BREAKING NEWS: President Obama: U.S. Special Forces Have Killed Osama bin Laden

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    WHbinLadenDeadCheering crowds are gathering outside the White House tonight in the wake of some historic news – Osama bin Baden has been killed by U.S. special forces:

    Osama bin Laden, the longtime al-Qaeda leader and chief architect of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States, was killed Sunday by U.S. forces, President Obama announced late Sunday night.

    Acting on an intelligence lead that first surfaced last August, Obama said he authorized an operation to kill bin Laden, who was hiding in a compound deep inside Pakistan. The president, in a rare Sunday night address to the nation, said U.S. forces killed bin Laden during a firefight and captured his body. […]

    “His demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity,” [President Obama] said. […]

    “Today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people,” Obama said. “The cause of securing our country is not complete, but tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever it is we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.”

    It’s rare you can go to bed knowing that the world is a little more safe and that justice is a little more done. Thank you, U.S. Special Forces and President Obama.

    UPDATE: CNN analyst & bin Laden expert Peter Bergen: “Killing bin Laden is the end of the War on Terror. We can just sort of announce that right now.”

    UPDATE #2: Read President Obama’s full statement at WhiteHouse.gov. Here’s the video:

    UPDATE #3: Andrew Sullivan notes, “The eighth anniversary of ‘Mission Accomplished.’ To the day. The 66th anniversary of the anouncement of the death of Adolph Hitler. To the day.”

    • LittleRed

      Well, apparently Tea Party douchebaggery is trying to claim credit for this for Bush.

    • The United States has killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and recovered his body, according to numerous media reports May 1 citing U.S. officials. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to make an announcement on the subject. It is not clear precisely how bin Laden was killed or how his body was recovered, but the assertion that he is dead is significant.

      Bin Laden had become the symbol of al Qaeda, even though the degree to which he commanded the organization was questionable. The symbolic value of his death is obvious. The United States can claim a great victory. Al Qaeda can proclaim his martyrdom.

      It is difficult to understand what this means at this moment, but it permits the Obama administration to claim victory, at least partially, over al Qaeda. It also opens the door for the beginning of a withdrawal from Afghanistan, regardless of the practical impact of bin Laden’s death. The mission in Afghanistan was to defeat al Qaeda, 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 al Qaeda in bin Laden’s name. We do not know 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. 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.

      At this early hour, the only thing possible is speculation on the consequences of bin Laden’s death, and that speculation is inherently flawed. Still, the importance of his death has its consequences. Certainly one consequence will be a sense of triumph in the United States. To others, this will be another false claim by the United States. For others it will be a call to war. We know little beyond what we have been told, but we know it matters.

    • here and here.

    • I agree with this:

      The fact that bin Laden was found in a compound in a wealthy retirement community populated in large part by former Pakistani military officers raises dire questions about the relationship of the Pakistani army and its intelligence community to radical Islamic terrorists. For the past decade, as America has poured billions into a country where about one in a hundred citizens pays income taxes, the Pakistani military/intelligence complex has gone into the looking-for-bin-Laden business. Now, they are out of business. If it is true that Pakistani intelligence was helpful in locating bin Laden, and kept that matter secret, then we can begin to sort out our fraught relationship with that troubled country on a more equitable, trusting basis. If that turns out not to be the case, then there will be a dreadful reckoning to come.

    • kindler

      Bush and Cheney couldn’t do it in 8 years of war, waterboarding, Guantanamo and countless other horrors.

      Obama did it in 2 1/2, after banning torture and working to wrap up the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and recently proposing military spending cuts.

      Remind again what Repubs have to run on in 2012?  Not the economy, after thet created the Great Recession and created 7 trillion in new debt. And not national security, where they were all bluster and no results. What, then?

    • VADEM

      yeh. Obama will definately be re elected now. No doubt about it. It will be fun watching the rethugs scramble around on this. Love it.