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Yes, friends, Obama got this one right

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,Post 9-11 America,War On Terror

The more we learn about the operation that successfully dispatched Osama bin Laden to the nether regions, the more we see just how truly American an operation it was, not just in the determination to see it through, but in the fact that leading figures in both political parties played a key part in carrying it out.  So, as Jim Geraghty puts it, “rejoice. America always gets her man, sooner or later.

From the White House, we learn that “for years”, the CIA was gathering “leads on individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle, including his personal couriers.”  Detainees had identified a certain man

. . . as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden.  They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden.  But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.

Four years ago, we uncovered his identity, and for operational reasons, I can’t go into details about his name or how we identified him, but about two years ago, after months of persistent effort, we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated.  Still we were unable to pinpoint exactly where they lived, due to extensive operational security on their part.  The fact that they were being so careful reinforced our belief that we were on the right track.

Emphasis added.  Four years ago, George W. Bush was president.  So, this operation began to blossom in the previous Administration.  But, it wasn’t until the incumbent Administration when it bore fruit.  In August, “U.S. teams located” Obama’s residence (well, his residence as until yesterday.  Thanks to the Navy SEALs, he has a new home today!)

But, “the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden” may have emerged has far back as 2003 with the capture of “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks”.  Even after locating the compound, “C.I.A. analysts spent the next several weeks examining satellite photos and intelligence reports to determine who might be living”  there.  By March, they were convinced it was the refuge of bin Laden lived.  On the 14th of that month, the president “held the first of what would be five national security meetings in the course of the next six weeks to go over plans for the operation.” (more…)

Sorry, Osama, No 72 Virgins for you

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 4:35 pm - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: Blogging,War On Terror

Gotta love the juxtaposition of this post by Peter Wehner over at Commentary Contentions and the ad that happened to appear when I clicked over to read it:

“Celebrations” or “Stomping Around”

Posted by Sarjex at 3:52 pm - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: cartoons

An “opportunity for us to prove ourselves as Americans”

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:18 pm - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,Patriotism,War On Terror

I’m with Academic Elephant on this one:

But now we have OBL, and it is an opportunity for us to prove ourselves as Americans. For those of us on the right, we should simply thank God for a CIA Director who took the time to develop the appropriate plan, a Secretary of Defense who lent him sufficient man and firepower, and a President who was decisive enough to pull the trigger at the right moment. This sort of leadership should not be parsed or resented. For their part, our fellow citizens on the left might consider giving up the relentless drumbeat of “war crimes” for those who did so much of the long and lonely work to make this possible. Even with the so-called “harsh” interrogation techniques used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, it took years to put together the pieces. How many honestly regret those techniques this morning, or that we had Guantanamo to house KSM and his colleagues for further reference?

RELATED:  Did enhanced interrogation lead U.S. to Osama bin Laden? Yes, apparently they did.

UPDATE:  Jennifer Rubin:  “This is anAmerican victory, triumph shared by two presidents and a magnificent accomplishment for all the military and intelligence officials who worked to see this day.”  Ditto that.


I’m on the west coast on business and last night at about 8pm Pacific time, I was getting frantic texts from home: “Obama will be giving a major national security speech from the solemnness of The White House at 10:30pm. Very weird, especially for this President who prefers cheering audiences as much as his TelePrompTer.

And then came the words I had longed to hear for nearly 10 years: Osama bin Laden is dead.

I began to cry as I thought of the thousands incinerated, slaughtered, and fell to their deaths on Sept. 11, 2001.

My heart goes to the family of our close friend — Joe Ferguson — who died when Flight 77 slammed into the side of the Pentagon that bright blue September morning. I hope they will have some sense of closure. The War isn’t over, but the AQ Commander In Chief has been defeated in battle.

My hearty thanks goes to our intelligence and defense communities. A big thanks to President Obama, CIA Director Panetta and SecDef Robert Gates for what appears to be a rare coordinated intel/military ops that worked flawlessly.

Finally, nothing can express my grief and sadness toward the families of 9/11 victims and to those families who gave our nation their sons and daughters in the first round of the Global War on Islamic Terror.


President Bush Congratulates Successor on Getting Osama

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:45 am - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,War On Terror

Via a variety of text from readers and friends, on Sunday night, I learned that good news that Osama bin Laden has been dispatched to join Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler in the lowest circles of Hell. I join former President Bush in congratulating President Obama and the men and women of our armed forces who accomplished the deed. In a statement, Bush said:

Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001.

I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude.

Our intelligence community and the Navy SEAL Team Six who carried out the operation deserve the bulk of the credit, but they could not have done it without the authorization of the President of the United States.  This one Barack Obama got right.

Good job, Mr. President.

UPDATE:   Over the Washington Examiner, Philip Klein has some background on the operation that go Osama.  The president has met five times with his national security team since they learned about the compound last February and gave the go-ahead for operation this past Friday.  (Read the whole thing.)

Sorry, couldn’t get a copy of this song with actual footage from the Wizard of Oz. Still it does express the sentiment of all Americans tonight:

UP-UPDATE: From the president’s speech:

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.


UP-UP-UPDATE:  “Evil,” John Podhoretz writes, “has been met, and defeated.” On the same blog, but in a different post, Abe Greenwald reminds us, “It is not in the American DNA to waver, to give up, or to shirk its responsibilities. The U.S. meets its challenges.(more…)