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01 May 2011

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Tigershark

Any chance the ISI "leak" OLB's location?

jerseycityjoan

I just heard there's a "swelling crowed" outside the White House, "rejoicing" that bin Laden is gone, singing the Star Spangled Banner and dancing.

How I wish I could be there.

I will do what I can here.

After the President speaks, I will walk down to Exchange Place here in Jersey City, which is directly across from the World Trade Center. I hope others will have same idea. I will look across the Hudson to where I used to see my Twin Towers and think -- I'm not sure really.

I expect I'll take the World Trade Center PATH train sometime tomorrow, unless I hear the crowds are too big. If they are, I'll go later this week. Don't know what I'll think when I'm on the scene in New York, either, but that's all right. Being there at this time is what's important.

After all, I was at the World Trace Center shortly after midnight on September 11. I should go back now.

Thank God he's gone.

Thank God he's gone.

Thanks to all who helped get him. I hope those who suffered because of him will find some solace and satisfaction in his death.

Thank God he's gone.

Joan

Maureen Lang

Amen to all you said, Joan. As soon as the President finished his statement, my whole block seemed to erupt, could hear it with the doors closed- going outside to talk to the neighbors now.

William R. Cumming

Has any nation-state spent such a decade long effort to kill a single person?
Predict his end will have unknown and perhaps unknowable repercussions. In his case the man did make history.

securecare

The people behind him now need to be revealed etc.

Won't be holding my breath for that to happen of course.

Medicine Man

Fetching myself a drink now.

Before that though; sincerely to my neighbors down south--congratulations. Your countrymen (and women) who died in NY those years ago deserve this justice, as does your nation.

Salute.

Farooq

Pakistani news media is saying that a chopper went down in flames. Also some footage of two houses on fire. This occurred very close to Pakistan military academy -Kakul, which is in close vicinity. Since Obama said no american lives were lost i am guessing it was Pakistani chopper that went down.

Pakistan had arrested an Indonesian AQ operative from same area very recently so there might be a connection there.
http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/AP-Exclusive-Militant-s-road-ends-in-Pakistan-1337165.php

Gametheory

Couple of issues here:

-Bin Laden had become the symbol of al Qaeda and its affiliated groups even though the degree to which he commanded the organization was questionable.


-The symbolic value of his death is pretty much obvious. The US Govt can claim a great victory but Al Qaeda can proclaim his martyrdom.


- This permits permits the Obama administration to claim victory, at least partially, over al Qaeda and it also opens the door for the beginning of a withdrawal from Afghanistan, regardless of the practical impact of OBL’s death.

-The mission in Afghanistan was to defeat AQ, and with his death, a plausible claim can be made that the mission is complete. Again speculatively, it will be interesting to see how this affects U.S. strategy there.

-Equally possible is that this will trigger action by AQ in OBL's name. No one knows how viable al Qaeda is or how deeply compromised it was.


-It is clear that bin Laden’s cover had been sufficiently penetrated to kill him (and more likely by HUMINT) and If bin Laden’s cover was penetrated, then the question becomes how much of the rest of the organization’s cover was penetrated. It is unlikely, however, that al Qaeda is so compromised that it cannot take further action.

confusedponderer

Good riddance, and a toast to all who helped him depart.

Arun

In a mansion or large building built in 2005 in Abbotabad. Who knew what and when?

Lars

Other than being evil, Osama bin Laden has something else in common with Adolf Hitler. Both died on May 1st.

I guess a lot more people are now realizing how determined President Obama is.

toto

The BBC reports that:

1- The compound where OBL was found is a couple hundred yards away from a Pakistani military academy. Seriously.

2- The operation was initiated by US forces. Pakistani forces arrived on the scene later.

I second Tigershark's question: It will be very interesting to find out whether this operation was led with Pakistani approval (or even initiated by Pakistani intelligence) - or not.

Mj


''I am not saying they are at the highest level...but I believe somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Taliban are,'' Clinton said on May 10 last year, adding, ''We expect more cooperation (from Pakistan) to help us bring to justice capture or kill those who brought us 9/11.''

Redhand

I just wrote a long post that I lost. So let me simply say that as a resident of NJ who lived within sight of the Towers on 9/11, and for whom they were an integral part of my "territory" and my America, this is wonderful news.

FINALLY, FINALLY, justice is done. Finally, Colin Powell's words, "You don't do this to the United States and get away with it," are reality. It took a decade and another President, but for this American the fact that we killed him is all important. Cf. the Death of Decabalus.

JoeC

Some interesting details from BBC News (if true):

One helicopter was lost due to "technical failure". The team destroyed it and left in its other aircraft.

One resident, Nasir Khan, told Reuters the helicopters had come under "intense firing" from the ground.

And:

Another senior US official said that no intelligence had been shared with any country, including Pakistan, ahead of the raid.

"Only a very small group of people inside our own government knew of this operation in advance," the official said.

The size and complexity of the structure in Abbottabad had "shocked" US officials.

It had 4m-6m (12ft-18ft) walls, was eight times larger than other homes in the area and was valued at "several million dollars", though it had no telephone or internet connection.

The Abbottabad residence is just 200 metres from the Pakistan Military Academy - the country's equivalent of West Point.

William R. Cumming

So will the US pursue those that helped to hide UBL?
What do do followers of Islam believe about burial at sea?
Will this strengthen or weaken the forces of reform in MENA?
If I understand UBL's life story correctly his first frustration was with an unreformed Royal House in Saudi Arabia! And my understanding is that it still is unreformed. So how many other UBL's will Saudi Arabia be allowed to generate before they run out of oil?

The beaver

Interesting tweet:
http://twitter.com/#!/ReallyVirtual

Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).
16 hours ago via TweetDeck

clifford kiracofe

"But Ramesh Chopra, a former chief of Indian military intelligence who was born in Abbottabad, says any military conducts sweeps of areas and would know its own back yard. For him, it’s clear Bin Laden was protected by elements of Pakistan’s establishment.

“If I were the [Pakistani intelligence] chief, I wouldn’t put Osama bin Laden there. I wouldn’t be so arrogant and foolish,” says Mr. Chopra. “A safehouse is supposed to be decrepit and in an isolated place."
http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2011/0502/Osama-bin-Laden-killed-near-Pakistan-s-West-Point.-Was-he-really-hidden

For a long time, some reporting from India has claimed UBL was in Pakistan courtesy of ISI. Additionally, it was said that UBL had kidney condition requiring dialysis and that this was done in clinics in Pakistan with the knowledge of Pak authorities.

Making Afghanistan into a Wahhabistan is a Pak and Saudi project, no? yes?

It will be interesting to see how India's media handles this and the tidbits to the media provided by Indian officialdom.

graywolf

SEALS?
Not Delta?
Because the JCS Chair is Navy?

Charles I

Congrats. Lets hope this n excuse to end the war, and not start one in Pakistan. Just heard RobertFisk opine he was given up by the ISI/Military for something Kashmiri.

Lets hear it FB, tho I probably won't see it til i get home Wed. Buddy is taking his turbostick home right when I'd like to cottage surf.

J

Whether Bin Laden died in December 2001 or May 1 2011, makes little difference. There are bigger fish to fry, that have been repeatedly highlighted by the Colonel, Phil, and the Brigadier.

Yesterday was a day of D.C. theatrics. Some say it is both DOD and CIA trying to justify the continued existence of certain ongoing programs they have running in place. Turf war, departmental justifications? You be the judge. I have my opinion.

John Minnerath

OK, good riddance. Now what? Was that single individual worth all the blood and treasure spent chasing him down?
Now he's become a martyr to his followers.
I've always felt Pakistan was deeply involved in protecting him.
Any real effect or just another page in this long and strange war we're involved in against an amorphous enemy we don't understand in a part of the world we don't understand?

Farmer Don

I hope this will be a turning point for the USA and therefore the rest of the world.

Hopefully America and it's people can finally move past 9/11/01.

Maybe America will rise back to the years of no wars, greater civil liberties, and increased prosperity for it's citizens.

confusedponderer

J,

Whether Bin Laden died in December 2001 or May 1 2011, makes little difference.
I disagree. That he is dead does make a difference. It gives the US trauma of 9/11 closure.

It may be Obama's, and America's, chance to declare victory and find a sensible way out of Afghanistan, instead of trying to transform the country into something it cannot and doesn't want to be, a mission bound to fail.

With the death of Bin Lande the US have a rare chance to readjust. Will Obama heed it? Or will he let the mission in "AFPAK" continue on autopilot?

Charles I

Spengler over at
AsiaTimes puts OBL as a casualty of a shift in Saudi attitudes regarding his utility following the Arab spring, motivated by a Saudi interest in Pakistani support for the regime - citing Pakistanis already in Bahrain - a calling in of old nuclear favours, a reorientation away from al qaeda terrorism, in face of US. unreliability, rather than a pure function of Pakistani interests per Fisk.

Whether that was prompted by the U.S. actually finding him and this mission or he was in fact just offered up at this time would tell a lot about our relationships.

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