Quote of the Day:
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 intelligence 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 developed more information about the possibility that we could locate bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action 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 Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage 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. –President Barack Obama, May 1, 2011
On September 11, 2001, TB stepped off a delayed, as usual, Delta Airlines jet in Mobile, Alabama around 12:30 am. I went home and straight to bed, rose the next morning and stumbled in to the shower, powering my television in route. When I got out and finished shaving I stepped in to my bedroom to see the day’s headlines. What I saw instead was a preview from some outlandish new movie with an unnecessarily violent preview, but admittedly impressive special effects. Not my thing. I turned the tv off immediately and finished dressing.
Only when I got in the car and turned on the radio did I learn that I had been watching actual events–recorded or live, I still don’t know. But I could not process that what I saw was real at first. The news, many of you will recall, was at first unable to keep up with the story. In the fifteen minutes it took me to drive to work, I heard about the World Trade Center and the Pentagon attacks. The Pennsylvania flight was unaccounted for. A report came in that dozens of planes were unaccounted for. It was wrongly reported that the U.S. Capitol had been hit. Two of my best friends were still in the air at that hour. We would not know they were safe for several hours more.
Last night’s killin’ was a long time coming. It figures the sumbitch was holed up not in a dusty cave, but in a custom-built mansion, a “fortified compound.” Hiding in plain sight. I wonder if he got a kick out of all those incredibly inaccurate news reports providing visualizations of him receiving dialysis treatments in the field or the SNL skits or the political pronouncements of his irrelevancy? No matter. He may have laughed for awhile, but today America laughs last, and best.
The Navy Seals. Bunch of badasses. I hope they protect the dudes that took him down, because they’ll never be able to use their shakin’ hands again once they become known. Can you imagine the charge that went through the cat who pulled the money trigger just as he realized who was in his sights? Wasn’t any hand-shakin’ of any sort going on in that moment.
What does it all mean? Too soon. We’ll see. I do know one thing. My daughter will grow up knowing about the carcass as much as the man. Just another dead evil dude from history. That makes me smile.
And one last thing. If the first thing someone did upon hearing this news was run to their laptop and fire up Facebook or Twitter and write about how much they hate President Obama….and I don’t mean if someone hates him politically which is perfectly normal, but hates him so much–because he is half-black I guess–that they resent he gave the order to unleash the Seals and would just as soon have let the carcass stay alive in his mansion for a couple more years…..to those people I just want to say as eloquently as I know how, from the bottom of my heart……Fuck. You.
Borrowed from a friend on Facebook and a local here in the TBU–not an Obama fan by the way, but he was still glad to see the carcass.
Titled “The Cliff Notes Version of Obama’s Speech”
Just saw this….dude on Twitter live-blogged the raid without knowing it. He mentions helicopter crashes before he knew what was going on via media reports. BBC says that was actually US forces blowing up their own damaged helicopter. Really interesting Tweets, some funny ones too.
With your closing sentence in mind, I now have the song Wind Beneath My Wings going through my head. TB, you’re my hero — in a completely platonic, non-homosexual way.
The more I hear about the operation, the more I’m amazed. Lots of similarities between this raid and it’s challenges with the disastrous Desert One raid that Carter ordered in 1980 that probably doomed his reelection chances. Special Forces have learned a lot since then–a backup helicopter, for instance. Also gives me more appreciation for the political risk faced by the civilian leadership in ordering the attack. Obama would have been finished if the raid had failed.
I heard that he had the option of some sort of bombing or the operation that he chose. That had to have been an agonizing decision. I’m still stumped by how we suffered no casualties. Noisy helicopters and guys descending from ropes. Were the bad guys hoping to hide? I don’t understand how our guys didn’t at least take one bullet on the descent.
TDW – because the Navy SEALS-special ops, and special forces are the shiz-nit! A good day indeed!
Great post TB!
Spot-on as usual, TB. Helluva good day.
Great call for Obama, I give him credit. It took nuts to call the operation. Big risk for him. Did the right thing and didnt hesitate at the political risk. He could have given some credit to Bush though seeing how the original leads came during enhanced interrogation 4 years earlier. (that’s waterboarding), And they wouldnt have gained the info without it. Just shows when it comes down to it, we can argue, fight, disagree, insult each other as Americans all we want. But if you are our enemy and harm the people, we will come together to find you no matter how long and shoot you in the face!
Also, great decision to not tell the Pakistanis. The fact that it pissed them off just makes it sweeter. Im sure he had dumbasses all around telling him we needed to let them know about the operation. Screw them too!
There are a lot of reports that the Seals took a mother lode of intelligence from the compound in the form of hard drives, thumb drives, etc. I can’t wait to see how much that info can be used to take down the rest of the organization. Amazing operation all around.
I thought Obama did give Bush credit for starting this – someone did because I heard it. I heard the same thing about the hard drives, etc. – I would love to get to analyze that. Let the joyous news be spread, Osama Bin Laden is now dead!
“Just another dead evil dude from history.” ~ The thought of being able to say that to my children makes me smile as well. Putting that man exactly where he belongs in the past.
We went to an air show on Sunday, it was amazing. The tributes to our fallen, the extended gratitude to the people in service (and their families), the general feeling of being united took my breath away. I couldn’t help but notice everyone walking away a little taller, a little prouder…it was without a doubt on the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. That is *insert record halt here* until we started to leave the parking lot. It was a nightmare, people cutting each other off, people getting out of their cars to yell at soldiers (who was trying to direct traffic) etc… One little hiccup in our day to day lives and all that is being worked for is forgotten in an instance. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I mentioned it to Ant and he said “you gotta fend for yourselves, it’s a dog eat dog world.” I couldn’t help but respond with “how are we suppose to be united as a nation, when we can’t even get out of an effing parking lot?” We came home to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death, in which the nation collectively had a sigh of relief…but only for a moment. A spontaneous, quick breath, of unison that rode in on the coat tails of good news and left before anyone had the chance to fully digest it. Before (some) people started in with their hate, their contempt, their dislikes. “No good deed goes unpunished” couldn’t be more literal if it tried.