Road kill is an ordinary occurrence in these parts. Witnessing the transformation of critter carcasses into pavement pizza is as common as are crooked politicians in Washington. So, while driving through the park the other morning I was not a bit surprised to see a small critter corpse lying in the middle of the road. Except that it was a duck. In all of my years of seeing the results of varmints meeting car grills, I have never seen a duck. While I was having that thought, I looked up to see another duck making a kamikaze flight down the middle of the road at about windshield level. This one was either more fortunate than his wingman or I was not the intended target as he veered off of his strafing run at the last possible moment. I looked into his eyes, or maybe it was her eyes, and I swear the duck was screaming as it bailed out. Maybe the duck was a chicken.
It was the second odd occurrence of the day. The first came when I flipped open the laptop during morning coffee to read a headline on Drudge that said; Osama is dead shot in the head. Sure enough, I flipped on the television to news that a team of Navy SEALS had surgically removed bin Laden’s face with a high velocity 5.56 MM scalpel. Then I watched the replay of the President’s announcement from the night before. Listening to his speech (text here from Whitehouse.gov), it was painfully obvious to me, that it was not an announcement prepared in the immediate moments after the mission was completed and our Special Operators were clear and safe. It was like the obituaries of the rich and famous, written well in advance of the predictable event. It was odd to me. Like a duck cruising down the middle of the road.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction
Why not a concise announcement? Bright September day, cloudless September sky, black smoke billowing up, and heartbreak and destruction are not phrases I would choose to announce a successful military operation resulting in the justified killing of a mass murderer. I would also can the speech writer that prepared those remarks to announce a serious and significant event in our nation’s modern history. I do not understand why the President could not just announce that members of the United States Armed Forces conducted a raid inside of Pakistan that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. There were no US casualties. And then, before all of the differing Whitehouse versions of the mission developed just say that as a matter of national security, the particulars of the operation and the personnel involved are and will remain classified.
Another oddity is the debate about whether pictures of the dead and faceless Osama should be released. What do you think is behind that debate? I believe it is trust. One of my favorite quotes, which I will paraphrase, is that trust is like the soul, once it is lost it never returns. Too many Americans have lost trust in our leaders. It is at the stage in our country where you cannot just proclaim it; you must now provide evidence to prove it. As integrity crumbles so does America.
Odder still was that we apparently honored the man the media charmingly refers to as UBL with a proper Muslim burial at sea. I do not hold for intentional desecration of any body, even road kill. But, I do believe that every person, dead or alive, should be treated with the respect they have earned. I would have left his faceless carcass lying in his mud mansion and let the Pakistanis, who had no idea he was living a few hundred feet from their military academy, attend to his state funeral.
I do not want to conjure up anything, but there is just too much about this story spin that does not add up, but I am a terminal cynic.
It was a bright and sunny spring afternoon. Wild flowers were just beginning to point their faces toward the sun. The trees were filling out turning the hills varying shades of green. Moonlight Sonata wafted from the premium sound system. The traffic was rather light as I exited the Interstate high way. Someone was standing at the foot of the exit ramp. As I approached, I noticed an old beater parked on the road side. The young man standing there looked somewhat distressed, but in no apparent pain. In one hand he held a red sign. It said to the point, “Need Gas.” In his other hand was a red gas can. Probably a hundred yards away and in plain view of the exit was a gas station. The posted price in letters visible from the highway said $4.29. I did not see any ducks.