Monday, May 2, 2011

We Got Him

What a great day in American history.

We got him. Osama bin Laden is dead, after a raid on his secret compound where he was hiding in Pakistan.

Crowds spontaneously gathered to celebrate in front of the White House, in New York City at Times Square and Ground Zero, and at our military academies.

This picture, from the New York Times, is destined to become iconic:

Photo: Michael Appleton, New York Times
The New York Post and New York Daily News seem to have the best headlines this morning:

[Hat tips to Patrick Ruffini, Nathan Wurtzel, and Brian Stelter]

I am so proud of the excellent work by our intelligence agents and military in bringing this evil man to justice. His death does not erase the loss and pain of those lost on September 11th, 2001, but it does show that America fulfilled its commitment to the victims to see that justice be done.

I find it very telling that bin Laden preached to his followers about the decadence and sins of the West, while living a luxurious - especially by Pakistani standards - lifestyle, in a private mansion. The same man who bragged about killing innocent Americans died a coward's death, reportedly attempting to use a woman as a human shield. Bin Laden was a hypocritical coward, but now he's a dead hypocritical coward.

Another interesting aspect of this story is how it played out online.

The White House had announced that the President would have a press conference at 10:30 pm last night regarding a "national security issue," but did not release the topic. Speculation and rumors began flying immediately. What seems to be the first real "leak" of the story was posted on Twitter by Keith Urbahn, who had served as Donald Rumsfeld's chief of staff.

Once the news of bin Laden's death was on Twitter, it set off a flood of "anonymous sources" at the White House, Pentagon, and Congressional offices who confirmed the story.

Once Obama finally spoke an hour later at 11:30 pm, the entire nation was already celebrating.

The Wall Street Journal has a story about how an IT consultant named Sohaib Athar inadvertently live-tweeted the raid on bin Laden yesterday.

Uh oh, now I'm the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.Mon May 02 04:41:46 via TweetDeck

Some of the internet's merry pranksters had a little fun with Google reviews, adding a location for "Osama bin Laden's Compound" to the map for Abbottabad, Pakistan...and giving the place a four-star review. [Hat tip: Matt Bramanti]

Here's some more of my favorite tweets from the night:

Hey, it looks like there is a military solution to terrorism after all. Go figure.Mon May 02 02:47:46 via TweetDeck

Ya know whats awesome about all this? It'll never be "too soon" for Osama jokes.Mon May 02 04:53:17 via TweetDeck

PLEASE tell me "Handling #Osama 's body according to Muslim tradition" is a euphemism for "Bacon-stuffed piñata" #tcotMon May 02 04:57:52 via web

In the morning, I'll wake up needing coffee. Osama? Not so much.Mon May 02 05:03:13 via TweetDeck

I think they should shlep Osama's body around the country like the Stanley Cup.Mon May 02 05:38:54 via web

Osama Bin Laden was a coward. He hid from us for 10 years, the last 10 seconds of which behind some poor woman.Mon May 02 05:57:59 via web

Hey Taliban: while you've been camping in caves, your leader was living in a mansion. Think he lied about anything else? #novirginsforyouMon May 02 05:32:39 via ÜberSocial

And my favorite:

We're unlikely to ever know the name of the individual who pulled the trigger. Unnamed, you are still our hero.Mon May 02 03:41:21 via TweetDeck

Update: here's a transcript of both President Obama remarks, and the statement released by President George W. Bush last night.


  1. Thanks for sharing all these links and photos. What a great day for our country.

  2. Love this! Thank you!


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