President Obama spoke at 10:36 CT.

He gave a quick review of 9/11 and of ten years of work by military and counter-terrorism professionals, citing accomplishments as well as failure to catch Osama bin Laden.

President Obama made capture/killing of bin Laden top CIA priority. In August, they picked up a lead that then took months to run to ground, leading to a compound deep inside Pakistan. The operation to capture him was authorized last week. Today, the operation was carried out in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 150km north of Islamabad. No US casualties. There was a firefight in which bin Laden was killed.

The Pakistani government is happy about the outcome of this operation.

All US military installations have been placed on the highest alert.

Today is the 8th anniversary of Bush’s “Mission accomplished.”

Comments

  1. #1 john.s.wilkins
    May 1, 2011

    And what he achieved was a decentralised terrorist organisation that does not depend upon him in any way, he has managed to get the US to abandon many of the freedoms he opposed, and he managed to trigger several military actions (they aren’t wars) that have come close to bankrupting the US, and added to its debt, leaving it seriously fragile, economically.

    So, why does his death matter?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    May 1, 2011

    Obviously your remarks are dead on except you’ve let your cynicism cause you to forget the importance of ….. oh, you know.

  3. #3 Karen
    May 2, 2011

    Argh, I can only imagine all the insufferable chest thumping and back slapping of congratulations I will have to endure, living in the US. Bleh.

    I am sure FOX News or Trump will insist that bin Laden’s body make the rounds ala “Weekend at Bernie’s”, because they will not believe that the President has pulled this off.

  4. #4 gwen
    May 2, 2011

    Karen, they are already holding up signs thanking GWB… :/

  5. #5 megan
    May 2, 2011

    Why wasn’t Bin Laden’s head on a platter presented during the correspondence dinner?

  6. #6 Phil
    May 2, 2011

    Er…because he was the one responsible for killing thousands of innocent people and now they have justice?

  7. #7 Frank Morehead
    May 2, 2011

    I hope his body is taken care of (after we get a chance to urinate on it) according to whatever nonsence they believe..

  8. #8 MadScientist
    May 2, 2011

    @john#1: Bin Laden was a terrorist recruiter and inspiration to deranged religious nutcases and he had a *lot* of money. Killing him won’t put an end to global religiously inspired terrorism – he was not the inventor of that – but it puts an end to a wealthy promoter of terrorism. I suspect his evil work will go on for a while; who knows how much money he’s managed to transfer while on the run. Sure there was a ‘freeze’ on his assets, but unfortunately that means his money was somewhat restricted, not altogether cut off.

    @phil#5: You mean Dubbyah? I think the civilian ‘casualties’ are well over 100,000 and still going up – but that’s all cool you know because they weren’t really the target and anyway 100 of them don’t count for 1 person killed in the WTC attack.

  9. #9 Phil
    May 2, 2011

    Madscientist. You know very well I was answering the question as to why getting Bin Laden is important. If you want to drag Bush into this don’t use my comments to twist things. Keep me out of it.

  10. #10 Equisetum
    May 2, 2011

    “Madscientist. You know very well I was answering the question as to why getting Bin Laden is important. If you want to drag Bush into this don’t use my comments to twist things. Keep me out of it.”

    I think what he meant is that Osama isn’t the only one responsible for innocent deaths, and that Bush (Cheney, et. al.) is responsible for far more deaths than Osama.
    And, yes, that should be a part of this conversation. Bush used Osama (among other things) as an excuse to illegally invade a country that was no threat to anyone and, in doing so, gave Al-Qaeda a foothold in Iraq and boosted recruiting for them. See? There is a connection. Wasn’t even much of a twist.

  11. #11 daedalus2u
    May 2, 2011

    I think what this means is that Obama is essentially unbeatable in 2012.

    He did in 2 years what Bush and the GOP couldn’t do in 8.

    Obama’s approval rating will go up 20-30 points. Only the die-hard racist tea baggers will still hate him, and it will be obvious to everyone else.

  12. #12 Mary
    May 2, 2011

    Though I am generally anti-war, back in 2001 I thought there was actually some justification in going after bin Laden. His organization had attacked us (on more than one occasion), targeted civilians, boasted about it, and threatened more. That seemed like Causus Belli if ever there was one.

    Even worse, I thought that it might make US office buildings and airplanes very tempting targets to a lot of other people with limited means and an axe to grind, if they were seen to get away with it.

    Over the last decade, I had come to believe that our efforts were futile, and that an army (even the world’s largest army) is for fighting against other armies, not playing hide and seek. Other countries have lived with terrorism for a long time, and while the incidents are tragic, they do not bring down the government or destroy the way of life. I had begun to think that we actually were helpless against terrorists after all, and that the ineffectiveness of our response (and the amount of damage it did to us) was just making that obvious to everyone.

    So now… I guess maybe some terrorists will think “If I kill American civilians, they will hunt me for ten years, even at the cost of crippling debt, and military deaths far exceeding the number of civilians I kill, and they will torture my people in their prisons and they will send kill squads to hunt for sport.” I guess maybe that’s a kind of deterrent after all…

    So, yay?

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    May 2, 2011

    daedalus2u, Obama is still black. There will be plenty who will deny any of this ever happened or somehow twist it around. Unless the progressive vote joins again with a strong African American turnout there will be no second term, and it does not matter what happens or does not happen in actual reality.

  14. #14 Equisetum
    May 2, 2011

    “Unless the progressive vote joins again with a strong African American turnout there will be no second term”

    Unless the crazy part of the Republican Party does indeed split from the not-so-crazy part and not-really-crazy-but-fiscally-irresponsible part of the Republican Party. But what I think will happen is that they will hang together and get even more crazy and fiscally irresponsible.

  15. #15 Lorax
    May 2, 2011

    YAY Bin Laden is dead. This will help Obama’s approval rating, least in the short term. However, I did not vote for Obama to catch Bin Laden. I voted for Obama to close Guantanamo, to reverse almost a decade of the government running roughshod over the Bill of Rights, to promote the general welfare not the white heterosexual male welfare, to work for the people not the corporations, to get the fuck out of Iraq, to promote change in US society that values clean energy, conservation, health, and education, and to keep a creepy old guy and crazy zealot out of office.
    Looking at the outcome of the last two years, the only reason I see to vote for Obama now is to keep whatever fuckwad republican ticket is nominated out of office. That is not good enough, at this point Ill be voting for a third party ticket.

  16. #16 daedalus2u
    May 2, 2011

    Equisetum, I think that you are right and the extremely crazy GOP and the extremely fiscally irresponsible GOP will band together and be obviously and rightfully labeled as the extremely racist GOP.

    I don’t think there are enough crazies to elect someone other than Obama.

    No one in the GOP stood up to Bush when Bush said he wasn’t concerned with OBL. Pointing out that none of the GOP contenders in 2012 can point to any video clips where they did.

    The next big show down is the debt limit. My guess is that there will be a big uptick in the stock market because investors now know that Obama has political clout and wil win the debt limit show down with the GOP.

  17. #17 daedalus2u
    May 2, 2011

    Lorax, why do you hate America?

  18. #18 itzac
    May 2, 2011

    @Lorax,

    Was it Kodos or Kang who said, “Go ahead, waste your vote!”

  19. #19 Greg Laden
    May 2, 2011

    Lorax, I will be really pissed at you if you put Donald Trump in office.

  20. #20 mad the swine
    May 2, 2011

    Lorax, I will be really pissed at you if you put Donald Trump in office.

    Count me in as another vote for a third party.

    Bush would have won in 1992 (and maybe Dole in ’96, too) if Perot hadn’t run to the right of the Republican Party and siphoned off votes from their base. The Republicans learned from this. They’ve been pushing harder and harder right, giving their hardcore base more and more of what they want, and in 2000 and 2004 that strategy paid off.

    If four years of Trump is what it takes to convince the Democrats that they need to start paying attention to their progressive base, instead of pushing so far to the ‘center’ that they nominate moderate Republicans like Obama, that’s a small price to pay.

    On topic: Bush and Bush Lite finally got their man (and his family, and innocent bystanders, but never mind that; we don’t know their names, so they must not really be human). I see no reason to cheer this particular stop on the Forever War Express any more than I cheer for any other.

  21. #21 Greg Laden
    May 2, 2011

    If four years of Trump is what it takes to convince the Democrats that they need

    Do you have a nose? I’m thinking you probably cut it off a long time ago.

  22. #22 Lorax
    May 2, 2011

    and this is why progressive/liberal viewpoints are almost non-existent at the federal level. Because the republican party has ‘jumped the shark’ the democratic party has shifted dramatically to the right to fill the void and gather up moderate center-right votes. Progressives/liberals have taken the chicken shit approach that we will accept the bully that simply beats us up if we don’t give him our lunch money, as opposed to the sociopath. If a voice says Im not accepting the bully anymore, then the voice gets accused of supporting the sociopath.

    Maybe its time we start sticking up for ourselves and not simply accept the leavings of a center-right society?

  23. #23 MacTurk
    May 3, 2011

    Bin Laden is dead, which is, on balance, positive.

    The first problem is that he was, over the last five years, just a sick old symbol, with very little active input. He established a terrorism franchise, and that is still, sadly, very healthy. Oh, and now it has a martyr figure.

    The second issue is that America tends to need a public enemy, a personality, for large parts of its foreign policy. I am sure Faux News will be providing several candidates for the role of Public Enemy No 1.

    The third issue is a simple question. Why did it take so long?

    The fourth issue is the position of Pakistan. Did ISI simply decide that UBL had out-lived his usefulness? I think there was humint here, as technical asssets have been conspicuously ineffective over the last ten years.

    And yes, Faux News, and all the other usual suspects from the sewer which now constitutes the “conservative commentariat”, is busy either claiming that “President Osama” was killed, or re-writing history to claim that the real hero here is G.W. Bush(Bush Jnr).

    The USA is stuck in two unwinnable wars. First, there is “The War on Terror” , which is a war on an abstract concept. It is just a bit difficult to decide what the winning criteria are here. Are we satisified when the noun has been expunged from all respectable dictionaries?

    Then there is “The War on Drugs”, which is essentially a war against human nature itself. This has been “fought”, at great expense and conspicuous lack of success, for at least twenty years now. There is no sign that drug use is decreasing in the USA, but you now have various economic sectors with a vested interest in this idiocy, while your imprisonment rate is, by far, the highest in the developed world. I was going to write “civilised”, but it didn’t seem to fit. Best of luck with your war against humanity.

  24. #24 MacTurk
    May 3, 2011

    Bin Laden is dead, which is, on balance, positive.

    The first problem is that he was, over the last five years, just a sick old symbol, with very little active input. He established a terrorism franchise, and that is still, sadly, very healthy. Oh, and now it has a martyr figure.

    The second issue is that America tends to need a public enemy, a personality, for large parts of its foreign policy. I am sure Faux News will be providing several candidates for the role of Public Enemy No 1.

    The third issue is a simple question. Why did it take so long?

    The fourth issue is the position of Pakistan. Did ISI simply decide that UBL had out-lived his usefulness? I think there was humint here, as technical asssets have been conspicuously ineffective over the last ten years.

    And yes, Faux News, and all the other usual suspects from the sewer which now constitutes the “conservative commentariat”, is busy either claiming that “President Osama” was killed, or re-writing history to claim that the real hero here is G.W. Bush(Bush Jnr).

    The USA is stuck in two unwinnable wars. First, there is “The War on Terror” , which is a war on an abstract concept. It is just a bit difficult to decide what the winning criteria are here. Are we satisified when the noun has been expunged from all respectable dictionaries?

    Then there is “The War on Drugs”, which is essentially a war against human nature itself. This has been “fought”, at great expense and conspicuous lack of success, for at least twenty years now. There is no sign that drug use is decreasing in the USA, but you now have various economic sectors with a vested interest in this idiocy, while your imprisonment rate is, by far, the highest in the developed world. I was going to write “civilised”, but it didn’t seem to fit. Best of luck with your war against humanity.

  25. #25 MacTurk
    May 3, 2011

    Bin Laden is dead, which is, on balance, positive.

    The first problem is that he was, over the last five years, just a sick old symbol, with very little active input. He established a terrorism franchise, and that is still, sadly, very healthy. Oh, and now it has a martyr figure.

    The second issue is that America tends to need a public enemy, a personality, for large parts of its foreign policy. I am sure Faux News will be providing several candidates for the role of Public Enemy No 1.

    The third issue is a simple question. Why did it take so long?

    The fourth issue is the position of Pakistan. Did ISI simply decide that UBL had out-lived his usefulness? I think there was humint here, as technical asssets have been conspicuously ineffective over the last ten years.

    And yes, Faux News, and all the other usual suspects from the sewer which now constitutes the “conservative commentariat”, is busy either claiming that “President Osama” was killed, or re-writing history to claim that the real hero here is G.W. Bush(Bush Jnr).

    The USA is stuck in two unwinnable wars. First, there is “The War on Terror” , which is a war on an abstract concept. It is just a bit difficult to decide what the winning criteria are here. Are we satisified when the noun has been expunged from all respectable dictionaries?

    Then there is “The War on Drugs”, which is essentially a war against human nature itself. This has been “fought”, at great expense and conspicuous lack of success, for at least twenty years now. There is no sign that drug use is decreasing in the USA, but you now have various economic sectors with a vested interest in this idiocy, while your imprisonment rate is, by far, the highest in the developed world. I was going to write “civilised”, but it didn’t seem to fit. Best of luck with your war against humanity.

  26. #26 MacTurk
    May 4, 2011

    I have to apologise for the dopuble post. Sorry people.

    I have no idea how this happened.

  27. #27 Greg Laden
    May 4, 2011

    Sometimes … things happen.