Killing Bin Laden
Dershowitz vs. Chomsky, Again
By ALLEN MENDENHALL
For an attorney, Alan Dershowitz doesn't argue very well, at least not in his recent attempt to take down Noam Chomsky for Chomsky's recent op-ed, "My Reaction to Osama bin Laden's Death." These men have a history. Dershowitz has called Chomsky a "Holocaust denier" and has suggested that Chomsky is so out-of-touch that he lives on "Planet Chomsky." Chomsky, in turn, has accused Dershowitz of launching a Jihad because of Dershowitz's seemingly unconditional support for Israel. Regardless of whether one has a dog in this fight—for the record, I don't—one can see Dershowitz's "argument" for what it is: a collection of red herrings and other fallacies cloaked in inflammatory and nationalist rhetoric. At a time when the Middle East is in turmoil—well, more turmoil than it's usually in—the last thing we need is Dershowitz's loud, self-righteous, and not-so-subtle warmongering to influence public discourse about Osama bin Laden.
The title of Dershowitz's latest spasm—I almost called it an "article"—is "Bin Laden's Defender: Noam Chomsky."
Bin Laden's Defender: Noam Chomsky
by Alan M. Dershowitz
May 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm
Noam Chomsky has shown his true colors in his recently published "reaction" to the targeted killing of Osama Bin Laden. He apparently thinks Osama Bin Laden is the innocent victim of a cold-blooded murder that is worse than if George W. Bush were to be assassinated in his "compound." He doesn't believe Bin Laden's own admission of complicity in the murder of 3,000 people on 9/11, writing that it is about as credible as Chomsky's "confession that I won the Boston Marathon." Nor does he believe the evidence gathered by the 9/11 Commission, the grand jury that indicted Bin Laden, the numerous confessions and claims of responsibility by Al Qaeda operatives, and the video showing those who flew the planes in the presence of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. He believes there is absolutely no "evidence"—"nothing serious"—that Bin Laden played any role in 9/11. He also accuses President Obama of "simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that 'we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda.'" To avoid any appearance of partisanship and to show that he is an equal opportunity despiser of all American presidents, he writes that "uncontraversally" President Bush's "crimes vastly exceed bin Laden's." (Guernica. My Reaction to Osama bin Laden's Death. Noam Chomsky. May 6, 2011.)
Noam Chomsky: My Reaction to Osama bin Laden’s Death
We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic.
By Noam Chomsky
May 07, 2011 "Guernica" --- It’s increasingly clear that the operation was a planned assassination, multiply violating elementary norms of international law. There appears to have been no attempt to apprehend the unarmed victim, as presumably could have been done by 80 commandos facing virtually no opposition—except, they claim, from his wife, who lunged towards them. In societies that profess some respect for law, suspects are apprehended and brought to fair trial. I stress “suspects.” In April 2002, the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, informed the press that after the most intensive investigation in history, the FBI could say no more than that it “believed” that the plot was hatched in Afghanistan, though implemented in the UAE and Germany. What they only believed in April 2002, they obviously didn’t know 8 months earlier, when Washington dismissed tentative offers by the Taliban (how serious, we do not know, because they were instantly dismissed) to extradite bin Laden if they were presented with evidence—which, as we soon learned, Washington didn’t have. Thus Obama was simply lying when he said, in his White House statement, that “we quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda.”
Dershowitz has called Chomsky a "Holocaust denier"
This is a tactic the right use all the time.