Mission precision

Americans have reason to be proud of the well-executed Navy Seals mission that eliminated the world’s top terrorist.

May 3, 2011


Almost 10 years after the Sept. 11 attacks killed nearly 3,000 people in New York and Washington, D.C., justice has been served.

President Obama’s announcement late Sunday night that U.S. forces had found and killed Osama bin Laden was met in this country with a mixture of euphoria and relief. The fact that the revered head of the al-Qaida terrorist group had eluded capture for so long was a festering sore for the American people. The fact that U.S. Navy Seals were able to find bin Laden in a Pakistan mansion and execute a pinpoint mission to eliminate the terrorist certainly gives Americans reason to be proud.

Obama deserves congratulations for giving the orders for the risky mission. As the president noted Sunday night, “The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al-Qaida,” a battle that already has spanned three presidencies. During Bill Clinton’s term al-Qaida was blamed for the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa that killed 231 people and the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 171 U.S. sailors in Yemen. Only a few months into George W. Bush’s presidency, bin Laden directed the Sept. 11 attacks in New York and Washington.

The path that led U.S. forces to bin Laden was a long one. An assault that lasted only about 40 minutes early Monday morning Pakistan time, was years in the making. Reportedly aided by tips from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, U.S. intelligence officials were able to identify a trusted bin Laden courier four years ago. About two years ago, they were able to identify areas of Pakistan where the courier worked.

Last August, they found his residence, a heavily fortified compound in a suburb of Islamabad. By February, intelligence placing bin Laden at the same address was strong enough that Obama decided to pursue what a senior official called “an aggressive course of action.” The next two and a half months were spent zeroing in on bin Laden and planning the mission to take him out.

The precision with which that attack took place was impressive. It is a vivid reminder of the skill and dedication of our nation’s military forces who are deployed around the world. The sacrifices of our troops and their families are immense; the raid that killed bin Laden is just one example of their skill and courage.

Bin Laden’s death is an important step in the global war against terrorism, but it does not mark the end of that battle. Others still are willing to pursue terrorist targets and may be at least temporarily spurred into acts of revenge against the nation that killed bin Laden.

The world may be only a marginally safer place without Osama bin Laden, but the elimination of the terrorist leader gives the nation and the world an important psychological life. It provided proof that we are not helpless in the battle against those who want to do us harm and that even the elusive bin Laden eventually could be caught and punished.

Americans should offer their congratulations and thanks to all those involved in this significant victory in the war on terror.


Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

"An assault that lasted only about 40 minutes early Monday morning Pakistan time, was years in the making. Reportedly aided by tips from detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, U.S. intelligence officials were able to identify a trusted bin Laden courier four years ago. About two years ago, they were able to identify areas of Pakistan where the courier worked."

Right wing spin alert.

There is absolutely no proof, beyond the right wing talking head echo chamber, of the validity of this statement. The "reportedly" qualifier is simply weasel language that allows the idiot fantasies of Liz Cheney and other apologists for the bush administration's crimes to become part of the accepted common wisdom.

As explained in this article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42863247/ns/world_news-death_of_bin_laden/, Guantanamo prisoners were waterboarded hundreds of times and did not reveal the true identity of the courier.

Instead, it was the regular diligent criminal investigation work of national security government workers which cracked this case.

It is a shame the LJW editors decided not to share this perspective with their readers and instead offered this right wing crack pot speculation.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

Apparently the Whitehouse Counter Terrorism Chief disagrees that waterboarding led to actionable intelligence.


Not that the truth will matter to the right wingers propagandists.

Miguy96b 6 years, 10 months ago

I don't see this article as claiming waterboarding was the tactic used to get the information. All the article says is information from detainees was used. It is up to you to apparently make the (il)logical leap that the information was gained via waterboarding. Furthermore, Brennen says that information WAS gained from Gitmo detainees but it just might not be the only information used. At least that was his initial story and it'd probably be weird if it changed now... It's a shame you feel the need to defend against phantom bias but the LJWorld reporting is not shameful (at least in this editorial...)

Richard Heckler 6 years, 10 months ago

Shouldn't the bin Laden family have been the decision makers on the disposal of the Osama remains?

The world's top terrorist? Get real. Now who will the nation blame every terrorist action?

How will constant celebration of this killing solve the world's problem of getting along?

What about the reasons so many on the planet take issue with the USA government? It's about the USA government "special american interest" foreign policies not the american citizens.

It's going on in Africa as we speak.

It's about that oil pipeline from Iraq to Israel at USA taxpayers expense without due respect for those who own the oil and the people in general.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

"The world's top terrorist? Get real. Now who will the nation blame every terrorist action?"

This does take away one of the chief right wing boegyman.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 10 months ago

Not that you'll answer, but if OBL wasn't one of the world's top terrorists then who, in your opinion was?

Paul R Getto 6 years, 10 months ago

Good job, Seals. Too bad he 'fought' to the end (brave warrior hiding behind a woman.) If we could have captured him alive, he could have enjoyed a steady diet of Spam in Gitmo. Burial at sea was a good move too. No sense having a shrine somewhere. The beat and the 'war against a noun' continues, but this was a great example of what can be done when we put our minds to it. Do not RIP, little rich boy gone bad. We should remember, however, we created this monster and he turned on us. Let us hope this mistake will not be repeated.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

But all are not deserving of equal praise. Some of our political leaders over the last 10 years engaged in extremely wasteful diversions and activities that shamed the values of our country's good people. They and their co-conspiritors in the corporate media continue it even until now with these efforts to muddy the public's understanding of what has truly taken place.

Thanks to those who directed the might, intelligence and resources of the USA toward the capture and killing of this evil man. Competent leadership is a wonderful thing.

And condemnation to those who took advantage of the country's pain and anguish over the last ten years to engage in war profiteering.

George Lippencott 6 years, 10 months ago

OK, but not everybody agrees with your version of the last ten years.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 10 months ago

Correction; it now appears the great warrior hid not behind his women, but behind his benefactors and our 'good friends' from Pakistan, probably for years. RealPolitik, as Kissinger used to say. It's a strange world out there and sometimes it comes down to 'my thugs against your thugs.'

devobrun 6 years, 10 months ago

DEVGRU http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Naval_Special_Warfare_Development_Group is part of JSOC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_Special_Operations_Command These are the best of the best and report directly to CIA, State Department and the President. It seems clear that Panetta as CIA chief, Clinton as Sec of State, and POTUS himself were in direct communication with the people who carried off this killing.

After the mission was given the go ahead, they sat back and watched. Even with some difficulties, the mission was a success.

I know one of these people. He might have been there Sunday. He is best characterized as intelligent. He is amazingly trainable. You can sit him down for 8 hours of instruction and he can tell you what was said in the first 5 minutes, verbatim. I have seen him teaching his nephew how to dive into a swimming pool with love and patience. He is fearless and confident and precise in his ways.

He is the thug I want on my side when thugs must clash.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

Navy SEALS, when you care enough to send the very best.

devobrun 6 years, 10 months ago

And the best of those are United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group, aka DevGru. Think Jason Bourne who knows who he is.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

At least we now know why bin Laden tried so hard to get republicans elected.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

What's the matter?

Reality not as Faux "News" has been telling you lo these many years?

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

OK, then why did bin Laden consistently act on the eve of American elections in ways that benefited republicans?

And while you are pondering matters, what connection, if any, is there between President bush's decision to disband the government program to hunt for bin Laden in 2005 and bin Laden's 2005 construction of the compound where he was ultimately discovered hiding? Does it have anything to do with the fact that President bush was sure to allow all bin Laden family members out of the country immediately after September 11 while US airspace was closed?

Has the "Fair and Balanced" network issued talking points to address these questions yet?

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

The operation was like a team of surgeons removing a malignant tumor, but with more gunfire. :)

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

Take two bullets and call us after your swim.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

And what says self righteous and self important better than a posting of name calling. Perhaps you would not be so bored if you had a cogent point to offer.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

OBL was the ultimate community organizer. He'd have been right at home with Bill Ayers.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

Except he was a right wing religious fanatic willing to do whatever it took to impose his belief on the rest of us.

In reality he'd have been more comfortable with a Sam Brownback or any of the rest of our right wing religious fanatic politicians.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 10 months ago

Scott3460 - Americans across the political spectrum should be coming together celebrating the demise of a common enemy. Bin Laden would have killed you just as easily as he killed those on 9-11. None of this anything to do with right wing vs. left wing. Your divide and conquer strategy may or may not help our foes, but it certainly does nothing to bring us together.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

I think turning a blind eye to statements such as made by Snap without offering an alternative and more reality based perspective is worse.

Right wingers do not like hearing it, but OBL had far more in common with the hard right than he did with someone on the left such as Bill Ayers.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 10 months ago

Both OBL and Bill A. really dug blowing people up. OBL's buds were more competent that the Ayers crowd.

Scott Drummond 6 years, 10 months ago

Agreed, right wing religious fanatics are more deadly than left wing ones. The right to life fanatics also prove the point. One of the many reasons I hate far right fanaticism.

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