Osama Bin Laden:Was the end a case of buyer's remorse writ large?
We all know what happened. He died. One shot. one kill.
And the ghosts of regime changes covertly sponsored by the U.S. government hang over the high profile hunt for a mass murderer like an historical veil woven of the threads of mystery and deceit.
Osama Bin Laden ranked right up there on a lengthy shopping list the U.S. government carried around in its pocket over decades of flexing our mightly political and military muscle in every part of the world where we saw a threat to democracy, and the encroachment of that threat on our own way of life.
And over the past few decades of the last century, and the first decade of the present one, it seems that every part of the world had some frisky fellow seeking to overthrow a left wing government, and invited Uncle Sam to open the bidding for his services.
In each and every case, we won, and closed the deal with a handsome payoff in cash and arsenals and influence and bribes.
The Shah of Iran. Somoza in Nicarague. Pinochet in Chile. Battista in Cuba. Marcos in Manila. Noriega in Panama. Saddam in Iraq. The Mujahideen in Afghanistan.
And every one ended up in an embarrassing and high profile amid revelations of corruption of and savagry.
But it's that last one that's the killer. The one that really came back and bit us in the neck. And the heart.
The ultimate blowback - unintended consequenses of a covert operation that are suffered by the civilian population of an aggressor government.
Three thousand plus Americans dead in one rampaging day of slaughter on a national stage - flanked on either side by the twin flags of law and democracy - which lay, at the end of that unimaginable day, dripping at the end of that day, like twisted, blood soaked horrors.
And add the thousands more foreign civilian and U.S. and coalition soldiers dead in the wars that followed. The wars that have lasted longer than any war this nation has ever fought.
Longer than the longest covert operation this country ever engaged in.
Supporting the Mujahideen in their fight against the Soviets for ten long years.
And during that longest covert war the U.S. was ever engaged in, we trained and supported and financed and encouraged Osama Bin Laden, the man who founded Al Qaeda.
The man who brought this nation to it's knees in a spasm of shock and grief.
The man who galvanized this mation and made it's citizens take a look at the future and our place in it.
The man who forced this nation to muster every available resource, among them the best trained and equipped and motivated intelligence and special forces in the world in the hunt for he, who had become the most wanted man on earth.
And we found him.
And, at the last, in an ironic, perverse and ironic twist on one of the buyer's remorse maxims: "You broke it, you bought it," First, we bought him, then we broke him.
One shot. One kill.