Osama News Roundup (Video Goodness Added!) (And Confirmed: bin Laden Used a Woman as a Human Shield) (And We Have Our First Death Denier!)
[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here. Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]
Update: Most updates will be at the end. So scroll down. Including video goodness!
Update (III): This is too awesome to put below the fold. Via the AFP, we get confirmation of a rumor I have heard all day:
Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden used one of his wives as a human shield in an apparent attempt to try to save his own life during a raid by US covert forces, a top US official said Monday.
“There was family at that compound, and there was a female who was, in fact, in the line of fire that reportedly was used as a shield to shield bin Laden from the incoming fire,” counter-terrorism official John Brennan said.
And if all that Limbaugh unity isn’t enough I am going to say something truly unprecedented: I agree with Kman. He writes in the comments:
I hope the Navy SEALS had video cams attached to the combat helmets, because the picture I want to see — or rather, the picture the Islamofascists need to see — is the one of bin Laden being a coward and using a woman as a human shield.
Wholly agree. It would only be better as psy-ops if he was wearing a dress.
Update (X): This update is too much fun to put below the fold. We have our first bin Laden Death Denier! She is a lady who once had absolute moral authority, until she was no longer useful politically. Yes, Cindy Sheehan:
I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you’re stupid. Just think to yourself–they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead–why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent–just put your flags away and THINK!
Bright move on the burial, there, Obama.
Anyway, the original post follows. And most updates will be below the fold, so keep checking. I don’t plan to start a new post on this for a bit.
There is no overarching point to this post, just a bunch of news about the killing and some minor “pop off” commentary. To be blunt these items are going to be kind of random, so expect a little whiplash jumping from topic to topic.
First, you knew this was coming right? The inevitable Taiwanese Animation of the Death of Osama. And damn if it isn’t the best one ever!
Second, I didn’t get to see it last night but here is Obama’s announcement:
Having watched it, I think it was actually a pretty good speech. I think he took some credit, as expected, but wasn’t obnoxious about it. And he deserves credit. He could have wimped out, or badly managed it in some way, so he is right today to say that he deserves credit. I think the maximally classy thing to do would have been to credit Bush for this, but if he said anything to that effect, I missed it. Still I give it a positive mark. I would grade it at an A.
By the way, what is with his odd body language? Literally nothing but his head moves the whole time.
I feel absolute, undiluted joy by all of this. And yes, as our brains engage more we will have criticism. But really, seriously, the news has made my week.
And even Rush Limbaugh felt constrained to start off his broadcast by saying, “we need to open the program today by congratulating President Obama.” You can watch that here:
As Mediaite notes:
You know how people always talk about getting back to the way we were on September 12th? It may have just happened.
One criticism by Patrick is that we chose to bury him at sea right away, according to Islamic rules, something I fully concur with (for another view, see here). How many people think Elvis is alive, and working on a secret new album with Tupac? And besides the psychic benefit for us in knowing that the bastard is dead, there is the real-world benefit when it comes to recruiting. Meanwhile the White House is so clueless on this issue they are debating whether to even release photographs, thinking somehow that lab reports claiming a DNA match would be enough. It is for me, but what about for the people still convinced that Oswald was a patsy or that the Moon landing was fake? Still, as news dribbles in, we learn that the decision to dispose of the body quickly was driven by Islam:
After bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan, senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said. Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world’s most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea.
There are also reports that the U.S. did not want him buried on land so as to prevent the grave from becoming a shrine.
The official, who spoke Monday on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive national security matters, did not immediately say where that occurred.
Bin Laden: Al Azhar, Sea Burial Is A Sin
The body of Osama bin Laden must be buried in the ground, and throwing it into the sea would be a ‘sin’, said Mahmoud Ashour of the Al Azhar Academy of Islamic Research, the most prestigious Sunni educational institute, while speaking to ANSA.
The Al Azhar official rejected the idea of sea burial of the Al Qaida leader for “trivial motives”, explaining that even when someone drowns, the body must be searched for in order to be able to “bury it in the ground”. “They should bury it in the ground without putting anything on the grave,” explained Ashour, responding to a question about whether Osama bin Laden’s burial could become a sort of pilgrimage site. (ANSAmed).
Update: See also this story on the “Islamicness” of burial at sea.
This is verified to a certain extent in this roundup of Middle Eastern Reactions over at Memri, which says:
Muslim clerics said that the burial of bin Laden at sea that was a violation of Islamic law, which permits such burial only if the death took place at sea.
By the way, the title of the post is “Bin Laden Assassination – Hamas Condemns It, PA Welcomes It, Islamists Expect Revenge, Iran Doubts Whether He Was Assassinated At All.” But of course Iran denies it. It’s what they do. Certainly the same cabal that faked the holocaust could easily fake bin Laden’s death, right? (Note: I am being sarcastic.)
That bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, was not hiding in mountains along the border but in relative comfort in a town hosting the main military academy and home to scores of retired and serving officers will bolster those who have long argued that Pakistan has been playing a duplicitous hand.
Just 10 days ago, Pakistan’s army chief addressed cadets at that very academy, saying the country’s military had broken the back of militants linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban.
Indeed neighbors are professing shock to discover that bin Laden lived here. Um, right.
And meanwhile at Politico, which is not getting a link from me, we get this reaction, too:
“America coming to our territory and taking action is a violation of our sovereignty,” Musharraf told CNN-IBN. “Handling and execution of the operation [by US forces] is not correct. The Pakistani government should have been kept in the loop.”
We said after 9-11 that we would make no distinction between the people who committed the attacks on 9-11 and the countries who harbor such terrorists. Which means, Pakistan, you are damn lucky we didn’t invade your whole country over this. Harboring a man who murdered so many Americans was a violation of our sovereignty.
Also in another story from Politico, we get this reaction from Guiliani:
“I feel a great deal of satisfaction that justice has been done, and I admire the courage of the president to make a decision like this because if something had gone wrong everyone would be blaming him,” Giuliani told POLITICO Monday morning in his first comments since the capture. “And I admire the courage and professionalism of our military intelligence officials who carried this out and this is a great victory against terror. Nobody can minimize it. He was a symbol more than anything else right now but … symbols are really important.”
Calling it a “significant step,” he added: “I feel satisfaction and some emotional relief, but I don’t feel great elation. I watch a lot of the celebrating and it makes me feel a little strange, I don’t know. Nothing erases the loss of all those lives. … so I feel satisfaction and I feel the right thing has been done. and I guess it will good thing ultimately but I don’t feel like celebrating [as if it's] the end of World War II, because the war is still going on.”
And I know what you are thinking: but what do celebrities think about all this? Well, here’s the answer, as well as the answer to the question: who is smarter, Katy Perry or Kim Kardashian? (I’ll give you a hint: it’s the one mainly famous for having a big butt and a sex tape—with apologies to The Soup.)
On the other hand, we are reminded that wikileaks documents assert that we would see a nuclear 9-11 if we killed bin laden, supposedly.
And meanwhile Bush did get credit locally:
Flag-waving supporters left flowers and patriotic red, white and blue balloons outside the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush Monday in the hours that followed the U.S.-led mission that killed Osama bin Laden.
“Thank you President Bush,” said a sign left on the gate outside the street leading to the secluded Bush residence.
About a dozen people gathered near his security-tight residence until a thunderstorm rolled into the area early Monday.
Good for them.
And Hot Air has lots of video reactions last night, such as in D.C.
Meanwhile, do you think this video is fake? Hmm, I don’t know.
This video, meanwhile, is much less likely to be fake, as ABC news goes inside bin Laden’s compound:
And you can read about it, here.
At the same time, the AP has this account of the raid and what led up to it. Here’s some snippets and commentary:
Intelligence officials discovered the compound in August while monitoring an al-Qaida courier. The CIA had been hunting that courier for years, ever since detainees told interrogators that the courier was so trusted by bin Laden that he might very well be living with the al-Qaida leader.
Nestled in an affluent neighborhood, the compound was surrounded by walls as high as 18 feet, topped with barbed wire. Two security gates guarded the only way in. A third-floor terrace was shielded by a seven-foot privacy wall. No phone lines or Internet cables ran to the property. The residents burned their garbage rather than put it out for collection. Intelligence officials believed the million-dollar compound was built five years ago to protect a major terrorist figure. The question was, who?
By the way, how did we learn about that courier? Why from KSM:
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
So it is accurate to say that but for waterboarding, we might not have gotten bin Laden. Heh.
And this is all very interesting, but why are we being told this? Should we really be telling the bad guys how to improve their game?
On April 29, Obama approved an operation to kill bin Laden. It was a mission that required surgical accuracy, even more precision than could be delivered by the government’s sophisticated Predator drones. To execute it, Obama tapped a small contingent of the Navy’s elite SEAL Team Six and put them under the command of CIA Director Leon Panetta, whose analysts monitored the compound from afar.
You catch that? Not capture him, but to kill him, as verified in this Reuters story. Not to be urinating on the parade float, here, but isn’t that a mistake. Isn’t the better course of action to capture him if you can, and then squeeze him for all the information you can.
And by the way, isn’t it interesting that Obama himself decided that it was better to avoid taking him alive? Of course not, because then according to Obama’s principles, he’d have to try him and indeed do so on American soil. Killing him avoids that ugly mess. He seems to lack the courage of his convictions on that count and because of that, we lost a potentially valuable source of intel.
I also found this detail to be interesting, from Kurtz:
Officials said three other men were killed in the raid—one who is believed to be bin Laden’s adult son, and two couriers. One woman was killed when she was used as a shield by one of the combatants, they said. The U.S. team lost a helicopter due to mechanical failure.
I have heard rumors—and that is all the credit I will give it right now—as rumors—that bin Laden himself was using that woman as a human shield.
Going back to reactions, we have Michael Moore saying numerous douchy things. Drudge reports that he said bin Laden “won,” but his site is down with traffic overload, and the cache doesn’t reveal anything that bad, but still pretty bad.
This is bin Laden’s lamentable victory — he has changed America’s psyche from one that saw violence as a regrettable-if-sometimes-necessary act into one that finds orgasmic euphoria in news of bloodshed. In other words, he’s helped drag us down into his sick nihilism by making us like too many other bellicose societies in history — the ones that aggressively cheer on killing, as long as it is the Bad Guy that is being killed.
Finally this article goes over what we know and don’t know about the team that did it.
Update: The Blaze has the actual powerpoint presentation for the raid. Cool beans. Go check it out.
Update (II): Via the Blaze we get we get video from the Naval Academy when they hear the news.
Ah crap, the Marines will never hear the end of that. And here is reaction at West Point, including cheerful pandemonium:
USA! USA! USA!
And a bad but moving rendition of the national anthem:
I think I would only be more moved if it was Lee Greenwood’s song God Bless the U.S.A.:
Hey, and if you are feeling moved to buy a copy of that song, try using the Amazon widget on the side. It puts a little money in Patrick’s pocket to keep this site running and there’s no extra cost to you.
Update (IV): Here’s Glenn Beck reacting, including being incredulous about the whole burial at sea:
And here is John Brennan arguing why we did have a burial at sea:
I have no problem with eventually disposing of the body, but it should have been after there was plenty of verification.
Meanwhile, one of bin Laden’s sons alleges that things will get worse on the terrorism front on the theory that dear old Dad was the merciful one.
From some quarters, there is anger at the United States conducting a mission inside Pakistan.
Um, shouldn’t you guys be mad at bin Laden violating your sovereignty? Or is it the case that he was welcome there?
On the other hand, this seems like a more reasonable view:
From some, there is concern that Pakistan will be attacked in response for the death of bin Laden.
Tasneem Nooran is a former Pakistani secretary for the interior. He says he thinks the terrorist networks very well may strike back at Pakistan.
“The extremist group in Pakistan will hold the government responsible… and will hold the state responsible. I think you will see more terrorism here in retaliation,” Nooran said.
Meanwhile Frum makes the illogical argument that this should end the birther movement. As a non-birther who considers it a distraction, I sympathize with the goal, but what on Earth do they have to do with each other? Are we under the impression that only a naturally born citizen could have ordered the hit?
Finally (for now) via Politico (still no linky, jerks), we get these quotes:
“At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who’ve paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11,” Cheney said.
Cheney offered his appreciation to the Obama administration. “I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team,” he said.
Rumsfeld, who served in the Bush administration from 2001 to 2006, also praised the Obama administration, but not before celebrating his own. “All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue,” he said.
The former defense secretary also noted that interrogations of suspected terrorist at Guantanamo Bay — something he supported — “may have played an essential role in this success.”
Update (V): The Onion presents “Bin Laden: Death of a [censored].”
Update (VI): Meet the man who live-tweeted the raid.
Update (VII): Now they are claiming they wanted to take bin Laden alive? Color me skeptical.
Update (IX): The Muslim brotherhood was caught saying one thing in English and a different thing in Arabic. A typical story, bluntly, as our media is too stupid to listen to what they say in Arabic.
Update (XI): Flashback on what Obama said about how he would take down bin Laden. It is interesting in retrospect.
[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]