Cross Posted at Legal Schnauzer
Americans sang and chanted outside the White House as word began to leak last night that Osama bin Laden had been killed. When President Barack Obama addressed the nation, he said bin Laden's death marked "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."
Obama took decisive steps in the effort to track down the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States in 2001. And his speech hit just the right tone on what surely will be remembered as a historic Sunday evening.
But how significant is bin Laden's death, beyond its symbolic meaning? Was he really the No. 1 threat to our nation? Was bin Laden mostly a distraction from the internal rot that endangers America's future?
Consider some of the ominous problems we face, ones that have nothing to do with bin Laden:
* A Meltdown in Our Financial System--A recent report from the U.S. Senate outlines the fraud and chicanery at the heart of our banking and mortgage industries. The 650-page report is titled "Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse." What were its findings? Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) sums it up to The New York Times:
"The report pulls back the curtain on shoddy, risky, deceptive practices on the part of a lot of major financial institutions," Mr. Levin said in an interview. "The overwhelming evidence is that those institutions deceived their clients and deceived the public, and they were aided and abetted by deferential regulators and credit ratings agencies who had conflicts of interest."