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Obama announces that bin Laden is dead

President Obama: bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan by U.S. forces


 

Update: Here’s the speech:

Turn on the TV news; President Obama has called a Sunday night press conference to make what is described as a major national security statement. John King on CNN just said, following speculation from several other sources, that the announcement will be that Osama Bin Laden is dead and that the U.S. is “certain” that it has the body.

It’s very rare for Presidents to call press conferences on Sunday night. So when the announcement was made (it was originally announced for 10:30, then pushed back) everyone knew that this had to be big, but the subject was not leaked until a few minutes later. So until King came onto CNN with the official news, the CNN people seemed a little lost, standing around and saying only that they couldn’t say anything. Wolf Blitzer even announced that his sources wanted to commend the channel for not engaging in speculation. Ed Henry told us repeatedly that reporters had been told to watch for something big.

Over on other channels I’ve heard some commentators were reduced to reading back speculation from Twitter, since that’s where the news started to break first. It seems like some people get out of top-security briefings from the President and then leak it immediately, knowing it’ll be all over Twitter. I’m not judging them for that, just wondering if I’d have the nerve to leak something, even knowing the people who briefed you don’t really care if it gets out.

As I continue to write, Obama’s statement has not yet begun, so I’ll just say this: people are already saying that Obama won re-election with this news. Let’s not go crazy. That’s what people (some of the same people, literally) were saying about George H.W. Bush in 1991. Maybe this news makes it clearer that a Donald Trump is not going to beat Obama. But if the Republicans come up with their own Clinton…

11:02 and the speech has been delayed once more. Poor Wolf Blitzer is looking a little wild-eyed. He’s like a man who has been told to stall for time and has totally run out of stories. Which he has.

Now details finally start to trickle in: He was killed by “U.S. assets” in a mansion outside Islamabad. Update: It was actually the nearby Abbotabad, An announcement that raises many issues about the U.S.’s relationship with Pakistan, or rather re-raises them, since they’re not new issues.

With these details in, they have to fill more time by bringing commentators on to speculate on what this one sentence worth of details might mean. Or might not mean.

Flipping around the channels, which have mostly cut in with special news reports, one thing stands out above all: this is a great time to see archival Bin Laden footage.

As there are finally rumours that Obama might come and talk, an hour late, a common news-coverage strategy now is to focus on the celebrations outside the White House, where people have gathered after hearing the news. Al-Jazeera English also shows an advantage in its focus on the Middle East, simply because they focus on what this means for, well, the Middle East – they’re speculating as heavily as the U.S. networks, but at least they’re the only English-language network speculating on some of these things.

11:35, here’s Obama. “The United States has conducted an operation that has killed Osama Bin Laden.” He follows by reminding us in great detail of what happened on 9/11.

Goes on to explain that last August he got a lead on Bin Laden hiding in Pakistan, and that “last week I determined we had enough intelligence to take action.” Today, the Americans took actions against Bin Laden’s compound. After a firefight, they killed Bin Laden and took custody of his body.

“His death does not mark the end of our effort.” Continues that terrorism is not over.

Emphasizes that the U.S. is not at war with Islam and reminds his listeners that President George W. Bush also emphasized that the U.S. was not at war with Islam and that Bin Laden “was not a Muslim leader.”

Asks the U.S. to revive the “sense of unity” that prevailed after 9/11. (Good luck with that.)

…The speech is over; the embedding of the Whitehouse.gov feed didn’t work, but I’ll put up a link to the speech when I have it.

For a Canadian connection, Harper will be commenting on it, of course. Here’s the thing: I doubt this will have any effect on the the election. But if the Tories do better tomorrow than currently projected, I figure there will be a lot of speculation that some amorphous national-security effect won them some extra seats. It’s the sort of thing that can never be proven, which is why it’s absolutely made for speculation. Update: Harper’s statement proclaims the importance of the Afghan mission and Canada’s “sober satisfaction” (a good choice of term) at the news.

For light entertainment, there’s always Fox News, where their chyron department made another one of its Freudian slips, and so did their one-man Geraldo department:


 

Obama announces that bin Laden is dead

  1. Bye bye beeeeeeeeeeeeatch….lmao

  2. nanannana nanananna hey hey hey GOOODBYE!

  3. Terrorism has just ended ladies and gentlmen…NOT.

  4. now we will never know how he got his beard to look like dat :3

  5. YES!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. He may be dead, but there is still thousands of talibans and al qaeda men and some leaders. That means the war will never end.

    • We can always count on you pinkos to spoil a party…

      • Pinkos? That sounds more like neocon-speak by Bill there.

  7. All kudos go to US troops or Pakistani troops? for locating and killing? a 6'6" 177 years old inflicted with a kidney condition after a 10 years many 100's of billion of dollars. A special tip of the hat to the oh so efficient CIA and DIA for doing their job while bleeding to death their taxpayers. Oh God I'm so sarcastic tonight…got to take my mind numbing medication.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Best 100 billion is going to be spent on Jets we no longer need because terrorism is over. Hurray Hurray. Thanks a lot American military-industrial complex. I repeat terrorism is over, terrorism is over. We have killed das leader in his death bed. Breaking news breaking news: Bin Laden died of natural cause from eating too much swine and drinking too much vino.

  8. I don't know if it's the best death so far…I'd put the Michael Jackson one above. God damned kid diddler. I kid I kid said Achmed the terrorist.

    • i meant the phrasing was the best…. but i concur with your point too ;)

  9. If he is really dead, I mean REALLY DEAD…the s4i7 is going to hit the fan! We should not relax for even a moment and take time to celebrate! This is the time to set SHIELDS TO MAX!!

  10. The United Klans killed those peoples?

  11. What did Obama mean by, "today ,the Americans took action.." I thought it happened last week? hmm…

    • Go ahead given on April 29th/April 30th.

  12. Congratulations, President Obama, and to the US intelligence and military.

    One more down. But the war is still far from over.

  13. “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. but it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    This is a war that will take generations to win. Let’s not forget that as we Savour the execution of one of our fiercest enemies.

  14. Wow. Goes to show you, the Americans never seem to give up.

    • Nor does FOX: "Obama bin Laden is dead"

    • Love it!

  15. Well, THAT only took twice as long as the entire subjugation of Germany.

  16. This is one of those rare days when I hope there IS a Hell.

  17. A mansion? Was it built by the Bluth family from Arrested Development?

  18. The same Geraldo who was euphoric about the passing of Obama's health care bill made this freudian slip you say?

  19. hello
    Is Obama calling out to Bin Laden to come to the White House to criticize the US Military in the Mideast?

  20. It's not means the terrorist attacks stop.I think.Americans will may be more attacks by terrorist ,special who oversea .

  21. ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE SAME DAY AS HITLER'S DEATH ANNOUNCMENT ==== MAY DAY, OCCULT HIGH HOLIDAY. 66 YEARS AFTER HITLER'S DEATH…………NOT A COINCIDENCE. KNOW THIS AS TRUTH.

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