Osama Bin Laden and the Greek Tradition

I’m a little late to the party on this, but apparently Seymour Hersh claims the way Bin Laden was killed and his body laid to rest differs from the official story line.  I’ve been reading too much Pynchon to dismiss Hersh out of hand, but I do want to pause and reflect on this passage from his piece:

The retired official said there had been another complication: some members of the Seal team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains – or so the Seals claimed.

Dudes!  This is how Orpheus died!  Not shot to pieces by Navy SEALs and then those pieces getting strewn across the Hindu Kush mountains, but, rather, ripped to pieces by the Thracian women, and then those pieces spread across some field.  Actually, this happened to Dionysus, too: he was ripped apart by the Titans.  In fact, dismemberment is a very common trope in Greek mythology (and probably lots others, too).  It happens so often that that form of death gets aped quite a bit in literature.  The prime example I’m thinking of right now is, spoiler alert, Tyrone Slothrop’s “death” in Gravity’s Rainbow.

Not making any political or social statements here, just spelling out a weird connection that my brain made when I got to this part in Hersh’s piece.  Funny how those connections get made sometimes….

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