A national victory in bin Laden’s death

Finally.

The man whose face was a staple of our morning papers and evening news for days and weeks after the September 11 attacks is dead. Osama bin Laden was killed in a firefight with Americans — soldiers or intelligence officers; details are still sketchy — outside the capital of Pakistan, President Barack Obama announced late Sunday night.

Two details in that last sentence are particularly important:

  • “killed in a firefight with Americans”: This wasn’t an armed drone getting lucky. Americans on the ground, capping an operation that the president described as being in the works since August, met bin Laden in person and sent him to his death, collecting the body in the process. Best of all, none of our guys were hurt (although Pakistani officials say their operatives — more on that in a moment — had a helicopter shot down by bin Laden’s militants).
  • “outside the capital of Pakistan”: The compound — CNN reported it as a “mansion” — where bin Laden was killed was in the district of Abbottabad, about 40 miles outside the national capital, Islamabad. For years, the U.S. believed bin Laden was roaming from cave to cave in the mountainous no-man’s land between Afghanistan and Pakistan. It will be very interesting in the days ahead to learn exactly how long he was living right under the noses of the Pakistani government, how long Islamabad knew about it, and how the secret came to be spilled. I have a sneaking suspicion Pakistan’s talk about cooperation and even loss in Sunday’s operation is an attempt to cover for prior incompetence, at best, or treachery, at worst.

Obama cautioned, wisely, that bin Laden’s death does not mark the end of al Qaeda. This is not Adolf Hitler committing suicide; al Qaeda, while weakened substantially in many respects over the past nine and a half years, has taken the opportunity to spread out and multiply. It has become decentralized and thus is more protected from decapitation. I think it’s highly likely that we’ll see the remaining AQ divisions try to make a terrorist splash in the coming days and weeks to show us they’re not out of business.

That said, bin Laden’s death has huge symbolic and psychological value — for Americans and other westerners, of course, but in the Muslim world as well, let’s hope. With the so-called Arab Spring under way across North Africa and the Middle East, the death of Islamic terrorism’s most famous face and proponent may be a fortuitous moment. As I said, let’s hope so anyway.

Obama also invoked Sunday night the spirit of unity that prevailed, too briefly, after 9/11. His remarks were appropriately geared at unity, and it was reported that he took the time before addressing the nation to personally inform former President George W. Bush of bin Laden’s death — presumably because he knew the high value Bush had put on bringing bin Laden to justice. Remember: bin Laden had been a wanted man since at least the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 bombing on the USS Cole.

Whatever comes next, our soldiers, intelligence officers and President Obama deserve our thanks for seeing to the conclusion of this specific chapter of American history.

– By Kyle Wingfield

125 comments Add your comment

ATL Guy

May 2nd, 2011
1:16 am

Get ready for the Republicans and there don’t thank Obama, thank the military. The President is the head of the US Military and gets blame for its failures and credit for its successes on his watch. But there is more to this story than just the military campaign; there was a chain of events leading up to this where the President said that this was his focused issue. And he gave it the attention it needed even through the Republican birther nonsense. He knew that if he stayed the course, that he will achieve victory and be vindicated. Now the Republicans can all stand together and hate and make excuses. They too will join Osama in hell.

andesi

May 2nd, 2011
1:21 am

Donald Trump is going to be awful creative to take credit for this one. “Obama killed Osama” will be the chant for 2012.

JB

May 2nd, 2011
1:26 am

Paul

May 2nd, 2011
1:31 am

ATL, I am a Republican. But first and foremost I am an American. On behalf of all Americans, but especially those friends of mine who died on 9/11, I would like to thank President Obama for his diligence in bringing this cretin to justice.

Your hateful words are no better than what he did. We’ll see who burns in hell alongside of him. May God have mercy on your soul.

Itsmeagain

May 2nd, 2011
1:40 am

Let’s none of us burn in hell tonight, and if it’s the only time we can all be together and say it, let’s all be thankful and proud the brave men and women of the armed forces and of everyone who came together to make this happen (including Mr Obama).

naksuthin

May 2nd, 2011
1:51 am

Congratulations to the USA
And thanks to President Obama, the CIA and the Navy Seals for a
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!!!!!

Fred

May 2nd, 2011
2:22 am

Jay scooped you by 2 hours Kyle…………

MikeB

May 2nd, 2011
2:23 am

While I did not care for President Obama’s speech, I applaud his action…

The “I” did, “I” ordered tone to the speech was more about developing political capital, vs. any other objective, and that is in poor taste inmho….

I don’t think we are creating a safer America with this announcement. Would have rather it been left an classified unanswered mystery to be revealed 20 yrs down the line. But President Obama could not resist….

He also could not resist making his speech at a time that would be prime viewing by many folks in the middle east after Monday morning prayers….. Who was that message for???

Congrats to the entire military, especially our special ops folks and clandestine services who carried out this mission. To President Obama as well. Just use the fact that this occurred on your watch responsibly or you will cause more problems, than you have solved….

jack

May 2nd, 2011
2:34 am

to MikeB,,,, as the commander in chief,,, HE did make the decision,,, HE did have the final say,,, HE did have the balls to make a move when the intelligence was there,,,, like it or not,,, HE did lead this operation,,,which was carried out with amazing precision and expertise by the Military. Again,, like it or not,,, HE did accomplish in 2 years what the previous administration couldn’t do in 7 years

jack

May 2nd, 2011
2:35 am

A few hours ago in Pakistan ,,,,,,,,,”Ding dong,,,,, Hey,, hey Farook,, go answer the door,, it must be that pizza I ordered,,,,,, OH CRAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

$40 Billion in No-Bid Contracts

May 2nd, 2011
3:27 am

Bush and his friends profitted after almost 3,000 Americans died. I am glad this chapter in American history is finally put to rest. Thank God for “Change” and for “Hope”. Obama in 2012. Let’s put an end to the GOP’s “Good’ol boy network” raping of the American tax payer and profitting off their fear mongering. Obama did in 16 months what “W” The President couldn’t do (or didn’t want to do) in 7 years. How can you argue this?

40 Billion rode the short bus today

May 2nd, 2011
3:49 am

Brilliant analysis 40. Seriously, make sure that the teacher gives you plastic scissors today in class as the metal ones might cut into that keen logic of yours …

40 Billion rode the short bus today

May 2nd, 2011
3:55 am

Oh, and 40…….remember to color inside the lines….

Let Justice be Done or the Heavens Fall

May 2nd, 2011
5:47 am

My only regret is that Bin Ladin was not publicly hung in front of all the family members of the loved ones who perished in 9/11.

Rightwing Troll

May 2nd, 2011
6:07 am

Congrats to President Obama and our boys in the military…

Now bring them home.

Tyler Durden

May 2nd, 2011
6:15 am

Finally, an accomplishment worthy of a ‘Mission Accomplished’ banner. A leader who stayed focused and go the job done.

Congratluations to all involved. Now we can begin to move on and close this sad chapter in world history.

Congrats to the US, our military and our president

May 2nd, 2011
6:24 am

Mission is NOW Accomplished. Read “Osama Bin Laden is Dead: America Rejoices, Reflects and Readies” @ http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/black-womens-health-and-happiness

Bring our kids home

May 2nd, 2011
6:25 am

Bravo to our troops and to our President.

But it’s a sad day. It’s sad because we’ve got over 85,000 dead and wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan. These kids did everything we asked them to do and what do we have to show for it? Two dysfunctional countries. In Iraq, the Christians fled and the tensions between Suni and Shia remain intense. In Afghanistan a very small number (about 100) Al Qaeda are still fighting but we never seem to make much progress on that 100. Both goverments are ineffective and corrupt. Both economies continue to be a mess.

We should bring our kids home.

Oh, one more thing to you deficit hawks. Bin Laden cost us over a $1 tillion in these two disastrous wars. And we continue to waste about $165 billion per year.

Joel Edge

May 2nd, 2011
6:50 am

Good work on our militaries part. Hopefully the SOB suffered some.
On the other side. Can’t you liberals celebrate a small bit of justice without making something political or stupid out of it. Who cares who scooped who and why even bring Trumps name into this. Just be satisfied that Bin Laden got what he deserved. However late.

Sister Sarah

May 2nd, 2011
7:08 am

Everything is a political opportunity MikeB, no diffrent than declaring threats of “mushroom clouds” and raising terror threat levels before presidential elections. Remember that? Oh..I don’t remember you complaining about that one. Bottom line… you would NEVER trust we got him without PROOF. Hell… you couldn’t even accept the President’s short form birth certifcation as proof of his birth! (lmao). Here you go wanting it BOTH WAYS again. Wow, you are INSATIABLE!!

Ron

May 2nd, 2011
7:17 am

Yeah, the “I” comments in his speech were irritating. He should have taken a back seat in the credit dept. and given it all to our brave military and intelligence people who pulled this off.

Name

May 2nd, 2011
7:26 am

Now can we send our armed forces to focus on eliminating Donald Trump?

Buzz G

May 2nd, 2011
7:30 am

Bravo to the Navy Seals and all who worked to bring justice to the thousands of innocents who died on Sept. 11, 2001. And, yes, among those to be congratulated I would count our generally incompetent and lazy President and Golfer in Chief.

Tommy Maddox

May 2nd, 2011
7:35 am

Bravo military!

DebbieDoRight

May 2nd, 2011
7:47 am

Way to go Obama and military!!! NOW let’s see what we can do about bringing this country back into the realm of prosperity!!!

Jefferson

May 2nd, 2011
7:47 am

This is great news, let’s celebrate America’s win.

mike

May 2nd, 2011
7:49 am

ATL Guy –

Actually, you are just the kind of partisan fool you are describing. You already had some stupid partisan argument in your head before you got here. What a loser you are.

mike

May 2nd, 2011
7:50 am

Just to be clear: a quick scan of the posts shows who the hateful partisans are who can’t let any moment go by without scoring points. What losers.

mike

May 2nd, 2011
7:51 am

“Now the Republicans can all stand together and hate and make excuses. They too will join Osama in hell.”

Nice. Thanks for showing us that famous “tolerance”.

You People

May 2nd, 2011
7:53 am

It was only a matter of time. All these stupid comments would not exist IF Bush had done what PRESIDENT Obama accomplished. You people are idiots no matter what. Regardless if you like it or NOT PRESIDENT Obama was responsible for giving the green light on the mission that killed Bin Laden. You all need to go away and start back with your stupid little speeches regarding healthcare, taxes, education, and jobs. I am still waiting for you all to “cleanup” the mess in Washington since everything is so easy and you all are “for the people”.

I have met some liberals and conservatives that I think are very smart, but you people on here are ridiculous. The “incompetent” comment is as hilarious as it is STUPID. The conservative party has PROVED their incompetence just as the liberals …probably more. I have always noticed the ignorance always speak louder than intelligence.

CONGRATULATIONS to OUR President and OUR military for a job well done!!!

Howard

May 2nd, 2011
7:56 am

Obama and his team got the job done. Period. That is called leadership.

stands for decibels

May 2nd, 2011
7:58 am

This is not Adolf Hitler committing suicide

Valid point. Decent analogy.

That said, I feel I should point out that this well-organized band of religious nutters never, ever posed the sort of security or military threat to us that the Axis powers did, and I get a little tired of people (not Kyle, not here) implying as much. Perhaps we can extinguish this bad habit, along with bin Laden.

Former Dem

May 2nd, 2011
8:03 am

“My only regret is that Bin Ladin was not publicly hung in front of all the family members of the loved ones who perished in 9/11.”

Obama is a muslim – he would never kill a relative. Osama is not dead, there is no proof.

Name

May 2nd, 2011
8:05 am

“Obama and his team got the job done. Period. That is called leadership.”

It’s called desperation, trying to pull the trump card.
Bin Laden is not buried at sea, because he is not dead.

old timer

May 2nd, 2011
8:08 am

Remember Mr. Resident—–There is no I in team. ——-And with out your team this would not have happened. Congrats to the TEAM.

What?

May 2nd, 2011
8:19 am

Former Dem and Name,

In case you missed the story, the US Military has Bin Laden’s body. They are planning on bringing it to US soil. So much for not having proof, but don’t let the facts get in the way.

Call it like it is

May 2nd, 2011
8:21 am

Way to go SEALS! Doing what your trained to do despite the boneheads in DC making it hard for you. Instead of a burial at sea, they should have taken a pig, gutted it, thrown his body in the carcass, sew it up, then left it in the desert to rot. Hey buzzards have to eat to.

cranky old man

May 2nd, 2011
8:25 am

When is Donald Trump going to demand to see the death certificate?

stands for decibels

May 2nd, 2011
8:27 am

they should have taken a pig, gutted it, thrown his body in the carcass

Which would be seen around the planet for what it would be: a slap in the face to not just Muslims but Jews, Hindus, and other faith traditions that forbid consumption of certain foods.

I’m thankful that somewhat smarter people than that are in charge.

Dick Cheney

May 2nd, 2011
8:30 am

I blew the SOB’s head off with a hunting rifle-Obama is a wimp and had nothing to do with it.

Name

May 2nd, 2011
8:34 am

“a slap in the face to not just Muslims but Jews, Hindus, and other faith traditions that forbid consumption of certain foods.”

Heaven forbid President Osama offend any of his breathen.

ByteMe

May 2nd, 2011
8:36 am

Ding Dong! The Witch is dead. Which old Witch? The Wicked Witch!
Ding Dong! The Wicked Witch is dead.
Wake up – sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed.
Wake up, the Wicked Witch is dead. She’s gone where the goblins go,
Below – below – below. Yo-ho, let’s open up and sing and ring the bells out.
Ding Dong’ the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low.
Let them know
The Wicked Witch is dead!

Name

May 2nd, 2011
8:40 am

What says … In case you missed the story, the US Military has Bin Laden’s body. They are planning on bringing it to US soil. So much for not having proof, but don’t let the facts get in the way

Numerous news stories say he got his Muslim wish, to be buried at sea within 24 hours after death. Even in “death”, we are giving into terrorist demands.

Finn McCool

May 2nd, 2011
8:42 am

Wow, listen to all the conservative fear this morning. The conservatives need to change their underwear – they all collectively lost it. —- OMG – reprisals, threats, what will they do? Are we safe? Where will they strike?

One guy on the radio even said we should have caught him alive so we could incarcerate him so he wouldn’t become a martyr. Which is the same thing as saying “I’m so frikkin scared I now need to change my drawers.”

FSG

May 2nd, 2011
8:43 am

Now can we please have a coherent national energy policy that reduces our dependency on oil, so we can stop caring so much about the other side of the world? Wouldn’t it be nice if it was the Chinese who had to go get shot up in Afghanistan, instead of Americans?

And stop spending my tax money to buy scooters for old geezers with more money than me, too!

JP

May 2nd, 2011
8:44 am

Nice column Kyle. Can we leave the politics at the door for a few minutes? I am just glad the MFer is dead. I think everyone should be proud today. Great job by our leadership and troops. Also, I am glad Obama called W and let him know what had happened. Bush started this war after the fight came to our shores and I am I hope he is feeling good about the news. (Heck, I am a Dem saying this!)

hsn

May 2nd, 2011
8:47 am

old timer

May 2nd, 2011
8:08 am
“Remember Mr. Resident—–There is no I in team. ——-And with out your team this would not have happened. Congrats to the TEAM.”

Mr. Resident? It’s clear you have an agenda, don’t you? Okay, so by your logic, Obama should have said “WE ORDERED THE MILITARY TO DROP BOMBS” instead of “I ordered the military to drop bombs”? He is the COMMMANDER-IN-CHIE who gives orders. THE commander-in-chief IS ONE PERSON — NOT A TEAM, even though it takes his team (the military, navy, cia, pentagon, etc) to get the job done. This has been the CASE UNDER EVERY president.

If this had occurred under Bush and he had said the same thing, will you have called him “Mr. Resident”? GO AND READ THE SPEECHES OF BOTH Bush and Clinton — Bush when the war in Iraq began, and Clinton when that factory in Sudan was bombed. THEY ALL CONTAINED, “I” ordered our armed forces to….

You Republicans and your talk-radio hacks are the most disgraceful bunch in politics.. In a time when all Americans should be celebrating this feat, YOU ARE STILL LOOKING FOR PETTY political POINTS to score because IT DIDN’T HAPPEN UNDER “YOUR GUY.” Fools !!!

JAP

May 2nd, 2011
8:53 am

I would like to say congratulations to President Obama and all of the troops defending our country. This is truly a defining moment. Although this is an “American victory,” I am very curious to know what kind of “victory” it would have been if former president Bush would have done this. Say what you want to say, but President Obama did this in less than two years in office. The attack happened in 2001, when Bush had just gotten into office. Do the math!! OBAMA IN 2012!!!

Dumber and Dumber

May 2nd, 2011
8:57 am

Good news — too bad we’ll still be in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistant and Libya for another 20 years. Its too important for the defense contractors and the politicians (of both parties) who rely on their donations for this country to have a defense spending policy that we can sustain.

Rae

May 2nd, 2011
8:58 am

The quest from the right to degrade Obama knows no bounds.