Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bin Laden Birthers

The passing of a patriarch always brings contention and confusion and, for one who leaves behind so many births and deaths, the aftermath is bound to be complex.

Now Osama bin Laden's son Omar issues a family statement asking for (1) "conclusive evidence" that his father is dead and (2) if so, why he was "summarily executed" without a fair trial such as those granted Saddam Hussein and Serbian President Slobodan MiloŇ°evic.

"We maintain," his heir contends "that arbitrary killing is not a solution to political problems," a view that seems to have been lost on his late father.

We are in "kill your parents and ask for mercy as an orphan" territory here, but it comes as no surprise in an era that tortured the question of Barack Obama's birth for so long that bin Laden's death would resonate with noisy doubts.

What is surprising is that Donald Trump, who rode the former issue so hard, has been silent on the latter. Why no video of the graybeard in his compound watching the new installment of "Celebrity Apprentice" and agonizing over the firing of the latest people?

As Trump plummets in the Republican 2012 polls, from first to fifth, here is the perfect issue to resurrect his standing by sending his Hawaii investigators to Pakistan to find out why no long-form death certificate is on file there.

As someone whose career consisted of dispatching people and earning high TV ratings, the case of Osama bin Laden would be a natural for Trump's next political crusade.

A dead body dumped in the ocean is at least as good a target for controversy as a live one making daily appearances in the White House.

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