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Opinion

Opinion

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

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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.

Comments

Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

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

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75x55 2 years, 11 months ago

Nothing like the self-important, self-righteous twits of Larrytown. Yawn.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

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

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scott3460 2 years, 11 months ago

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

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 11 months ago

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

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 11 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.'

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75x55 2 years, 11 months ago

Only in Lawrence, when a great feat is done and justice served, do we have the quick kneejerk response to flagellation.

Great praise for all those at all levels for the past 9 years to get this done.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 11 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.

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consumer1 2 years, 11 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 11 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.

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scott3460 2 years, 11 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.

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