Monday, May 2, 2011

President Obama Announces Bin Laden Death

It was a dramatic speech that was hastily arranged at the last minute. Sunday night at 11PM ET for a live Presidential address meant only one thing. Something big had happened. The networks scrambled. The President appeared.

These were his remarks:

Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children.

It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory. Hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky.

The Twin Towers collapsing to the ground. Black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon. The wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.

And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table.

Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace.

Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.

On September 11th, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other and our love of community and country.

On that day, no matter where we came from, what god we prayed to or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family. We were also united in our resolve, to protect our nation and to -- to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.

We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda, an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda, to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.

Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort. We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.

In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.

Yet, Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda. Even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network.

Then last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain. And it took many months to run this thread to ground.

I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.

And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.

Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abad Abad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.

After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.

The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda.

And his death does not mark the end of our effort. There's no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.

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 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. Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done.

But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.

Tonight I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.

The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war.

These efforts weigh on me every time I, as commander in chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.

So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are.

And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda's terror, justice has been done.

Tonight we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work nor know their names, but tonight they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.

We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.

Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11, that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.

And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete, but tonight we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history. Whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our people or the struggle for equality for all our citizens, our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.

He didn't need to say anything else. Today, we will be taking your thoughts on this historic event and the impact of the original attack on the lives of us all. NASCAR can wait.


Anonymous said...

Well, I am glad that he is gone.
I am not celebrating. There are people that can only be dealt with in one way.

Now, am I the only one who heard the President say "I ordered today"?

But OBL has been dead for a week is what we are told?

What is up?

Mule said...

I hope this provides some closure for folks that lost loved ones during 911. Also for some that have significant others in the military that have served their country proud.
For me, I seriously hope he is gone. Cut the head off the snake, even though the rest may squirm, they will eventually cease to be.
The problem for me is I'm not sure how much I trust what we are being shown.
DNA testing, unlike CSI and the rest, doesn't happen over night.
It's kind of a big pill to swallow that the order was just issued and they've already buried him at sea.
More like it happened 10 plus days ago and we are now being told some what of a story.
I just once wish that these individuals that prepare these press releases, would put some fore thought into it and make it a bit more believable, so that us American's aren't portrayed as shallow individuals.
CNN, Fox news, all this "so called" late breaking news gives the appearence of being a sham.
Much like Nascar, treat us like human beings and not a mindless flock of sheep.
We as people have a mind and choose to make our own decisions and believe what we believe.
And there in lies the problem. We all get treated like a mindless flock of sheep. To multiply that, we broadcast it on CNN, FNN, & MSNBC, for the rest of the World to watch.
I have a mind and know how to react without being fed the inforamtion from the Media.
How hard is that a concept to accept. Good lord, Media, give the American People a voice without your warpt spin.

OldSchoolRacing said...

Living in NYC - I lost many friends in the Twin Towers. It puts alot in perspective, and I am glad that I work in such a American Sport, dedicated to celebrating the country and our troops that protect it.

I am also glad that I celebrate the sport as it is, a sport, not something more.

No hate, no complaining - Just Honor

Anonymous said...

As an American & staunch Republican,
all I can say is well done Mr. President & all the Troops involved.

I will not nit pick the time line ( or tick tock as CNN called it).
I will not be upset at how many times he said "I" as some are. I will not question how he was killed ( more humanely than those on 9/11) or the exact day or time.
Leave the conspiracy theories to Glen Beck and his ilk already.
The war on terror will continue, just like the death of the Cold War took time. We ain't off the hook yet.

With the atmosphere today the we want every last detail & 100 % info - D Day would never have got going.
Osama is dead, finally, and it was announced last night.

Good job.

batchief said...

I am very pleased about this, but I do have one problem with some wording I am reading in the media. What is being said is that the body was buried at sea because we were having another country claim it. I would much prefer the words dumped at sea, as in garbage.

GinaV24 said...

I'm happy that Bin Laden is gone. A lot of people who were just going about their day were lost on 9/11 and there have been many lives lost by those in the military and in other attacks by this terrorist and his organization.

I don't really believe that timeline either but whatever. I hope that this will ease the pain for those who lost loved ones on 9/11 and in the years since fighting against these terrorists.

KoHoSo said...

It was a great girlfriend noticed the pop-up on her CNN Desktop Alerter and came to my man cave to tell me to get the TV on right away. I stayed up past 2:30 AM here on the west coast enjoying every glorious moment both via TV and the Internet.

TV-wise, I was generally OK with the coverage by CNN and al Jazeera (much to my surprise) who was put on live by our recently former PBS station in LA, KCET. The other two I watched, Fox News Channel and MSNBC, were IMO too quick to bring on commentators that I felt were inappropriate due to their political leanings.

I would hope that we can all enjoy this for a few days before getting back to the all too predictable political arguments that permeate today's American culture.

As for how happy I am that bin Laden is finally dead, JD's wish that this remain a family-oriented website prevents me from sharing my full, true feelings as I cannot express them without using extremely colorful language. ;-)

Chadderbox said...

I am not a big fan of President Obama or his leadership, but in this case he made a bold move and Bin Laden got what he deserved. Finally!

crabber1967 said...

I'm an American and NOT a Republican, but I agree with your comments. Well Said.
...and a "Well Done!" to the members of SEAL Team Six and all the rest responsible for taking this creep out.