A while ago, the CIA turned to Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 and The Siege, asking him to come up with a scenario about “what to do if we got bin Laden”. He told Terry Gross yesterday what he had told them:

And if you catch him, don’t kill him because he’ll become a martyr, which is what he seeks to be. But don’t take him to America just yet.

First of all, take him to Kenya, where on August 6, 1998, he set off a bomb in front of an American embassy, killing 224 people and wounding, blinding 150 Africans. Let him sit in a courtroom in Nairobi and tell 150 blind Africans that he was just striking at a symbol of American power.

And then you can take him to Tanzania, where on the same day, he set off another bomb in front of another American embassy, killing 11 people, all of them Muslims. And bin Laden excused that because it was Friday, and good Muslims would be in the mosque.

I think that would be a wonderful venue to talk about what a good Muslim actually is. And then you could bring him to America and have him answer for the death of the 17 sailors on the USS Cole in October, 2000, and the 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11.

But you don’t have to stop there. You can take him so many places. You know, Casablanca, Madrid, London, Bali. But just take him one last place. Take him home and try him under Sharia law, which is the only law that he and his followers would respect.

And if he’s convicted, he would be taken to a square in downtown Riyadh, and the executioner is a big man with a long sword, and it’s Saudi custom for the executioner to go out and ask the crowd, which is composed of the victims of the condemned man, to forgive him.

And if they couldn’t do that, then the executioner would do his job, and bin Laden would be taken and buried in an unmarked Wahhabi graveyard. And I thought in that manner, you could begin to roll back some of his awful legacy.

Now that’s bad-ass.


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