in politics

The Banality of Evildoers

Though it was initially called a mansion, Osama Bin Laden’s safe house décor might better be described as Meth Lab Chic. (Not that I’m all that familiar with meth lab interiors, natch.) Rather than a set from 24, it's more the kind of place only Vibe magazine would choose for a shoot, no pun intended. His particleboard furniture looks like it was salvaged from a rural roadside free pile; a power strip is bolted arbitrarily to the wall; wires are strung higgledy-piggledy as if by an adolescent hobbyist; and this former heir to a multimillion Saudi fortune gets relegated to watching standard def video on a TV you couldn’t get $5 for on Craigslist. It seems only a matter of time before we’re told they found porn on his computer.All kidding aside: Our mythologies about the superpowerful and insanely devious OBL stem from the trauma of the 9/11 attacks. It just wouldn’t do for the culprits to be mere mortal miscreants; we had to build them up into a hydra-headed syndicate.


This is the smartest take on OBL and Al-Queda I've seen, and mirrors how I've thought of these guys for the past ten years. (via Sippey)

  1. Are we comparing apples to apples? Could his safe house have been a mansion in Pakistan compared to how normal people live? (I haven’t been to Pakistan so I don’t know the standard of living.)

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