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Bin Laden
May 1, 2011 7:42 PM   Subscribe


 
Reuters reporting that Bin Laden is dead. We'll soon see.
posted by estuardo at 7:44 PM on May 1, 2011


I can't imagine what else it could be to prompt a Presidential statement like this.
posted by Justinian at 7:46 PM on May 1, 2011


This blue "Beginning shortly" screen is mocking me. The announcement better not be "Osama bin Laden is still an asshole."
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


HuffPo is reporting Donald Trump has been discovered giving sanctuary to Bin Ladedn in his hair.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [33 favorites]


And that his corpse is in the U.S.

Unknown if it's going to be studied by "top men" or placed in the warehouse with the Ark of the Covenant.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [40 favorites]


Is James Brown still dead?
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reuters has tweeted OBL's death. I wonder what he died from.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I can't believe it.
posted by marimeko at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think a world without Osama bin Laden will have less terrorism in it, but it will definitely have four more years of President Obama in it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [158 favorites]


And it's pre-empting the end of the Celebrity Apprentice. Bad day for Trump!
posted by yellowbinder at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [62 favorites]


Ding dong...
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


.





(just kidding.)
posted by The Hamms Bear at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


Ten years ago I was living about a mile away from Ground Zero.

As God is my witness, I honestly have no idea what to think right now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [23 favorites]


CBS is reporting that Osama Bin Laden is dead, and US officials have his body in custody.
posted by chemoboy at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]




http://english.aljazeera.net/watch_now/
posted by mikelieman at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dude, I just watched Day After Tomorrow yesterday, so seriously was expecting a lot worse.
posted by geoff. at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Dear politicians - now is the time to quietly admit to all your sex scandals. You've got cover for a few days.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [102 favorites]


FPP about this event to be made, eventually. MeFi is not for breaking news.
posted by Eideteker at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


CBS reporting Bin Laden dead; body in U.S. custody.

Holy shit.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011


I figured he'd died years ago.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


The timing couldn't be much more perfect for Obama. It will be very interesting to see if there are any signs of the news having being held back.
posted by stepheno at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


At last the Hydra has had its head chopped off.
posted by sien at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [87 favorites]


It's okay to relax now. We won the War on Terror!
posted by etc. at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011


RobotVoodooPower: I was joking a few minutes ago that the announcement was about aliens. Given all this corpse talk, I'm feeling I wasn't so off-base.
posted by waterunderground at 7:48 PM on May 1, 2011


After ten years? I'll need to see proof.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011


Finally. Nice job Special Forces.
posted by JohntheContrarian at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I hope they have a long-form death certificate.
posted by unSane at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [204 favorites]


I demand to see the long form death certificate.
posted by HonoriaGlossop at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [23 favorites]


Do they have Bin Laden's long-form birth certificate?
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


*gasp*
posted by elpapacito at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


War's over! You can come home, everybody!
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


He died of boredom.
posted by ColdChef at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [32 favorites]


I figured he'd died years ago.

Nothing we'll learn tonight will rule that out.

(But Emmanuel Goldstein still lives to terrorize us.)
posted by orthogonality at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


CNN is also reporting that he died, and that the US would not have confirmed unless they had the body and dna evidence.
posted by zarq at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011


Osama dead according to Al Jazeera
posted by elpapacito at 7:49 PM on May 1, 2011


The timing couldn't be much more perfect for Obama. It will be very interesting to see if there are any signs of the news having being held back.

10:30pm on a Sunday, for good news like this, suggests that they have GALLOPED to get this story out.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


Welp, they better fucking be right.
posted by fleacircus at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011


In related news, Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
posted by schmod at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [47 favorites]


Yub Nub.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Alex Jones is now reporting that Bin Laden has proof that Donald Trump is a Lizard Person. Open your eyes people.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


One hopes this will prove to be an important psychological victory against not only terrorist cells around the world, but against fearmongers here at home. Al-Qaeda's been a shadow of itself for a long time now, but hopefully this will entrench that weakness in the minds of everyone still overly frightened by that band of cowards.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


NBC News is saying it too-saying it is a result of US action. So not anything natural and the US has his body.
posted by supercapitalist at 7:50 PM on May 1, 2011


Also: I'll be damned.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011


Wow. I didn't think it would matter, but this actually feels like... closure.

I know we're still going to live in a post-9/11 world, and counter-terrorism will remain a priority (albeit not the biggest one), and this does little to nothing to change that, but wow.

Obama should get on his Airforce outfit and jet onto an aircraft carrier to celebrate with banners and the media and stuff. He earned it.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


And it's pre-empting the end of the Celebrity Apprentice. Bad day for Trump!

I believe this is not a coincidence. For whatever reasons Obama seems to be taking Trump very seriously as an opponent and is hitting very hard and very fast on him. He didn't respond to years of the birth certificate crap until trump (racistly) accused him of having bad grades. He went after Trump with unprecedented vitriol at the correspondents dinner. I think there's a plan here.
posted by serazin at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


FUCK YEAH, DIE YOU FUCK.
posted by clavdivs at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [31 favorites]


I don't get it: why would the president not say the reason for his conference is, if the news is getting out all over the place anyway? Is there any strategy to this, or should we assume some leak or something?

Or that maybe, you know, the reports are wrong.
posted by meese at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011


I am glad to know that we are finally safe from this menace. Also I eagerly await the rolling stones next album.
posted by I Foody at 7:51 PM on May 1, 2011


For everyone else that's getting annoyed with the total silence on the "beginning shortly" screen, this is my plan.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I never thought I'd see the day. Not sure how to feel about this.
posted by codacorolla at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Massive PR coup for Obama, it probably won't change things on the ground in Afghanistan too much but it will be a big deal for Obama's re-election chances.
posted by vuron at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Unless aliens are on the white house lawn, it could have waited til morning
posted by shothotbot at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


After all this, I sure as hell hope the reports aren't wrong.
posted by supercapitalist at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope that, when this livestream does begin, that it's just Meet the Hollowheads in its entirety.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't own a TV; what are the networks showing right now?
posted by orthogonality at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


supercapitalist: "...a result of US action...."

Good. Rot in hell, motherfucker.
posted by zarq at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Also, this totally ruins my death pool final four. Sharon must be rolling over in his coma.
posted by allen.spaulding at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there's a "Mission Accomplished" joke in here somewhere, but frankly I'm too numb from the horrific effects of the war on terror to actually make one...
posted by schmod at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


This feels kind of bizarre. CNN just seems to keep repeating "Bin Laden is dead" like some sort of mantra.
posted by SNWidget at 7:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]




I believe this is not a coincidence.

Lamest. Conspiracy theory. Evar.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


President Obama to make important announcement regarding military presence in Afghanistan imminently....






I'm waiting.
posted by ennui.bz at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


And I am not looking forward to some fucking circus over a corpse. If anyone really thinks murdering one man will in any way reduce terrorism, well, then the terrorists win.
posted by serazin at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [23 favorites]


I wonder how long they've had the body. Because DNA tests in reality are a whole lot slower in reality than they are on tv. Surprise Sunday night news conference announcing this is the most amazing news cycle ambush i could imagine.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Excellent news.

Now can we pull the fuck out of Afghanistan immediately, please?
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


!!!
posted by jjray at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011


orthogonality: "57I don't own a TV; what are the networks showing right now?"

Pontificating pundits, talking about the events of 9/11 and discussing what closure this will give the American people.
posted by zarq at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


If we have his body this wasn't a drone strike. It means personnel on the ground with weapons.
posted by Justinian at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good riddance to bad rubbish.
posted by palliser at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


ABC is reporting on it.
posted by Cuke at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011


This is huge for Obama. Especially if they found Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.
posted by chemoboy at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011


Who is Usama Bin Landen? Whoever he is, Fox confirms he is dead.
posted by raztaj at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


BBC has it Osama's corpse is in US possession.
posted by elpapacito at 7:53 PM on May 1, 2011


I don't own a TV; what are the networks showing right now?
Totally meaningless shit: stock footage of Bin Laden and the twin towers. They're just killing time until the official presidential announcement.
posted by craichead at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


When I first heard they were announcing tonight, I thought that this had to be it. If it were an imminent danger, no wait. If it was another Number Two, wait till tomorrow morning. Once they said it wasn't about Libya, it had to be this.
posted by SNWidget at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011


So Obama not "cutting and running" as of now kinda paid off politically, I guess.

Pretty expensive bill of materials, in money and blood, to achieve this, but we as a nation are just collectively too stupid to leave the region without this scalp I guess.
posted by mokuba at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm really wondering if the US got him or if they just have hard intel. I really, really hope it's the former.
posted by Dasein at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011


Especially if they found Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Pakistan is more likely.
posted by Justinian at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I loved MSNBC before the news was confirmed: paraphrase - "We're sorry, we don't know what were reporting on yet... we don't want to mislead anyone..."
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011



Lamest. Conspiracy theory. Evar.


It's not a conspiracy theory! I think he pre-announced his announcement with the show timing in mind. What is a "conspiracy theory" about that? If there's one thing Obama is good at, it's running for president.
posted by serazin at 7:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm suddenly very torn between solemn reflection on the horror ten years (and going) of perpetual war has had on this country and searching YouTube for Hulk Hogan's theme music.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


Hmm, so Obama finds his lost birth certificate, and Osama Bin Laden.

Wolfram Alpha... you did this?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


ortho: CNN: Revenge likely. Threat level is likely to rise. US Intel community, especially those stationed internationally will have to be sensitive to that.
posted by zarq at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Justice isn't swift.
posted by ColdChef at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Should have done the video at 10:30 Mr. Prez, all this waiting let the networks steal your thunder.
posted by floam at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011


Also, Celebrity Apprentice has been interrupted!
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope that, when this livestream does begin, that it's just Meet the Hollowheads in its entirety.

Reuters confirmed that it will, in fact, be Blood Dolls in its entirety. Sources close to the President speculate that it may contain director's commentary.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who bets he was in pakistan?
posted by elpapacito at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't the President ever have a big reveal?
posted by zerobyproxy at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is completely ruining my intimate plans for this part of the evening. From the grave that bastard is terrorizing my sex life!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


If Obama is really savvy, he'll take the opportunity to declare victory and withdraw from Afghanistan.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


O-bomb-a Bin Laden?



... too soon?
posted by Debaser626 at 7:55 PM on May 1, 2011


Front page of Fox News: "Usama Bin Landen Dead Fox News Confrims"

hahahahahhaa

ha
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [52 favorites]


Also, I will personally blow whoever at the CIA or Pentagon is responsible for this, if anyone. Way to go, boys. (Assuming it was you. Jesus, get on with the statement already, Obama!)

Blowing may be outsourced.
posted by Dasein at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, Celebrity Apprentice has been interrupted!

Trump has Meatloaf. Obama has Bin Laden.
posted by SNWidget at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I kind of get the feeling Osama won't have been in Afganistan, and certainly not in Iraq. Why would he hide in a warzone with a major US military presence?

Any war nerds want to say why I might be wrong?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


meese: "I don't get it: why would the president not say the reason for his conference is, if the news is getting out all over the place anyway? Is there any strategy to this, or should we assume some leak or something?
"

Mysterious Presidential Announcement does a damn good job of building hype and drawing attention on a late Sunday night. The only thing that would have been better is if the news had been broken by his speech itself, rather than pundits shortly before said speech.

I wonder what the potential for martyrdom is. I also wonder if it would have been better to capture him alive. People talk about the benefit of public civilian trials for terrorists, to emphasize the fact that they're criminals rather than holy warriors, but with the way Gitmo has been handled by the Congress, I'm not sure how well that strategy would play out.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Dammit, all of you people need to use SPOILER tags. You've ruined the announcement for me.
posted by Justinian at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


What is this strange liquid coming from my eyes?
posted by MegoSteve at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


So when is this 10:30 ET release actually gonna start?
posted by Deflagro at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011


JoeXIII007: "Also, Celebrity Apprentice has been interrupted!"

The ultimate indignity!
posted by zarq at 7:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I wonder what low level aide in either the House or the Senate leaked this and stole all of the thunder...
posted by SNWidget at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Front page of Fox News: "Usama Bin Landen Dead Fox News Confrims"
Wow. I thought you were joking.
posted by Glinn at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how this influences Canada's election. Will fear removal benefit the NDP?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Also, I will personally blow whoever at the CIA or Pentagon is responsible for this, if anyone.

I take personal responsibility. I cannot hide.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Love how the same jokes are being said over and over again. Read the fucking thread folks.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


I don't know who this guy is that's on CNN right now (the gray-haired dude that's not Wolf Blitzer) but he's giving me the fucking heebie-jeebies.
posted by penduluum at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


So will Obama release the long form death certificate?
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Along with empress, I too lived close to the Trade Center ten years ago, and this brings up a lot of feelings from that day. This morning, in fact, I was at the Staten Island ferry terminal with my bike, and I had to have my bike sniffed by a (presumably bomb-sniffing) dog.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011


Who is Usama Bin Landen? Whoever he is, Fox confirms he is dead.
LOL, no they don't. They "confrim" that Usama Bin Landen is dead.

screenshot
posted by Flunkie at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


I am impressed at the ability of tv talking heads to improvisationally fill up half an hour (and counting)
posted by rmd1023 at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011


I wonder what low level aide in either the House or the Senate leaked this and stole all of the thunder...

I can only assume it's accurate, but imagine if it was just a rumor that got out of control. That would be bad.
posted by codacorolla at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011


Pakistan is more likely.

I read a (Guardian) article that makes me double that as much as I would have in the last few months. More likely, but Afghanistan is not out of the question.
posted by chemoboy at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


You heard it here first: Obama wins 2012 election...
posted by zvs at 7:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Soooooo, the war on terror is over now, right? We can go back to being the land of the free and the home of the brave and that kind of thing now, ya?
posted by Juffo-Wup at 7:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Huh. Apparently I'm on a phone tree for being notified when Bin Laden is killed.

Now I've turned on the TV (I have a TV?) to watch the announcement. This is a weird night.
posted by MrFTBN at 7:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


4 comments per 20 seconds or so... this makes the Palin thread look manageable.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wonder how this influences Canada's election.

May I be the first Canadian to say, who cares? BIN LADEN IS DEAD. It's a great fucking day.
posted by Dasein at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]




And here I had all my asteroid monitoring sites queued up for a quick post as soon as the Prez was done.
posted by gimonca at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The entire DC press corps is hungover tonight too. Hah.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


I'm sure it was leaked strategically by the White House. It builds up the story, and gets more people watching the actual announcement.

Ask yourself: Are you more or less likely to stay up and wait for the President's announcement now that you know what a Big Fucking Deal this is?
posted by dry white toast at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I don't get it: why would the president not say the reason for his conference is, if the news is getting out all over the place anyway? Is there any strategy to this, or should we assume some leak or something?"

Gives everyone time to call friends and family to gather around the fireside, er, TV, to have a magical shared historical moment we can all remember for years to com, as we all watched Barack Obama gives us healing and closure (cough cough) for the Long National Nightmare that began on 9/11 2001.

It's the anti-November 22nd.
posted by orthogonality at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Massive PR coup for Obama, it probably won't change things on the ground in Afghanistan too much but it will be a big deal for Obama's re-election chances.

Re-election? That's more than a week now. People can't remember what the president said yesterday.

Soooooo, the war on terror is over now, right? We can go back to being the land of the free and the home of the brave and that kind of thing now, ya?

I can't wait until cocain/heroin/marajuana is dead, and the war on drugs is over

The phrase on NBC: Obama could become a martyr for his followers. We'll see.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Just wow. I never thought we'd know when he eventually died. When I saw this thread title, I hoped against hope that we hade him in custody, though I thought even that unlikely.

But this...it's bizarre. I feel like the whole world just shifted on its axis.
posted by misha at 8:00 PM on May 1, 2011


Well, I guess Morgan Spurlock can truly end his film now.
posted by jermspeaks at 8:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


May surprise!
posted by carter at 8:01 PM on May 1, 2011


drinks on me.
posted by clavdivs at 8:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure there's a "Mission Accomplished" joke in here somewhere, but frankly I'm too numb from the horrific effects of the war on terror to actually make one...

No joke -- today is the 8th anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" day. Methinks that has a little more to do with getting the news out today than silly theories about Trump's stupid tv show.
posted by inigo2 at 8:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [26 favorites]


CNN is saying that he was taken by US forces in Pakistan.
posted by ColdChef at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011


Congratulations America on narrowly beating natural causes.
posted by I Foody at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [43 favorites]


Here's MY soundtrack while waiting for the live stream...
posted by FatherDagon at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Reuters confirmed that it will, in fact, be Blood Dolls in its entirety.

I love that movie! One of Charles Band's wackiest.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011


Pakistan! I Win!
posted by elpapacito at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


The man speaking on MSNBC right now made an excellent point (unusual for cable news, I know) that the death of Bin Ladin combined with the Arab uprisings is an amazing opportunity to alter our relations toward the Arab world for the better.

We've been in Iraq and Afghanistan my entire adult life. I hope things get better
posted by riruro at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [34 favorites]


someone wake me up when he holds a press conference to announce the military-industrial complex is dead.
posted by any major dude at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


THIS DOES NOT BUDGE MY CYNICISM ONE IOTA.
posted by fleacircus at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


So...how long before the Republicans successfully use this against Obama?
posted by TrialByMedia at 8:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


USA USA USA

And stop frisking my fucking junk already.
posted by blargerz at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


I also wonder if it would have been better to capture him alive.
I don't think so. I think it would have been really hard to figure out what to do with him that wouldn't make him into more of a martyr.
CNN is saying that he was taken by US forces in Pakistan.
Huh. How's that going to play in Pakistan?
posted by craichead at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011


Thinking the statement will now be at 11:15, says Wolf Blitzer.
posted by misha at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011


CNN is saying that he was taken by US forces in Pakistan.

How fucking awesome must it have been to be the Special Forces guys on that op?
posted by Dasein at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The news was on twitter 20 minutes before TV news made a peep.
posted by sugarfish at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Congratulations America on narrowly beating natural causes.

Snark aside, it is important symbolically even if he would have died in three days if we had done nothing. That's why nazi hunters and such didn't stop pursuing nazis even when they got really, really old.
posted by Justinian at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


This is bad news for Gary Condit.
posted by greasy_skillet at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


This probably happened because I emailed Obama that Morgan Spurlock was considering running in the GOP primaries which was a baldfaced lie.

You're welcome, America.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


ABC was saying that they had DNA from his sister and that is how they managed a DNA match.
posted by divide_by_cucumber at 8:04 PM on May 1, 2011


I also wonder if it would have been better to capture him alive.

Hostage-takings around the world demanding his release. Dead is better.
posted by Dasein at 8:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I wonder what low level aide in either the House or the Senate leaked this and stole all of the thunder...

This is tangential, but the legislative branch has the least amount of direct involvement in the armed forces and intelligence communities. That's executive branch stuff. If it was leaked, it came from the DoD, CIA, or EOP (ie. White House).

The Senators are hearing about this at the same time as we are. There is no cabal.
posted by schmod at 8:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama is at his desk furiously writing, waving his hand impatiently at Valerie Jarrett, going "Alright, alright, I'm almost done, jeez, keep your panties on."
posted by dephlogisticated at 8:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The fact that he was picked in Pakistan gives an incredible excuse to invade and get all the nukes in the area under control. My bet: the next is not Iran.
posted by elpapacito at 8:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama's announcement is delayed a little bit while he waits for the MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner comes out of his inkjet printer.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [42 favorites]


Wikipedia: 2003 Mission Accomplished Speech (yes, it was May 1, 2003).
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


CBS is saying that most likely he was killed in Pakistan and his body returned to Afghanistan. They are waiting on the White House to confirm.
posted by chemoboy at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011


Maybe the actually announcement is that they're giving up on finding him, and now that the opposite has been leaked, they're trying to figure out what to say.

My guess is we're all getting free copies of Decision Points.
posted by !Jim at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011


CNN is saying that he was taken by US forces in Pakistan.

How fucking awesome must it have been to be the Special Forces guys on that op?


I sort of always hoped it would be a female bomber pilot from the midwest who did him in.
posted by shothotbot at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Can we go back to pre-911 airport security now?
posted by wenat at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Unfortunately, that just means a few dozen al-Qaeda #2s jockeying for position.

j/k, it's great.

!

posted by Halloween Jack at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011


Wow.
Please keep posting updates for those of us without tv or reliable stream of whitehouse.gov.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


HuffPo is reporting Donald Trump has been discovered giving sanctuary to Bin Ladedn in his hair.
Love how the same jokes are being said over and over again. Read the fucking thread folks.

TRUMPS HAIR LAYS BARE TERROR LAIR.

There.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [55 favorites]


If Bin Laden did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


FPP about this event to be made, eventually. MeFi is not for breaking news.

Normal breaking news? No.

OMG HOLY SHIT world-impacting breaking news? Hell yes.
posted by spinifex23 at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [36 favorites]


Obama Trumps Osama!
posted by ericb at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


Can we all please just enjoy this moment for the six or so hours before all the incredibly shitty political cartoons are published?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I hear that twenty lucky Americans - twenty people from all walks of life - will be specially selected to beat his corpse with a stick. The event will be recorded and played on a closed loop in a special shrine to be built at Ground Zero. And finally, finally the USA will achieve closure.
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [30 favorites]


Score one for the drone drivers...
posted by mikelieman at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011


If it was another Number Two, wait till tomorrow morning.

Oh, it's a number two, alright.
posted by indubitable at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, wow. Okay.
posted by rtha at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bin Laden killed outside Islamabad in mansion with other family members, by a U.S. "asset".
posted by misha at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011


As strange as it is that they would announce a 10:30 PM Sunday press conference, it's even stranger that they would be over half an hour late for it, and counting. I wonder what's up?
posted by Flunkie at 8:06 PM on May 1, 2011


This is bad news for Gary Condit.

Fuck, that was funny.
posted by riruro at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Per CNN: "In a mansion outside Islamabad. Other family members also killed."
posted by inigo2 at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011


ABC through Al Jazera: intelligence sources, Osama killed last week in a drone attack
posted by elpapacito at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011


hoped against hope that we hade him in custody, though I thought even that unlikely.

Oh, he'd dead all right. If we had taken him alive, we would never have heard about it--he'd be in some secret prison being attended by this nation's best "interrogators" until such time as his corpse found its way into an incinerator.
posted by Chrischris at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That really amazes me, that he actually did manage to stay alive and in hiding for all these years.
Despite the dodgy audio tapes he was sending out from time to time, I had come to believe the CW that he had died, in a bombing or from kidney failure many years ago and was just being kept 'alive' by both sides as either a bogeyman or a figurehead.
Therefore to me this is a bit like Obama coming out and saying: yeah, we've got some dead aliens in a freezer in New Mexico.
posted by Flashman at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [29 favorites]


Holy shit, so many forums are crashing right now, and facebook has slowed to a crawl. For me, at any rate.
posted by codacorolla at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


"So...how long before the Republicans successfully use this against Obama?"

Clearly you already have
posted by Blasdelb at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011


'Nuclear hellstorm' if bin Laden is caught or killed: Al-Qaida
April 25, 2011 13:58 IST
Al-Qaida terrorists have threatened to unleash a "nuclear hellstorm" on the West if their leader and world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is nabbed.

A senior Al-Qaida commander has claimed that the terror group has stashed away a nuclear bomb in Europe which will be detonated if bin Laden is ever caught or assassinated, according to new top secret files made public by whistleblower website WikiLeaks.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably more symbolic than anything, and I wish this had happened years ago and without the deaths of so many people. That said, I want Obama to hit the top of the door way with his hand on the way into the East Room.

Awaiting inevitable right-wing spin on this. Any takers on what that'll look like?
posted by HostBryan at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just finished watching Restrepo. Man, have we been there a long time. Even the filmmaker's been killed by now (in Libya).
posted by fungible at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


ABC's running film clips of Bin Laden next to the talking heads is weird, and kind of creepy. I feel like "Don't You (Forget About Me)" should be playing softly in the background.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


FPP about this event to be made, eventually. MeFi is not for breaking news.

The September 11 thread remains a seminal part of MeFi history. It was just as breaking-news as this. And if there is never another breaking news thread on MeFi then this will, I think, have been an appropriate bookend.
posted by Dasein at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


The timing of this is eerie to me, for silly personal reasons. My best friend's birthday is 9/11. She is RIGHT NOW giving birth. On the day that Osama is found dead. I'm sure she's having to hear about it as I can't imagine nurses NOT turning on the news. Poor girl can't catch a break. Bin Laden is stalking here, even from the grave.
posted by sonika at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I sort of always hoped it would be a female bomber pilot from the midwest who did him in.

I always sort of hoped it would be the CIA handlers who first trained, armed, and activated bin Laden to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

You know, symmetrical blowback.
posted by orthogonality at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


This is fantastic news. Well done to everyone involved in finally nailing this utterly evil individual.
posted by joannemullen at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


CBS is reporting Osama Bin Laden's body will be "disposed of" so there will not be any sort of grave or shrine that anyone can collect around.
posted by chemoboy at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011


Obama is at his desk furiously writing, waving his hand impatiently at Valerie Jarrett, going "Alright, alright, I'm almost done, jeez, keep your panties on."

Although I assume that they have pre-written speeches for this sort of thing, I'm beginning to wonder if this event was far-fetched enough that they actually didn't have one prepared.
posted by schmod at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like when Sen. McCain "told" everone during his campaign "I know how to get Osama Bin Laden"... only not a scare mongering misleading statement.

Who's got odds on the President walking out with a fancy silver platter, and non-chalantly tossing it to the front row of the press pool.

Ps. When Bush said "mission accomplished", it was using a different meaning of accomplished, like, here, these are the meanings, spoiler; it was not the first one, more like "mission: we have lots of experience with this now".

1.completed; done; effected: an accomplished fact.
2.highly skilled; expert: an accomplished pianist.
3.having all the social graces, manners, and other attainments of polite society.
Just thought I should clear that up after nearly a half decade of jokes about it...
posted by infinite intimation at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is bad news for Gary Condit.

and sharks
posted by any major dude at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hrmm, outside Islamabad. Couldn't possibly be the ISI finally playing ball.
posted by vuron at 8:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Crowd at the Phillies-Mets games chating "U-S-A". Crowd shots show everybody looking at their phones.
posted by dry white toast at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fuck yeah.
posted by defenestration at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Re Fox News:

Usama Bin Laden is the name on the FBI wanted poster.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011


I saw the headline and immediately wondered what needed to be covered up today. I'm kind of sad that I've become so cynical.
posted by honeydew at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can we have our freedoms back, now?!
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


*smacks head* A mansion outside the Pakistani capital, of course! We've been looking in all those caves in vain! Gah!
posted by Rhaomi at 8:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Soooooo, the war on terror is over now, right?
I think it's difficult to speculate about consequences, one thing I was thinking was that the terror groups will loose a lot of Bin Laden funding.
This might just be the excuse I needed to finish off this weekend's booze leftovers!
Hard to believe that fucker's been running around for 10 years now.
posted by PHINC at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, you have no idea how much it pleases me that the pundits are referring to Bush's "mission accomplished" speech as "Infamous."

A month after 9/11, Bush stood at Ground Zero and said that he was not going to rest until we got Bin Laden. Then he fucked off to Iraq -- totally the wrong place -- and got us all caught up in that instead, and trashed the economy in the process. And then declared "Mission Accomplished", leaving me and several million other New Yorkers to scream at our TVs "WRONG FUCKING MISSION, asshole."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [113 favorites]


Holy shit, so many forums are crashing right now, and facebook has slowed to a crawl. For me, at any rate.

mathowie sez: "Who wishes we had inline images now? Yeah, that's what I thought."

Also: kudos, again, to pb for the new comments feature.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Would it be uncouth of me to dance around my living room singing the Ewok song from the end of Return of the Jedi?
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Puffin Party is going nuts right now.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't have cable and I don't have an antenna, so since the conversion, the only channels I get are two local Fox affiliates. One is still playing Family Guy and the other has switched over to Fox News. So, now I'm watching Geraldo shout at me. Actually now, I'm watching him interview some jerk about how this won't end Islamo-fascism. FML. This is why I never, never turn on the TV anymore.
posted by marsha56 at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The thought just occured to me because of mikelieman's post that the soldier who pulled the trigger was sitting at a computer monitor at Cent Com not 10 miles from where I'm sitting.
posted by photoslob at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, as soon I as saw this on the news, I came straight to MeFi. Because when it is breaking news of this magnitude, nobody does it better.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [83 favorites]


God have mercy on any of the people who are likely to be distressed by this news and react violently. Still their hearts and let this most recent act of justice be the end of all the violence.
posted by jefficator at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


clavdivs : FUCK YEAH, DIE YOU FUCK.

Seriously ?
Will Osama's death bring health care to 40 million Americans?

Will it bring a single job to an of the 50+million unemployed/under-employed Americans?

Will it bring a single criminal charge to any of the bankers making unheard of bonuses after holding the American financial system hostage to fraud and mismanagement?

Will it bring a single American soldier home or stop the tens of thousands of American men and women who get killed or maimed in our mid-East wars?

I'm glad you are so thrilled about this news but what does it change for the poor, the unemployed, the hungry and the thousands about to be maimed and killed this year in war.

Less bread.
More Circuses.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [93 favorites]


Can we disband the DHS and roll parts of it back into the CIA/FBI now?
posted by SirOmega at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Re Fox News:

Usama Bin Laden is the name on the FBI wanted poster.


Yes, not Usama Bin Landen. And the FBI won't "confrim" his death.
posted by inigo2 at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whoa, Islamabad! And the Pakistani intelligence didn't know? Oh so curious!
posted by elpapacito at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Al-Qaida terrorists have threatened to unleash a "nuclear hellstorm" on the West if their leader and world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is nabbed.

Yeah, 'cause they've been deliberately holding back so far. "Oh, you know, we still like to kill the infidels, but we're holding the really good shit - those North Korean nukes, the Russian smallpox - in reserve in case the Great Satan does something to provoke us. We are, after all, not the sort of people who wantonly kill innocent civilians."

Ten years and they haven't managed to mount a serious, succesful attack. Doesn't mean they haven't been trying. Let's hear it for the black ops/drone war.
posted by Dasein at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


P.S. h/t The Onion
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011


CBS is reporting Osama Bin Laden's body will be "disposed of" so there will not be any sort of grave or shrine that anyone can collect around.

That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that? This whole thing is basically unprecedented, though, I guess.
posted by penduluum at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joe in Australia: "167I hear that twenty lucky Americans - twenty people from all walks of life - will be specially selected to beat his corpse with a stick. The event will be recorded and played on a closed loop in a special shrine to be built at Ground Zero. And finally, finally the USA will achieve closure."

I'd like to fucking volunteer.
posted by zarq at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Would it be uncouth of me to dance around my living room singing the Ewok song from the end of Return of the Jedi?

Yes.
posted by mikelieman at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011


on CNN, Blitzer: "Vice President Joe Biden has called number two republican Eric Cantor to tell him Bin Laden is dead."

Biden adds, "Eat it, dicks."
posted by jermsplan at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [50 favorites]


Usama Bin Laden is the name on the FBI wanted poster.
Thank you for confriming that Usama Bin Landen is not.
posted by Flunkie at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Usama Bin Laden is the name on the FBI wanted poster.

And Usama Bin Landen is the terrorist cousin of the hot guy in every 80s teen flick ever.
posted by phunniemee at 8:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm glad you are so thrilled about this news but what does it change for the poor, the unemployed, the hungry and the thousands about to be maimed and killed this year in war.

Sure, the mastermind is dead. The war is over, victory. We resume our much needed marshall plan.
posted by elpapacito at 8:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Will it bring a single American soldier home

Quite possibly one or two, yeah.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Every site I visit has slowed to a crawl. This is big.
posted by swift at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is all very surreal. Like someone else said, we've been chasing after bin Laden by entire my entire adult life (more than, really). Somewhere along the line I became convinced he was, I don't know, fictitious.
posted by hoyland at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


There are people setting off fireworks in my neighborhood!
posted by phunniemee at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


: )
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. I hope this brings closure the people effected by 9/11, its been to long and they deserve closure. Also a huge moral boost for the troops in Afghanistan, IK hope they can come home soon.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, as soon I as saw this on the news, I came straight to MeFi. Because when it is breaking news of this magnitude, nobody does it better.

Agreed. I happened to be on mefi anyway, what luck.
posted by chemoboy at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was dicking around on the Internet on September 11. Maybe I should've gotten up in the meantime.
posted by hat at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]




Geraldo's live commentary is with the sheen threshold of bombast.
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:15 PM on May 1, 2011


What a piece of non-news. The guy wasn't a supervillain. He was just a guy, and there are plenty more ready to take his place. I mean, I'm not sorry he's gone, but let's be realistic; this doesn't change anything, certainly not for the better. Military action against terrorism is like pouring gas on your burning house. Not working yet? WE NEED SOME MORE GASOLINE IN HERE!
posted by Salvor Hardin at 8:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that?

If I recall correctly, Eichmann's remains were scattered in international waters in the Mediterranean for similar reasons.
posted by gimonca at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah no joke, the internet seems to be slowing to a crawl, maybe it's a good thing they are announcing this tonight.

Worker productivity tomorrow will be for shit though
posted by vuron at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was dicking around on the Internet on September 11.

Me too. Up earlier than usual, sitting in this same room, dicking around on the internet. Here, specifically, though I was just lurking at the time. Feels kind of good to be doing the same thing tonight.
posted by penduluum at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011


[Somewhere in the mists of the distant future...]

Obama: "I am proud to announce that the infamous terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has finally been killed by American forces in Pakistan."

Robotic States of Techno-America: OLD NEWS, BARACK. *departs on a fusion jetpack*
posted by Rhaomi at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Al-Qaida terrorists have threatened to unleash a "nuclear hellstorm" on the West if their leader and world's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden is nabbed.

I hadn't seen that story a week ago, but I did see one more recently about a group of AlQueda terrorists being found with a cache of explosives. I suspect this announcement was delayed until we were more sure we had done everything possible to prevent retaliatory attacks.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm really not sure what to think right now. On the one hand, if anyone deserves it he does. But I also sort of wish he'd been captured alive and put on trial. But seeing as he'd probably be kept at Gitmo until then, I can't imagine that would go well. Maybe it's best that everything's just over with.
posted by fishmasta at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


photoslob: The thought just occured to me because of mikelieman's post that the soldier who pulled the trigger was sitting at a computer monitor at Cent Com not 10 miles from where I'm sitting.

Oh, that's creepy. Practically in my back yard, those guys.
posted by cmyk at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011


Somewhere along the line I became convinced he was, I don't know, fictitious.

....Suddenly I'm picturing Osama Bin Laden as General Woundwort.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that?

Hitler's body.
posted by Dasein at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


this is an emotional moment for the U.S. It is scary though to think of what this will stir for us in pakistan etc.
posted by cerebral at 8:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Odds: Obama says Pakistan intelligence has collaborated ...20% ..../ Obama says we found Osama in Pakistan ... and is mad about that 20% / Obama says we found Osama and killed him, end of story 60%
posted by elpapacito at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that? This whole thing is basically unprecedented, though, I guess.

During the Roman Republic (and after), there were many times where bodies of famous (and dangerous) leaders were disappeared, so that there'd be no one place for supporters to gather.

Same thing happened to Hitler's body in the Soviet's hands, if I remember.
posted by SNWidget at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I always sort of hoped it would be the CIA handlers who first trained, armed, and activated bin Laden to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

your wrong, par for the course these days.
posted by clavdivs at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm on a Greyhound home to NYC as I learn this. What a night to be going back to New York! Time to raise a glass.
posted by oneironaut at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, there really are very few people whose death would cause me to smile broadly and say "Alright!"

I hope that Obama seizes on this moment as an opportunity to end the fucking wars already.
posted by callmejay at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Geraldo is approaching the dangerous sheen threshold of extreme bombast
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011


He didn't respond to years of the birth certificate crap until trump (racistly) accused him of having bad grades.

I admit this is a blatant derail, but why is it racist to accuse a presidential candidate of having bad grades? I've seen similar accusations made against George W. Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry.
posted by John Cohen at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Doh. One day I'll learn to read good.

Shame on me for giving Fox the benefit of the doubt.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011


There are people setting off fireworks in my neighborhood!

And playing Jingo-bells?
posted by orthogonality at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


CNN source says OBL killed by "human operation, not a drone".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011


I saw the towers fall on the streets of NYC. Gotta say, I'm weirdly happy that OBL's death is being met with dismissive snark on Twitter. You're no great warrior, OBL, you're just more yuk fodder for Patton Oswalt.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Afghanistan and Pakistan are in for a bloody few days.
posted by knapah at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011


There are people setting off fireworks in my neighborhood!

We've got fireworks too. But that just happens sometimes.
posted by hoyland at 8:17 PM on May 1, 2011


"In a mansion outside Islamabad. Other family members also killed."

If it turns out that the other family members he was meeting with were the same ones Bush shipped out immediately after 9/11 during the flight lockdown...
posted by FatherDagon at 8:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Republicans: "Democrats weak on terrorism."

Other Americans: "Burn. Fuck You, Republicans."
posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


I also shouted it out on the bus. The only person who was really excited called back "We've known that since 2001!" out of the darkness.
posted by oneironaut at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who is Usama Bin Landen?

He played the father on Little Jihad On The Prairie, didn't he?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


Dear Mr. President,

Please make this announcement already so that I can stop staring at not one but two blue screens on the Internets. I would like to go to sleep.

Sincerely,
Dr. Wu

P.S. I voted for you! Do me a solid.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Osama Bin Landen played the terrorist on "Little on the Prairie."
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, it's been a shit week for me and a few other people I know, actually, most of the people I know. I think this, this may be the turning point.
posted by hellojed at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just a flood of emotions right now, but all I can think of at the moment is my childhood friend Christian Regenhard.

.
posted by deadmessenger at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I hope this brings closure the people effected by 9/11, its been to long and they deserve closure.

Actually, speaking as one of those people, I still need two other things to get closure:

a) Congress needs to stop dicking around with the health care for the first responders who were there, and
b) I'd personally love the rest of the country to NOT TALK ABOUT IT rather than trying to urge me to "never forget," because trying TO forget is the only thing that has kept me fucking SANE for the past ten years.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [27 favorites]


Will it bring a single criminal charge to any of the bankers making unheard of bonuses after holding the American financial system hostage to fraud and mismanagement?
...


Nope! But, Mrs. Downer, a real shithead that sparked off a decade of hell is no longer alive in his mansion. Believe it or not, many actually dislike Bin Laden more than those evil banksters.
posted by floam at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


It doesn't matter if it was Osama or not. What matters now is what this will mean to the American people, and what rhetorical plays that are now unavailable to the Republicans. This is a helluva card to play, and it breaks open the Republican defensive line. It isn't clear what political plays are now possible for the administration, but they aren't the ones available to them yesterday.
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011


admit this is a blatant derail, but why is it racist to accuse a presidential candidate of having bad grades? I've seen similar accusations made against George W. Bush and Al Gore and John Kerry.

Trump was saying his pal's kids couldn't get into Harvard, but Obama did. The implication was affirmative action, and not the blue-blood kind.
posted by mokuba at 8:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, there really are very few people whose death would cause me to smile broadly and say "Alright!"

I hope that Obama seizes on this moment as an opportunity to end the fucking wars already.


I have a hard time celebrating the death of any human being. But I hope that Osama can use this, somehow, as a way to bring an end to the multiple wars (more than two!) the US is involved in in the Middle East.
posted by chemoboy at 8:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


CNN showing tourists standing outside the white house singing the star spangled banner.
posted by zarq at 8:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that?

reference. Ancient Eygpt
posted by clavdivs at 8:20 PM on May 1, 2011


wow, really? take the birther / grader / whatever crap elsewhere please.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:20 PM on May 1, 2011


During the Roman Republic (and after), there were many times where bodies of famous (and dangerous) leaders were disappeared, so that there'd be no one place for supporters to gather.

Jesus!

I mean, Jesus, that's hardcore!
posted by orthogonality at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [29 favorites]


Jubilant crowds singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" at the White House gates. An echo of election night 2008.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011


...and G-d Bless America.
posted by zarq at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011


GODDAMNITT MAKE THE ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE TWITTER POSTS ANYMORE SPOILERS.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Random people currently singing The Star Spangled Banner on the street outside of the White House right now. Damn, you guys ought to get an anthem that's a bit easier to sing.
posted by Flashman at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


MeFi server don't fail me now. I want analysis of this event.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011


To head off (harharharhar) any more calls for 'justice', shooting the man dead isn't justice. It's vengeance. Vengeance many people in here want.

Justice would be had after a long and very public trial in NYC.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


Bin Laden is dead, and he's taking the Internet with him.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I suspect that the delay is because bin Laden keeps coming back to life Michael Meyers-style and Obama keeps having to re-kill him.
posted by brundlefly at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


a real shithead that sparked off a decade of hell is no longer alive in his mansion

by all accounts George W Bush is alive and well tonight and probably pissed off that the Apprentice has been pre-empted.
posted by any major dude at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [74 favorites]


In a moment of cosmic coincidence, on this very same day, 1945, the world heard of the death of Hitler.
posted by Muddler at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [40 favorites]


FFS. In eight minutes I turn it off and get to important things.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Somewhere in Pakistan a mid level Al Qaeda operative deletes his memo tilted: On Moving From A Cave To A Mansion: More Secure Plus Date Trees!
posted by shothotbot at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


That really amazes me, that he actually did manage to stay alive and in hiding for all these years.

To be fair, he's been in "hiding," not actual hiding, I'd imagine.
posted by rtha at 8:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Makes me wish I still lived in NoVa - I'd definitely drive into the city for this.
posted by SNWidget at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2011


I hope that Obama seizes on this moment as an opportunity to end the fucking wars already.

That won't every happen.
These wars are not about Osama.
They are not about 9-11.
They are not about protecting us from terrorism.

They are about transferring wealth from you and I to the top 1 % (or less). They are about making tons of money for the military-industrial complex. They are about expending war machinery so that more war machinery needs to be produced.

And if five or ten thousand young American men and woman need to be maimed or killed each year, and if 50 million have to go without health care or a job - so be it.

Osama is a amateur when compared to the atrocities to Americans that are being committed by the Corporate-Fascists in America each and every day.
posted by Poet_Lariat at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [71 favorites]


I know we're all excited but this is kind of why MeFi isn't for breaking news...
posted by polyhedron at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Trump was saying his pal's kids couldn't get into Harvard, but Obama did. The implication was affirmative action, and not the blue-blood kind.

How is that racist?
posted by John Cohen at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2011


Argh, the "please wait" message for the president's speech on the .gov website gives new meaning to "blue screen of death."
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Almost ten years now since I was stabbing the F5 button on a keyboard at work waiting for updates from MeFites around the world after the attacks on 9/11.

And I'm doing it again now.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


During the Roman Republic (and after), there were many times where bodies of famous (and dangerous) leaders were disappeared, so that there'd be no one place for supporters to gather.

This is why Antony had Caesers funeral in the forumn, the spot still remains today.
posted by clavdivs at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is probably one of the rare nights when Bill Keller actually gets to yell "Stop the presses."
posted by gsteff at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Alternatively, http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2011


CBS is reporting that Joe Biden has confirmed that Osama Bin Laden was killed in Pakistan.
posted by chemoboy at 8:24 PM on May 1, 2011


Obama in a black cowboy hat.

That is all.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, I guess I was talking about precedent after the period in history where we were putting people's heads on pikes as a warning to the others. I like to think we've come some distance from then. But the Hitler & Eichmann things make a lot of sense, and I appreciate people answering.
posted by penduluum at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mount his head on a pike on the South Lawn.
posted by Scoo at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conservative Facebook friends already explicitly saying "don't give credit to Obama, give credit to the troops".
posted by Flunkie at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2011


Geez, are they preparing the corpse for display in the White House briefing room? What the heck is the delay?
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2011


Vengeance many people in here want.

Nuremberg was just a fancy show of vengeance, too. Same thing with the Tokyo trials.

I for one didn't care if he was alive or dead, he's not some Bondian villian actually coordinating shit with his otherwise idea-less minions -- but to the extent this apparent event gives us the capability to get our actions back on track to sanity, then great.
posted by mokuba at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


uh oh, they pulled the "10:30" start time and put up "beginning shortly"
posted by shothotbot at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011


Justice would be had after a long and very public trial in NYC.

There was a very public trial in NYC for the 'mastermind' of the first WTC bombing that ended right before the 9/11 attacks. Justice is sometimes so far out of reach you have to settle for Vengeance.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


by all accounts George W Bush is alive and well tonight and probably pissed off that the Apprentice has been pre-empted.

Here George, have another pretzel.
posted by bonehead at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


PIKE!
posted by clavdivs at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is probably one of the rare nights when Bill Keller actually gets to yell "Stop the presses."

"Sokay. They were already stopped!"
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


penduluum: "CBS is reporting Osama Bin Laden's body will be "disposed of" so there will not be any sort of grave or shrine that anyone can collect around.

That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that? This whole thing is basically unprecedented, though, I guess.
"

The remains of Adolf Hitler were buried in an unmarked grave and eventually cremated and scattered in a river, in part to prevent the grave becoming a site of pilgrimage to neo-Nazis.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dude, Poet Lariat, I think Mefi is about as left wing a site as you can find but you might save the axe grinding for a different thread. I don't think this one is fertile ground for converts.
posted by vuron at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [29 favorites]


Please make this announcement already so that I can stop staring at not one but two blue screens on the Internets. I would like to go to sleep.

SRSLY. I have an infant who is like a time bomb who is going to wake up to nurse ANY SECOND now. The longer you prolong this, the more likely I will have to watch the President's address with a small man attached to my boob. Which is a little weird. Even for me.
posted by sonika at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Call me when it's confirmed. This speculation is killing me.
posted by crossoverman at 8:26 PM on May 1, 2011


MeFi isn't for breaking news...

IF YOU TAKE A GOOD LOOK IN THE DISTANCE, YOU CAN USE YOUR SEXTANT TO CALCULATE HOW LONG AGO THAT SHIP SAILED AWAY
posted by Mikey-San at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [114 favorites]


Reuters obit
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2011


Congratulations to Meta for handling this thread so smoothly.
posted by elpapacito at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2011


Maybe the delay is due to Obama killing the Bushes, so he can say that this whole thing is finally truly over.
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 8:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


In a moment of cosmic coincidence, on this very same day, 1945, the world heard of the death of Hitler.

wow.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2011


two minutes, sez NBC
posted by tommyD at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2011


They pulled the 10:30 start time because start times don't look good when they're in the past.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2011


John Cohen, there is (as far as I know) no evidence that Obama had bad grades, and the accusation came out immediately in the wake of the previous baseless accusation being thoroughly whomped (and explicitly so - Trump even said something like "OK, maybe he was born in America, but why hasn't he released his school records"), and it's a dog whistle for affirmative action haters. That is, it's a baseless accusation that's designed to appeal to people who think that black people are unfairly advantaged in American society. That's how it's racist. Can we now put this threadjack to rest, please? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 8:28 PM on May 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


inigo2: "I'm sure there's a "Mission Accomplished" joke in here somewhere, but frankly I'm too numb from the horrific effects of the war on terror to actually make one...

No joke -- today is the 8th anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" day. Methinks that has a little more to do with getting the news out today than silly theories about Trump's stupid tv show
"

Or, ya know... May Day. SUCK IT COMMIES!
posted by symbioid at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Most amusing metafilter thread in ever keep going great job! Bin Landen is confrimed!
posted by tehloki at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to be super dooper unpopular for saying this, but: Who cares?

Honestly, the US govt, hell Henry Kissinger has been directly responsible for killing more innocent people than Osama Bin Laden could have even dreamt of. There are no military actions, or protests, or celebrations about that.

Bin Laden is not unique in any way, not for hating the US, for his medieval conservativism, for killing thousands of innocents, as a figure-head fundamentalist propaganda, nothing.

He is only unique in that he was used by Americans (and my country, sadly) as an excuse to continue the military spending of the Cold War, and unleash a horrifying conflict that as killed milions of people, destroyed nations, handcuffed developed economies and - yes - ultimately resulted in far more innocent American deaths than that September so many years ago now.

The ultimate joke is that this great American bete noir was created by the very country purporting to hate him.

I can't get excited about this, it does a grave disservice, I feel to all the people still being killed by our actions in the middle east, by the other terrorist groups we've supported over the years, by the "secular" regimes we prop up and support in Bahrain, Syra, Saudi Arabia and - until very very recently - Libya.

I'm saving my emotions for the living; we can do something about them. A deluded old man in a cave is killed by the largest, most powerful military ever created on Earth, nearly ten years after he was made a target. Good god, sound the trumpets, beat the drums!

Killing an idea is a lot harder, and Osama Bin Laden's greatest legacy is not the ideas he created and sustained in the Muslim world, it's the horrifying, banal, senseless, immoral, illegal and terrible ideas he unleashed in the West, in us. He may be dead, but those ideas are still very much alive, so I cannot celebrate.
posted by smoke at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [213 favorites]


The longer you prolong this, the more likely I will have to watch the President's address with a small man attached to my boob. Which is a little weird. Even for me.

I am sure there is an audience for just this.

Sorry, I think I've been drinking my beer too fast.
posted by chemoboy at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011


Is this the latest Presidential press conference in history? I know that this is the biggest Presidential news in my life.
posted by lilkeith07 at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011


Hey Sir Elton! I have an awesome "Candle In The Wind" idea for you!
posted by sourwookie at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Its surreal to know historic words will soon be spoken. Words we'll remember and that will be repeated and recorded. Maybe this provides some moment of justice for anyone who was still unable to recover from what Bin Laden orchestrated.
posted by cashman at 8:29 PM on May 1, 2011


Delaying the announcement again... geez, I have to go to bed...come on, come tell us the news already dammit.
posted by supercapitalist at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


ABC has it that Osama was DNA identified
posted by elpapacito at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011




Wow Metafilter is loading so slowly.

So, big thread, I'm guessing the Pakistanis finally got tired of weddings being blown up by flying robots and figured they needed to turn someone in. It's a huge symbolic victory and pretty conveniently timed - I almost feel like it's like the 9/11 memorial in NYC. Nothing nothing nothing ans then once it came down to the ten year deadline- bam- work gets done.

It will be AMAZING to watch Free Republic try to turn this into a victory for Bush, when Bush totally ignored this cause they needed a pretense to invade Iraq cause well, pipelines.

I honestly don't think Al Queda exists anymore, or has, for years. Bin Laden was the founder but hasn't been the head or even invovled for a long time. It's Iran and such, the huge power vacuum in Iraq and a big run for some nice, wholesome Shia on Shitte violence. In terms of fighting narratives, stories, symbols, yeah it's big. But the fighting hasn't been about Bin Laden for a decade and more. If nothing else, it means another four years of the administration.

I guess I feel good?
posted by The Whelk at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


He should never have picked up that iPhone...
posted by bdragon at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Also: I'm in a bar, with the news on, and I've decided to check this thread on my phone obsessively instead. I trust y'all.
posted by honeydew at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2011


"You can't win, Darth. If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
posted by briank at 8:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Twitter is GREAT right now. esp. ElonJames.





This is so surreal...I never thought this would really happen.
posted by nile_red at 8:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I allowed to bring my own soup on planes now?
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:31 PM on May 1, 2011


From the Internet- It's worth remembering that Bin Laden's plan was to ignite a pan-Middle East civil war which would unite all Muslim nations w/him as leader.

Which ..did not happen.
posted by The Whelk at 8:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Its surreal to know historic words will soon be spoken."

I hope I have a tape in the Betamax machine.
posted by Hey, Zeus! at 8:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Judging by the size of the crowd outside the WH, President Obama probably wont get much sleep either. So don't feel alone east coasters and Western Europeans.
posted by SirOmega at 8:32 PM on May 1, 2011


Speculation is that announcement is being delayed so that they can get the wording right. They want to "calibrate" it so that it resounds with American and international audiences. Including unfriendly folks overseas.
posted by azpenguin at 8:33 PM on May 1, 2011


My first instinct is to wish that he rots in hell until the end of all things, but I don't want to sully my karma. So I'm going to quit thinking about him and hope that this brings some people some peace and closure, if such a thing is possible.
posted by puddinghead at 8:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The whole Internet seems sluggish.
posted by Miko at 8:33 PM on May 1, 2011


Looks like it's about to start:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/live/president-obama-delivers-statement
posted by Dasein at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011


podium!
posted by leotrotsky at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011


PICTURES UP!
posted by shothotbot at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011


At last! A lectern.
posted by unliteral at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Who cares?

Lots of people care, obviously. If you meant, "How does this really matter?", well one big reason it matters is because lots of people care. Symbols and stuff matter to people and affect the world. Maybe it shouldn't so much and it doesn't make sense all the time, but that's how it is.
posted by fleacircus at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]




"The September 11 thread remains a seminal part of MeFi history. It was just as breaking-news as this. And if there is never another breaking news thread on MeFi then this will, I think, have been an appropriate bookend."

Here's the thing about that. Aside from the fact that it was ages ago in MeFi time (back when it was a lawless place and the IMG tag roamed the wilderness), that was a very immediate situation. People were dying, some were lost, communication was interrupted (I was down to one TV channel and no cell phone service). There's no such urgency here, nor the community agency. No one in Topeka is worried about their loved ones surviving this announcement (I hope).

The fact is, this isn't really big news. As many have already stated, Bin Laden wasn't really long for this world anyway. It's been a decade since 9/11, and there's been very little from him other than the occasional video tape. There hasn't been another attack, attempted or otherwise, (aside from the schemes the gov't has stirred up to entrap a few folks). And even then, Bin Laden's little more than a figurehead. This does nothing to reduce anti-American sentiment. This does nothing to improve the living conditions that give birth to terrorists (or freedom fighters, depending on whether we're currently funding them or not). As sien said, it's just one head off the hydra.

But hey, don't let me stop you all from carrying on, cheering the death of a fellow human being (no matter how many deaths he's responsible for; it's one more death, not one fewer—no one's resurrected). Continue making jokes about finally being able to carry shampoo on planes, long form death certificates, and awful Fox coverage. It's what we do; we're humans. It's how we react to stressful and difficult situations. But there's a reason we don't usually try to do this stuff here, on MeFi. Privately, it's okay to react however you want. But it's best to give yourself that time to react, then come back, join the dialogue when you're more composed, more coherent, and more dignified. I mean, do you really want this to be the record of the moment? Do you really want to come back to this thread in some distant future and say, "Wow, I was really petty!" or "Wow, I was really wrong about how that moment turned out?" I mean, I'm not saying this thing is going to spark WWIII and we're all going to look back and be like, oh fuck, what did we do? But just the same, I'm going to refrain from pumping my fist in the air, grabbing my crotch, and going, "America, Fuck Yeah!" for just a bit. Because my suspicion is that through all this delusional cheering and celebration, this moment hasn't made one bit of difference. The dead are still dead, and we as a nation are still engaging in the sort of predatory foreign policy that breeds anti-American terrorists. But hey, this one guy's dead, so let's go nuts and forget just how diseased we are until the news coverage peters out and back-to-back reruns of Two and a Half Men come on.

I mean, what do we have to lose, other than ourselves?
posted by Eideteker at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [46 favorites]


Mefi's Own @Hodgman: I think it's ok to take a 12 hour pause on cynicism.
posted by zarq at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


ALso, form the internet

See what happens when you let gays serve in the military?
posted by The Whelk at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [100 favorites]


Ooh, image of White House hallway appearing on whitehouse.gov, replacing color bars...
posted by Miko at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011




Bring it home Mister President...
posted by zerobyproxy at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011


Camera is live. He better not bring the body with him. That's just weird.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I see ... a podium! A hallway!
Is it live, or did Keanu Reeves rig up some sort of clever video loop??
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:34 PM on May 1, 2011


Twitter is GREAT right now.

My favorite: @PAPPADEMAS -- Exclusive: Peter Murphy is preparing to make a "major announcement" concerning Bela Lugosi.
posted by penduluum at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


Wow, showing up to the White House with the Bush/Cheney sign. Classy.
posted by SNWidget at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


New Yorker. Fuck yeah it's vengeance on goddamn steroids. I hope that douchebag had a few long moments to know he'd been pwned at the end.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


HOLY SHIT! A PODIUM!
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


Hey, finally, video!
posted by mrgoat at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


Reuters: "FLASH: U.S. Special Forces led operation that killed bin Laden - U.S. source"
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


Sorry everyone, but Bin Laden isn't dead so long as Western Civilization's rabid fear of terrorism (with all that entails) is alive and well.
posted by namewithoutwords at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm going to be super dooper unpopular for saying this, but: Who cares?

you seem to be living in PerfectLand, where everything is logical and rational.

I am not really familiar where this state of affairs intersects with the real world.
posted by mokuba at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Y'know what?

I'm really really happy Christopher Hitchens is alive to see this day.
posted by waxbanks at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Here he comes, FINALLY!!!
posted by supercapitalist at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


The rise of social media - I heard about this on World of Warcraft trade chat (yeah, yeah) and came to MeFi to confirm.

sigh...too bad I work at a newspaper..
posted by ladygypsy at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [28 favorites]


Do you know what makes me the happiest about this news? No more royal wedding news.

But months of Remember 9/11 news stories
posted by filthy light thief at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Fuck yeah
posted by Flunkie at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good news, everybody! We are probably done talking about the Royal Wedding for a while now.
posted by maryr at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Dead is better than captured. Any trial would be a nightmare in terms of length/complexity/fairness.
posted by Jehan at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


President is on the podium. First words: "What's up, fools?"
posted by boo_radley at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


THE PREZ SPEAKS.
posted by LMGM at 8:35 PM on May 1, 2011


Shush now.
posted by PapaLobo at 8:36 PM on May 1, 2011


I hope this means things will go well for the Arab Spring and for a more sensible foreign policy in the US. I hope this indicates a change in the world for the better.
posted by The Whelk at 8:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


SHHH SHHH IT'S STARTING
posted by rebent at 8:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is he looking into the wrong camera?
posted by yellowbinder at 8:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: As a thread grows longer, the probability that someone or something will be called racist approaches 1.
posted by ferdinand.bardamu at 8:36 PM on May 1, 2011


Who is Osama bin Laden?
posted by bengalsfan1 at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011


Speaking now! Love the imagery about 9/11. He's a good orator, no matter what else you think of the man.
posted by Phire at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011


Who cares?
I saw those buildings burning with my own two eyes. As I watched them, I was fully aware that I had several friends and family who worked in and near them, and that I had no idea whether any of them were alive and well, trapped, or dead.

I care.
posted by Flunkie at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [66 favorites]


Somewhere in an underground medical lab in Pakistan:

"So Mr. Bin Laden, is that your last clone?"
"Ha! No, you never know when you'll need a body, or maybe just a kidney or two."
"Yes, I have much the same philosophy. One can never have too many."
"Good to know Saddam, I had hoped we could work together and I feared the worst when I saw your.. trial"
"Yes, he looked very much like me, it was a strange thing to watch," Hussein grinned.
"Will you be at the 7:30 tomorrow, it promises a continental breakfast with swine." The sneer in bin Laden's voice went all the way from sarcastic to cold.
"Swine? Do you mean the CIA or the aliens?" Hussein, happy to see the joke.
"Ha! It makes no difference, they are both swine. But there will be croissants."
posted by doctor_negative at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I want to push the camera ever so slightly to the left. It's bugging me.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I keep expecting the Lincoln bust on the left to open its mouth and cross the screen like Pac Man
posted by Greg Nog at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [34 favorites]


I'm seriously more emotional about this than I ever expected to be.

Also, none of my pages are loading right.
posted by nile_red at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


"We offered the wounded our blood" may be totally accurate, but still sounds really creepy and weird.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama's tie is exactly the same color as the hallway carpet, and of the fabric on the chair on the left. It's uncanny.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2011


Will he call Iraq a misstep?
posted by fleacircus at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2011


Dammit, he's got Bachmann eyes. Someone should tell him where the camera is.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's great news but I suspect that domestically this is going to be used as an excuse to arm HomSec agencies to the teeth rather than to force them to stand down a little. When you're paranoid, everything is a reason for more paranoia.
posted by ardgedee at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whelk: "From the Internet- It's worth remembering that Bin Laden's plan was to ignite a pan-Middle East civil war which would unite all Muslim nations w/him as leader.

Which ..did not happen.
"

This sounds a lot like Manson's plan, actually.
posted by mullingitover at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Someone should tell him where the camera is.

On some other outlets he's facing the camera head on - WaPo, NYT. Not sure why the whitehouse.gov camera is using that oblique angle.
posted by Miko at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2011


Early news coverage summary: "people in Afghanistan don't even know what 9/11 means ... Bin Laden is no longer the top person in the terrorist networks"

It's like the royal wedding: it doesn't really matter for the greater good, but it's fun to watch.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama is owning the fuck out of his administration did this.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


Obama's tie is exactly the same color as the hallway carpet, and of the fabric on the chair on the left. It's uncanny.

Seriously? His tie is a burgundy kind of color, but the chairs that I see in the background are a much lighter/orangey red.
posted by arnicae at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ooh! He's been sitting on this and carefully planning for months. THAT'S Obama style.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


goodnewsfortheinsane: "Reuters obit"

Oooh oooh, do they mention the bit where he was funded and trained by the US???
posted by symbioid at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Obama just got a lot harder to defeat in the presidential election
posted by Gankmore at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Weird. Just read a Something Awful mockery of a John Ringo book where the hero kills bin Laden.

When 9/11 happened I was roaring and angry and wanted revenge against everyone responsible. I'm still not shedding any tears for bin Laden, but it's been so long some of the anger has cooled. Still, it's about time.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011


Flunkie: "378
Who cares?
I saw those buildings burning with my own two eyes. As I watched them, I was fully aware that I had several friends and family who worked in and near them, and that I had no idea whether any of them were alive and well, trapped, or dead.

I care.
"

Exactly. Same here.

A high school classmate of mine became a fireman after he graduated. Was in the Towers and killed when they collapsed.

I care.
posted by zarq at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden"

Interesting ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


abbottabad pakistan
posted by shothotbot at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Bin Laden isn't dead so long as Western Civilization's rabid fear of terrorism (with all that entails) is alive and well.

A few more people will have somewhat less fear because of this. So it's still alive but a little less well. I can't really expect much more.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011


My heart is racing.

I've never felt joy at another person's death before. But mostly relief. Such relief and lightness.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Time to shut down the TSA.
posted by Sphinx at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Obama emphasizes U.S. not at war with Islam.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


Pres. Obama: "We must remain vigilant at home, and abroad"

Sorry Lord_Pall, no soup (on planes) for you.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011


Wow, this happened in Pakistan....?
posted by Miko at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011


Wow, this happened in Pakistan....?

A lot of stuff is making more sense now.
posted by Miko at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Obama: "It took many months to run this thread to ground."

Yeah, well, it's taken under an hour for this thread to run Metafilter into the ground.
posted by gman at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden"

Interesting ...


That's like real-time conspiracy-trolling!
posted by disillusioned at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


And he's making clear that Muslims aren't the enemy, Al Qaeda is.

He's giving props to Pakistan's intelligence agencies for helping too.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obama should have delivered this from the Oval Office, not the hallway.

But he's claiming personal credit for it ("I determined, and authorized... at my direction").
posted by orthogonality at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2011


Hang on.

If he knew last week where bin Laden definitively was, then....that means that he was working on this the whole time that Trump was pestering him about his birth certificate.

No wonder he looked so pissed-off and "now leave me alone" when he released it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [156 favorites]


So does this mean we can start cutting back on DoD spending?
posted by The Whelk at 8:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Now that bin Laden's been "neutralized", I think it's important to keep in mind he wasn't the actual mastermind of 9/11. While he may have bankrolled and supported the attacks, that title belongs to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, profiled by the New Yorker.

It's a great read, a bit lengthy but I know there is some love for the New Yorker in Mefi, and when I read the KSM profile a while ago I was blown away by how much I had never learned about the history and events leading up to the attacks, and I thought I'd share with youse guys.
posted by papafrita at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [26 favorites]


Hmph. Color me "very very skeptical". I assumed Bin Laden was dead many years ago. If he were alive, why did he stop his mocking messages so long ago? Why did he not gloat at least when Bush left office? It's not like those gloating messages hadn't been of big value to propaganda!

What sort of proof will we get?

Regardless - does that mean we can stop the war on terror now?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


3am Phone Call handled.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [104 favorites]


Obama: "To those who have lost loved ones, justice has been done."

Thank you, President. My earlier comment was glib. My apologies.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Great emphasis on "I received..." "I decided..." "I directed..." How're those re-election efforts going for you, Obama?
posted by Phire at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is indeed good news. Disposition of the body is going to be a huge deal.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2011


Just...holy fucking shit this is awesome.
posted by nile_red at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2011


Good speech, very earnest, you have to figure he was doing a happy dance before he came out but he is so cool and such a good speaker. Well done.
posted by supercapitalist at 8:44 PM on May 1, 2011


First the White House Correspondent's Dinner, now this. Make no mistake. Obama kills.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Obama on TV now. People cheering the news outside Hell's Kitchen windows.

Obama couldn't pronounce Ahmedabad and said Ahbadabad, which makes me think he really was born in Hawaii, in spite of all the birth certificate is a forgery sites out there.

Live Blog of President Barack Obama’s speech on Osama Bin Laden

"11:11 They have the body in custody. They have to do a DNA test on it. The government has his sister’s brain for the test."
posted by nickyskye at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]




Wow, this happened in Pakistan....?

A lot of stuff is making more sense now.


This particular bit was all about Pakistan, always. It was embarrassingly clear they were holding people, like Bin Laden, and these people are always turned in by the citizens .
posted by The Whelk at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mr. President, can you go get that public option now? 'Cause your poll numbers will soar.

If not, please make the Republican your bitch in some form or fashion.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Obama should have delivered this from the Oval Office, not the hallway.

Appearances are important. Standing is a more active, alert stance than sitting behind a desk.
posted by misha at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Woot! Now, back to tricks!

Congrats, Obama & military insertion team!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011


Not sure I'm a fan of the "The American people have demonstrated that they can do whatever they set their minds to."

I cringed at the way that sentence started.
posted by Phire at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


WOW. Even worse than the "Usama Bin Landen", Fox News on tv confirmed "OBAMA BIN LADEN DEAD". How the fuck do people take them seriously?
posted by inigo2 at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [38 favorites]


Wow. Nice somber walking-off conclusion there. I felt like some credits should've been silently rolling. (But seriously - it was an excellent speech.)
posted by katillathehun at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Whitehouse looks like a pretty lonely joint.
posted by a non e mouse at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011


Pretty much PWND with that speech
posted by Windopaene at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011


I think they put it in the hallway just so they could get that lingering shot of Obama turning around and walking away in silence.
posted by penduluum at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden"

Don't look too much into this. I'm sure Bin Laden had bodyguards. There was shooting, and Bin Laden was killed.
posted by chemoboy at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011


Fox News: "Usama Bin Laden is dead, sources say." So apparently now Fox News is counting Barack Obama as one of their "sources."
posted by koeselitz at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Remember when, during the presidential campaign, McCain among others, tried to make hay over comments President Obama had made suggesting he would be willing to make a targeted military intrusion into Pakistan to pursue Osama Bin Laden? They implied that then candidate Obama was being unrealistic and naive.

Yeah, well, that's what President Obama just did, and McCain really looks weak on defense now. I know a man's death is nothing to gloat over, but--well, he had it coming.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [52 favorites]


"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden"

Interesting ...


No shit. I am in awe of the fact that they were able to actually enter his compound, shoot him, and get his body out without a single American being killed. You've got to believe he had some serious bodyguards, after all. Those are some mad CQB skillz. Delta Force (or whoever) represent.
posted by Dasein at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Great emphasis on "I received..." "I decided..." "I directed..." How're those re-election efforts going for you, Obama?

When things go bad, the buck stops with him. When things go well, it is all politics. Is that what I am getting?
posted by Silvertree at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


So the ISI was involved? If so this probably means that the ISI finally felt that the advantages of hiding Bin Laden were outweighed by the positives of ditching him.
posted by vuron at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2011


From the Internet-

Note the lack of a a let-splay-dress-up flight suit and bullshit plastic banner in the background.

So isn't this like 8 years to the day of the MISSION ACCOMPLISH flight suit stupidity?

Huh.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]




Obama takes out bin Laden and preempts Trump all in one master stroke. That's pretty sweet.
posted by malocchio at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


THAT'S MY MOTHERFUCKING PRESIDENT
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [60 favorites]


Great emphasis on "I received..." "I decided..." "I directed..." How're those re-election efforts going for you, Obama?

I can't think of any President in my lifetime who would have delivered this news any differently.
posted by Miko at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


"I ... I ... my ... I"

Maybe Obama isn't taking credit for the polls; it's for the international audience that might look to blame somebody, or some nation, he takes personal responsibility.

The thoughts of a firefight gives me chills.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


where's the long form death certificate?
posted by lazaruslong at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama: "Osama was not a leader of Muslims. He was a mass-murderer of Muslims."

How The Osama Announcement Leaked Out
posted by nickyskye at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


METAFILTER: torn between solemn reflection on the horror ten years (and going) of perpetual war has had on this country and searching YouTube for Hulk Hogan's theme music.
posted by philip-random at 8:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]






Honestly, I feel a little bit like I did at the end of Black Swan right now.
posted by katillathehun at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think they put it in the hallway just so they could get that lingering shot of Obama turning around and walking away in silence.

Gave it a very "taking care of business" kind of tone. The Oval Office is "you'll need to sit down, this is going to be complex."
posted by fleacircus at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I get the feeling he laid out bait for right wingers to embarrass themselves when he said "Osama Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader."

Great speech. I feel really moved and Obama seems like an action movie war hero. There will probably be an awesome movie made about this.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2011


If you felt that the walking away was a little anti-climactic, here's an alternative ending.
posted by Phire at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [29 favorites]


I worry that I'll be singing Makeshift Patriot to myself for a few weeks.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


NBC News: "Special Operations forces carried out the attack in Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot in the head, his body returned to Afghanistan".
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2011


and now the internet is slowing to a crawl. Some of you need to go to bed and stop clogging up the tubes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2011


Great emphasis on "I received..." "I decided..." "I directed..." How're those re-election efforts going for you, Obama?

One helluva lot better this evening, I'm thinking.
posted by brennen at 8:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


BBC: Karzai to speak
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2011


Regardless - does that mean we can stop the war on terror now?

Everyone loves to put a face on "the enemy." Makes 'em feel good about being bloodthirsty animals. Saddam's death didn't stop the wars. Osama's won't. They'll find another face to put on the cause and keep right on shooting(/bombing/burning/torturing/etc.)
posted by klanawa at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama takes down Bin Laden, Internet
posted by starman at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


As somebody pointed out on another blog, Osama spent the past few months tracking down the motherfucker that murdered 3,000 of my fellow citizens.

The GOP was questioning whether or not he was born in Hawaii.

Fuck Republicans.
posted by bardic at 8:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [96 favorites]


Good speech.

I don't hear any cheering or chanting in the streets of the Mission, but I live In San Francisco.
posted by chemoboy at 8:52 PM on May 1, 2011


Obama takes out bin Laden and preempts Trump all in one master stroke.
AND on the anniversary of Bush's "Mission Accomplished" and the death of Hitler. The trifecta (quadrifecta?) of Perfect Timing.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Now let's see Seth Myers top that!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I won't begrudge him a smoke tonight.
posted by SNWidget at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


Happy about this news, but I wonder what being happy about the killing of someone in retaliation for crimes (regardless of scope) says about one's stance on the death penalty.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I may actually go to one of the bars in my neighborhood for one quick drink and a linger. Because something's bound to be going on now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2011


Can someone confirm what he said? Killed today or killed earlier this week?
posted by double bubble at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2011


Great emphasis on "I received..." "I decided..." "I directed..." How're those re-election efforts going for you, Obama?

He's still Commander in Chief, right?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Throws a new light on last week.

Fuck off Trump. The grownups are working.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [60 favorites]


and now the internet is slowing to a crawl. Some of you need to go to bed and stop clogging up the tubes.

I'm on it!

D'oh.
posted by sonika at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Osama spent the past few months tracking down the motherfucker that murdered 3,000 of my fellow citizens.

This is like OJ searching for the real killer, yeah?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


hehe. Osbama

I'm a little drunk on justice right now.
posted by bardic at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The crosshall is part of the state rooms in th WH, totally were you want to announce an event like this.
posted by clavdivs at 8:54 PM on May 1, 2011


Watching the feed of the people spontaneously gathered outside the White House is surprisingly moving. Realpolitik consequences of this whole thing aside, this is still a huge emotional thing for a lot of people.
posted by penduluum at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What was the last thing Osama said?
Obumma.
posted by a non e mouse at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011


Happy summer, NYC. I'll have a drink with Alex Hamilton's corpse tomorrow.

On the other hand, Pakistan will probably get hot for a few weeks. I hope what we are giving them is worth it, to them, because there will be blowback there.
posted by vrakatar at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011


There's already an @GhostOsama on Twitter.
posted by Miko at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah I'm in Manhattan and there is less shouting outside than there usually is, I guess everyone is glued to their TVs.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011


He was living in Pakistan, "in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad". Just let that fact sink in, and think about the implications for a while.
posted by vidur at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Does this mean I can start bringing bombs in my shoes on airplanes again?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Obama mentioned equality for all Americans. How's that marriage equality coming along then?
posted by msbutah at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



Anyone have a link to the presidents press conference ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2011


Not seeing any reaction on the Pakistani English language papers - anything in the Urdu press? My guess is that they will be glad to see the end of him, but not thrilled that teams o Americans get to go around killing people. In fact I seem to recall a spot of unpleasantness about that issue.
posted by shothotbot at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2011


Word is Obama penned the speech himself on the fly, hence the long delay.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow. Nice somber walking-off conclusion there. I felt like some credits should've been silently rolling.

I was expecting it to freeze frame right as he jumped in the air pumping his fist, shouting "YEAH!" Then, possibly, the closing credits music from Buckaroo Banzai.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


NBC News: "Special Operations forces carried out the attack in Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot in the head,

Oh shit.
posted by orthogonality at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011


Was I the only one who found that speech slightly disturbing?


The last part read like: we're a great country, and if we join together we can do great things... like killing Osama bin Laden.


The economy might be in the dumpster, but we sure can kill a guy on the other side of the planet.
posted by Omon Ra at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Makeshift sign outside WH (on BBC World News): "DING DONG BIN LADEN IS DEAD".

Also, BBC: GWB congratulates Obama: "Tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: 'justice will be done'."
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Quick check of international papers: so far, this isn't on the front page of Le Monde, Der Spiegel, or China Daily, but is at The Guardian, El Pais and The Jerusalem Post.
posted by gsteff at 8:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Don't look too much into this. I'm sure Bin Laden had bodyguards. There was shooting, and Bin Laden was killed.

Oh, absolutely, I didn't mean to imply anything too sinister -- I just wonder what the exact circumstances of his death were. Did he die fighting? Was he executed?
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:59 PM on May 1, 2011


but I wonder what being happy about the killing of someone in retaliation for crimes (regardless of scope) says about one's stance on the death penalty.

different events move on different moral, philosphical, political, and practical planes.
posted by mokuba at 8:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


So he was killed in his mansion outside Islamabad then. No hiding in a cave for all these years after all. Have the usual USA=EVIL brigade claimed this is a gross violation of Osama Bin Laden's human rights/a grievous imperialist assault on Pakistan's sovereignty/a cowboy invitation to retaliation/a propaganda bonanza for Al Queda on the 'Arab Street' and all part of a CIA plot to cover up their own involvement in 9/11? No? Good. But they will you know.
posted by joannemullen at 8:59 PM on May 1, 2011


Al Jazeera Live has great follow-up coverage.
posted by Phire at 8:59 PM on May 1, 2011


I really, really want to believe this is good news, but I can't help but feel this is the prelude to some fresh new hell.
posted by codacorolla at 8:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


As I said on FB I take a grim satisfaction in the fact Osama won't be around to "celebrate" the tenth anniversary of 9/11. And I hope and pray this brings some closure to the many who lost loved ones on that day.

But I don't really feel much like gloating. Yep, we've lopped off the head but I am concerned by what else might spring up from the remains.......time to stay alert.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope what we are giving them is worth it, to them

Yeah I can't help but wonder what price was, finally, met. We'll probably never know.
posted by fleacircus at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011


Shit just got real.
posted by bardic at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably equal to Castro's effort for staying alive despite the best efforts of the USA's DEATH SQUADS!™.

Maybe even better, considering the global, information, satellite tracking age we live in.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011


Well this event seems to have cratered 4chan, not surprisingly, but I'm glad to see that while this site is struggling mightily with the apparent load we still have a place for intelligent commentary.
posted by vuron at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


War Nerd had an interesting analysis of Al Qaeda a few days ago. Excerpt:
It never made sense. That’s what I wish I’d said sooner and louder and more often. The whole concept of Al Qaeda is wrong. The name means “The Base” in Arabic, and the idea is that it’s a central clearinghouse for dozens of different guerrilla groups, sharing an Islamic ideology but representing different countries and tribes and languages. They get together and share intelligence and personnel and materiel, because they’re all good Muslims working for a common cause. It’s the old kiddie dream of a vast umbrella group of baddies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E from Man from Uncle, KAOS in Get Smart, the ridiculous villain and his volcano HQ in every lame Bond film.

It’s just a terrible idea. The last thing any sane guerrilla group wants to do is to go to an international guerrilla jamboree like the Boy Scouts. Sure, you’ll share ideas and prop up each others’ morale—and in the meantime, the informers—because every decent-sized guerrilla group must assume it’s been penetrated—will be taking careful notes, taking quiet candid pictures, and putting together organizational charts. By the time you go to your home country from the big Jihad Jamboree in Waziristan or Tora Bora, you can be sure that the informers have shared their info with their handlers. And although some intel agencies can be stingy, most of them share info very readily, so every informer has in effect given the breakdown of every local group to every intel agency in the world.

And that’s death to a guerrilla, literally death, and not a quick or easy death either. Sharing info is good for intelligence agencies (most of the time; there are exceptions, like sharing the identity of some agents), but it’s the worst thing in the world for guerrillas.
Is There an Al Qaeda?
posted by Kattullus at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Everyone loves to put a face on "the enemy." Makes 'em feel good about being bloodthirsty animals.

Yeah, the guys who took out bin Laden are animals. I say that because it makes me feel good about being a gutless slacktivist who wants all the killing to stop now that I've got the vote, a lack of Nazis and a big screen TV.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


From the Internet:

Dear Real America: if you ever referred to NYC & Washington as Sodom & Gomorrah, you are disqualified from chanting "USA! USA!" tonight. FYI

Sweet! Osama's dead. Can I get on a plane now without a fingerbanging first? With nail clippers in my bag?

posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


How come someone in the "spontaneous celebration outside the white house" is wearing a cape with the flag of Texas on it and is wearing stilts? I guess I haven't been to any raves in D.C. in a while.
posted by chemoboy at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wolf, please let your guest talk - I understand you're excited, but you had him on here for a reason.
posted by SNWidget at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



Never mind, found it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011


wow.
posted by Stynxno at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011


Just want to point out, Schwarzeneggar just left office as governor of California, and a couple of months later, Bin Laden shot in the head after a firefight with no US casualties? Coincidence?
posted by jabberjaw at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [69 favorites]


I know it's not the end, but it for about three hours or so I have hope the world is not inevitabley fucked. Hope...
posted by ozomatli at 9:01 PM on May 1, 2011


Aaaaaand

Al Jezeera English News Video Link, if you wanted
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2011


Oh man, I remember Osama Bin Laden. I love it when a franchise returns to its roots.
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


NBC News: "Special Operations forces carried out the attack in Pakistan. Bin Laden was shot in the head, his body returned to Afghanistan".

Oh.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2011


How come someone in the "spontaneous celebration outside the white house" is wearing a cape with the flag of Texas on it and is wearing stilts?

They're probably from Austin. That's our ceremonial dress.
posted by restless_nomad at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [48 favorites]


Dead is better than captured. Any trial would be a nightmare in terms of length/complexity/fairness.

Actually, no. Dude sent out a video saying he did it. There are no due process issues in this case.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems I spoke too soon. Where would you like him to have been shot orthogonality? The big toe? Through the hair so we didn't hurt him? Do tell.
posted by joannemullen at 9:03 PM on May 1, 2011


Is there a transcript yet? Can't find one.
posted by hat at 9:03 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm finding it really interesting how many people are invested in keeping the fear going. "Oh yeah, so we got him, but don't let your guard down - they're everywhere." I have a feeling forebodings like this will be offered as the justification for the continuance of security theatre and citizen surveillance for some time to come.
posted by Miko at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


Did you notice the President's phrasing? Consistently "War on Al Qaeda" or "War against Bin Laden." Never "War on Terror" or "War against the Axis of Evil."
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [37 favorites]


Sarah Palin killed him.
posted by chasing at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thought experiment: Watch Obama's address again, but imagine its GWB speaking. It makes one far less euphoric.
posted by dry white toast at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011


Also, Kanye West's new album is a good backdrop for this (if you're into him).


Also, THIS REALLY FUCKING HAPPENED.


I have a bunch of calls I'm supposed to be making to secure a job in Korea, but I really can't focus at all.
posted by nile_red at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is, dare I saw it.... AWESOME!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 9:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


My guess: Obama called Zardari and said, "Dude, we just killed bin Laden within your borders. Wanna say you were in on it, or that you opposed the operation?" </cynicism>
posted by quarantine at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


I wonder what he died from.
Lead poisoning, apparently.
posted by narwhal bacon at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Have the usual USA=EVIL brigade claimed this is a gross violation of Osama Bin Laden's human rights/a grievous imperialist assault on Pakistan's sovereignty/a cowboy invitation to retaliation/a propaganda bonanza for Al Queda on the 'Arab Street' and all part of a CIA plot to cover up their own involvement in 9/11? No? Good. But they will you know.

I have an inkjet printer you can use if you want to print up a whole newsletter full of things you want 2-dimensional characters to say
posted by Greg Nog at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [59 favorites]


Did you notice the President's phrasing? Consistently "War on Al Qaeda" or "War against Bin Laden." Never "War on Terror" or "War against the Axis of Evil."

It's nice to have a grown-up in the White House.
posted by inigo2 at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [70 favorites]


My cousin: Waldo - 1 Osama - 0
posted by nile_red at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, this thread is already a site-crushing monster (I've never seen MetaFilter hiccup before!) but I'll add my little etchings to the wall, anyway...

Actual information about this still seems pretty scarce--BBC alludes to a "firefight" but has no real details at the moment--so maybe the rest will fall into place in time, but...

I just want to say that I'm bothered by some of the bloodthirstiness, gloating and nationalism I'm seeing everywhere I look tonight. I have a sinking feeling that this is not closure, but digging deeper into the "post-9/11" rabbit hole.

I hope I'm not alone in wondering just what happened and were the US' actions lawful and justified, etc. before celebrating the death of a Boogeyman.
posted by byanyothername at 9:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


My first thought: Republicans must be so conflicted. The guy they hate most in the world ... just took out the guy they hate the second most.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 9:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [104 favorites]


Al Jazeera is showing people celebrating in front of the White House with the byline "Osama Bin Laden Killed." Somehow, this seems familiar.
posted by chemoboy at 9:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


(I know the site is a bit pokey tonight, but I am very impressed how well it has held up)
posted by shothotbot at 9:07 PM on May 1, 2011


I took this moment to tell my six year old about Sept. 11. Didn't want to discuss it before.

I tried to sum it up for him by saying "we got the bad guy". He asked "are there still any more members of his gang?" I had to say "yes, a lot".
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [24 favorites]


May today be the beginning of the end of the War on Terror. Osama killed, we're leaving Iraq this summer, and Afghanistan ... well, soon, I can hope. So Mote It Be.
posted by andreaazure at 9:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have the usual USA=EVIL brigade claimed this is a gross violation of Osama Bin Laden's human rights/a grievous imperialist assault on Pakistan's sovereignty/a cowboy invitation to retaliation/a propaganda bonanza for Al Queda on the 'Arab Street' and all part of a CIA plot to cover up their own involvement in 9/11? No? Good. But they will you know.
I have an inkjet printer you can use if you want to print up a whole newsletter full of things you want 2-dimensional characters to say


You've got to love somebody so desperate to get a rise out of people that she preempts arguments from her self-styled opposition with inventions of her own.
posted by invitapriore at 9:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


...what kind of loot did he drop?
posted by MrVisible at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [92 favorites]


Not seeing any reaction on the Pakistani English language papers - anything in the Urdu press
Dawn.com is getting _hammered_ right now; they've put up a notice on their website. Hell, BBC's website also seems to be hammered, but they have thicker pipes.
posted by the cydonian at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Have the usual USA=EVIL brigade claimed this is a gross violation of Osama Bin Laden's human rights/a grievous imperialist assault on Pakistan's sovereignty/a cowboy invitation to retaliation/a propaganda bonanza for Al Queda on the 'Arab Street' and all part of a CIA plot to cover up their own involvement in 9/11? No? Good. But they will you know.

If you run out of axes to grind, I'm sure we can find a few more for you.

I'm not shedding any tears for the guy, but I'd have preferred a trial. I also expect that there'll be big time retaliation, and mass protests in Pakistan over the violation of their sovereignty. Meh.
posted by knapah at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


It would have been better if he had been captured. A confession does not eliminate due process rights. I never expected him to be captured alive, though. I assume the team that pulled this off (buncha badasses no matter how you feel) has the restraint to not just execute him, but they were going into the lion's den. Shit had to be pretty damn real.

Still pretty fuckin' awesome, I just hope we'll see reform for the policies of the last decade and not entrenchment.
posted by polyhedron at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really want them to stop showing the cheering. I find it really disturbing. It's the same gut reaction, to me, as to the shots we've become used to see of mobs of men burning the American flag on the streets of some Middle Eastern city.
posted by maryr at 9:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [26 favorites]


CBS is reporting Osama Bin Laden's body will be "disposed of" so there will not be any sort of grave or shrine that anyone can collect around.

That's ... is that weird to anybody else? Not that I think he deserves a marker or anything, but it still seems unusual. Is there precedent for that? This whole thing is basically unprecedented, though, I guess.


A British friend of mine who was a big history buff and tour guide in Berlin took some of us to the location where Hitler apparently died (well, below the ground in his bunker). But according to my friend the Germans try to keep the location from being public knowledge, for fear of it becoming a rallying point for neo-Nazis and the like.
Never would have known it standing there either. It was just a very ordinary looking parking lot in front of some apartments.
posted by mannequito at 9:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow.

"They're probably from Austin. That's our ceremonial dress."

Must have flown over straight from Eyores birthday.
posted by xarnop at 9:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yay!
posted by caddis at 9:10 PM on May 1, 2011


here's a good tweet -



GhostOsama Osama Bin Laden
@BarackObama I can see your wife naked.


hmm, seems to be gone now
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 PM on May 1, 2011


From Reddit:

"Osama Bin Laden really shouldn't have used his real address on PSN."
posted by Lord_Pall at 9:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [61 favorites]


In an odd coincidence, I had decided just a couple of hours ago to finally try the Pakistani restaurant around the corner from me. The chana masala was spicy, spicy vengeance.
posted by LMGM at 9:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first thought: Republicans must be so conflicted. The guy they hate most in the world ... just took out the guy they hate the second most.

Busy night, Hillary Clinton took out the stereotypical Gay Pride Parade marcher too?
posted by orthogonality at 9:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Please don't feed the troll.
posted by Aquaman at 9:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I'm a bit ignorant about Bin Laden. Why wasn't he captured and put on trial like Saddam Hussein?
posted by taff at 9:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was the most badass walk-off I've ever seen a president perform.
posted by Evernix at 9:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Abbottabad - giving Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings a run for her money. e.g.
The wind hissed as if welcoming us
The pine swayed creating a lot of fuss

And the tiny cuckoo sang it away
A song very melodious and gay
posted by unliteral at 9:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Huh. Hitler was declared dead May 1st, 1945. This is getting eery.
posted by Phire at 9:13 PM on May 1, 2011


1) Yay.

2) About fucking time.

3) I hope the next person that makes the long form death certificate joke gets banned.
posted by Bonzai at 9:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


A gazillion dollars says that nobody was trying very hard to bring him back alive.
posted by craven_morhead at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am just so fucking thankful he made the distinction between real Muslims and Al-Qaeda. Underscore that shit. Inject neon into it. Tie shiny balloons on it and let it fly.
posted by changeling at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [51 favorites]


This all sounds so Call of Duty: Modern Warfare* to me. I wonder who pulled the trigger on OBL? Were any pithy last words exchanged?

*Ironically, I'd *just* finished COD:MW2 (which climaxes with a showdown in Afghanistan) and turned on Metafilter, to see this thread
posted by Flashman at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thought experiment: Watch Obama's address again, but imagine its GWB speaking. It makes one far less euphoric.
posted by dry white toast at 12:04 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


Okay, I carried out your thought experiment and your results were not confirmed. What's your point?
posted by dogrose at 9:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does the soldier that killed him get the 25 million dollar reward?
posted by codacorolla at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Okay, I tried, but I can't outrun this thread.

I was there, watching from Sixth Avenue as the second tower fell. For the next seven years I felt like I was holding my breath for the world to right itself again, and thought I'd get that with Obama's election, but personal bullshit going on that night robbed me of that feeling as well.

Tonight feels like surfacing. I know it won't solve much. I know the next few weeks are probably going to be tense. I know it's probably just symbolic.

I don't care. I need the symbol. I need to be able to breathe again.

For anyone asking, "who cares?" seriously. This is a man who killed 3000 people in the U.S. alone. He traumatized a nation. Everything about the justice of the wars and the policy going forward and everything else needs to be discussed but this, this single event, has no grey area. This is good.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [57 favorites]


BBC has it Osama's corpse is in US possession.

Can't wait for the inevitable grinning trophy photos.
posted by gman at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


by the "secular" regimes we prop up and support in Bahrain, Syra, Saudi Arabia and - until very very recently - Libya.

What? Since when did the US support Gaddafi and the Assads?!
posted by kmz at 9:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This will improve America's image in the world and improve Obama's image in America, and both those things are materially important.

I predict a significant faction of birthers will now move on to wondering if Bin Laden is still alive.

From owillis: "here's rove and hannity freaking out in 2008 when obama said he'd get bin laden in pakistan"
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I really want them to stop showing the cheering. I find it really disturbing.

I can't say I find it disturbing, but I am puzzled by the many folks clearly defaulting to that reaction. I wasn't directly involved in the events of 9/11 but was close enough through home and family ties to be profoundly impacted by them and the aftermath. The way I feel right now is sober, and reflective, not running-through-the-streets-waving-flags. I will be interested to learn how the news is being received in my hometown, in a county which lost 150 people on September 11, and how those people who dealt most closely with it have reacted. I guess some people are probably partying but it still seems a strange response.
posted by Miko at 9:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


but why do i get the uneasy feeling that this may be our last foreign policy coup, that it may well be downhill from here? - our president says this proves that "americans can do anything" - and my heart tells me that we're going to find out that it's simply not true, if it ever was
posted by pyramid termite at 9:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Phire: Hitler was declared dead May 1st, 1945. This is getting eery.

Wiki list: May 1 deaths.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man Twitter is everywhere.

@jeremyscahill jeremy scahill
7hrs before announcement--> RT @mosharrafzaidi: What was a low-flying heli doing flying around Abottabad Cantt at 0130 hrs?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [26 favorites]


Why wasn't he captured and put on trial like Saddam Hussein?

Saddam was in a hole in the desert, OBL was in a compound with support. Better planning on Osama's part, basically.
posted by polyhedron at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are they going to release pictures of the corpse / dna proof?
posted by banished at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011


You know Lee Greenwood is writing a shitty song about this as we speak.
posted by dr_dank at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Bin Laden was CIA, right, truthers?

So...suicide, yeah?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Two interesting points about his speech.

1. When he was talking about how, after 9/11, the US "went after the perpetrators" or whatever, he pointedly did not mention Iraq. Mentioned Afghanistan, mentioned networks, etc, didn't mention Iraq (tacit acknolwedgement that Iraq was a separate issue not connected to finding Bin Laden or disrupting AQ.

2. Explicitly said that he only called the Pakistani president after the fact, to let him know what we had done, and (surprise surprise) the Pakistani pres agreed that it was a good thing. I'm sure there is a lot of calculation built into the exact wording of that section of the speech.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


What? Since when did the US support Gaddafi and the Assads?!

For ages - since about 2004... Stable source of oil and all...
posted by jkaczor at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can't wait for the inevitable grinning trophy photos.

I don't think we'll ever see them. From what I heard this was carried out by some of the most bad ass special forces military teams in existence. They already have the utmost respect from all their peers. They don't need to take pictures to prove it.

I don't think we will ever see his body.
posted by chemoboy at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wiki has a weird formatting error with the Osama headline.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:19 PM on May 1, 2011


I don't really know what the fuck I am feeling. White hot rage at GWB, mostly. Imagine if that fucker had invested the same resources wasted in Iraq on actually getting OBL.

AZ, on twitter, noted (jestingly? dunno) that today is the anniversary of 'Mission Accomplished.'

I was able to convey my honest and heartfelt thanks to a JSOC guy I know via txt, someone who makes me uncomfortable but with whom I have had fascinating conversations with, although he's apparently not overseas. On the other hand, I remain uncomfortable with watching a guy I voted for announcing the success of a targeted assassination operation, even if the man whose brains got blown out is someone I would happily have killed myself.

On balance, not nearly as happy as I thought I would be, in fact, I kind of have a flashback to the pit-of-my-stomach blergh that defined day to day life for me from 2001 to 2008.
posted by mwhybark at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


lead poisioning
posted by clavdivs at 9:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Smoked him out. Eventually.
posted by peacay at 9:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Navy Seals did the raid, according to CNN.
posted by vrakatar at 9:21 PM on May 1, 2011


and nice move Mr. President.
posted by clavdivs at 9:21 PM on May 1, 2011


I feel overjoyed, but I'm not overjoyed that bin Laden is dead. I'm overjoyed that he has been brought to justice, specifically by the country he attacked. I would be even more jubilant if he was in custody. Since this operation involved a gunfight, it seems that wasn't possible.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


filthy light thief: "Phire: Hitler was declared dead May 1st, 1945. This is getting eery.

Wiki list: May 1 deaths.
"

Wasn't declared until May 1st though.
posted by Phire at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2011


filthy light thief: "Wiki list: May 1 deaths."

Spike Jones died on May 1st. Coincidence? I think not!
posted by brundlefly at 9:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy crap, nearly 600 comments already? That sure flew by.

Also, flashback to the 2008 presidential debate:

Obama: "[I]f we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority."
posted by Rhaomi at 9:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Ironically, it was a pretzel that did him in.
posted by Busithoth at 9:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is gonna be an action movie in a few years (Or next week)
posted by nile_red at 9:23 PM on May 1, 2011


"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and [Pakistani] President [Pervez] Musharraf won't act, we will." Sen. Barack Obama - August 2007
posted by mikelieman at 9:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


!!!!!
posted by bjgeiger at 9:24 PM on May 1, 2011


Fireworks going off in our neighborhood.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:24 PM on May 1, 2011


I don't think we will ever see his body.

we will, of course - failing to show that would wind up the conspiracy kooks endlessly
posted by pyramid termite at 9:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


He dead
posted by garlic at 9:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The amount of Obama/Osama transposition fuckups tonight have been way below my expectations for something like this.
posted by tehloki at 9:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It’s not a cry you can hear at night
It’s not somebody who has seen the light
It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
posted by clavdivs at 9:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]




The amount of Obama/Osama transposition fuckups tonight has been way below my expectations for something like this.
posted by tehloki at 9:26 PM on May 1, 2011


lol /b/ nsfw autoplaying music
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


we will, of course - failing to show that would wind up the conspiracy kooks endlessly

As opposed to... ?
posted by mikelieman at 9:26 PM on May 1, 2011




Isn't publishing photos of his body a war crime, albeit minor?
posted by Justinian at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a man who killed 3000 people in the U.S. alone.

Not really, perhaps, but I come at this whole issue kinda weirdly I guess. OBL had the right to fuck our shit up for whatever reasons he thought were valid (support of Israel's actions in Lebanon, our military presence in KSA, whatever), and we had the right to fuck his shit up in return.

Kinda "just business" (in the Godfather sense), I guess.

Never would have known it standing there either. It was just a very ordinary looking parking lot in front of some apartments.

yeah this was on the East German side of Berlin and they redeveloped the site of the Chancellery into flats, quite nice architecture, actually.

The Russians eventually pitched the remains they were holding into the Elbe, apparently.
posted by mokuba at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2011


National holiday on May 1st? Can I suggest something having to do with workers rights?
posted by jph at 9:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


@hodgman (MeFi's own) Let's have a thought for the servicemen and women and their families who have been asked everything, for 10 yrs, @ the end of this one story.

I want us out of Afghanistan fast. I want the "Patriot Act" gone. I want to be able get on a plane with a bottle of water. But can we, just for today, celebrate that a genuine terrorist, a person who fomented hatred, will no longer have that opportunity? I'm raising a glass to President Barack Obama and the forces who accomplished their task. It's Freedom From Cynicism Day at the 55 household.
posted by theora55 at 9:28 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]






CNN says three men were also killed, two couriers and a son of Osama, as well as a woman apparently used as a human shield.
posted by floam at 9:29 PM on May 1, 2011


Honestly, the US govt, hell Henry Kissinger has been directly responsible for killing more innocent people than Osama Bin Laden could have even dreamt of. There are no military actions, or protests, or celebrations about that.

FWIW, I will totally have a similar celebration for Kissinger.
posted by naoko at 9:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [24 favorites]


And stop frisking my fucking junk already.

You mean a freedom fondle?
posted by Wild_Eep at 9:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Another image macro
posted by pompomtom at 9:30 PM on May 1, 2011


Abottabad is named after Major James Abott who founded the town in 1853.
Fascinating
posted by Flashman


Eponysterical.
posted by orthogonality at 9:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


oops
posted by pompomtom at 9:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll reserve my hallelujahs for the announcement that this means we're actually getting the hell out of Afghanistan. Though I will totally cop to whooping hysterically at imagining a dozen GOP presidential hopefuls going "aw, FUCK" all Ralphie-style at the news.

Now to try to figure out what Sarah Palin's objection would be. I'm torn between "WHY WEREN'T THE AMERICAN PEOPLE INFORMED AHEAD OF TIME?" and "WELL, OF COURSE: IT TAKES A MUSLIM TO FIND A MUSLIM."
posted by scody at 9:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


If his body is not displayed, it brings up the consipiracy kooks that, at this point, I think the administration has an upper hand in. It also shows a little bit of restraint and makes the U.S. look good in that we are not gloating despite what we consider to be an important victory. It counters a lot of the cowboy diplomacy that has been displayed in the first eight years of the last decade.

If his body is displayed, apart from the opposite of everything I said above happening, it also will create a visible image of a martyr for opponents of the US to rally around. It will give some a reason to take up arms.

Seems like a no-brainer to me.
posted by chemoboy at 9:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Personally feeling a little less safe right now. Not saying it shouldn't have happened -- but retribution is a powerful motive.
posted by quarantine at 9:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera English is now showing heavily watermarked footage from a different broadcaster of a building on fire and some sort of armed uniformed men standing on a rooftop. Not sure how it fits in but it they are intriguing pictures.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:33 PM on May 1, 2011


"FWIW, I will totally have a similar celebration for Kissinger."

I'll buy the champagne.
posted by bardic at 9:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


OBL had the right to fuck our shit up

He didn't have the "right," he had the freedom. There's an important difference. I don't excuse US war crimes from this distinction either, but they're just not reasonably something you can ever call a "right." They are all possibilities in a world of free agency.
posted by Miko at 9:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


We don't need to be total assholes about it, but we can be pleased about it.
posted by vrakatar at 9:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a GIF of Obama's swagger exit after the speech. You're welcome.
posted by Phire at 9:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


swag
posted by nile_red at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's 12:31 a.m. and bikes are heading down Independence Avenue. More bikes that I've seen all spring! People with flags are walking across the Capitol grounds heading to the White House. Cabs are either full or off duty if you can find one. People walking greet one another as they only do after a snowfall.
posted by jgirl at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure we'll get more details, but here are some pictures of Abbottabad Pakistan where it seems Osama was hiding... Was he a member of this Golf club? Did he play Hockey here? It is also the home of Pakistan's elite military academy. From Google earth the place looks like a modern (and quite pretty) city. The place has resorts. Now, if we had only had Street view done there maybe we could have caught him climbing a fence or something while surfing the net. Not quite the cave I've imagined for the last ten years.
posted by astrobiophysican at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


NPR: According to senior administration officials briefing reporters, bin Laden did "resist the assault force" during the firefight that led to his death.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


While we're talking about 9-11, I'd like to take a second and thank the people of Flight 93. I rolled my eyes at the "Let's roll." rah-rah craziness, but I later realized that if that flight was indeed headed for the White House, then there is a chance that their actions saved my life. So, thank you.

As for Bin Laden, I would have liked to see him captured, but the bright side of his death is that he doesn't get to say anything ever again.
posted by Alison at 9:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Beautiful, stark front page of Dutch newspaper NRC's site.

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DOOD


'... WHERE'S MY HEAD?'
posted by Anything at 9:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Personally feeling a little less safe right now. Not saying it shouldn't have happened -- but retribution is a powerful motive.

Heh, my parents are on a cruise to Israel right now. Kind of hoping the state department just tells them to stay on the boat, but this means a lot to them.
posted by polyhedron at 9:35 PM on May 1, 2011


CBS is reporting Osama Bin Laden's body will be "disposed of" so there will not be any sort of grave or shrine that anyone can collect around.

Chuck him into the pigsty and let the hogs take care of him.
posted by dersins at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


That's my muthafuckin President! Working's going to be so fun tomorrow!
posted by Flex1970 at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


According to the Al Jazeera correspondants, the footage of a building on fire is, allegedly, the compound where Osama Bin Laden was hiding. I do not think they are certain on it.
posted by chemoboy at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2011


So I don't know a lot about computers but from what I understand at this point mathowie and pb are in a basement filled with rising water frantically pumping one of those two-handled seesaw things to keep this thread up? Is that more or less how this works?
posted by Greg Nog at 9:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [65 favorites]


OBL had the right to fuck our shit up for whatever reasons he thought were valid (support of Israel's actions in Lebanon, our military presence in KSA, whatever), and we had the right to fuck his shit up in return.

I cannot even parse what you possibly mean by this that isn't sociopathic.
posted by Navelgazer at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


From a friend's Facebook (CS geek, in case it wasn't obvious):
rm -rf /bin/laden
posted by kmz at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [30 favorites]


So, he built a fucking Osama-base in the middle of a city five years ago and nobody from the ISI noticed? Godammit Pakistan.
posted by Artw at 9:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


I read this far before making this comment in order to have this in my recent activity.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


posted by scody Now to try to figure out what Sarah Palin's objection would be. I'm torn between "WHY WEREN'T THE AMERICAN PEOPLE INFORMED AHEAD OF TIME?" and "WELL, OF COURSE: IT TAKES A MUSLIM TO FIND A MUSLIM."

"We must give credit where credit is due. Eight years ago today, President Bush announced Mission Accomplished. And now, finally, he has!"
posted by mattdidthat at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


"as well as a woman apparently used as a human shield."
So that's why he said there were no US casualties but said only that they had "taken care to avoid" civilian casualties, which doesn't necessarily imply they succeeded in avoiding civilian casualties.

Also looking at transcript, he says "After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body" - suggesting that he was indeed executed, following a firefight? (Or is that clumsy wording and he was killed during the firefight? Would Obama be that clumsy in phrasing this key sentence? I doubt it.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


He didn't have the "right," he had the freedom. There's an important difference.

I believe everyone has a sovereign right to do whatever they want. If it's wrong, hopefully they learn from it and make amends.

The Germans had the right to roll over Poland, and we -- well, the UK and France I guess -- had the right to try and stop them.

History will hopefully sort everything out eventually. "Sovereign freedom" vs "right" is just a hair too thin for me.
posted by mokuba at 9:38 PM on May 1, 2011


I agree that we cannot display the body.

But my fantasy is this:

In prez debate, Romney argues taxes--Obama simply raises severed head of bin Laden in response to every question.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [131 favorites]


Just heard this driving home from work in NZ & my immediate thought was "wow, that is cool".

The news report went on to say the US Govt had proof, and that they wouldn't confirm it unless it was true - my guilty second thought was "Just like WMDs?"
posted by MatJ at 9:39 PM on May 1, 2011


The economy might be in the dumpster, but we sure can kill a guy on the other side of the planet.

After ten years of chasing him and billions of dollars invested.


Team America...



FUCK YEAH!
posted by dave78981 at 9:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Kasie Hunt (Politico politics writer), who is on the conference call says: Officials on the handling of OBL's body: "We are making sure it is handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and practice."
posted by thebestsophist at 9:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


They are finally showing New York, gotta say I wish there were more kissing and less chanting.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obama's speech in brief.
posted by Rinku at 9:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


I would now like to bring a lot of troops home, cut some defense programs and give the money to the VA and other supporting institutions to help vets transition to being a civilian. The US military has been at war for 10 years, we need to step it down before we create a permeant warrior class.

Also, can we talk about the Public Option NOW?

Also, Republican leaning relatives, expect a phone call tomorrow.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Here's a GIF of Obama's swagger exit after the speech.

What I really want is that image plus at the end just that one shot in Drumline where Nick Cannon drops the drumsticks and walks off.
posted by penduluum at 9:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


So I don't know a lot about computers but from what I understand at this point mathowie and pb are in a basement filled with rising water frantically pumping one of those two-handled seesaw things to keep this thread up? Is that more or less how this works?

I was thinking more that pb's shoveling coal into the server as fast as he can, and mathowie runs in every few minutes with another wheelbarrow full of coal.
posted by rtha at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [23 favorites]


Can't believe it's been almost ten years.
posted by chinston at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body" - suggesting that he was indeed executed, following a firefight?

That simply doesn't suggest that. The conclusion of a firefight was the killing of bin Laden. Once he was dead, no more firefight. "After a shootout, the suspect was killed by police." Doesn't mean the police executed the guy. Geez.
posted by Dasein at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Nice somber walking-off conclusion there. I felt like some credits should've been silently rolling.

One wants to see the reverse angle of this. Obama walking toward the camera while behind his back, there's a huge explosion. This is various Republican pundits spontaneously combusting.

I was expecting it to freeze frame right as he jumped in the air pumping his fist, shouting "YEAH!" Then, possibly, the closing credits music from Buckaroo Banzai.

Buckaroo Banzai closing credits.

And finally. May 1 - 1994. Ayrton Senna killed in San Marino Grand Prix (Imola, Italy).
posted by philip-random at 9:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am starting to agree on wishing these cheering mobs would go home. It looks terrible. At least if you want to leave your house and be with others, understandable, how about a candlelight vigil for the tens (?) of thousands dead in this set of wars?
posted by Miko at 9:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


I believe everyone has a sovereign right to do whatever they want.

If anyone has the right to do anything, then how are "rights" even a meaningful concept? Wouldn't that make "X has the right to do Y" a tautology?
posted by teraflop at 9:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I try very hard to not wish for or celebrate the death of anyone. But I'd happily dance on that fucker's grave.

Fuck politics. Just for tonight - fuck it. Bin Laden was a Bad Man. Yeah, there are lots of Bad Men, even in the US. But he was Big Bad, and he's gone. Even if the news had been that Bin Laden had died of natural causes or in a car wreck or something, I'd still be pleased with the news of his death.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The Germans had the right to roll over Poland

what
posted by Dasein at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


I cannot even parse what you possibly mean by this that isn't sociopathic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PzZxBUxg0Sg#t=5s

History is too messy to figure out who's right & wrong, but hopefully, eventually "right makes might".

I find this form of morality works best to square with the bloody history of my forebears on this continent, 1608 ~ 1900 or thereabouts. After all, every city I've lived in until recently has had a Spanish name, and one day that got me wondering . . .
posted by mokuba at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm a bit sad that the idiotic word "closure," so beloved of self-appointed psychologists, annoying grief counselors, and Oprah, is going to be uttered, written, and blogged approximately nine hundred trillon times in the next seven days, guaranteeing for all future time that everyone will believe there is such a thing.
posted by sonascope at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [21 favorites]


I'm a bit repulsed by the hoorawing going on. Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion; there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial. I can't imagine that there was any genuine urgency about this, some sort of plot that has been foiled by his death. It was just revenge and the chance for a photo op. Incidentally, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was at least as guilty of the September 11th attacks as Osama bin Laden; why haven't you shot him yet?
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Knowing that Obama had just given the order to assassinate Bin Laden not long before the Correspondent's Dinner gives even more zing to this zinger:
"But you, Mr. Trump, recognized that the real problem was a lack of leadership. And so ultimately, you didn't blame Lil' Jon or Meatloaf. You fired Gary Busey. And these are the kind of decisions that would keep me up at night. (Laughter and applause.) Well handled, sir. Well handled."
posted by Missiles K. Monster at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [32 favorites]


After ten years of chasing him and billions of dollars invested.

Trillions.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Officials on the handling of OBL's body: "We are making sure it is handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and practice
Welcome to the next Republican talking point.
posted by Flunkie at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2011


What a long ten years this has been.

I find myself digging out some screenshots I took on Sept 11, 2001:
ABC News
CBS News
NBC News
posted by churl at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Just chiming in along with everyone else.
posted by awfurby at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


They have to show the body. People, particularly in the Muslim world, do not automatically believe everything the US Government says.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


COUNTER-TERRORISTS WIN!
posted by Rinku at 9:46 PM on May 1, 2011


dersins: Chuck him into the pigsty and let the hogs take care of him.

While I'm quite sure that the frat boys cheering "U-S-A U-S-A" outside the White House would also like to see something along those lines, I can't imagine that the reprisals for such a petty act would be worth the brief satisfaction one gets from revenge.
posted by gman at 9:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The geography professor who predicted Osama's location was off by about 450km / seven hours.

So Abbottabad is a hill-station-like town in the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountains; seems like an entry point to Pakistan's north. It also the location of Pakistan Military Academy, along with other cantonment installations.
posted by the cydonian at 9:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a bit repulsed by the hoorawing going on. Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion; there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial.

This is terribly naive. What are you suggesting, a couple of NYPD officers could have waltzed in, Mirandized him, and escorted him to a waiting cruiser in handcuffs?
posted by Justinian at 9:47 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial.

Piece of cake, I'm sure.
posted by mmmbacon at 9:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]



jimmythefish: Happy about this news, but I wonder what being happy about the killing of someone in retaliation for crimes (regardless of scope) says about one's stance on the death penalty.

It's precisely because I'm happy about this news that I oppose the death penalty. I should not be trusted with this power.
posted by Richard Daly at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [44 favorites]


Officials on the handling of OBL's body: "We are making sure it is handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and practice

Welcome to the next Republican talking point.


Better Republicans grousing (they'll always find something to grouse about) than giving a grievance and casus belli to radical Muslims (who in fairness, will always find something to be upset about, just like Republican politicians do).
posted by orthogonality at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is gonna be an action movie in a few years (Or next week)

Yeah, Will Smith is probably doing the happy dance right about now.
posted by fuse theorem at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


"After a shootout, the suspect was killed by police." Doesn't mean the police executed the guy.

Ok, in that phrase, I can hear it the way you're suggesting.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011


CNN now also showing the footage from GEO TV shown on Al Jazeera English earlier.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011


Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion; there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial.

he and his bodyguards weren't going to surrender - they were shooting at the people who were trying to capture him
posted by pyramid termite at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was at least as guilty of the September 11th attacks as Osama bin Laden; why haven't you shot him yet?

I guess the logical conclusion to draw is that the US does, in fact, capture high-level terrorists when it's feasible to do so, and kills them when it's not. Of course, you're free to play armchair...uh...special-ops tactician and pretend that you know that the guys on the ground could have captured him.
posted by Dasein at 9:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


Incidentally, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was at least as guilty of the September 11th attacks as Osama bin Laden; why haven't you shot him yet?

I suspect the 'problems' we've had handling ol' Khalid heavily influenced our choice of actions here.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Our soldiers are just incredible. Just to operate under that kind of pressure, when you know you're close, and that they're armed, and what success or failure means. No one does it better than the USA.
posted by Flex1970 at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a bit repulsed by the hoorawing going on. Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion; there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial.

The President stated he ordered capture or kill. There was a fire fight. Bin Laden was killed.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


then how are "rights" even a meaningful concept?

I admit this is pretty zen. Like I said above, this is a "weird" morality. Could be profound, could be really stupid, dunno.

I also came about this morality in studying the Axis powers in WW2. The people fighting for the German and Japanese national causes didn't think they were doing evil, they thought they were doing what was right.

I think this "weird" morality actually humanizes our enemies, and knocks our own actions off the moral pedestals we like to keep them mounted on.
posted by mokuba at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I find myself digging out some screenshots I took on Sept 11, 2001

*Pours some out for the Classic Mac OS*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


Incidentally, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was at least as guilty of the September 11th attacks as Osama bin Laden; why haven't you shot him yet?

We thought maybe he knew where Osama Bin Laden was.

Anywho, I am a bit surprised how pumped people are. It's nice and all. Not sure how much it changes. But I think perhaps this is more an indication of how disengaged my disgust has made me, these past few years.
posted by Diablevert at 9:50 PM on May 1, 2011


I - for one - hope that Osama bin Laden enjoys his 72 clapped-out virgins in hell.
posted by cinemafiend at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2011


It's worth considering the political reality that had Osama bin Laden been captured he would have been executed in cold blood.
posted by polyhedron at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


InTrade contract on OBL rises 1,622%.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Several of my friends have posted this Mark Twain quote on Facebook and Twitter tonight and I think it fits: "I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure."

Very proud of our US military. Job well done!
posted by SisterHavana at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [24 favorites]


A photo will be mysteriously "leaked" to the National Enquirer.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2011




After seeing his election victory speech and now this, I am pretty sure that if we cure cancer, invent free energy, or make first contact with an alien race of space babes on a mission to pleasure us, Obama will just give us the news straight.
posted by blargerz at 9:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


For those uneasy about the scenes of celebration, remember also that a lot of these kids were like 9 years old when 9/11 happened. For them it's like Obama killed the devil.

Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion

It was a compound with a 12-18' barbed wire fence and armed guards.
posted by gerryblog at 9:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh gawd: "Today, the American people have seen justice," House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), whose Long Island district lost many in the 2001 attacks, said in a statement. "In 2001, President Bush said, 'We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.' President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda." via
posted by peeedro at 9:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I admit this is pretty zen. Like I said above, this is a "weird" morality. Could be profound, could be really stupid, dunno.

Yeah, uh, I could help you out with the answer here...
posted by Justinian at 9:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Saw this on Mefite's Facebook page, thought it might be good to keep in mind:
The Prov 24.17, "Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice"; Ezek 18.32, "I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, says the Lord"; Ezek 33.11, "I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked." We rejoice when evil acts end; we do not rejoice when anyone falls.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [79 favorites]


I have no idea what to think about this.
posted by OrangeDrink at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Better Republicans grousing (they'll always find something to grouse about) than giving a grievance and casus belli to radical Muslims (who in fairness, will always find something to be upset about, just like Republican politicians do).
I guess I should be clear that I wasn't advocating doing differently.
posted by Flunkie at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2011


I so want to play Splinter Cell: UBL.
posted by Camofrog at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


>"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body" - suggesting that he was indeed executed, following a firefight?

>>That simply doesn't suggest that. The conclusion of a firefight was the killing of bin Laden.

Obama's words were surely chosen very clearly. If Osama had been killed in the course of a firefight, he would have said that. If Obama says he was killed "after a firefight" I presume he means exactly that - either executed or finished off.
posted by Flashman at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2011


I have Obama socks (bought in a subway station in Seoul) that suddenly come in quite handy.
posted by nile_red at 9:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was a compound with a 12-18' barbed wire fence and armed guards.

And a volcano with a skull on it.
posted by Artw at 9:54 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


A photo will be mysteriously "leaked" to the National Enquirer.

...Of Bin Laden being readied for burial in proper Islamic fashion.
They know what to do.
posted by BillBishop at 9:54 PM on May 1, 2011


Flashman, that's a long way to leap based on word choice. It's been reported that bin Laden was resisting his capture when he died. There's no reason to assume this was an execution.
posted by gerryblog at 9:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marking my place in recent activity so I can do something other than F5 all night.
posted by Space Kitty at 9:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Memo from the rest of the world,


America, the execution of one of your enemies is not at all like winning the Super Bowl. Please restrain yourselves.


thank you.
love,
Us
posted by Omon Ra at 9:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [24 favorites]


AHHH Why are all the comments reposting 3 times? Anyone else seeing that?
posted by wowbobwow at 9:56 PM on May 1, 2011


Historic moment. I'm keeping my eyes on Geo News. I expect of the best journalism will be coming from the local outlets.
posted by phyrewerx at 9:56 PM on May 1, 2011


There's no reason to assume this was an execution.


It's not an assumption. It's what was said: he was killed after the firefight.
posted by pompomtom at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2011


STOP REPOSTING HUMANS GIVE THE SITE SOME TIME.
posted by vrakatar at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2011


I wonder what he died from.

Natural causes. When you get your head blown off, naturally, you die.
posted by codswallop at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Did the Allies celebrate the death of Hitler?
posted by chemoboy at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I admit this is pretty zen. Like I said above, this is a "weird" morality. Could be profound, could be really stupid, dunno

Well, it's definitely not Zen, which also has a specific definition, and I'd just recommend if you want to call something a "right" to maybe read some more about what rights are.

I agree with you to an extent - self-interested, tribal behavior like that in countries at war is just that, self-interested tribal behavior; but on the other hand, it's possible to consider that very kind of innocently self-interested behavior to be itself the root of evil.
posted by Miko at 9:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


What'd you guys think of the speech though?

I couldn't help thinking - and I really do not think this is a cynical moment at all - but I couldn't help thinking of Obama at a poker table just raking in his chips. Big grin, everything. See ya tomorrow night boys! I'll take that! Boy, how am I going to count all this??!!

But seriously, let's see - first of all, at the risk of sounding like a cheerleader, I thought it was an excellent speech, pitch perfect, so well-delivered... "justice is served." i'm proud to be an american. On the political side, huge upside for the prez, major boost to his reelection ('may the best sound bite win') although there's no guarantee in these economic times, with all bets off in the republican primary. Another thing - don't you think a lot of people were watching that probably never watch the news? People - and I mean, not only news hounds, but people who can't even locate the capital on a map - are going to REMEMBER this. This is really going to redefine the president in the minds of a lot of americans. I could seriously imagine people out there watching this and thinking, "hey, maybe I had this guy all wrong." It resets the tone at a time when Obama really needed it, but it's a permanent mark - a legacy achievement, and for my money, he nailed it - he out Bushed Bush, and at the same time, he reminded us of all the reasons why he's Not Bush. The speech wasn't snarky towards W, but it didn't need to be. it was almost eerie how above the fray it was - as though the white hot force of facts had just blown away the political competition. A moment of force, like Hiroshima...Obama was enola gay, and the republicans were the japanese walking helpless in the streets.

Question: ARE the democrats going to handle this well? If they handle it well they could convert it into gaining the upper hand on the terrorism issue, starting TOMORROW. Obama, with his speech tonight, has set the tone perfectly for that. If we can convert that into a comprehensive energy bill early next term, then I'm for it. But somehow I don't see the democrats being that politically smart, they'll probably dither and squirrel around as usual.
posted by friendlymilkman at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


"In 2001, President Bush said, 'We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.'

I uh . . . scope of the mission . . . he's now a person who's now been marginalized . . . uh, uh . . . so, I don't know where he is . . .
posted by mokuba at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Flashman, that's a long way to leap based on word choice. It's been reported that bin Laden was resisting his capture when he died. There's no reason to assume this was an execution.

Besides, whichever one of the SEALs that popped the cap will likely cop to it and tell the story to Meredith Viera; he may as well step up and accept his tickertape parade. So we'll probably hear one side of the story.
posted by Diablevert at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2011


I was thinking more that pb's shoveling coal into the server as fast as he can, and mathowie runs in every few minutes with another wheelbarrow full of coal.

and then, later that night you were - lying, looking up at the ceiling, and the water in your head, was not dissimilar to the landscape .. and you think to yourself, why is it that the landscape is moving, but .... the boat, is still?
(seems appropriate for this thread)
posted by mannequito at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is terribly naive. What are you suggesting, a couple of NYPD officers could have waltzed in, Mirandized him, and escorted him to a waiting cruiser in handcuffs?

Hi Miss. Is Osama home? We really need to speak with him. It's important. No use fibbing, we're coming in anyhow, backup is on the way. Thanks, just step outside while we take care of this.

Fun's over, man. No need to make this difficult, hands behind your back - there we go. You're under arrest for nine-eleven. No needles, knives, guns, or WMDs, anything that's going to hurt me — hah hah hah, you know we gotta ask. We'll be booking you tonight under some preliminary charges, don't worry, you'll get a chance to talk to a detective tomorrow and explain things, the judge should be in Monday morning if you're lucky. Sorry, I know it's cold, but best to leave the coat here at home, they're just going to take it away at lockup. Watch your head. You'll get a chance to call your attorney, don't worry.
posted by floam at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]




America, the execution of one of your enemies is not at all like winning the Super Bowl. Please restrain yourselves.

Enemy of all the world. As a former Londener I'll happily dance on the fuckers grave.
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Obama's words were surely chosen very clearly. If Osama had been killed in the course of a firefight, he would have said that. If Obama says he was killed "after a firefight" I presume he means exactly that - either executed or finished off.

You can presume anything you like. I'll stick to facts as presented.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


posted by Joe in Australia I'm a bit repulsed by the hoorawing going on. Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion; there's no reason he couldn't have been arrested and given a trial.

I bet those Special Forces didn't even have a search warrant!

posted by Omon Ra America, the execution of one of your enemies

Pretty sure he was your enemy, too. But you're welcome.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was thinking more that pb's shoveling coal into the server as fast as he can, and mathowie runs in every few minutes with another wheelbarrow full of coal.

Funny, I always pictured the setup here involving a donkey tied to a pole going around and around in a circle.

On topic, I am also put off by the woo-hoo cheering, as if this whole thing was a football playoff or something. Someone just set off fireworks in my neighborhood, too.

America Is Weird.
posted by Aquaman at 10:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


US special forces are the definition of professional. CinC gave an order and they carried it out as cleanly as possible.

Hopefully this makes withdrawal from the region an easier sell.
posted by strange chain at 10:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Prov 24.17, "Do not gloat when your enemy falls;
These are times we should celebrate, as opposed to gloat.

Like thousands of years of the oppressed repeatedly overthrowing tyrants, in whatever form, the act of freeing ourselves from a form of terrorism should rightfully be a happy time.
posted by uraniumwilly at 10:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


My thoughts, in sequence

- Horrible man dead, good.
- Boy, Obama just seems so freaking competent.
- Exhale deep breath.
- Exhale deeper breath.
- Oh fuck, the number of people who are going to scream their joy that God granted this unique boon to his favorite country, America, is going to be nauseating. No TV for a week or so, I guess.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


The weirdest part of the speech for me was this sentence:

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.

I know it was meant to be positive, but I remember when our nation's aspirations were going to the moon, not just putting a bullet in somebody's head.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [67 favorites]


mattdidthat, not really. I have a lot more trouble with the war on drugs than with the war on terror, being Mexican n' all. And killing Bin Laden isn't going to really solve anything or stop the war, so meh.
posted by Omon Ra at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Google Earth: bin Laden compound.
posted by scalefree at 10:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Obama's words were surely chosen very clearly. If Osama had been killed in the course of a firefight, he would have said that. If Obama says he was killed "after a firefight" I presume he means exactly that - either executed or finished off.

Is American English (the same may be true of other dialects of English) your first language? If not, I can understand your confusion. The word "after" is often used to mean "during." I think you are reading too much into this.

If the special forces executed bin Laden after capturing, they wouldn't have hidden it with wordplay. They would have hidden it with a lie.
posted by chemoboy at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


I was thinking more that pb's shoveling coal into the server as fast as he can, and mathowie runs in every few minutes with another wheelbarrow full of coal.

"Never mind the coal Matt, just get on the hamster wheel, it's our only hope!"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Did the Allies celebrate the death of Hitler?"

Yes, of course they did.
posted by bardic at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


remember also that a lot of these kids were like 9 years old when 9/11 happened. For them it's like Obama killed the devil.

There might be something to this. Also, scanning the faces of the young crowd, they are of an age where they're a lot more likely to have active duty friends than I am. But still...the images may not only chagrin some of us but could play even less well in non-American quarters.
posted by Miko at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011


Damnit, the BBC World Service is leading with the stupid frat boy assholes doing the Yoo Ess Ayy chant in front of the White House. Shut. the fuck. up, stupid frat boys. You're embarrassing.
posted by craichead at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure he was your enemy, too. But you're welcome.

Oh hey welcome back mattdidthat.

posted by dersins at 10:03 PM on May 1, 2011


I wonder if Obama and Bill Clinton have high dived yet.
posted by Artw at 10:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


No problem with the celebration, just hope we get an iconic photo.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:04 PM on May 1, 2011


America, the execution of one of your enemies is not at all like winning the Super Bowl

That's loser talk. How about getting with the program? Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, it's definitely not Zen, which also has a specific definition

I was thinking in the Rinzai school meaning, actually, with all the koans and stuff. Not that I know more about zen than some casual reading.

it's possible to consider that very kind of innocently self-interested behavior to be itself the root of evil.

I think it goes deeper than that. Life just goes on, I guess. Perhaps this is what Vonnegut's "So it goes" is also referent to. We are imperfect beings unable to fully figure out the ripples and ramifications of our actions. We may not always be in the right, and the people we are fighting may not always be in the wrong. We need to live and learn.
posted by mokuba at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was at least as guilty of the September 11th attacks as Osama bin Laden; why haven't you shot him yet?

Because they were able to capture him.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd just recommend if you want to call something a "right" to maybe read some more about what rights are.

I think the OP meant rights in the sense of sovereign rights, which do traditionally include the right of a state actor to make war. If I'm correctly remembering my high school philosophy, that's as established by jurist and philosopher Hugo Grotius.

So perhaps we should cut the OP a break; he's stretching things a bit by implying Al Queda can be a sovereign actor, but he's not grossly incorrect about international law.
posted by orthogonality at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2011


I don't actively identify as a pacifist, but events like this show me the degree to which I am. I can't find it in me to rejoice over anyone's death, let alone cheer for a state hunting down a single man and killing him, largely, it seems, for the sake of optics. Revenge, bloodlust and patriotism are the things that keep me up at night. These celebratory scenes are deeply disturbing to me.

It's been an uncomfortable evening on social media, and I really need to learn to keep my mouth shut.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [41 favorites]


LOL America Fuck Yeah!
posted by Aquaman at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011


Geraldo: "This is our Cairo moment."

No. Please stop.
posted by narwhal bacon at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [22 favorites]


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.

I know it was meant to be positive, but I remember when our nation's aspirations were going to the moon, not just putting a bullet in somebody's head.



This, this, a thousand times this.
posted by Omon Ra at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Kasie Hunt's twitter: from "conference call" with "senior administration officials":

They will not clarify whether "small US team" was military or non-military.
OBL's body will be handled in accord with Islamic custom.
They say we did not share intel with Pakistan or any other country about OBL's location or this operation.
One woman was killed when she was used as a human shield by a male combatant.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011


wonder if Obama and Bill Clinton have high dived yet.


They have late night pool dates?
posted by vrakatar at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Memo from the rest of the world,

America, the execution of one of your enemies is not at all like winning the Super Bowl. Please restrain yourselves.


You're right; no team playing for the Superbowl murdered 3000 Americans. I imagine that for Americans, this is a hell of a lot better than winning the Superbowl.

Oh, and this wasn't an execution, for the Nth time. I can't believe (well, it's the internet, sure I can) the idiotic pedantry that tries to pretend that "after a firefight" means that the firefight was over and finished. Seriously, do you people not read or something? "After a firefight" is like "after a shootout" - it's interchangeable with "in the course of" or "as a result of" in this context. The reason Obama didn't choose his words more carefully was that he assumed a minimal level of intelligence and literacy among his audience.
posted by Dasein at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [23 favorites]


Fucking crazyass twenty-first century we're all having, huh?
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


if anyone is not following hodgman on twitter this would be a good time to start. He's retweeting like a motherfucker.
posted by Bonzai at 10:07 PM on May 1, 2011


I wonder if Obama and Bill Clinton have high dived yet.

More likely a cannonball.
posted by mannequito at 10:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not an assumption. It's what was said: he was killed after the firefight.

It's interpretation. You're parsing a sentence to tease out a meaning that is almost certainly not intended. Instead of leaping to start another conspiracy theory, why don't you actually dig up some evidence of execution. Failing that, you're just generating noise.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


scalefree

Ooohoo, thanks - those reviews were just awesome...

"bulletproof windows not as advertised"
posted by jkaczor at 10:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I will celebrate in front of the White House when the war is over and the world is capable of optimism again. This event I will accept as closure on the worst day of my life and the lives of my friends and family. I will reflect on how we got here and the costs we have incurred and I will remember this day not as the day I became hopeful, but the day that I sensed it was possible to hope in the future.
posted by epsilon at 10:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I wonder if Obama and Bill Clinton have high dived yet.

Thanks for the mental imagery there, dude.

The speedos! The tiny, Presidential speedos!
posted by Sys Rq at 10:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


I can't wait for Trump's press conference tomorrow where he will be so proud of himself for having done this.
posted by juiceCake at 10:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]




Oh gawd: "Today, the American people have seen justice," House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King (R-N.Y.), whose Long Island district lost many in the 2001 attacks, said in a statement. "In 2001, President Bush said, 'We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.' President Bush deserves great credit for putting action behind those words. President Obama deserves equal credit for his resolve in this long war against al-Qaeda."

bush on bin laden, march 2002: "I truly am not that concerned about him"

posted by fallacy of the beard at 10:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Part of me feels squicked about the chants of "USA!", but at the same time I was fairly far removed from the effects of 9/11 on a personal level so I'll try to keep from judging anyone for now.
posted by charred husk at 10:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Osama is nothing like Hitler, and the fact so many even contemplate that comparison really illustrates just how special a lot of Americans think they are.

He "traumatized" a nation? Come on, the US destroys nations. Whatever your feelings about this, making Osama into an evil, demigod bogeyman is silly, and trivialises the real damage and trauma wrought by the September 11 attacks, not to mention the other trauma that has resulted as a direct result of such caricatures.
posted by smoke at 10:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [34 favorites]


I know it was meant to be positive, but I remember when our nation's aspirations were going to the moon, not just putting a bullet in somebody's head.

When all that's left to celebrate is ugliness, an empire is truly done and over.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


I can't find it in me to rejoice over anyone's death, let alone cheer for a state hunting down a single man and killing him, largely, it seems, for the sake of optics.

Of all the bullshit in politics, this is not bullshit. Worldwide terrorist masterminds should be caught dead or alive. Pacifists should rejoice in the death of murderous assholes like Osama bin Laden.
posted by arveale at 10:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Huckabee statement: "Welcome to hell, bin Laden"
posted by cwhitfcd at 10:11 PM on May 1, 2011


Fucking crazyass twenty-first century we're all having, huh?

Heck, it's been a nutty weekend.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:11 PM on May 1, 2011


What a long ten years this has been.

Tell me about it. For us Michiganders, late '01 was already the start of the recession. Combine corporate screwups, the endless war, the dismal political climate & losses in my personal life ... Well, "May you live in interesting times" indeed.

So I have mixed feelings. My first reaction to this news was a primal "Good, rot in hell bin Laden."

But then I think of so much bad that the US has brought on itself because of this endless War on Terror.

And yet, I can only hope that we are turning a corner toward something better.
posted by NorthernLite at 10:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is terribly naive. What are you suggesting, a couple of NYPD officers could have waltzed in, Mirandized him, and escorted him to a waiting cruiser in handcuffs?

No, unfortunately Lennie Briscoe's dead.
posted by docgonzo at 10:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't think we will ever see his body.

we will, of course - failing to show that would wind up the conspiracy kooks endlessly


and the comic book/genre fans
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


New York Times obituary is up, assuming it hasn't already been posted.
posted by Nomiconic at 10:13 PM on May 1, 2011


Remember back in 2008 when John McCain was telling us we should vote for him because the GOP had only allowed 9/11 to happen once?

Yeah, fuck him.
posted by bardic at 10:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm surprised that anyone's surprised by the celebrating.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


All right, America! Score one for justice.

Now arrest Dick Cheney and all those investment bankers. You're on a roll!
posted by Kevin Street at 10:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


I know it was meant to be positive, but I remember when our nation's aspirations were going to the moon, not just putting a bullet in somebody's head.

When all that's left to celebrate is ugliness, an empire is truly done and over.


THIS
THIS
THIS
THIS
posted by wowbobwow at 10:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I know it was meant to be positive, but I remember when our nation's aspirations were going to the moon, not just putting a bullet in somebody's head.

In fairness, "we choose to go to the Moon in that decade and do the other things, not because they were easy, but because they are hard, because that goal served to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, ... and one which we intended to win," because Space was yet another proxy battlefield in our Cold War with the Soviets.

We sent a bullet-shaped rocket to Mare Tranquillitatis so we wouldn't have to send a rocket to Moscow.
posted by orthogonality at 10:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [36 favorites]


Osama bin Laden did many terrible things and was directly responsible for the death of thousands of people. The world is better off with him dead.

To suggest that there was another way this could have ended or that the US did something wrong is naive and simply contrarian.

People have emotions and are not automatons following a set of specific behavioral rules dreamed up in Ideal Society 101 class. Celebrating the end to bin Laden's ability to harm others is perfectly reasonable.

Debating the fine points of exactly how he died to suggest that the US behaved inappropriately is offensive. There was no more obvious and clear enemy, posing a direct danger to the US, than Osama bin Laden.
posted by Argyle at 10:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Oof, the poor mefi servers. Hang in there, buddy!
posted by lilac girl at 10:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


According to sources within my Gmail inbox, my aunt is not only a closet wingnut but believes Obama intentionally timed the announcement of Osama's death in order to draw attention away from the tornado-ravaged South. This being despite the fact that Obama flew down on Air Force One for an official presidential visit and walked the streets less than five miles from her house just two days ago.

And yeah, claiming Obama implicitly admitted Osama was executed by using the word "after" is nuts, not least because if he wanted to cover things up that badly, he could easily have been more ambiguous about the exact timing of his death, if not outright lie about it. It's about as nonsensical as saying the U.S. evinces it's evil fascistic conspiracy through vexillology by knowingly adding gold fringe to the American flag.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]




"'In the end?' Nothing ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends."
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion

It was a compound with a 12-18' barbed wire fence and armed guards.


So ... you're basic gated community hereabouts.
posted by philip-random at 10:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


>You're parsing a sentence to tease out a meaning that is almost certainly not intended.

No, I'm just reading the words. I have no opinion on this, but that's what was said: 'after'.
posted by pompomtom at 10:17 PM on May 1, 2011


Just as a total afront to Osama... [NSFW]
posted by JoeXIII007 at 10:17 PM on May 1, 2011


On the Google map of Osama's compound (from link above), I got the following ad:

Jihadists, want to go home? Rewards for information on al-Qaeda

Crazyass indeed.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:18 PM on May 1, 2011




There was no more obvious and clear enemy, posing a direct danger to the US, than Osama bin Laden.

It's the United States - to some people (including not a few Americans), it's always wrong. If it killed Satan himself, there would be people asking why he wasn't arrested and given a trial.
posted by Dasein at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


"I don't know where Bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority." - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


Way too many comments to scan through to see if this has been suggested before, but perhaps Osama, sensing his capture was imminent, put a bullet in his own head...or one of his lackeys did? That would make more sense to me in light of the fact that Khalid was captured but not OBL.
posted by spicynuts at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011


I guess this isn't the line for kicking his corpse huh? Well how about the line for hi-fives for every military dude from Obama on down to the gay just-joined up privates? If not, then it starts behind me. Good jobs ladies and gents!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I will not judge those who are celebrating. I will simply say that it is not consistent with my own ethical system and be satisfied that that is enough.

Although my ethical system was apparently fine with spending the evening on Twitter joking about the whole event, so I am in no position to put myself above anybody else.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


So I'm doing one of my favorite things, paging through ancient Google News archives, and it looks like when Hitler died the first reaction was incredulity and skepticism, and outright doubt. It was difficult to determine what the exact course of events was and to verify it. A New York Times story says "people here heard the news of Adolf Hitler's death last week without visible signs of either grief or rejoicing." The Pittsburgh Press said "Consequently there is little tendency to rejoice over the news of Hitler's death, just a general belief that the world is well rid of him...if he is really dead."

It makes sense. There was still plenty of war going on with Germany (though it was close to surrender) and Japan. There was rejoicing on V-E day, but a lot of sombre praying etc. as well. I have a copy of the Life Magazine from that week and it is fascinating and moving reading.
posted by Miko at 10:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


When all that's left to celebrate is ugliness, an empire is truly done and over.

Everyone finds their own celebration in a big event.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey Qaddafi. What's up? Not much here either. Soooo, about that desperate clinging to power thing? Had any second thoughts?
posted by Rock Steady at 10:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's rough, I don't know how to parse my feelings on this...on one hand I totally get the people who say "the murder of a murderer is still murder" and similar things, but on the other.....I feel surreal and relieved that the massive mental and emotional tangle that is "this thing where we look for Osama" and 9/11 has any sort of coda.

I've always been shocked at the emotions 9/11 pulls out of me, and I guess that's just not over yet.
posted by nile_red at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do speak English - albeit English English - rather well, and "killed after a firefight" I assure you ought to mean exactly that: the killing occurred after a firefight. You don't say somebody was killed 'after a car crash', or 'after a house fire'. How long after? Why wouldn't Obama just say "during" or "in"?!
I don't see this as any great 'conspiracy theory'; it's all a matter of degree and either way this was a dedicated assassination operation.
posted by Flashman at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


@steve_huff
5 minutes ago

"We can find and kill Osama bin Laden, but we can't put a man back on the moon again?" ~ Some blazing asshole, somewhere.


Prescient.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


So can we rebuild the Twin Towers now?
posted by ambrosia at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


murdered 3000 Americans.

You do know not everyone killed on september 11th was American, right?
posted by usagizero at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


I feel like an alien tonight. The emotions I feel after finding out about this targeted killing are primarily shame, anger over our absurdly low collective ethical standards, and a bit of fear. People think this shit is a game of fucking Age of Empires -- we "won"!
posted by threeants at 10:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Everyone finds their own celebration in a big event.

Fantasies of holding up a dismembered head is one kind of celebration, certainly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


I understand and I have the knowledge and the background and the experience to make the right judgments (to capture Bin Laden). Senator Obama does not…Obama doesn't know how -- how the world works nor how the military works.

^ McCain. Yeah.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Rather annoyed I've reached my favorites limit for today.
posted by contessa at 10:22 PM on May 1, 2011


mosarraf zaidi (whose tweet about seeing a low flying helicopter earlier in the day was linked above) re-tweets various info about situation in pakistan etc:

AP reports the US attack was 4 helicopters, one of which was downed by ground fire.
Pakistani official claims it was a joint operation; others say must have been US-only.
Pakistan policy blogger says the attacking US helicopters couldn't have gotten that far inside Pakistan without the Pakistani military approving it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


perhaps Osama, sensing his capture was imminent, put a bullet in his own head

Zero chance. Suicide is against Islamic law. Osama has always known he would end up a martyr, and I'm sure that on some level, he welcomed it. So, extra bonus points: everyone's happy!
posted by Dasein at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The president didn't smile, but he looked pleased with his announcement.
posted by Cranberry at 10:23 PM on May 1, 2011


I still want trials -- real, fair trials -- for the Gitmo detainees; for the bastards who tortured them; and for the bastards on Wall Street who tanked our economy.

I am still worried that this incident will turn out to be not a raid by SEALs as has been said, but rather a freak car accident, and that we're having another Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch rerun.

But the motherfucker's dead, and I'm glad.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 10:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tin-foil hat wearers respond: Government had Osama bin Laden frozen for years

Obama’s announcement follows the release of a highly suspicious birth certificate last week. Both events represent psychological operations that possibly portend more significant events in the days ahead as the U.S. dollar continues to lose its reserve status, the economy fails to recover as promised, and wars expand in Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Obama’s propaganda stunt arrives as the Democrats kick off their leader’s presidential reelection bid against a number of Republicans contenders who have been highly critical of not only his perceived handling of the economy, but also his management of the manufactured war on terror.

posted by thescientificmethhead at 10:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just got back from the [whatever's going on in front of the white house] in DC. Thoroughly creeped out.

That said, every news outlet under the sun was there. Pretty sure I was on Nigerian TV. NPR reporter was looking very lonely, and nobody wanted to talk to her. We chatted for a minute, but she didn't take a soundbite from me.

Lots of greek letters on the shirts of the attendees. A few Vuvuzelas too.

Wish I had something more profound to say, but I'm just creeped out. Guess it's time for some more thoughtful introspection. What does this mean about our already-absurdly-complicated relationship with Pakistan?
posted by schmod at 10:24 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Either way this was a dedicated assassination operation.


There was something about how painfully Obama tiptoed around the specifics of the issue that seemed to imply Osama was gonna be killed no matter what.
posted by Omon Ra at 10:25 PM on May 1, 2011


it's all a matter of degree and either way this was a dedicated assassination operation.

Oh, that's totally reasonable. Like when the other said I said "I'm going by the store for groceries," which in New Orleans is a very common expression, but everywhere else in the world means "I'm unleashing my murderous hell beast to extinguish mankind."
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:25 PM on May 1, 2011


Meanwhile ... over at 4chan: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

Not Suitable [in a generalized sense]
posted by philip-random at 10:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


So I'm doing one of my favorite things, paging through ancient Google News archives, and it looks like when Hitler died the first reaction was incredulity and skepticism, and outright doubt.

Thanks, Miko. I had been looking for similar reports but I got sidetracked. And you are right, this makes sense since Hitler wasn't so much the problem as it was the Axis. At that time, everyone knew someone who was in danger of being hurt or killed by the Axis. While it was an important event, it wasn't really the important news everyone wanted to hear. Although V-E day did follow soon after.
posted by chemoboy at 10:26 PM on May 1, 2011


...but perhaps Osama, sensing his capture was imminent, put a bullet in his own head...or one of his lackeys did?

For what I've read of Osama, he was soldier and would not have been taken alive, nor would he have put a bullet in his own head. The only way he would have killed himself is if he was taking some of his enemies with him.

He was good, smart, dedicated soldier who fiercely believed in what he was doing. No way was he going to put a bullet in himself.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good riddance. The canary in the coal mine was when Afghani women were forced into burqas.
posted by brujita at 10:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


According to sources within my Gmail inbox, my aunt is not only a closet wingnut but believes Obama intentionally timed the announcement of Osama's death in order to draw attention away from the tornado-ravaged South.

Oh, I'll go you one better. The Southern distruction is actually important. My poor sweet cousin bless her heart posted on FB that she was sure Obama timed to announcement to draw attention away from Trump's "big moment" tonight on his TV show.
posted by Miko at 10:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


No, I'm just reading the words. I have no opinion on this, but that's what was said: 'after'.
google "killed after a shootout"

Words often have more than one meaning each.
posted by Flunkie at 10:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Bin Laden was living in a suburban mansion

It was a compound with a 12-18' barbed wire fence and armed guards.


My videogame experience has taught me that mansions are some of the hardest places to penetrate, since they can hold heaps of guards that come at you from all directions. No idea if his was that well-guarded though.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Just got back from the [whatever's going on in front of the white house] in DC. Thoroughly creeped out.

Yeah, I just saw a closeup outburst on Al Jazeera English. It looks not so much like celebration or recognition of a globally significant event as it does the spill-out from the bars at 1 AM.
posted by Miko at 10:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


My videogame experience has taught me that mansions are some of the hardest places to penetrate, since they can hold heaps of guards that come at you from all directions.

Please stop talking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [37 favorites]


Under this President, American foreign policy, while flawed, is a darn sight better and more conducive to peace than it was under Kennedy. Those of you wishing for the glory days of the Bay of Pigs and imminent mutually-assured-destruction should bear that in mind.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:29 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]




I wonder if the Navy Seals had to run forward a bit to trigger them?
posted by Flashman at 10:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


You don't say somebody was killed 'after a car crash', or 'after a house fire'.

In America, you do. Google "killed after a car crash" and you'll find the word "after" to be interchangeable with "in" or "during" in a lot of reports. It must be a subtle difference between our versions of English.
posted by chemoboy at 10:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Those of you wishing for the glory days of the Bay of Pigs and imminent mutually-assured-destruction should bear that in mind.

what
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It looks not so much like celebration or recognition of a globally significant event as it does the spill-out from the bars at 1 AM.
From what little I've seen/heard from the crowd on TV, it seems to be mostlly kids who are hoping to get out of final exams tomorrow...
posted by narwhal bacon at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would now like to bring a lot of troops home, cut some defense programs and give the money to the VA and other supporting institutions to help vets transition to being a civilian.

Totally. I was just talking to my insurgent mates in Afghanistan, and they're all really bummed about bin Laden, and figure they won't go ahead with the summer surge after all. They're just going to go home to their families and lounge around in inflatable pools and let people vote in elections. They had some more 12 year old sucide bombers lined up, but they took their detonators away and they're sending them to Disneyland instead.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]




I do speak English - albeit English English - rather well, and "killed after a firefight" I assure you ought to mean exactly that: the killing occurred after a firefight. You don't say somebody was killed 'after a car crash', or 'after a house fire'. How long after? Why wouldn't Obama just say "during" or "in"?!
I don't see this as any great 'conspiracy theory'; it's all a matter of degree and either way this was a dedicated assassination operation.


You seem more informed than every news network on earth.

The President explicitly mentioned capture in the speech. But you continue to parse words to make it seem wrong that a boastful mass murder died in a shoot-out. You have zero facts to support your position.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


"Abottabad is named after Major James Abott who founded the town in 1853. It is more than two hours away by road."

: D
posted by lemuring at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011


"Did the Allies celebrate the death of Hitler?"

You better fucking believe they did. I was out celebrating, so I missed the Prez's speech, but ... YES WE CAN!
posted by octobersurprise at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011


It looks not so much like celebration or recognition of a globally significant event as it does the spill-out from the bars at 1 AM.

Yeah. The first people that decide to come to the fence and sing The Star-Spangled Banner (a weird enough decision on its own), and the news media start putting them on TV, and then the next group sees them on TV and decides to go down themselves, and now we're off to the exponential races.

The time-span between "genuine expression of something, for good or ill" and "many observers glomming onto and co-opting that expression for a variety of reasons" gets smaller and smaller.
posted by penduluum at 10:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I assure you ought to mean exactly that: the killing occurred after a firefight. You don't say somebody was killed 'after a car crash', or 'after a house fire'. How long after? Why wouldn't Obama just say "during" or "in"?!

When someone dies "after a long struggle with cancer", does that mean the cancer went away and then they got hit by a bus? No, it means they died of cancer.
posted by teraflop at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [31 favorites]


Now we know why Obama was too busy to dig up his birth certificate till a couple of days ago.

A lesson in priority setting for Trump.
posted by helmutdog at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh sweet Allah, please Al Jazeera English, please don't interview the hysterical teenagers in front of the White House…


…aww fuck.
posted by LMGM at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Holy shit, so many forums are crashing right now, and facebook has slowed to a crawl. For me, at any rate.

Only one that isn't slow for me is a local soccer forum, presumably because Osama Bin Laden never played for the Seattle Sounders FC.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, people on AJE seem to think "It's over". Somehow, I doubt Obama agrees. :(
posted by wierdo at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011


Blazecock Pileon: I'm talking about the moon-landing stuff like this. I reject the idea that America used to be wonderful and is now irredeemably decayed. America is America and its actions largely depend on its leaders.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


"My videogame experience has taught me that mansions are some of the hardest places to penetrate, since they can hold heaps of guards that come at you from all directions. No idea if his was that well-guarded though."

My CoD experience has taught me if you're in a helicopter you can probably kill a hundred guys no problem.
posted by lemuring at 10:34 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


At this moment, there are regiments of drunken college students wandering through the streets of my neighborhood singing The Star-Spangled Banner and chanting USA! USA! USA!
posted by mochapickle at 10:35 PM on May 1, 2011


You don't say somebody was killed 'after a car crash', or 'after a house fire'.

I would, actually. That soubds totally reasonable to me Raised in Illinois, for what it's worth.
posted by leahwrenn at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2011


"America, the execution of one of your enemies is not at all like winning the Super Bowl. Please restrain yourselves."

I don't think you understand America very well.
posted by y6y6y6 at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Debating the fine points of exactly how he died to suggest that the US behaved inappropriately is offensive

For my part, I mentioned the phrasing "after a firefight he was killed" because I want to know, not in order to stir shit. I am not remotely interested in bashing the US or saying this was a bad thing to do.

But I still want to know: how did it go down? What orders exactly did Obama give? What were the Special Forces guys supposed to do if a Pakistani military unit came after them (for invading Pakistan)? Capturing Bin Laden alive and bringing him out would have tremendous logistical difficulties and be followed by very complicated political and legal consequences; it's possible that those factors had an influence on the orders. (and it might be appropriate for them to.) I am not interested in assessing whether the US behaved appropriately at this point (just in figuring out what in fact happened) and I'm not looking to score points or propound conspiracy theories or anything.

After 9/11, I had a conversation with a colleague about what the US should do with Bin Laden if we could find him. (I was on the more pragmatic and less ethical side, and my colleague was horrified.) It's an interesting and extremely difficult problem, with IMO no clearcut best answer, and I want to know how they planned to handle it, and how they ended up handling it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Watching Al-Jazeera which has by far the best live coverage. A reporter is in front of the White House interviewing these kids -- really, they're mostly under 25. A marine vet told the reporter he was excited because with OBL dead, "the soldiers can come home."

Probably way too early to try and figure out the nation's mood, but it's nice to see that people in front of the White House aren't celebrating the death of OBL as much as they are the end of the Afghanistan war.

/fingers crossed
posted by bardic at 10:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


You better fucking believe they did. I was out celebrating, so I missed the Prez's speech, but ... YES WE CAN!

That picture is from V-J day. That moment signified the total end of World War II, and was not directly related to Hitler's death, which happened months before.
posted by Miko at 10:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


posted by Brandon Blatcher He was (a) good, smart, dedicated soldier who fiercely believed in what he was doing.

No, he was a coward.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Great news; let me know when they get Dick Chaney. Is he still hiding in an undisclosed location?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]




For my part, I mentioned the phrasing "after a firefight he was killed" because I want to know, not in order to stir shit.

Seconded. I think it's a poor choice of words, as to my ears 'after' means 'after', but there you have it.
posted by pompomtom at 10:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]




Oh sweet Allah, please Al Jazeera English, please don't interview the hysterical teenagers in front of the White House…

That girl screamed so loud and long. Then she looked like she forgot what she was cheering about. Then she looked like she was about to pass out.

That's when I turned off the news for the evening.
posted by chemoboy at 10:39 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


since Hitler wasn't so much the problem as it was the Axis.

No. Bin Laden is far less of the problem than Hitler was. World War II, was, in one sense or another, born within the mind of Adolf Hitler in the spring and summer of 1919. By 1926, he had worked out his plan to seize Russia to make "Lebensraum" for German nationals.

Without a doubt, the Axis would not have existed without Hitler.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alright, alright, if that's conventional American vernacular, I stand corrected, but to me it's a puzzling choice of words.
posted by Flashman at 10:40 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm pragmatic: were I making the raid decisions, "dead and unmutilated" would be my command.

OBL was a cancer cell. Executing him is just common sense.

The celebration thing is in poor taste.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, shit, that one didn't air four days ago, my bad. I recently re-watched s14 of South Park right before the s15 premiere so I had it mixed up in my head.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:41 PM on May 1, 2011


What an amazing feeling this evening, flying over the Hudson River, admiring the Manhattan skyline on an American Airlines flight, and hearing the captain announce that Osama bin Laden has been killed.
posted by BobbyVan at 10:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think it's a poor choice of words, as to my ears 'after' means 'after'
More accurately, you think it's a poor choice of words because to your ears, 'after' means what 'after' means to your ears.
posted by Flunkie at 10:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah at least one talking head on CNN said "the war on terror is over". I think most people are not as cynical, or maybe not as informed, as we think. Maybe they honestly believe that we are done. That we have been fighting 2 wars for 10 years to get OBL. It certainly started that way didn't it? We all remember what bush said, "dead or alive". Well we got the bad guy, the reason we invaded afganistan if maybe not the reason we invaded Iraq. For most people maybe this really is the end, and the end would certainly be worth celebrating.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't post here much, but I ended up at theblaze for some reason and found this:

"THE BIG PICKLE
Posted on May 1, 2011 at 11:04pm
What a publicity crock of sh@te!

I was watching Donald Trumps “Apprentice” and seconds before he was going to announce who was fired they cut in for this special bulletin.

Like it couldn’t wait ONE more minute? It had to interrupt Donald Trumps show at the most critical point?

F’n RUBBISH!

I hate Obongo even more now after this political cr@p tactic."

I just laughed and laughed and laughed. This guy must be a troll par excellence, otherwise I've lost my mind.
I guess if this is inappropriate or something moderate away.
posted by honeybunny at 10:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Without a doubt, the Axis would not have existed without Hitler.

It wouldn't, but knowing he was dead still did not represent an opportunity to stop fighting the war. That's why the rejoicing was constrained.
posted by Miko at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2011


present
posted by DaddyNewt at 10:43 PM on May 1, 2011


I reject the idea that America used to be wonderful and is now irredeemably decayed.

To the extent that we celebrate the violent slaughter of our enemies and wish for their dismembered bodies to be displayed publicly, maybe there's some decay. Just a little.

I don't know if that decay is irredeemable, but tonight, at least, we identify our character to the world by the class and dignity with which we citizens conduct ourselves in celebrating our country's Pyrrhic victory.

So far as I can tell, we're not doing ourselves many favors, and some rah-rah bullshit might feel good for a few minutes, but it doesn't help us deal with tomorrow's problems.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


"The celebration thing is in poor taste."

Watching the live video from the White House, no, young kids are celebrating the end of the Afghanistan war.

Watching the live video from ground zero, no, people are mourning the 3,000 dead.

So no, you're wrong.
posted by bardic at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Google Earth: bin Laden compound.

Funny, but probably not the right location, given the reports that came in before the backstory was known.

However, I'm wondering whether this bit of social mapping might have provided an inadvertent bit of intel.
posted by holgate at 10:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conservative Facebook friend actually did complain about Obama interrupting Trump's show.

To be clear, this complaint came after it was known why the interruption happened.
posted by Flunkie at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Google Earth: bin Laden compound.

Seems to be in a district full of schools and medical clinics. Who would have thought it..
posted by Ahab at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



At this moment, there are regiments of drunken college students wandering through the streets of my neighborhood singing The Star-Spangled Banner and chanting USA! USA! USA!


I'm often found drunkenly singing the Star-Spangled Banner and being an Ugly American but the fact that it took us 10 years to kill bin Laden isn't exactly filling me with pride.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2011


Alright, alright, if that's conventional American vernacular, I stand corrected, but to me it's a puzzling choice of words.

So is your use of the word "pissed." I can fully agree with the new definition of trump I learned today though.
posted by chemoboy at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll be down by GZ tomorrow for work, I wish i could be down there now.
posted by vrakatar at 10:45 PM on May 1, 2011


young kids are celebrating the end of the Afghanistan war

I'm watching them and I'm not sure that's true. For one thing, the Afghanistan War has not ended.
posted by Miko at 10:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


From a reddit thread, where some guy was just outside the white house:


Heading off some potential questions: to my knowledge, I did not make it onto a camera, I am 18, dual citizenship USA and Thailand, Democrat. I'm in Washington for an internship on the Hill.
I got there at around 11:30, when there were just a few people around. Then it started swelling. Lots of college kids from GWU, lots of beer and cigarettes. Lot of people tried climbing the lightpost, and one person attached a US flag to it. A guy in full body america flag spandex and Spider-man showed up. Anything you want to ask me, go ahead.


Hehe.
posted by hellojed at 10:47 PM on May 1, 2011


Does someone have a link to the celebration/mourning in New York City?
posted by chemoboy at 10:47 PM on May 1, 2011


YouTube video of Obama's speech.

Warning. Graphic image of bin Laden dead. (? Not sure that image is actual)

Abbottobad picture gallery | about Abbottabad | Noting that where Osama bin Laden was living was surrounded by hospitals and clinics.

Death of Osama bin Laden on Wikipedia

Living in midtown Manhattan my neighbors and I feel anxious about the retribution factor.
posted by nickyskye at 10:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Without a doubt, the Axis would not have existed without Hitler.

It wouldn't, but knowing he was dead still did not represent an opportunity to stop fighting the war. That's why the rejoicing was constrained.


When Adolf Hitler died, there were literally many thousands of Soviet troops within 2000 feet of his position, and 200,000 Soviet troops within 10 miles of his position. All over but the shouting.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:48 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm super torn. I'm glad he's dead. I'm ashamed that I'm glad he's dead. I'm savagely gleeful that he met his end at the hands of soldiers from the nation he attacked. I mourn his death, because he was an infant at his mother's breast once, born innocent. I pray for his forgiveness, because that's how I roll, and he needs it. I pray for myself that I can actually mean it when I pray for his forgiveness, because really, that's how I'd like to roll but I fall short. I'm glad for the powerful symbol. I wish it was more actual than symbolic. I wish that tomorrow I could take a Diet Coke onto an airplane, or withdraw all our troops from Afghanistan. I'm proud that it happened on the watch of the first President I actually voted for, and I recognize that the vast, vast majority of the actual work was done by people who have been serving this country through many, many presidents. I'm unexpectedly emotional about the whole thing.

Proud, weird, uneasy day to be an American.
posted by KathrynT at 10:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [61 favorites]


I'm watching them and I'm not sure that's true. For one thing, the Afghanistan War has not ended.

Yes, but they think that killing bin Laden means we can go home.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:48 PM on May 1, 2011


All over but the shouting.

Not in the Pacific.
posted by Miko at 10:48 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Warning. Graphic image of bin Laden dead . (? Not sure that image is actual)

The image is not legit; TinEye shows a couple of hits for it posted last year.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:49 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Al Jazeera is reporting all US embassies have been put on high alert.
posted by bardic at 10:50 PM on May 1, 2011


For my part, I mentioned the phrasing "after a firefight he was killed" because I want to know, not in order to stir shit. I am not remotely interested in bashing the US or saying this was a bad thing to do.

Actually, I think you are simply trying to stir the shit.

Here's the latest report on how it went down.

Like any military mission, the rules of engagement would be spelled out clearly and in extreme detail in this case.

Perhaps you don't know many people that have served in the military in special forces. I have several friends that have. They are intelligent, thoughtful, and detail oriented people. The soldiers that carried out this mission are likely some of the most highly trained and experienced the US has. This was not a group of random infantry told to bust in and shoot everyone.

Expecting to have all the facts and details to answer all possible within hours of the announcement is not reasonable.

But of course, don't let lack of actual information stop you from jumping to conclusions. It wouldn't be MeFi if people didn't start hyperventilating on their stack of soapboxes within minutes of news occuring.
posted by Argyle at 10:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


All over but the shouting.

Yeah, not in Japan, where the US was facing the prospect of much greater resistance than they encountered in Europe.
posted by furiousthought at 10:50 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a nice moral boost, but I highly doubt NATO–ISAF is pulling out of Afghanistan any time soon.
posted by Harpocrates at 10:50 PM on May 1, 2011


One more reminder of the power of the Internet and potential for datamining. Twitter user @ReallyVirtual, from Abbottabad, live-tweeted the raid without knowing what it was.
posted by mark242 at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


posted by Brandon Blatcher He was (a) good, smart, dedicated soldier who fiercely believed in what he was doing.

song for Obama (c/o No Means No)
posted by philip-random at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2011


Yeah, I just saw a closeup outburst on Al Jazeera English. It looks not so much like celebration or recognition of a globally significant event as it does the spill-out from the bars at 1 AM.


Mind you, people gathered in thoughtful, quiet introspection make for poor television. It was pretty obvious that the camerapeople were out to get very certain shots, and were on occasion even egging the crowd on (ahem, Fox and Reuters!)

And, I mean.... how can you not film a guy on stilts?

Still, it was an interesting reminder that every media bureau on the planet has an outlet in DC.

Also interesting to note that Capital Bikeshare hit near-rush-hour levels of usage (~15% utilization). Saw lots of folks on those red bikes, since Metro closes at midnight.
posted by schmod at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That moment signified the total end of World War II, and was not directly related to Hitler's death, which happened months before.

There's a recording of BBC/British Army personnel replacing Lord Haw Haw on German radio, which suggests that if the Allies weren't celebrating Hitler's death, they weren't too unhappy about it. Anyway, I don't wish to split hairs; if there was never an official policy celebrating Hitler's death, there were never too many people who needed an official policy.

I expect there will be many boorish people tonight who could probably express their delight in more diplomatic ways, but for tonight I think I can overlook that.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Can I just add one more example in case people are persisting with this "after means execution" bullshit. "He died after a long illness." The illness wasn't over when he died - it killed him. Same thing. Plenty of other examples in the thread.

And according to this, "Bin Laden himself did fire his weapon during the fight."
posted by Dasein at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2011


Yeah, pulling out of Afghanistan is wishful thinking to some extent but it also gives Obama cover to declare victory and bring the troops home. "Mission Accomplished" and all that.

We'll see if we got the president we thought we voted for or not.
posted by bardic at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm watching them and I'm not sure that's true. For one thing, the Afghanistan War has not ended.

Yes, but they think that killing bin Laden means we can go home.


Politically it probably makes removing troops from Afghanistan possible, even if practical reasonss for remaining there remain unchanged.
posted by Artw at 10:52 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


All over but the shouting.

Not in the Pacific.


With the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan had no strategic options. You bet it was all over.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:53 PM on May 1, 2011


Living in midtown Manhattan my neighbors and I feel anxious about the retribution factor.

Relax. You think they haven't been trying for the last 10 years?
posted by Dasein at 10:55 PM on May 1, 2011


I reject the idea that America used to be wonderful and is now irredeemably decayed.

I sort of liked the time when it was unthinkable for the US to torture people and imprison them indefinitely.

The US has always done questionable things, but they were always done in secret, or at least they were never justified by fuzzy language like "enhanced interrogations". Yes, Reagan might have funded death squads in South America, but nobody praised him for it when the truth became known.

People around the world used to admire the US because at least there were generous and noble principles which underpinned the country. The Declaration of independence, for example, is an amazing document, with incredible powerful statements, even if it was drafted by slaveowners. The broad principle was more important than the individual fact. Now, everything seems to be decaying under political sophistry used to justify the unjustifiable.
posted by Omon Ra at 10:55 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Michael Moore (stitched together from Twitter): What I wrote last Oct: "Here's what I know: Osama bin Laden is a multi-millionaire – and if there's one thing I've learned about the rich is that they don't live in caves for 9 years. Bin Laden is either dead or hiding out in a place where his money protects him."– 10/7/10

Check out how OBL's compound was so near to hospitals, college, the movie theater, etc.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The dudes whooping and chanting U-S-A are kinda like a Randy Quaid character from a National Lampoon movie.
posted by strange chain at 10:56 PM on May 1, 2011


With the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan had no strategic options. You bet it was all over.

Paul Fussell explained his fear that his unit, which had survived the fighting in Europe, would be shot to pieces conquering Japan, in his book Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.
posted by orthogonality at 10:56 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


The local Fox affiliate in NYC is the only site I could find with a working live video link. There is no audio to tell me what I'm looking at.

Anything else? Bueller?
posted by chemoboy at 10:56 PM on May 1, 2011


All over but the shouting.

Yeah, not in Japan, where the US was facing the prospect of much greater resistance than they encountered in Europe.


May I suggest you read The Invasion of Japan by Professor Lee Ray Skates.<
posted by Ironmouth at 10:57 PM on May 1, 2011


In a few weeks or months, when the ripples from this have dissipated a bit, I hope a perceptive and sensitive journalist/academic combs through threads like this one and provides an analysis about the debate about appropriate affect (or the lack of any appropriate affect) in response to this event. A lot of people are registering ambivalence/confusion on here, several are jubilant, several are disgusted, a few are despairing, many are still anxious, a few are skeptical, and many of us are worried about how other people's public displays of affect will impact how this event will be remembered. I'm certainly not about to make an argument for what the right emotional reaction to this should be (although I'm admittedly unsettled by the unbridled/drunken nationalism throbbing in front of the White House), but I think this debate will be fascinating to scholars of political affect, trauma, etc.
posted by LMGM at 10:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think "don't organize terrorism attacks against us: we'll hunt you down and execute you" is a perfectly fine message to send to the world.

The slippery slope is pretty well gritted up at the "killing bin Laden" end of the ramp.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh good we're on this tangent cause this this is totally just like world war two and looks and acts just like it in every way.
posted by The Whelk at 10:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


chemoboy, try AlJazeera's English feed on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/aljazeeraenglish

The live feed is down the page a bit.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:57 PM on May 1, 2011


Some comments on Twitter that CNN is reporting that key intel for the operation came from Guantanamo Bay detainees. Any confirmation of this?
posted by BobbyVan at 10:58 PM on May 1, 2011


Hehe -- we've got LOLCATS on the case.
posted by bardic at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lovecraft in Brooklyn: "I'm often found drunkenly singing the Star-Spangled Banner and being an Ugly American but the fact that it took us 10 years to kill bin Laden isn't exactly filling me with pride."

If you can sing it, that means you aren't drunk (according to some).
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2011


LONDON - The couple, walking hand in hand on the grounds of Buckingham Palace, boarded a helicopter Saturday morning to a secret location, then issued a statement asking to be left alone. He will return to military duty as a helicopter rescue pilot after the holiday weekend.

ISLAMABAD - Osama bin Laden was killed in a helicopter raid on a mansion in an area north of the Pakistani capital, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Monday.

Until I hear otherwise, I'm going to assume that Prince William just pulled off the most awesome wedding and honeymoon combination known to mankind.
posted by rh at 10:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [100 favorites]


Personal opinion: the slippery slope here isn't in the killing of Osama Bin Laden (though it sure ought to be). Its in our reactions today.

10 years of fighting, 4000+ troops dead, tens of thousands of civilians dead, and centuries of civil liberties rolled back all to cut off the hydra's head. Once.

And then we all go around shouting BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD AND SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE just to show the world how much we really love vengeance.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:00 PM on May 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Sigh. Unfortunately, the other great evil in our world, Fox News, is still alive and kicking.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:00 PM on May 1, 2011


If it was that lady who was on twenty minutes ago it seemed more like making shit up than reporting as such.
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011


Great, LMGM, now I'm on record saying it's "pretty fuckin' awesome." I think the celebrating is understandable but unfortunate. I know my immediate thought was that this would enable a draw down of forces in Afghanistan and if I'm not drunk. Probably not going to happen, but there's at least a chance for a radical change in the way we're prosecuting the War on Terror (ugh).

Would have preferred he was captured alive, but I never expected that.
posted by polyhedron at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011


Actually, I think you are simply trying to stir the shit.

There is no reason to say this.

Like any military mission, the rules of engagement would be spelled out clearly and in extreme detail in this case. [...] people that have served in the military in special forces. [...] are intelligent, thoughtful, and detail oriented people.

I absolutely believe this. I'm sure the rules of engagement were very clear, and I'm sure there was high professionalism and planning and care.

I'm curious about it. That is not shit-stirring. I know that we'll have to wait to get more details; I'm trying to glean what I can from reports that are coming out now. That's not soapboxing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Paul Fussell explained his fear that his unit, which had survived the fighting in Europe, would be shot to pieces conquering Japan, in his book Thank God for the Atomic Bomb.

You need to read the Coronet and Olympic invasion plans and the Japanese defense plans. The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary.
<
posted by Ironmouth at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is at this night that any more "Obama cannot do X, he has too little political capital to spare" ceases to be a valid excuse.
posted by adipocere at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


To the extent that we celebrate the violent slaughter of our enemies and wish for their dismembered bodies to be displayed publicly, maybe there's some decay. Just a little.

Decay from what? What mystical era in American history are you referring to? The Revolutionary War when we killed people by tarring and feathering? Or lynched them? Or fired on the lifeboats?

America treats our enemies now better than we ever have in our history. Compare the precision bombing that mistakenly kills a few innocents to the firebombing of Dresden.

I must have missed the countries that live up to your expectation of how to behave during war.

You might not like American foreign policy, there's several parts of it I dislike, but to conflate that with the ideas that Americans today are worse than Americans of the past is simply not supported.

Americans today are more tolerant and understanding than at any other time in our history. We still have a very long way to go to improve our society, but to say we are going backwards is something I vehemently disagree with.
posted by Argyle at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [38 favorites]


And then we all go around shouting BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD AND SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE just to show the world how much we really love vengeance.

Well, I wasn't before, but that's pretty catchy.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


And down to the right. Let's try this again:

AlJazeera English on Youtube, both livestream and clips.

See also: AlJazeera's English homepage, and their main streaming English feed page.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2011


This just in: Osama Bin Laden is still dead.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's great knowing that this is one moment that won't be soured by the same tired old snippy partisan bickering, right? ...Right? Hello?
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 11:02 PM on May 1, 2011


The reviews are in!
posted by ColdChef at 11:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


For those saying that the 'frat boys' are giving off a bad image let me give you a little perspective. I am 24 years old, I was 14 when September 11th attacks happened. Being 14 and born in 1986 I wasn't alive for the Korean War or the Vietnam War. My generation didn't know what Desert Storm was all about. We were kids and we lived peaceful life, everything was amazing for us, people in the country were happy the economy was doing well, the only worry anybody had was Y2K. Then all of a sudden one day out of the blue a group of people flew 2 planes into the World Trade Center and killed 2974 people.

I can't speak for everybody from my generation but this attack shocked and changed all of my friends and I, we had no idea that people hated us on this scale and wanted to kill innocent people. To me at least, Osama bin Laden was the worst man ever. That was 10 years ago and since then we have grown up with this war going on in Afghanistan and have watched our friends go over there and server and man die. I can't remember what its like to not hear about the War in Afghanistan or the War in Iraq every day.

While talking with friends tonight, we were talking about how people who we went to with in high school were serving in Afghanistan and how our generation contributed and made an impact on this war. So far this is the moment when we can come together in celebrate something and be proud for our country and accomplishing something as a country. I hope this gives a little perspective so you don't assume that these are 'stupid frat boys' out to party, celebrate his death and make the country look bad.
posted by lilkeith07 at 11:02 PM on May 1, 2011 [92 favorites]


With the unconditional surrender of Germany, Japan had no strategic options. You bet it was all over.

My point was, sure from a theoretical and ahistorical point of view we can comfortably say that in May 1944 the war was on its way to ending, but for people here at home worried about their loved ones in harm's way, it was by no means over, and a lot more people were going to die before peace was declared. A celebration like this would have been considered premature. V-E day was widely celebrated but even as it was being celebrated there was still the awareness that Japan needed to be defeated, and recall that most Americans had absolutely no idea there was going to be an atomic bomb to help out, so they expected a long grueling air and land war with plenty of atrocity and slaughter in the Pacific, just like they'd been experiencing all along. IN the "redeployment" it was thought It was a step along the path but there were many "harsh facts " You can find many articles describing how much longer the way might go on, the potential strategy, deployments, etc. In other words, everyone knew the war was not over yet, even if they were confident enough of ultimate victory. From today's vantage point it looks like a done deal, but reading daily news reports from the time period makes clear that a lot of anxiety and questions remained well after V-E day.
posted by Miko at 11:03 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some comments on Twitter that CNN is reporting that key intel for the operation came from Guantanamo Bay detainees. Any confirmation of

Wait, the guys who were captured in 2002 (many of them innocent shepherds turned in because we were paying reward money for any warm body) knew where Osama was in 2011?

Really, Osama knew that guys who knew where he was living had been in custody, and tortured, for years and yet he stayed a sitting duck in that same place? Really?

None of this intel came form Guantanamo; that's just a line of BS brought to you by those whose interests are served in keeping Guantanamo open.
posted by orthogonality at 11:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [31 favorites]


America treats our enemies now better than we ever have in our history.

We're on record for torturing our captives, even if the goalposts keep shifting on the language. You can't unring that bell.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:04 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


You need to read ... the Japanese defense plans

Yeah, if only Truman had read the Japanese defence plans, he would have known that dropping the atomic bomb was unnecessary.
posted by Dasein at 11:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


anger over our absurdly low collective ethical standards, and a bit of fear. People think this shit is a game of fucking Age of Empires -- we "won"!

Millions of Americans are pretty stupid yes. We got 2 poll results -- in 2000 the number of actively stupid people came in at 50,456,002 plus an unknown number of the 140,000 non-Gore voters in Fl who wish they could have their vote back now.

You just gotta expect a very broad range of reactions in this -- good, bad, ugly.
posted by mokuba at 11:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Best tweet so far: "FOX NEWS' TAKE: "African American Male in Washington Confesses to Murder of Elderly Man.""
posted by bardic at 11:05 PM on May 1, 2011 [40 favorites]


I'm kind of surprised that people think it's totally cool that Navy Seals stormed in to kill Osama Bin Laden, and did so in the course of some sort of gun battle, and did so, (and I don't disagree!) but on the other hand are totally indignant at the suggestion that the man might have been 'executed'.
What exactly is the difference? It certainly wouldn't be without precedent. The SAS executed all of the terrorists who had taken over the Iranian Embassy in 1981, the Russians did the same to the Chechens in the Beslan school in 2004 and in the Moscow theatre a few years ago.
posted by Flashman at 11:06 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fuck me, seriously?
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


For his next trick, Obama will show up with Hurricane Katrina trussed up in the back of his Bamobile and send her to jail for 200 years. Nevertheless, concerned internet haters complain that he should really be punishing the oil companies that caused Global Warming. Nonplussed, he gives up and lets Cancer escape on a snowmobile.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:07 PM on May 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


celebrate something and be proud for our country and accomplishing something as a country

Sigh. I feel like America just got a diploma from one of those diploma mills that offer degrees for money; a very impressive piece of paper that says: In recognition of executing a bad guy.
posted by Omon Ra at 11:08 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary."

I disagree. As mentioned, by definition the US didn't know the full story of the Japanese defense situation.

And if it was unnecessary to use against Japan, it arguably precluded an armed conflict with the Soviet Union.
posted by bardic at 11:09 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


So far this is the moment when we can come together in celebrate something and be proud for our country and accomplishing something as a country. I hope this gives a little perspective so you don't assume that these are 'stupid frat boys' out to party, celebrate his death and make the country look bad.

I understand the sense of celebration. I just don't share it. I'm glad that Obama suddenly seems to be NOT a lame duck ... and that's about it. Violence just isn't a solution. It's a tactic, no question, and one I've resorted to far too often. But, in the long run, I don't see it leading to anything but more permutations of the same.

All You Need Is Love. easy to say ...
posted by philip-random at 11:09 PM on May 1, 2011


And then we all go around shouting BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD AND SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE just to show the world how much we really love vengeance.

Not all of us are doing this. This is the kind of over-generalization that leads to not being able to understand complicated things.
posted by mokuba at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary.

Yes, but the soldiers on the ground in Europe didn't think that. And that wasn't your original argument, so let's not digress.

Your original argument was that Japan's surrender was inevitable once Germany fell -- and that that was obvious on the ground. Yes to the first (depending on how long drawn out "inevitable" can be made to be), emphatically no to the second, at least if we trust the contemporary reports of the men who were there, over your ex post facto analysis.
posted by orthogonality at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guardian obit
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2011


"Heh, my parents are on a cruise to Israel right now. Kind of hoping the state department just tells them to stay on the boat, but this means a lot to them."

The state department isn't forcing anyone to stay on a boat, but I just got an embassy alert email saying:

"The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad to the enhanced potential for anti-American violence following recent counter-terrorism activity in Pakistan. Given the uncertainty and volatility of the current situation, U.S. citizens in areas where recent events could cause anti-American violence are strongly urged to limit their travel outside of their homes and hotels and avoid mass gatherings and demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times. This Travel Alert expires August 1, 2011. "
posted by Bugbread at 11:10 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


"FOX NEWS' TAKE: "African American Male in Washington Confesses to Murder of Elderly Man."

Do you think FOX would use a phrase like "African American"? I don't.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2011


Sky News / Al Jazeera English: Pakistani media show pictures of what they claim is Osama bin Laden's body
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2011


You need to read the Coronet and Olympic invasion plans and the Japanese defense plans. The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary.

But this tangent is about how the US was or was not in the mood to celebrate the end of the war when Hitler died. At that point, the US public did not know that the use of the A-bomb was imminent, they were not privy to the invasion plans of the US and Japan, and while victory was assured – victory was assured well before that – the cost certainly wasn't, and the US was yet to take Okinawa. The prospect the US people faced, as far as they knew, was months of bloody fighting against a fearless enemy that would fight to the death. That's not a point where you want to start celebrating just yet.
posted by furiousthought at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


The joke from the clip rhaome just posted, about cspan being the 'channel of screens of chairs waiting for people', and everyone laughed, I like to think that President Obama made it clear that real change takes place as punctuated equilibrium, slowly, but fast once it's in the tubes (cus they're creaking).

And none of the punditry, nor scrolling text, nor b-roll monkey bars, machine guns and stock OBL footage could change that the major networks were just that today. The President goes home, a solitary figure, just like any other night, there is quiet for a moment, and the field is set for the resumption of the circus. But tonight, tonight the 24 hour circuses were exactly what cspan is, the slow game, invested with length, and reality based programming. Thank you socialized information sources for always being like that, the players in that fine profession the institution of journalism, could learn much from you.

I am saddened to see gloating, or people behaving like my worst odds.
Proud to see the officials being respectful of the body. It actually does take a powerful fighter to be tasteful about vanquished foes.
He was a bad man. He hurt all 'sides' of the world for certain.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]



The reviews are in!

Kurt ‎ - May 2, 2011
Looks like a typical Bluth Company house.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:11 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


"We're on record for torturing our captives, even if the goalposts keep shifting on the language. You can't unring that bell."

No, but you can go forward and promise to never do it again. We all need to admit our mistakes, punish the guilty and move on. Hopefully that's what the death of Osama will become: an endpoint to the dark years and moral decay of the oughts, and the start of something better.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:12 PM on May 1, 2011 [36 favorites]


This thread is moving so FAST.
posted by nile_red at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2011


CBS News: Bin Laden's body taken to Bagram Airfield
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2011


The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary.

tell my dad that, who was in Oklahoma (mid-summer) getting acclimatized for jungle warfare when he heard the news. Two weeks later, he was on his way home. "You exist because of the a-bomb." He said that to me more than once.
posted by philip-random at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Best tweet so far: "FOX NEWS' TAKE: "African American Male in Washington Confesses to Murder of Elderly Man.""

i've already seen the call to take away obama's nobel because he ordered the murder of an invalid.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Omon Ra, It's more like something that we have great relief we finally managed, since there is this well-known Hollywood version of US invincibility where we can find people by commandeering satellites, see through walls with our night vision goggles, and snipe the guy through brick and concrete, so why hadn't we done that already?

I remember back when some hostages were located in Beirut and rescued and a pre-FOX-era right-wing war nerd confidently said "They knew exactly where those guys were the whole time -- they just waited until the right moment." I see.
posted by dhartung at 11:13 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bah. Obama's just trying to deflect attention from the birther controversy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:14 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some comments on Twitter that CNN is reporting that key intel for the operation came from Guantanamo Bay detainees. Any confirmation of this?

I just found this quote from a National Journal report, that seems to verify -- in part -- the rumored CNN report above.
In September 2010, the CIA presented Obama with a set of assessments that indicated bin Laden could be hiding in a compound in northwest Pakistan. Starting in mid-March, the president convened at least nine National Security Council meetings to discuss the intelligence suggesting bin Laden may be hiding out virtually in plain sight.

The CIA developed their theory through leads from individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle and other captured fighters following Sept. 11. Intelligence officials were repeatedly told about one courier working for bin Laden, as someone that America’s Most Wanted Man deeply trusted.

The detainees provided U.S. officials the courier’s nickname, and identified him as protégé of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and a trusted assistant of Abu Faraj al Libbi, once al-Qaida’s third highest ranking official. (He was captured in 2005).
posted by BobbyVan at 11:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


posted by UbuRoivas Obama's just trying to deflect attention from the birther controversy.

Indeed. Today, we're mirthers.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:15 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's not often I high five my wife over breakfast after finding out that a human being has died.
posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 11:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


We're on record for torturing our captives, even if the goalposts keep shifting on the language. You can't unring that bell.

Again, in what mystical era did this not occur? Are you suggesting that torture did not occur before 9/11? The fact that the topic being discussed openly and actively debated is a huge step forward.

I get that you don't like what's going on today, and I probably agree with several of your concerns. But I think you are making a mistake to say that America is getting worse.

I stand by my position that America continues to improve, obviously not at the rate we might all like, but nonetheless, it's improving in many tangible ways. 50 years ago, I could not have married my wife due to miscegenation laws. My children's schools are not segregated. My military in voluntary, not compulsory. I could go on, but hopefully you get my point.
posted by Argyle at 11:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


at least if we trust the contemporary reports of the men who were there, over your ex post facto analysis.

The US Army told Truman the invasion of Japan would cost 25,000 casualties. Before the bomb was dropped. These are well, well-documented facts. Ex post facto shit. That was the data given to Truman before the bomb was dropped. Shit aint even classified. This is reality, not made up.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:16 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Six months after 9/11, George W. Bush was "truly not concerned about bin Laden."
posted by bardic at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2011


And then we all go around shouting BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD AND SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE just to show the world how much we really love vengeance.

I thought we were shouting that because Nurgle doesn't have a catchy slogan.
posted by Bugbread at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


I favorited Kevin Street's comment. I hope you'll favorite it too.

I don't believe it'll happen, but I favorited it.
posted by orthogonality at 11:17 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bah. Obama's just trying to deflect attention from the birther controversy.

funnier considering that when clinton, while president, used to talk about the pending threat of terrorism and osama bin laden, and republicans and some of the press accused him of just trying to deflect attention from his own scandals.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Thanks Bugbread. It's a complicated situation but my dad doesn't take advice well and this is literally my mom's last opportunity to travel abroad so they'll probably risk it. Oh well, I was already stressed out.
posted by polyhedron at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2011


Two weeks later, he was on his way home. "You exist because of the a-bomb." He said that to me more than once.

He was probably wrong. In hindsight, the Potsdam Declaration could have been massaged a bit better to get the Japanese to sign off on surrender.

The center of the Japanese bargaining position was self-disarmement, no allied occupation, and no allied criminal trials, but if we had been a bit more clear about the future status of the Emperor, we could have probably gotten the other side to lay down their rifles.

Again, this is in hindsight. The Germans fought the Russians to the last bullet just about, and I don't fault Truman et al for not expecting any less from the Japanese.
posted by mokuba at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2011


posted by Bugbread Nurgle doesn't have a catchy slogan.

"Jihad just got a little jiharder"
posted by mattdidthat at 11:18 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Alright, alright, if that's conventional American vernacular, I stand corrected, but to me it's a puzzling choice of words.

Would you find "the suspect was killed after an exchange of gunfire with police" equally puzzling? It's certainly somewhat ambiguous, but I don't see any reason to lean towards any one interpretation. Not sure if it's a USain thing or not.
posted by floam at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011


My most profound hope is that in some way this will serve to recalibrate the U.S. political landscape of rabid, frothing, self-destructive, all-consuming hate that has dominated the last 10 years.

Perhaps this is just foolish idea... but I've been feeling that nothing short of a truly massive large-scale U.S. natural disaster – or perhaps an attack by extraterrestrials – could prompt people to stop for one moment, take a breath, and decide they feel that they are better served by mostly playing on the same team instead of perpetrating the daily grinding, mindless, mechanical dismantling of every aspect of U.S. strength, prosperity, and freedom. Is this big enough news to reboot the process at all? My inner realist says "no," but I'm turning her off for a few hours anyway and enjoying my fantasy.
posted by taz at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011


Six months after 9/11, George W. Bush was "truly not concerned about bin Laden."

To give the devil his due: I've been seeing a lot people call the death of Osama a purely symbolic victory, that it doesn't really change much, and that OBL wasn't the guy who planned 9/11 anyhow.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011


A dad brought a flag and a photo of his dead son to the White House. "He's been vindicated."

I think the spontaneous gatherings in DC and New York deserve a lot more credit and sympathy than the "frat boy" smear would warrant.
posted by bardic at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


Again, in what mystical era did this not occur? Are you suggesting that torture did not occur before 9/11?


No, it just wasn't condoned by the general populace or hidden away in jargon.
posted by Omon Ra at 11:19 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Let's not let this detract from the Obama administration's other recent accomplishment: Incorporating ODB's "Shimmy Shimmy Ya" into the White House Correspondents' Dinner.

And getting it stuck in my head all day
posted by evidenceofabsence at 11:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Bah. Obama's just trying to deflect attention from the birther controversy.

Orly Taitz is actually saying that. It's impossible to satire these people.
posted by scalefree at 11:20 PM on May 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


then we all go around shouting BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD AND SKULLS FOR HIS THRONE

No. No. No. It's BLOOD AND SOULS FOR MY LORD ARIOCH!!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:21 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


No Justice, No Peace.
Know Justice, Know Peace.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:22 PM on May 1, 2011


The US Army told Truman the invasion of Japan would cost 25,000 casualties.

? We took ~80,000 casualties in the Battle of Okinawa. You need to re-check your history by expanding your reading I think, Ironmouth.
posted by mokuba at 11:22 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.

Everything I've read says it is. It's a rich suburban neighborhood mostly populated by retired military officers.
posted by scalefree at 11:22 PM on May 1, 2011


Again, in what mystical era did this not occur? Are you suggesting that torture did not occur before 9/11?

No, it just wasn't condoned by the general populace or hidden away in jargon.


I'm cribbing here from Zizek, but maybe the real horror about America's torture is that, even when Americans found out that we were torturing people, the public didn't care. There used to be this tact in play, that we wouldn't talk about the torture America does, that it only happened off-site and/or in "ticking bomb" situations to Really Bad People, but after the façade comes down, after we see how common and uselessly torture was applied to people who didn't deserve it, we saw how maybe that tact was never really necessary.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:23 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.
Everything I've read says it is. It's a rich suburban neighborhood mostly populated by retired military officers.


Which just makes this all the more uncomfortable for Pakistan. There's a lot of explaining to do about that.
posted by LMGM at 11:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


But I think you are making a mistake to say that America is getting worse.

We're in a country where — since 9/11 — citizens sat by passively while the PATRIOT Act gets signed in, American Muslims are Othered by an increasingly popular fascist political movement (one that does the same thing to a sitting President), stateless captives get taken to the off-shore equivalent of a concentration camp, others get "disappeared" by past and sitting Presidents who exercise "extraordinary rendition" — and when we finally have a chance to make a truly symbolic break with the ugliness of the last ten years, the best we seem to manage is to celebrate Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert-style.

The mistake isn't to say that America is getting worse. The mistake is to ignore how bad it is now and how much worse it will get.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


@ReallyVirtual Sohaib Athar (an IT guy who's in Abbottobad) on Twitter, where the helicopter crash happened just north of the Osama Bin Laden compound

Al Jazeera live | the million dollar mansion in Abbottobad considered to have been built specifically for OBL five years ago. In the raid on the compound 3 other men killed and 2 or 3 other women.

Al Jazeera Twitter stream

Via NYTJim on Twitter ABC's @jonkarl says "informed source" told him US intends to bury Bin Laden at sea. http://abcn.ws/mSWQuK (via @blakehounshell)

posted by nickyskye at 11:25 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think the horrifying thing about the past decade (well, one of the many horrifying things) is the defense of state-sanctioned torture. In the past, it was at least illegal in the US.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Would you find "the suspect was killed after an exchange of gunfire with police" equally puzzling? It's certainly somewhat ambiguous, but I don't see any reason to lean towards any one interpretation. Not sure if it's a USain thing or not.

Ok, one more shot at this. (I realize this is a very small point, and honestly, not wanting a fight.)

The line in the speech is:
"After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body."

The examples given upthread are slightly different, using passive voice:
After a shootout the suspect was killed by police.

I think it's the active voice construction (with the action coming in the second clause: "after x, they killed") that makes it sound like two separate events - the firefight and the killing. So it's more like:
After a shootout, the police killed the suspect.

(I don't know if that makes much of a difference. I certainly see the interpretation of the phrasing is ambiguous between "as a result of a firefight, they killed him" and "subsequent to a firefight, they killed him".)
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:26 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


The US Army told Truman the invasion of Japan would cost 25,000 casualties.

Given that the invasion of Okinawa cost more than 50,000 casualties, I simply can't believe this. Somebody missed a couple of zeros, methinks.
posted by Dasein at 11:27 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Violence is not the solution. But it can be a solution. OBL problem: solved. Ding! Next problem in line, please!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:28 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mind you, people gathered in thoughtful, quiet introspection make for poor television.

Somehow throwing the spotlight on the barbaric reactions of a few seems it might be motivated by more than just 'good television'. What the hell is going on with the media, anyway? Even BBC and AJE are partying. Are there *any* intelligent lifeforms in media?
posted by Surfurrus at 11:28 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.

If you are a bad guy, it makes sense to put your villainy lair next to a lot of civilian stuff that your enemies won't want to bomb.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:28 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This one? It's what you get for googling "Abbottabad" itself...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:28 PM on May 1, 2011


Fucking hell, I'm guessing the ISI is collectively shitting it's pants right now.
posted by fido~depravo at 11:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


One thing has me confused. Most of the earlier reports say he was killed a week ago but the latest evidence, for instance the Twitter guy, says it happened about 10 hours ago. The most likely explanation is confusion in the earlier reports but it's a discrepancy that needs resolving & explanation.
posted by scalefree at 11:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


...Right by the playground, the women and children's hospital, the nerdy graduate students and LADY GARDEN PARK.

Those yanqui pigs better not have damaged the lady garden, that's all I'm saying.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a week: birth certificate, wedding certificate, death certificate.
posted by nickyskye at 11:30 PM on May 1, 2011 [55 favorites]


nickyskye not to mention near sainthood
posted by Omon Ra at 11:32 PM on May 1, 2011


the lady garden,

good name for some kind of band
posted by philip-random at 11:32 PM on May 1, 2011


no more mayday for you commies only VT Day now
posted by klangklangston at 11:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


One thing has me confused. Most of the earlier reports say he was killed a week ago but the latest evidence, for instance the Twitter guy, says it happened about 10 hours ago. The most likely explanation is confusion in the earlier reports but it's a discrepancy that needs resolving & explanation.

In the hours after a major announcement like this, tons of reports go out that state all sorts of things, some true, some rumor, some things people pulled out of the air. Its important to remember that the reality of the situation won't become clear until later - if it ever does at all. Trying to reconcile different news stories from different people with different agendas will just give you a headache.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I'm guessing the ISI is collectively shitting it's pants right now"

Eh, they must have been in on it. The political pressure for hiding OBL was getting to be too much. Either that, or Obama sweetened the pot with some hard cash and/or some shiny new military jets.
posted by bardic at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.

If you are a bad guy, it makes sense to put your villainy lair next to a lot of civilian stuff that your enemies won't want to bomb.


Apparently, the compound was built at the end of a road, and the neighbourhood has grown up around it. (More details about the compound at that link.)
posted by Dasein at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2011


There used to be this tact in play, that we wouldn't talk about the torture America does, that it only happened off-site and/or in "ticking bomb" situations to Really Bad People, but after the façade comes down, after we see how common and uselessly torture was applied to people who didn't deserve it, we saw how maybe that tact was never really necessary.

Yeah, that's true and it's not. A few years ago I'd have written exactly what you did.

But in light of our "torture renaissance", I thought about it and -- we have a long history of torture. Every lynching of every black man (and some non-blacks too) was proceeded by torture and maiming, usually in front of an excited approving crowd of spectators including children.

Slavery, and later Jim Crow, were both maintained with whip and torture. Torture wasn't just ubiquitous, it was employed not just to "protect national security" but as a common tool of social control and economic gain -- a whipped and cowed slave, the theory went, produced more cotton.

So looking back on it, I've concluded torture is not at all an anomaly -- our reticence about publicly using it is the ahistorical anomaly.
posted by orthogonality at 11:33 PM on May 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


If you are a bad guy, it makes sense to put your villainy lair next to a lot of civilian stuff that your enemies won't want to bomb.

It also makes life a hell of a lot more comfortable when you're a multimillionaire with chronic health problems who needs occasional runs to the convenience store to grab Hi8 tapes (not to mention a place to plug in your camera). In retrospect, the "OBL hides in caves" theory was always sort of weak - wouldn't it be much more suspicious for a guy to travel with bodyguards and a dialysis machine and, presumably, a generator, along the craggy faces of forbidding mountains, as opposed to simply chillin' in a compound and paying off the local police force?

By the by, I'm reposting this just because things get lost in this thread, but this War Nerd post on Al Qaeda from a few days ago truly is fantastic.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:34 PM on May 1, 2011


That Google Maps location isn't legit, is it? Seems so very central, plus being terribly conveniently surrounded by hospitals and schools, etc.

That location puts him right between the Taj Mahal Cinema and Abbottabad Presbyterian Church, so at least he had things to do at the weekend.
posted by rh at 11:35 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I doubt he was killed 10hrs ago. The deep of night would be an excellent time to infiltrate his compound. And Obama wouldn't still have been in writing mode, delaying the speech.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:35 PM on May 1, 2011


the lady garden,

good name for some kind of band


That's what Jeremy Clarkson calls...uh...the female equivalent of "gentleman sausage."
posted by Dasein at 11:35 PM on May 1, 2011


Can we not have the goddamn Hiroshima A-bomb -- right or wrong -- debate here? For fuck's sake, it's a stupid argument that can never be answered and totally irrelevant to this thread.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


I doubt he was killed 10hrs ago. The deep of night would be an excellent time to infiltrate his compound.

10 hours ago was the deep of night.
posted by Bugbread at 11:37 PM on May 1, 2011


I'm glad to see that the "OBL issue" has been resolved and at first it was wonderful to see Ground Zero and Lafayette Park fill with cheering people, but as Surfurrus said, it seems like the "party" atmosphere is the focus. One college student was asked on MSNBC what she thought about it, and she exclaimed "It's America! He's Dead! It's Time to Party", as if any of those three, short sentences should be connected.

But I can't bring myself to blame the individuals, per se. We tend to be much more barbaric when our actions are collective and spontaneous. So to see the media focus on these outbursts, they are jumping on the bandwagon of rambling insanity. It's not newsworthy to quietly ponder the consequences and express solemn thankfulness that one less person can cause terror in the world. A high five has always been louder than a hug.
posted by Angulimala at 11:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Any chance the US could put bin Laden's corpse on display, and then kill him again?

Because I'd pay to see that.
posted by bwg at 11:37 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


All this narrativization about why it makes sense for Osama to live amid hospitals is interesting and all, but the fact that it's the google maps result for "Abbottabad" makes it seem like a lazy rumor. I don't really like lazy rumors in my metafilter. Where's the legitimate info about the location, please?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:37 PM on May 1, 2011


"Saddam Hussain would still be in power in Iraq"

Given how much money and how many lives we lost (speaking as an American), do you really think the on-going occupation of Iraq was worth it?

Here's a hint -- he was "our guy" in the 80's. We gave him lots of money and guns. Donald Rumsfeld even visited him and shook his hand.

But jeez, you piss of the Saudis just a little and America swoops in to spend our tax money to defend one authoritarian regime and establish another.
posted by bardic at 11:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Eh, they must have been in on it.

Nope - various reports are that Pakistan was informed after the raid. Which would make sense, given how corrupt the ISI is. You don't risk this news leaking.
posted by Dasein at 11:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


You seem genuinely upset that Osama Bin Laden is dead Blazecock Pileon. I'm sorry the news has put such a crimp in your day.

Hey, yo, this is a happy day. That kind of crap is totally not necessary.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:38 PM on May 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


No way they would have told the Pakistani government beforehand -- the ISI must have known where he was for a long while and would have had him out of there if they'd known a mission was in the works.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 11:40 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


All this narrativization about why it makes sense for Osama to live amid hospitals is interesting and all, but the fact that it's the google maps result for "Abbottabad" makes it seem like a lazy rumor. I don't really like lazy rumors in my metafilter. Where's the legitimate info about the location, please?

It's a relatively well-heeled tourist spot a la Vail or the Hamptons, according to Twitter and Wikipedia. So, barring more official info to the contrary, while the exact street address might be phony, it's not mere narrativization to comment on how that place is full of modern amenities.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:41 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


But there's a reason we don't usually try to do this stuff here, on MeFi. Privately, it's okay to react however you want. But it's best to give yourself that time to react, then come back, join the dialogue when you're more composed, more coherent, and more dignified.

I think one of the most wonderful things about the internet-- about Metafilter, about Twitter, about Reddit, etc-- is that we're creating a record of people's real current thoughts and emotions about things for future anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and anyone else who cares to look at it.
posted by NoraReed at 11:42 PM on May 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


His compound was close to hospitals and clinics, eh?

Gee, perhaps he did not have a handy dialysis machine in a cave after all? Perhaps some "intelligence" agency coulda figured this out sooner.
posted by jkaczor at 11:42 PM on May 1, 2011


Hey, yo, this is a happy day.

ding dong - the witch is dead
posted by philip-random at 11:42 PM on May 1, 2011


You seem genuinely upset that Osama Bin Laden is dead Blazecock Pileon. [...snip raving nonsense...] having voted for David 'the beast' Cameron.
posted by joannemullen at 2:35 AM on May 2 [+]

Please give it a rest. You're not arguing with people in good faith, you're making up wild, baseless claims about what they believe and playing the poor little conservative victim.
posted by stavrogin at 11:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [21 favorites]




For Osama's wives, what's the protocol for expressing sympathies? Do we send one condolence to all of them, or separate condolences to each one? Because that 1-800-FLOWERS order is gonna cost bank!
posted by mattdidthat at 11:43 PM on May 1, 2011


You're criticizing people for celebrating Bin Laden's death?

Are you the guy who walked out of "The Wizard of Oz" when the Munchkins started singing "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead"?!?
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:43 PM on May 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


I doubt he was killed 10hrs ago. The deep of night would be an excellent time to infiltrate his compound. And Obama wouldn't still have been in writing mode, delaying the speech.

@ReallyVirtual who was apparently in the neighborhood twittering the event live, puts it at 1AM local time or about 10 hours ago.
posted by scalefree at 11:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Any chance the US could put bin Laden's corpse on display, and then kill him again?

We really don't need a Two Minutes' Hate.
posted by narwhal bacon at 11:44 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe not the place and time for this, but here goes:

A friend was teaching English in Japan in 2001, her students folded 1000 cranes and shipped them to me with the request that would be placed in a memorial at the Pentagon. When I learned about this I did my best over the phone and email to get in touch with someone at the Pentagon and the Washington Post to hand over the cranes to someone "official" to honor the students wishes. No luck for weeks of effort. Nobody wanted to officially receive a thousand cranes from elementary students in Japan, security was ratcheting up and I was on the outside looking in.

Then the box arrived, this was late January or early February 2002, one thousand hand-folded cranes. There was no note, no picture of the students, no context. It was just an earnest wish for healing and recovery in my living room, it was moving and emotionally difficult. It was a beautiful thing to see.

We gave it a couple days, took pictures of the cranes and tried to reach out the media and the Pentagon to find someone to officially receive this gift from the Japanese children. No luck. We couldn't sit on the cranes so we packed them in the car and headed to the Pentagon. We decided to do it ourselves.

In my memory it was really cold and windy. We parked in the pentagon lot and hiked up to the area where the damaged section of the Pentagon could be viewed. There were maybe a hundred people there, in small groups, quiet and somber. There were many three or four year-old saplings that were memorial focus points for flowers and cards.

We had to hang the thousand cranes, so I tied a rope to my car keys and thew them over a tree. It was a big to-do, we got the cranes tied up to a little tree that served as an impromptu memorial.

It was difficult, we have some pictures of me and my ladyfriend trying to hang the cranes. Mostly we were laughing out asses off, it was uncomfortably awkward just to go about an ordinary day.
posted by peeedro at 11:45 PM on May 1, 2011 [20 favorites]


over 1000 comments in four hours, and at least 200 of them which we will not regret in the morning...
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


From Big Picture photoblog successor In Focus: Osama Bin Laden Killed: Worldwide Reactions
posted by Rhaomi at 11:46 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


narwhal bacon: "Two Minutes' Hate"

I was hoping for at least 5 minutes.
posted by bwg at 11:47 PM on May 1, 2011


Stitcherbeast, I'm just disconcerted by how quickly people believe something connected to an indexical representation. Stick a pin on a map and it becomes believable. *eyeroll* Maybe it makes some interesting sense to imagine OBL living amid hospitals, so as to resist being bombed, so as to get the treatments he needed, so as to flout any claims of flying under the Pakistani radar, but until the location is legitimated, there's no fucking reason to think any of these things, actually, except to asist in the spinning of idle yarns.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:47 PM on May 1, 2011


Stitcherbeast, I'm just disconcerted by how quickly people believe something connected to an indexical representation.

Fair enough, but Abottabad is still rife with amenities. If he was anywhere within Abottabad, then he was near the hospitals and such. If you don't think he was captured in Abottabad, then I don't know what to tell you.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2011




Osama Bin Laden was assassinated in 2007 according to Benazir Bhutto (former Prime Minister of Pakistan who was assassinated). At 2:16 in the video.
posted by nickyskye at 11:57 PM on May 1, 2011


othrogonality: Humor is not allowed on MeFi if it touches on any third rail topics, even if it is in direct reference to the post you are replying to. You can disparage entire countries, individuals, concepts, professions, and segments of populations as long as you clear it with the Ministry of MeTa and don't offend any special snowflakes.
posted by Argyle at 11:57 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


the lady garden,

good name for some kind of band

That's what Jeremy Clarkson calls...uh...the female equivalent of "gentleman sausage."


It's also the name used for the backing group of a female Aussie singer songwriter. Clare Bowditch? Holly Throsby maybe?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2011


posted by nile_red WHO JUST HAPPENS TO HAVE AN AMERICAN FLAG BODYSUIT?

Patriot Man? PATMAN!
posted by mattdidthat at 11:59 PM on May 1, 2011


ok, WHO JUST HAPPENS TO HAVE AN AMERICAN FLAG BODYSUIT?

All Americans are required to own at least one piece of tacky, American-flag-related bodywear. For most, it comes down to a choice between an American flag bikini and a pair of American flag Zubaz, but some of the more fashionable Americans enjoy the silky smooth feeling of a spandex bodysuit.
posted by cmonkey at 11:59 PM on May 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


This blog is investigating the conflicting claims of legitimacy of several photographs of the compound location and promises updates when any may be confirmed.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:59 PM on May 1, 2011


ok, WHO JUST HAPPENS TO HAVE AN AMERICAN FLAG BODYSUIT?

Perhaps they're a speed skating enthusiast.
posted by Harpocrates at 12:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


A follow-up on the notion upthread that Guantanamo intelligence lead to bin Laden - the Guardian reports that the courier who eventually was traced to this compound was first named by "detainees" several years ago. So maybe that's the basis for it.
posted by Dasein at 12:00 AM on May 2, 2011


A NSA correspondent on CNN warned that it's very possible OBL has sleeper agents specifically waiting to be triggered by the event of his death. That puts a pit in my stomach.
posted by marco_nj at 12:01 AM on May 2, 2011


Bwahaha, Obama's tweet announcing the big speech was his 1,337th. Fucking pwn'd.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [59 favorites]


A NSA correspondent on CNN warned that it's very possible OBL has sleeper agents specifically waiting to be triggered by the event of his death. That puts a pit in my stomach.

Maybe. And maybe this is more of the breathless Bond villain stuff that invariably comes up whenever al-Queda is the subject.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


Bwahaha, Obama's tweet announcing the big speech was his 1,337th.

Damn. He planned this years ago!
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


That google maps link sounds like a bunch of malarkey, yet it is being parroted by every man and his dog. You can check here that some random person on Google Maps input the data (under the more tag, and check edits) without anyone citing any form of evidence.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 12:05 AM on May 2, 2011


[my tacky Americana is a pair of Obama socks bought in Seoul.....PS just signed my contract to go back, yay!]
posted by nile_red at 12:05 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 12:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Headed over to the site of the WTC for a bit, to scope it out. I took this short video of people chanting.
posted by defenestration at 12:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was no note, no picture of the students, no context. It was just an earnest wish for healing and recovery in my living room, it was moving and emotionally difficult. It was a beautiful thing to see.

That is incredibly moving and I am a pretty hard hearted guy. The closest I have been to GZ in 10 years is to drink in a bar around the corner. I walked across town and down to 34th, near bellvue, on 9/11, they had sort of a makeshift triage set up there. People searching for loved ones, whole families crying in the street. People and vehicles moving uptown covered in soot. For my entire life whenever I gave a tourist directions I would tell them to walk towers the towers to head downtown, now there was nothing but a huge grey plume that hung in the sky. I'm going to check out the progress they have made down there tomorrow.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:09 AM on May 2, 2011


http://www.wtol.com/Global/story.asp?S=14551639

News reports are saying that they lost a helicopter, just as the Twitter guy said.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 12:09 AM on May 2, 2011


A NSA correspondent on CNN warned that it's very possible OBL has sleeper agents specifically waiting to be triggered by the event of his death. That puts a pit in my stomach.

If I was building their strategy I wouldn't increase the risk of discovery by letting them complete operational details of an attack & then sit around on their hands for an unknown period of time waiting to be discovered. That makes sense for a nation-state that can afford to have sleeper agents get "blown" but not staff-poor outfits like al Qaeda. As soon as they're operational they should attack. And if they haven't completed operational plans for a complex high-value attack by now then their attack would be improvised & likely low yield. I'm concerned but not really worried.
posted by scalefree at 12:11 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


I don't think a world without Osama bin Laden will have less terrorism in it...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:47 AM on May 2


Yeah, but at least it will have less Osama bin Laden in it. Good riddance to the motherfucker.
posted by Decani at 12:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


A NSA correspondent on CNN warned that it's very possible OBL has sleeper agents specifically waiting to be triggered by the event of his death.
Maybe these guys (who got caught two days ago)?
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:15 AM on May 2, 2011


Poet_lariat would react to "Scientists have cured cancer!" with "does curing cancer provide a living wage to millions of Americans?!"

It's perfectly possible to be elated about the death of a mass murderer without immediately adopting the complete political beliefs of Charles Krauthammer.
posted by unigolyn at 12:16 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, a U.S. official says."
posted by floam at 12:17 AM on May 2, 2011


I don't think a world without Osama bin Laden will have less terrorism in it...
But there may be enough stupid Americans who believe so to make a backing off from our current Terrorized State politically possible...
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:19 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


So what did Trump announce in his show that got pre-empted? Anybody know?
posted by scalefree at 12:19 AM on May 2, 2011


floam: ""Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea, a U.S. official says.""

...wait...seriously? If so, conspiracy theorists are about to have an absolute FIELD DAY.
posted by nile_red at 12:19 AM on May 2, 2011


It's in the little thing at the top on CNN.com. It sure seems a little quick.
posted by floam at 12:21 AM on May 2, 2011


Now we can focus our attention on Glen Beck.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 12:21 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


scalefree: "So what did Trump announce in his show that got pre-empted? Anybody know?"

[spoiler]

who got eliminated
posted by nile_red at 12:21 AM on May 2, 2011



Now we can focus our attention on Glen Beck.


You mean, kill him? FUCK YEAH!
posted by philip-random at 12:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


who got eliminated

I thought there was going to be an announcement about his candidacy. Did I get that wrong?
posted by scalefree at 12:24 AM on May 2, 2011


Not sure how to reconcile burial at sea vs. treating his corpse in accordance with sharia law. I thought he was supposed to be facing Mecca. I suspect speculation.
posted by polyhedron at 12:25 AM on May 2, 2011


Was it worth it...?
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 12:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


scalefree: "I thought there was going to be an announcement about his candidacy. Did I get that wrong?"

Not til after the Finale...May 22nd
posted by nile_red at 12:27 AM on May 2, 2011


From the Internet:

"To be logically consistent, the 911 Truthers should be condemning the murder of an innocent man."
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 12:28 AM on May 2, 2011 [21 favorites]


who got eliminated

I think time will tell us it was The Donald who got eliminated, collateral damage to Osama.
posted by orthogonality at 12:29 AM on May 2, 2011




posted by orthogonality I think time will tell us it was The Donald who got eliminated, collateral damage to Osama.

Possible headline:

Obama to Osama and Trump: "You're Fired."
posted by mattdidthat at 12:33 AM on May 2, 2011


(Alleged) Death photo of bin Laden. Unknown provenance.
posted by scalefree at 12:33 AM on May 2, 2011


Isn't the next order of business tracking the money that built that suspicious mansion?
posted by jeffburdges at 12:34 AM on May 2, 2011


The only person having a worse week than ObL is Donald Trump.
posted by bardic at 12:35 AM on May 2, 2011


scalefree: "(Alleged) Death photo of bin Laden. Unknown provenance."

Not legit -- TinEye shows two hits for the same image from 2010.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


That is shopped. I can tell because of the pixels.
posted by breath at 12:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Apologies if this has already been linked: Photo
posted by ReeMonster at 12:38 AM on May 2, 2011


I can tell from seeing quite a few shops in my time.
posted by nile_red at 12:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not legit -- TinEye shows two hits for the same image from 2010.

Well.... a coward dies a thousand deaths.

(And yes, I count Osama a coward -- I'm not saying all who fight America are, that's just ridiculous Exceptionalist Jingoism -- but Osama never strapped on a suicide bom=b, he just sat safely back and seduced his followers to do so. Not to mention killing his children's pets, because he thought their pet monkeys were Jews.)
posted by orthogonality at 12:39 AM on May 2, 2011


....he thought their pet monkeys were Jews? WTF?

(goes to google)
posted by nile_red at 12:41 AM on May 2, 2011


The dropping of the A-bomb was unnecessary.

tell my dad that, who was in Oklahoma (mid-summer) getting acclimatized for jungle warfare when he heard the news. Two weeks later, he was on his way home. "You exist because of the a-bomb." He said that to me more than once.


Yep, as a youngun in the Vietnam era I self-righteously asked my mother - who'd spent four years of WWII worrying about my Dad - why she wasn't shocked by our use of the A-bomb. She replied it meant my father didn't have to leave her again. Period. End of discussion.

And along those lines I read with interest the post above by someone who recalls an almost idyllic childhood in the 1990s, innocent of how the world may have perceived us.

It reminds me yet again how vastly different our perceptions are just based on when we joined the timestream.
posted by NorthernLite at 12:42 AM on May 2, 2011 [18 favorites]


The AP is really selling a picture of a TV showing a fake image of Bin Laden? Ridiculous. Don't they know how to screencap?
posted by polyhedron at 12:44 AM on May 2, 2011


Not sure how to reconcile burial at sea vs. treating his corpse in accordance with sharia law.

Sharia law is not the same thing as Islamic law, and there are different schools of thought on sharia law (some more permissive, some more conservative).

Here's a page on Islamic burial customs. One important element is to bury the dead person fast - same day ideally. So the quickness of the burial fits with that.

And here's a page on Muslim burials at sea: [If it's not possible to bury the person in the ground, or if it's likely the person's enemies would dig up the grave and desecrate the body, then] "after giving Ghusl, Hunut, Kafan and Namaz-e-Mayyit [the body] should be lowered into the sea in a vessel of clay or with a weight tied to its feet. And as far as possible it should not be lowered at a point where it is eaten up immediately by the sea predators."
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


(should say, I don't have any particular expertise on that, just was curious about the same question as you and looked up those resources.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:55 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, that was fast. Bin Laden's already been pushed off the position of top headline on both Mainichi Shimbun and news.yahoo.co.jp.
posted by Bugbread at 1:00 AM on May 2, 2011


[the body] should be lowered into the sea in a vessel of clay or with a weight tied to its feet. And as far as possible it should not be lowered at a point where it is eaten up immediately by the sea predators."

am I the only one who's seeing Tom Cruise and Cuba Gooding jumping up and down in their underwear shouting, "Show me the Body!" in perpetuity?
posted by philip-random at 1:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Woke up, didn't hear the news, then suddenly - !

first thoughts -
"I won't really believe he's dead until I've seen the 'long form' death certificate!"

Now to go to read the thread. Boy, I hope no-one else has thought of my really clever one-liner yet. It feels really fresh, unique even, like I could read it about twenty times (literally eight?) scattered throughout the thread and still find it funny...

second thought -
I'm not pro death, but the only thing that will make me 'happier' will be the deaths of a certain vice-president and a certain former secretary-of-state. This shit broke my America-loving heart.

I'm glad they got him. In a deep, atavistic way. Now if only we could start to set right the insanity his invocation was used to propagate.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks LobsterMitten, the bit about his enemies desecrating his grave seems to be key. Glad that this appears to be in accordance with tradition. Al-Jazeera just caught up with you ;)
posted by polyhedron at 1:05 AM on May 2, 2011


Me too LobsterMitten, and you beat me to it. Just chasing that down a bit further, I think what you link to in your third link (complete and unmodified here - see ch. 12) is twelver shi'a law, and that probably makes a big difference, but I don't know.

The basic problems are that they can't cremate the body without it being a major insult to many muslims, and thus potentially adding to al-Quaeda's support, and they can't bury it on land without providing a site for potential veneration or vandalism.

So, if under some circumstances burial at sea is permitted (eg death on land when a body runs the risk of being exhumed and mutilated by an enemy) it might be the only option.
posted by Ahab at 1:09 AM on May 2, 2011


It wasn't quite the start of the school day out here in Hawaii when the attacks on the World Trade Center happened. I was asleep and was woken just after dawn by the phone ringing. It was my friend, Liz.

"They blew up the World Trade Center," she said.

I was half asleep and said something like, "Oh, I'll turn on the TV."

I'm a teacher and they didn't cancel school that day, so about an hour later, I was on my way to work - earlier than I had to be there. We had an assembly for the faculty - unheard of previously - to discuss how we'd address this with our students.

It was decided we'd leave it up to each teacher, but if the students wanted to talk about it, we should let them. If they had questions for us, we should answer them. If they wanted to talk one on one, we should do that, too.

In my first class, the main question was "are we going to war?" Lots of our kids were children of military. In the coming years, several of their parents would die in the Middle East.

One girl, Laura, wanted to talk one on one. She didn't understand how this could happen. She was a freshman and had just read The Diary of Anne Frank. She quoted the famous "people are basically good" section and pondered that maybe Anne Frank was wrong, then she cried and cried and cried on my shoulder.

I was 33 and remember feeling that that was a really late age to think "wow, I'm really an adult now, aren't I?"

On Facebook, Laura (who is now 24) posted a message celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden - the sort of message you'd reserve for an event that suggested balance was returned to the world. I'm more cynical than she is by far, but symbolic things can be important. Since she was a teenager, this boogie man has hung over her head for the entirety of her adult life.

I don't know if she'll ever think people might be basically good at heart again. Maybe she's come to understand that the true meanings of Anne Frank's phrase has to do with humanity as a whole, not with the occasional evil individuals that weave in and out of history. But tonight, at least, it sounds like a shadow has been lifted from her.

Will this result in any lasting change in our world? As I said, I'm cynical and I doubt it. I don't know that good can come from violent death, no matter how much a person deserved it. No matter how much a person might have been merely a symbol of a much larger problem and not actually the problem himself.

But I hope that Laura - and a million other kids forced (perhaps prematurely) into a kind of constant fear - might be able to sleep a little easier tonight for the destruction of that symbol.

And then there are the millions of kids who live with the shadow of other boogie men in their dreams - boogie men that may well include us.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:09 AM on May 2, 2011 [86 favorites]


One man is dead. Our corporate-driven foreign policy and military industrial complex remain, and they will continue to create millions of new enemies. There is no reason to celebrate today.
posted by secondhand pho at 1:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Read the whole thread. Thanks to those of you who added info and insights.

Really happy we got the guy. He may not have been an operational leader, but he certainly was a symbolic leader for al Qaeda and a powerful figure inspiring terrorism against the US.

I wish this had happened much sooner. If there is one consolation that it took us this long, it's that it happened on Obama's watch and, evidently, as a direct result of some key leadership from him. I know this won't stop the right wing from finding some way to pick this apart, but for most people, it is a great thing and places Obama in good standing for 2012. Count on his approval rate jumping a bit after this.

If it means that Obama now has political cover/capital to wind down our involvement in Afghanistan, all the better. Bin Laden's capture may mean a number of Obama's proposals gain more traction over the next couple of years, and that he has another four years in office to continue them. That's all to the good.
posted by darkstar at 1:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Joey Michaels, thank you.
posted by nile_red at 1:14 AM on May 2, 2011


How is it that "Obama" issued an order on Friday?

Wasn't this the (unsuccessful) Bush policy? Was there not already a standing order to kill or capture OBL for like say, 10 years already? I mean what have all of those drones been doing over Pakistan for most of the past decade?
posted by three blind mice at 1:17 AM on May 2, 2011


This was apparently a unilateral action taken by American military ground forces inside the borders of a sovereign nation without the knowledge or consent of that nation. Otherwise known as an act of war. It would be shocking if anyone but Obama could give the order for American ground forces to invade a foreign nation.
posted by Justinian at 1:22 AM on May 2, 2011


A standing order would cover if you happen to run across him, go for it. This was at a location they'd been tracking him at for months, training the SEAL team for the specific compound layout over & over. Plus historically it'll look better for your legacy if you have a letter authorizing the strike. And yeah, covert action inside a sovereign state without notification.
posted by scalefree at 1:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here is a kind thought to the man that gave his life mortally wounding the american dragon.

.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 1:26 AM on May 2, 2011


I don't even... what?
posted by Justinian at 1:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


CautionToTheWind: "mortally wounding the american dragon."
.
.
.
.
.
?

I think this is not how I would have worded this sentiment, if I felt it.
posted by nile_red at 1:31 AM on May 2, 2011


CautionToTheWind, your kind thought is directed at a man who participated in the unprovoked murder of civilians. What the hell?

Eponysterical. In a bad way.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 1:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hang on. Buried at sea? Are you guys serious? Why would you want to hide the body at the bottom of the sea before anyone could see it?
posted by pracowity at 1:33 AM on May 2, 2011


The DNA test was done amazingly quickly - kudos to the lab techs that were able to carry out such a delicate test under combat conditions at such short notice. The thing that really impresses me, though, is the way they could confirm his identity using DNA from his half-sister and tell that the corpse was Osama, not one of his children or other relatives. Well done.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


THIS
THIS
THIS
THIS


Don't you have a [+] button?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


And now for the conspiracy theories.
posted by stavrogin at 1:39 AM on May 2, 2011


What makes you think the DNA tests were done under "combat conditions", Joe?
posted by Justinian at 1:39 AM on May 2, 2011


You heard it here first: Obama wins 2012 election...
Uh yeah, just like bush ensured his own victory by capturing Saddam! Oh wait. People won't remember this in, what is it, 18 months?

Also I can't believe people think he timed this to pre-empt Celebrity Apprentice. Come on people.
Mefi's Own @Hodgman: I think it's ok to take a 12 hour pause on cynicism.
How is celebrating someone's death not cynical?

I'm hopeful that this can spell the end of the WoT, but I do find celebrating death kind of creepy. I actually would rather have seen him captured alive anyway. What's better for him personally, a quick clean death fighting the infidels, or being humiliated by being captured, while suffering in jail for the rest of his life and being denied the opportunity for martyrdom?

I guess I can understand for kids who grew up having this guy continually presented as the epitome of evil, though.
posted by delmoi at 1:40 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The thing that really impresses me, though, is the way they could confirm his identity using DNA from his half-sister and tell that the corpse was Osama, not one of his children or other relatives. Well done.

His half-sister had the same mother as Osama. Any of Osama's sons would not share their mitochondrial DNA.

However, I've not read much official on the specifics on their use of DNA tests. Only thing I've seen for sure is facial recognition.
posted by floam at 1:42 AM on May 2, 2011


Osama Bin Laden didn't exactly invent, or lead the numbers in, the unprovoked murder of civilians.

There are those that think that the U.S. has the right to every resource on earth and to define the government of other people to suit its needs. Some argue some form of american exceptionalism, while most just don't really give it much thought.

Others think that this american attitude, combined with the vast american military forces, are the greatest current threat to non-americans.

So, while we watch your country slowly desintegrate, we are grateful for every nudge you got in that direction. May one day americans live in peace and respect for other peoples. Let's hope it doesn't cost many more lives.

Enjoy the celebrations. The day is yours.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 1:42 AM on May 2, 2011


You could eliminate most other bin Ladens through age, gender, height & maybe known location elsewhere. And we don't know what confidence level they decided would be acceptable.
posted by scalefree at 1:44 AM on May 2, 2011


CautionToTheWind: "Osama Bin Laden didn't exactly invent, or lead the numbers in, the unprovoked murder of civilians.

There are those that think that the U.S. has the right to every resource on earth and to define the government of other people to suit its needs. Some argue some form of american exceptionalism, while most just don't really give it much thought.
"

So, since he's not the worst, and since America's not the best, yaaay death? We're not allowed to form opinions on people who don't represent an extreme?
posted by nile_red at 1:45 AM on May 2, 2011


Good for you, CautionToTheWind, you've found a way to be a giant raging hemorrhoid on the internet. Your countrymen must be pround.
posted by Justinian at 1:46 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


You think attacks on crazy-America's civilians are nudges towards world peace and good things for humanity? Seriously, you're not a nice person dude.
posted by floam at 1:46 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


while we watch your country slowly desintegrate, we are grateful for every nudge you got in that direction.

Just for the record... you are saying that the 9-11 attack was a good thing? That you are grateful for? Because I don't really know how else to read this.
posted by taz at 1:51 AM on May 2, 2011


"How is celebrating someone's death not cynical?"

Maybe I'm working from the wrong definition of cynical, but I thought it was about skepticism and distrust. Saying "it's a frameup, he isn't really dead" would be cynical, as would "sure, he's dead, but it doesn't change anything". Saying "yay, he's dead!" isn't cynical. Dark, perhaps, but dark does not equal cynical.
posted by Bugbread at 1:53 AM on May 2, 2011


Yeah, I'd be a bit careful with that "we" in the gratitude there. You don't speak for anyone except yourself.
posted by harriet vane at 1:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Weird. AP Exclusive: Indonesian militant snared in Pakistan hill town on route to al-Qaida lands. Probably means nothing, just a curious synchronicity. But it's early days to categorically toss it out as a false pattern.
posted by scalefree at 1:56 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"And now for the conspiracy theories."

Prediction: bin Laden (who is dead) 'releases' a tape in the next week or two denying his death (a tape he makes every few months just in case he does actually dies, thus giving him an easy, low-cast way of adding misinformation into the mix).
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 1:56 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe we should learn to be tolerant of other people's beliefs, even if it means loving raging hemorrhoids. It's not exactly like our military isn't responsible for the deaths of many thousands of innocent people since 9/11. Great injustices have been perpetrated for the known history of humanity. Usually because we couldn't just figure out how to share or accept others' differences.

I'm not saying I have sympathy for bin Laden but I kind of understand those who do. And I've made more than my fair share of stupid posts on the internet, I understand that quite well.
posted by polyhedron at 1:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Good riddance.

The aftermath of this will, hopefully, be uneventful.
posted by flippant at 2:00 AM on May 2, 2011


CautionToTheWind: "So, while we watch your country slowly desintegrate, we are grateful for every nudge you got in that direction."

Isn't well-wishing the wounder of America's ability to wage horrible bloody acts of war on innocent civilians, who accomplished that wounding via a horrible bloody act of war on innocent civilians, just a wee bit hypocritical? On top of being tactless, dickish, and repulsive, I mean.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Osama Bin Laden didn't exactly invent, or lead the numbers in, the unprovoked murder of civilians.

So what? Just because Hitler caused more deaths than Pol Pot, that doesn't make Hitler an angel.

You, however, are being unpleasant, and wholly inappropriate in this forum. Metatalk, perhaps?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:09 AM on May 2, 2011


Hang on. Buried at sea? Are you guys serious? Why would you want to hide the body at the bottom of the sea before anyone could see it?
posted by pracowity at 1:33 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


Kasie Hunt (Politico politics writer), who is on the conference call says: "Officials on the handling of OBL's body: "We are making sure it is handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and practice.""
posted by thebestsophist at 9:39 PM on May 1 [9 favorites +] [!]


If it's going to be handled in accordance with Islamic tradition and practice the body needs to be dealt with as soon as possible - kept free from decay or mutilation, washed, wrapped in a shroud, prayed over, and (ideally) buried facing the qibla.

But it cannot be buried without creating a site for a shrine (even if the actual burial site isn't known, people will invent one).

It cannot be cremated without seriously pissing off a lot of muslims who would not otherwise support al Quaeda.

That just doesn't leave a lot of options. So if burial at sea is a legally and traditionally acceptable choice, it could well be seen as a desirable one.

But.. sure.. burial at sea would create one hell of a base for conspiracy theory.
posted by Ahab at 2:10 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's room in my world for shades of grey, for ambiguity over American imperialism, recognition that we have a poor record of living up to our ideals or prediction of some level of collapse because of poor decisions by our leaders in the near future. But this is several steps beyond any of that, blatantly rooting for al Qaeda as the agent of our downfall. No, that's not coloring inside the lines of my world. Sorry.
posted by scalefree at 2:11 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think Caution is trolling us. Or has been pushed by certain principles over the line, to become unmoored from basic reality/decency. Either way, best not to engage.
posted by darkstar at 2:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, what the fuck? But I'm Osama Bin Laden. Who the fuck is that guy?
posted by loquacious at 2:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have to disagree with all the people looking with horror at the celebrations at this news, because they're not celebrations of a single man's death, but of the death of a symbol. The attacks on 9/11 kicked off a decade of an unprecedented waning of American influence, accomplishment, and global standing. It was a decade marked by a crashing economy and misguided foreign policy, but mostly by feelings of impotence, cynicism, and depression; we seemed powerless solve the legion of problems around us. Hell, we couldn't even catch one guy, one single guy! Osama's freedom has been the background on which this decline has played out; he was the symbol for US failure.

So, I don't see the street revelry as a bloodthirsty carnival, but as a cathartic outpouring tinged with the hope that maybe America is not as powerless as we thought, maybe we can solve global warming, end mideast conflict, get our economy roaring again, cure AIDS, and terraform Mars while were at it, because we got Osama right? Because America gets things done.

Now stop talking about WWII and go build some high-speed rail.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


Osama Bin Laden really shouldn't have used his real address on PSN.

Hahahah. Also, and this too.

Sorry just got off the front page of reddit.
posted by delmoi at 2:19 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Dude, think hard about what you want to achieve in this thread, maybe have a coffee, a little walk, then come back and if it still feels pressing think hard about how to say it.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:19 AM on May 2, 2011


On the day of 9/11 some of the people at the college I was at were talking about how they could apologize to the rest of the world for making it neccesary for them to attack us.
When I celebrated Saddam Hussein's capture I was yelled at by some of my teachers.

I believe that Caution to the Wind can hold those opinions.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:23 AM on May 2, 2011


I ended up leaving the United States for a lot of reasons. Underpinning quite a few of them: what its reaction — political, cultural, military — to the actions of Osama bin Laden revealed it had become. You can't roll back the clock on the end of the American Century. In terms of actual problems facing the country, bin Laden and indeed the whole amorphous BOO SCARY of western-focused Islamist terrorism doesn't crack the top ten. And now he's finally been found and brought to some fashion of justice, but it doesn't really fix anything.

I'm not going to celebrate. Mainly because it feels wrong to celebrate the death of anyone, no matter how cartoonishly evil. I've also not got a proper flag or place to do so, and waving around a Swiss flag on the Paradeplatz chanting USA USA USA seems to miss the point as much as the Stars and Bars I saw go up on pickups in Memphis the morning of September 11. But I probably shouldn't derail myself...

But I am glad he's gone. Humanity has a clear interest in making it clear to those who would use mass murder as a political tool, those who would indiscriminately attack civilians in the service of any ideology, that such actions are intolerable, and will lead to personal consequences, with no statute of limitations. To steal a NATO term, it adjusts the risk-calculus for would-be leaders of terrorism.

Hope beyond hope, the fall of the authoritarian regimes of the erstwhile Caliphate will allow politics in the region to become the continuation of terrorism by other means. But one step at a time.
posted by Vetinari at 2:24 AM on May 2, 2011


And half my Facebook wall is anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:24 AM on May 2, 2011


Today is a good day. Save your hand wringing and set aside your liberal guilt for 24 hours and enjoy that sweet feeling that justice was eventually served on a nasty piece of work. Sure, it's not going to be pretty watching normally good people celebrate the demise of another human being. But fuck it, the news sure feels good right now. From someone with little time for U.S. foreign policy or your brand of nationalism I'm glad you got your guy.
posted by R.Stornoway at 2:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


I can believe there's people who hold those views. I just don't find them within the range of acceptability in civil society, any more than white supremacy or the Weather Underground. Point out its flaws all you like but if you root for the destruction of my country through political violence & large-scale murder of civilians, you lose the cover of reasonable debate.
posted by scalefree at 2:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


RIP, Ahmad Shah Massoud.
posted by nicolin at 2:40 AM on May 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


Agreeing with all who've said that it feels odd to watch people celebrate this and that my reaction was "well this part's over, but there are still our troops to be concerned for." And cheering over anyone's death also reminded me of shots we see of protesters in other countries - except look, we do it too, so apparently we're not at all different from some of the folks we've been in disagreement with. I figured I'd just take away from it that there might be a segment of folk in other countries that also wouldn't cheer such news, and also wouldn't be keen to run be on tv.

And then my next thought was WTF, who would carry around a full size flag and whose idea in the crowd was to sing the Star Spangled Banner?! A small flag a could maybe see, but a large one isn't just something you have tucked in your backpack, normally - and come on, no one can sing the National Anthem well, it just comes out all tuneless and sad. It all looked so weird from this side of the tv screen.

Any of you who were there, did you show up with a flag? I saw a reference to someone who did, and in that case of a father with a dead son could maybe understand having one around, perhaps that he intended to leave at a memorial or something.
posted by batgrlHG at 2:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The U.S. Army also does not follow the rules of reasonable debate.

And comparing me to white supremacy? If there is one thing the U.S. stands for is white supremacy! Just ask any black person there.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:45 AM on May 2, 2011


And then my next thought was WTF, who would carry around a full size flag and whose idea in the crowd was to sing the Star Spangled Banner?!

I was drunk in the pub last week and someone singing Advance Australia Fair was enough to get me (trying to) sing the Star Spangled Banner. This seems like a more appropriate time.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 2:48 AM on May 2, 2011


If there is one thing the U.S. stands for is white supremacy! Just ask any black person there.

I will immediately write a letter to one Mr. Barack Obama asking him for his thoughts on this matter.
posted by Panjandrum at 2:49 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


So, while we watch your country slowly desintegrate, we are grateful for every nudge you got in that direction.

You're talking about Portugal, right?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:56 AM on May 2, 2011


And comparing me to white supremacy? If there is one thing the U.S. stands for is white supremacy! Just ask any black person there.

Uh, no.
posted by delmoi at 2:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe you should. And write to some prison too.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:58 AM on May 2, 2011


man, this was the greatest monday morning wakeup ever.
posted by krautland at 3:01 AM on May 2, 2011


Maybe you should. And write to some prison too.

Maybe I should what?
posted by delmoi at 3:01 AM on May 2, 2011


I've said my peace. Your position is based on some combination of hate & logic so twisted there's no realistic possibility of reaching you with reason, debate & discussion. I'm withdrawing from the field because if we go any further it'll just turn into the Argument Sketch from Monty Python & who needs that? Score it however you like.
posted by scalefree at 3:02 AM on May 2, 2011


"And comparing me to white supremacy? If there is one thing the U.S. stands for is white supremacy! Just ask any black person there."

So...if you're pretty much the moral equivalent of a white supremacist, and the U.S. stands for white supremacy, then you're basically pro-USA, and this is performance art, right?
posted by Bugbread at 3:02 AM on May 2, 2011


"Just ask any black person there."

Why don't you just ask one of your black friends? I'm sure you've got like, two or so.
posted by bardic at 3:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how people who've been around here long enough to know better can't keep themselves from feeding the troll.
posted by spicynuts at 3:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Between logic 101 fail and let's count our black friends, I'm withdrawing from the field too, as scalefree says.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 3:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


And comparing me to white supremacy? If there is one thing the U.S. stands for is white supremacy! Just ask any black person there.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:45 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


Erm, like the black persons currently living in the White House?

God, I'm ashamed of originating from the same peninsula as you. Also, somebody from Portugal should be damn careful about mentioning white supremacy or anything even remotely related to slavery.
posted by Skeptic at 3:10 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Actually, no. Dude sent out a video saying he did it. There are no due process issues in this case.

That's why it's better he's killed than captured. You have to doubt that a trial would be so simple as playing a video and leading him off to the gallows.
posted by Jehan at 3:11 AM on May 2, 2011


Between logic 101 fail and let's count our black friends

How about black family members?
posted by delmoi at 3:11 AM on May 2, 2011


So many people forget to plan for post-event traffic, that I just expect it.

I saw the "please wait" type message, looked at the time, and assumed they screwed up because it was obviously already over...

So I missed it.


Why they didn't have the feed of the people waiting is beyond me.
posted by MikeWarot at 3:13 AM on May 2, 2011


It’s the old kiddie dream of a vast umbrella group of baddies, S.P.E.C.T.R.E from Man from Uncle, KAOS in Get Smart, the ridiculous villain and his volcano HQ in every lame Bond film.

Actually. SPECTRE were the Bond baddies, and the enemy of UNCLE was THRUSH.

posted by bonefish at 3:14 AM on May 2, 2011


I thought SMERSH were the bond baddies? As in smert shpion?
posted by spicynuts at 3:15 AM on May 2, 2011


(closing tag)
posted by bonefish at 3:16 AM on May 2, 2011


That's the brilliance of it, Jehan. By sending out a video with a confession Osama ensured that no untainted jury could be empaneled - so he could never be tried! He made only one mistake: he thought he was dealing with the old USA, the one with due process. This is USA 2.0.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:16 AM on May 2, 2011


But.. sure.. burial at sea would create one hell of a base for conspiracy theory.

He's dead as the dodo, imho. Would your risk losing any credibility by declaring him dead and then have him pop up in a week or so? Nah.
posted by elpapacito at 3:19 AM on May 2, 2011


Did bin-laden say he sent out a video claiming he did it? I thought there was a CIA video of him bragging about it with some other AQ people.
posted by delmoi at 3:20 AM on May 2, 2011


Say what you will about Osama Bin Laden, but the dude was good looking. Noone can take that away from him.
posted by klue at 3:25 AM on May 2, 2011


"Interesting how people who've been around here long enough to know better can't keep themselves from feeding the troll."

I'm by no means the oldest person here -- not even close -- but having used the Internet or internet-like-things (dial-up BBSes, etc.) for around 25 years now, I am old enough to feel genuine shame in the fact that I still get taken in by trolls. And I'm not even talking about the new-school definition, "someone who believes in and says unpopular stuff, resulting in shit getting riled up", but the old-school "someone who doesn't even believe what they're saying, but says it expressly to rile shit up" sense.

I mean, c'mon, after over two decades of net use, you'd figure I'd learn my lesson...
posted by Bugbread at 3:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahab : It cannot be cremated without seriously pissing off a lot of muslims who would not otherwise support al Quaeda. That just doesn't leave a lot of options.

How about impaled on a long pole and mounted to the mast of the replacement WTC, slathered in bacon grease with his genitals stuffed in his mouth? That cool with everyone?

Sorry, but when you become a mass murderer, you lose the right to a say in the disposition of your remains. This guy rates up there with Mussolini (a petty wannabe mass murderer, not an A-league player like Hitler or Stalin), so why not treat his remains similarly?
posted by pla at 3:34 AM on May 2, 2011


This guy rates up there with Mussolini (a petty wannabe mass murderer, not an A-league player like Hitler or Stalin), so why not treat his remains similarly?

And that's what distinguishes us from savages, folks.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


How about impaled on a long pole and mounted to the mast of the replacement WTC, slathered in bacon grease with his genitals stuffed in his mouth? That cool with everyone?

I'd leave that to terrorists, torturers and Talibans (or similar religion wingnuts). I'd have liked life imprisonment in a salt mine for him, tho.
posted by elpapacito at 3:38 AM on May 2, 2011


ladygypsy: "The rise of social media - I heard about this on World of Warcraft trade chat (yeah, yeah) and came to MeFi to confirm."

Same here. What a world.

I'm feeling a kind of numb relief. 10 years ago, my second oldest brother was working in NYC. I was on holidays in Canada. I was the only family member he could reach because of the overloaded phone lines. I will never forget the anguish in his voice when he told me he saw the plane hit the second tower and how he saw the towers collapse (I saw them both collapse on tv). My horrified feelings mixed with almost guilty relief knowing he was alive can still make me tear up.
posted by deborah at 3:39 AM on May 2, 2011


"This guy rates up there with Mussolini (a petty wannabe mass murderer, not an A-league player like Hitler or Stalin), so why not treat his remains similarly?"

Uh, maybe because "It cannot be cremated without seriously pissing off a lot of muslims who would not otherwise support al Quaeda."

I mean, I understand not reading every comment in the thread, but at least read the comment that you yourself are quoting.
posted by Bugbread at 3:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


We walk right into the trap he (+ others) set for us, do more damage to ourselves than he could have done in three lifetimes, and now we've made a martyr out of him. Bravo.
posted by ryanshepard at 3:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


spicynuts, SMERSH was an allegedly real GRU operation and appeared briefly in the books, but only appears in the movies (a decade later) as "closed down years ago". SPECTRE, and its putative leader Ernst Stavro Blofeld, were the main villain until Diamonds Are Forever, but for rights reasons were not used after that.

The rise of social media - I heard about this on World of Warcraft trade chat (yeah, yeah) and came to MeFi to confirm

I had to pull up MSNBC so my mom could watch something familiar, and I tried to keep up with Facebook and MeFi in the background -- both of them offered much more information more quickly than David Gregory and Andrea Mitchell could ad lib. It was barely tolerable blather, in fact.
I'm reminded of the Olympic Park bombing, which was initially covered by network sports people, who didn't know how to be annoyingly pretentious and thus just kept pushing information out there, until a name anchor showed up.

I know I'm one of a smaller and smaller handful of MeFites from the early days. It's weird to remember the 9/11 thread, and so clearly.
posted by dhartung at 3:50 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Lovecraft in Brooklyn: And half my Facebook wall is anti-Americanism and conspiracy theories

Well, it's your Facebook wall. This is what your friends are saying, right? It might be time to look at your social graph.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:52 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Palin, alone so far among Republican potential candidates, has issued a tweet thanking the troops involved, but failing to mention the commander in chief.

Can you imagine the faces of Hannity, Limbaugh, Palin, Ailes, et al. when they got this news?

There's a fantastic little lolcat graphic going around like wildfire right now, showing President Obama looking all Brad Pitt in his sunglasses and black suit with the caption "Sorry it took so long to get you a copy of my birth certificate. I was too busy killing Bin Laden."
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


It would have been good to get the fucker alive, but dead is a perfectly acceptable second choice.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 3:59 AM on May 2, 2011


White House briefing:
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: [...] During the raid, we lost one helicopter due to mechanical failure.
Same White House briefing:
Q Yes, hey, how are you doing? My question would be, what was the type of the helicopter that failed? And what was the nature of that mechanical failure?

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Can’t go into details at this time.

SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We didn’t say it was mechanical.
Come on, guys, get your stories straight.
posted by pracowity at 4:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Google Earth: bin Laden compound.

You know, it's going to be hard for Pakistan to say "we helped" with a straight face when THERE'S A GODDAMNED POLICE STATION RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE COMPOUND.
posted by dflemingecon at 4:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Palin, alone so far among Republican potential candidates, has issued a tweet thanking the troops involved, but failing to mention the commander in chief.

At least resolving the question of whether she was going to claim to have sniped OBL from the roof of her house. You can see Pakistan from her house, right?
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Congratulations everyone!
THis is an important symbolic event. Obama is doing what he said he'd do: get back to getting the bad guy and stop fighting proxy wars with non-existing enemies.
In itself, it probably isn't very important wether Bin Laden lives or dies, but as a symbol, it is extremely important.
It makes it clear to other nations that Obama will do what needs to be done, regardless. Some nations, and Pakistan is one of them, have difficulty understanding more civil forms of communication.
This may help Obama get reelected, and Democrats back in the house, and that, I believe is necessary for the US economy. A sound American economy is important for everyone in the world. The Republicans have consistently since Reagan been economically irresponsible, and there is no sign this is changing at all. If killing Bin Laden, a known mass murderer, is what it takes to get Americans to vote responsibly, it is a small price.
I, personally, have a longer wish-list. I'd like for the USA to take the lead on sustainable energy, on getting the Israel/Palestine conflict solved, and yes: ending those wars. And part of my hope for a good American economy is getting a real health-care solution for Americans, and less inequality in America. But right now and here, I am really happy for this symbolic act because I see it as a sign of the beginning of better times.
Oh, and I am not scared of retribution. Al Qaeda has lost it's momentum some time ago.
posted by mumimor at 4:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


elpapacito : I'd have liked life imprisonment in a salt mine for him, tho.

Actually, I'd quite have liked that idea - With a twist. Make it well-known where we have him, and use it as a honeypot for every like-minded whackjob to blow themselves up trying to free Osama.

Hell, they could still do that... Hold his body "hostage" in such a place, and just sit back and wait for the baddies to come and (try to) get him.


Bugbread : I mean, I understand not reading every comment in the thread, but at least read the comment that you yourself are quoting.

"Read" does not mean "agree with" or even "care about". As I pointed out, you lose your say in how society disposes of your body when you decide to kill a few thousand people and declare war on half the globe.
posted by pla at 4:05 AM on May 2, 2011


... you lose your say in how society disposes of your body when you decide to kill a few thousand people and declare war on half the globe.

Especially when millions of other people might be interested in - you know - tangible evidence of your death.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:11 AM on May 2, 2011


... you lose your say in how society disposes of your body when you decide to kill a few thousand people and declare war on half the globe.


hmm...So I'm still wondering why say GWB hasn't been hunted down and killed then? I'm sure more than a few thousand people have been killed in Iraq..
posted by mary8nne at 4:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


"As I pointed out, you lose your say in how society disposes of your body when you decide to kill a few thousand people and declare war on half the globe."

Yes, but your quote had nothing to do with Bin Laden's say. It was about other people. So you either quoted something you don't care about (which is kinda strange), or you quoted something you disagreed with, but you didn't quote it to express your disagreement with it, but instead to ignore it and talk about something else you disagree with, which (as far as I know) nobody has said?

"Hold his body "hostage" in such a place, and just sit back and wait for the baddies to come and (try to) get him."

I disagree that peperoni is a better pizza topping than Italian sausage.
posted by Bugbread at 4:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Statement by George W. Bush on the death of Bin Laden.

"Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

posted by crunchland at 4:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It looks like some guy inadvertently live tweeted this mission. (scroll all the way down for the beginning)
posted by NoMich at 4:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sully has a good old quote from Mark Twain, to the effect of "I've never wished a man dead, but I've read some obituaries with great pleasure." I have always thought that way.

But fuck it, I wished this motherfucker dead. I admit it. And only part of it is a patriotic feeling for my country. Most of it is my love for New York, which (the older I get the more) I consider my real "country," and which is a place of huge diversity and huge tolerance where people of all and no faiths have mostly done very well building a civil society together, and where we pride ourselves on this accomplishment. To have been attacked like that, in such a perverse and inhumane way, and *then* to have that attack be leveraged into exactly what OBL (and in my opinion, after the fact, many in the Bush administration) wanted from it, which was a wave of religious hatred so great that it swamped any chance for many kinds of global progress for a decade, was tragedy added to tragedy, crime to crime.

I read Bin Laden's obituary with great pleasure. But beyond that, I wished him dead. Given the chance, I would have happily pulled the trigger myself. Sometimes, revenge is justified. But whether it is or not, sometimes, the feeling is unstoppable in human history.

Get out of the way of the catharsis, I guess, if it bothers you. There's going to be some noise made today. I was just down on the sidewalk of my building. Two construction workers walked by on their way to work, and I heard them mentioning 9/11 (one even had his Never Forget t shirt on, I'm sure for the occasion!). I threw them a thumbs up and they tossed it back, all of us grinning ear to ear. "Great day!" I shouted as they walked by. "Fuck yeah!" one answered.

So it's New York, Fuck Yeah! for me, today.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


In retrospect, the "OBL hides in caves" theory was always sort of weak - wouldn't it be much more suspicious for a guy to travel with bodyguards and a dialysis machine and, presumably, a generator, along the craggy faces of forbidding mountains, as opposed to simply chillin' in a compound and paying off the local police force?

Sticherbeast, I don't know of anyone who seriously subscribed to the caves theory after the first couple of months following Tora Bora. The general consensus for some years has been that he was traveling from guest house to guest house amongst his patrons and supporters, with the generalized location presumed to be the border areas of Pakistan like the former North West Frontier Province (now Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), where there is a high level of antipathy toward the central government in Islamabad, and where the Taliban were originally formed. There are still some millions of Afghan refugees in the region.

A lot of the US military action has centered on this area. Although both Bush and Obama were loath to state it, it's probable that the continued campaign of strike on HVTs proceeded with the faint hope that by chance one of them would take out OBL.

What's unsurprising about this is that, given his age and attested poor health, he was in an urbanized area with things like medical services. What's surprising is that he settled into a single location for a number of years, and largely managed to keep it secret. I suppose having only a few trusted men there helped with the secrecy, but it also left a very vulnerable link to the outside, which the US eventually followed. So I think there was either overconfidence or a presumption that moving was (as it would be) more dangerous.

Anyway, now that we've gotten him, maybe this pound-the-compounds campaign can wind down. An angle that hasn't been mentioned yet is the pause in that activity related to the Raymond Davis arrest. I wonder if the lack of cooperation between the CIA and ISI afforded the US an opportunity to close in on OBL without worrying about a drafty window.
posted by dhartung at 4:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


... you lose your say in how society disposes of your body when you decide to kill a few thousand people and declare war on half the globe.

Especially when millions of other people might be interested in - you know - tangible evidence of your death.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:11 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


Actually, purely from the point of view of domestic politics, getting rid of the body is a masterstroke. It'll give birthers a new conspiracy theory to embarrass themselves with for the next year and a half.

After Obama's birth certificate...Osama's death certificate. I can't wait for Trump and Palin to take up that cause.
posted by Skeptic at 4:26 AM on May 2, 2011


Neil deGrasse Tyson offers his perspective on the whole matter.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Deathers?
posted by Ahab at 4:29 AM on May 2, 2011


On the left, at least, a few have held the (sometimes enticing) belief that Osama Bin Laden was never even "alive," -- that he was essentially a villain from Central Casting cooked up by the black suits, so comic-book-evil it was almost absurd, always able to produce a scary video right when the Bush administration needed one, etc.

I mean, come on, the dude was right out of a Steven Seagall movie.

I imagine there will be more right wing converts to that idea, almost immediately. No body to show off really does help. But I am presuming there are at least going to be pictures, and that they are going to leak.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:34 AM on May 2, 2011


Ain't nothing wrong with celebrating Osama's demise. It appears that Obama tried to capture him for a trial, but he unsurprisingly went down fighting. Good enough!

I'm now most interested in who paid for that mansion.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Purposeful Grimace: actually, my guesstimate is that the USA has spent about twice as much on the war in Afghanistan and "the War on Terror" as it has on the entire US space program from the first Apollo missions until today.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


gerryblog: For those uneasy about the scenes of celebration, remember also that a lot of these kids were like 9 years old when 9/11 happened. For them it's like Obama killed the devil.

I was ten when 9/11 happened. For many kids my age, 9/11 is pretty much the first major worldwide thing we can remember. Since then, we've essentially grown up in a world defined by the aftermath and effects of the attacks. I imagine this notion is magnified for those who were more directly affected than I was. But, in short, yeah: this is a particularly big deal for my generation.

Also, it's the week before finals. Any excuse to blow off some steam.

Finally, a little off topic: I'm just finishing up a semester in Paris, and I'm getting ready to spend May traveling around Europe. I initially heard about all this from the thirteen State Department emails that were in my inbox this morning. It's a little unnerving.
posted by Comic Sans-Culotte at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's all this what-what (from both Presidents) about justice "being done."

Isn't justice served?
posted by rokusan at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hate myself for feeling this way but I'm glad he's dead. Now if we'd just get back some of the Constitutional rights we lost in the meantime...
posted by tommasz at 4:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was ten when 9/11 happened. For many kids my age, 9/11 is pretty much the first major worldwide thing we can remember.

Ah, for my generation that event was the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. They were bright years, for a while.
posted by smoke at 4:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Holy crap. 40k "likes" on George W. Bush's facebook page of his statement, and 10k comments congratulating him.
posted by crunchland at 4:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


rokusan: "What's all this what-what (from both Presidents) about justice "being done."

Isn't justice served?
"

Best cold, I hear.
posted by Splunge at 4:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


40k "likes" on George W. Bush's facebook page of his statement, and 10k comments congratulating him.

Congrats are warranted. For eight full years, dude just kept fucking that chicken.
posted by rokusan at 4:40 AM on May 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


Well, this certainly made for a visceral moment as I opened my newspaper this morning.

I'm glad for an end to (at least part of) this thing. At the same time, I feel an odd internal conflict; it has to do with the way some folks' eyes shine as they wave flags and carry on in the streets. A death is a death.

I wish he could have been taken alive and forced to face the families of those whose lives he'd been involved in taking--for a start.

Yes, I can think of far, far better uses for him alive.
posted by kinnakeet at 4:41 AM on May 2, 2011


Having slept and thought on the news, I have to say I'm feeling deeply satisfied about the announcement and with that comes some happiness. Not so much that Bin Laden is dead, as that will change very little (though I shed no tears) but happy about the process.

The President made it priority. The CIA spent a couple years tracking a lead. The military went in and did what they do

There was no shock and awe, no grand pomp and swaggering statements. There was a job to do, they did it and did it well and there is little official gloating in the aftermath. No Mission Accomplished sign, no swaggering in flight suit, no childish bluster. Just do it and move on. That's the way it should be done.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:41 AM on May 2, 2011 [68 favorites]


Could be, Joe in Australia. And I might agree with you. So now that you have his Twitter feed, you can enlighten him.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 4:41 AM on May 2, 2011


I know I'm one of a smaller and smaller handful of MeFites from the early days. It's weird to remember the 9/11 thread, and so clearly.

I also remember. Not being from the US, that thread was how I experienced what people were going through across the Atlantic. The world is such a different place now, and for a lot of people (mainly muslims, well done Bin Laden!) a worse place. I hope this is another turning point, in a good way.
posted by Summer at 4:42 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


A terrorist leader's body is a wonder. There are entire civilzations that would tear this world apart for one cell. We do this properly.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:46 AM on May 2, 2011 [13 favorites]


Such a weird time to be a Pak-Amer-istani-can. I can't say I have any sympathy for Bin Laden. I think the horrors he's brought upon Afghanistan and Pakistan are pretty damnable.

As for Abbotabad, sigh. My husband and his brother both went to the boarding school there. I don't know what to think about the ISI's knowledge of or involvement in any of this. As for thinking that American helicopters would have been shot down by the Pakistani armed forces if they hadn't known beforehand, that stretches credulity.

My Facebook feed is full of fear and cynicism right now.

Finally, this from a Facebook friend:
"a friend had a khala (maternal aunt) in a house 2 km away, and says that everyone knew that was a house "foreigners" lived in. meaning, strange type. sigh. what i positively dislike is knowing that you dont know the full picture."

So, people would have known something weird was up. But they wouldn't have known how weird. Strange people living in heavily armed and guarded houses are unfortunately all too common in Pakistan, even more so in the north-west.

The whole thing fills me with a sense of deep foreboding. Almost as bad as when I saw the towers tumbling. And that's even though I think the world is much better off without Osama Bin Laden in it.
posted by bardophile at 4:48 AM on May 2, 2011 [26 favorites]


Oh, and here's another pertinent comment from a former student:

"I am so confused: if, as is being reported on the BBC, the precise location of OBL was determined LAST summer, then how come there was an increased incidence of drone attacks across NWFP in the name of taking out OBL?"
posted by bardophile at 4:50 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


There was no shock and awe, no grand pomp and swaggering statements. There was a job to do, they did it and did it well and there is little official gloating in the aftermath.

Maybe it's just nostalgia talking, but I miss the days when Metafilter didn't echo the credulous, fawning false gravitas of the MSM so often.

Time to take another break.
posted by ryanshepard at 4:51 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


That you choose to associate with a pack of shallow-minded ignorant dipsticks is unsurprising.

These are left-wing conspiricy theories, but I'm sick of arguing with them. I blame too much sun and too much booze.
I'll still never forget my fellow students trying to APOLOGIZE to bin Laden after 9/11 though. I think I just kept yelling about revenge.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:54 AM on May 2, 2011




There is no right way to feel or react here. I've found myself all over the place this morning. But I keep reading...here, Facebook, Twitter...each reaction informs my own. And while I don't always agree, nor is my stance settled, I feel part of this flow. So I am grateful to have access to all this perspective, even if I may never quite know or understand just how I feel about it all.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:58 AM on May 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


I was teaching in a liberal NYC university on 9/11.

I heard not one word of apologetic discourse from students or even my most leftist colleagues. Lovecraft, I don't believe you.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I think I wish I thought this would change more.
posted by OmieWise at 5:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I imagine Chuck Norris or maybe Charlie Sheen catch Osama in the toilet and say, "Obama says Hello Mother F*#%R!"

Osama's reaction, "Obama? Obama? ... Oh $h*t!"
posted by xtian at 5:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not legit -- TinEye shows two hits for the same image from 2010.

I found it on this wacky 2009 blog post.

One of my Facebook friends posted the picture and is insisting it's real. Even if it were real I don't think blasting everyone's newsfeeds with a picture of a dead body would be appropriate, but the fact that it is so obviously fake adds an extra bit of headdesking to my morning.
posted by naoko at 5:03 AM on May 2, 2011


I don't think a world without Osama bin Laden will have less terrorism in it, but it will definitely have four more years of President Obama in it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:47 PM on May 1 [92 favorites +] [!]


Seriously? Is this what you really think. ( also heard this on CNN this morning) Never mind the 3 years of economic fumbling, never mind the 3 years of Politics as usual. Never mind the complete lack of Hope and Change that some people voted for. Never mind the absolute disaster that his foreign policy has become... The effort to capture or kill OBL has been a 10 year effort confounded by Pakistan's inability to or non-desire to let us search in the most likely of places...Pakistan. Why would anyone think he was anywhere else? There are nearly a hundred thousand troops in Afghanistan. That's a good place to hide? Now finally when some CIA operative gets suspicious that two couriers live in a mansion and never take out the trash all of a sudden it is The big O who saved the day? Puleeze.
posted by Gungho at 5:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I was teaching in a liberal NYC university on 9/11.

I heard not one word of apologetic discourse from students or even my most leftist colleagues. Lovecraft, I don't believe you.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:59 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


I don't think even the most eccentric activist living in NYC will have felt much sympathy for the attackers on 9/11. However, I can confirm that I myself was confronted at the time in Japan with some "alternative" US students who said similar things to what Lovecraft remembers.

I basically told them to go get stuffed.
posted by Skeptic at 5:05 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am not one to celebrate any death, even his. Having said that I understand where you all are coming from and hope you have a good party.
I would like to add two things, though:
1. The only likely concrete benefit of this will be that it will allow justification for a roll back of some of the worst parts of the war on terror
2. There is a least one American soldier who will never, ever, have to buy his own beer ever again.
A few parting thoughts:
I wonder if they decided beforehand who got to shoot him specifically.
Also, it's very interesting that they decided to bury him at sea. Very wise under the circumstances, I was discussing this with friends earlier, wondering whether they would burn him (like the soviets did to hitler) or unmarked grave or whatever.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 5:10 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I posted this over on Gamers With Jobs, but on rereading a couple hours later, I thought it was good enough to repeat here, so:

We would likely have been better off bringing him to justice. Part of trying to prove to the world that you're better than the bad guys is actually being better than the bad guys, and extrajudicial executions aren't exactly high on the feature list of 'good guy' governments.

On the ground, in the firefight, they may not have had a choice, but I'd still call this about the worst possible outcome. From best to worst, it would be bin Laden in prison, after being tried and convicted in a very public court; bin Laden free; bin Laden a martyr.

When you consider resources expended, twenty plane tickets and some flight school training on one side, versus trillions of dollars on the other, bin Laden didn't just win, he hit the all-time terrorism jackpot. By reacting the way we did, we damaged ourselves, absolutely literally, a million times worse than he ever could have.
posted by Malor at 5:11 AM on May 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


I was teaching in a liberal NYC university on 9/11.

I heard not one word of apologetic discourse from students or even my most leftist colleagues. Lovecraft, I don't believe you.


I was in Western Massachusetts. It was strange, because there were people who had personal connections to the attacks. I think everyone was pretty much in shock and falling back on whatever mental script they had prepared. I'm a very self-absorbed person, so I was thinking about a city I loved and a building I'd been in getting attacked.

It was just very bizzare.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:13 AM on May 2, 2011


Maybe it's just nostalgia talking, but I miss the days when Metafilter didn't echo the credulous, fawning false gravitas of the MSM so often.

That's a pity. One of the things I like about Metafilter's left bent is that various gradations of that, which challenge and inform my thought process.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:14 AM on May 2, 2011


On the ground, in the firefight, they may not have had a choice, but I'd still call this about the worst possible outcome. From best to worst, it would be bin Laden in prison, after being tried and convicted in a very public court; bin Laden free; bin Laden a martyr.

Yeah, the line I'm hearing in Australia is 'this will make him a martyr'. On one of the trashy current affairs shows their expert was saying something like "he couldn't have scripted it better himself". No idea how accurate that is, but I'm pretty sure every military culture has a soft spot for last stands/going out in a blaze of glory.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:15 AM on May 2, 2011


all of a sudden it is The big O who saved the day? Puleeze.

Are you suggesting that Presidents are elected based on some kind of rational weighing of a bunch of various factors that are accurately ascribed according to that President's responsibility for them? HAHAHAHA good one!

We would likely have been better off bringing him to justice.

I don't think so. We do not have a functioning media here. Can you imagine the jingoistic paroxysms that Fox News would whip themselves into? The unending spin wars over the smallest details, like OJ's trial but a million times worse as everything is spun against Obama? The painful way the rest of the media would align themselves in their various passive stenographer roles? The chance for Osama to get in front of cameras, perhaps even give martyr's speeches?

No, much much worse. If OBL really wanted to hurt America's image in the world, he should have turned himself in.
posted by fleacircus at 5:16 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm just speculatin' here, but it seems to me Bush was probably not going to ever find him.

1. He was looking the wrong county. Not just a country where he wasn't, but a country he couldn't possibly be.
2. His intelligence department was in disarray due to his dumb ideology.
3. Him and his cronies were generally inept. I just have a strong suspicion that when you're smart, your intelligence is better.

Perhaps I am just biased though. Obama's victory stare got me pregnant with patriotism last night...IN MY HEART.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:16 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


Lovecraft in Brooklyn -

At the time I occasionally corresponded with someone who was very liberal working at a college in CA - immediate after 9/11 she was very upset and worried, and wanting revenge... but about a week later her thinking had morphed to "We deserved it, and we shouldn't do anything in retaliation."

It was quite bizarre - I tried to get her to explain, but she wouldn't, said it was self-evident and I was stupid for not understanding why. Shortly after, we lost touch. Oddly, 10 years later, I've got no desire to even attempt to find her.
posted by JB71 at 5:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


all of a sudden it is The big O who saved the day? Puleeze.

Cast in the name of God. Ye not guilty.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Malor:We would likely have been better off bringing him to justice
Protecting bin laden in prison would probably cost in excess of $500 million. The court security precautions would probably cost the same. Same for his lawyer. You couldn't find an impartial judge or jury in America, so he would not have a fair trial for a start. Even if you had foreign judges.
Terrorist attacks would be sparked by his detention. Idealistic young radicals would do crazy things thinking it might help him, or he might see evidence of solidarity. It just wouldn't be possible.

Lovecraft In Brooklyn:'this will make him a martyr'
He would be a martyr figure regardless. Being shot point blank in the head in a million dollar mansion in a city with thousands of homeless, then unceremoniously buried in the sea is a pretty good outcome. It's much better than the martyr he would be if there was a public execution for example.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 5:19 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm just speculatin' here, but it seems to me Bush was probably not going to ever find him.

4. There was probably speculation on how there would be retaliation on American soil if he was captured or killed. Less so if he went for Saddam.
posted by samsara at 5:19 AM on May 2, 2011


The chance for Osama to get in front of cameras, perhaps even give martyr's speeches?

I don't think any of the other reasons are sufficient to kill people. Our culture isn't working, so it's okay if we shoot people we don't like?

And as far as the quoted bit goes: anyone is entitled to defend themselves against the charges laid against them. And they wouldn't be martyr's speeches if we just locked him up. The Unabomber got his articles published, and it's not like we took any damage from it.

Everyone accused of a crime deserves a trial, no matter how terrible the accusation is. A society where pointing a finger is the sole required evidence to kill someone is a society that should be expunged from the earth.
posted by Malor at 5:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


By reacting the way we did, we damaged ourselves, absolutely literally, a million times worse than he ever could have.

Oh surely now he's martyr in the minds of many extremists and that's not good. Yet, consider the possibility Osama was never to be captured alive in the first place: he may have said too much, or known too much about too many powerful people, so a deposition could have been devastating for too many people, or just quite embarassing if somehow corroborated.

On the contrary, given that the hatred for Osama was quite rampant in the U.S. and possibily in other countries too, killing him satisfied the bloodlust of justifiably angry mobs while fitting within a simplistic, but widely accepted minimal conception of justice as "an eye for an eye".
posted by elpapacito at 5:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure every military culture has a soft spot for last stands/going out in a blaze of glory.

Slap a bucket on his head, and OBL could pass for Ned Kelly.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Osama Bin Laden is certainly going to be viewed as a martyr by a lot of people. But don't forget that those people are the same ones who would not have been convinced that any trial the US subjected him to was fair. They would think of all evidence as doctored, all charges trumped up. That's a battle there's no point even trying to win.

At this point, there is pretty much nothing the American government can do to redeem itself in the eyes of those people.

The whole burial at sea thing is already starting massive conspiracy theories, amongst otherwise level-headed people. Sigh. I really need to think through a cogent comment targeted towards those otherwise level-headed people. Something about "Is there any way they could have done it that you would have believed and/or been ok with?"
posted by bardophile at 5:23 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's no way that bin Laden will avoid being a martyr - a trial where he gets a chance to give rousing speeches, being sent to Guantanamo, being killed in his own compound, it all can be worked into a stirring narrative if you're so inclined. It shouldn't be the deciding factor in what happens to him.
posted by harriet vane at 5:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good riddance. Also, took 'em long enough.
posted by jonmc at 5:25 AM on May 2, 2011


Speaking as someone who lived through, and was personally and deeply affected by the events of that day, this resolves and fixes nothing.

I'm having difficulty finding the words, but I'm actually disgusted by the predictably stupid and jingoistic reactions to this. OBL was no doubt a zealot, and violent, addled and psychopathic actor who (in the unlikely event hell does exist) has earned an eternity in the lake of fire. But that Al Qaeda was actively seeking a way to murder Americans by the score was not exactly uncommon knowledge as of September 10, 2001. The system that failed to protect our countrymen from this clear and present danger, the people who in their bureaucratic pettiness and ignorance failed to put the pieces together, and the command and control ineptitude of the forces that might have minimized the damage by acting swiftly, still have not been held accountable for this.

That OBL is dead I'm sure is great in terms of sating the bloodlust of all those who were mostly unaffected by the activities of his minions. But the gigantic hole in my heart torn open that day is still a LONG way from being healed.

Peace out.
posted by psmealey at 5:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


OBL was already a martyr - it started the moment he went into hiding. I would submit that AQ has been prepared for this eventuality for a while. They'll pour a little tea on the ground and hang their heads a bit, and then get back to their plans for killing people.

In the grand scheme of things, this changes little for the bad guys, I think. Probably changes little for us both tactically and strategically as well. I could be wrong, but that's where my thinking is right now.

It's a nice piece of news for those who needed it, but I fear that there is little which will change as a result.
posted by Thistledown at 5:27 AM on May 2, 2011


Interesting quotes collected at ALE. I wish something like this was collected by a US-based news source, but that would be too much effort for them perhaps?

I've been cruising the various American news sources, typical that Fox News doesn't have Obama on the front page, but GWB is front and center with his remarks.

Our media is such a mess.
posted by jeanmari at 5:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


According to NPR, the SEALs were on a mission to kill Obama, not capture him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 AM on May 2, 2011


Anybody have stats on how many times people have mixed up Obama and Osama so far?
posted by empath at 5:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you call him "bin Laden" instead of "Osama," you dramatically decrease the risk of talking about the president when you mean to talk about a terrorist.
posted by oinopaponton at 5:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


ObL is already a martyr. I doubt his stock can go any higher with his fanatics.

"Everyone accused of a crime deserves a trial"

Dear Pakistan, can we haz the guy you are actively hiding from us?

tia!
posted by bardic at 5:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I (and I never thought I'd say this) am with fourcheesemac here. I know plenty of people far enough to the left to make the average MeFi user look like a Republican banker and none of them were apologists for these fuckos. Many of them would have killed OBL themselves given the chance. A military response was warranted, but Bush & Co both fucked it up royally and used it for their own ends.
posted by jonmc at 5:42 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


.













Not for OBL, but for pre-911 America. For the Country without a War on Terror. That War will never end, it is too valuable, and besides, who would ever make the pronouncement? So this morning I feel sad rather than jubilant, sad because I feel like my government has only strengthened and increased the strings it controls to jerk me around at their pleasure.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:43 AM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


For all of you saying justice has been served you are wrong. Actually the opposite has happened. Justice is what happens when you are arrested and put on trial in a court of law. Funny how murder is ok and celebrated when perpetrated by state actors. Either way American political theater is some schlocky shit.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:43 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


ABC now has video from inside the compound in Abbottabad. It was apparently only 1,000 feet from the Pakistani Military Academy. They make linking a pain. Just hit abcnews.com and click play. (Warning: bloody footage.)
posted by fremen at 5:44 AM on May 2, 2011


:)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:46 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do the "experts" keep referring to the location as a suburb, or a suburban location outside of Islamabad? This is a city of 1 million people 35 miles to the north of the capital. Think Baltimore, which is a city about 35 miles north of DC.
posted by Shike at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


bard: I've already run into the same problem with, as you say, otherwise level-headed people. I said I can think of a dozen reasons they buried him at sea other than him being secretly at a burger joint with elvis.

Malor: Everyone accused of a crime deserves a trial

I agree. But there are a lot of issues. Apart from logistics as I mentioned above, lets say this happened, he pleaded, and pleaded not guilty. What might his defence look like?

-Osama declared war. Therefore he could argue that what he did was legal as it was warfare.
#but he can't declare war, he's a person not a state..
-dozens of case involving ambigious distinctions between states and non-states, absense of case law otherwise, this itself could take years.
#but he killed civilians.
-He's a non state actor, therefore not party to the geneva convention.
#he killed american citizens, so regardless he's subject to american criminal charges
-evidence obtained via torture, inadmissable,
-intelligence community hardly neutral, has been after him for decades
-legality of attempted assassination of a foreign national without proper checks and balances?

Most likely Osama would commit various contempt of court offences, refuse to cooperate, speak at length (ie, what saddam did) , get sick for one reason or another, prompting an internationally appointed doctor, blah blah. With the issues above it's quite possible that a hypothetical impartial jury and fair trial would result in a not guilty plea.

That's just looking at one small facet of the issues relating to a criminal trial. I talked also about logistics, there's also diplomacy, economic effects, regional security, internal US politics (GOP would have a field day and Obama would be out of office pretty darn quick), NGO and UN interventions (proper treatment of prisoners etc), effects on the CT community, demoralization in the army, even desertion, people demanding the body be dealt with this way or that, people claiming it's an actor, people trying to track down the location of the courthouse, requirements for independent verification of DNA details.. don't forget as well that he would be tortured. extensively. he potentially has more useful information that ever person that has ever been into Gitmo. With two wars on, would they really leave that to chance? And yeah, they shouldn't torture, either, but they would.

I believe everyone deserves a fair trial. But I know the world is a complicated place. and I know that even "the right to a fair trial" is a complicated notion. What about access to competent lawyers? Impartial juries? You have plenty of people who do not get fair trials everyday.

When the world is a more perfect place ideals like a fair trial and free and open democracy will have less rough edges, but we won't be socially capable of truly achieving these and many other ideals in any significant sense for generations.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2011


Revenge achieved, justice not quite.
posted by Atreides at 5:49 AM on May 2, 2011


The fucker took credit for killing thousands on global TV. Some of you guys think we needed a trial to off his sorry ass?

Nuts. To. That.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


Why does there appear to be a tiny cow mooing in that ABCnews video of the compound?
posted by Shike at 5:50 AM on May 2, 2011


For all of you saying justice has been served you are wrong. Actually the opposite has happened. Justice is what happens when you are arrested and put on trial in a court of law.

Bin Laden has had 10 years to hand himself in. Instead he decided to go out in a firefight. Suicide-by-cop is not "being murdered" and claiming otherwise is deeply disingenuous.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 5:51 AM on May 2, 2011 [24 favorites]


Nothing changes. Today, we're in just as much danger from Al Qaeda as we were yesterday. American soldiers are still fighting Taliban in Afghanistan. TSA is still conducting Security Kabuki at our airports.

Only thing that's changed is a mass murderer and symbol for radical Islamists everywhere is dead. I suppose that's a start.
posted by Not The Stig at 5:53 AM on May 2, 2011


Suicide-by-cop is not "being murdered"

True, but assassination by Seal team six is.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


The system that failed to protect our countrymen from this clear and present danger,....

It was a low tech sucker punch. If you're willing to kill yourself in the process, anything is possible. Seriously, how would you have stopped it?

I'm wondering if AL Qaeda is becoming un-hip anyway among the Muslim youth. ANy studies on this?

(Just learned this this morning, FWIW. PBS did not think it worth breaking into their regularly scheduled programming to let us know. Make of that what you will)
posted by IndigoJones at 5:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Only thing that's changed is a mass murderer and symbol for radical Islamists everywhere is dead. I suppose that's a start."

Baby steps. You gotta start somewhere.
posted by JB71 at 5:55 AM on May 2, 2011


typical that Fox News doesn't have Obama on the front page, but GWB is front and center with his remarks. Our media is such a mess.

The Fox page isn't your media. It's just a really big blog run by a rich old Australian. It's surprising he didn't run a picture of his cat.
posted by pracowity at 5:55 AM on May 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


Protecting bin laden in prison would probably cost in excess of $500 million. The court security precautions would probably cost the same. Same for his lawyer.

Argument: justice is expensive. Therefore, someone who's accused of something particularly grievous should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot.

Do you realize how ridiculous that argument sounds, when we are spending trillions on blowing up brown people vaguely associated with the man? There's plenty of money for violence, but none for civilization?

You couldn't find an impartial judge or jury in America, so he would not have a fair trial for a start. Even if you had foreign judges.

I don't think that's true. We could find impartial people if we were willing to look hard enough. Now, you might be right that we wouldn't bother, but it's perfectly possible.

Terrorist attacks would be sparked by his detention. Idealistic young radicals would do crazy things thinking it might help him, or he might see evidence of solidarity.

So now we should throw away justice because of crazy people? Terrorists should define how we live our lives?

Dude, you are already lost to the terrorists. In the battlefield of your mind, they have already won, and destroyed civilization. If they succeed at doing this enough times, the law and the justice system will fail. One could certainly argue that in many important ways, it already has.

Justice isn't something you provide only when it's convenient; you stick to the law even when it's a massive pain in the ass. Justice only for the popular isn't justice.

It just wouldn't be possible.

That is a pile of horseshit so deep you could drown in it.
posted by Malor at 5:56 AM on May 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


Osama bin Laden was a waste of DNA; I just hope his atoms don't end up in my can of tuna.
posted by bwg at 5:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Suicide-by-cop is not "being murdered"

True, but assassination by Seal team six is.


I guess next time we'll just issue him a summons.
posted by empath at 5:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Complicated world is complicated.
posted by proj at 5:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Suicide-by-cop is not "being murdered"

It's not suicide-by-cop when the cops are under explicit orders, and have flown halfway around the world, to kill you.
posted by Malor at 5:58 AM on May 2, 2011


Why do the "experts" keep referring to the location as a suburb, or a suburban location
outside of Islamabad? This is a city of 1 million people 35 miles to the north of the capital. Think Baltimore, which is a city about 35 miles north of DC.


THANK YOU! I couldn't think of what city to compare it with to give people a sense of how stupid the "outside Islamabad" framing is. It's far more relevant that it's less than a kilometre from Kakul, where the Pakistan Military Academy is. And that, other than the Academy cantonment, this town is essentially a holiday resort.
posted by bardophile at 5:58 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: "I guess next time we'll just issue him a summons."

No we won't.
posted by bwg at 5:59 AM on May 2, 2011


For all of you saying justice has been served you are wrong. Actually the opposite has happened. Justice is what happens when you are arrested and put on trial in a court of law. Funny how murder is ok and celebrated when perpetrated by state actors. Either way American political theater is some schlocky shit.

Accused felon opens fire upon team sent to apprehend him, is killed, film at 11.

I think everyone would have liked to have him tried, including Obama. But the guy shot back. Flat out. He personally discharged his weapon at the team.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Imprisoning Bin Laden would not have been impossible. Arresting him, in a country where the US has no official military presence, without the full co-operation of the Pakistani authorities, and where bin Laden was evidently determined to go out guns blazing, appears to have been impossible. Some of you are upset that Special Forces is not a team of roving wizards who could have teleported bin Laden into a cell rather than responding to his gunfire.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 6:01 AM on May 2, 2011 [21 favorites]


Nothing changes. Today, we're in just as much danger from Al Qaeda as we were yesterday. American soldiers are still fighting Taliban in Afghanistan. TSA is still conducting Security Kabuki at our airports.

Only thing that's changed is a mass murderer and symbol for radical Islamists everywhere is dead. I suppose that's a start.


I disagree. As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool. Now, he's dead, and is a symbol of defeat for those who would do this type of thing to anyone.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


True, but assassination by Seal team six is.
You're assuming their orders were to kill them? I'm clearly speculating here as I have no knowledge about it, but wouldn't it be more likely to me that their orders were to capture or kill him? Not that he was just going to come willingly, but what exactly do you expect?
posted by blue mustard at 6:02 AM on May 2, 2011


Well, what we're hearing EMRJKC, is that their explicit orders were to kill. Period. Not arrest, just kill.

If they were sent to arrest, and couldn't because he was firing back, I have no problem with the outcome. But I most certainly do if arrest was never even an option.
posted by Malor at 6:02 AM on May 2, 2011


Suicide-by-cop is not "being murdered"

It's not suicide-by-cop when the cops are under explicit orders, and have flown halfway around the world, to kill you.


Really? You read their orders? No making shit up. There is no meaningful discussion without facts.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess next time we'll just issue him a summons.

You mean like this.

I disagree. As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool. Now, he's dead, and is a symbol of defeat for those who would do this type of thing to anyone.

Really? You don't know much about Islam do you.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:03 AM on May 2, 2011


I will say I knew colleagues (and as I recall, students) on the far left who were opposed to the overt patriotic displays that took over New York post 9/11. In some apartment buildings (mine included) the doormen and some tenants wanted to display American flags, and other tenants opposed this as jingoistic or inflammatory.

But really, I never heard anyone suggest seriously that an apology was the appropriate response to Bin Laden or the Arab world or Islam or the colonized global south in response to the attacks of 9/11. No one. And I too know a circle of people who are a good deal farther left than most mefites, or than I am certainly (and I went to nearly every major anti-war march in DC or New York for the last decade, although I style myself a left patriot, for what it's worth, and have a few libertarian chunks in my otherwise standard issue left academic worldview).

Really, never. I'm sure it's out there somewhere on some comment board or forum or in some crazy person's blog post, but this was not a conventional sentiment among academics or students and to suggest that it was amounts to something of a conservative slander that risks becoming one of those Big Lies so effectively used to demonize liberals.

I'm a lefty academic. I wanted to get a gun and go to Afghanistan myself and off that motherfucker after seeing what he did to my city. Instead, I turned my class for the remainder of that semester into a focus on Islam and Afghan culture. We could smell the smoldering towers in that classroom for the rest of the damn month. Don't tell me I wasn't paying attention.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


or radical islam rather
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah but this isn't "suicide-by-cop". From Bin Laden's POV he was morally and ethically justified. Why should he turn himself in to the Evil Satan America for doing good deeds? It all kind of reads like a feud between the McCoy's and the Hatfields really. No one's objectively right except in their own eyes. I guess we're right-right because more people agreed that we were justified in what we did? Global politics is really pretty ugly. I suspect if you ask the average Chinese citizen/resident they're pretty happy with dissident suppression because man ain't China going gangbusters right now, hoo-ray central planning etc.

I'm mixed about this. A relieved sigh is about all I can spare beyond these thoughts, and mostly not because some guy is dead but because now there's maybe going to be a little less grar in the world. But then the cynic in me comes back and says, "man, now y'all have just pissed them off again."

And today in my new country we're having an argument between the forces of rationality and the forces of dogmatism. I mean, really? We have to have this discussion at all? Could humanity be any more irritating to me today? Cheering about some dead guy while screaming about high gas prices, too? Maybe if there were a middle-school brass band outside playing Beatles cover tunes endlessly.
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2011


As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool.

Wait wait wait wait wait. You actually think that a dead bin Laden is a less effective inspiration and recruiting tool than a life one?

You know how this "martyrdom" bullshit works, right?
posted by shiu mai baby at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2011


I disagree. As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool. Now, he's dead, and is a symbol of defeat for those who would do this type of thing to anyone.

IMO, they were already defeated when Egypt fell via largely non-violent action.
posted by empath at 6:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Justice isn't something you provide only when it's convenient; you stick to the law even when it's a massive pain in the ass. Justice only for the popular isn't justice.

If you open fire on a team sent to apprehend you, they can shoot back. This is the law in the United States of America. It always has been.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:05 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Malor: "Dude, you are already lost to the terrorist""

Hardly. If you want to make an ad hominen attack, however:
I never said we should throw away justice, I'm not a supporter of the patriot act, i'm actively against large parts of the war on terror (especially the self defeating parts).
However I also support some US military intervention overseas. I know there is some logic to going to war in Iraq, and Afghan. I can talk about credentials if you want.

But I'm not an idiot. I know that a trial of OBL in the USA would not work. That is a fact. Can you imagine the out come of a not guilty verdict? But by embracing a fair trial you accept that as a possibility.

I'm not saying this is a good state of affairs, I would be all for a possible world where Osama could get a fair trial in the US tomorrow without any problems. But that is not our world.
I would like everyone to have a fair trial too. But it doesn't always happen. In his case it could not happen.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:05 AM on May 2, 2011


If Osama was firing at US troops, yah, there is basically zero realistic chance of taking him alive.

I am a big fan of trials, convictions, and showing the right way of doing things. But... he spent the past decade claiming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks, and others thereafter. We said "dead or alive."

We didn't shoot Saddam on sight, did we?

War is messy. I could never be one of the people on this operation. (Not like I have the legal right to serve openly anyways - heyo!) But if somehow I was one of those special forces, I can't imagine any other way this could have happened.
posted by andreaazure at 6:05 AM on May 2, 2011


IMO, they were already defeated when Egypt fell via largely non-violent action.

Good point.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:05 AM on May 2, 2011


If they were sent to arrest, and couldn't because he was firing back, I have no problem with the outcome.

There you go. But there will never be any evidence that he did/didn't discharge the weapon, unless there is some sort of video of the operation.
posted by elpapacito at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011


No one's objectively right except in their own eyes.

I think murdering 3000 innocent people is objectively wrong and forfeits your right to exist on this planet. Maybe I'm being crazy here.

(cue complaints about Bush, which I'm not unsympathetic to).
posted by empath at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ironmouth: It's also the law of Pakistan. Of course, in that case, the team has to be Pakistani. An American law enforcement team doesn't really have any jurisdiction in Pakistan. If we want to be legalistic about this.
posted by bardophile at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


We were hypocrites before Bin Laden bit the dust. We'll be hypocrites tomorrow. We're hypocrites right now. All of us.

We're also human beings. Those who find this catharsis unseemly are tilting at windmills, although I think your contrarianism is important and a critique must emerge and be debated.

Tomorrow. Right now, human nature dictates that many of your fellow citizens, this one included, are going to enjoy the taste of a madman's blood.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I'm not an idiot. I know that a trial of OBL in the USA would not work. That is a fact. Can you imagine the out come of a not guilty verdict? But by embracing a fair trial you accept that as a possibility.

Not guilty? Dude went on TV and brazenly admitted it. I saw it.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also on another note:
Wikipedia entry for CIA's special activites direction has been amended to claim they were responsible. Been edited out of Australia of all places.
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special_Activities_Division&diff=next&oldid=427028257
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:06 AM on May 2, 2011


Oops sorry wrong forum. Link here
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:07 AM on May 2, 2011




As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool.

Trying to justify killing or not killing Bin Laden based on whether he's a symbol and what means doesn't matter.

He declared war on the US and was quite content to take part, in whatever way he could, in killing Americans and had already been successful in doing so. That's reason enough to send in kill squad for him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:10 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth: It's also the law of Pakistan. Of course, in that case, the team has to be Pakistani. An American law enforcement team doesn't really have any jurisdiction in Pakistan. If we want to be legalistic about this.

Actually, under US law, we can sure as hell can do it. And the Fourth Amendment does not apply.

US. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 US 259 (1990). He can be seized by US agents anywhere, any time.

In fact we have already done this before in Pakistan, with that guy who opened fire at the State Department in DC. DSS agents seized him in Pakistan.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:11 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a symbol, he is an inspiration and recruiting tool.

Trying to justify killing or not killing Bin Laden based on whether he's a symbol and what means doesn't matter.

He declared war on the US and was quite content to take part, in whatever way he could, in killing Americans and had already been successful in doing so. That's reason enough to send in kill squad for him.


More importantly, he was wanted for 3,000 counts of murder in the United States. Our attempt to seize him failed when he entered into a gun battle with the team sent to apprehend him.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]




I'm coming incredibly late to this thread, to say that Bin Laden's death matters to me.

It matters because my twin brother, an army reservist, was recently deployed for the third time in 10 years. This time to cover the duties for a unit sent to Afghanistan. Every single deployment has had a disruptive effect on his life and the life of my family. Deployment #2 forced him to move the date of his wedding back two months.

Every single deployment has sent my mother into crisis mode. Every single time he is deployed I end up as the target of my mother's worry and wrath. I'm 37 years old, I shouldn't tolerate being a target. But I do, because it is means my brother is not, and he can focus on doing what he needs to do.

So I'm glad Bin Laden is dead. Because it means that my brother might be able to come home sooner. It means that once he retires from the reserves (he completes 20 years in at the end of 2011), we may be able to worry less about him being stop-lossed after his retirement (oh yes, they did this to reservists too). It means I can stop being a target.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hitler is dead ?????????
posted by sgt.serenity at 6:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess next time we'll just issue him a summons.

What? You think Zombie Bin Laden is going to be more compliant than this one?
posted by mazola at 6:16 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


No, Hitler shares a nice condo in Buenos Aires with Walt Disney.
posted by bardic at 6:16 AM on May 2, 2011


Hitler is dead ?????????
At least they saved his brain.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:17 AM on May 2, 2011


Now, he's dead, and is a symbol of defeat for those who would do this type of thing to anyone.

Dude, he beat us cold. Stone cold. Twenty plane tickets and some flight school, and now we're in two wars, about a trillion dollars further in debt, we've got our own citizens being routinely stopped and checked for papers at airports, we're conducting routine, massive surveillance of the population, and we've got a bunch of people locked up forever without trials in a modern gulag.

There is no conceivable way he could have done any better. ONE GUY, and a few hundred followers, did all that.

bin Laden is the most successful terrorist in history. And WE made him successful; we played his game the way he wanted us to play it. We bought in hook, line, and sinker.

Knowing that America is run by a bunch of fucking idiots, there's going to be more smart guys like bin Laden that figure out that cheap little needle pricks like that will send us into frenzies of self-destruction.

It's been awhile since I ran the figures, but IIRC, we've now spent more on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, in real terms, than we did on World War 2. For ONE GUY.

So, yes, by any rational measure bin Laden won. We all die in the end, but he caused his greatest enemy to do more damage to itself than probably any other single man in history. Hitler and Stalin combined might have made us spend more money than we spent on OBL, but he definitely beat Hitler, and may have beaten Stalin.

Yeah, it cost him his life, but I think he, and the people he has and will inspire, would consider that a nearly irrelevant price.
posted by Malor at 6:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [64 favorites]


Ironmouth: It's also the law of Pakistan. Of course, in that case, the team has to be Pakistani. An American law enforcement team doesn't really have any jurisdiction in Pakistan. If we want to be legalistic about this.

Actually, under US law, we can sure as hell can do it. And the Fourth Amendment does not apply.

US. v. Verdugo-Urquidez, 494 US 259 (1990). He can be seized by US agents anywhere, any time.

In fact we have already done this before in Pakistan, with that guy who opened fire at the State Department in DC. DSS agents seized him in Pakistan.


See, this is where the US government starts to lose my sympathy, completely. If ANY country in the world were to say this about someone who was in the US, how would the US react? Just because the US government thinks they have a right to completely ignore another nation's sovereignty, it doesn't actually give them that right under international law. And since two nations are involved, one would think international law would be more relevant than American law. Not that the US would ever concede that supremacy.

That said,
a) of course the US will get away with this. They have the power to get away with it.
b) I'm not all that upset about this particular violation of sovereignty. But then, I can think of lots of situations where I don't think the letter of the law is of the utmost concern.
posted by bardophile at 6:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Way too many comments in the overnight hours for me to try and catch up before I go to bed. Even so, I wanted to add that, whatever other criticism may be justified, the President apparently didn't cynically save this as a political ace-in-the-hole.

It occurred to me that bin Laden wasn't going anywhere, nicely holed up in his fortified mansion as he was, and the President and his most trusted political advisors must have known this. The raid and subsequent announcement could have been put off for months. Perhaps even until late next year when it could have affected the outcome of the election. Instead, once the President was satisfied that the intelligence was legitimate and the operational goals achievable, he gave the order.

It remains to be seen how cynically this will be spun the usual suspects in the Beltway Establishment. Regardless, I like to believe that there wasn't any cynicism in the room when President Obama made the decision to attack immediately. Then again maybe I'm a little hung-over and still swooning from when he walked away from the podium like a boss.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our attempt to seize him failed when he entered into a gun battle with the team sent to apprehend him.

Reports are that the SEAL team was sent to kill, not capture him. I'm personally ok with that, but it's seems pretty clear we were not trying to capture him at this point.

So, yes, by any rational measure bin Laden won.

I don't see a fundamental Muslim empire rising any time soon.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Part of me feels squicked about the chants of "USA!", but at the same time I was fairly far removed from the effects of 9/11 on a personal level so I'll try to keep from judging anyone for now.

I was pretty damn close to 9/11 on the personal level, and that squicked me out too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


As noted above, Hitlers body was burned by the Soviets, who had similar concerns to those that the American govt. had before they dumped his in the water somewhere.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:20 AM on May 2, 2011


What a weird day.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:21 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


It occurred to me that bin Laden wasn't going anywhere, nicely holed up in his fortified mansion as he was, and the President and his most trusted political advisors must have known this. The raid and subsequent announcement could have been put off for months.

This is insane. When you have your target, you strike. Can you imagine the shitstorm if they'd put it off until whenever and he'd got jittery and moved?
posted by unSane at 6:21 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I like how foxnews.com currently has Bush pictured, but not Obama.
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:23 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Let me applaud Malor for playing devil advocate for Justice by complaing about the fact Osama was killed without a trial; it's so unpopular a behavior and so interesting a cause it is arguably commendable in itself.
posted by elpapacito at 6:23 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]



Let me applaud Malor for playing devil advocate for Justice by complaing about the fact Osama was killed without a trial...


Indeed. I don't agree with him, but do welcome his and similar viewpoints. They're bringing up questions worth asking.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:24 AM on May 2, 2011


Let me applaud Malor for playing devil advocate for Justice by complaing about the fact Osama was killed without a trial; it's so unpopular a behavior and so interesting a cause it is arguably commendable in itself.

I think it would have been better. The speech indicated capture was a hope. However, he personally opened fire on our team. Therefore they shot back, killing him.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2011


I hope they honestly tried to arrest him.
posted by pracowity at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2011


CBS is reporting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to speak momentarily regarding the death of Osama bin Laden.
posted by chemoboy at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2011


I think most of us, including Obama, would have preferred that he be captured alive (Even Bush and Cheney, I'm sure -- just think of the all the enhanced interrogation techniques they could have used!), but that was never a realistic option.
posted by empath at 6:25 AM on May 2, 2011


Apparently, Kim Jong Il pulled the trigger. Did they fly in on a TRUMP-brand chopper flown by the Donald?
posted by Shike at 6:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, yes, by any rational measure bin Laden won.
Sure, I'm inclined to agree. However that was a fait accompli a long time ago, and the fact that the US administration was at one point so fragile that one man and a hundred followers could lead to two wars says more about that administration and it's failings to follow legitimate intelligence leads and react to crises appropriately than it does about that one man.
There is no conceivable way he could have done any better
Well, yeah. There are, you just have to think about it for a little bit. Hell, even stronger alienation of the USA from it's allies.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:26 AM on May 2, 2011


I see lots of arguments that Bin Laden was successful because he caused all kinds of civil rights rollbacks in the US, and got us embroiled in multiple wars.

Somehow, that doesn't seem like the kind of thing he would have considered a success. If we had pulled out of the Middle East and stopped supporting Israel, he probably would've seen that as a success. But killing a bunch of Afghanis and Iraqis, and making international airflight mildly uncomfortable, and restricting the rights of American citizens to disagree with the President? Those seem like things he would have either not cared about, or actively disliked.

Also, I'm seeing a lot of disagreement about whether there were far lefties who supported the 9/11 attacks. But I'm seeing that disagreement coming from people who live in New York. I'm pretty sure that even if there were far lefties supporting 9/11 (I have no idea if there were or weren't), you wouldn't find them in New York. So saying "there were no lefties supporting Obama. I live in New York and I've never met one" is like saying "There are no deep sea blorgwhums. I live in Arizona, and I've never seen one.
posted by Bugbread at 6:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


See, this is where the US government starts to lose my sympathy, completely. If ANY country in the world were to say this about someone who was in the US, how would the US react?

Facts people! Facts! If you're gonna say something be sure it isn't abjectly false. The wingnuts went apeshit over this order:


The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
December 17, 2009

Executive Order — Amending Executive Order 12425

EXECUTIVE ORDER
- – – – – – -
AMENDING EXECUTIVE ORDER 12425 DESIGNATING INTERPOL
AS A PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION ENTITLED TO
ENJOY CERTAIN PRIVILEGES, EXEMPTIONS, AND IMMUNITIES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 1 of the International Organizations Immunities Act (22 U.S.C. 288), and in order to extend the appropriate privileges, exemptions, and immunities to the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), it is hereby ordered that Executive Order 12425 of June 16, 1983, as amended, is further amended by deleting from the first sentence the words “except those provided by Section 2(c), Section 3, Section 4, Section 5, and Section 6 of that Act” and the semicolon that immediately precedes them.

BARACK OBAMA
posted by Ironmouth at 6:28 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Attention: I would like to use this opportunity to remind everyone here that I am more cynical than you are, that this also means I am more intelligent than you are as well as more sophisticated generally, and also that this is an excellent opportunity for me to score a few political points while irritating everyone I've decided I dislike. Which is all of you.

Thank you.

(P.S.: I'm better than you are)
posted by aramaic at 6:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [59 favorites]


Aramaic wins.
posted by Bugbread at 6:31 AM on May 2, 2011


Ironmouth: Ok, I was totally unaware of that change. Thanks for correcting me.
posted by bardophile at 6:31 AM on May 2, 2011


I like how foxnews.com currently has Bush pictured, but not Obama.

well, to be fair, it's going to take them a few days to figure out an angle in which they can give reagan the credit for it.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 6:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


Wrong thread, aramaic. You want the meta about brilliant yet unfavorited posts. Or maybe the one about Scott Adams.
posted by Ahab at 6:33 AM on May 2, 2011


not sure i get all the rah-rah-usa celebrating. i mean, it took the greatest military power on the face of the earth 10 years to kill one geriatric goatfucker. i'm glad we finally did, but dancing in the streets?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:36 AM on May 2, 2011


People are whizzing through the thread so just so everybody sees it, reports are that the SEAL team was ordered to kill bin Laden, not capture him. Kill only.
posted by scalefree at 6:36 AM on May 2, 2011


it took the greatest military power on the face of the earth 10 years to kill one geriatric goatfucker.

I don't think it's because we weren't able. It's because those in power didn't want it to happen so they could keep exploiting the situation.
posted by jonmc at 6:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


reports are that the SEAL team was ordered to kill bin Laden, not capture him. Kill only.
link?
posted by blue mustard at 6:39 AM on May 2, 2011


As Obama administration officials described it, the real breakthrough came when they finally figured out the name and location of Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, whom the Qaeda chief appeared to rely on to maintain contacts with the outside world.

Detainees at the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, had given the courier’s pseudonym to American interrogators and said that the man was a protégé of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks. American intelligence officials said Sunday night that they finally learned the courier’s real name four years ago, but that it took another two years for them to learn the general region where he operated. Still, it was not until August when they tracked him to the compound in Abbottabad, a medium-sized city about an hour’s drive north of Islamabad, the capital.

C.I.A. analysts spent the next several weeks examining satellite photos and intelligence reports to determine who might be living at the compound, and a senior administration official said that by September the C.I.A. had determined there was a “strong possibility” that Bin Laden himself was hiding there. It was hardly the spartan cave in the mountains where many had envisioned Bin Laden to be hiding. Rather, it was a mansion on the outskirts of the town’s center, set on an imposing hilltop and ringed by 12-foot-high concrete walls topped with barbed wire.

The property was valued at $1 million, but it had neither a telephone nor an Internet connection. Its residents were so concerned about security that they burned their trash rather putting it on the street for collection like their neighbors. American officials believed that the compound, built in 2005, was designed for the specific purpose of hiding Bin Laden.

posted by mediareport at 6:39 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ironmouth: Ok, I was totally unaware of that change. Thanks for correcting me.

Note that it amends an executive order in force since 1982. I suspect that one is just a rehash of prior ones.

Note that Pakistan was in on this from the beginning. They weren't in the final team, but they were in on it.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:40 AM on May 2, 2011


reports are that

Would you mind linking those, scalefree? The thread could use more links and facts and less opinioneering.
posted by mediareport at 6:41 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Facebook comment from Serbian friend: "Interesting how it is announced just one day after killing of Gaddaffi son and grandsons and couple of days after historical Hamas-Fatah agreeement.:) "

This makes me wonder how sheltered we (US) are from other perspectives ... 'other' including those who have learned to view such news with even more cynicism than we can imagine.
posted by Surfurrus at 6:43 AM on May 2, 2011


ote that Pakistan was in on this from the beginning. They weren't in the final team, but they were in on it.

Yes, that's true. And they've tacitly approved much worse in terms of letting national sovereignty go down the tubes.

Its residents were so concerned about security that they burned their trash rather putting it on the street for collection like their neighbors.

umm. In Pakistan, burning trash is so common that there are city ordinances against it, but they get constantly ignored. Like jaywalking, for example. Some people do it within their compounds, some outside. This in itself says nothing about security consciousness.
posted by bardophile at 6:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]




About the White House crowd....that crowd included a lot of GW students. There isn't a ton of residential space right by the WH, but there *is* a fairly large university. The GW student body contains a lot of (1)political wonk types (2)NY/NJ/CT-ers (3)conservatives and (4) assholes. It's unfortunate that so many cameras were around for that crowd, it's really not a fair representation of the city at large.

GW alum here (ugh, I know)
posted by troika at 6:45 AM on May 2, 2011


This "no telephone & no internet" thing is puzzling to me. I personally know several geeks who could get me set up with really, really secure internet, and I think it wouldn't take me more than one hop to get to someone who could spell out some more some more or less uncrackable encryption and data security practices.
posted by lodurr at 6:45 AM on May 2, 2011


Ironmouth: Ok, I was totally unaware of that change. Thanks for correcting me.

Note that it amends an executive order in force since 1982. I suspect that one is just a rehash of prior ones.

Note that Pakistan was in on this from the beginning. They weren't in the final team, but they were in on it.


I have to retract that. Obama thanked the President of Pakistan, leading me to believe they did know. But NYT says Obama kept it from Pakistan the entire time.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:45 AM on May 2, 2011


This "no telephone & no internet" thing is puzzling to me. I personally know several geeks who could get me set up with really, really secure internet, and I think it wouldn't take me more than one hop to get to someone who could spell out some more some more or less uncrackable encryption and data security practices.

You forget the weakness in that system. The humans operating it. They could spill the wrong info, talk on an insecure line or, or someone forwards an E-mail. You have no internet so there are zero mistakes.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok, looks like an unnamed "U.S. national security official" said it to Reuters:

"This was a kill operation," the official said, making clear there was no desire to try to capture bin Laden alive in Pakistan.

I'm sure the longform New Yorker article in a half-year or so will clear all of it up.
posted by mediareport at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Malor, I completely agree with you on the topic of OBL's success in screwing with America. The deep sadness in me today is not because of 911's aftermath so much as the realization that America is not the country that I was raised to revere. We are the land of The Free (and the brave and the sensible and the gosh-darn-it-good-guys who don't ever torture) except when we feel threatened-- and then all that stuff goes out the window including the inalienable rights of American Citizens. And we lick the boots of our authoritarian rulers and proclaim that We Have Nothing to Hide so bring on the scanners and the wire taps and the demands for ID. This is not the country I was promised in the movies.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


Here is a kind thought to the man that gave his life mortally wounding the american dragon.

...I don't recall any mention of a dragon being found amongst the dead in either the Pentagon, Flight United 93, or the Twin Towers.

Only several thousand innocent people.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:48 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


uncrackable encryption and data security practices.

Hm, uncrackably encrypted traffic emanating from a walled enclave in Islamabad. They could just paint a big target on the roof, alternatively.
posted by unSane at 6:49 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


ironmouth, good point. they had a bit of a scare with sat phones c. 2002-2003, so I suppose it made sense to be very cautious. And using the same "trusted courier" year after year illustrates the human weakness in the system. (Not that he was weak, but that he, as an identifiable human, was trackable.)
posted by lodurr at 6:49 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"some more some more or less uncrackable encryption and data security practices." Yeah, for you. What about the people who ring you or communicate with you online? If they have a security hole physical psychological or electronic and get caught your sophisticated security is worth zilch. On preview as Ironmouth and unSane said.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:50 AM on May 2, 2011


About the Internet thing, remember that OBL almost got killed because the NSA targeted his sat phone back before 9/11. So I can understand him being leery of any technology in the compound.
posted by scalefree at 6:50 AM on May 2, 2011


uncrackably encrypted traffic emanating from a walled enclave in Islamabad.

Hide it in bad packets. The networks probably suck around there. Or set up a network of UWB relays to points a few hundred meters away. Probably not too expensive.

But the social engineering objection trumps any of these strategies, so I'm just riffing.
posted by lodurr at 6:52 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


A thousand feet from the military academy is just extraordinarily close. That's 330 yards, well under the distance it's possible to throw a boomerang or a Frisbee.
posted by unSane at 6:53 AM on May 2, 2011


From the paucity of favorites in the lower half of this thread, I assume everyone else has like me, hit their favorite limit for the day?
posted by orthogonality at 6:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yep, that's where they fucked up. They should have set up an insecure internet connection and downloaded thousands of YouTube videos of cats playing the piano. Or whatever it is people usually download in walled million dollar compounds in Pakistani towns.

This part I do find confusing. This place could hardly have been unknown to the Pakistani security service, at least.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:55 AM on May 2, 2011


the sat phone thing was before 9/11? I thought it was after. anyway.

(we have a favorites limit?)
posted by lodurr at 6:55 AM on May 2, 2011


fourcheesemac: "I will say I knew colleagues (and as I recall, students) on the far left who were opposed to the overt patriotic displays that took over New York post 9/11. In some apartment buildings (mine included) the doormen and some tenants wanted to display American flags, and other tenants opposed this as jingoistic or inflammatory.

But really, I never heard anyone suggest seriously that an apology was the appropriate response to Bin Laden or the Arab world or Islam or the colonized global south in response to the attacks of 9/11. No one. And I too know a circle of people who are a good deal farther left than most mefites, or than I am certainly (and I went to nearly every major anti-war march in DC or New York for the last decade, although I style myself a left patriot, for what it's worth, and have a few libertarian chunks in my otherwise standard issue left academic worldview).

Really, never. I'm sure it's out there somewhere on some comment board or forum or in some crazy person's blog post, but this was not a conventional sentiment among academics or students and to suggest that it was amounts to something of a conservative slander that risks becoming one of those Big Lies so effectively used to demonize liberals.

I'm a lefty academic. I wanted to get a gun and go to Afghanistan myself and off that motherfucker after seeing what he did to my city. Instead, I turned my class for the remainder of that semester into a focus on Islam and Afghan culture. We could smell the smoldering towers in that classroom for the rest of the damn month. Don't tell me I wasn't paying attention.
"

I could smell it from my house. I say go back and torpedo his remains to be sure. No apologies here.
posted by Splunge at 6:55 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


A Gay Girl in Damascus posts an old writing piece of hers. It seems appropriate.
posted by chemoboy at 6:56 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Facebook comment from Serbian friend: "Interesting how it is announced just one day after killing of Gaddaffi son and grandsons and couple of days after historical Hamas-Fatah agreeement.:) " This makes me wonder how sheltered we (US) are from other perspectives ... 'other' including those who have learned to view such news with even more cynicism than we can imagine.

Funny, it makes me wonder how many of the Mideast's problems can be traced to a fatal love of conspiracy theories. Makes it hard to think clearly or act decisively.
posted by msalt at 6:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, it cost him his life, but I think he, and the people he has and will inspire, would consider that a nearly irrelevant price.

I wouldn't be so sure about that. For all the talk of virgins or raisins or whatever, he himself seemed pretty determined to remain among the living. As to his inspirationees, this is at least an eye opener. If you know there's no back out clause or retirement for your actions, that even the galumphing US government has a memory and some reach, it might make the more thoughtful would be terror recruit think twice about getting involved. Not all of them, of course, but some.
posted by IndigoJones at 6:57 AM on May 2, 2011


Has anyone linked to the google map of the house?
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks Bugbread, now I lost The Game.
posted by furtive at 6:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Interesting how people who've been around here long enough to know better can't keep themselves from feeding the troll.

Well we're good like that. Despite what a troll is and does, we can't just stand by and let one starve. And many of us don't really believe in trolls and think that the term is far to often a cop out.
posted by juiceCake at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Listening to NPR :evidently one of the clues that it might be Bin Laden was that just a large mansion had no internet to it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This place could hardly have been unknown to the Pakistani security service, at least.

NPR's pet experts seemed this a.m. to be assuming it was very known to the ISI and people inside the military. I get the impression people on the ground for CIA have been treating this as essentially similar to working with one crime boss to get another: You have to take what they tell you with a shitload of salt, and watch your back like crazy.
posted by lodurr at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2011


SLoG, I understand, or at least I think I do. Maybe it's just the contrast between reality and what you tell children, but it seems that in the post-911 world, the America we've got has been sliding further and further away from the one I was promised I'd grow up and get to live in.

I don't know how much of that is simply growing up and realizing the world is much more complex than I thought, or if it was growing up and making those realizations during this particular part of history. I'll never know, either.
posted by cmyk at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


orthogonality: Must be, I'm dropping some serious wisdom bombs in here.
I've noticed that after a thread hits a couple hundred comments or so people just start skimming. Personally if I wasn't in the thread from the beginning I'd just read the comments with double digits favourites and skip the rest.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 6:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bin Ladens Final Video

.
posted by marienbad at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Please keep in mind that the operation was performed by American troops at great personal risk. This could have been accomplished by vaporizing the entire compound with a targeted strike, placing nearby civilians at risk. I think this shows a fair amount of forbearance and judgement. This is not an episode of Cops, which could have been accomplished with a knock on the door and a tussle.
posted by Shike at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Has anyone linked to the google map of the house?

I want the street view.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Pakistan, burning trash is so common [...] This in itself says nothing about security consciousness.

In itself, nothing. But as part of a guy trying to be very secretive, we have: very high and compartmented walling with barbed wire on top, few windows facing out, no garbage coming out, no electronic communication lines coming, and double security gates. If he wasn't burning his garbage, so that anyone with access to DNA testing could pick through it and determine who lived there, it would say a lot.
posted by pracowity at 7:00 AM on May 2, 2011


Funny, it makes me wonder how many of the Mideast's problems can be traced to a fatal love of conspiracy theories. Makes it hard to think clearly or act decisively.

Not to be confused with OBL's death being the clear and decisive act of *Victory over [insert your jingoism here]* ?



/sarcasm
posted by Surfurrus at 7:01 AM on May 2, 2011




Funny, it makes me wonder how many of the Mideast's problems can be traced to a fatal love of conspiracy theories. Makes it hard to think clearly or act decisively.
posted by msalt at 9:57 AM on May 2 [+] [!]


In the USA, if somebody were to tell us that a shadowy foreign power is pulling the strings behind a presidential candidate, we would laugh and call the guy crazy, because that's never happened before. But that sort of thing has happened in, for example, Iran before. So it's not really surprising that Iranians (again, for example) would be more willing to believe in conspiracies like that.
posted by Comrade_robot at 7:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Obama says he made Osama his #1 priority for the CIA.

Would this be style over substance?
posted by IndigoJones at 7:04 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"I don't know how much of that is simply growing up and realizing the world is much more complex than I thought, or if it was growing up and making those realizations during this particular part of history. I'll never know, either."

I suspect a lot of it is growing up. The same kinds of complaints about the government, freedom of speech, torture, etc., were common in the lyrics of hardcore punk bands (Dead Kennedys, etc.) back in the early 80s.
posted by Bugbread at 7:05 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




Is the death photo real? grauniad article

It was discussed further up thread, but probably not. If it is real then it's been floating around the Internet for about 3 years, and I don't even want to think about what that would mean.
posted by codacorolla at 7:06 AM on May 2, 2011


NPR has been reporting all morning that Seal Team Six was sent to kill, not capture, Bin Laden.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:06 AM on May 2, 2011


n itself, nothing. But as part of a guy trying to be very secretive, we have: very high and compartmented walling with barbed wire on top, few windows facing out, no garbage coming out, no electronic communication lines coming, and double security gates.

Honestly, the only thing amongst those that would stand out, as in, I would wonder about it if I noticed, is the electronic communication lines. Going about your daily business in Lahore (city of ~7 million), you'd see any number of compounds that fit this description. It really wouldn't be much cause for comment. And I don't think I would distinguish between an electric cable and a communications line. This is just me, average bystander. I make no claims about what the intelligence agencies did or did not know. Just that locals may well have thought it was some random rich person with enemies. As I quoted up-thread, strange foreign types.
posted by bardophile at 7:07 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny, it makes me wonder how many of the Mideast's problems can be traced to a fatal love of conspiracy theories. Makes it hard to think clearly or act decisively.
posted by msalt at 9:57 AM on May 2 [+] [!]

In the USA, if somebody were to tell us that a shadowy foreign power is pulling the strings behind a presidential candidate, we would laugh and call the guy crazy, because that's never happened before. But that sort of thing has happened in, for example, Iran before. So it's not really surprising that Iranians (again, for example) would be more willing to believe in conspiracies like that.


I am saddened and yet impressed by the simultaneous truth of these two comments.
posted by bardophile at 7:10 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


I hope they honestly tried to arrest him.

Does anybody here really think that he wouldn't have faced the death penalty if they had?

Seriously, while the humanist in me hopes you're right, the pragmatist can't help but see this as a win for everybody. The US administration avoids a show trial which could be a major propaganda op for the likes of Ahmadinejad. OBL goes out in what passes for a blaze of glory, without suffering the humiliation of being discovered living conveniently close to the cinema and the golf club. Everyone else gets a moment of cathartic closure, instead of a grotesque theatre of justice, which would in all likelihood have caused yet more pain for the bereaved of New York, Madrid, London, Bombay and anywhere else that Al-Qaida went for.

Yeah, it cost him his life, but I think he, and the people he has and will inspire, would consider that a nearly irrelevant price.

Bin Laden was as much a fearsome bogeyman for the neocons to pursue their agenda as he was a poster boy for radical Islam. He used that position very skillfully to consolidate his standing as an inspirational figure, and they in turn used him to justify their adventurism in other parts of the Middle East. But he's been loosing relevance for a long time - when Tunisia and Egypt changed hands, Al-Qaida were nowhere to be seen.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 7:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


I like how foxnews.com currently has Bush pictured, but not Obama.

Same with CNN.

MSNBC has Obama's picture for the video from last night of the announcement.
posted by cashman at 7:12 AM on May 2, 2011


He's dead, yay. Can we stop squandering trillions on endless wars now? Maybe repeal USA PATRIOT? End extraordinary rendition? Close Guantanamo? No? Then I hope you'll pardon me for not cheering. It's nice that he's dead, though I'd have vastly preferred captured and put on trial (a real trial mind, not a military kangaroo court). But ultimately this doesn't seem to change anything at all.

Much as I hate to say it, back in 2002 Bush jr was right. OBL is irrelevant to what's been going on since 9/11.

As far as a lack of internet/phone service goes, I think it makes a lot of sense. I read a while back that Mafia bosses do the same. Not so much for fear of anyone tracking them, but becuase they're afraid the convenience will mean that some day someone will slip up and say something they shouldn't on the phone.

As with so many things in the computer/information security field, it all comes down to human interaction.
posted by sotonohito at 7:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]




Re: 'conspiracy theories' -- I find it a bit more compelling to imagine that Obama could have planned this date of attack on OBL around sticky front page issues like "deaths of Gaddaffi son and grandsons and the historical Hamas-Fatah agreement"

Especially as opposed to the previously suggested coincidental anniversaries (Mission Accomplished, Hitler ... etc.) ... oh yeah ... the idea that he did it to trump Trump's tv show (!)

I find it very compelling to read the rumblings of non-US people who not swept up in the 'joyous celebration'. Conspiracy theory or not, I wonder if the 'whispering' could reflect more than is on the surface about the US's really messy reputation in ongoing conflicts. (Real conflicts - not the 'boogie man' kind)
posted by Surfurrus at 7:18 AM on May 2, 2011


kmz: "From a friend's Facebook (CS geek, in case it wasn't obvious):
rm -rf /bin/laden"
wouldn't it be kill -9 ... wait. it's not really -9, since it took 10 fucking years! NVM...
posted by symbioid at 7:19 AM on May 2, 2011


Can you imagine all the intell that they'll find in OBL's residence?

I did not see this mentioned yet. Apologies if it has already been mentioned.
posted by futz at 7:20 AM on May 2, 2011


There is a tiny part of me that feels a little sorry for any of the people who made FPP's within the few hours before or after this, because this is one hell of an upstage.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


ABC, meanwhile, says: "U.S. officials said that Bin Laden himself fired his weapon during the fight, and that he was asked to surrender but did not. He was shot in the head and then shot again to make sure he was dead."
posted by aramaic at 7:20 AM on May 2, 2011


Can you imagine all the intell that they'll find in OBL's residence?

I did not see this mentioned yet. Apologies if it has already been mentioned.


NPR mentioned that the team did indeed search for intel, but didn't say what, if anything was found.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2011


> Obama wins the election

If this was staged *AND* "the real Usama" (whatever passes for reality in a world of stage managed propaganda) shows up, that worm would turn real fast.

>TSA/DHS go away

Let TSA keep groping pre-teens and enforcing 'pointless' rules so the TSA becomes more of a source of controversy and before the election, as a ratings booster the TSA will go away.

Given King's See something Say Something Act - the DHS acts as a social control and I doubt it'll go away.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2011


Much as I hate to say it, back in 2002 Bush jr was right. OBL is irrelevant to what's been going on since 9/11.

Stopped clock is right twice a day. Some might feel that Bush only said that only because he couldn't find Bin Laden.
posted by inigo2 at 7:23 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow.
On CBS, Jere Van Dyk, who was held captive by the Taliban for 45 days, struggled to maintain his composure as he recalled how his captors had boasted, "You will never find Bin Laden."
posted by milestogo at 7:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


CSPAN just gave a really good rundown of events. It was detailed and precise. I hope whatever he's reading from appears in print. The phrase "he ordered the force to fly to the region" should appear in it, for searchers.

And then unfortunately they followed it up with somebody named Dwight talking about fox news, lewinsky, rumors from 1998 and just rambling on and on. Thankfully the host moved on to the next person, Susan, who decided to come on and thank....Bush. Then a Veteran came on and thanked Clinton, Bush and President Obama.
posted by cashman at 7:26 AM on May 2, 2011


1. I think it was hysterical Wolf Blitzer was all "I dont' want to confirm or speculate but this news I can confirm that it is going to be monumental." (in short beating around the bush not letting the cat out of the bag).

Switch over to his correspondant "Osama is dead." You know Wolf was all "way to go asshole."

2. This is all great but it still won't stop the hate, terrorism, or fueling their fire. Unless it caused MidEast peace, I just can't see the significance beyond revenge and justice for 9/11. Not to say that isn't important but still, to me the overall goal and celebration is to stop the hate.
posted by stormpooper at 7:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine all the intell that they'll find in OBL's residence?

I did not see this mentioned yet. Apologies if it has already been mentioned.


Huh. That's got me thinking along lines that hadn't even occurred to me before: how, specifically, does the post-takedown occur? Ok, you've shot Bin Laden, and the folks with him. You've checked the rooms to make sure there is nobody else hiding in a closet. I guess you put the corpse on the helicopter. Do you go through the house looking for safes and lockboxes? There is no Internet, but do you go looking for laptops just in case? What if there are huge amounts of papers? You probably couldn't fit multiple bookcases on the helicopter. Do you leave them? Do you leave a few SEALs to occupy the building? Wouldn't that be troublesome when the police arrive, hearing the gunfire?

I mean, up to killing the target, it's fairly easy to imagine SWAT-team like stuff, but unlike the SWAT team, this happened outside US jurisdiction, so you can't just close off the compound for a few weeks while you comb for evidence...
posted by Bugbread at 7:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This appears to be the location of the compound on Google Maps. Note the Military Academy to the southeast.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2011


More importantly, he was wanted for 3,000 counts of murder in the United States. Our attempt to seize him failed when he entered into a gun battle with the team sent to apprehend him.

IMO this is waaay too shaded to credulity in the official story. The only thing I trust about the story is that OBL got plugged yesterday. Everything else is contingent fact, subject to revision, and pronouncements on what did or did not happen are sheer bullshitting unless you have some TS clearances you aren't talking about.
posted by mokuba at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2011


> Usama 9/11 fbi most wanted

Is there any reason STILL why USAMA BIN LADEN on the FBI page was never listed as wanted for the 9/11 attacks?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:28 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]




This "no telephone & no internet" thing is puzzling to me. I personally know several geeks who could get me set up with really, really secure internet, and I think it wouldn't take me more than one hop to get to someone who could spell out some more some more or less uncrackable encryption and data security practices.
You forget the weakness in that system. The humans operating it. They could spill the wrong info, talk on an insecure line or, or someone forwards an E-mail. You have no internet so there are zero mistakes.
"No telephone & no internet" (and burning trash) is also puzzling to me, but not because I think that "really secure" stuff could be set up. Rather, because it calls attention to you.

Get the internet. Just a normal internet connection, not something "really secure". Use it to do innocuous things. Browse lolcats. Order pizza on your normal phone. Put that pizza box out in the trash, without burning it.

I kind of suspect that (were I so minded) I could have successfully hid Bin Laden in my suburban American house without much difficulty, for at least as long as he holed up in his compound and burned his garbage.
posted by Flunkie at 7:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


It would have been better to bring him to trial, but I'll take this result. Hope it means the tropps can come home and those that have lost loved ones can find peace.
posted by arcticseal at 7:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The only thing I trust about the story is that OBL got plugged yesterday.

As you've expressed doubt on other things, what makes you believe this thing?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:30 AM on May 2, 2011


Good job Navy Seals. Excellent work.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 7:31 AM on May 2, 2011


@Bugbread, "how, specifically, does the post-takedown occur?" - It looks like the Pakistani Military took over that part, based on the photos I've seen coming across the wire, they're packing up trucks full of stuff from the compound (see
photo 33 here, sorry for self-link).
posted by kokogiak at 7:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The whole burial at sea thing is already starting massive conspiracy theories, amongst otherwise level-headed people.

I thought it was a bit odd too, until it was pointed out that it prevents there from ever being any kind of burial shrine that can be used as a symbol to him. My guess is that in the hours after the death, they documented the hell out of everything with video, photos, and physical evidence so that there can be no questions later, at which point the actual body becomes somewhat irrelevant.
posted by quin at 7:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


..........
..........

For all the innocent people killed around the world by the USA 1946 - present.

I seriously cannot belive people were outside the whitehouse chanting "usa usa" like they had won a football match.
posted by marienbad at 7:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I seriously cannot belive people were outside the whitehouse chanting "usa usa" like they had won a football match.

Yes, I found that to be a bit... odd.
posted by hippybear at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2011


He's dead, yay. Can we stop squandering trillions on endless wars now? Maybe repeal USA PATRIOT? End extraordinary rendition? Close Guantanamo? No? Then I hope you'll pardon me for not cheering

Well said. This is exactly what I've been trying to get across to some of my buddies who are still lost in jingoland. It's kind of a tough sell today.
posted by Aquaman at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


As you've expressed doubt on other things, what makes you believe this thing?

technically, he could have been on ice and wheeled out for this event I suppose, but that's just a bridge too far to me based on the evidence.

And if OBL isn't actually dead, the ball is in his court now to show up the administration.

There are "confidence limits" in any official story, ya know?

posted by mokuba at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2011


I kind of suspect that (were I so minded) I could have successfully hid Bin Laden in my suburban American house without much difficulty, for at least as long as he holed up in his compound and burned his garbage.

Sort of Edward Scissorhands-style?
posted by notyou at 7:35 AM on May 2, 2011


marienbad -- just curious, but why 1946 to present? Was every previous death justifiable, while everything post WWII an act of evil?
posted by Think_Long at 7:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, the guy on C-Span is reading from Mike Allen's Politico report. This is fascinating excerpt:
EXCLUSIVE – THE TICK-TOCK: INSIDE THE SITUATION ROOM – Obama rejected original plan for bombing; wanted proof – Navy SEALS held two rehearsals last month, with war cabinet monitoring from White House – Raid planned for Saturday but pushed off a day because of weather – Chopper stalled as it hovered over the compound – Forces blew it up and left in a reinforcement craft -- How the fiery raid went down, as told to Playbook by senior administration officials: The compound -- about an acre, with a three-story house – is in Abbottabad, a suburb of the Pakistani capital, Islamabad. Officials were very suspicious of the 12- to 18-foot-high walls, and seven-foot wall on the upper balcony. Residents burned their trash, and there was no telephone or Internet connection to the compound, valued at $1 million. But officials never had anything directly proving that Osama bin Laden was living there. The U.S. had discovered the compound by following a personal courier for bin Laden. Officials didn’t learn his name until 2007, then it took two years to find him and track him back to this compound, which was discovered in August 2010. “It was a “Holy cow!” moment,” an official said.

The original plan for the raid was to bomb the house, but President Obama ultimately decided against that. “The helicopter raid was riskier. It was more daring,” an official said. “But he wanted proof. He didn’t want to just leave a pile of rubble.” Officials also knew there were 22 people living there, and Obama wanted to be sure not to kill all the civilians. So he ordered officials to come up with an air-assault plan. The forces held rehearsals of the raid on April 7 and April 13, with officials monitoring the action from Washington.

As the actual raid approached, daily meetings were held of the national security principals, chaired by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, and their deputies, chaired by John Brennan, the president’s counterterrorism adviser. At an April 19 meeting in the Situation Room, the president approved the assault, in principle, as the course of action. He ordered the force to fly to the region to conduct it. On April 28, just after his East Room announcement that CIA Director Leon Panetta would be succeeding Robert Gates as Defense Secretary, the president held another meeting in the Situation Room, and went through everyone’s final recommendations. He didn’t announce his decision at that time, but kept his counsel overnight.

At 8:20 a.m. Friday, the president informed National Security Adviser Tom Donilon that he was authorizing the operation.
A lot more at the link.
posted by cashman at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [27 favorites]


you can't just close off the compound for a few weeks while you comb for evidence...
posted by Bugbread at 18:27 on May 2 [+] [!]


Actually, you probably could. The gardener at my mother-in-law's house only moonlights as a gardener. Really he works for a fumigation company. He has a repeat contract to do work on what is pretty much an American military base in Pakistan. He's been doing this work for at least the past six years, probably longer. I don't think American forces would have any trouble getting permission to sift through what is now an empty compound (in terms of people), for evidence.
posted by bardophile at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one that believes--in hindsight--that the release of the President's birth certificate one day before he completely reshuffles his security team at the highest level to be one of the biggest fake-outs in modern American politics?
posted by PapaLobo at 7:37 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


think Long - No - i ran out of dots. Seriously, I use the period 56-present as that seems to be when the worst of it has happened (East Timor anyone?)
posted by marienbad at 7:38 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm going to take a shot at writing Jon Stewart's opening monologue for tonight:

"For years he's been one of the most recognizable villains on the world stage. A man with immense wealth and influence, known for spreading propaganda denying the legitimacy of the American government. But at last, on Saturday night, President Obama took him down."

[roll tape]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:40 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


"No telephone & no internet" (and burning trash) is also puzzling to me, but not because I think that "really secure" stuff could be set up. Rather, because it calls attention to you.


I keep telling you, no it doesn't. An awful lot of people don't bother with landlines in Pakistan. I doubt they had cellphones, either, but there wouldn't have been any visible evidence of those from the outside, anyway, and that's what most people would assume they used, if they thought about it. Electronic communication lines are not nearly as ubiquitous in Pakistan as they are in the US, or, I would imagine, most of Europe. Not having an internet connection is not really bizarre.
posted by bardophile at 7:42 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Aquaman Eh, people will feel what they feel. You can't control another person's emotions, and if they want to feel jubilant I say let 'em. I don't, and I won't make any secret that I don't, but I'm not going to tell anyone else that they're wrong for feeling elated.

Trying to channel that jubilation into productive ends is probably a better approach than the cynicism I expressed in my post here.

futz I rather doubt there is much. Not so much because OBL had good operational security, though presumably he did, but because Al Qaeda isn't really a tightly organized group, it's more of a semi-random mob like Anonymous.

Same as Moot doesn't have much to do with what Anonymous does, neither does OBL have much to do with what Al Qaeda does. He was doubtless more active in shaping the overall goal of the "organization" than Moot is, but as far as individual ops go, I doubt he was much involved. He was the idea guy, not the executing ideas guy.
posted by sotonohito at 7:43 AM on May 2, 2011


Everyone accused of a crime deserves a trial, no matter how terrible the accusation is. A society where pointing a finger is the sole required evidence to kill someone is a society that should be expunged from the earth.

Interesting that you feel each individual deserves his day in court, but have no trouble with American being 'expunged from the earth.

Because that's what we're talking about here, our society, which has been in a near-constant state of fear for ten years. Threat levels, heightened security, intrusive searches and policies I don't particularly agree with were put into place all as a result of the perceived threat of this man and the danger he represented. I would far rather one man die than hundreds of soldiers continuing to die in the multi-year search for him. I admit I am not above using this man's death as an excuse to get rid of the Patriot Act. Or create better relationships with Middle Eastern countries, now that our shared enemy is dead. And that's how we should play it. President Obama can make legislation now to clear out the cobwebs of the former administration's tainted foreign policy and restrain Homeland Security's over-reaching arm, and I hope he realizes now is the time to do it.

But let's look at this man we killed. You say we just needed to point a finger and that's all the evidence we needed to go after him. Not so.

Bin Laden had declared a jihad against the US in 1993, and then he went further and issued a new fatwa: Americans abroad should be targeted as well, including civilians. We had a chance to take him into custody, according to CNN, in the 1990's, but we didn't because we did not yet have evidence against him of real crimes against us. But Bin Laden finally went on the FBI's most-wanted list in 1999, 2 years before the towers went down. We targeted him after, as a result of that fatwa, over 200 people in American embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya were killed in bombings in August of 1998. Bin Laden was implicated in the attack on the US Cole in 2000 as well.

But lest you think it is only the U.S. that is 'pointing a finger' at this man as a convenient scapegoat, you should know we weren't the only ones that targeted him. Bin Laden was banished from the Sudan in 1996, and he had already survived an assassination attempt thought to be orchestrated by either the Egyptian or Saudi regimes (or both). Trying to get rid of him, they asked the Saudis to take him in, but the Saudis didn't want him, either. They had revoked his citizenship already. In 1998, the first official arrest warrant against Bin Laden was issued by Libya, for the murder of two German citizens there.

Bin Laden himself claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks in 2004 on Arabic television. He reiterated his involvement in 2006. Muslim moderates turned on Bin Laden as a result of his actions: In 2005, clerics in Spain declared a fatwa against him.

So, where would we hold the trial? Here, in America? Do you really think that he would NOT be found guilty by any jury here? And once he was, the penalty would still be death. And critics would still say America just had it out for him and we'd have conspiracy theories like crazy afterward, again. Would we trust a trial held in Libya? They wanted him, too. Libya is not exactly stable just now.

We could hold a military tribunal, I suppose. But, again, we'd get the same arguments about bloody America just wanting its revenge. If we interrogated him, people would say we totured him for evidence. And if we DID torture him for evidence, that would be both horrific and inhumane and ultimately make us more monstrous than the man himself.

So, of all the possible likely outcomes to this, shooting an international fugitive in a mission where one of his company actually used a tried to use a woman as a human shield? I find I can live with that.

Better Bin Laden dead than more of our troops, or our civilians, or those of our allies.
posted by misha at 7:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [26 favorites]


think long: while your point is a good one, I think that it'd have been best if you also allowed for the fact that innocent Americans have died because of actions by other countries as well. (I may very well have smelled 3,000 of them being cremated back in 2001.)

Lots of countries have committed atrocity; lots of these same other countries have had its citizenry become victims of atrocity. Trying to point fingers and say "no, you did more of it" only reinforces the same trend of "us vs. them" we're all trying to escape.

Perhaps we should pause to honor the memories of the innocent civilian dead, of all nations.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Time wheel these out again...

Power of Nightmares 1
Power of Nightmares 2
Power of Nightmares 3
posted by Damienmce at 7:45 AM on May 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


Then I hope you'll pardon me for not cheering.

oh, but you are cheering; it's just more inwardly directed than for the rest of us. you're cheering that your own wise cynicism puts you above us conventional rabble. were you not cheering, we wouldn't know to pardon you for anything. but hey, looks like there are enough of you guys now to form a meetup!

personally, i'm cheering because it's possible that the loss of such a major public figure in terrorism will go some way to demoralizing his followers and cutting recruitment and funding. i'm cheering because this will go some way to helping a lot of people move a bit further beyond their personal losses. i'm cheering because this likely opens up more leads to find terrorists and gives more courage to those who would aid that effort. i'm cheering because getting bin laden might help get to whatever funding he has been providing to others like him. i'm cheering because perhaps in time this will help us and our leaders put into more reasonable perspective the balance between security and freedom.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 7:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


Can you imagine the jingoistic paroxysms that Fox News would whip themselves into? The unending spin wars over the smallest details, like OJ's trial but a million times worse as everything is spun against Obama? The painful way the rest of the media would align themselves in their various passive stenographer roles? The chance for Osama to get in front of cameras, perhaps even give martyr's speeches?
Because clearly ephemeral media hype is a more important concern then, you know, following the constitution or anything like that. Do you seriously think any of that shit matters? The TV has an off button, you know.

Anyway, they said they gave him the opportunity to surrender and he refused, it doesn't sound like this was an extra-judicial killing (they would have just bombed the place). But still, it would have been better to capture him alive, I think.
Funny, it makes me wonder how many of the Mideast's problems can be traced to a fatal love of conspiracy theories. Makes it hard to think clearly or act decisively.
Are Americans actually any less conspiratorial minded? How many people thought Saddam was involved in 9/11 or that he had WMDs?
The US administration avoids a show trial which could be a major propaganda op for the likes of Ahmadinejad. OBL goes out in what passes for a blaze of glory, without suffering the humiliation of being discovered living conveniently close to the cinema and the golf club.
First of all, Ahmadinejad and Osama were enemies. AQ was opposed to the Iranian regime. Second of all, wouldn't it have been better to humiliate him with a trial?
posted by delmoi at 7:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you only watch 1 go for part 3
posted by Damienmce at 7:48 AM on May 2, 2011


Order pizza on your normal phone

Aww man, have you ever had Pakistani pizza? I'd rather have the special forces raid my compound with extreme prejudice.

And shit, I was kidding, but just before I posted this I googled Pakistani pizza and came up with PizzaHut's Pakistani website.

Holy fuck, globalization is weird.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:49 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does anyone have a link to the death picture of Osama being from a few years ago? I keep seeing people (respectable media outlets even) posting it, and it just screams "fake" to me.
posted by codacorolla at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2011


based on the evidence.

Who's the source of the evidence? From whom is the information coming from? AKA Is the chain of evidence beyond reproach.

he could have been on ice and wheeled out for this event I suppose

Some reporting had this whole attack thing happen last week and elsewhere there existed "pictures" of "dead osama" a few months ago.

And there was reporting of his death in early 2000 - back when Bush II was saying as I remember "I don't worry about Osama".

if OBL isn't actually dead, the ball is in his court now to show up

And what if there is talky-moving pictures labeled as being "in the now" of someone who claims to be OBL - what then?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2011


I want to (eventually, not now) see photos. I don't want to see him dead, necessarily; photos before the headshot (though I wonder if any would have been possible, during a firefight) would suit my need better. I want to see evidence that the past decade has aged him as much as it did us, that his karma took a toll. There is photo and filmic proof for Hitler that this was true
posted by cookie-k at 7:50 AM on May 2, 2011


Every country in the world does have the right to ignore US sovereignty. There, now we're even.
posted by Wood at 7:52 AM on May 2, 2011


I'm going to take a shot at writing Jon Stewart's opening monologue for tonight:

But there was Trump droping f-bombs on Friday.

Why not have the 2 mixed with a splice job?
posted by rough ashlar at 7:52 AM on May 2, 2011


"No telephone & no internet" (and burning trash) is also puzzling to me, but not because I think that "really secure" stuff could be set up. Rather, because it calls attention to you.
I keep telling you, no it doesn't. An awful lot of people don't bother with landlines in Pakistan. I doubt they had cellphones, either, but there wouldn't have been any visible evidence of those from the outside, anyway, and that's what most people would assume they used, if they thought about it. Electronic communication lines are not nearly as ubiquitous in Pakistan as they are in the US, or, I would imagine, most of Europe. Not having an internet connection is not really bizarre.
It's bizarre enough that it was noticed.

How many million dollar compounds in Pakistan don't have internet access?
posted by Flunkie at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2011


Any sufficiently advanced super-villain would have pre-recorded a tape to be released after his death claiming that he was still alive, with a nice blank spot for a copy of the NYT with today's date to be CGI'd in.
posted by unSane at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


An angle that hasn't been mentioned yet is the pause in that activity related to the Raymond Davis arrest. I wonder if the lack of cooperation between the CIA and ISI afforded the US an opportunity to close in on OBL without worrying about a drafty window.

That was the first thing I thought of when I head this news - "I wonder how this is related to the Davis shooting and his extraction from Pakistan". If President Obama's statement was entirely factual they've probably had the location nailed for at least a month or so and that SEAL Team will have been running prep on a compound mockup daily. Shame they couldn't get him alive but otherwise props to the team and Obama for making it a focus.

Watching the video on Youtube after the fact, what I took away from it was that Obama was saying "Look what we can do when we put our minds and muscle to a job - we can do it". This job was a military one but the implication there was that any job could be done if you work together. It read to me (as an outsider) that if the USA could stop with the Red vs. Blue you could emerge victorious from any test. I thought it was an excellent speech and those reading negatively into it clearly had their minds made up going in.

It was an exhortation to excel, whatever your role, whatever your position and do your best to make the United States of America great. He referenced acceptance of minorities and many other things only briefly and I personally believe that assuming the Republicans can grow the fuck up that you might have a really brief, bright shining chance of healing the ridiculous divide in your country.

I'm going to emphasise this next bit in bold because this next bit is real important. Don't favourite it please - I don't give a monkeys about them but if you think you should favourite it - don't. Think about what I've said and go to it.

Today is the day you should talk to that Republican neighbour or family member. You've got a window here where you can sell Obama as a man who achieved what Bush couldn't be bothered to do. A small block of time where you can make bonds that will last after this brief period of national relief and elation. Do your best to heal the rift in the national consciousness and use this news to create some hope. May the best possible result come of this and may you give your best effort to make it so.

Good luck to all of you.
posted by longbaugh at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


personally, i'm cheering because it's possible that the loss of such a major public figure in terrorism will go some way to demoralizing his followers and cutting recruitment and funding.

Cheer all you like, but if the dude was in a mansion in Pakistan, and never left his house, then he was already pretty much a non-factor. The life of a person living in rural Aghanistan is different than that of someone living in the electronic media bubble of western civilization. This is a moral victory for us, and not much more.

I hope you're comfortable with the pile of corpses and money we had to stack up to reach a single man.
posted by codacorolla at 7:53 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't have a problem pardoning anyone for not cheering, nor for tsk tsking the blood lust and nationalist fervor we will see for the next few days. It's gonna get a little crass.

But I think the same acceptance of the opposite view is warranted no matter what your politics, because it really is human nature all over the world. Revenge is what motivated Bin Laden. Revenge will motivate many more acts of violence in the future. You can tell people not to feel vengeful, or not to respond to perceived humiliation by turning the other cheek, and to a point we can practice restraint and operate within safe cultural constraints with nice names like "the rule of law." But when it comes down to it, modern nations are just big tribes.

Thinking a bit like Foucault, it would probably be better all around if we *could* just post OBL's head on a pike in front of the white house for a month, get it out of our system, and return to the sober, rational, internationalist path we were on before last night.

Oh, right.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


oh, but you are cheering; it's just more inwardly directed than for the rest of us. you're cheering that your own wise cynicism puts you above us conventional rabble.

Honestly that just makes you sound callow and defensive. Believe it or not it's possible to feel passionately about what happened to our lost Americans without craving blood atonement. As someone who is essentially against war and against capital punishment, I can totally respect the relief this news must bring to some people -- but forgive me if I am not cheered one whit by the news.
posted by hermitosis at 7:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Does anyone have a link to the death picture of Osama being from a few years ago? I keep seeing people (respectable media outlets even) posting it, and it just screams "fake" to me.

There are multiple links to it upthread. One link shows it as a composite of two pictures, and another MeFi'er found the image posted somewhere on the internet three years ago.
posted by chemoboy at 7:56 AM on May 2, 2011


As I examine my own gut reaction, I detect no "cheer," only grim satisfaction.

But again, it happened to my city. I didn't even realize how much anger I still carried in me from that day.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:57 AM on May 2, 2011


All this narrativization about why it makes sense for Osama to live amid hospitals is interesting and all, but the fact that it's the google maps result for "Abbottabad" makes it seem like a lazy rumor.

Well, given that the the location of the compound is supposed to be 1000 feet from the military academy in Abbottabad, my guess in on this location on Awami Road, which is just down the road from the Pakistan Military Academy (PMA), appears to be surrounded by a fence, and appears to generally match some of the features shown in news report.

It's a guess, but not a completely wild one.

If you zoom out a bit you'll see the PMA (corner of Awami and Kakul Roads) so you can pick your location within 1000 of there if you don't like mine.
posted by flug at 7:57 AM on May 2, 2011


But still, it would have been better to capture him alive, I think.

I'm of two minds on that thought. I get the fair trial thing, but then again, there's the can of worms thing. Principle vs practicality sort of thing.

Had you other thoughts on it?
posted by IndigoJones at 7:57 AM on May 2, 2011


Bin Laden himself claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks in 2004 on Arabic television. He reiterated his involvement in 2006

And there are people who have looked at that evidence and claim that those were not Bin Laden and cite clips from a short time after 9/11 where OBL denied taking credit for the 9/11 attacks.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:58 AM on May 2, 2011


This is a moral victory for us, and not much more.

At this point, the U.S. needed any kind of victory we could get. So much was going wrong with the country that one thing finally going right feels very good.
posted by chemoboy at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2011


There are people who have looked at all sorts of "evidence" and still say Barack Obama is a Kenyan Muslim too.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


At this point, the U.S. needed any kind of victory we could get. So much was going wrong with the country that one thing finally going right feels very good.

Yeah, that's true. That's why I'm going to pretend to be patriotic and excited in person and on Facebook. Inwardly, I'm just not feeling it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


What makes this thread awesome is that a word search does not turn up the word "sheeple" at all.

It's strange to be posting in the 9/11/ thread and the "Osama is dead" thread ten years later.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Second of all, wouldn't it have been better to humiliate him with a trial?

Better in what way? As I see it, a trial would have served to give the aggrieved radical and the aggrieved sympathizer of the radical (the latter, I think, has come to be far more dangerous than the former, in terms of total impact) a huge pile of evidence to twist and distort as further proof of how wronged Osama bin Laden was.

The benefit of bringing him to trial would simply be, for our own sakes, to reaffirm OUR belief in the principle that the rule of law was foremost. And, since he refused to surrender to law enforcement officials, shooting him was within the rule of law, anyway.

Order pizza on your normal phone

Aww man, have you ever had Pakistani pizza? I'd rather have the special forces raid my compound with extreme prejudice.

And shit, I was kidding, but just before I posted this I googled Pakistani pizza and came up with PizzaHut's Pakistani website.

Holy fuck, globalization is weird.


I've had a LOT of Pakistani pizza, and can tell you that Pizza Hut in Pakistan sucks, but you should try Gino's on the Gulberg Main Boulevard or Pizza Point just off the Gulberg Main Boulevard. There is quite good pizza to be had in Lahore, and I'm sure, in Islamabad. Abbotabad, of course, not so much. There you order kababs from Kala Khan.

How many million dollar compounds in Pakistan don't have internet access?


Well, I'm going to guess that some of the ones owned by illiterate millionaires actually don't have internet access. Certainly the havelis where some of them house their wives wouldn't. It's not that it's the norm to not have access. Just that there could be any number of explanations for not having it, and while I would expect intelligent intelligence workers to take note and seek explanations, average joe on the street would not notice.
posted by bardophile at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Believe it or not it's possible to feel passionately about what happened to our lost Americans without craving blood atonement.

likewise, it's possible to feel some measure of hope and relief merely because they guy no longer exists, and having nothing to do with how or why he no longer exists.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So why the Navy SEALs instead of say, the Rangers or something? I know very little about how US special forces operate and am curious why a group whose specialty is water action was picked for a helicopter mission.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:01 AM on May 2, 2011


I kind of would have loved it if bin Laden had been killed in a Castello in Abottabad.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


but then again, there's the can of worms thing.

Is this the same can of worms where if you shine a light on the top the worms at the top try to get away and dive back down, thus exposing new worms who also try diving back down, exposing new worms in a writhing cycle?

Why not worry instead about canned Mosque-ettos?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2011


So why the Navy SEALs instead of say, the Rangers or something? I know very little about how US special forces operate and am curious why a group whose specialty is water action was picked for a helicopter mission.

SEALS stands for SEa, Air, and Land.
posted by almostmanda at 8:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who's the source of the evidence? From whom is the information coming from? AKA Is the chain of evidence beyond reproach.

Not just this evidence, but the entire history of the US security state, 1941 to now.

Shading and trimming the truth is just SOP. In 1941 the War Department investigating the feasibility of shutttling B-17s from Luzon to the RFE, Eisenhower's letter to his brother about our intervention in Iran vs. the public face of the policy, the Pentagon Papers revealing the divergence between policy and pronouncement -- I could go on.

I don't know what the orders were on this mission, and I don't know how safe it would have been to take OBL into custody at the critical moment when he was plugged in the story.

Nor do I particularly care, but like I said, pronouncements that the official story is the bare fact of the matter is generally a very unwise assertion to make.

cf the Jessica Lynch thing.
posted by mokuba at 8:04 AM on May 2, 2011


Because clearly ephemeral media hype is a more important concern then, you know, following the constitution or anything like that. Do you seriously think any of that shit matters?

It matters inasmuch as it leads to bad publicity and image for the US. Pragmatically I think it would be worse overall than the hit for him not being captured alive. The "needless killing" and "wipe ass with the Constitution" trains left the station long ago, and OBL is not exactly the poster child for making those issues resonate. But go ahead and stay up on that soapbox, dude; I won't pull ya down.
posted by fleacircus at 8:05 AM on May 2, 2011


.
posted by lester at 8:07 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Today is the day you should talk to that Republican neighbour or family member. You've got a window here where you can sell Obama as a man who achieved what Bush couldn't be bothered to do.

Oh God, spare me this bullshit. I'm a political conservative and am thrilled that President Obama and our brave men and women in the military and intelligence communities have succeeded in wiping Obama from the face of the earth. But the notion that Bush "couldn't be bothered" to go after Bin Laden is just another cheap drive-by. In July 2008, President Bush gave explicit authorization for US special forces to conduct operations inside Pakistan, without prior authorization from the Pakistani government.

How about this instead: go talk to a Republican and tell him or her that despite all your differences, today is a day when you can share pride in being an American. Leave it at that, and save your Obama proselytizing for another day.
posted by BobbyVan at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Shading and trimming the truth is just SOP.

*ding* (and no need to go on)

So - what happens next? As I'm remembering things, part of the shoot-em-up was to 'smoke out the bad guy'.

The 'bad guy' for the passion play is now labeled as smoked out. What's the reason for staying?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2011


well bust my bunker!
posted by hellbient at 8:08 AM on May 2, 2011


Rangers operate in major direct action operations - around 150 men with a lot of support. Navy SEALS operate in smaller teams and are several levels of badassery above Rangers. They will have dry run this operations dozens of times on a mock up building until they could do it with minimum casualties and risk. Murphy showed his face with the loss of a helicopter but otherwise an exceptional operation by the sounds of things.

SEAL covers SEa Air and Land so they do more than just naval actions. There have been SEAL teams in rotation in Afghanistan since '03.
posted by longbaugh at 8:09 AM on May 2, 2011


SEALS stands for SEa, Air, and Land.

Okay, but why SEALs over Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:10 AM on May 2, 2011


...succeeded in wiping Obama Osama...

Sorry. Typing too fast.

posted by BobbyVan at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2011


It matters inasmuch as it leads to bad publicity and image for the US. Pragmatically I think it would be worse overall than the hit for him not being captured alive.
First of all, the U.S. "Image" around the world is shit. We had a chance to fix things after Obama was elected but that's long gone. Second of all in what planet does having the U.S. government assassinate people make us look better then arresting them and bringing them to trial? The idea is absurd. It isn't like they wouldn't get a conviction.
posted by delmoi at 8:11 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


But the notion that Bush "couldn't be bothered" to go after Bin Laden is just another cheap drive-by.

Yeah, it's not like he came right out and said, "I'm not that concerned about him" or anything.
posted by Aquaman at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [19 favorites]


What's the reason for staying?

Oil, and to pump up the shareholder value of Halliburton and KBR stock for Cheney's pals. Same as it ever was.
posted by jeanmari at 8:12 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


our brave men and women in the military and intelligence communities have succeeded in wiping Obama from the face of the earth

O RLY?
posted by longbaugh at 8:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, but why SEALs over Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?

It usually involves straws, do you really want to know?
posted by clavdivs at 8:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope you're comfortable with the pile of corpses and money we had to stack up to reach a single man.

I hope you don't think the pile of corpses in Iraq and Afghanistan had anything to do with trying to kill or capture bin laden.
posted by empath at 8:13 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sheez! I was always of the opinion that Bin Laden was in a deep freezer somewhere waiting to be thawed out at the most opportune moment. I guess that was yesterday.
posted by jake1 at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope you're comfortable with the pile of corpses and money we had to stack up to reach a single man.

that pile of corpses would today be stacked up whether or not bin laden had been eliminated yesterday.

i've had little agreement with the stuff that's been done to get bin laden, and particularly with the stuff that has used that goal as a pretext. but why should that have anything to do with whether i'm happy he's gone?
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2011


First of all, the U.S. "Image" around the world is shit.

Wrong
posted by empath at 8:14 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?

Rangers "Lead the Way". Their job is to do to specialized tasks in a larger military context, like taking out the guns at Pont Du hoc or whatever it was during the Normandy landings.

Green Berets are/were a counter-insurgency force designed for long-term on-the-ground support of indigenous forces. They go native.

Recon is Recon.

There's also the Delta Force, or was, but dunno if they're still around.
posted by mokuba at 8:15 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, but why SEALs over Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?

Only the SEALS and Delta Force are the type of elite operatives that carry out this mission. Green Berets are a larger group and Rangers larger still. Less elite, as is Marine Recon.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:15 AM on May 2, 2011


"I took this moment to tell my six year old about Sept. 11. Didn't want to discuss it before.

I tried to sum it up for him by saying "we got the bad guy". He asked "are there still any more members of his gang?" I had to say "yes, a lot".
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:08 PM on May 1

This nearly brought me to tears.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


One of the biggest spiritual epiphanies of my life came seven or eight years ago when I realized I had to learn to love Osama bin Laden. I can't bring myself to feel any kind of joy about this. I think the world's probably better off with him dead, but it's still no reason to celebrate. This was like having to put down a rabid dog.

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

posted by EarBucket at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Delta Force got Saddam so I guess they're on a round robin get-the-evil-dude rotation.
posted by PenDevil at 8:17 AM on May 2, 2011


OK, a little cheer.

Dick Cheney congratulates President Obama.

That's some tasty crow.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hits are not tasked to Delta.
posted by clavdivs at 8:18 AM on May 2, 2011


Okay, but why SEALs over Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?

Not just any Navy SEALs, which are designed to operate in small groups, but Team Six, which recruits the best troops from all the Navy SEALS.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 AM on May 2, 2011


The "Mark Twain" quote about reading obituaries with pleasure is all over your FaceBook and Twitter feed is probably not by Mark Twain, say the folks at the Mark Twain House & Museum.
posted by Miko at 8:19 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Could someone tell me if hits are tasked to Delta?
posted by Saxon Kane at 8:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Second of all in what planet does having the U.S. government assassinate people make us look better then arresting them and bringing them to trial?

This is pretty child-like. We tried to get him, but shot him in the process. Oh well.

Obama not just plastering the place with JDAMs and whatnot was our nod to civility.

Who exactly is offended by this action, and why do they matter?
posted by mokuba at 8:20 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So am I missing something here?

Am I right in saying that we haven't gotten even a single piece of hard evidence that he's dead, and we're now being told that we never will?

We're being told Bin Laden was shot while trying to shoot at American troops - but there's no video or photographic evidence of that (why?) We're being told that they made a DNA analysis which told them very quickly that this was the right man - but it doesn't appear as if any third party will get to make an independent analysis.

So in order to believe this is true, I simply have to believe the uncorroborated word of the US government - is this accurate, or did I miss some hard evidence here?

I'm 48 years old. Objectively, the US government has systematically lied to me all my life - from the bombing of Laos and Cambodia to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and beyond.

So, I'm quite serious when I ask - why should I believe this without any evidence, considering the sole source is one that's proven to be deeply inaccurate over decades?

Please - do me the favour of not using words like "conspiracy theory" and the like - it is an honest question from a skeptical and well-informed person - why should I believe the uncorroborated word of the US government on a subject of such great magnitude, particularly when they have gone out of their way not to provide even one speck of hard evidence?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:22 AM on May 2, 2011 [30 favorites]


I think I've spotted the new conservative meme about this:

"OBL was captured thanks to intelligence we tortured out of a detainee four years ago. (Of course, this is completely unattributed.) Leave it to Obama to make this all about himself!"

Admittedly, this is a rough draft. Expect it to morph and refine and fill itself with contradictions over the next few days.
posted by fungible at 8:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


This was like having to put down a rabid dog.

Declining to take pleasure in the loss of any human life, on general principles, is no good reason to turn the guy into Old Yeller.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:24 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the one hand: I'll certainly shed no tears for this guy, but I think celebrating someone's death—even someone as vile as bin Laden—is a little crass. Just acknowledge it, and move on. Spare me the jingoistic posturing—it is, as ever, in poor taste.

On the other hand: if I were the guy who fired the fatal shot, you know I'd keep that shell casing and have it made into some kind of bling. I would then proceed to tell everyone, at every bar I ever went to, that I was the guy who killed bin Laden, and hey check this out, this is the shell casing of the bullet that killed him. Just imagine the sheer quantity of free alcohol and sexual propositions I would receive. I KILLED BIN LADEN MOTHERFUCKERS, I AM KING OF THE BADASSES
posted by ixohoxi at 8:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


Don't you think that if he wasn't dead he might just pop up, I dunno... very, very soon and shoot another home video?
posted by ob at 8:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


US Special Operations units work like this -

Rangers - Big direct action missions. Stuff that needs a lot of guys, basically.
Special Forces - Training guerilla teams and strategic recon.
SEAL and Delta/CAG - Smaller direct action missions - small units with specific targets.
CIA SAD/SOG - The cream of the SEALS/CAG etc. They do direct action missions but for the CIA rather than via DoD.
Marine (SOC) - Like Rangers, but much scarier and on boats.
Task Force - any combo of the above with other assets, be they foreign or intel.

This is a really short and quick expanation* and I'd recommend reading Wiki really quickly about any of the above for more information.

Delta getting Saddam was part of a Task Force including SAS and a bunch of others folks. You're selling the rest of the folks involved short there.

*this thread is huge.
posted by longbaugh at 8:25 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


> I hope you don't think the pile of corpses in Iraq and Afghanistan had anything to do with trying to kill or capture bin laden.

Did I wake up in some alternate universe today?

The Afghanistan War was originally presented to us as exactly that - an attempt to kill or capture Bin Laden. We were presented with progress reports, thrilled at Osama's near escape in Tora Bora, and that sort of thing.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]




I hope you don't think the pile of corpses in Iraq and Afghanistan had anything to do with trying to kill or capture bin laden.

Obviously it doesn't, but Bin Laden (and revenge for 9/11) was out pretext for that pile of corpses. Ok, we got him, now what? I don't think the answer is much different from what the answer has been since we invaded Iraq: "Just keep throwing money and blood overseas." That's why I don't see this as a real victory, beyond the symbolism that America was able to do something it set out to do for once. We stacked the bodies up like firewood, finally did what we set out to do, and now we're still stuck over there.

Maybe not though. I've been thinking about it, and maybe this is Obama's chance to say, with wide public support, that we're done fighting wars we can't afford. We can take those trillions of dollars off the deficit, and start paying down the debts that my grandchildren will owe, and maybe even invest a little bit into the future instead of paying hundreds of thousands of dollar per drone mission. Maybe this is the point where America comes to its senses, sloughs off its blood flecked rage, and decides that enough is enough.

Maybe, but I doubt it.
posted by codacorolla at 8:26 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


SHOW ME THE BODY
posted by dbiedny at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


"why should I believe this without any evidence"

You shouldn't, but face it, it would be foolhardy of the US to pretend that they had killed him only to have a video appear of him in the next few days gloating. I'd say they made damn sure it was him and he was dead before announcing it!
posted by twistedonion at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


First of all, the U.S. "Image" around the world is shit.

Wrong
Your link shows a 47% approval rating. Anyway, not anything that would somehow be 'damaged' by actually having a trial for bin Laden. And "The increases the U.S. saw in 2009 did not necessarily carry over into 2010, and approval suffered double-digit declines in 14 countries, including Egypt, Japan, and the United Kingdom."
This is pretty child-like. We tried to get him, but shot him in the process. Oh well.
No shit! Maybe that's why I wrote "Anyway, they said they gave him the opportunity to surrender and he refused, it doesn't sound like this was an extra-judicial killing (they would have just bombed the place). But still, it would have been better to capture him alive, I think. " in my first response. I realize that the thread is long, there are a lot of comments, but you don't have to be an idiot. I was replying to someone who said it would be better for him to be killed then captured.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011


So in order to believe this is true, I simply have to believe the uncorroborated word of the US government - is this accurate, or did I miss some hard evidence here?

Quite possibly correct.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011


...They will task a hit or retrival of a covert nature, but the profile does fit the mission permamaters...dam the filter is slow, lots of double posts.
posted by clavdivs at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011


> Don't you think that if he wasn't dead

Oh, I have little doubt he's dead. I assumed he was dead around 2006 when we stopped getting videos from him.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:27 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




It's taken me nearly 12 hours to really form an opinion on this.

When this was announced, I was feeling strangely...apathetic. Which didn't make any sense, and I was trying to figure out why. The thing is, there's a weird apathy I've picked up from other people I talked to last night.

The thing is, I finally realized - for a lot of people, Osama was just a symbol by this point. A lot of people I talked to had been assuming he was already dead, so the news of his death was just a sort of, "Oh. ...Huh. Okay."

For me, I never really held any vengeful thoughts against bin Laden anyway. In the weeks after the attack, I had a few conversations with friends about "what would you do if bin Laden walked into this room right now," and the worst thing I've ever wanted to do to him was no more than smack him upside the head, like Cher did to Nic Cage in Moonstruck, and holler, "what the hell were you thinking??" But -- I never wanted to kill him. I wanted to put him on trial, and hold him accountable, but I never wanted to kill him.

And as time went on, I realized he did what he did because he was just really, irretrievably warped. If we did put the man on trial, he would absolutely have grounds to use a "not guilty by reason of mental defect" defense. What he did was horrific, but I couldn't really muster any blame or hatred of the man - only pity.

However, he was a catalyst for a big, big change in the American character. And -- sadly -- I fear that change was for the worse. Obama spoke last night of how in the days following 9/11, we "came together as Americans" - but when he said that, I talked back to the TV, saying, "But then that all went to shit almost immediately." We could have retained a lot more of that unity, we could have banded together in a more genuine way -- but instead, we were lead to a place where we became more paranoid, more xenophobic, and more insular, and in the midst of that fear we started turning on each other.

Osama bin Laden brought us to a crossroads and was a catalyst for change. However, the real problems facing this nation came to pass because we changed for the worse, and that is entirely our own fault. My anger is against the people who pointed us down the wrong road -- and they're still around.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [32 favorites]


I almost wonder if Obama wants to get people to doubt this so that when he does release the evidence, people who question the official story will look silly and wrong.

It'd be a good way to inject a false story, but I think if I'm right, he's largely doing it just to quell as much conspiracy talk as possible.

If no evidence is ever released, I won't doubt Bin Laden is dead unless we start getting evidence he is alive. Obama wouldn't claim an elite team of Navy SEALs killed Bin Laden without being sure, which we are thanks to DNA evidence. It'd be a massive embarrassment to the administration and the country as a whole if they were wrong. Something I'm sure Bin Laden would capitalize on by releasing a new tape.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


The circumstances and the reaction to this death remind me of nothing so much as the final scenes of Ralph Bakshi's 1977 animation Wizards.

After overcoming many lethal dangers and challenges, the peaceful, nature-loving, elf-communing wizard Avatar reaches his evil brother Blackwolf's castle. His goal is to stop Blackwolf from unleashing the Nazi war machine on an unsuspecting, post-technological world.

Peaceful, nature-loving wizard Avatar takes out a gun and shoots Blackwolf in the face. "Take that, you son of a bitch," he says with a sneer.
posted by Nomyte at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


We're being told Bin Laden was shot while trying to shoot at American troops - but there's no video or photographic evidence of that (why?) We're being told that they made a DNA analysis which told them very quickly that this was the right man - but it doesn't appear as if any third party will get to make an independent analysis.

So in order to believe this is true, I simply have to believe the uncorroborated word of the US government - is this accurate, or did I miss some hard evidence here?

I'm 48 years old. Objectively, the US government has systematically lied to me all my life - from the bombing of Laos and Cambodia to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and beyond.

So, I'm quite serious when I ask - why should I believe this without any evidence, considering the sole source is one that's proven to be deeply inaccurate over decades?

Please - do me the favour of not using words like "conspiracy theory" and the like - it is an honest question from a skeptical and well-informed person - why should I believe the uncorroborated word of the US government on a subject of such great magnitude, particularly when they have gone out of their way not to provide even one speck of hard evidence?


You do realize, that your evidence that there were no WMD and that we bombed Cambodia also comes from the US government?
posted by Ironmouth at 8:29 AM on May 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


Please - do me the favour of not using words like "conspiracy theory" and the like - it is an honest question from a skeptical and well-informed person - why should I believe the uncorroborated word of the US government on a subject of such great magnitude, particularly when they have gone out of their way not to provide even one speck of hard evidence?

What hard evidence would convince you? Even if hard evidence were presented, could not that evidence have been concocted in a CIA situation room to appear authentic? If you think he was already dead 5 years ago, and if anything the government said should be doubted before it is believed, is your question not disingenuous?
posted by blucevalo at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2011


Your link shows a 47% approval rating. Anyway, not anything that would somehow be 'damaged' by actually having a trial for bin Laden. And "The increases the U.S. saw in 2009 did not necessarily carry over into 2010, and approval suffered double-digit declines in 14 countries, including Egypt, Japan, and the United Kingdom."

You skipped over the fact that the US has a better image than any other major power.
posted by empath at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2011


it would be foolhardy of the US to pretend that they had killed him only to have a video appear of him in the next few days gloating

I don't think anyone's suggesting that he's alive.
posted by thescientificmethhead at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


So in order to believe this is true, I simply have to believe the uncorroborated word of the US government - is this accurate, or did I miss some hard evidence here?

skepticism is a good thing, of course. i would say that at this point such a conspiracy would need to involve the military to a degree that they could guarantee nobody would expose the fraud. and also, you don't know yet that there doesn't exist one speck of evidence. i would think there would be some degree of non-US independent verification involved; the administration has had a period of time preparing for this action to anticipate the possibility of such accusations.

but then there is also the video you're not going to see bin laden make this week showing the world and his followers that he is indeed alive and well.
posted by fallacy of the beard at 8:31 AM on May 2, 2011


According to this site, the compound is located here in Google Maps.
posted by yeti at 8:32 AM on May 2, 2011


Glenn Greenwald:
I'd have strongly preferred that Osama bin Laden be captured rather than killed so that he could be tried for his crimes and punished in accordance with due process (and to obtain presumably ample intelligence). But if he in fact used force to resist capture, then the U.S. military was entitled to use force against him, the way the American police routinely does against suspects who use violence to resist capture.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:32 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


...thanks to intelligence we tortured out of a detainee four years ago.

Rumsfeld (?!?!) was on the Today show saying something very much like this. He did use the may/might weasel formulation, but the idea was: Thank God for torture!
posted by Mister_A at 8:32 AM on May 2, 2011


Okay, but why SEALs over Rangers or Green Berets or Marine Recon?

The way this has been explained to me is that they have different missions:

SEAL teams do quick, high-intensity missions that don't require them to stay on the ground long. They carry enough firepower to get in, get out, and handle immediate contingencies, but they'll be in trouble if they get pinned down because they are traveling light. Also, they're more temperamentally-suited to maintaining a very high level of intensity at a steady state, which no human can do for very long.

Delta teams do missions that require long periods in the field. Guys recruited for Delta tend to be very good at adjusting their intensity level to match the situation. They're recruited based on a combination of skills you might not expect (education, especially stuff like languages and medicine, being important). They need to be able and suited to function independently from the command structure for extended periods of time without going cowboy. They fill roughly the same niche in US forces that the Special Air Service does in British forces. Most of the guys going into Afghanistan in the early days were either Delta or ex-Delta (working for CIA).

Green Berets do missions that are typically long duration, and often require heavy interaction with locals. They're very often training missions (meant un-ironically). The Green Beret unit model is larger -- I forget how large, I want to say 12 men? -- than a SEAL team, an SAS '3-man team' or a Delta squad.

Rangers are conventional forces with conventional supply chains who are trained to be as self-sufficient as it's reasonable to expect an Army unit to be. They have more people with medical training, carry more ammo and have more SAWs per capita. My understanding is that you can usefully deploy a Ranger unit as small as a platoon, but you would really want at least a company.

Marine Recon are similar to Rangers, except that they are intended to be capable of more independent function -- they integrate more of their own support capability. You want to use Marine Recon in a situation where you need the unit to be capable of functioning like a full-blown military unit but with poor supply chains.
posted by lodurr at 8:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [38 favorites]


You do realize, that your evidence that there were no WMD and that we bombed Cambodia also comes from the US government?

I believe the United Nations had reporting of no WMD and other sources of the time reported on explosions from bombs in Cambodia.

But do go on.
posted by rough ashlar at 8:33 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


lupus_yonderboy Becuase it would be insanely stupid for the USA to claim he was dead and leave him alive?

Can you imagine what the Republicans would do to Obama if bin Laden turned out not to be dead? He could kiss his political career goodbye and resign himself to being mocked in history books for the next 200 years.

So I'm pretty sure he's dead. To assume otherwise is to assume that Obama is either insane or stupid, and I don't think he's either.
posted by sotonohito at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Please - do me the favour of not using words like "conspiracy theory" and the like

If you think they're lying, then you are proposing a conspiracy theory, there's really no way of getting around that.

I really doubt that Navy Seals are going to be a part of lying about this. I'd have been more skeptical if it had been a predator drone.
posted by empath at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is one of those days where I'm deeply conflicted and it's pulling open a compartmentalized piece of my life. How do you resolve that your child lost 2 years of a parent to military operations that were triggered or enabled by 9/11? I just keep thinking back to the question my then-husband posed- when he volunteered to go so that another soldier who was having his third kid could stay home. I just keep thinking about that family.

I hope that for people who lost loved ones, this brings some level of closure. I know the person I sent to middle east was not the same person who came back. War is not pretty, and I can't blame them for just killing him and not bringing him back for a media circus trial. I also can't begrudge people celebrating, though I don't understand it at all.

So, I'll go back to reading the serious comments, and giggling at the ridiculous ones, because my sense of humor is all I've got that's kept me sane.
posted by Zophi at 8:34 AM on May 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


lupus_yonderboy: What exactly would you like as hard evidence?

Any photo or video could be faked.
Physical evidence can be manufactured.
Common storylines and corroboration can be prearranged.
You never met bin Laden, so you couldn't personally identify the body.
You don't have a copy of bin Laden DNA to run analysis.

There is likely no 'proof' anyone could present you that would convince you.

What proof do we have have, other than the government's word, that we landed on the moon? My point being, not to get too philosophical, what hard evidence do you have of anything that goes on outside, your direct and personal view?
posted by Argyle at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


What do you want to see in order to confirm that bin Ladin is dead? His lifeless body? That would be a bad idea.
posted by jabberjaw at 8:35 AM on May 2, 2011


The Secret Team That Killed bin Laden

A war-nerdy, informative, at times speculative piece from National Journal about "the specially trained and highly mythologized SEAL Team Six, officially called the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, but known even to the locals at their home base Dam Neck in Virginia as just DevGru."

DevGru belongs to the Joint Special Operations Command, an extraordinary and unusual collection of classified standing task forces and special-missions units. They report to the president and operate worldwide based on the legal (or extra-legal) premises of classified presidential directives. Though the general public knows about the special SEALs and their brothers in Delta Force, most JSOC missions never leak. We only hear about JSOC when something goes bad (a British aid worker is accidentally killed) or when something really big happens (a merchant marine captain is rescued at sea), and even then, the military remains especially sensitive about their existence. Several dozen JSOC operatives have died in Pakistan over the past several years. Their names are released by the Defense Department in the usual manner, but with a cover story -- generally, they were killed in training accidents in eastern Afghanistan. That’s the code.

How did the helos elude the Pakistani air defense network? Did they spoof transponder codes? Were they painted and tricked out with Pakistan Air Force equipment? If so -- and we may never know -- two other JSOC units, the Technical Application Programs Office and the Aviation Technology Evaluation Group, were responsible. These truly are the silent squirrels -- never getting public credit and not caring one whit. Since 9/11, the JSOC units and their task forces have become the U.S. government’s most effective and lethal weapon against terrorists and their networks, drawing plenty of unwanted, and occasionally unflattering, attention to themselves in the process.

JSOC costs the country more than $1 billion annually. The command has its critics, but it has escaped significant congressional scrutiny and has operated largely with impunity since 9/11. Some of its interrogators and operators were involved in torture and rendition, and the line between its intelligence-gathering activities and the CIA's has been blurred.

But Sunday’s operation provides strong evidence that the CIA and JSOC work well together....


Seemed worth a read, but I can't vouch for accuracy or anything.
posted by mediareport at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm sorry, I didn't present my skepticism properly.

The one thing I AM pretty sure of is that if they are claiming that they killed Bin Laden, then Bin Laden is definitely dead today.

But I've assumed Bin Laden was dead for years. If you recall, we had a spate of videos from him, and then a regular series of them around special occasions like elections. The last one was around 2006. In this, a grey-haired, tired looking Bin Laden starts to speak about generalities, and then the video freezes and a similar-sounding but not identical (to my ears) voice starts to speak about contemporaneous events.

And after that, nothing.

So why would Bin Laden cease to make such videos if he were still alive? They certainly bummed me out each time they came out, as a New Yorker - I strongly imagine that they'd have a complementary effect on the enemies of the United States.

Now, Bin Laden was an old man with serious kidney troubles, and he certainly looked like that in the 2006 video. It seemed - and seems - very logical to me that he'd simply died, and that Al Qaeda had covered it up because it was of course in their best interests.

None of this is really "evidence" - but then the US government isn't giving us any evidence at all, so what is a skeptical person supposed to do?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


You do realize, that your evidence that there were no WMD and that we bombed Cambodia also comes from the US government?

What? The UN is a thing. Also, there are people in Cambodia, and a lot of them still have eyes and mouths.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I have little doubt he's dead. I assumed he was dead around 2006 when we stopped getting videos from him.

Oh, OK. That isn't entirely unreasonable. What proof do you have of that?
posted by ob at 8:36 AM on May 2, 2011


What hard evidence would convince you?

What would be considered beyond reproach for science or a well run honest trial?
posted by rough ashlar at 8:37 AM on May 2, 2011


Also, there are people in Cambodia, and a lot of them still have eyes and mouths.
and alot do not have limbs thanks to chinese mines and the warped mind of Kissenger.
posted by clavdivs at 8:39 AM on May 2, 2011



Oh, I have little doubt he's dead. I assumed he was dead around 2006 when we stopped getting videos from him.

So you trust your own assumption based upon the lack of new video tapes more then the word of the US Government? What?
I imagine more evidence will be released. Early times here.
posted by cyphill at 8:40 AM on May 2, 2011


To those touting the awful moral example of the US bringing down a wanted fugitive through force, where's you're outrage over how Bonnie and Clyde or Jesse James met their fates? We've done far worse to take out penny ante criminals than this.

As examples of human brutality go, this action was a relatively responsible and measured use of force for a legitimate end. And it will no doubt help make a much stronger case that America has succeeded in defeating the forces that have provided the justifications for our continued presence in Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world in this conflict with radical Islamist terrorist groups.

It should now be a hell of a lot easier to sell the idea to the American people (and more importantly, to our clownishly inept legislators) that President Obama knows what he's doing when it comes to the timetable he's set for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

If that makes it easier to actually affect the withdrawal, then Bin Laden's defeat will have been a major victory for peace.

If Pakistan ends up in the politically awkward position of having to face a popular backlash from its own people for having sheltered a fugitive, mass murdering demagogue, then that just might be a good thing, too.

(And as for the paranoid speculation and innuendo questioning whether or not this actually happened as reported: seriously, get a life.)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


None of this is really "evidence" - but then the US government isn't giving us any evidence at all, so what is a skeptical person supposed to do?

I don't know. What's a skeptical person supposed to do with any information or misinformation released by the government, given that both of us are about the same age and probably about equally skeptical of the US government and its motives? Either accept it on faith, question it to death, or wear a tinfoil hat about it. Those are pretty much the options.
posted by blucevalo at 8:41 AM on May 2, 2011


None of this is really "evidence" - but then the US government isn't giving us any evidence at all, so what is a skeptical person supposed to do?

Wait a bit more than 17 hours after the fact before declaring you are skeptical because there is no "evidence."
posted by Ironmouth at 8:42 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


> There is likely no 'proof' anyone could present you that would convince you.

Why DO you say that?

I *presented* in my post several pieces of evidence that would convince me. For example, a video of Bin Laden shooting at the US, or being shot by them!

> What proof do we have have, other than the government's word, that we landed on the moon?

On the off-chance you're serious here, the moon missions were tracked by dozens of countries in the world as well as amateur astronomers, and amateur radio hams were able to directly pick up receptions from the astronauts.

If you are still doubtful, the missions left an optically flat mirror on the moon's surface, and it's entirely within the range of an amateur experimenter and a few $00 to bounce a laser off this and pick up the response, all sorts of people have.

Your argument appears to be: "No possible evidence would actually convince people like you, so the government doesn't need to present any evidence at all." Can you see how strange that appears to me?

> What do you want to see in order to confirm that bin Ladin is dead? His lifeless body? That would be a bad idea.

Why? Why are we always told that grown-ups have decided that we get no information at all, because it's bad for us?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:43 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's a skeptical person supposed to do with any information or misinformation released by the government

Basics of Bayesian Inference
posted by mokuba at 8:43 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


You do realize, that your evidence that there were no WMD and that we bombed Cambodia also comes from the US government?

What? The UN is a thing. Also, there are people in Cambodia, and a lot of them still have eyes and mouths.


Lupus Yonderboy did not interview those people in Cambodia. And the US government stated that they found no WMD in the Duelfer report.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2011


Your link shows a 47% approval rating. Anyway, not anything that would somehow be 'damaged' by actually having a trial for bin Laden. And "The increases the U.S. saw in 2009 did not necessarily carry over into 2010, and approval suffered double-digit declines in 14 countries, including Egypt, Japan, and the United Kingdom."

You skipped over the fact that the US has a better image than any other major power.
That's true. So you honestly think that those numbers would drop if we were able to capture bin Laden alive and put him on trail? Because what I was saying was that that would not happen, that putting bin Laden on trial wouldn't somehow damage the U.S. "image" any worse then it already has been damaged, and not somehow worse then deliberately killing him (which is not what happened).

Do you honestly think that capturing and putting bin Laden on trial would damage the U.S's image internationally? Because, if not what's your point?

Some of the responses I'm getting are pretty bizarre here. Someone said that putting bin Laden on trial instead of killing him would some how be bad for our image, and I said no, that wasn't the case and then people followed up with "who cares what other people think!?" (which actually makes my initial point even stronger) "he fought back, so we had to kill him!" which had actually already said myself, and "well not everyone hates us!" which is kind of irrelevant.
posted by delmoi at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2011


Whoa, this was all in WikiLeaks:
In July 2003, detainee received a letter from UBL’s designated courier, Maulawi Abd al-Khaliq Jan, requesting detainee take on the responsibility of collecting donations, organizing travel, and distributing funds to families in Pakistan. UBL stated detainee would be the official messenger between UBL and others in Pakistan. In mid-2003, detainee moved his family to Abbottabad, PK and worked between Abbottabad and Peshawar.
posted by geoff. at 8:44 AM on May 2, 2011 [39 favorites]


Basics of Bayesian Inference

Okay, granted, those aren't the only three options. I concede.
posted by blucevalo at 8:46 AM on May 2, 2011


Man, I totally had plans for that bounty once I got my act together.

I guess it's back to scratchies now.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:47 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]




So why would Bin Laden cease to make such videos if he were still alive?

He switched to audio-only broadcasts. Maybe he was scared of giving away his location. If anyone in the world had the right to be paranoid...
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:49 AM on May 2, 2011






You heard it here first: Obama wins 2012 election...

I called 2012 for Obama back in July '07.

I have notarized documentation.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:51 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


L.A. Times:
"During the operation, a photo of his face was transmitted to analysts, who confirmed the identification.

According to Pentagon officials, photos of Bin Laden's dead face do exist but those widely distributed on the Internet are fake. At some point, if only to convince die-hard Bin Laden followers, officials are expected to release a corpse photo, as has been done in the past when famous villains such as Che Guevara and Iraqi President Saddam Hussein were killed or captured. Additionally, such special ops are typically videotaped by mini-helmet cams to document a sensitive mission and assist in debriefing and future training."
posted by ericb at 8:52 AM on May 2, 2011


He switched to audio-only broadcasts.

Rich Little.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 AM on May 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah regarding the proof that bin Laden is dead, I would imagine there is plenty of video and photos that were taken at the time, but probably won't be publicly released. Maybe some will end up being released, we'll have to see.
posted by delmoi at 8:54 AM on May 2, 2011




BBC reporting that the White House has confirmed that the armed forces are never authorized to kill people who have surrendered. For what it's worth. I don't think anyone was anticipating that bin Laden would surrender.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2011


Er, yeah my comment was a bit late :P
posted by delmoi at 8:55 AM on May 2, 2011


10/15/01: Bush rejects Taliban offer to surrender OBL
posted by Sticherbeast 2 minutes ago


Okay, earlier, when I said that I reserved my hatred for the people who lead us down the wrong road after the 9/11 attacks?

This is one of the fuckers I was talking about. I don't want Bush dead, mind -- I want him alive. For a long time. But only after he is confronted with the fact of his own ineptitude and cowardice. Then I want him to live with the full understanding of his own incompetence for a long, long time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:56 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ah, Ironmouth, as charming as ever!

In fact, in the last few weeks I did talk to Cambodians in Cambodia about those very bombings. Do I get an apology now? No?

But let me break down your argument to its basic:

* No individual piece of evidence is 100% reliable.
* Even our reports of great world events rely on this unreliable evidence, even ones where we have thousands of pieces of evidence gathered by thousands of people like the bombings in Cambodia.
* Therefore you should believe in this new claim, even though there is almost no evidence at all for it.

Again, the reason I believe in, say, the bombing of Cambodia is the weight of evidence - because there's a huge quantity of documentary evidence from many different parties, many of whom are supposedly independent. We have photographs, we have all sorts of eyewitness accounts, we have people who were supposedly crippled in these supposed bombings who are still alive and can be stalked to, and that sort of thing.

In this Bin Laden case, I am being presented with no hard evidence whatsoever - I am simply being given the uncorroborated word of the US government, a source that has been deeply unreliable in the past and has also got extreme vested interests here.

Can you not see how these are completely and utterly different things?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:57 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


That close to Lake Tarbela; and never being able to go water skiing, swimming, or fishing.

Enjoy the fiery lake of Hades, dude! bwahhhhh!
posted by buzzman at 8:57 AM on May 2, 2011


As has been stated above: U.S. Team's Mission Was To Kill, Not Capture.
posted by ericb at 8:59 AM on May 2, 2011


President Obama Watched Live Video Of Bin Laden Raid As It Happened

I'd like to think that he stood watching the video screen dispassionately, took a sip of coffee, and said to himself, "that is a kill."
posted by BobbyVan at 8:59 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Conspiracy theory dudes/dudettes: you're coming across as loons. Give it up, unless you want to become the next generation of truthers/birthers.
posted by unSane at 9:00 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


President Obama Watched Live Video Of Bin Laden Raid As It Happened.

I'd wait for a better source than someone who has been indicted for fraud.
posted by empath at 9:00 AM on May 2, 2011




Ya, this point it seems like people are intent on having a pointless Cartesian debate about "what we can know."

Unless you have evidence against the evidence, I would GYOFB
posted by rosswald at 9:01 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


We missed out on getting Osama earlier when it was published that he was being followed by satellite phone. Wiki leaks talking about the courier being based on Abottabad could have done the same thing to this operation.
posted by garlic at 9:02 AM on May 2, 2011


As has been stated above: U.S. Team's Mission Was To Kill, Not Capture.

There's a lot of shit coming out now from anonymous sources. I think everyone's default position on pretty much anything not officially confirmed should be extreme skepticism.
posted by empath at 9:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know it's wrong to make this comparison, but the fact that one of, if not the biggest, current enemies of America was living in a nice house in an almost suburban-ish area, certainly compared to the cave in the middle of nowhere we were conditioned to expect, makes me think of this.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:02 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can you not see how these are completely and utterly different things?

There is Obama supporting to be done, so no.
posted by rough ashlar at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Wait a bit more than 17 hours after the fact before declaring you are skeptical because there is no "evidence."

OK, I'll bite here. Can you name any other comparable news story of this magnitude that has broken and we have NOT received some hard evidence of it from a third-party within 17 hours?

And, don't get me wrong here, I'm not sure that this didn't happen. I wouldn't be one bit surprised if we did later get, say, video evidence that proved that Bin Laden was, in fact, killed yesterday - and none of this would prove anything I said above to be wrong.

I am simply claiming that we have not been given enough evidence, and that the US government is a historically unreliable source - so that a skeptical person ought not to believe this until more evidence, one way or the other, is forthcoming.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


Ugh, less links to what types like Joe Scarborough think, please, and more links to facts.
posted by mediareport at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


And shit, I was kidding, but just before I posted this I googled Pakistani pizza and came up with PizzaHut's Pakistani website.

I'll have a large Shawarma Pizza on Seekh Kebab Stuffed Crust, please. Hold the jalapeños.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:03 AM on May 2, 2011


Enjoy the fiery lake of Hades, dude! bwahhhhh!

Huckabee To Osama: 'Welcome To Hell'.
posted by ericb at 9:04 AM on May 2, 2011


Why should I accept the government's word that Osama bin Laden ever existed in the first place? They've lied before. I'm just asking questions.
posted by gerryblog at 9:05 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, I'll bite here. Can you name any other comparable news story of this magnitude that has broken and we have NOT received some hard evidence of it from a third-party within 17 hours?

Which 3rd party(ies) would you believe? Which 3rd party would you judge to have sufficiently few dogs in this fight that they could be declared unequivocally credible?
posted by rtha at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of you are upset that Special Forces is not a team of roving wizards

You're goddamn right I am. How cool would THAT be?
posted by Zozo at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [11 favorites]


Joe Scarborough: Obama’s Base Didn’t Want Him To Catch Bin Laden.

I like how he says Obama had to "[go] against his own ideological leanings to do what he believes he has to do." So he had to go against what he believes in, in order to accomplish what he believes in? It requires some really interesting denial gymnastics to accept that line.
posted by penduluum at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




a skeptical person ought not to believe this until more evidence, one way or the other, is forthcoming.

OK, we need to start a betting pool then. I need some extra walking-around money. Ladbrokes or someone should get on this.
posted by aramaic at 9:06 AM on May 2, 2011


absence of evidence is not evidence of absence
posted by unSane at 9:07 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, I'll bite here. Can you name any other comparable news story of this magnitude that has broken and we have NOT received some hard evidence of it from a third-party within 17 hours?

Looking at what information is out there now, part of the reason for the success of t his mission was that the US didn't share information with third parties.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that those that are unhappy about this news are extremists on one end of the spectrum or another. There are some weird reactions here. I can appreciate "let's not celebrate some guy getting killed" but the tinfoil hat stuff is just strange. Look, Obama is not going to lie about killing OBL. It's falsifiable, and there is evidence (DNA, pictures, a new video that could be made, etc) that would come out and absolutely clown him if it's untrue.
posted by norm at 9:08 AM on May 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


gerryblog:

> Why should I accept the government's word that Osama bin Laden ever existed in the first place? They've lied before. I'm just asking questions.

Ha ha ha. Why say things that you don't really believe? Do you think this helps the conversation? Do you think that I or anyone here doesn't believe that Bin Laden existed?

There are literally dozens of interviews with Bin Laden that you can find in seconds. There a photographs of him from childhood to after 9/11. etc. etc.

A skeptical adult would conclude that Bin Laden did exist based on the weight of evidence.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:09 AM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK, I'll bite here. Can you name any other comparable news story of this magnitude that has broken and we have NOT received some hard evidence of it from a third-party within 17 hours?

Uh, you do