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Osama Bin Laden Killed

President Obama announces 9/11 terrorist’s death

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An undated photo of Osama bin Laden.(Getty Images)

He’s dead. The United States killed him.

Last night, President Obama announced that, following a lead that first reached his ears in August, he ordered a Navy Seals team to kill Bin Laden. When they reached his compound (which you can see on Google Maps), in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad, about 40 miles north of the capital, Islamabad, a firefight ensued and Bin Laden was killed (among other things, he was shot in the head), along with an adult son of his and a couple others at his mansion. No Americans were harmed. The United States got his body, which was “handled in accordance with Islamic practice and traditions.” In the end, following DNA confirmation, he was literally put out to sea.

“Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader,” Obama said. “He was a mass murderer of Muslims.” For a fuller tick-tock of how this came to be, read Laura Rozen. The Times reports that the intelligence began through detective work when U.S. officials learned of a trusted Bin Laden courier from inmates at Guantánamo Bay four years ago.

Consequences, there’ll be a few. Strategically, it is presumably a big morale boost to, well, us, and a bummer to, um, them. One presumes there will also be a renewed focus on the cooperation—or lack thereof—between the United States and Pakistan when it comes to fighting al-Qaida. Obama devoted a full paragraph of his speech to that country, saying, “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-Qaida and its affiliates.” But this was a gloss: The United States didn’t even inform Pakistan of the operation in its own country beforehand. This doesn’t so much raise serious issues about Pakistan, since those issues were already there, but it will slingshot them back into the forefront of American popular consciousness. Anyway, it would certainly stretch the bounds of credulity to suggest that Pakistan’s powerful military intelligence service was unaware of the abnormally tall, familiar-looking Arab dude living in a mansion 40 miles north of the capital during all these months. Dexter Filkins has a quick, must-read take on this.

Also, read Lawrence Wright’s take. If you have time, read The Looming Tower, one of the best books ever written about anything.

Although the presidential election is nearly exactly 18 months away, it is difficult not to see this helping the incumbent at least somewhat. And why shouldn’t it? Throughout the general election campaign, to the tsk-tsking of his opponents (whose leader, President George W. Bush, had said he had given up on finding bin Laden), Obama had resolutely vowed that, if president, he would kill Bin Laden. Mission accomplished. (UPDATE: Dan Klein writes in to remind me that, during the campaign, John McCain pledged not to chase bin Laden into Pakistan.)

Now is the time for this, from last night’s Mets-Phillies game in Philadelphia:

Bin Laden Dead, President Obama Says [NYT]
Obama’s Remarks on bin Laden’s Killing [NYT]

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Michael W. says:

It’s on Wikipedia so it’s official.

How long until hysterical Arabs blame the Zionists.

Bianca says:

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead! As someone who endured 9/11 I can’t deny that I am happy.

In an ideal world he would have gone before the ICC, but hey… I can live with this.

Jay A Friedman says:

Could I have a psak halacha please?

Are we permiited to eat fish caught off the coast of Pakistan?

Let the joyous news be spread, Osama bin Laden at last is dead!

Gene says:

I guess the intention was to capture him and set up a show trial similar to the one in Nuremberg. However, this is the best thing for us, Jews. Now we, most likely, won’t have to scream our usual way: it is our, Jews, fault, Israeli settlers have nothing to do with 9/11 attack and so on. Good that he was killed.

D'vorah says:

This man contributed absolutely nothing to the human race. I, for one, am not the least bit saddened to hear of his death. It is long overdue if you ask me.

jay says:

He won’t be available to speak at the next J Street event, george.

Elisheva says:

It is indeed a great day in the history of the world. Cheers to President Obama, his administration and the courageous armed forces of the United States! Now, to move forward.

Paula Globerman says:

Holding my breath, what comes next? Revenge I fear will be terrible.That being said-I’m glad he is dead.

sarah says:

wonderful news and about time but be aware there are those who will make him a hero and undertake bombings in his name and to honour him we should all be alert: it is not the end of terror: I wish it were
Good luck to those special forces who undertook this action
Surprised no one has blamed Mossad!

Roberta says:

How righteous that he was killed on Holocaust Remembrance Day

cdk says:

Unfortunately, there are already those among us who are chiding us for celebrating this monster’s death–reminding us of the midrash about the angels singing when Pharoah’s army drowned.

Yet we read in Proverbs: When the wicked perish, there is rejoicing (11:10). I prefer to read this as normative, rather than just descriptive.

And after all, if we are not supposed to rejoice at the downfall of people like bin Laden…we should rethink celebrating Purim

ted hurwood says:

Well, Bin Laden became a focus of blame for terrrorism that preceded him, and which continues apace. It seems to me his demise is more of a media event than anything else, and I don’t see it as particularly significant in the larger picture of war, peace, and geopolitics. Does this change anything in Pakistan? Afganistan? Israel? Saudi Arabia? America?

Sure Luciano Pavarotti died, but the Met is still open, so is La Scala, and there are plenty of good tenors,

right?

Ted Hurwood

philip mann says:

A long time ago,the Mongols had the right idea. They captured the head of the assasin cult,brought him to Mongolia,tied him in a leather sack,and stomped him to death. The good old days.

I’m sickened and disgusted by the blood-lust and the conflation of vengeance with justice that is being expressed in many places. The only possible justification for this extra-judicial assassination I can imagine would be if it prevented the deaths of others and made the world safer. I hope it does have that result. But how much better to have brought him to trial so that, as happened in the trial of Eichmann, we might gain a deeper understanding of the origins of Bin Laden’s evil, the sources of his power over his followers, as well as exposing his moral and spiritual bankruptcy for all – east and west – to see. Unless we achieve a certain level of understanding of humans-at-our-worst, we won’t be able to become our best. Ironically, some of the previous comments demonstrate a willingness to hate (like the “J Street” comment) that the followers of any violent, fundamentalist demagogue would feel right at home with. Dealing with Bin Laden through public trial would have also, I provided less fuel for those who would make a martyr of him.

Dorothy Wachsstock says:

Prove it. Any photos shown of his face, body? Brennan said it would upset the Muslim World.

Well, Abu Grahim certainly was shown all over the world and put our soldiers in harm’s way. Why do we have to be concerned more about the Muslim world than our own soldiers?

Unless, Pres. Obama put some body in a sheet and dropped him in the sea for higher poll numbers.

We are from Missouri..prove it.

Diana Kindzred says:

May he rot in HELL with the rest of the world’s most
HATED men like Hitler, Stalin and Hamen. We Jews are
still around and will be after thousands of years of
hatred towards us and decent mankind.

Diana Kindzred

I hear this sometimes, that “evil” should be put on display, studied, understood, etc. My question is, at what point will our curiosity about “evil” be satisfied? At what point will we have enough data to say, “We know”?

Dave Boes says:

Another version of Proverbs 11:10 – When the wicked perish there are shouts of joy

am glad hes finally gone way to go us soldiers you rock hope this monster w ill get his due hope we are able to be safe thoes crazy will try somethinng im sure may his evil never reighn high here or anywhere the us rocks!!!we can all sleep better now!! amen thankyou obama fior taking out the garbage!!!!!!!

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Osama Bin Laden Killed

President Obama announces 9/11 terrorist’s death

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