Monday Quick Takes: Killing Bin Laden, Destroying the Endangered Species Act, Charter Schools and Uber

by William Skink

Here are some Monday quick takes to get your work-week started. First, Seymour Hersh is making quite a splash with his reporting on The Killing of Osama bin Laden. Needless to say the Obama administration is not portrayed as altogether accurate or truthful in its account of what transpired. If there is more accuracy in Hersh’s account, it also exposes the movie Zero Dark Thirty as being shameless propaganda to solidify the lies told by the administration. For us cynics, no surprise there.

At the state level, Ochenski’s column this week reports on what those in the environmental community expected after Tester broke his promise to not use riders on must-pass legislation. Tester did anyway, in order to delist wolves from the Endangered Species Act, and now the precedent he set is being used again, this time to stall a potential listing for Sage Grouse.

Last Friday on Democracy Now, this segment focused on the Obama administration’s interest in doubling the money flowing to charter schools. Lisa Graves, executive director of The Center for Media and Democracy, lambasted charter schools and the “choice” argument for diverting federal taxpayer money into these privatized, money-making schemes. She was especially critical of the profit motive behind online schools, and explained that these charter schools are using millions to advertise and lobby congress for more taxpayer loot. If this sounds similar to the argument put forth by Rep. Hill (D-Missoula) regarding deregulating taxi service in Montana, it’s because online companies like Uber are making similar declarations that their interest in elbowing into new markets with the kind of legislation Rep. Hill co-sponsored is all about choice. That’s a lie, of course. It’s all about money.

Now, let’s get back to work!

  1. Welcome to the hall of mirrors. When Intel wants to plant a story, believability is the critical factor. If the story appears to escape against their will, it is more believable than if they just tell us the lie they want perpetuated. Hersh may be in on it or might just be a tool, but that story is a lie. It may contain elements if truth, as good lies do, but the key factors are this: Bin Laden probably died in 2001. There is no credible hard evidence of his being alive after that time.

    It took me years to realize that the Pentagon Papers were a large hoax, a way of planting false history in the official records, and that Daniel Ellsberg was a willing participant. But the trouble they went to, the intrigue, the enlistment of college professors to become secret agents … All gave the impression that truth was leaking out against the will of people in power. It was not.

    They key for me was the break-in of Ellsberg’s psychiatrist. It was so clumsy, as if meant to be discovered. It got him off the hook. Mission accomplished. The key here is the use of Hersh … He’s thought to be a renegade, disliked, and so to be trustworthy. He is the new Ellsberg.

    Hall of mirrors. Now, back work!

  2. Here’s another quick take. Find which town in MT (or CO, Mark) best fits your politics.

    They wanted me to move to Alzada.

  3. Regarding Hersh, here’s what really happened.

    • Cannot get sound to link on your YouTube. Doesn’t matter.

      I am just wondering, now that they say they killed him, produced no body, photographs or chain of possession on evidence, if US standards of gullibility can no long be lowered further, and from this day forward the country will begin to smarten up.

      There’s alwasy hope!

      • Kidding aside the tentacles of the CIA’s involvement in Paki fall along these lines.

        Remember, Barack traveled to Pakistan to ‘intern’ for a known CIA front company after college. His mom worked for US AId as a CIA Asset in Indonesia, identifying suspected communists for Suharto/CIA who where often later “disappeared” or imprisoned. CIA all the way–his grandmother too worked at Bank of Hawaii, a known launderer for CIA. That also explains why Obummer has Connecticut SS#–the CIA obtained it for him.

        Got from a book I read.

      • I don’t know about any of that, and don’t much look into it largely because I think the office of president is compromised. If not him sitting there, someone else equally bad.

        I do know that while he was supposedly at Columbia Law School, no one remembers him being there. That is indeed weird.

  4. Pogo Possum

    You are wrong on why Ellie Hill introduced the Uber Bill, Lizard. It wasn’t because of “choice” or “money”. It was because of Revenge.

    Last year Ellie called a cab to take her to the Missoula airport. She was running late and got extremely upset when her taxi driver chose to proceed to the airport on Broadway instead of taking the Interstate as she demanded. The driver explained that he was taking the designated route mandated by his supervisor and he wasn’t allowed to take an alternate route, which he pointed out, wouldn’t have saved her anytime.

    According to the statement filed by the driver, Hill became extremely irate, got into a verbal altercation with him, cussed him out and promised him she would destroy the cab company and make certain he lost his job.

    The Uber bill might simply be Ellie’s way of dishing out payback to a poor cab driver who didn’t do things her way.

    • lizard19

      sounds suspiciously like a conspiracy theory ;) that said, I find your conspiracy theory entirely plausible.

  5. Turner

    About the bin Laden killing, what about that guy in Butte who claims to have been the one who actually pulled the trigger on the killing date given by the administration? Is he simply a liar? Even a paid-off liar?

    • lizard19

      Hersh isn’t claiming bin Laden wasn’t killed on the mission.

    • That’s evidence, of course, though not proof of anything. It needs to be weighed along with everything.

      In any murder, and this was purported to be a murder, the best evidence is the body. They claimed to have thrown it in the ocean. Following that would be DNA, which they gave us, but without a chain of possession, rendering it useless. Following that would be corroborated testimony of independent witnesses. I did see testimony of a nearby witness who said there was a huge explosion and many dead soldiers, but that testimony has disappeared from the Internet. I saved a transcript, but without the video, that is useless too.

      Following that would be photos, other circumstantial evidence. We have some of of that. We now have Hersh, who is acting as a conduit for intelligence in feeding us this story, knowingly or not.

      The testimony of your Butte guy is not independent, not corroborated. If he is a Navy Seal, he is subject to secrecy laws, and can only speak in public if given permission to do so. One step further, he might have been ordered to do so. CIA and the Pentagon, normally closed-mouth about covert operations, have been blabbermouths about this affair.

      Subject to further evidence, I’d say the Butte guy is acting on orders and with permission, is not independent, does nothing top overcome the absence of a body or reliable chain-of-custody DNA, and so I say he is not credible.

      More than you asked for. I do that.

      • Silly me. Question not directed at me. Delete the above reply if you wish, blog adm.

        • Turner

          So, Mark, your answer is a belabored yes. Robert O’Neill is a liar. Maybe he was ordered to lie, but he’s still a liar. He still lives in Butte, I think. Maybe you should call him up and confront him.

          Unfortunately, the killing OBL wasn’t an episode of CSI, where the forensics evidence always leads to an indisputable conclusion. The absence of such evidence doesn’t mean O’Neill’s account, or the accounts of those with him, were wrong, though.

          What’s wrong with his account is that it doesn’t match your conspiracy theory. How dare he contradict that!

        • Verbal testimony of non-independent observers is among the least reliable forms of evidence. If his words were corroborated by physical evidence, then he’d be more reliable.

          Is he a liar? That’s one possibility.

          • Turner

            If, as you claim, “OBL probably died in 2001,” O’Neill must surely be lying when he claims he killed him in 2011. You say his being a liar is “one possibility.” Are there others?

            Can it be that he is telling the truth and you’re not? You can’t both be right.

          • Other possibilities: 1) He thinks he killed bin Laden, but did not. (There were, after all, many body doubles used during the period after 2001.) 2) He killed someone, and was told later it was bin Laden, but it was not. 3) He did not kill anybody, but thinks he did. (It was supposedly a chaotic situation.) 4) He was ordered to say he killed bin Laden, but did not. (That is a lie, but not his.) 5) He is delusional, only imagines he killed bin Laden.

            Remember, you are forming your own opinions without the benefit of a body, DNA evidence, or independently verified photographs. If all you have is personal testimony, you should be open to all possibilities including 6) he lied, and 7) Scouts honor, that’s what went down.

          • Two people who say Osama died, if personal testimony is your thing: Former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, who said on CNN in January of 2002 that he had died of kidney disease. (The real Osama traveled with dialysis equipment.) Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan,herself assassinated in 2007, said that she knew the man who killed Osama in an interview with David Frost, who asked no follow-up questions.

            That testimony, which might be convenient or designed to keep him in hiding, is credible to me nonetheless when matched with the absence of any physical evidence of his being alive after 2001, including at the time of his “killing” in 2011, when no physical evidence was produced.

      • petetalbot

        So Montana’s Congressman, Ryan Zinke, has been spouting off about SEAL Team Six for years now. Is he in cahoots with the Pentagon, CIA … maybe Obama?

      • I don’t know, Pete. He could be just an annoying self-promoter, like all politicians of both parties.

        I try, as best I am able, to base my opinions on hard evidence. In the case of Osama and his supposed 2011 murder, there simply isn’t anything credible. Basing opinions on faith in public officials is no way to go through life.

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