Amid all the shouts of U.S.A. and celebrations regarding Bin Laden’s death, few thought about those that loved him. One of the things that has always bothered me about the death penalty, is that it creates yet another circle of victims. These victims will never see justice, because the murder happened at the behest of the state. Imagine the horror his 12 year old daughter felt, as she watched her father being gunned down, after the U.S. military invaded her home. How does one erase those images? How does one carry on after watching someone you love die a violent death? Make no mistake about it, the sole purpose of that incursion was to commit a murder. I suppose we should be thankful that at least Obama has decided not to release the photos of his dead body, though I am sure this is of little comfort to his children.
The children — American soldiers left them at the compound with their hands bound behind their backs after taking away bin Laden’s body and dozens of computers and hard drives — are aged 4 to 12 and are being kept in a safe house near Islamabad in the military city Rawalpindi, a source told the Star.
Details on their specific ages and gender have not been released, although reports indicate bin Laden’s 12-year-old daughter Safia witnessed her father’s death.
It’s possible some of the children are bin Laden’s nephews and nieces.
While Pakistan’s foreign ministry has said it wants to repatriate the children to their country of origin, that may prove difficult. Long before his death, Saudi Arabia revoked the citizenship of the 54-year-old bin Laden in 1994.
It’s unclear where his children were born but a person familiar with the matter told the Star that Pakistan’s foreign ministry on Tuesday asked Saudi officials to take custody of the bin Laden children. The request was refused, the source said.
Because of bin Laden’s revoked citizenship status, his children may now be stateless, said a United Nations official based in Pakistan. (source)
Not only have these children lost their father, but they are without a single place that desires to take responsibility for educating them, nurturing them, and raising them. Does any child deserve to be punished in this manner? We do not live in biblical times, and sins of the father should not transfer to the child, but in this case the absolutely will.
I have watched as the media has paraded out the families that lost someone on 9/11, the political crowing that it took a democrat to bring justice, and even the outright ridicule of George Bush – yet all of this continues to miss the mark. This was an extrajudicial murder that involved no due process, that lead directly to the creation of a new round of victims. Is the pain of his children, worth less than someone who lost on a loved one on 9/11 and if so why? The ironic part about this, is that despite the blood shed, and the creation of new victims, the U.S. is not any safer than the day before Osama Bin Laden died.
Osama Bin Laden publicly took credit for the attacks on the U.S., but when will the state take credit for the hundreds of thousands that have died to advance U.S foreign policy? Even now, the state has failed to live up to the responsibility to the children it left tied up, with their hands behind their back. Due to the military might of the U.S., no one state can force them to be responsible for their actions, and so it is up to the people to demand accountability from their government. How does the abandonment of these children live up to the ideals of the U.S.? Isn’t it enough that they have been made orphans? They will never receive justice for the extra judicial murder of their father, but shouldn’t they at the very least have an education, a place to call home, and a good start in life? In a time of war, it is always the most innocent that suffer, and the treatment of Bin Laden’s children absolutely holds true to this.