Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP
House of Commons
London, SW1A 0AA

Dear Jeremy Corbyn:
I understand that you are troubled by the killing of “Jihadi John,” wishing he rather had been tried for his crimes.  I applaud.

I grew up in a town some forty or fifty miles from Rosewood.  None of my childhood friends were alive in 1923 when the massacre occurred, but a few were still traumatized by what they knew a generation later and knew more than they cared to tell.  The issue of lynching was involved, and perhaps I am still unduly disturbed by the idea of killing in the name of justice without due process of law.  I think you are, too.   

I am not cheered by anybody’s death, but I tend to put down the apparent killing of this sadistic, sick monster as a battlefield event.  He was not under our control.  On the other hand Bin Laden was indeed under our control; if a man in his mid fifties unarmed is confronted by a Navy Seal, armed and prepared, there is no question of whether he is under control.  I’d be very cooperative myself. 

So the accusation of lynching stings more.  There is further difficulty.  A video, which struck me as authentic, was released showing Bin Laden chatting with friends subsequent to the World Trade Center atrocity.  The murderer said his training in architecture had persuaded him the buildings would not burn down.  I would have agreed.  When the towers were built, Halon was the best means of putting out the kind of fire that ensued.  It was legal for use in a building’s sprinkler system when the towers were put up, but not by the time they burned.  A little internet digging persuaded me that the building was not inspected by New York because it was owned by the Port Authority in New Jersey, and not inspected by New Jersey because they were in New York.  They inspected themselves, and the records were kept in the World Trade Center.  If the piping for a fire extinguisher system was replaced to accommodate water, you would think somebody would have remembered and mentioned it.  After all, the fire was of historic significance.  Its destructiveness may have been due to a fire code violation.  That would have come out in any court procedure. 

I don’t regard this as even circumstantial evidence.  It just troubles me not to know. 

I think it’s pretty clear there is no political future in defending Bin Laden.  Somehow the logic seems to run, “What happened was so awful that the suspect does not deserve to have the facts brought out; it doesn’t matter whether he was guilty.”  That’s a hard mental set to overcome.  So yes, I think you are wise.  John’s killing is a better place to raise the issue of rule of law. 

My own abiding interest is infertility in the rich world.  Here’s a shorter version:  here’s a longer:  The outlook is grim in the extreme. 
If you have a loved one who has had difficulty establishing a pregnancy, I estimate the chances to be nine out of ten that this and only this is at fault.  I suppose my interest betrays me as an instinctive conservative the like of whom you have never met.  On the other hand, I’d be happy to do something for poor people.  Nowadays it would be cheap and easy.  Here’s the link to that.

All the best.  Keep up the good fight.


M. Linton Herbert MD

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