Respectful Insolence

Osama bin Laden…dead. Finally.

After more than ten years, finally, Osama bin Laden is dead:

This is such monumental news that I think it’s appropriate to pause blogging in order to pay tribute to the brave men and women who finally not only killed the terrorist mastermind behind 9/11 but brought his body back. Well done!

I’ve written about my experiences in 9/11 before. Although I wasn’t in Manhattan and didn’t know anyone personally who was killed in the attacks, I was close enough, and I knew people who had family and friends killed in the attack. That was more than enough. Too much, in fact.

Comments

  1. #1 IanW
    May 2, 2011

    No need to pause blogging – it was a surgical strike after all….

  2. #2 Todd W.
    May 2, 2011

    Heard about this on the news this morning and first thought was, “Good.” Second thought was, “Let the conspiracy theories begin.”

  3. #3 Zak
    May 2, 2011

    Haha! Isn’t this supposed to be a website for skeptics? And you BUY this story of Osama bin Laden being killed in a “firefight”?
    Let’s recap:
    A secret mission was launched last week to kill Osama bin Laden. A “firefight” ensued, in the course of which OBL was shot in the head and killed. His body was “taken into custody” by US forces, and secretly buried at sea out of respect for Islamic tradition. All this happened a couple of days ago, yet the autopsy (!) photo is of a man who has been dead for at least a week and whose face has been battered beyond recognition (did they beat him up after they killed him?).
    You actually believe this stuff? The body is conveniently made to disappear out of “respect for Islamic customs and traditions”? US forces have never respected Islamic traditions in the past (Saddam Hussein’s sons were put on public display for a week to prove to the world that they were really dead). Why are they suddenly being so respectful of Islamic tradition when the body in question is supposedly that of the man they’ve been hunting for 5 years? And since when was burial at sea an Islamic custom anyway? (It isn’t.)
    On top of that, the report of bin Laden”s death is being linked unquestioningly to the 911 attacks in the mainstream media, when there isn’t a scrap of evidence to support the idea that bin Laden had anything at all to do with 911.
    I’ve never heard so much baloney in my life.

  4. #4 Todd W.
    May 2, 2011

    Like I said, let the conspiracy theories begin.

  5. #5 robm
    May 2, 2011

    @Zak

    “I’ve never heard so much baloney in my life”

    &ltsarcasm&gt
    Oh, I agree…
    &lt/sarcasm&gt

  6. #6 Jojo
    May 2, 2011

    10 years out, this seems like a hollow victory to me. I just hope that fewer people come to harm as the result of him becoming a martyr as they would have if he remained alive.

  7. #7 daijiyobu
    May 2, 2011

    Great, they buried him at sea.

    Sorry, gotta go.

    I have to jet to Hollywood so I can pitch my script for the next Pirates of the Caribbean film.

    -r.c.

  8. #8 Dianne
    May 2, 2011

    I’m by no means sorry that bin Laden’s dead (actually I’m kind of surprised he was alive at all: wasn’t he on dialysis for like a decade?), but I don’t see this as a solution to anything. Bin Laden was the nominal head of al Qaeda, but his death won’t make the organization fall apart: they’ll just get a new head. Assassinating bin Laden won’t discredit Islamic extremism-killing a leader rarely makes him less popular (see Kennedy, for example: he was expected to lose re-election*.) If anything, I’d say bin Laden’s death puts us at temporarily higher risk for attack. The NYPD seems to agree: they were all over the PATH station this morning.

    *Hey, I’ve got a new Kennedy conspiracy theory: Kennedy himself arranged the assassination! It was supposed, of course, to fail, but Oswald wasn’t as good a sniper as Kennedy thought and the car veered a bit at the last minute…

  9. #9 Lawrence
    May 2, 2011

    Let’s see:

    1) Rather spend a couple of million running a surgical military operation to kill him rather than capture him and spend tens of millions of dollars to hold him, try him (good luck finding an unbiased jury in the US) – and make him a living martyr to his cause. I’ll take the $.50 bullet to the brain any day of the week.

    2) Bury him at sea, so there is no shrine to his body. Even bringing the body back to the US creates a target and would only spread rumors of corpse desicration, etc.

    3) We could have blown that compound away with cruise missiles or bombs – but we’d never really know for sure that we got him. I love the idea that a Navy Seal put one 5.56mm round into his head.

    Nothing will convince the “Deathers” but you’d think that it would be very easy to Bin Laden to refute, right? All his has to do is release another tape.

    I’m not one to celebrate the death of anyone – in this case, it is just another loose end that gets tied up, nice and neat.

  10. #10 Greg Fish
    May 2, 2011

    Ah yes, the game of Six Degrees of Illuminati has already begun and the Loose Change twits are out in full force, their lack of even the most rudimentary facts about what’s going on on display…

    “A secret mission was launched last week to kill Osama bin Laden.”

    No, a secret mission was authorized last week. It was carried out yesterday. Right out of the gate, Zak stumbles and falls.

    “His body was ‘taken into custody’ by US forces, and secretly buried at sea out of respect for Islamic tradition.”

    His body was buried? Since when? No one said anything about a burial, much less at sea. The word sea wasn’t even mentioned in any of the official news reports or releases. It was said to have been taken into custody for verification and that it was “being treated in accordance with Islamic traditions,” not that it was buried.

    “the autopsy (!) photo is of a man who has been dead for at least a week and whose face has been battered beyond recognition”

    The source of the picture is highly suspect and from what I understand is just something floating on the web. I have not yet seen any photos purported to be official autopsy snapshots. I know, you can’t believe everything you see on the web nowadays! What a shocker!

    You also have to remember that image quality plays a big role in how a face appears in photos and unless you’re a doctor or a competent mortician, I’m not willing to go along with your “analysis” of a grainy, suspect photo that’s making its way across image-sharing sites.

    “Saddam Hussein’s sons were put on public display for a week to prove to the world that they were really dead…”

    And that’s not true either. There were maybe 15 seconds of video footage and a few photos of their bodies on the news. How did you get a week out of that?

    “…when the body in question is supposedly that of the man they’ve been hunting for 5 years?”

    Ah, never mind. I see that timelines and history are not your strong suit since bin Laden was either under surveillance or sought for a grand total of about 17 years, starting with the North Africa embassy bombings while he lived in a compound in Khartoum, pretending that he was an accomplished, seasoned veteran of the Afghan War with the USSR while whatever fighting he actually did was minimal at best according to Talibs.

    “On top of that, the report of bin Laden”s death is being linked unquestioningly to the 911 attacks in the mainstream media…”

    … because that’s what happened. I’m sorry to intrude on your New World Order orchestrating 9/11 vibe there but… No wait, I’m not sorry because it’s utter bunk concocted by the perpetually paranoid and smug.

    So let’s recap. You don’t know when the operation was carried out, you don’t know what happened to the body, you decided to give us your “expert analysis” of a grainy and unclaimed internet photo, you don’t know how long bin Laden was sought, how long the images of Saddam’s sons were in the news, and you’ve hurled out some assertion about how 9/11 has completely nothing to do with bin Laden, despite the fact that bin Laden has been gloating about it in his audio and video tapes since November 2001.

    All in all, not a good show.

  11. #11 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 2, 2011

    On top of that, the report of bin Laden”s death is being linked unquestioningly to the 911 attacks in the mainstream media, when there isn’t a scrap of evidence to support the idea that bin Laden had anything at all to do with 911.

    If Osama bin Laden’s declaration aired on al-Jazeera that he had personally directed the nineteen 9/11 hijackers doesn’t count as “a scrap of evidence” to you, I have to wonder what would qualify as evidence in your crazy world.

  12. #12 Christopher Wing
    May 2, 2011

    Hooray. We killed tens of thousands of people in two countries (one of which never hosted Bin Laden), bankrupted the US with needless wars, gave up our rights to a corrupt government, and lost whatever respect we had as a nation.

    We lost this war a long, long time ago, and any jingoistic sentiment is simply the last gasps of a dying empire. How sad a small the US seems on this day.

  13. #13 Lynxreign
    May 2, 2011

    Think about what this little act of vengance cost. 10 + years with the full weight of America’s military and intelligence services, 2 wars (1 illegal), hundreds of thousands of civilians dead, 2 trillion dollars and erosion of our liberties at home, but hey we finally managed to kill one guy! The scary man is dead, can we have our national sanity back now?

  14. #14 Mojo
    May 2, 2011

    Has anyone demanded to see his long form death certificate yet?

  15. #15 John
    May 2, 2011

    There is definitely reason to celebrate bin Laden’s death; however, let us not forget the words of Che Guevara when he was executed: “You only kill the man…”

  16. #16 wfjag
    May 2, 2011

    @ Lawrence:
    “Nothing will convince the “Deathers” but you’d think that it would be very easy to Bin Laden to refute, right? All his has to do is release another tape.”

    Of course it wouldn’t. “They” would just be re-using the fake moon landing set — which, by coincidence, looks like Afghanistan.

  17. #17 Catherina
    May 2, 2011

    I much rather like PZ Myers’ summary of the events, the status quo, and what is going to happen:

    While it’s necessary to stop terrorists, sometimes with violence, it is barbarous to gloat over the execution of an enemy. I find the chanting crowds cheering over the corpse disturbing, and the triumphal tone of our leaders is misplaced. We killed hundreds of thousands of civilians and threw away trillions of dollars, and our trophy is the bloody corpse of one old man? There’s no victory in that.

    I’m also cynical. What was the point? Nothing will change. We live in Idiot America, which is also Fearful America, which is also Paranoid America, which is also Solve-Our-Problems-With-A-Gun America. One figurehead is dead, now the focus of our country’s fear will shift to some amorphous mass of generic Muslims, and the troops will continue their destruction, and we’ll still flag our cowardice with pointless color changes at our airports, and we’ll continue to sacrifice our civil liberties at the altar of national security. Nothing was accomplished, our purpose is as vague and tyrannical as ever, we’ll need to continue to kill more to feed our illusion of safety.

    Oh, there is one thing we’ve got now. A few more politicians will cloak themselves in the blood of our enemies in the next election, and victory will be achieved for Blowing Shit Up in the name of Getting Things Done. And we’ll perpetuate the violence because it appeals to our citizen savages.

  18. #18 Jay Lee
    May 2, 2011

    Its about time. “Burial at sea” sounds nicer to the protected masses than the reality of ‘dumped in the ocean somewhere’. Dumped works for me.

  19. #19 René Najera
    May 2, 2011

    Two there are always. No more. No less. A master and an apprentice. It’s the apprentices I worry about now, not that putrid mass sleeping with the fishes today.

  20. #20 lilady
    May 2, 2011

    I was working in a nearby suburb of NYC at the time of 9-11, away from the office with colleagues…recertifying for CPR at a local hospital, when the news of the plane hitting the first tower was broadcast. At the time, I didn’t know if my daughter was at her mid-town office or at her alternative office at the World Trade Center. Within 40 minutes she called my office; the good news was relayed to me at the hospital. She, along with tens of thousands of people trudged out of Manhattan on the 59th Street Bridge and she eventually made her way to my home at 8 PM that night. I have her clip-on photo ID badge from the World Trade Center as a grim reminder of the momentary grief I felt until I heard she was safe and the terrible loss of life during the terrorist attacks on our country.

    My daughter’s boss was killed in the attacks as were her close chum from high school, my brother’s best buddy lost his son…a NYC fireman, a physician I worked with lost her husband.

    For months after the attacks, we attended funerals and memorial services and supported our friends who had gone through the attacks and survived.

    It is somewhat difficult to wrap one’s brain around the fact that Bin Laden was executed and that I rejoice in his execution. It will give some small comfort to the survivors and to those who lost family and friends in the attacks.

  21. #21 ZDoggMD
    May 2, 2011

    Mixed feelings here. Glad he’s gone, but now I’ll never get a chance to implement my punishment scheme: capture Bin Laden alive, then bring him back to the US and force him to receive everything the US healthcare system has to offer (except merciful hospice). Forget virgins — give him decubiti sitting in a nursing home! Now my most offensive video is sadly obsolete: http://zdoggmd.com/2011/01/osamacare/

  22. #22 Denice Walter
    May 2, 2011

    I can only hope that now there will be less animosity towards Muslims in general: in the wake of 9/11, I remember the jokes and undisguised hate speech against everyday, run-of-the-mill Muslims. I felt differently:

    In the early 1990′s I was fortunate to meet fellows who were *religious* followers of the “Blind Sheik” Rahman: I worked for a non-profit ( as counselor and “propagandist”) and found myself in JC a few times a month; I ate at a small kebab restaurant where the thirty-ish chef and waiters welcomed me like a long-lost (albeit much too white) sister, sat me next to the sole palm tree, and usually brought me additional treats -gratis- while I wrote and drank mint tea. While they often played video sermons by the Sheik, during the Gulf War we watched the “action” together, with them looking as disturbed as I probably did. “War is bad”, the chef said shaking his head. I knew them by name and tried to learn a few phrases in Arabic to greet them and request menu items. One wanted to learn English better and especially liked talking with me. The place was boarded up after the first WTC attack in early 1993. I wonder what happened to them: they were hard working guys who wanted to improve their lives. A person I knew once remarked that I should write my experiences up under the title, “Eating with Terrorists”- perfectly illustrating my earlier point about painting with a broad brush.

    Since then I make an effort to speak to young Muslim women, usually with small children, in stores. I say something and smile trying to show my *lack* of hate ( although I do have mixed feelings about headscarves).

    Life is hard enough without projecting emnity on strangers who look differently than yourself.

  23. #23 Dianne
    May 2, 2011

    If Osama bin Laden’s declaration aired on al-Jazeera that he had personally directed the nineteen 9/11 hijackers doesn’t count as “a scrap of evidence” to you,

    Just to be nitpicky, a confession isn’t a conviction. It’s technically possible that bin Laden was just some crazy guy that the real mastermind (if any) used to deflect attention from him or herself. It’s not a possibility that I’m going to stay up nights worrying about, but in the US-American legal system, bin Laden was still innocent at death, having never been convicted.

  24. #24 Greg Fish
    May 2, 2011

    @ John, #15

    “let us not forget the words of Che Guevara when he was executed: ‘You only kill the man…’ “

    We shouldn’t give a whole lot of credence to what was attributed to Guevara’s legend by the Cuban regime. We’re only told that’s what he said. His real words may very well have been quite different.

  25. #25 Richard
    May 2, 2011

    I would like to express my gratitude to our military for killing Osama bin Laden, a truly evil man who needed to be brought to justice. I would also like to affirm my belief that Osama bin Laden does not represent Islam, and we should all try to live and get along with others of different faiths and welcome Muslims into our communities.

  26. #26 daedalus2u
    May 2, 2011

    The most important thing this does is it makes Obama unbeatable in 2012.

    He did in 2 years what Bush and the GOP couldn’t do in 8, and during a recession and while battling with a GOP Congress that puts party ahead of country and that was fighting him every step of the way.

    The Bush White House would have prematurely leaked the intelligence to Faux for political gain and blown the opportunity (the way they did other times).

    The extreme right wing of the GOP will still hate Obama and will never give him any credit. That will expose them as the transparent racists they are.

    Everything went down exactly right because the person at the top, Obama wanted it to go down exactly right and he put in place the people in the chain of command who either knew how to do it exactly right or got the people on the ground who did know and had them do it exactly right and didn’t second guess them and make them do things wrong.

    This degree of patience and attention to detail is what is important. This is what scares the future leaders of al Qaeda more than how many planes and bombs the US has.

    I think in time, the video of the dignified and respectful Muslim funeral that the US military held for him on a US warship by US military Muslim Chaplains will come out. This will do more to deflate Islamic extremists than bin Laden’s death ever could. That the US has the strength to treat such a person with respect in death is not something that the fanatics (on both sides) will be able to understand… and it will scare the piss out of them.

  27. #27 DavidCT
    May 2, 2011

    I would have been much more impressed if they had been able to capture him. bin Laden’s influence has been been on the decline with the Muslim Spring events. Now he may be qualified to become a martyr which may actually increase his influence.

  28. #28 MJM
    May 2, 2011

    Orac, I was a senior fellow at the Beth Israel in NYC on 9/11. We could see the Towers burn and collapse from the oncology unit. I didn’t know if my friends and family who worked in the Towers had gotten out before they went down. Only one local TV channel was still on the air and the news available was confused. Phone service, both land line and cell, were severely compromised. We cleared the hospital of every patient who could be sent home, but very few casualties were admitted. There isn’t much for a doctor to do if you drop a skyscraper on a human body. The sirens were endless that day and for weeks after. I am satisfied today. Not elated. Not relieved. The war continues. It appears endless.

  29. #29 Craig Willoughby
    May 2, 2011

    Sadly, he’s a martyr now. Not that they needed much of an excuse for their zealotry, but this will give them more reason to terrorize the US.

    Don’t take it that I am not relieved that he has been brought to justice, just that I’m greatly anticipating retaliation.

    And, it also brings into perspective the increase in TSA security at airports, doesn’t it? It is my thought that the government is ramping up security in possible preparation.

  30. #30 Craig Willoughby
    May 2, 2011

    Another thing;

    I noticed Obama’s speech last night was a bit stilted and broken up. I know he was reading from a teleprompter, but I’m used to him being far more articulate than that.

    Then I realized; they hadn’t changed the settings on the teleprompter since Bush left office…

  31. #31 Todd W.
    May 2, 2011

    @Craig Willoughby

    Sadly, he’s a martyr now. Not that they needed much of an excuse for their zealotry, but this will give them more reason to terrorize the US.

    Agreed, in part. However, even if he had been captured alive, that would have been justification enough to retaliate. That he’s dead just changes the rationalization for an attack.

  32. #32 Scott Cunningham
    May 2, 2011

    Plus c’est change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    Now Al Qiada will revere a dead man like Che Guevera, and most Muslim terrorists will carry on as unaffiliated or members of wholly unrelated groups, as always.

    Islamophobia will not go away either. Racists don’t need reasons.

    The Tea Party will now concoct denialist myths to make President Obama not American and not responsible for Osama bin Laden’s death. When their accounts are finally settled, Ronald Reagan will be riding in on a time-travelling bronco to kill bin Laden and declare the moon landing a hoax.

    On the one hand, this ought to be important. But already it’s doing as much to change public narratives as a retrospective vax vs. unvax study finding no link to autism.

  33. #33 Get it
    May 2, 2011

    The Freepers are already claiming OBL isn’t really dead. And people on my FB feed are trotting out 9/11 truth videos. Sigh.

  34. #34 Jon H
    May 2, 2011

    Zak wrote: ” yet the autopsy (!) photo”

    It’s a fake. Osama bin Laden’s mouth and beard photoshopped onto some other corpse’s face.

  35. #35 lilady
    May 2, 2011

    I have CNN on now…apparently there is some sort of “martyr’s tape”, that is commonly made by radical Muslim operatives…that should be released shortly, featuring Ben Laden.

    I’ve also been following Al Jazeera on the web and the posters on their blog about the American operation to take out the fiend…posters are “all over the lot” about their opinions…just like U.S. blog posters.

    BTW, an hour ago I received a warm email from our Canadian Muslim friends…they too are pleased with the successful operation.

  36. #36 Amy
    May 2, 2011

    As usual, I love Orac’s response. I much prefer your response over PZ’s.

  37. #37 Reading Frame
    May 2, 2011

    Quote from Obama: “We never asked for this war…”

    Bullshit. US foreign policy meddles greatly in regime change in the Middle East in order to protect our own interests but not the interests of the people living there. And then we act all innocent and surprised when it bites us in the ass.

    I just wish in all of this that we take a long hard look at our actions as a country and realized that we do in fact bear some blame for this. It doesn’t absolve the hijackers of their actions, but we as a nation have done far far worse to perceived enemies. Surely we can figure out a way to manage our foreign policy better to avoid this sort of seething hatred.

    And now here we are. If there really was a concern about those empty chairs and vacant tables, perhaps we should have handled this whole situation better. And then there is the loss of life in Afghanistan and Iraq, most of which was civilian. More money is being spent on war than on schools, or the NIH, or on health care put together.

    And if symbols are that important, why the hell can’t we figure out what to do with Ground Zero?

    This whole situation is just a tragedy. I just don’t see how the death of one old man will change anything. Part of me really hopes it does, but the cynic in me is wondering what will be inculcated in us to hate next.

    And a personal gripe: I wish the President of an ostensibly secular nation would leave his god out of his speeches to the entire nation.

  38. #38 jornin
    May 2, 2011

    According to the Laws of Homeopathy, If they buried Osama bin Laden at sea

    THE OCEAN IS NOW AL QIADA

  39. #39 stripey_cat
    May 2, 2011

    Dianne @#8 wrote:

    Hey, I’ve got a new Kennedy conspiracy theory: Kennedy himself arranged the assassination! It was supposed, of course, to fail, but Oswald wasn’t as good a sniper as Kennedy thought and the car veered a bit at the last minute…

    Totally off-topic, but there’s a brilliant Red Dwarf episode where Kennedy, after a time-travel accident where the assassination is prevented, he’s impeached for various sex scandals, and finally after a weakened US can’t contain a resumption of the Cuban Missile Crisis, is broken out of prison and taken back to be the second gunman at his own assassination.

  40. #40 Dan
    May 2, 2011

    This probably doesn’t seem like more stomach-turningly awful American flag-waving from where you stand, but it certainly looks like it from over here and that’s one thing I really, really don’t want to find in my RSS feeds. Bye.

  41. #41 DLC
    May 2, 2011

    Greg Fish @10: well done. thanks.
    I never could understand why people cannot remember simple historic facts. Not that it will alter the conspiracy-sphere any one bit. They’ll go on JAQing off and bleating about how you can’t believe the Lame-Stream meedja these days, but somehow their conspiracy-sphere blogs and whirled nut daily are always right. Bin Laden’s DEAD. he was killed sometime last night (my time), by american special forces. Get used to the idea.

  42. #42 Orac
    May 2, 2011

    This probably doesn’t seem like more stomach-turningly awful American flag-waving from where you stand, but it certainly looks like it from over here and that’s one thing I really, really don’t want to find in my RSS feeds. Bye.

    Don’t let the metaphorical door hit you on your metaphorical tuchas on the way out, O self-righteous one. I make no apologies for being content that a man who killed 3,000 of my countrymen and many more outside my country is now sleeping with the fishes or for congratulating the Navy SEALs who carried out the raid and the thousands of men and women who supported their efforts.

  43. #43 Epinephrine
    May 2, 2011

    As usual, I love Orac’s response. I much prefer your response over PZ’s

    And I prefer PZ’s. I’m so tired of reading about how everyone should rejoice, or how we should have sewn a pig’s head onto his body (Yes, people are writing this stuff. Probably the same people who talk gleefully about people who believe differently from them burning in hellfire for eternity). I can’t celebrate his death, nor do I think it was brave. It was retribution, and will do nothing to ease anti-western sentiment in the middle east.

  44. #44 Orac
    May 2, 2011

    Don’t think it was brave? You try helicoptering into hostile territory into the middle of a firefight.

  45. #45 Antaeus Feldspar
    May 2, 2011
    If Osama bin Laden’s declaration aired on al-Jazeera that he had personally directed the nineteen 9/11 hijackers doesn’t count as “a scrap of evidence” to you,

    Just to be nitpicky, a confession isn’t a conviction.

    I agree with your point, but mine still stands as well. Testimonial evidence is a form of evidence, and while it is definitely not conclusive evidence, a confession is certainly much more than a “scrap” of evidence.

  46. #46 The Analyst
    May 2, 2011

    There is no evidence to support Osama’s death. Just a bunch of rhetoric.

    By BS detector went off immediately, and I trust it until proven otherwise.

    ‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

    -Martin Luther King, Jr.

  47. #47 Rebecca
    May 2, 2011

    Thanks, Orac.

  48. #48 Get It
    May 2, 2011

    Of all the ridiculous conspiracy theories, the “Osama is still alive” one is the silliest. Why would the U.S. lie about his death when it could so easily be refuted by a single video release? C’mon people. Keep your paranoia within the realm of the semi-plausible.

  49. #49 The Analyst
    May 2, 2011

    Of all the ridiculous conspiracy theories, the “Osama is still alive” one is the silliest. Why would the U.S. lie about his death when it could so easily be refuted by a single video release? C’mon people. Keep your paranoia within the realm of the semi-plausible.

    It’s really not silly at all. I’ll remain very skeptical until there is further evidence.

    It very well could be refuted by a video release. Oh, oops! We thought that was Osama, but I guess it really wasn’t him. I don’t think it’s highly unlikely that our government would deceive us. Just look at history if you dare.

    And remember Obama has to start campaigning for re-election. Getting people to wave their flags is a great way to start a campaign in my opinion. If he starts his re-election campaign now, I am going to be really skeptical about this whole thing.

    Do I think he is alive? I don’t know. Do I think he is dead? I don’t know.

    All I know is it smelled fishy from the first news article I read.

  50. #50 Get It
    May 2, 2011

    Oh bullshit. Obama could say the sky is blue and you’d say hey, the government has lied to us in the past–maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Yes, the government has lied in the past, but that has no bearing on the fact that lying about Bin Laden’s death would be a spectacularly easy thing to refute–one Al Jazeera interview would do it. I can see not believing the government’s version of how the operation went down but not the actual death itself. If you’re going there, you’ve gone to crazytown.

  51. #51 Skippy
    May 2, 2011

    “After more than ten years”

    More than ten years since what? September 11, 2001 was less than 10 years ago.

  52. #52 lilady
    May 3, 2011

    Ben Laden is dead and I have no doubt about that. The Navy Seals using very good Intelligence carried out their mission.

    Notice how certain Conservative commentators are now spinning it that the efforts to locate Ben Laden were started during the Bush Administration…and Obama got “lucky” because he is the beneficiary of the groundwork laid down by Bush.

    I have distinct memory of how Bush’s administration team members spun the WMDs Intelligence to justify invading Iraq. That second incursion put more soldiers in peril in both Middle Eastern wars…never mind the senseless maiming and killing of innocent civilians.

    We have been given another chance now; to show the world and ourselves that we take responsibility for these ill-conceived and ill-fated wars by supporting our President.

  53. #53 Narad
    May 3, 2011

    All I know is it smelled fishy from the first news article I read.

    E coniurationibus unum.

  54. #54 herr doktor bimler
    May 3, 2011

    It’s really not silly at all. I’ll remain very skeptical until there is further evidence.

    I would have thought that the live-blogging of a military incursion into Pakistan by nearby witnesses would constitute evidence that an incursion did in fact take place, and was not staged on a movie set.

    If the people involved in the expedition did not invest enough of their time in convincing The Analyst by recording a seamless provenance for every photograph and tissue sample they took, then I can live with that.

    Out of curiosity, what form of evidence would be convincing? A physical body into the wounds of which one could insert one’s skeptical fingers?

  55. #55 Narad
    May 3, 2011

    Out of curiosity, what form of evidence would be convincing? A physical body into the wounds of which one could insert one’s skeptical fingers?

    They can grow that stuff in tanks, man. The Vatican has been doing it for years.

  56. #56 NewsCollective
    May 3, 2011

    Milestone achieved in war against terrorism
    http://www.newscollective.com/blog/?p=4623

  57. #57 David N. Brown
    May 3, 2011

    @26:
    Let’s not forget, Clinton was looking for ways to take Bin Laden too, and was criticized as missing an especially good chance to catch him.

    At this point, I find the story clear as mud as far as events. Regarding Islamic traditions, I don’t know specifics, but there are strong taboos against abuse of a dead body, including that of an enemy soldier. (Mark Bowden reported in “Balckhawk Down” that the public abuse of dead soldiers was shocking and offensive to many Muslim witnesses.) I would guess that this would have made it problematic either to store Bin Laden’s carcass or remove fingers, hands etc. for easy identification. I also feel, as a matter of taste and conscience, that stills or video of a death or actual corpse should be withheld from general distribution.

    The most significant “angle” on this is whether the Pakistani government knew Bin Laden’s location. A relatively charitable scenario that crosses my mind is that Bin Laden may have been under effective “house arrest”.

    David N. Brown
    Mesa, Arizona

  58. #58 carykoh
    May 3, 2011

    I’m disgusted by the glee with which Americans have embraced this. Has he been brought to justice? Do we kill anyone who opposes us? I don’t know, if, say, some American had been killed, and thousands had cheered it, would we feel the same?

  59. #59 oblomov
    May 3, 2011

    So, Bin Laden is now officially dead…in fact the first reports of his demise are dated from 2001.
    The sea-burial ending was a nice touch, how do they think this stuff up ?
    Here’s the real story :
    http://www.oblomov.fr/?p=3335

  60. #60 Orac
    May 3, 2011

    More than ten years since what? September 11, 2001 was less than 10 years ago.

    The U.S. has been hunting Osama bin Laden since the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.

  61. #61 Amy
    May 3, 2011

    “further evidence” really? What makes you so capable of determining his death? Do you inspect every dead person to make sure it’s legit? I think you’re giving yourself and your powers too much credit.
    I’m not into celebrating death, but if you’re part of a mass murder, no matter how irrelevant you become afterwards, doesn’t mean you should get away with it. Humans have a sense of justice (fairness) for our actions, it’s how we live in society. Justice will probably never be done for that day, because we can’t find everyone involved, but executing such an influential part may be the best we do, and I’m happy he died for his actions, I would say it’s only fair, but he got off easy.

  62. #62 Craig Willoughby
    May 3, 2011

    carykoh,

    “I’m disgusted by the glee with which Americans have embraced this. Has he been brought to justice? Do we kill anyone who opposes us? I don’t know, if, say, some American had been killed, and thousands had cheered it, would we feel the same?”

    I recall a video of people in the middle east dancing in the streets at news of the planes bringing down the WTC, at news of over 3000 innocent people dying in the flames. And, I recall quite a bit of outrage over it. Consider these things before you start throwing accusations.

    Osama’s death was an act of war. The 3000+ innocent lives lost on September 11 was an act of terrorism. So yeah, some people are glad he’s dead.

  63. #63 Epinephrine
    May 3, 2011

    Don’t think it was brave? You try helicoptering into hostile territory into the middle of a firefight.

    Individually, yes, bravery was shown. From a larger perspective, it wasn’t a thing done bravely – it’s a bit like a fox hunt, I can’t feel that the hunters are particularly brave, even if the quarry was elusive. The lack of American casualties demonstrates how one sided the assault was, and while they avoided civilian casualties, they managed to shoot his son and the son’s wife who was trying to shield him.

  64. #64 titmouse
    May 3, 2011

    Good riddance to bad rubbish.

  65. #65 SteveF
    May 3, 2011

    There are a lot of sanctimonious people coming out of the woodwork at the moment. I find their rush to show themselves to be pure and holy just as irritating as the arseholes chanting U-S-A, U-S-A.

  66. #66 Orac
    May 3, 2011

    True that.

    As for the apparent poo-pooing of the bravery of the Navy SEALs who undertook what was an incredibly risky and dangerous mission, consider that with just a little bit of bad luck could very easily have gone disastrously wrong, resulting in a total loss of the entire squad sent in to get bin Laden or, just as bad, the capture of American soldiers and their use as hostages. The fact that not a single American was killed in the raid is far more a testament to the incredible skill and bravery of the SEALs than to how “one-sided” the raid was. A raid with only two helicopters full of SEALs into a compound full of armed terrorists in the middle of a foreign country with a formidable military is hardly what I would call “one-sided.”

    Also, it was an incredibly gutsy decision by President Obama to send in a special forces raid. Again, if it had gone disastrously wrong, not only would American soldiers have died, but there could have been a large number of civilian casualties and an international incident if it turned out that our intelligence was mistaken and bin Laden wasn’t there.

  67. #67 Lawrence
    May 3, 2011

    Bravery is going in & getting the job done on the ground. We could have cratered the entire compound & probably killed a number of civilians – but we didn’t.

    In this case, we did the right thing. I’m not proud of the fact we needed to – Pakistan should have taken care of this a long time ago.

  68. #68 Dinesh
    May 3, 2011

    Until DAWOOD IBRAHIM is not brought down, 12′s of Terror Groups like Al-Queda would thrive. His is the BACK BONE for Taliban Drug Business, Arms Supplying, ISI Partnership of Fake Currencies, Hawala Transaction, Transportation of Terrorists by Smuggling routes etc…. holds Net-Work in 25/30 countries.

  69. #69 wfjag
    May 3, 2011

    @ 59 oblomov: “So, Bin Laden is now officially dead…in fact the first reports of his demise are dated from 2001.
    The sea-burial ending was a nice touch, how do they think this stuff up ? Here’s the real story : http://www.oblomov.fr/?p=3335

    “oblomov”, “oblomov”? Is that perhaps French for “Cindy Sheehan”?

    From Cindy Sheehan’s Facebook page:

    “I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you’re stupid. Just think to yourself–they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead–why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent–just put your flags away and THINK!”

  70. #70 Greg Fish
    May 3, 2011

    @DLC, #41:

    “Greg Fish @10: well done. thanks.”

    Well, thank you, but I was wrong about the burial at sea thing. Didn’t see the official confirmation of that until well after that comment was made. Just wanted to note that to keep my reply as factual as possible.

    @wfjaq, #69:

    “‘oblomov’, ‘oblomov’? Is that perhaps French for ‘Cindy Sheehan’?”

    Technically it’s from the Russian slang word “oblom” (облом) which can be roughly translated as “well, that didn’t/won’t work.” His screen name could be construed as “told you so” if we follow the slang along…

  71. #71 Fred
    May 3, 2011

    “I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you’re stupid. Just think to yourself–they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead–why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent–just put your flags away and THINK!”

    Wonderful. Just as Obama thought he had put the right-wing wackaloonery behind him, here comes the left-wing wackaloonery.

  72. #72 Beamup
    May 3, 2011

    The nuts who think this is some kind of fraud might do well to consider why Obama would do that NOW. As opposed to, say, a year or so from now in the middle of the campaign.

  73. #73 Lawrence
    May 3, 2011

    Or better yet, last August when they received the first hard intelligence that he was there – would have put a different spin on the Mid-Term elections, don’t you think?

  74. #74 dean
    May 3, 2011

    “‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. ”

    You’ve really picked a stupid name analyst, since this is not a quote from Martin Luther King.

  75. #75 Coryat
    May 3, 2011

    “This probably doesn’t seem like more stomach-turningly awful American flag-waving from where you stand, but it certainly looks like it from over here and that’s one thing I really, really don’t want to find in my RSS feeds. Bye.

    Posted by: Dan | May 2, 2011 6:24 PM”

    it doesn’t seem like more stomach-turningly awful American flag-waving from where I stand either in Britain. The top target was taken out cleanly and efficiently in a manner which does not provide a PR boost to the enemy. There will be retaliation in all likelihood but that’s no reason not to get things done. Anything which lowers the morale of people with a fanatical hatred of me and people like me is a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

    P.S I am actually curious, for all the people saying he’s not dead… why would Al Queda not release an audio file of Osama saying ‘I’m Osama Bin Laden, it’s May 3rd, X just happened in the news.’ That would discredit America totally. Maybe it’s some kind of Jedi Mind Trick that’s stopping them.

  76. #76 Jud
    May 3, 2011

    The Navy Seals using very good Intelligence carried out their mission.

    I am distressed they went ahead with this risky mission without utilizing the traditional tried and true investigative methods, like photographing a bunch of naked guys on the ends of dog leashes.

    And Joe Biden was sitting with the President watching it all go down on TV? How can you carry out an operation of this complexity without stashing the Vice President in a hidden underground bunker, dammit??

    Amateurs.

  77. #77 Fred
    May 3, 2011

    At a White House press conference detailing the death of Osama bin Laden, President Obama fields questions from reporters:

    Obama: So those are the details of the operation. I will now take questions from the press. Yes, Ted.

    Reporter: Mr. President, what is your reaction to the videotape aired this morning by Al-Jazeera purportedly showing Osama bin Laden claiming he’s still alive?

    Obama: I, uh, am not aware of such a video, but if such a video exists it’s clearly a hoax perpetrated by Al-Qaeda.

    Reporter: But he’s holding a newspaper with the story of his death on the front cover.

    Obama: Well, uh, it’s easy to fake parts of a videotape…

    Reporter: He even reads from his obituary in the New York Times. And he quotes the score from last night’s Yankees vs. Tigers game.

    Obama (turning to Secretary-of-State Clinton): Dammit, Hillary, why didn’t we think of this?!

  78. #78 Laura
    May 3, 2011

    I don’t normally think anyone’s death a cause for celebration, no matter how far out their minds are. But I’m content and satisfied with this death.

  79. #79 Laura
    May 3, 2011

    I mean, I feel like a cat that just got a liver treat. Thanks Obama and seals.

  80. #80 Scott Cunningham
    May 3, 2011

    Like I said, it’s gone over like a retrospective vax vs. unvax study finding no association between vaccines and autism. People believe whatever they want to believe, and facts be damned.

    After a few days of denying his death, when it becomes obvious bin Laden will not be releasing another video, not even on YouTube, the story will change. The Tea Party will begin saying Pres. Bush successfully killed bin Laden, but kept quiet about it. (Out of what? Humility? Tune in next week time to find out – same nut time, same nut channel.)

    Fred

    Wonderful. Just as Obama thought he had put the right-wing wackaloonery behind him, here comes the left-wing wackaloonery.

    Seeing some of that “America the lying military Empire” stuff too, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what their motivation is. At least right wingnuts have faith in their party as “sole credible defender of America” to defend. Obama triumphant contradicts their conservative narrative. But I can’t figure out why some left wingnuts are motivated to believe this. (Maybe it’s because they’re just plain nuts.)

  81. #81 wfjag
    May 3, 2011

    @70 Greg Fish:
    Yea, but his blog is in French.

    @71 Fred:
    “Wonderful. Just as Obama thought he had put the right-wing wackaloonery behind him, here comes the left-wing wackaloonery.”
    Perhaps. Funny, isn’t it, that since Jan. 20, 2009, Cindy doesn’t get much news coverage. Neither does Medea Benjamin. People promoting Bush wackaloonery only had to not drool on camera. If you want media coverage when promoting Obama wackaloonery, you need to be a Billionaire. Aaah. If we could go back to the gold days of journalism, when people like Henry Ford were the opinion makers!

  82. #82 The Analyst
    May 3, 2011

    I also feel, as a matter of taste and conscience, that stills or video of a death or actual corpse should be withheld from general distribution.

    Perhaps you think they should be withheld, and that’s fine. But let’s look back.

    They didn’t withhold the video of Saddam Hussein. Remember the gruesome video and the picture of his neck snapped literally 180 degrees. Why weren’t they withheld for taste and conscience?

    How about the gruesome pictures of Saddam’s sons as well. Were those withheld as a matter of taste and conscience?

    And yet when Osama dies, perhaps the pictures are too gruesome for us to see?

    And come on, the burial at sea? Really?

    My BS detector didn’t go off when Saddam was killed, but this honestly looked like a propaganda piece to me from the get go.

  83. #83 Lawrence
    May 3, 2011

    Eventually, perhaps even today, photographic evidence will be released. Well planned & executed military operations aren’t flashy – our guys got in, did their job, grabbed as much intel materials as they could (plus the body) and got the hell out of Dodge.

    We received the original intel back in August of 2010 – if this was a political move, don’t you think we would have moved at that time, when it would have had a major impact on the mid-term elections? Instead, Obama did the smart thing & made sure we were 100% ready to go, and then he gave the order.

    All the left (and right) wing wack-a-doodles can think what they want. Dead is dead – and I’m glad that it wasn’t some long drawn out ordeal that just would’ve given our enemies that much more reason to crow about “desecrating the body,” etc.

  84. #84 Get It
    May 3, 2011

    They didn’t withhold the video of Saddam Hussein. Remember the gruesome video and the picture of his neck snapped literally 180 degrees. Why weren’t they withheld for taste and conscience?

    How about the gruesome pictures of Saddam’s sons as well. Were those withheld as a matter of taste and conscience?

    The obvious answer is that Obama wasn’t president–Bush was. And I really hope Obama doesn’t release the photos to satisfy idiots like you who will just move on to the next conspiracy theory (aka the photos are fake).

  85. #85 dean
    May 3, 2011

    really bad analyst: the official video of saddam ended with him on the gallows. the video of him falling through the trap was taken by some clown who sneaked in a cell phone camera: it wasn’t official.

  86. #86 herr doktor bimler
    May 3, 2011

    Posted by: oblomov | May 3, 2011 6:23 AM
    Oblomov is anti-work. I approve.

    Oblomov is a young, generous nobleman who seems incapable of making important decisions or undertaking any significant actions. Throughout the novel he rarely leaves his room or bed and famously fails to leave his bed for the first 150 pages of the novel.

  87. #87 lilady
    May 3, 2011

    I again state that the brave Navy SEALs did a commendable job and the credit for the definitive Intelligence goes to the Obama administration.

    NYC is still a target for terrorists’ attacks…nothing except 9-11 changes that. Some have a short memory of the terrorists driving a vehicle into the North Tower underground garage which injured thousands and killed six people in 1993…I haven’t.

    In spite of all the middle America states bellying up to the public trough for anti-terrorism dollars during the Bush administration…NYC remains as the prime target.

    @ Analyst: If you didn’t walk the walk and talk the talk in NYC for the past 18 years under terrorists threats, you have no skin in the game.

  88. #88 Denice Walter
    May 3, 2011

    “Now that bin Laden is dead, we can fire the TSA”- opines Mike Adams ( today @ NaturalNews): “You are living in a *perpetual war state* that will keep ratcheting up the fear…” he says, ratchetting up the fear.

  89. #89 Azkyroth
    May 4, 2011

    I suppose it would be bad form to wonder if the SEAL team will be visiting the now probable incumbent “most prolific mass murderer who was never head of a country” on the way home?

  90. #90 The Analyst
    May 4, 2011

    Somebody sent me this link. It cracked me up.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv257cnfSYc

  91. #91 Narad
    May 4, 2011

    Somebody sent me this link. It cracked me up.

    You apparently have pretty low standards.

  92. #92 zafir seba
    May 4, 2011

    I’m by no means sorry that bin Laden’s dead (actually I’m kind of surprised he was alive at all: wasn’t he on dialysis for like a decade?), but I don’t see this as a solution to anything. Bin Laden was the nominal head of al Qaeda, but his death won’t make the organization fall apart: they’ll just get a new head. Assassinating bin Laden won’t discredit Islamic extremism-killing a leader rarely makes him less popular (see Kennedy, for example: he was expected to lose re-election*.) If anything, I’d say bin Laden’s death puts us at temporarily higher risk for attack. The NYPD seems to agree: they were all over the PATH station this morning.
    thank yeşilçamdan zafir seba

  93. #93 epador
    May 4, 2011

    Methinks the analyst needs to analyze purported quotes of MLK more carefully before repeating the Facebook Farce.

    And perhaps the standards the analyst uses to be cracked up.

    Orac, its sad to see so many in this thread think they are great political/military/intelligence analysts and vomit their own tripe in sadly confused comments. But I’ll offer mine anyways.

    The bastard is dead, but there are plenty more bastards out there who want nothing more than to destroy our society and take it back to the stone age. You can’t talk or reason with them. You are not going to rehabilitate a fraction of a percent of them. You can’t waffle for sixteen hours to decide whether to take them out when you have the chance. You don’t have to kill them all, but if you don’t render them absolutely powerless to harm us, they will. That’s their plan.

    OBL’s death does not stop them, but it does reach one goal and stop one bully. We got a long ways to got yet to breathe any sighs of relief.

    If you polarize yourself against your countrymen, you are playing into a divide and conquer scheme promulgated for centuries against large successful societies, and still enjoined by our current enemies.

    Think about that before spewing hate speech against the left or right in this country.

  94. #94 Marcus Ranum
    May 7, 2011

    Damn it! How many of these idiots do we have to kill in order to make them love us?

  95. #95 Bob
    May 9, 2011

    No No it’s quite simple, they had to bury him at sea because they ran out of BIN liners…

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