Osama Bin Laden Dead

May 2nd, 2011, in Asides, by

Reports that Osama Bin Laden killed in a special operation, Obama to give speech.

Video of Obama speech:

Here is the text version:

Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was dark-ened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreck-age of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.

We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an or-ganization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Af-ghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intel-ligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we devel-oped more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take ac-tion, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary cour-age and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most signifi-cant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.

Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.

Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism co-operation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.

Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and coun-terterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a gen-eration that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that pre-vailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

120 Comments on “Osama Bin Laden Dead”

  1. David says:

    Taking his sweet time there, must be looking for the long form death certificate

  2. Oigal says:

    🙂 not often David wades in with those ..haha

  3. Lairedion says:

    Great news

  4. Odinius says:

    Curious what the reaction in Indonesia will be. I’d think quite different from what it would have been, had this happened, say, in 2007. Obama is galaxies more popular with Indonesians than Bush was, and there’s a sense on both the streets and among the chattering classes that people are just fed up with Indonesia’s domestic terrorists. I’m expecting mostly shrugs with a smattering of applause from some corners, a smattering of conspiracy theories from others and not a whole lot in the way of angry protests or rhetoric.

  5. deta says:

    Can’t wait for the emergence of the “deather” movement… 🙂

  6. Lairedion says:

    Congrats to that cultural marxist muslim 🙂

  7. Stevo says:

    I just hope his death does not cause more violence than it prevents…………..

  8. Odinius says:

    Not really sure how/why it would, Stevo. The organization itself has been largely dormant for a few years, and the center of International Crazytown has shifted to some of the franchises. The people inspired by him to commit acts of violence against civilians (based upon a very distorted reading of Islam) were before he died, and will remain so afterwards. They might dedicate something to him, but I sincerely doubt anyone will pick up arms just because of this. I’m more worried by the people still out there brainwashing impressionable young men.

    On the other side of the fence, it might be used as a rationale for leaving Afghanistan. It will be interesting to see how discussion of that “rock-meets-hard-place” war changes as a result of this…

  9. timdog says:

    So, can we assume that the release of the birth certificate last week was somehow connected to this? Clearing the ground for the moment of glory?

    And does anyone actually believe that OBL was “buried at sea” rather than shoved in deep freeze at Bagram (not that it matters, but still…)?

    I had lunch in Abbottabad once. Pleasant spot, actually. Named after this bloke (English, despite the headgear):

  10. Stevo says:

    I hope that is the case Odinius. I doubt it will incite any moderate sensible Muslims to violence, but may push those closer to the edge.

    As for the war in Afghanistan, it is pure folly, with or with out Osama.

    The concept of killing people, to change their ideology, is flawed. Even if we put aside ideas of human rights and look at it in a purely pragmatic and practical way, it simply does not work!

    The Jews were not less Jewish after the holocaust, the Croats did not make others more Catholic, Mao failed to stop the Chinese being great in business………… and so on. Most people tend to gravitate towards the middle in peace times, but start the killing and they pick a side.

    I am not anti-American, but they need to stop dropping bombs on Muslims. The oil will still be sold on the world market and life will go on.

  11. diego says:

    Hmm… Thank’s god that useless pie-o-shyait is dead now. But…, would it make any change? Would it stop dehumanization of muslims? I mean, those saudi arabian sheikhs are still allowed to live. They got to be eliminated too. They’re (together) a bigger evil than an Osama.

  12. Arie Brand says:

    And these facts will be held repeatedly against the “lawless” Americans:

    It might be of interest to draw the reader’s attention to some less well known facts. Post 9/11, the US demanded that Taliban hand over Osama, the Taliban reportedly refused, because when they asked the US to provide concrete evidence of Osama’s guilt, the US refused. The US refused, because there was no concrete evidence of his guilt. There never can be. Although Osama, in a video released to Al-Jazeera TV accepted responsibility for this attack, but that was in the future; and the video was never authenticated either, so no one is certain of his guilt.

    What has gone virtually unreported is the fact that on a suggestion by a Pakistani official, Taliban agreed to hand over Osama to Saudi Arabia, but the King refused to accept him. The Taliban might even have agreed to hand him over to the International Criminal Court, but when the ‘war-time’ vacuous US president Bush was informed of the option, he just ordered the charge.

    (The Pakistani brigadier and former president of a policy research center in Islamabad, Shaukat Qadir, writing in Counterpunch)

  13. camion says:

    I smell more conspiracy theories :-))) some of which will be right. (with $25 million dollars on Bin Laden’s head,do you really think they didnt know where he was ALL the time ??) …Lets see what grubby politics arises out of this.

  14. David says:

    The Indonesian connection, Bali bomber may have been vital link, Umar Patek was also found in Abbottabad. I wonder what the bloke up there in the headgear would think about all of this.

  15. Arie Brand says:

    I do not care about OBL’s death – but I do care about standards “the West” professes to hold high to be upheld. Were they in this case? Was his arrest and subsequent trial ever considered to be an option?

    We are told that in the preparation of this attack every possible scenario was studied. Why is it that, when on the job, the only scenario seemed to be lethal violence?

    In the “war against terror” the US has shown one example of lawlessness after another – people are held for years without being charged, torture, either of the homegrown or the outsourced variety, is permitted and widespread, and now we have high profile targeted killings.

  16. Oigal says:

    we have high profile targeted killings.

    As opposed to the low profile, untargeted 9/11

  17. Tikno says:

    On the side of 9/11 victims at least this was the closure of a chapter in their handbook. Is it will end terrorism? No! because there’s always another chapters. So… what’s the right solutions to reduce terrorism? Various debates addressed on the topic of poverty, social justice, add attitude lesson in school’s curriculum, inter-religious tolerance, death sentence, maximize the intelligence performance, etc, etc.

  18. Stevo says:

    Come on AB, where is your evidence to support this statement?……………

    “Why is it that, when on the job, the only scenario seemed to be lethal violence?”

    Do you really think a knock on the door and a quiet arrest would have worked?

    I assume you would not have made that comment if a few of his minders were killed, in the arrest, but he was taken alive?

    Thousands of others have died due to events he was the alleged architect of. The victims have mostly been his fellow Muslims and many just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    We can all agree that killing and violence is not nice AB, but your approach is bordering on childish. I also note your sarcastic comment about the Wests “standards”, are we to believe that other non-western cultures would not have killed him?

    By what standards are you judging the killing of Osama, if not western ones? Please let us all know about this non violent utopian culture, I want to go live there…………………

  19. Arie Brand says:

    We can all agree that killing and violence is not nice AB, but your approach is bordering on childish. I also note your sarcastic comment about the Wests “standards”, are we to believe that other non-western cultures would not have killed him?

    No – we are not. It is “the West’ that has been most vocal about human rights and the importance of upholding the law (and, with regrettable exceptions, has thus far been most successful in doing so). Your question is ” childish” to use your own favourite epithet (it often comes from people who bought their first razor blades not all that long ago).

    Meanwhile we have been told that OBL was unarmed when they found him but that he “resisted” – the spokesman for the White House has thus far declined to say how. Did he try to kick his assailants? Thus far it seems pretty clear that arresting him was never an option. His value as a source of information, and the importance of due process was probably weighed against the risk of having a man in custody against whom it was difficult to come up with hard evidence and who would have had to be guarded like Fort Knox. So expediency rather than the law was the guideline.

    Thousands of others have died due to events he was the alleged architect of.

    “Alleged” is the keyword. It is said that after World War II Churchill was in favour of just putting the main German agents against the wall – but that the Americans insisted on due process. America was then, and for a few decades afterwards, a beacon of light. It is not so any longer.

    And when it comes to the number of victims: do I have to remind you that those who are primarily responsible for the killing of hundreds of thousands are now resting on their laurels?
    I omitted thus far to point to the primary piece of lawlessness: starting the Iraq war without good cause – the kind of thing for which a few people in Nurnberg were hanged.

  20. Stevo says:

    I agree they should have stayed out of Iraq. The war in Afghanistan, recently escalated by Obama, is based on an even more absurd premise.

    The point I was attempting to make, regarding Osama’s death, was why get precious about the death of that one man? Especially considering all else that has gone on. Many total innocents have died.

    I have never understood the idea of not targeting the leaders who begin the conflicts and wars. It seems ok to butcher civilians and those forced into the army, but not those who started it all. The leaders get to sit back and play it like a chess game. It sickens me.

  21. Arie Brand says:

    why get precious about the death of that one man?

    This was a prime opportunity to uphold “the majesty of the law”, in the view of billions, as contrasted with lawless killing.

    By what standards are you judging the killing of Osama, if not western ones?

    Exactly. Try it yourself.

  22. camion says:

    What if Bin Laden is a creation of the American Intelligence groups & that he really isnt dead. America has always needed an enemy, hate & phoney reasons to stay on top of the pile.The constant flow of bullshit keeps all the dills in place to remain as confused as ever in opposition or a over zealous patriot to be manipulated whenever they choose,its good for business & the power mongers.Already the US is declaring numerous mistakes in the information given out over Bin Laden,or are they covering up ?.Its a constant on all political topics,rest assured. Its a fact,no dna test could have been performed in the time indicated & certainly not with a 99% positive result.He was an only child to a mother who was one of approx’ 59 wives & hundreds of children. Any comparitive dna samples would only provide a 40 to 50% indication. Lets see if the US releases unquestionable evidence of the attack & killings,Im betting they wont. I do know that the Bin Laden family was joined at the hip to the Bush family dynasty & nothing has changed.There is much more to come out of the mire that common sense will deem as nothing more than convenient political & militaristic propaganda.

  23. Death says:

    OW! my God please tell me this bad news is false!
    he is not realy dead this is abilibeble

  24. berlian biru says:

    I had lunch in Abbottabad once. Pleasant spot, actually. Named after this bloke (English, despite the headgear):

    I was wondering about that when I saw the name of the town, wonder why they didn’t rename it after independence.

    Any further info on Mr Abbot?

  25. Stevo says:

    “the majesty of law” ha ha ha please tell me this is a wind-up.

    What law are you referring to here, there is quite allot to chose from AB?

  26. Stevo says:

    I almost forgot to ask AB, do you find Indonesian law “majestic” ? Its the fourth biggest country on earth. China is the biggest followed by India, do you consider their laws majestic?

    Osama himself followed Gods law, and you don’t get much more “majestic” than that, do you?

    I think what you meant to say was, Western European law is the gold standard? (Though having the benefit of working in the field I see little sign of majesty.)

  27. timdog says:

    BB – yes, he was one of “Henry Lawrence’s Young Men”, who were a body of rather irregular British officers in the mid-19th Century, who served as political agents along the Frontier, in Sikh territory, and in Central Asia (Lawrence himself was the older, more experienced man around who they were grouped).

    Abbott was one of the most interesting of the lot. He made a hair-raising journey over the frontier, through Afghanistan to Khiva in Central Asia on a sort of spying-mission-cum-mercy mission (trying to free some Russian slaves in the khan’s service there). He was in this respect one of the notable players in the middle years of the “Great Game”. Then he served in Sikh country, until the defeat of the Sikhs by the British after the death of Ranjit Singh (the greatest Sikh leader – a sort of one-eyed alcoholic midget with insatiable appetites – and excellent political skills, be sure. One British visitor who dropped by his Lahore court during Singh’s old age, found him rather depressed – he had become impotent, and didn’t know what to do about it. Horses and women were his twin passions, but, he complained, even having his most beautiful concubines riding around naked in front of him on his finest horses couldn’t stir his loins anymore!)…
    The British hived off old Sikh territory (including Kashmir, which they then sold to a canny but unscrupulous small-scale raja from Jammu – setting things up for all sorts of future problems, but that’s another story).
    Another bit of mountain country they got hold of was Hazara (NOT the Hazara in Afghanistan, but the mountain country north of Rawalpindi). Abbott was put in charge of Hazara, and he did very well indeed, and seems to have been regarded very fondly by the local people. He is still remembered there today, and there are various myths still current in villages there. A lot of locals claim that he was a Muslim (possible, but unlikely – a previous generation of Britishers, in the late 18th Century, did tend to go fully native; Lawrence’s Young Men were probably one step removed – they liked dressing up, spoke the languages very well and they got on very well with “the natives”, but the separation was beginning; the generation that followed them, post mutiny – a lot of the Young Men, including the much-famed John Nicholson, Nikail Seyn Sahib – would have considered putting on a turban and speaking Pushtu like a native rather undignified)…

    Anyway, Abbottabad was named after him, after his tenure there.
    As to why they didn’t change the name after independence – various reasons. First would be that there was simply no impetus to do so. The renaming of cities in India is something quite recent, and not something they’ve ever gone in for in Pakistan (where a great deal of general goodwill towards the British certainly remained until about ten years ago – it still remains amongst a certain class of people, but it does have to be said that it has rather diminished in the last decade amongst the general populace).
    Abbottabad is an army town, and the Pakistani army still clings to its old myths and cultures inherited from the British. They view the pre-independence antecedents of their regiments with a great deal of pride, and they like men like Abbott. They certainly wouldn’t stand for the town being renamed.
    Also, as it was a totally new place when it was named after Abbot; there’s no obvious alternative local name for it…

    What would Abbott have thought of this week’s shenanigans? Well, I doubt an 6’’4 Arab would have got away with building a luxury bungalow under his nose…

  28. timdog says:

    An unfinished interpolation there – a lot of the Young Men, including the much-famed John Nicholson, Nikail Seyn Sahib died in the fighting to overcome the mutiny. Not Abbot though; he survived…

  29. Arie Brand says:

    Stevo you are really getting a bit silly – a wee bit sillier and I won’t bother to answer you.

    I could have just said the ‘rule of law’. Would you have been happier then? I don’t know why you are suggesting that there is a choice of jurisdictions here: China, Indonesia, God’s realm. You are not much of a legal practitioner (as you claim to be) if you believe that that choice depends on relative populousness.

    The main crime he is accused of was committed in the US – so I was obviously referring to US law. And yes I find most legal systems pretty impressive achievements of the human mind- ‘majestic’ compared to our own primitive emotional equipment (I am not talking of the actual application of the law – often far from ‘majestic’).

    Following the ‘rule of law’ would have implied here that punishment by a state agency could only have followed on a proven breach of the law and that a conviction having to do with this breach had been forthcoming in the manner specified in the law itself.

    If you are no longer impressed by these requirements you must be one of those practitioners of which Dr. Johnson once said: I do not wish to speak ill of anybody but I believe that the person who just left the room is an attorney.

  30. Arie Brand says:

    This was president Harry Truman’s reaction to the British proposal to have the Nazi leaders executed within six hours of capture:

    The president Harry Truman demurred, citing the conclusion of Justice Robert Jackson that summary execution “would not sit easily on the American conscience or be remembered by our children with pride . . . the only course is to determine the innocence or guilt of the accused after a hearing as dispassionate as the times will permit and upon a record that will leave our reasons and motives clear”.
    He insisted upon judgment at Nuremberg, …

    Times have changed. It is sad that a former professor of law is now of a different opinion.

    It is far from me to hold up the Israeli government as a model of rectitude but even that did not have Eichmann killed out of hand but preferred to put him on trial (admittedly they have had more recently many other people killed out of hand – times have changed there as well).

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