it up, giving the loser a raucous send-off.  I guess we can’t call him a winner once he was dispatched with a bullet in his brain.


Since the alleged shooting, the media has yet to loosen its fascination with the brute that engineered the collapse of the Twin Towers and the death of nearly 3,000 innocent souls in those structures.  TV broadcasters continue to have a field day airing the Who, What, Why, and Wherefore of the deceased.  Pundits spanning former military personnel to forensic doctors have expounded upon every aspect of bin Laden’s life.  And still the question arises as to, “Is he really dead?”   The question is understandable, given the lack of photographic evidence, not to mention the lack of a body.


At first, our Secretary of Defense, Gates, stated that photos of the dead bin Laden would not be aired because of security reasons.  Retaliation by radical Muslims was feared, but since when do radical Muslims need an actual reason to rape, pillage, and destroy?  And, as Rahm Emanuel stated, “Never let a crisis got to waste.”  So, at the behest of a news-hungry media, films of the circumstances surrounding bin Laden’s assassination are being doled out in episodes, like segments of a soap opera.


One commentator at Fox news asked Judge Jeanine Pirro who is eligible for the $25 million reward placed upon bin Laden’s head.  The official replied that, as this was a CIA venture, governmental employees were not eligible.  But, informed sources say that Kahlid Sheikh Mohammad, now a resident at Gitmo, has applied for the reward because he was the informant that led to bin Laden’s demise.


It is also rumored that he intends to use the money by offering it to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to have him released by an executive order.  In California’s current economic state, that’s 25 million good reasons to give him his freedom.  Remember that name, Rahm Emanuel, so that it’s familiar to you when you hear that he’s unleashed an American-financed massacre upon, you guessed it, Americans!


Another question, from Judge Pirro, was directed to Fox contributor forensic Dr. Badin (pronounced (Bahdin).  The question was, “How did they bury the body at sea?”  Badin’s answer was, “They dropped him in the ocean, probably with heavy weights, but at some future date it may wash ashore.”  Heck, I’m no forensic doctor but I could have answered that question.  The question I really wanted answered was, “If we had to treat the bastard to a cruise, why didn’t we take him alive and then drop him into shark infested waters?”


The questions emerging in the wake of bin Laden’s shooting are becoming increasingly ridiculous, as are many of the answers.  Picture a White House News conference where the reporters volley abstract questions like, “When did bin Laden first know of the attack?” or “How long did it take to gather the DNA evidence?” or, “Can you tell anyone tell whether he had his last bowel movement before or after the shooting?”  The questions are about as thought-provoking as those posed to a sports figure in a locker room after a game … any sports figure, any locker room, any game. 


And still I remain with my question unanswered: “How much intelligence went into the planning of taking bin Laden down?”


Maybe we should return to Webster’s second definition of intelligence, harkening back to an objective criteria.  The objective in this case was, after all, clear: get bin laden dead or alive, but preferably dead.  With that in mind, the next thing to consider was the question of who would take responsibility for putting a bullet through the bastard’s skull.  By assuming responsibility, the United States must heighten our vigilance against future terrorist attacks.  But if we blamed it on others, El Queda would vent its fury on the other party.


We could have blamed the Saudis, the Syrians, the Iranians, or even the Pakistanis by sending the reward money to a selected third party. We could have sent dead fish wrapped in a newspaper of the selected country, along with the reward, thus announcing that Osama sleeps with the fishes.  It would look like an inside job, because the other countries all knew where bin Laden was except us.  Thus, we could knock out another enemy without even lifting a finger.  Now that’s intelligence!  By using this strategy, we could have avoided condemnation and criticism from the UN, Middle Eastern countries, and Jihadist Muslims.  As the Pennsylvania Dutch would say “Vee get too shmart too late.” Since we claimed responsibility for putting out the hit on Osama, the cost of security has risen (remember Rahm Emanuel).


It seems that America wants to be transparent with every country in the world except America.  I think we need an intelligence agency that is more cost efficient and innovative when dispatching Public Enemy Number One, Number Two, Number Three, and so on. 


Deader than a Doornail?

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Monday mornings are not usually something that I welcome, but yesterday morning, I woke up to the news that Osama bin Laden is dead, courtesy of the intrepid Navy SEALS.  As a fiercely proud native New Yorker forcibly transplanted to the Garden State, I had an atypical reaction to the news that the mastermind behind 9/11 is now keeping Satan company in the fiery pits of hell.  (Surprise, Osama, your “seventy virgins” are wearing horns and forked tails!)


Had I still been living in the city, I would not have joined the joyous crowds cramming the streets, waving the American flag, and chanting the equivalent of the “Wicked Witch is Dead!”  In truth, I found the images of those crowds disturbing, probably because with a quick substitution of flags, the likeness to anti-American demonstrations, particularly in the wake of 9/11, is all too eerie.  I have no wish to mimic the cowardly psychos who use innocent women as shields, exploit children as weapons of destruction, and wage war upon the innocent.


All that I felt upon hearing of bin Laden’s demise was a sense of justice.  But that didn’t last long.  The moment that it faded, a healthy suspicion kicked in, along with a sense of impotence.  We buried bin Laden at sea, allegedly because no nation would have him.  Well, I know plenty of New Yorkers who would have loved to have him, dead or alive … preferably, alive!   The other reason we buried the butcher at sea was to dispose of his body quickly, as per Islamic custom.  Why did we afford such considerations to this rat bastard?  What considerations did he and his twisted kamikazes afford the innocent people in the World Trade Center?  The worst part about giving bin Laden honor in death is that he now sleeps with the fishes.  It’s all far too expedient for me.


It’s extremely difficult, and often impossible, to retrieve a body lost or buried at sea.  I would have much preferred that we’d kept the bastard’s body intact via cryogenic freeze or at least, in a large pickle vat.  Ideally, I’d have wanted to have seen the rat captured alive.  We could have bound him hand and foot at Ground Zero and invited New Yorkers en masse to pay him a visit … after telling them that the cops were going to turn a blind eye to whatever we decided to do him.  And I would have wanted those festivities televised.  A pound of flesh carried off by numerous New Yorkers — only one pound per customer! — would have been far more satisfying and apropos a ritual than dancing in the streets.


But now, like a prosecutor’s nightmare, there is no corpus against which to make a case.  There is only the military’s word that DNA proves we’ve nailed the architect of 9/11.  How does the recent DNA sampling prove this?  Did we have previous samples of bin Laden’s DNA against which to compare it?  If we’d gotten close enough to him earlier to, say, pluck a hair out of his ugly beard, then we’d have been close enough to blow him to smithereens long ago.   I’m not buying the DNA story.  Osama bin Laden may very well be fish food, but I think the military manufactured that DNA tale to placate suspicious minds like mine.  But I’m far from placated.  


And I find the timing of bin Laden’s death very interesting.  Only last week, President Obama allegedly put to rest the “birther issue.”  But he didn’t, really.  The birth certificate he produced is far from official, and Donald Trump, the last man to stand against political correctness, will not go quietly.  What better way to distract the country from thoughts of a foreign-born Muslim President than to trumpet the news that Osama bin Laden is dead … and on Obama’s watch?


I want to believe that we truly did blow the mass murderer bin Laden off the face of the earth.  I want to believe that he was deeply terrified before he died.  I want to believe that he suffered — but he didn’t, if the reports of the single bullet to his head were true.   I want to believe that justice has triumphed.   Any way you slice it, I just can’t. 


Related Article:

 

Brought to Justice?

  

Brought to Justice?

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Late last evening, after many people on the East Coast had already gone to bed, the White House announced that earlier in the day U.S. Special Forces had launched a targeted operation against a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan during which they killed Osama Bin Laden, mastermind of Al-Qaeda’s suicide attacks on September 11, 2001 that resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans in the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and on United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  In an address to the nation, President Obama stated that Bin Laden had been brought to “justice.”


But, what does that really mean?  Will his death bring back any of the victims of that tragedy to their loved ones?  Will it end terrorism?  Can we now turn the calendar back and live life as if it had never happened?  The answer to all of these questions is too obvious to state.


For many, the death of Bin Laden provides closure to a horrific chapter in American History.  Certainly, for family members of those lost that fateful day, I am certain that there is a feeling of satisfaction that the senseless murder of their loved ones has been avenged.  Yet, I am also certain that those emotions are mixed with others including sadness and regret as they relive the horrors of the past.


Having not directly experienced the loss of a loved one in those attacks, I personally feel neither avenged nor satisfied with the events of yesterday.  While Osama Bin Laden’s death removes one more evil force from this planet, there are plenty more left – in all walks of life.  And, does anyone really believe that justice is served when the perpetrator of mass murder lives in relative luxury for almost ten years while the bodies of his victims rot in their graves?


Justice is only just when it is swift, for only in rapid retribution for wrongdoing are prospective perpetrators of evil deterred from their malicious intentions.


Waiting for the Big One

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The Big One

Twice recently, we have heard of by Al Qaeda’s planned attacks upon our commuter aircraft.  These threats have meet with nothing but perfunctory rhetoric from our Department of Homeland Security.  The enemy seems to know more about our security operations than those allegedly in charge of them.  The media, whose sense of responsibility I have seriously questioned for at least a decade, reports that our security force possesses a list of suspected terrorists numbering as high as 500,000.  Five will get you ten that if the government spoon-fed this figure to the media, it is must be twice as high as that, if not more.

 

Meanwhile, thousands of illegal aliens have already crossed the Mexican-American border, and guess what?  They aren’t headed to Acapulco for a little R&R.  They are infiltrating the United States and placing additional burdens upon our already groaning economy.  Just this week we learned that easily accessible technology — cell phones — now enable the unlawful “visitors” to pinpoint sources of potable water across our border, thereby accelerating the mass exodus out of their country and into ours.

 

I don’t know about you, but these numbers sound like an armies to me. Why have we not profiled potential terrorists?  Why have we not deterred the marauding aliens more productively?  Who’s minding our store?  Apparently, no one!  If this is a barometer of the efficacy of our national security, we are in deep doggie-do!

 

There is absolutely no excuse for allowing terrorists to board any manner of conveyance, at home or abroad, for the sole purpose of murdering innocent people.  In possession of advanced technology and so many names, we can profile passengers with ease!  And if we instituted more stringent controls at the border, we could put the kibosh on illegals claiming jobs and benefiting financially from our social programs without having to pay into them.

 

The truth of the matter is we have a homeland security in name only.  The present administration is so involved in pushing its healthcare reform through to approval that it can’t see the forest for the trees.  It can’t prioritize the needs and rights of our citizenry.

 

What are the CIA, the FBI, and Homeland Security doing to secure our transportation system against terrorist attacks?  Must another tragedy like 9/11 befall us before they take action?   Some time ago, we lost thirteen good people at Ford Hood at the hands of an Islamic zealot whose twisted mindset was not only known but also documented in his formal military records.  Two gatecrashers appeared recently at a White House fete, slipping like butter past security and potentially jeopardizing the safety of our President and First Lady.  Mere days after Christmas, two of our airplanes were in serious threat of attack by suicide bombers.  All of this could have been avoided had the suspects in question been profiled.

 

Had the terrorists succeeded, the dirty bastards would be dancing in the streets in Yemen and toasting Osama Bin Ladin in the rat-holes of Afghanistan.

 

If these incidents don’t constitute a wake up call, I guess we will just have to wait for the Big One before government moves its lazy, red tape-lovin’ behind. 

Raise Your Voice (America Gave You One)

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Let Your Voice Be Heard

 

When the twisted fiends felled the Twin Towers on 9/11, Internet chatter as well as direct messages seeping like toxic waste out of terrorist camps indicated that they’d accomplished more than they’d hoped for (they had not expected the total obliteration of both structures).  In their wildest and sickest dreams, the terrorists could not have anticipated  the fallout from the blackest day on American soil.

 

This fallout runs deeper than the subsequent crisis on Wall Street, our military’s hunt for Bin Laden in his rat holes, escalation of our forces in Iraq, and the current recession.  For the love of God — and if you don’t love God, then for the love of our country — please read my last statement again, carefully.  Let it go through you like slow ice.  What could possibly be worse than any or all of that?  The dismantling of our tenets underpinning our Constitution is the absolute worst that can happen — and it’s been happening, because in our fear and anger and apathy, we have allowed it to happen.

 

Viewed impartially, the Constitution is nothing more and nothing less than a soul pact.  It’s the pact that our forefathers made with each other, and with all future generations born upon this soil, and those immigrating to this soil to take the oath of citizenry.  It is an agreement that all men, women, and children are born into this world via something greater than themselves, with unalienable rights bestowed upon them by that God.  God is and must remain an essential part of our national equation because without a higher authority, to whom are we accountable as a nation?  And we must be accountable as a nation, to ourselves and to the Constitution.

 

The treatment of confirmed and self-proclaimed terrorists in Gitmo Bay, the Federal edict to try the terrorists in civil rather than military courts, the potentiality of a national healthcare system, jobs going overseas, corporate scum bailed out to the tune of billions on the blood, sweat, and tears of private citizens, the war in Iraq — all of this has plunged us into a socio-political and economic crisis more intense and even more trying that what we had endured in the ’60s’s — and that’s saying a lot. Our President’s acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize with one hand while escalating the war in Afghanistan with the other should not have stunned anyone.  It is perhaps the most glaring example of how torn our nation has become.

 

No matter the winds that buffet us at home and from abroad, we must hold tight to our freedoms as citizens, and honor — not just give lip service to — the principles upon which the Constitution is based.   There must be no double standards here, and since there are, we must work to rectify them.  The world still watches and waits to see what America does; what will we show them?

 

We will show them what we are made of.  We will show them what has kept us intact and what has strengthened us thus far.  This is not the first time that we’ve been tossed upon the churning waters of national flux; not the first time that our envelope was pushed to its limits.

 

Blood ran in our streets in the 1960’s, and for too long (even one day is too long).  Entire families were forever fractured over the long bloody war in Vietnam.  Women emerged as an inarguable and permanent factor in the work force.  Men walked on the moon for the first time in history.  Eastern theosophy rose slowly on America’s shores, illuminating the Golden Rule, as God knows, we needed illumination.  Three of our best and bravest were cut down before our eyes: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President Jack Kennedy, and his brother, U.S. Attorney General Bobby Kennedy.  They did not die in vain but rather, inspired and instituted legislation that solidified the canons stated in our Constitution, far beyond mere rhetoric. These three men and those who supported them strengthened the reality behind the concept that we are all of us in this together (“E pluribus Unum”: “Out of many, One”).

 

Like those who tossed the tea into the Boston Harbor more than two centuries ago, and those who marched on Washington and through local streets forty-plus years ago, you must exercise your rights under the Constitution in order to keep that Constitution alive.   If something troubles you — an elected leader, a corrupt or inhuman and inhumane organization —  speak out.  Now is not the time for burying your head in the sand; nor is it the time for indulging in self-pity.  And nothing that impacted the common good was ever gained through silence and indifference. Much, however, was gained through peaceful organization, the raising of communal voices, unmitigated pressure upon our elected leaders, and the passage of true and lasting change.

On the Horns of a Dilemma

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Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Friday the 13th arrived, living up to its reputation.  Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the man proudly calling himself the mastermind behind 9/11 will be tried not in a military trial, but in a civilian federal court in downtown Manhattan (New York City, for those of you not from the Big Apple).  Holder’s decision dovetails with President Obama’s plan to slam the doors on Gitmo, both literally and as an uncomfortable chapter in U.S. history that the President would rather have gone unwritten.

 

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is not the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to face trial in New York City rather than at the hands of the military; one of his cohorts, Ahmed Ghailani, claims that distinction.  However, the administration chose, at the time of Ghailani’s trial, not to seek the death penalty.  One wonders, then, what is to become of the man who alleges to have pitched his evil plan to Osama Bin Laden, negotiated funding from the rebel Afghani leader, trained the assassins, and then blessed the systematic extinction of more than 3,000 innocent American lives.

 

The ramifications of Holder’s decision are both widespread and complex, and if you are interested in those legalities, start surfing the web.  I am not an attorney or a politician.  I am but a New Yorker whose city has been irrevocably altered by a handful of madmen.

 

If Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is to attain a fair trial, as is his right under Constitutional Law, will he receive one?  The prosecution will have to journey to a mountain in Tibet to locate a single New Yorker yet to hear of and/or unaffected by the horror and tragedy of 9/11; New Yorkers, of course, do not live in Tibet.  But even if juror objectivity can be established, how can those jurors possibly be Mohammed’s peers, when his peers, by his own admission, are terrorists?

 

In the days shortly following 9/11, when the Bush administration linked Bin Laden to the fallen Towers and the 3,000-plus cold-blooded murders, I had thoughts of what I’d like to see happen to the terrorists.  At first, I thought it might be fitting to roast Bin Laden and his cronies over the still-smoking embers of Ground Zero; I meant this literally.  I added to this fantasy by envisioning the loved ones of those killed taking a pound of flesh, again literally, from the bastards.  One pound at time, strategically incised, would not kill them outright and would surely not kill them immediately.  They would have died a slow, torturous death. I thought this a fitting end for the filthy lot of them.  With the full knowledge that such fantasies might call bad karma to befall me, I maintained them nonetheless, struggling with my morals as a Christian and with my civic duty as a native New Yorker.

 

A part of me would still like to see Mohammed and his cohorts let loose into the streets of my city.  If the faint-hearted are afraid to venture there, imagine how the terrorists might feel, facing a righteously enraged mob unrestricted in addressing those who plotted for five years (according to Mohammed) to annihilate their loved ones. And some part of me would dearly love to see these proceedings televised.

 

The other part of me says that the dirty bastard deserves a fair trial, for that is the only way to preserve what the terrorists sought so hard to destroy and what they still seek to obliterate.   Our justice system only works if it works for all, terrorists or not.  To deny the self-proclaimed architect of 9/11 a fair trial is to negate the tenets underpinning our Constitution.  And the toppling of the Constitution was their ultimate objective, not merely the felling of two mighty skyscrapers and their occupants.

 

Having said that, I hope the bastards do get the death penalty once they are tried as fairly as we can manage within our system.  And I hope that the executions are televised, to send a small message to every other anti-American murderer, including terrorists-in-the-making.

 

In the words of Jesus Christ, “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.  And render unto God what is God’s.”   The execution of Mohammed and his followers for their crimes of terrorism would kill both of those birds with a single stone.

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