That question has been raised in the wake of the spontaneous celebration that occured in response to OBL’s demise. I certainly understand those of faith who hesitate to cheer the end of any life, and I understand those who are uneasy with the ‘party’ atmosphere that emereged on Sunday.
But I celebrate.
I celebrate the end to his reign of destruction.
I celebrate the justice obtained for his innocent victims.
I celebrate the unparalleled courage of our military forces.
I celebrate the awesome skill Seal Team 6 displayed in taking OBL down.
I celebrate the fact they gave him an opportunity to surrender.
I celebrate the fact they minimized civilian casulties and collateral damage.
I celebrate Presidents Bush and Obama for their dogged pursuit of this monster.
I celebrate the intelligence personel who worked for years, unheraled, to bring him down.
I celebrate the countless innocents, Muslim and Christian, who will now not be victims of his murderous terrorism.
I celebrate the untold number of young pople who won’t be poisoned by his evil ideology.
I celebrate the fact OBL had to face his Maker and account for his actions in this life on Sunday.
Awesome. Osama Bin Laden is dead. OBL = room temperature. Bin Laden was killed by an American bomb, reportedly, a week ago [DG: See Updates Below]. They waited to conduct DNA tests to confirm before reporting.
UPDATE: I have this running through my head. [WARNING: EXPLICIT LYRICS]
UPDATE: As I noted on Twitter, early reports (as they usually do) have turned out to be inacurrate. It happened today, not last week. It was a covert ground attack by elite special forces of the US military. Best info at this point, per Obama’s annoucement: The US developed intelligence locating Bin Laden in a compound near Islamabad. Obama gave the go, and US special forces attacked the compound…delivering special forces into the compound through 4 helicopters (one of which crashed). No US troops were injured. In the firefight, 3 combatants were killed, including Osama Bin Laden and, reportedly, his eldest son. The US has Bin Laden’s body in custody and, apparently, have confirmed his identity through DNA tests.
UPDATE: Here is video of Obama’s Address…it’s a bit shaky as someone just recorded their TV set but its the only video of the address I’ve been able to locate [BETTER VIDEO ADDED – DG]:
UPDATE: Assuming the details I reported above are true, the second day story is the implications this has for the Pakistani-US relationship. Bin Laden wasn’t holed up in some cave in the outlying tribal areas. He was in a massive compound, apparently constructed just for him, in the open and right next door to the Pakistani capitol. According to President Obama, Pakistan was not consulted with on the assault nor where they informed of it beforehand. A lot of questions are going to be asked.
Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.
Didn’t happen on Bush’s watch. But there’s no question he deserves credit tonight along with President Obama. Bush paved the way and Obama took up the baton (or should I say he layed up the Bush bounce pass, given Obama’s love of B-Ball?). Well done, both presidents.
UPDATE: More information coming in. Apparently Bin Laden was fairly brazen here. This compound he was in stuck out like a sore thumb. A million dollar compound in that area? With that much security? US got wind of his possible location through intel obtained from detainees. 2 brothers owned compound – were part of the Bin Laden courier group. Evidently OBL had more operational control over AQ than was previously thought. Another tidbit – reportedly the Seals gave OBL a chance to surrender. He declined and they obliged him.
The U.S. had been monitoring the compound in Abbottabad for months after receiving a tip in August that Bin Laden might be seeking shelter there. He had long been said to be in the mountainous region along the Afghanistan, Pakistan border, hiding in a cave as the U.S. sought to kill him with drone strikes from above. Instead, he was in a house eight times larger than its neighbors, with a seven-foot wall and valued at $1 million.
The house had no phone of television and the residents burned their trash. The house had high windows and few points of access, and U.S. officials concluded it had been built to hide someone.
According to U.S. officials, two U.S. helicopters swept into the compound at 1:30 and 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Twenty to 25 U.S. Navy Seals under the command of the Joint Special Operations Command in cooperation with the CIA stormed the compound and engaged Bin Laden and his men in a firefight, killed Bin Laden and all those with him.
UPDATE: Some reports suggest OBL has already been buried at sea. I tend to doubt that’s happened yet…more likely that represents current US plans [SEE Update below – DG]. No desire to create a shrine, of course. The closet historical parallel would be the body of Hitler. Which was reportedly taken by the Soviets, hidden for a number of years in a secret grave…and eventually destroyed and scattered to points unkown.
UPDATE: Pic of the Year?
UPDATE: Marines celebrate in DC:
UPDATE: Confirmed. OBL’s body has been buried at sea. Reportedly Muslim burial rites were followed. Muslim tradition is that a funeral must occur w/n 24 hours of death, so that undoubtedly played into the decision to do the burial immediately. The problem will be in squelching rumors that this was all a hoax. The body, of course, was indisputable evidence it was not. Will the evidence the US collected b/f the burial be enough to stave off conspiracy theories? Given the resistance to compelling evidence most conspiracy theories involve, I doubt it.
UPDATE: Fans at Mets-Phillies game react to the news:
Donald M. Gooch is an Assistant Professor of Political Science in the Department of Government at Stephen F. Austin State University. He received his PhD in Political Science at MU-Columbia in 2009. Dr. Gooch is an expert in American politics, public law, research methods and public policy. His research agenda includes political polarization (mass, elite, institutional – i.e. USSC), state campaign finance, civic education, and issue voting. He is the Pre-Law advisor and faculty sponsor for Moot Court at SFA.