The ‘Deboogeymanification’ of Terror Suspects

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009 at 12:22 pm

On his MSNBC morning show today, Dylan Ratigan asked me if I thought the decision to bring the suspected 9/11 co-conspirators to trial in a New York federal court was an attempt to “deboogeymanificate” those notorious terrorists we’ve heard so much about. After all, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his alleged al-Qaeda co-plotters have often been portrayed as larger-than-life supervillains by the Bush administration and the media.

I’m unsure if that was the intention of President Obama or Attorney General Eric Holder when they decided to try the five “worst of the worst” terror suspects in New York, but Ratigan was right (and very creative in his word choice) when he said seeing these guys in person could not only let the air out of some America’s inflated fears of Muslim boogeymen. It could also help shrink the suspects’ own enormous reputations among jihadists around the world.

The contrast of seeing these ordinary-looking men on trial in an orderly U.S. courtroom — where they’re accorded the right to a lawyer, the right to speak in their own defense and the right to call witnesses — could go a long way toward publicly revealing the absurdity of their cause, as well as the justice that a fair and functioning legal system can provide. Even if the trials don’t totally “deboogeymanificate” KSM and his allies, they would certainly make the United States look good. And after all the mistakes the U.S. government made over the last eight years in carrying out its “war on terrorism,” Obama and Holder have made an enormously important global public relations move in choosing not to hide these men away in a military commission somewhere, but to cut them down to human size by treating them as the twisted — but “ordinary” — mass murderers we believe them to be.

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brendanm
Comment posted November 17, 2009 @ 2:33 pm

Okay, Dylan Ratigan may be right about the benefits of demystifying* KSM and his co-conspirators, but I simply cannot agree with that bilge about Bob Barr being a handsome man.

*(actual word)


knowbuddhau
Comment posted November 19, 2009 @ 12:27 pm

Nice one. It's right before 'demythologize.' So many Americans these days are so ignorant of the power of myth, to shape the cosmos in which we enact the theater of life, a direct appeal to the lessons of comparative mythology is all Greek to them. Ratigan's graphic neologism just might get through.

OK then, what about “boogeymanifying”? Isn't it equivalent to mythologizing, or better yet, propagandizing?

How did we go to war in Iraq: were we forced, or boogeymanified? Boogeymanified.

We got jacked to war in Iraq by myths of imminent attack by brown Muslim men with nuclear weapons. Some of the myths Cheney deployed against us are now known to have been manufactured to order by torture.

So who's the greater threat? Who has killed more Americans: Cheney, or KSM? Whose decisions led the US to torture, KSM or Cheney? When it became known that the battlefield vetting wasn't being done properly, that we were rounding up and imprisoning innocent people, who made the decision to keep doing it anyway?

David Addington is reported to have said, too bad, the prez said they're all guilty, we're not revisiting that decision.

So who did the original boogeymanificating? When will we see them on trial for crimes against humanity?

The power of boogeymanifying is far, far greater than any kinetic weapon can ever be. KSM is much less a threat to Americans, and the rest of the world, than the boogeymanificators who hold or have held high offices.

KSM's crime is despicable, a perversion of the faith he professes, absolutely unjustifiable. But what crimes has America committed under the spell of boogeymanifiers deploying the myth of American exceptionalism?


knowbuddhau
Comment posted November 19, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

Nice one. It's right before 'demythologize.' So many Americans these days are so ignorant of the power of myth, to shape the cosmos in which we enact the theater of life, a direct appeal to the lessons of comparative mythology is all Greek to them. Ratigan's graphic neologism just might get through.

OK then, what about “boogeymanifying”? Isn't it equivalent to mythologizing, or better yet, propagandizing?

How did we go to war in Iraq: were we forced, or boogeymanified? Boogeymanified.

We got jacked to war in Iraq by myths of imminent attack by brown Muslim men with nuclear weapons. Some of the myths Cheney deployed against us are now known to have been manufactured to order by torture.

So who's the greater threat? Who has killed more Americans: Cheney, or KSM? Whose decisions led the US to torture, KSM or Cheney? When it became known that the battlefield vetting wasn't being done properly, that we were rounding up and imprisoning innocent people, who made the decision to keep doing it anyway?

David Addington is reported to have said, too bad, the prez said they're all guilty, we're not revisiting that decision.

So who did the original boogeymanificating? When will we see them on trial for crimes against humanity?

The power of boogeymanifying is far, far greater than any kinetic weapon can ever be. KSM is much less a threat to Americans, and the rest of the world, than the boogeymanificators who hold or have held high offices.

KSM's crime is despicable, a perversion of the faith he professes, absolutely unjustifiable. But what crimes has America committed under the spell of boogeymanifiers deploying the myth of American exceptionalism?


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