Jessep (Jack Nicholson): "You want answers?"
Kaffee (Tom Cruise): "I think I'm entitled to them."
Jessep: "You want answers?"
Kaffee: "I want the truth!"
Jessep: "You can't handle the truth!"
- From the movie A Few Good Men
By now, everyone is aware of the dramatic Special Forces operation conducted over the weekend against Osama bin Laden, one of the masterminds behind the 9-11 attack on the twin towers and top leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization. He has been responsible for numerous terrorist attacks, resulting in many injuries and deaths throughout the world. Bin Laden had been on the FBI Most Wanted List since 1999 and spent the last 10 years in hiding throughout the Middle East, trying to avoid detection by the United States and its allies.
When the news arrived that bin Laden had been killed by a covert military operation inside Pakistan, it truly was a time of relief and rejoicing for those who had been personally affected by bin Laden's hideous crimes. All the hard work and resources that had been used to bring about this end gave the country a sense of great sanctification. We truly felt that any mission that we undertook and devoted the necessary resources toward accomplishing could be completed successfully.
When it came time to announce publicly the details of the operation and questions began to be asked about the raid, the sense of pride we all felt began to evaporate into a cloud of total disbelief and bewilderment. The first White House press conference reported that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a firefight with Navy Special Forces and that bin Laden himself used a woman as a shield as he fired at Navy Seals. Later, it was officially reported that bin Laden was not armed but rather killed as he "resisted" capture and a woman was shot in the leg as she attacked Navy Seals! After a firestorm of questions and more confusion, it was officially reported that bin Laden was unarmed but killed while reaching for a gun. When it was pointed out that the story's details keep changing, it was stated that "the fog of war" hampered an accurate reporting of the operational details.
There were also many other troubling events associated with the details of the story. Reportedly, bin Laden's body was flown to an aircraft carrier and "washed" and "wrapped in linen" for burial. His body was handled with "the greatest of respect" in its preparation for burial. Prior to burial at sea, an Islamic prayer was said over the body. This prayer pleads with "Allah" to grant entrance into paradise for the deceased! Great accommodations were also made to "respect Islamic burial traditions" even though we were told numerous times that Osama was not a "real Muslim" and that our war on terror is not against Islam!
Listening to all the conflicting reports and information about the incident caused me to reflect on something Jesus said. In John 8:31-32, he said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." Jesus provided a reference for ALL truth with his teachings and commandments. He continually used the phrase "I tell you the truth" when stressing the importance of something he as going to say. Truth was a vital element to his life, mission, and teaching.
To ignore or redefine truth is to begin to chip away at the foundation of what truth really is and to bring about the undermining of any society. Truth is now a concept that is stretched, bent, ignored, or cut and pasted together in our post-modern culture. It is has been used selectively many times as a political and military tool when the desired results may be embarrassing or illegal or to throw the enemy off a scent. The title of the former Soviet Union's major newspaper was Pravda, or The Truth, and was used exclusively to misinform and mislead the Russian people to believe whatever the Soviet leaders wanted them to believe!
This nation is now rejoicing and getting closure because a long sought after enemy has finally been brought to justice. To obfuscate on how the mission was accomplished or details concerning bin Laden's termination just brings about more questions and mistrust of any governmental explanations when the story continually changes. Every detail does not have to be given about what happened, but at least give a basic consistent narrative and report after a careful examination of the operation has been made! We have suffered together as a nation awaiting this day, and now we rejoice together. We don't want "answers" to what happened - we just want the truth! As a nation, we can handle it.