Bin Laden's hypocrisy is like our own
The public appetite for salacious scandal has us gripped in an indignant epidemic, says Julia Molony
Did Osama Bin Laden really have a secret pornography stash, or is that morsel of news too good to be true?
Like the suggestion that he used a woman as a human shield, no piece of gossip could be more damaging to Osama's posthumous reputation. To those who revered him, Bin Laden was not a man but the embodiment of an ideal, a beacon of jihadist purity. His moral authority came from a sense of ethical purity.
But now, with this revelation, the suggestion of hypocrisy has intruded into his legend. If Osama was indeed not simply a living emblem but a human being with needs and, like the rest of us, failures of discipline, it makes a mockery of his cause, his arrogant self-declared mandate to pursue his claim to the high moral ground, to the point of death.