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Bin Laden's death: A cathartic moment for the US

Mark Mardell | 06:57 UK time, Monday, 2 May 2011

Man celebrates news of Bin Laden's death outside the White House

President Barack Obama is making it clear that the killing of Osama Bin Laden didn't occur by accident - and that it happened while he was in charge. He told former Presidents Bush and Clinton what he was about to announce before he made his televised White House statement. I am sure he resisted any suggestion that he had done what they had only talked about. Yet he made it clear that his administration had been determined.


The president said that on taking office he had told the CIA that the al-Qaeda chief's death or capture was to be the agency's top priority. Senior administration officials say that he chaired five meetings in March working out the plans for this attack. It's really not clear to me if the political leadership makes much difference to operations like this, but it is certainly the impression Mr Obama wants to linger.

The raid took 40 minutes. The intelligence operation took years. It started with the search for a courier, perhaps something of a misnomer for a senior aide to Bin Laden, one of the few men he trusted, according to prisoners who had been interrogated. Four years ago they uncovered his identity. The very high level of precautions the man took made them all the more suspicious. Two years ago they discovered the areas in which he operated. Last summer they identified the compound, in an affluent suburb of Islamabad. Eight times the size of similar homes in the area, it had 18ft-high walls topped with barbed wire and inner walls 7ft high. A large place, worth a million dollars, but with no phone, no internet access. The CIA believes it was purpose-built to hide Bin Laden.

The US didn't tell the Pakistanis about the compound or about the raid until it had happened. That may create some diplomatic friction.

But the mood in America is exultant. As Twitter proclaimed the death of Bin Laden, before the president spoke, crowds gathered outside the White House, waving the stars and stripes and chanting "USA, USA". This is not a country that does quiet satisfaction. This is a cathartic moment for the nation, a moment when America's military might, know how and sheer will power seem to have come together to produce a result.

At a time when there are so many doubts about America's role in the world, and so much economic gloom, there is something clear and plain about celebrating the "rubbing out" of a bad guy, an enemy. The president has been congratulated by even his opponents, and this success allows him to appear grimly resolute in pursuit of America's core interests.

Senior administration officials say Bin Laden's death is not just a symbol, it removes a charismatic and respected leader whom al-Qaeda cannot replace. The official suggests the organisation is on a downward path that will be difficult to reverse. The domestic implications for Mr Obama are in the opposite direction, but may be just as important.

Comments

Page 1 of 4

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    I would have thought Pakistan is the one that needs to do some explaining - not the Americans.

  • Comment number 3.

    A time for celebration and joy? No. Relief, yes. Hopefully Al Qaeda will wither away even more quickly now. Bin Laden was a criminal and mass murderer, no more, no less, don't give him or his followers any cause for martyrdom or idolisation. If the overall mood in America is exultant about this news, then it saddens me. Maybe the media is whipping that up though. I know several Americans, quiet and humble people, who will not be "overjoyed", just relieved, and I bet it is people like them who are the quiet majority.

  • Comment number 4.

    Wow what great news and 2 street parties in the space of a few days, the world should heave a sigh of relief, Iran next lets sort out all these despots who are a threat to our peaceful world.

  • Comment number 5.

    Not a good day for Osama. First, he doesn't get a Royal Wedding invite, then they blow his head off.

  • Comment number 6.

    The lack of usual headline 'quotes' and Pres. Obama saying vs. claiming suggest a lot of confidence in various quarters.

    One merely hopes we will be served by illumination more than heat. So far the woeful, pointless guesswork on MSM screens to serve the 24/7 news maw is woeful.

    'The US didn't tell the Pakistanis about the compound or about the raid until it had happened.'

    Considering the person and location and mission, plus the Pakistan security service's 'unique' operational activities, maybe a sensible precaution.

    Interesting how one gets helicopters full of troops in, across and out various countries these days.

  • Comment number 7.

    This is typical of the American way. It reminds me of the Gunfight at the OK Corral. It is how the Americans like to deal with problems - blow them away. I have just finished reading a book about the Crusades and the final chapter deals with Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden. The situation is much more complicated than it appears to the average American and this is not the end of anything. The Islamists now have a martyr, Al Zawahiri is still at large and probably even more dangerous than Bin Laden, and the reasons why Al Qaeda exists have not been tackled. The Americans have carried out an assassination on the soil of an ally which will cause that ally all sorts of problems. A time for rejoicing this certainly is not!

  • Comment number 8.

    Ten years ago, minus just a few months, I awoke in a very different place -- a small, picture-book American suburb of another of my favourite cities, Los Angeles -- went as usual to the Internet, at just about this same time -- eightish in the morning -- and saw the footage of one of the strangest and most frightening of terrorist acts ever captured on film unfold before my very eyes... While still absorbing this scene, as I summoned the rest of my family, the unthinkable happened: a second plane hitting the second tower...

    What a contrast to awaken today, here in blessed London, and receive this news before I even heard so much as a "Good Morning!" from anyone?

    What a great day for everyone who believes in Freedom, Justice, Tenacity, Honour, Dignity, Love, Duty...

    Hats off to President Obama! Let's give him a third term, after we give him a second term!

    Hats off to the team that got it done! Hats off to all who prayed for this day and waited for it, and trained for it, and supported it!

    Hats off to Nato, and to "the Good Guys!" After years of cringing at the nursery school terminology, I can now revel in it, because you have made it come true!

    And eternal glory to three young politicians of a new generation, reflecting different ideological positions, and yet united by something far more important than a point on the political spectrum -- united by a far nobler and more precious sense of Purpose, by an overriding sense of Duty & Honour: Obama, Cameron, Sarkozy: men who would not simply accept the presence of extreme, shameless, defiantly evil threats in the world as a matter of course, but who understood that the power they hold is to be wielded wisely and effectively and with genuine resolve on behalf of the peaceful interests of ordinary human beings!

    And as a similar fate edges closer and closer to Gadaffi -- unless he capitulates -- we can indeed say that finally, in 2011, the world has turned the corner into a different age, when all that technology and advanced weaponry we have invested in developing and acquiring finally begins to yield potent, much-needed fruit.

    Enjoy the celebrations! At last, a headline about something more important than a dress!

  • Comment number 9.

    The news which broke out early morning had to happen and now having happened what are its repercussions. Is it a time to celebrate or time to find out how the West Asian countries cope with it. Libya, Egypt and others are in turmoil. Is it a turning point for peace in Pakistan and its neighbors grappling with terrorism in one form or another. It is cathartic for whom ? More questions, I suppose. And few answers.

  • Comment number 10.

    Where are the pictures of the body?

  • Comment number 11.

    @ No. 8 - Symptomatic of the short-sighted and simple nature of the American political mind. Bin Laden being dead changes nothing. It's like one ant being dead out of a swarm of thousands, Zawahiri is still at large as someone else pointed out. Jihadism isn't an institution with one leader, it's a culture with thousands upon thousands of followers. Stop your chest-beating America, you've done nothing yet.

  • Comment number 12.

    Where's the body?
    According to New York Times, bin Laden's body was taken to Afghanistan and later buried at sea. Why?

  • Comment number 13.

    From america to the world about time!!!! I know now how my grandparents felt hearing that the scum of the earth HItler was dead, and a few days later the evil empire surrendered, dont think it will happen the same but yes glad he is gone a day to rejoice, and as for the naysayers and US haters we dont care what you say any way in the words of a famous WW2 gen to the Nazis "NUTS"! and thats all I have to say about that!

  • Comment number 14.

    Chalk one up for the good guys! This won't solve all our problems when it comes to dismantling the network of hate and terror that Al-Qaeda propagated, but it's definitely a step in the right direction.

    I hope that we are able to smooth out relations with Pakistan, but at least we have shown them yet again that we are committed to combating terrorist groups wherever they may be, with or without the Pakistan government's explicit help.

  • Comment number 15.

    As an act of defence, the US had no alternative. But the pictures of jubilation outside the White House are depressing. They do nothing to enhance the image of the US. A similar picture of citizens of Pakistan would be labelled as government sponsored demonstrations. Is this the reaction of a Christian nation? Would Jesus have been with the crowd? He might have been but He would not have smeared His face with make-up, and He would not have been cheering on the US Way. Bin Laden may have deserved his punishment but he also deserves our Christian forgiveness.

  • Comment number 16.

    This whole situation is incredibly worrying. The fact that Bin Laden was found literally across the road from the Pakistani equivalent of Sandhurst in a fairly ostentatious house indicates that either (a) the Pakistani military are beyond uselss, just criminally awful; or that (b) the Pakistanis both knew and helped Bin Laden. Not an excellent ally in either case...

    The other potential worry is that Bin Laden will become a martyr. I would be very very surprised if there weren't revenge attacks planned in advance in the event of Bin Laden's death. In the short term, at least, security services around the world must be extra-vigilant.

  • Comment number 17.

    No body = no proof

  • Comment number 18.

    Please make sure your facts are correct. Abbottabad is not a suburb of Islamabad. It's a completely different city, about two hours away as it's a hill station.

  • Comment number 19.

    Congratulations to President Obama, his staff, and the American forces for carrying out an efficient and effective operation. Bin Laden has been buried at sea: there will be no 'martyr's tomb'.

    The killing of Bin Laden will I hope, help to bring a sense of relief and closure to the families of the victims of 9/11 and all the other atrocities for which Bin Laden was responsible across the world. Many of these victims were muslim, let us not forget.

    Though never a supporter of G W Bush's policies in general, one I was always in favour of: the pursuit of Al Quaeda with the aim of its destruction. His work has been continued under his opponent's Administration and has borne fruit today.

    Time now to tighten-up security. The world is not necessarily a safer place.

  • Comment number 20.

    Hopeless naysayers will try to tamper our relief by repeating that Osama was not alone, that it is all politics and rating, that Americans are responsible for all sins and failures in the world, that bodies are not there.... Others will say it took much time, I saw CNN TV commentators already blame Pakistan. But I say that it was a great job, perfectly done by professionals who must be congratulated: Americans, Afghans, Pakistanis, and other people who act patiently instead of moaning.

  • Comment number 21.

    In answer to why we threw the body out, thats what you do with trash! throw it out! if the nut cases want to worship his body then swim deep and hurry the fish are hungry!!!

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Explanation is required from both Pakistan and USA who are partners in this fight against terror. How could such a high profile target living comfortably in a settled area was so elusive. Nevertheless it is a day of hope for peace. Hats off to the American forces. Pakistanis have suffered the most at the hands of these monsters. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. May God have mercy on us and bring peace to our region and the world.

  • Comment number 24.

    @11 There were thousands upon thousands of Nazis, yet by your logic the assassination of Hitler wouldn't have been an accomplishment or a game-changer? You can have as many thousands and thousands of people as you want--you still need key individuals to organize things and make decisions. Have no doubt: this is a terrible blow for Al-Qaeda.

  • Comment number 25.

    So, Obama confirms Bin Laden is dead, then they drop his body in the ocean before anyone can confirm it. Oh there is a picture circulating about that claims to be Bin Laden, but it is so obviously a fake.

    Sorry, we have heard many lies come from US Presidents mouths before, and I am guessing this is another one....probably to boost Obama's ratings.

  • Comment number 26.

    GrandeRomano, I like your insect analogy fitting but to contuine with it, the queen ant is dead it will take awhile but the rest of the mindless drones will follow, as for Jihadism, what word is that, what culture, since when do a group of serial killers and deviants getting togather to plot crimes a culture! I always thought they were a mob or gang or just nut jobs, as for their being thousands maybe, we have thousands of milita nuts in the US of course we have 300 million sane rational people also! Sorry your side is losing once again glad the head insect is dead!!! The world is a better place and Islam's good name is safe again, GLORY TO GOD AND HE ALONE!!

  • Comment number 27.

    Very good news.
    Operationally with dealing with terrorism, maybe not much difference right now practically.
    However, very important as a symbol, for the loved ones of his many victims.
    Also to those who encourage, plan and funds such attacks, you are not safe. These types tend not to strap on a suicide vest themselves.

    It will make the 10th anniversary of his most infamous attack easier to bear as well.

    Smart move burying him at sea, no shrine for the nutters to have.
    The US has had access to Bin Laden family DNA for a long time, he was very tall for people from his part of the world.

    Serious questions for Pakistan in all this, an operation like this should have had the cooperation of their security services, of course that would not have been a good idea given their past links to Taliban and Al Queda.
    Plus Mark's suggestion that this compound he was in was specially built?

    Bin Laden's aim was always to overthrow Arab/Muslim regimes he did not like, which aside from Taliban ruled Afghanistan was all of them - including his nation of birth.
    Then to establish a large Taliban-esque Caliphate across a vast region, he saw the West in general and the US in particular as a barrier - in his mind THE barrier to that aim.
    He died knowing he had not achieved this and was no nearer to doing so than from when he started this in the 1990's.

    That a woman was used as an attempted human shield by one of his goons in the firefight, speaks volumes about his whole malign belief system.

    A very bad day for various 'Birthers', the (well named) 'Carnival Barkers' in their wake, the 'Obama is a secret Muslim' idiots too.
    They'll not go away, after all the 'Flat Earth Society' still exists, however those running for public office, those in public office, who have flirted with all this not very well hidden racism, are even more on the wrong side of history than there were just yesterday.

    Congrats to the team that did this, did it properly and proportionately too.

  • Comment number 28.

    I wonder why so few seem to be bothered by witnessing civilized countries cheering assassination of a suspect? Is the old eye-for-an-eye revenge taking over international justice?

  • Comment number 29.

    It's wonderful news, but it also makes me sad by bringing up memories of 911. I was in Washington D.C. that day, in a government meeting across from the White House. I will always remember that if heroes hadn't caused that fourth plane to crash, it would have hit the White House, and I might not be here today. I'm sad because of the lives lost, and I'm sad because the American psyche changed that day...we became a less friendly and more impatient people, we also became too flexible in giving up our rights. A dead Bin Laden doesn't restore such things.

  • Comment number 30.

    The question is: will Donald Trump demand to see his death certificate before he believes he's dead?

  • Comment number 31.

    Yes, where is the body? If the Pakistanis knew nothing about the raid why was there a Pakistani helicopter there (which crashed)? Why was it necessary to kilö OBL? Why not take hime alive and bring him to justice? Why drop the body in the sea (if indeed there WAS a body)? There are more questions than answers and I do not believe a word of what comes out of Washington because it is all orchestrated by the CIA which is one of the most corrupt organisations in the World. Mr Obama can only say what he has been told and I do not blame him, but the people behind him have different agendas and I don't trust any of them.

  • Comment number 32.

    Congratulations to America from Russia.
    Not sure it is a practical achievement, but a heavy symbolical one in value definitely.

    On a smaller scale, I remember we were hunting our Chechen No 1, Basaev, for years. Nobody cheered much here, when Basaev was finally killed, because we are trained in expecting how to say, that troubles never end, plus-minus one heavily advertised enemy leader. Mostly, our special ops, marines, were happy, because they got fed up being jeered at for ages that they can't catch Basaev. It was their professional victory.
    I see a certain similarity here, with assuredness will congratulate American special fores, marines, or how it is called on your side.

  • Comment number 33.

    Bin Laden has played a significant role in terrorist activities against the US and his death is certainly a blow for Al Qaeda.

    But terrorism is the tip of an iceberg of anti-western sentiments in the islamic world, and as long as those are not addressed, there will always be Bin Ladens.

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    @19 Yes there will be no 'martyr's tomb'. Nor will there be a fair trial. And the proof has been disposed of by dropping it in the sea. Is that justice? Not as I understand it, it isn't. I was brought up to respect the law and other people, not to go around revenging myself on others, whatever they had done.

  • Comment number 36.

    Patience is indeed a virtue.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    The body I think is in some fridge, awaiting tests undentification and what not, will be dis-mantled down to the moleculas :o))

    Surely not buried, somehow I doubt the USA in Osama bin Laden case will worry so much about "minding Muslim burial traditions", "to bury as soon as possible" ;o)))))

    We've got a saying in Russia, "hide ends into water", like, you do a crime and hide the end bits , what's left over of it, dump the body into some river, pond, whatever :o)
    Having awaken today to this world news "yesterday killed today buried in the Arabian sea" :o)))))))) - "ends into the water" - is the first thought across all Russian blogs :o)))))
    But in reality nobody thinks it was dumped, just the saying fits very demonstartively :o)))). All think it was advertised to cut short the enquiries, surely the body is kept, for photography, for presenting in case of anything, for research.

  • Comment number 39.

    "25. At 09:51am 2nd May 2011, Tony of Britain wrote:

    So, Obama confirms Bin Laden is dead, then they drop his body in the ocean before anyone can confirm it. Oh there is a picture circulating about that claims to be Bin Laden, but it is so obviously a fake.

    Sorry, we have heard many lies come from US Presidents mouths before, and I am guessing this is another one....probably to boost Obama's ratings."

    Oh I do so agree. I've been talking to the fairies at the bottom of my garden about it just now. They don't normally listen because they think my birth certificate's a fake, but today they spent a moment telling me how all the statements by President Obama and other leaders mean nothing because posters on this blog have an inside line to the truth that the CIA, MI6, and all the intelligence services don't have - the inside line of prejudice.

  • Comment number 40.

    vacilandois, are you for real? since when was there ever "international justice", and who would want such a socialist dictatorship!! one persons justice is another persons injustice, has anyone ever been successfully punished by so- called "international justice". For that matter who made these justice rules, there are a dozen wars even as we speak that have nothing to do with justice, what would you have seen done and more to the point would you have taken up arms spent billions of your nations money to get "justice done" please most of the world forces people into its armies or hides behind the armies of nations like the US, and Nato to name a few, it is easy to complain when you give nothing if you want to see international justice done then spend your money and send your people including yourself to see it done, and remember that just because you think it is just doesnt mean the other side does!!

  • Comment number 41.

    As the start of this article states, the killing of Osama bin Laden didn't happen by accident. Or in other words he was murdered. This is a disgrace. One of the cornerstones of a democracy is the right to a fair trial before being punished for any crimes you have been accused of. Whilst bin Laden was certainly guilty of masterminding the deaths of thousands that does not give anyone the right to murder him. This has simply given al Quaeda another martyr, and has lowered the American government to the level of many of the governments around the world which they claim to be opposed to, by officially sanctioning an 'execution' without a trial. If President Obama was killed by al Quaeda the Americans would be whipped up into a frenzy and it would stiffen their resolve to fight- do they not think that this is the reaction that bin Laden's followers will have?

  • Comment number 42.

    As an American and employee of United airlines who's planes were hijacked and used to commit such a horrific act . I find great relief and a sense of some peace in knowing Bin Laden is dead. A feeling of some justice for the innocents he killed, though even death doesn't feel like payment enough for his crimes. I find no joy in his death, there is only tragedy in the evil stain of his existence. i feel proud of my Country and my President. this is not just a victory fo America , but for all in the world who enjoy freedom and struggle to preserve it. To our brothers and sisters of the world ,thank you

  • Comment number 43.

    First I would like to thank all military personnel for your brave service. This is certainly a celebration of relief for America and, justice to the victims of 9/11.
    Our country needs to focus on every component of terrorism with a priority of securing our borders at home. The threats of retaliation will be great due in part by Osama bin Laden's 10 year ability to escape capture. al qaeda has had the opportunity of time to expand their strategic forces and remains a significant threat although it's founding leader has met his demise the reign of terror will live on.

  • Comment number 44.

    This man and his organisation are not only responsible for the killing of thousands of Westerners but also thousands of Muslims.

    Today we celebrate his demise but tomorrow Pakistan must answer for its obvious protection of this man.

  • Comment number 45.

    Now it seems that the photograph carried by all the media this morning supposedly showing a dead Osama Bib Laden is a fake. Bild Zeitung carries a photo of George W. Bush from 2008 where he is standing in front of that exact self-same photo of OBL. (Here is the link - sorry the story is in German but the pictures are clear enough: [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]).

  • Comment number 46.

    GrandeRomano wrote: "Stop your chest-beating America, you've done nothing yet. "

    Except kill the most wanted man in the entire world, someone who has eluded the intelligence agencies of the entire world for a decade. Killing Osama bin Laden won't end terrorism, but it's an important event. Fairly predictable that people like you need to find some way of robbing the US of credit for this. What if it was British special forces that got him, or some other European country? I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune. The reason you're downplaying the significance of this is because it pains you to see Americans happy.

    Anti-Americans can't accept any positive of the US or allow the US any sort of praise, let alone tolerate American pride in any form no matter how deserved. So I'm not at all surprised by your reaction. Your motives are obvious.

  • Comment number 47.

    @41 weedunx - EXACTLY. You are completely right. This was murder, however you look at it. Is that the sort of World we want to live in? A government decides who lives and who dies? Am I glad I am old and shall not be around for that much longer.

  • Comment number 48.

    All of the Americans I work with (all military veterans; most retirees) are rejoicing like their team just won the Super Bowl, including me! We hear the warnings from the State Department about retaliation against Americans abroad and we don't care. It is worth it to see this day! It is good and right to celebrate a victory, it doesn't matter that it is more symbolic than substantial; after all, the Doolittle Raid in 1942 was symbolic. American Airmen died performing a mission that they knew very well was symbolic, but they also knew how much the American public needed a victory in 1942 and they knew how much the Japanese public would be shocked and humiliated.

    Today, the symbolism is about tenacity. The Jihadists constantly jeer the West for not having the staying power to defeat them. Well, whacking OSB 9 1/2 years after 9/11 is a good start in proving that opinion wrong.

    There will be plenty of evidence that OSB is dead; I'm not worried about that. I think it is more important that there is no touchstone/shrine for his evil movement to rally around. A poster on another blog referred to his resting place as "permanent water-boarding." I like that.

    BTW, the Arabs I work with seemed relieved that he’s dead.

  • Comment number 49.

    Does this mean we can get rid of those pat-downs at the airports? thought not.

  • Comment number 50.

    Why was the body buried at sea and so quickly?

  • Comment number 51.

    41. At 10:55am 2nd May 2011, weedunx wrote:
    As the start of this article states, the killing of Osama bin Laden didn't happen by accident. Or in other words he was murdered.
    _____________________________________________
    Osama had every opportunity to surrender. BTW, he and his gang are the ones that declared war on the west. You may not be aware of this, but there are different rules for war than law enforcement, even if our commander-n-chief sometimes gets those 2 confused, The One seems to have got it right, this time.

  • Comment number 52.

    I'm not refuting the death of OBL or questioning the undisclosed oceanic location in which he has become mere fish food but, I will bring up this point which transpired little over a year ago.....>>On January 15, 2010, the Federal Bureau of Investigation published digitally aged pictures of Osama bin Laden and Atiyah Abd Al-Rahman on its website which they claimed were produced using cutting edge technology. A Spanish newspaper El Mundo revealed that a picture of a Spanish politician Gasper Llamazares was taken from Google Images and used to create the age enhanced image of OBL. The FBI has admitted to this and removed the image. An internal investigation was launched by the FBI to find out if this was done intentionally....
    *Why is the FBI investigating it's own fraud case and have they any info to share as of yet? It would be like allowing someone accused of a crime to serve as his or her own judge and jury......The Bottom line is that Washington has manipulated us with lies(human nature I suppose)for years and,it comes as no surprise that the death of OBL has many people raising eyebrows.

  • Comment number 53.

    It's hard to believe some of the comments on here. One said: "If President Obama was killed by al Quaeda the Americans would be whipped up into a frenzy and it would stiffen their resolve to fight." Hey, that already happened x 3,000 times. It was called 9/11.

  • Comment number 54.

    @Kent: Perhaps my tone was misunderstood. To see wild celebrations because a symbolic figurehead is dead is painfully naive. I've read comments and heard voices alluding to the notion that this will end terrorism and finish Islamic fundamentalism, and it's that which generally amuses me/scares the fecal matter out of me. Before you stand atop your judgmental high horse, consider that I am an American citizen. The difference being is that whilst cutting the head off the chicken doesn't immediately kill the chicken. I can understand that, many others cannot. It's to THOSE people that I feel frustrated.

  • Comment number 55.

    Good riddance.

  • Comment number 56.

    We DON'T celebrate quietly. Never have, never will. Zawaheri is next, the guy after that, and the guy after that. Don't expect the same level of celebration for them, but do not think we are done.

  • Comment number 57.

    Bin Laden's death: Another lie to distract Americans.
    Bin Laden has been dead for years, buried in the ground - not at sea, though the sea is terribly convenient for non-identification purposes.
    It distracts from the horrible and illegal killing of Gaddafi's youngest son and 3 of his grand children. It distracts from the insurmountable debt. It distracts from the jobless rate...IT DISTRACTS.
    It is finally something this President can puff out his chest and say that he did correctly; there isn't much else.
    Where did the operation find Bin Laden?
    In a building: "Eight times the size of similar homes in the area, it had 18ft-high walls topped with barbed wire and inner walls 7ft high. A large place, worth a million dollars, but with no phone, no Internet access. THE CIA BELIEVES IT WAS PURPOSE-BUILT TO 'HIDE' BIN LADEN." Wow, if Bin Laden had been stupid enough to hide in this sort of megalithic compound, death becomes him.
    Pakistan was not informed - all the better to makes the "facts" up as you go.
    The mood in America is exultant. I'm sorry to say at this moment, I have never seen Americans absolutely so gullible.
    At a time when there are so many doubts about America's role in the world, and so much economic gloom, there is something else so unclear and chaotic about this snuffing out. The president lies; the public believes. The president appears grimly resolute in pursuit of America's core interests.
    This is either
    1. a set-up for another attack on American soil or
    2. a pretext to draw-down American troops (Defence is killing the budget.) and/or
    3. plain and simply: a major distraction from the American reality.

  • Comment number 58.

    There is no glory, only perhaps, some feeling of justice served for all of Bin Laden's victims globally - of all faiths or non-faiths? No doubt the wealth of this instigator of terrorism will now pass to his maniacal ants that infiltrate the planet already?

    Bin Laden apparently hated the decadence of the West due to his teachings during his early years. Bizarrely, the West is the least decadent now, and these issues have moved East, North and South of the equator. So, perhaps this wasn't about decadence at all, but more about the wrong religion? If the whole world became Islamic overnight - there would still be wars and terrorism?

  • Comment number 59.

    @56 Glenbarrington. Is it right to dance in the streets and celebrate a murder carried out by a clandestine commando on foreign soil? Is what the Americans have done and better than what Al Qaeda has been doing? What happened to the rule of law? What happened to justice? What sort of a world are we living in where a secret service can issue a death warrant and the people celebrate it? Even Hitler did not expect public celebrations when he murdered Jews. I could mention Joseph Stalin or Pol Pot too. I see no cause for celebration here. It goes against all our western values (and those of other cultures including the Muslims) to murder criminals without trial. As for getting rid of the body ... that smacks of disposing of the evidence. The more I think about it, the more it upsets me.

  • Comment number 60.

    An African American Can
    (When an European American Can't).
    When George W. Bush was well stush
    Nutty Religious GOPs didn't follow the light,
    they followed the white
    And then the GOP Tea Party dressed up in costumes
    To fuss and fight with all of their might and
    scream their hate in the middle of the night

    The Zohar reveals to us the blessings that are concealed in the Torah, helping us overcome the curses and chaos.

  • Comment number 61.

    2. At 08:06am 2nd May 2011, katiekicks wrote:
    "I would have thought Pakistan is the one that needs to do some explaining - not the Americans."

    My thoughts exactly: how could he live a stone's throw away from the Pakistani equivalent of West Point and a half an hour drive from their capital, without the ISI knowing about it? The answer is he couldn't so the ISI shielded him (although they may not have known Bin Laden was living there they had to know a senior Taliban or Al-Qaeda leader had to live there). Once again the Pakistanis have proven to be an unreliable partner to the West.

  • Comment number 62.

    America kills thousands of people.
    AND
    Al Qaeda, extremists, terrorists kill thousands of people.

    okay, okay... we all know the supposed reasons. I accept that.

    But still something to ponder I suggest.

    Peace to all people.

  • Comment number 63.

    Another lie. How coincedently convenient for the Americans who have been looking for an excuse to pull out of Afghanistan this coming July without looking like failures. For something this large, I would have expected an independant confirmation that it was bin Laden that they have. Burying him at sea in less than 8 hrs is ridiculous. Islamic law only dictates that the body is recommended to be buried within 24 hrs. What was the hurry?

  • Comment number 64.

    Unresolved Issues
    Dancing Jews who knew
    WTC1 and WTC2 falling on its footprint
    WTC7*
    War For Oil Blood Money

  • Comment number 65.

    59. At 12:20pm 2nd May 2011, Roy Brookes wrote:
    "Is it right to dance in the streets and celebrate a murder carried out by a clandestine commando on foreign soil? Is what the Americans have done and better than what Al Qaeda has been doing? What happened to the rule of law? What happened to justice? What sort of a world are we living in where a secret service can issue a death warrant and the people celebrate it?"

    It's not your business that people want to celebrate this event, for all you know they could be relatives of 9/11 victims. Btw. there was plenty of celebration in the Middle East on 9/11. It was not an illegal killing because he was probably sentenced in absentia in a number of countries and was wanted by interpol. Even if he was not sentenced to death the people trying to capture him still have the right to defend themselves, so they are allowed to shoot him if he or his guards fire on them (which they did).

    I just hope they didn't really bury him at sea because keeping him in cold storage for a while doing some DNA-tests will maybe convince some sceptics.

  • Comment number 66.

    @59 You are right, of course, about the questionable ethics of the thing but I would also like to note that, as Oldloadr stated @51, bin Laden could be classified as a military target and treated as such. If the government has committed some kind of criminal offence then it should be up to the people to hold them to account, perhaps once we've been allowed our "moment", if you'll forgive the use of the term.

    I would wager that the team was under orders to capture OR kill bin Laden and made the best of the situation. If they had written off the possibility that he could be captured why bother with ground forces in such a high risk operation? Why not just level the compound? I humbly submit that in practice, wanted criminals resisting arrest is not unknown and that sometimes they also end up dead and the people will celebrate regardless.

  • Comment number 67.

    OK, now prove it.
    Oh I see, you mean just take the word of the Americans and the CIA?
    Riggghhhht, and this whole time you want me to believe that OBL wasnt killed previously. But if he was, the Americans would have demanded that we pull out of Afghanistan, right?
    So I get it, if we would have pulled out of Afghanistan before without owning its resources, we would have missed our mission.
    But since we have been failing, lets give the impression to teh works that we are leaving Aghanistan with honour.
    Despicable.

  • Comment number 68.

    So what if Obama took the credit and wants to stay? He deserves the credit and should want to stay (don't they always?). I will always believe that if W and Tony hadn't gone off on their red herring easter egg hunt in Iraq, resources would have been but to better use and Osama would have been captured years ago -- perhaps even stemming some of the critical mass that Al-Quaeda was able to attain while attention was being misdirected at Saddam.

  • Comment number 69.

    @59 and @66, you are both correct, the celebrations are tasteless, but you know it might just be a vociferous minority who are celebrating. Celebrating anyone's killing speaks volumes about the people who are celebrating. They are not world-savers, and have a long journey back to the Father's house. As for ethics, well, Osama bin Laden was a military target, and there must have been high level protection for him in Pakistan, for which they need to be answerable to the international community. Very suspicious. Regrettable but necessary action, and as 66 says no doubt the special forces were instructed to arrest if possible, but to take no risks with American or civilian casualties. Bin Laden would never come quietly, and there was only one possible outcome.

  • Comment number 70.

    Since most of Britain cheered on 9/11, I fully expected them to react to Bin Laden's death with sneering comments about American happiness and celebration. Thank you for fulfilling my expectations.

  • Comment number 71.

    Americans are entitled to celebrate. Those offended will just have to deal with it.

  • Comment number 72.


    "We condemn the assassination and the killing of an Arab holy warrior. We regard this as a continuation of the American policy based on oppression and the shedding of Muslim and Arab blood".
    These are the comments of Ismail Haniyeh - Head of Administration in the Gaza Strip (copied from the BBC website).
    The next time you read about talks between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority or about an exchange of fire between Gaza and Israel - compare these comments to those of all the other world leaders quoted on the same webpage.


  • Comment number 73.

    This is an enormously important success, for which I couldn't resist making an amalgam between the beatification of John-Paul II before a million and a half pilgrims in Rome, lui apportant encore plus au Ciel, and more or less at the same time the violent end of the most wanted and hated man, who represents evil, and whose soul can only have a one way ticket to hell..

    http://mirino-viewfinder.blogspot.com/

    But there are questions that should be answered. If one knew exacly where Ben Laden was hiding, why was there a dangerous delay before something was done about it? And if this is true, one wonders if it has something to do with elections and populism yet again.
    Also it appears to be obvious from the start, that Pakistan, and certainly the ISI (members of which it's said used to have portraits of Osama bin Laden hanging in their offices) well knew where Osama ben Laden was for years. This brings one to the question of what the price finally was to obtain this belated co-operation? Was this the motive for being overly generous with those who fostered the evil in the first place?

  • Comment number 74.

    I can understand the burial at sea, much better than creating a martyr's grave, but I hope more proof will be provided than just word of mouth. Where are the pictures of the body, the positive identification by credible witnesses. The whole thing at the moment seems more a publicity stunt to boost Obama.

  • Comment number 75.

    He should have had an international trial, not killed and dumped in a gung-ho fashion. This is not the end to al-Quaida or a turning point in the war in Central Asia. This may well be the last stab to an end of stability in Pakistan, the raison de guerre with India, and a rally call to all individuals who want to commit acts of terrorism. Tomorrow, the news might well be bombings or attacks in multiple western cities, and on our troops.

  • Comment number 76.

    70. ScottNYC

    'Since most of Britain cheered on 9/11...'

    Were you there? I was. And I can assure you that there was no cheering anywhere in the UK in response to this atrocity. This is not the first time you have expressed your anglophobia based on a pathetic, lack of information, and I, for one, hope it will be the last.

    I remember that those 'celebrating' were quite a few Palestinians in the ME. There were probably many other radicals who applauded their 'success', certainly in Pakistan.

    Ismail Haniyeh has also made his position clear, which should represent food for thought for the UN who have been tacitly supporting Hamas for far too long. Things are becoming clearer, which is another reason why comments such as the last pearl of ScottNYC should no longer be tolerated.

  • Comment number 77.

    The US should have taken at least the same amount of time (4 years) and equal disposition of "intelligent operation" before invading Afghanistan, Iraq and lately Libya....

  • Comment number 78.

    Bad boys, bad boys, what ya gonna do? What ya gonna do when we come for you?

    Tasteless celebrations? No, that would have been the crowds of cheering people celebrating the death of thousands on 9/11.

    Obama's speech was a bit self-serving: telling us he made getting Bin Laden the top priority as if it weren't the top priority of his predecessor. Still, it was done on his watch and therefor Obama gets the credit. The SEALs have just clinched his re-election.

    I understand the reason for the burial at sea but where are the pictures of the body?

  • Comment number 79.

    @34 You don't remember anyone rushing to the US's aid because US news agencies did not report it. It doesn't mean it didn't happen. I can assure you it did happen. Maybe you should do a little research before making such ill informed statements. I also think it would do you good to look at the US realistically, not through the rose tinted glasses you seem to be looking through at the moment.

  • Comment number 80.


    This was a job well done & needed to be done.
    Top marks to Americas special forces.
    Well done guys.

  • Comment number 81.

    I have just watched President Karzai's spokesman in Afghanistan asking if America will now stop storming Afghan villages and killing innocent peope, seeing that they claimed all the time that they were not harbouring bin Laden. Just how many people have now died in response to 9/11? America calls itself a Christian country but these actions are Old Testament killings - an eye for an eye - as Mahatma Gandhi said - makes the world blind. Do you really think this will be the end?

  • Comment number 82.

    In the days following 9-11, I witnessed jubilant Palestinians and other Middle-Eastern inhabitants celebrating the mass murder of thousands of people including their co-religionists.

    I see nothing at all wrong with celebrating the death of an organizer of mass murderer who killed regardless of age, race, gender, religion, or political sympathy.

    I thoroughly enjoyed watching into the wee hours of the morning.

    I regret that some fail to see the difference.

  • Comment number 83.

    The US should have taken at least the same amount of time (4 years!!!) and equivalent "intelligent operations" before invading Afghanistan, Iraq and lately Libya....

  • Comment number 84.

    76

    No cheering in the UK on 9/11? I suppose it's just a coincidence that the former U.S. ambassador to the UK was hectored, mocked and abused by an English audience on BBC's Question Time on Sept. 13, 2001. And another coincidence that John Terry, your beloved (choking) soccer star, likewise screamed abuse at American tourists at Heathrow on Sept. 11 just hours after the attack. Just coincidences right? Get a grip.

  • Comment number 85.

    @70. At 13:52pm 2nd May 2011, ScottNYC wrote:

    Since most of Britain cheered on 9/11, I fully expected them to react to Bin Laden's death with sneering comments about American happiness and celebration. Thank you for fulfilling my expectations.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    Are you for real?! Then you wonder why most people in the world think people in the US are ignorant fools......ScottNYC is a perfect example of why.

  • Comment number 86.

    70. At 13:52pm 2nd May 2011, ScottNYC wrote:
    Since most of Britain cheered on 9/11, I fully expected them to react to Bin Laden's death with sneering comments about American happiness and celebration. Thank you for fulfilling my expectations.
    -------------------------
    What the matter with you.
    Harry Ramsdens, has less chips than your shoulder...

  • Comment number 87.

    ScottNYC @ 70


    What a load of drivel.

    Proof that most of Britain cheered on 9/11? No thought not.....

  • Comment number 88.

    25. At 09:51am 2nd May 2011, Tony of Britain wrote:
    So, Obama confirms Bin Laden is dead, then they drop his body in the ocean before anyone can confirm it. Oh there is a picture circulating about that claims to be Bin Laden, but it is so obviously a fake.

    Sorry, we have heard many lies come from US Presidents mouths before, and I am guessing this is another one....probably to boost Obama's ratings.


    Has it occurred to you that if your scenario is true, Osama can easily refute the reports of his death by making a video holding a daily newspaper dated after May 1? While you're waiting for the video to arrive you can adjust your tin-foil hat. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

  • Comment number 89.

    ScottNYC @ 84


    So a small % of a TV audience heckled an American on 9/11 and a famous individual gave out some nasty comments.

    How does this prove that "most of Britain cheered on 9/11". It doesnt.

    In the same way that a few individuals directly funding the IRA to blow up innocent British civilians does not mean it was 'most of America".

  • Comment number 90.

    @46. At 11:18am 2nd May 2011, Kent wrote:


    Except kill the most wanted man in the entire world, someone who has eluded the intelligence agencies of the entire world for a decade.

    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-

    Not the most wanted man in the entire world, the US's most wanted man

  • Comment number 91.

    I think the man is dead, one way or another. There is Obama's reputation behind this, I mean, without evidence presented - it is virtually announced upon his word. Nobody will risk that.
    I think if announced it's as good as gold.

    Pakistan and the USA have a tricky relation; on one hand, Pakistan is thankful to the USA for training of their military and money, on the other hand - to make happy the USA Pakistan needs to fight Talibs and they absolutely can't - Talibs are Pakistan's only arms against their only enemy - India.
    What the USA wants of Pakistan - Pakistan can't do by definition, they care about India only.

    OBL lived for years in the Pakistan own Navy base, and Pakistan did not surrender him to the USA. Now something happened, the USA managed to convince Pakistan to give OBL up.

  • Comment number 92.

    Finally, Americans have justice for 9/11...and it feels so good to be American right now, I was absolutely shocked and thunderstruck when first heard, everyone celebrated with wine because this is what victory feels like, it doesn't get bigger than this, we finally took down the man who declared war on us, it was the worst attack on our soil since Pearl Harbor and there was no one bigger or that we wanted more than him...at long last, we can declare we are victorious today...and it was so unexpected, it was the biggest best most wonderful gift in the last decade and I have to admit I myself feel the most happy I have been since 9/11 happened, it is how special and fantastic this victory is...I love seeing hte celebration, it fills my heart with happiness and joy and hearing my fellow citizens singing the Star Spangled Banner We are the Champions and other songs with all the American flags waving brought tears to my eyes because it makes us feel united together once again...

    Even if it took us ten years, it goes to show USA never gives up and that's why we got bin Ladin...

    I am so proud of my country right now and so thankful to President Obama, our military and our special forces...

    It feels like we are back, there is hope, our economy will improve and we are gonna make it, yes we can...

    Three cheers for USA!

    USA!

    USA!!!!!!!

    USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    :)

  • Comment number 93.

    Are we really expected to believe that Bin Laden was shot, his body taken away and buried at sea? Or is he in reality on his way to Guantamo?

  • Comment number 94.

    "Since most of Britain cheered on 9/11, I fully expected them.."

    Come on.
    Even Putin ran forward immediately with condolences and called a mourning in Russia, said firm within the first hour - We Sympathise with the the Americans.

    like, 'I hope if anyone in this country has any weird alternative ideas - listen to what I say.' and very carefully at that :o))))) just you dare :o))

    What to say about Britain. You are fearmongering. Surely everyone sympathised with you. Well, on this continent upper quarters, as minimum.

  • Comment number 95.

    This is a whole lot of fuss being made about very little. Bin Laden's death is nothing more than a symbolic victory since al Qaeda are not, and never have been a formal, structured organisation. The problem hasn't gone away, the ideology still has followers and the future will still hold numerous acts of terror.

  • Comment number 96.

    #84

    scottnyc;

    You said "most people" in the UK celebrated 9/11. Yet you cited two examples that had nothing to do with celebrating 9/11 lol. SO, PROVE IT. Rent-a-mob (outnumbered 100-1 by the number of people who complained)and John Terry (beloved?? are you mad??despised more like) do not even remotely represent UK opinion. Now , how would you know anyway?? Never met a Brit, never been to Britain, weren't there on 9/11. Get a grip indeed. Shameful.

  • Comment number 97.

    Thank you for saying the Pledge of Allegience last night, President Obama, it made many Americans feel good...with the takedown of bin Ladin, you and our military and special forces have invigorated America...

    Today is a day I will not forget as long as I live...it is a day when good beat evil...a day when we took back our country united together after ten years of suffering division and sadness...it makes me appreciate our men and women in uniform even more and how special and phenomenal they truly are...this was for America...

    May God Bless America forever and ever...

    Amen...

  • Comment number 98.

    I agree with Roy Brookes(7) and Tacrepus(95).
    When will we see that bombing and killing just generates more bitterness and more violence?

  • Comment number 99.

    92 Lucy
    Americans often complain that many people around the globe don't like them very much and put it down to jealousy. Well, you're wrong. Your crowing, boastful and triumphalist posting is what really appals so many of us.

  • Comment number 100.

    88. At 14:29pm 2nd May 2011, MilwaukeeRay wrote:

    Has it occurred to you that if your scenario is true, Osama can easily refute the reports of his death by making a video holding a daily newspaper dated after May 1? While you're waiting for the video to arrive you can adjust your tin-foil hat. But I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

    -_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

    I hope it is true, but I have worked in enough war zones (and am currently in one) to know that the truth gets lost.

 

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