Sunday, May 1, 2011

U.S. Gets Osama Bin Laden: Obama's Still Cool

I did not think this day would come, but about two hours ago, my son rushed into the living room and said, "Mom, Osama bin Laden is dead!"

"What? Was it natural causes?"

"No," he said. "He was killed." (Later sources reported that bin Laden was shot in the head, shot through the left eye.)

I stopped watching Treme on HBO and turned to CNN where I saw that about 30 or 40 people had already gathered in front of the White House. As I write this post, it looks like that crowd has grown to more than 500 now. And people are celebrating at Ground Zero in New York City as well.

Here's video of President Barack Obama's speech in which he makes clear he had his hand on the operation to get bin Laden who was killed in Pakistan.

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Unfortunately the video above does not capture Obama's walk to the podium before his speech. My daughter, 30, commented, "Look at his walk," and people are tweeting about his swagger and saying Obama got Osama. Interesting the things people notice on momentous occasions.

Even one Republican congressman, Peter King I think, put it this way, and I paraphrase: If the mission had failed, we would have blamed the president. So he gets credit for this success. He and someone else said the president showed guts. It was his call to take the shot and he took it. Others are praising the Obama administration for being able to keep the operation quiet, the way it kept the lid on security and avoided leaks.

And still, Obama is cool. Consider that he knew about this when they were releasing the long form of the birth certificate and as he did his comedy routine last night at the White House Correspondents' Dinner. (See clip of Obama smiling at Seth Meyer's Osama joke at WHCD on Saturday night before Osama was dead. To look at him, you'd think nothing like the Osama operation was brewing that night.) I'm reminded that Colin Powell said he endorsed him in part because of he's level-headed.

The strike was a highly organized intelligence operation carried out by Navy Seals with cooperation from Pakinstan's civil government, reports CNN. The Seals engaged in a firefight, killed bin Laden and a few other people, including a woman who one of Osama bin Laden's people used as a human shield, and then our soldiers took possession of bin Laden's body.

Former president's George W. Bush and Bill Clinton have also issued statements. Obama called Bush before he made the news public.

My family and I lived in New Jersey not far from New York City when the planes hit the World Trade Center nearly 10 years ago on September 11. I think bin Laden's death will give a lot of families some sense of closure.

President Obama stressed that this is not the end of terrorism. I'm going to guess our military is on high alert for possible retaliation. My prayers are with them and with us over here, too, because some Osama-wannabe is no doubt out there now trying to make a name for himself by shedding more blood and there's already talk in the media of sleeper cells being activated. But today, as the president said, justice was served.

The screen shot is a screenshot of the Huffington Post's main page reporting that Osama bin Laden is dead. has an open thread that's already getting lots of comments.

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