Boston Bombings: Rumor, Conspiracy, Denial

By Chris Lundry It has been over a week since the grisly bombing at the Boston Marathon, and with one perpetrator killed and another captured, analysts are now searching for the “why” and “how” answers. How did a seemingly well-adjusted young man fall under the influence of his brother and deign to commit such an act? Are others involved? Are there ties to a larger group in the US or abroad? Although some of these […] Read more »

The Missing Narrative on al-Qaeda

by Karina Sandhu Beginning September 11, 2001 and ending on May 2, 2011, in the eyes of many Americans, the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, was born, raised, lived, and died. Despite the fact that al-Qaeda was founded in 1989 and continues to exist today, many American citizens seem to have forgotten about the organization. And why wouldn’t they? As recently as September 11, 2012 we were told by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that currently “al-Qaeda is a […] Read more »

Ten Years Later, Our Narrative Remains Murky to Afghans

by Steven R. Corman Last Friday the always-excellent PBS Newshour ran a story that left me floored.  It featured interviews with several ordinary Afghans who were handed pictures of the 9/11 World Trade Center attack. Of a dozen or so people asked, only one man (a police chief in Marjah) knew the story behind the pictures. All but one person said they had never seen the pictures before and did not know what they represented. […] Read more »

Chomsky Jumps the Shark with bin Laden Statement

by Steven R. Corman A few days ago, Noam Chomsky released a statement critical of the recent U.S. operation that killed Osama bin Laden.  Chomsky is a well known and accomplished scholar who has written extensively on issues of linguistics, communication, and philosophy.  His work on metaphor is standard reading in my academic field.  However, this statement borders on absurdity and makes me wonder what the man could be thinking. Chomsky begins by calling the […] Read more »

Tainted Legacies: to the Victor go the (Narrative) Spoils?

By Chris Lundry The first 48 hours after the death of Osama bin Laden were grounds for relief in the United States, its allies, and those who condemn violent extremism, but they have also been fraught with speculation and rumors concerning the operation. Is bin Laden really dead? Did he really use his wife as a shield? Was he really armed and did he fire at the Navy Seals? Why have there been no pictures […] Read more »

Narrating the Death of bin Laden and the Afterlife of bin Laden’s Narrative

by Bud Goodall Sunday night President Barack Obama officially declared Osama bin Laden dead.  He began his speech with these words: Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. It was nearly 10 years ago […] Read more »