Sen. Patty Murray called it a "great moment." To Rep. Dave Reichert, it was "a milestone." Rep. Adam Smith saw it as a "victory." It was all of those - just ten years late and one needless war too many. The killing of Osama bin Laden came on the near-anniversary of Hitler's death and eight years to the day that George Bush declared Mission Accomplished on the Everett-based U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Of the 4,450 American troops killed in his false war, 4,310 died after that victorious day.
None would have, had not the evil axis - Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush - maniacally diverted the mission from Afghanistan to Iraq, from Bin Laden to Hussein. Barack Obama's genuine mission accomplished might have belonged to Bush, who yesterday spoke about the "unmistakable message" America sent, the one he forgot to put a stamp on.
From Ghazi Air Base in Pakistan, the modified MH-60 helicopters made their way to the garrison suburb of Abbottabad, about 30 miles from the center of Islamabad. Aboard were Navy SEALs, flown across the border from Afghanistan, along with tactical signals, intelligence collectors, and navigators using highly classified hyperspectral imagers. After bursts of fire over 40 minutes, 22 people were killed or captured.
One of the dead was Osama bin Laden, done in by a double tap -- boom, boom -- to the left side of his face. His body was aboard the choppers that made the trip back. One had experienced mechanical failure and was destroyed by U.S. forces, military and White House officials tell National Journal.
The legal execution of the world's most wanted man will of course mean more war. Al Qaeda may no longer exist as a singular organization but its terrorism is persistent, like its leader was. As the New York Times recalled in its Bin Laden obituary (1957-2011) today, "Do you want Bin Laden dead?" a reporter once asked Bush. "I want him - I want justice," the president answered. That was on Sept. 17, 2001. Bin Laden was destined to be a martyr, but who thought he'd be such an old one?