The ambition of Osama Bin Laden to transform America has ended with his death. But we live that transformation every day.
Where we were briefly unified, we are now deeply divided.
We now react to every crisis with military might, with no regard to constitutional process.
Innocent bystanders are now acceptable collateral damage – men, women and children alike.
We now accept torture for our enemies, and even for those of our own who dissent. "Just following orders" has been cleansed of Nuremberg's condemnation.
We assassinate on command.
Body counts, once a horrifying legacy of Vietnam, are political pawns again – even if it's just one.
Death is deemed worthy of celebration.
Detention is no longer a tool of justice, but a means to punishment without judicial review.
We discard our most fundamental rights to a system of justice for all.
We abandon any treaty or convention that stands in our way; our word is no longer meaningful.
Justice is delivered by the barrel of a gun.
We spy on anyone who dares speak, or write, or hold a sign in protest. We even abandon the law for those who illegally spy for profit.
Hatred of the "other" is fashionable again, even in our houses of state. In a recurrent Bin Laden-style irony, we eventually learn to hate what our hatred has created.
Our sick, elderly and indigent are no longer worthy of our assistance.
We allow our children and our grandparents to be molested for meaningless security.
Fear and vengeance have displaced freedom and justice as our greatest motivators.
Our economy is crippled with greed.
The balance between the branches of our government has given way to a hierarchy of executive domination. Citizen access to all branches, especially the courts, has been severely curtailed.
Government, once the voice and will of the people, is hated as just another enemy. Formerly a common means to manage our society, it now manages a corporate security state.
All those we've harmed throughout the world since Bin Laden seduced us with his hatred, and with our own, really do hate us now; we give them ample reason.
And now, in fulfilling Bin Laden's final ambition, we have only ourselves left to blame.
Mission accomplished, Osama.