The Death of Osama Bin Laden

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In a 60 Minutes interview President Barack Obama said, “I didn’t tell my closest advisors or my family.” He was speaking about the secret operative Navy Seal force that cap­tured and killed known and wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden. For the past de­cade bin Laden has been the fearless leader of the al-Qaeda terrorist group that has put the world on hold with their many acts of terrorism. The group has claimed responsibility for the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, The Pentagon and another plane that crashed in Penn­sylvania. This group has also claimed responsibility for the bomb­ings in large cities like London, UK and Istanbul, Turkey.

Bin Laden has been on the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) most wanted list for almost a decade and had yet to be caught until recently. Obama said the special force buried his body in the Ara­bian Sea, off the coast of Pakistan where he was captured in a small town, Abbot­tabad. Bin Laden was living in a 3-story compound surrounded by high security in the military town of Abbottabad. It is be­lieved that his presence went unknown to the local residents, however his presence in Abbottabad may suggest, to some, that Pakistan intelligence or military must have known. These questions are under investi­gation by the U.S. government.

The complexities of his capture and death have bemused the country over the past month as new details are released by the White House gradually. President Obama announced, through a special announcement, that bin Laden had been killed on Sunday May 1st. He told 60 Minutes that the world will never know the identities of the special Navy Seal force that executed his killing. How­ever, he did say that he has met with them and thanked them for their service in his capture and death.

President Obama also decided against releasing the pictures of bin Laden because of the graphic nature of the photos. He said he does not want to release the photos be­cause they could incite further acts of violence and this is not the im­age America wants to put out. However, he did say that DNA sam­pling had been done to ensure that the body the force captured was in fact bin Laden’s. He has viewed the photos along with his top senior White House officials and he is confident that the man they captured is Osama bin Laden. He said he understands that his decision to not release the photos will keep skeptics wondering if America is lying about his death, but he assured the public that the al-Qaeda organization has no doubt that bin Laden is dead.

The White House did release video tapes of bin Laden taken from the raid of his compound. Obama has said that these video tapes and recordings are some of the most intimate glimpses into Osama bin Laden and American forces could have not gotten their hands on these without a raid. Thus, he further as­sures that bin Laden has been caught and killed and The White House has personal videotapes obtained through the raid of his compound.

No matter how you feel or felt about Osama bin Laden, you cannot deny that his actions and those of the al- Qaeda network have drastically changed the culture of America over the past decade. After September 11th airport security increased, some airlines went out of business, travel restrictions on what one can take on airplanes changed, and racial profiling increased against Muslim travelers.

With all the changes that have occurred, his death signifies a moment of great accomplishment for the war on ter­ror. Osama bin Laden’s death may please some but many others may feel the way in which he was captured and killed do not serve America’s best interests. Further­more, now that he is dead, the question still remains: What are the next steps for America and its “War on Terror?”

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