*Written by Jared Grifoni of the Libertarian Party of Collier County.
Despite the crowds outside the White House, the flag waving, and loud cheers of U-S-A being chanted from Pennsylvania Avenue to Ground Zero and elsewhere across our nation, it was a quiet end to the world’s most infamous person.
It was not a carpet bombing, an invading army, the creation of an Arab democracy, or the limit to 3oz liquid containers on airline flights that brought about the death of bin Laden. We don’t have all the details yet but it appears to have been a head shot from a single bullet from a single person during a small operation based on actionable intelligence. Intelligence that placed bin Laden not being smoked out of a cave in the tribal areas of some remote hell hole but instead deep in the belly of an ally where he lived in a mansion. An ally we spend billions on each year to ensure their cooperation in the “War on Terror”… Billions we must borrow from other nations because we cannot afford to provide it on our own.
The hunt and resulting ultimate death of public enemy number one was not the conclusion of a great epic; it was a nine and a half year long chapter in the book entitled, “How We Lost Our Way.” The leader of the terrorist organization that took down the World Trade Center is gone from this world but the scars and wounds he inflicted on our nation are still present and show no signs of healing.
The PATRIOT Act, Guantanamo Bay, warrantless searches, domestic spying, and TSA gropings have not gone anywhere. The trillions spent in Afghanistan and Iraq did not return to the treasury. The families of the thousands of soldiers who lost their lives and the countless civilians who lost theirs will always carry around the pain of the loss that they have suffered. The troops engaged in combat across the world are not on their way home now either.
Our problems were not solved with the death of the terrorist on whom we blamed for forcing them upon us. We did not just lose some of our fellow Americans on September 11, 2001 whose death was avenged today… In the proceeding weeks, months, and years after that fateful day we, as a nation, lost touch with some of the principles that set us apart from the rest of the world. There will always be monsters out there that we can set out to slay but we must never sacrifice that which makes us special. It is time for us to reevaluate our interventionism abroad and to remember the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights and to make sure that we never lose sight of the fact that we have all been endowed with certain, inalienable rights and that these rights can never be given nor taken away.
It is certainly a historic day in our country’s history but it is also a bittersweet one. Osama bin Laden has been brought to justice and many of our fellow citizens have suffered… Let it not be in vain.