I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising. For years Republicans have told anyone who would listen (and who don’t bother to check the facts) that they (the GOP) were all about national security and the Democrats were, well, not. So when a Democratic President gives the order to take out Osama bin Laden, the natural Republican response is to congratulate…
Okay, so most also gave some credit to President Obama. At least a little. And of course they gave credit to the the pains-taking work of the intelligence community who pieced together tidbits of information and found bin Laden after nearly 10 years of looking. And of course, and most appropriately, most gave credit to the Navy Seal special ops team that risked their lives for the daring mission.
Oh, and waterboarding.
Yep, many in the Republican party are in such agony that killing bin Laden happened on Obama’s watch and not Bush’s that they are actually rallying around the idea of torture. Which, of course, is illegal. But hey, they say, we tortured those guys during the Bush/Cheney years and that torture led to the finding of bin Laden and his death several years later. Woo hoo. Drag out the waterboards and let’s torture some more folks over some brewskies.
Notwithstanding that there is no evidence that any waterboarding was even involved in the initial gathering of intelligence that eventually, years later, after many thousands of man-hours and renewed focus on gathering and using intelligence, led to bin Laden. Facts aren’t really important to the GOP. As long as they get to find a way to avoid giving credit to President Obama, his national security team, and the dedicated men and women who did the hard work of tracking down bin Laden. Nope. It was the torture that Bush/Cheney did 7 or 8 years ago to which they want to give credit.
On top of this, some in the GOP are clamoring for gruesome death photos of bin Laden to be released. To “prove” bin Laden is dead, of course. Like all the conspiracy theorists won’t just scream “PhotoShop” (one columnist even started calling these folks “deathers” to reflect the malignant irrationality and hatred shared with the “birthers”). And like releasing gross photos won’t tick off a few al qaeda just looking for a good reason to avenge bin Laden’s death. [Abu Ghraib lost from memory, perhaps?] Yep, gotta have some grotesque trophies to hang still bleeding over the mantle. Just to prove you’re a man. Or a teenager in a high school locker room.
Luckily, real men don’t have to show photos to prove how big they are.
Osama bin Laden has been killed. Bin Laden was responsible for the thousands of deaths in the World Trade Towers, the Pentagon, and the field in Pennsylvania when his terrorists used four commercial airliners and their passengers as missiles on September 11, 2001.
President Obama has confirmed that bin Laden is dead in a late-Sunday night message from the White House.
Information from a variety of sources indicate that bin Laden was killed during a military operation in Afghanistan Sunday. According to the Washington Post and the Associated Press, “U.S. forces flew to bin Laden’s hideout in helicopters. Bin Laden was shot in the head after he and his guards resisted the U.S. attackers. U.S. personnel identified him by facial recognition.”
According to CNN, “a senior U.S. official tells CNN that Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. forces in a mansion outside the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members.”
The US has taken possession of bin Laden’s body after a fire-fight.
Pakistan agrees that this was a necessary and good event.
Initial intelligence on the possible whereabouts was received last August and Obama and his national security team have been working to secure that intelligence. This past week, the time had come to take action.
The Washington Post describes the hiding place as:
It was described as an extraordinary place, custom-made for him, with 12- to 18-foot security walls, multiple interior walls dividing the property and massive privacy walls blocking even a third-story balcony. The property, valued at $1 million, had no Internet or phone service, the official said.
“When we saw the compound . . . we were shocked by what we saw,” the official told reporters, describing it as “an extraordinarily unique compound,” built perhaps in 2005 and expressly for bin Laden. “Everything we saw . . . was perfectly consistent with what our experts expected bin Laden’s hideout to look like.”
[This article has been updated to include rapidly changing news as it becomes available.]