More on the killing of bin Laden

Additional thoughts on our assassination of Osama bin Laden (with an additional eighth point at the bottom):

1. From the main Associated Press story:

Three adult males were also killed in the raid, including one of bin Laden’s sons, whom officials did not name. One of bin Laden’s sons, Hamza, is a senior member of al-Qaida. U.S. officials also said one woman was killed when she was used as a shield by a male combatant, and two other women were injured. (emphasis added)

Cowards, to the end.

2. From an AP story on the finer points of the raid itself:

Intelligence officials discovered the compound in August while monitoring an al-Qaida courier. The CIA had been hunting that courier for years, ever since detainees told interrogators that the courier was so trusted by bin Laden that he might very well be living with the al-Qaida leader. (emphasis added)

It will be very interesting to learn the specifics of “detainees told interrogators” and whether this story vindicates the highly criticized “enhanced interrogation techniques” used against such al Qaida heavyweights as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

3. Also from that second AP story:

Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who? (emphasis added)

Are we to believe that U.S. intelligence officials knew this compound existed for five years, yet the Pakistan government was never able to pin down who exactly was living in it? The AP story later suggests that intelligence on the building’s occupants came from “multiple sources” but does not say which ones. It also reports that the raid was conducted “without collaboration with Pakistani intelligence.” Perhaps because advising Pakistani intelligence of the raid may have compromised the mission? It would seem that Islamabad has a lot to answer for this morning.

4. On the burial of bin Laden’s body at sea: I understand the desire not to create a shrine for terrorists and their sympathizers. But I sure hope we got lots of visual documentation of bin Laden’s death beforehand. We don’t need to live with conspiracy theories that bin Laden survives — or, rather, since we still live with conspiracy theories that Elvis and Tupac are still alive, we need to minimize them.

5. It is churlish to suggest George W. Bush didn’t really try to capture or kill bin Laden, and it is equally churlish not to give President Barack Obama his due for green-lighting Sunday’s raid. On the former, it is becoming clear that pieces of the intelligence puzzle that led to bin Laden’s killing have been several years in the making. And we have known since President Clinton’s attempted assassination of bin Laden in Sudan, and the terrorist’s later close-call escape from Tora Bora, that the window for seizing such opportunities can be very small.

Which is precisely why Obama should be congratulated for approving the raid and giving it the attention and resources it needed to succeed. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who of course had a personal interest in seeing bin Laden brought to justice, put it this way: “I admire the courage of the president to make a decision like this because if something had gone wrong everyone would be blaming him.”

6. This inadvertent live-tweeting of the raid is awesome.

7. I don’t watch a lot of TV news, so I don’t have a go-to network when a story like this breaks; I usually flip around among the networks and cable news channels. I ended up watching Geraldo Rivera break the news and didn’t know whether to laugh or cringe. Tell you what: I’ll report, you decide.

ADDED at 11:25 a.m. (meant to include it originally):

8. Hamas is condemning the killing and mourning bin Laden as a “holy warrior.” And this is a group Israel is supposed to make peace with?

– By Kyle Wingfield

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64 comments Add your comment

Curious George

May 2nd, 2011
11:10 am

Is it true that a PhotoShop-created Hawaiian Birth Certificate was found on Osama Bin Laden’s body?

Curious George

May 2nd, 2011
11:21 am

Will Sean Penn and Richard Gere be holding a candlelight vigil for Osama Bin Laden this evening?

Martin Heldt

May 2nd, 2011
11:27 am

I think we really need to see Osama’s “Long Form” Death Certificate.

ByteMe

May 2nd, 2011
11:41 am

Geraldo was indeed cringe-worthy. Until the President spoke, the news channels were close to useless, filling time while saying little. Geraldo looked inept at it.

Hamas once again will be on the wrong side of history.

I doubt seriously the body was buried at sea before the DNA tests were completed. And the tests are still not completed at this hour (they take a long time to complete), so he’s likely in a cooler somewhere outside the reach of the crazies who might want to snatch the body back.

and whether this story vindicates the highly criticized “enhanced interrogation techniques” used

How exactly would getting this information vindicate the use of torture? It’s not like the information was something that prevented an imminent attack when the torture was being done 7 years ago. Unless you got a smoking gun from 2004, you got nothing there.

scrappy

May 2nd, 2011
11:42 am

On point #4 – I agree. All this will do is create long lasting conspiracies about him still living and still causing havoc. I think they should have cremated him, and not buried him. That way there is no memorial site, but DNA can still be taken to prove he is dead. Maybe they could pass him around, similiar to the Stanley cup! Everyone gets a turn!

Rockerbabe

May 2nd, 2011
11:47 am

May the victims and their families who suffered greatly at the hands of Osama’s terror rest in peace.

Thanks to President Obama, the SEAL teams and all those who directly and indirectly aided in this Osams’s capture and demise. Your work on ridding the world of this type of evil is greatly appreciated.

Curious George

May 2nd, 2011
11:51 am

Will Osama Bin Laden and Adolf Hitler be able to get along with Ted Kennedy?

Will those 3 murderers of women be sharing the same pit?

Kyle Wingfield

May 2nd, 2011
12:00 pm

ByteMe: Reportedly, the detainees gave interrogators the identity of the courier, and the courier eventually led us to bin Laden. That’s the connection here. What’s still unclear is the nature of the interrogations that led to that information; as I said, it will be interesting to learn more.

Jefferson

May 2nd, 2011
12:07 pm

Kyle, be big not small. Don’t look for clouds on a sunny day.

The Sad, Sickening Truth

May 2nd, 2011
12:17 pm

With what a taxpaying, flag-waving, law-abiding AMERICAN CITIZEN now has to go through just to be able to board a plane and take a trip now within in his or her own country, to say nothing of AMERICAN children being legally molested in the name of “security,” it is sadly clear Osama bin Laden was successful in his mission.

Ernesto

May 2nd, 2011
12:19 pm

One promise President Obama Kept: To capture Osama Bin Lade Dead or Alive. Thanks to the men and women risking their lives serving and protecting this country.

Freedom Lover

May 2nd, 2011
12:24 pm

Kyle wrote “It will be very interesting to learn the specifics of “detainees told interrogators” and whether this story vindicates the highly criticized “enhanced interrogation techniques” used against such al Qaida heavyweights as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”

I can’t believe how gullible you all are. You can count on this being used to justify the torture we have been illegally and immorally inflicting on innocent people all over the world either directly or for hire. When they put this story together they no doubt had a checklist. I mean look at what we are getting out of this:

Justification for all the bombing of Pakistan, justification for torture, justification for Gitmo, justification for a future invasion/occupation of Pakistan, justification for heightened security measures (less freedom again for americans), and with some more time I could probably come up with more.

And the majority of americans have bought this story hook, line, and sinker.

Its truly pathetic to see that you fell for it completely Kyle. Oh well. I would imagine that you believed everything that came out of the Bush administration while they were in total lie mode as well.

ByteMe

May 2nd, 2011
12:25 pm

So Kyle, are you saying that torture is ok as long as we get good information? You’re trying very hard not to state an opinion here. You’re an “opinion columnist”, right?

godless heathen

May 2nd, 2011
12:27 pm

AP is reporting that Sr White House officials said that DNA testing confirmed the identity of OBL before the President’s announcement.

I seriously doubt that within the few hours between the raid and the announcement that a DNA test could be performed. DNA testing is a very sophisticated procedure. The Seals wouldn’t have pocket DNA test kits, and I would be very surprised that we would have a DNA lab on a warship. I call BS on this one AP.

Kyle Wingfield

May 2nd, 2011
12:31 pm

(Sighing) ByteMe, if I went ahead and said that this does vindicate the EITs, you would hit me for jumping to conclusions when we don’t know the details of the specific interrogations that gave us that info on the courier.

Kyle Wingfield

May 2nd, 2011
12:40 pm

Now see a report that KSM gave up the information about the courier, which probably means EITs were involved.

http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/first-strands-on-bin-932436.html

So, now I will say it: I’m glad we water-boarded KSM and got to bin Laden. And you?

Curious George

May 2nd, 2011
12:45 pm

How many of us suspected that Bin Laden was actually hiding out in plain sight at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue these past 2 years and paying WAY too much attention to basketball?

Jefferson

May 2nd, 2011
12:46 pm

Kyle would you beat your child till he couldn’t sit down to teach them “your” lesson ? What if it worked? How about an illegal neighbours kid ? (After all he has no US rights?)

I guess you have conditions on how to use force.

More clouds for you.

joe

May 2nd, 2011
12:49 pm

@Freedom…if it weren’t for our military assets and techniques, you wouldn’t be making comments on here under your chosen handle, you’d be digging ditches and cussing at your gun toting supervisors in German, Japanese or Russian. So keep on being hypocritical if you want, but we all know what makes our nation the greatest on earth and we don’t have to answer to other nations for our operations no matter where they are conducted. My take is there wouldn’t be such a thing as waterboarding if there weren’t terrorists to waterboarded in the first place. So as long as they exist, all options are on the table.

Obama Zombie

May 2nd, 2011
12:50 pm

I read that when confronted, after the firefight, Bin Laden refused to surrender so a Seal said, “F**k center mass. Shoot him in the face.”

Three cheers for that guy !!!

The Economy & Bin Laden ...

May 2nd, 2011
12:52 pm

… Bush got the ball rolling and Obama destroyed them both!

sourkraut

May 2nd, 2011
12:56 pm

I’m glad he was killed there, Instead of bringing him here for trial. The ACLU and the Southern poverty Law center would have rushed to clothe him with rights, condemning conservatives as blood thirst Nazis, ant there weould be a line of law professors from Berkeley, and Columbia universities to “protect and defend” him. I only wish I could have seen the look on his face and smelled the fecal odor when Uncle Sam packed his bags. Tchus schweinhund!

Karl Marx

May 2nd, 2011
1:03 pm

Well I will say it, Congratulations to President Obama for giving the order and to our solders for expertly executing the order. Very well done. It was a class act for President Obama to personally call President Bush to inform him and for President Bush publically congratulate President Obama. This chapter is now closed and we must turn our attention to the new NO. 1. There is still much work to be done and I fear many presidents will be involved before the evil specter of terrorism is defeated.

Freedom Lover

May 2nd, 2011
1:07 pm

joe – The government would be proud of the education they gave you. No independent thinking, no critical thoughts. Congratulations.

Neither Germany or Japan could ever have invaded this country and won. I guess it makes you feel better to say what you did, but it is a hollow argument with no merits. As for the Soviets, they would never have invaded either but certainly doesn’t alter anything I have said.

It is our government that has destroyed our liberties and our freedoms and our military has done nothing to protect us from that. The terrorists may have hurt us on 9-11, but our foreign policies provoked the attacks and since them, it has only been the unconstitutional actions of our government that have destroyed the Bill of Rights.

Obama Zombie

May 2nd, 2011
1:12 pm

Now hang KSM and the other scumbags at Gitmo THIS AFTERNOON and we’re finally making some progress !!

carlosgvv

May 2nd, 2011
1:16 pm

Kyle, of course Islamad knew Bin Ladin was there. However, we must continue to support them because, if the current Government is toppled, Al Quada might very well take over and start handing out nukes right and left.

ByteMe

May 2nd, 2011
1:18 pm

(Sighing) ByteMe, if I went ahead and said that this does vindicate the EITs, you would hit me for jumping to conclusions when we don’t know the details of the specific interrogations that gave us that info on the courier.

Strawman argument on your part. Quit dodging.

I want to know: do you think torture is justified to obtain information that is not about an imminent threat?

You do know that KSM was interrogated for quite a while and was giving up good intel before they started torturing him, right?

joe

May 2nd, 2011
1:27 pm

Think we all watched Freedom being interviewed by Jessie Ventura his Conspiracy Theory show. Might want to check to see if they planted that back up chip under your skin somewhere. While I’ll agree that our govt does tread too heavily on our daily lives in the form of domestic policy, taxes, etc. you cannot fault our military for anything. The reason those countries couldn’t invade us (and win) is because our GI’s and technological advances always have been far superior to any other nation. We have done zero to deserve any attack on us here or in the world. We are always the nation other nations turn to when the chips are down and they need help in wars or natural disasters and we deliver.

Yes the govt needs to take their hands out of our pockets, but when it comes to military and foreign policy, we are the ones who dictate what goes…not the other way around…and I’ll put my Masters degree up against your education anytime.

jconservative

May 2nd, 2011
1:39 pm

“…I fear many presidents will be involved before the evil specter of terrorism is defeated.”

This says it about as well as any writing I have ever seen on the subject. The “war on terrorism” will be fought by as yet unborn Americans.

I fully supported President Bush and his move into Afghanistan to destroy bin Laden.

I support and congratulate President Obama on finally getting the guy. Damn good job!

But we do not want to ignore the $1.5 trillion spent on Iraq and Afghanistan and the 5000 plus American troops killed in the effort to build new nations. As of today we do not know what kind of nation will rise in either place, Democratic nations or Radical Islamic Republics.

We need to use the occasion of this success to direct our thoughts toward examining our role in the 21st century world. Do we want to be the world’s Judge, Jury and Executioner? Do we want to spend the lives? Do we want to spend the money?

We have just killed the guy who killed 3000 Americans. Yet we have sat back and allowed 5000 American troops to be killed in Iraq and Afghanistan with nothing to show for it.

Going forward, is this really what we want to be doing?

We need to have this debate. And it needs to be an intelligent, adult discussion. Those who wish to engage in name calling and political campaigning on the issue should be dismissed from the conservation.

I do not have all the answers. Hell, I do not even have all the questions. But we do need to talk.

Jack

May 2nd, 2011
1:54 pm

Obama had nothing to do with the decision to kill Osama. It was carried out by our forces and then Obama was told.

Pinche Huevos

May 2nd, 2011
1:59 pm

curios george you are a carnival barker and loser…..

fair and imbalanced

May 2nd, 2011
2:18 pm

Let’s not blame Bush!

Swede Atlanta

May 2nd, 2011
2:19 pm

Ref Jack @ 1:54 p.m.

You know your statement is not true so why make it? You must be another carnival barker.

An action like this can only be ordered by the CiC even if the decision was a consensus among his military and civilian national security advisors.

Cut the hypocrisy

May 2nd, 2011
2:30 pm

I don’t mind that we waterboarded suspects, I just wish we would quit the semantics about “waterboarding isn’t torture”. We should come down off of our moral high horse and admit that when faced with a serious threat, we will take serious actions. That includes torture. My problem all along is that we try to claim some high ground while doing the exact things we preach against.

Freedom Lover

May 2nd, 2011
2:31 pm

Joe – you are so far gone its not worth the effort. Osama cited the reasons for the 1993 attacks on WTC and they were all about our foreign policy and actions in the middle east. If you wish to remain oblivious to the horrible things your government is doing in your name that is fine. I bother to find out the truth. Maybe they should have taught you how to learn while they were betowing your masters degree on you.

ViewFromMidtown

May 2nd, 2011
2:52 pm

Congratulations on your moral relativism Kyle. You admit that for you the ends justify the means. However, some of us have a real moral foundation that recognizes that torture is torture, regardless of the situation, and is just as wrong when Americans do it as when our enemies do.

ViewFromMidtown

May 2nd, 2011
2:57 pm

Oh, and is the death of the figurehead Osama bin Laden worth giving up our moral high ground? No, Osama was no longer a potent force in ongoing terrorism. Terroism will still exist and continue without him. His death serves primarily as revenge — salve for lingering psychological wounds among so many Americans who lived in the fairy-tale world prior to 9/11 which assumed we were immune to such attacks.

Murph

May 2nd, 2011
3:13 pm

Jack – “Obama had nothing to do with the decision to kill Osama. It was carried out by our forces and then Obama was told.”

Completely Wrong. Read the accounts. Obama had no less than eight meetings on the subject before HE made the decision to go ahead with the mission.

That’s the facts Jack.

And Kyle, it’s your job to make sure that hacks like Jack don’t get away with posting false information.

Ivan

May 2nd, 2011
3:18 pm

That moral high ground allows more people to die. Osama was a threat as long as he lived. And the next “Osama” will meet the same fate. And this will continue, for as long we have the people willing to do what is necessary to protect American lives.

RLJ

May 2nd, 2011
3:20 pm

Watching the link to Geraldo: makes me glad that I am one conservative who still watches CNN.

jconservative

May 2nd, 2011
3:23 pm

I enjoy the discussion on water boarding as long as we all stick to the known facts.

The Bush administration water boarded some suspected terrorists and obtained some valuable intelligence. The Bush administration also ended water boarding just after Bush was sworn in for his second term.

And unless it is a well kept secret the Obama administration was not water boarded anyone. Obama said publicly that they would not water board anyone. Then they added a sentence in Bureaucratic English that translates into the phrase “unless it is critical for national defense”.

So there is where we stand on water boarding. We say we will not do it but we will do it if we need to do it. Politics aside, we do live in a world that is not necessarily friendly.

Pinche Huevos

May 2nd, 2011
3:40 pm

OBAMA>>OBAMA 2012…gop…losers…..

Kyle Wingfield

May 2nd, 2011
3:45 pm

Murph: I didn’t think I needed to correct something that was so obviously unsupported by the facts.

Midtown: I don’t think we should waterboard just any terror detainee — and the facts indicate that we didn’t — but I think the cases of KSM and a handful of other high-level al Qaida leaders are different. I also don’t generally approve of killing another human being, but I think the case of bin Laden is different.

Your view sounds like an evolution of the “torture didn’t bring us any useful information, anyway” line of argument — used to avoid the difficult dilemma between mistreating hard-core terrorists like KSM and doing everything we can to protect innocent civilians. Now, it’s “bin Laden didn’t really matter anyway.” I would guess that some of the very same people criticized Bush for straying from the pursuit of bin Laden personally. But who knows, maybe you weren’t one of them.

Linda

May 2nd, 2011
3:46 pm

Outside the US alphabet media, it appears that the Obama adm. is engaging in real torture: rendition.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/barackobama/4425135/Barack-Obama-to-allow-anti-terror-rendition-to-continue.html

Grover Gaddis

May 2nd, 2011
3:58 pm

Although touched up, two pictures of Bin Laden have just been released. One shows him with a comb over like the Donalds and the othe places him with Russ Limbaugh while they are dropping pills.

khan

May 2nd, 2011
4:05 pm

My dear fellows,I am an ex Army troop of Pakistan army.Today i was not surprised to listen about the killing of Bin Laden.I just gave a smile to this news.But i am happy that American armed forces got a strong reason to pull out from the grave yard of superpowers because so called Osama Bin Laden is dead and mission is accomplished.I know the inch and inch of this area this is just a very funny concocted story who has no head and feet.one question is always beyond my comprehension that how American government make fool of very educated American nation.Few questions.How Americans conducted this raid inside this area on Halis(fighter jets acceptable).No base is in near vicinity.Almost 2500 miles away from sea.one side is Himalayan ranges.Air strike is even not possible what to talk about halies.very very funny.This area is hub of military activities.I have no doubts about the capabilities and military preparedness of Pakistan army and even Americans troops who served with them have no doubts.so question is ruled out that Pakistan army was not part of this operation.Or any one can carried out this operation and can go unattended,again coordinated story.Another very funny observation is story of one million dollar compound.It was just a house of few thousand Pakistani rupees.My dear fellows such type of wanted people never used high walls, or barbed wires on thier houses,i have seen first house in complete Pakistan having barbed wire on the walls.Conclusion is American government wanted a strong reason to pull out from this area now they have the reason that Asama is killed we won the war and now we r coming back home.The foundation of this war was not laid on true facts like Iraq war.Hundreds of Muslims innocent ladies ,kids,infants and young or old people killed by the blind drown attacks of Americans in pursuit of few hand full of terrorists and this war has been imposed on Pakistan against thier will and desire to give strength to Indians against china.No American forces killed him its all mare fraudulent story.I dont doubt the integrity of American nation they r great thats why they r big power but i just request them to let poors live thier life with their belief.why some one blow him off without any strong reason.once u kill some innocent his loved one blow them .try to under stand.so many handsome American soliders fall pray to this so called war.i felt sorry for thier families.it is just a conspiracy theory.why dead body thrown in sea.very very funny.just like a cartoon every think is possible.

Freedom Lover

May 2nd, 2011
4:11 pm

khan – they can put forth this story and the american people will believe it because they blindly follow their leaders and everything they say. More truths like you have shared will be pouring forth like a broken dam over the next weeks and months and none of them will be given any credibilty because the media will not be allowed to give them any. And we actually continue to believe we are free.

wallbanger

May 2nd, 2011
4:14 pm

Big whoop. Osama didn’t cause our lousy economy or exacerbate it, and given this President’s continuing inept handling of our fiscal policy, I still don’t have a heck of a lot of shout about. I think it would be great if diversions like the birth certificate and this Osama slaying were laid to rest and we got back to the real issues affecting the future of this country–like the economy. We need to get real. Cut the spending. Quit toodling around in the mideast. For what???

Freedom Lover

May 2nd, 2011
4:15 pm

Murph – and you consider everything the government puts out as “fact?” If there was any story requiring a healthy dose of skepticism it is this one. Everything is WAY too convenient, wraps everything up in a nice bundle, and then drops it into the ocean where nobody can find it.

Murph

May 2nd, 2011
4:47 pm

Freedom Lover – Accept it. He’s dead and Obama did it. Period.

“In fact, it may be that President Obama single-handedly came up with the technique in order to pull this off. You see, the military wanted to go in there and bomb as they always do. They wanted to drop missiles and drop bombs and a number of totally destructive techniques here. But President Obama, perhaps the only qualified member in the room to deal with this, insisted on the Special Forces. No one else thought of that. President Obama. Not a single intelligence adviser, not a single national security adviser, not a single military adviser came up with the idea of using SEAL Team 6 or any Special Forces. President Obama deserves praise.” – Rush Limbaugh

So see, Rush has now given you republicans permission to thank Obama.