Mark these words: within about three hours, the “Birther” faction around America will be asking for Osama Bin Laden’s driver’s license. What I’d like to know is how come he was “buried at sea,” when the operation took place at least a thousand miles from the sea. Did the US Navy Seals transfer his remains from a helicopter to a boat? Or to an airplane? And did they just drop him over the night-darkened Indian Ocean like a sack of lentils? By the time you read this, the whole world will be clamoring for photos of the deceased. Maybe our guys will produce some. Quien Sabe?
I didn’t intend to write about Bin Laden this morning, but rather the nutrient medium of untruth that has come to surround all the tissue of everyday life in the USA. Until the Bin Laden operation went down Sunday, the big news of the week was the release of President Obama’s “long-form” birth certificate. A substantial number of Republicans still claim to believe that Obama is not a real American citizen. You may be sure they will persist, no matter what. Goebbels, too, knew the power of sheer repetition. One of the Birther leaders, Orly Taitz, immediately made the claim that the term “African” describing Obama’s father’s nationality on the document must be a latter-day PC dodge because back then the term-du-jour was “Negro.”
When historians gather around their campfires a half century from now, they will marvel at our idiocy. Among the vital matters we failed to reckon was the diminishing returns of technology as applied to news and information. The slicker our electronic media got, the less sense the public could make of the information stream that they drowned in. How many iPhones and Blackberries are jangling this morning, I wonder, with “news” that Bin Laden was buried at sea because he is Obama’s real father? To the Birthers, I’m sure Bin Laden qualified as some sort of “Negro.” The story will be on Fox News by suppertime in Atlanta, just watch.