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May 2nd, 2011
04:42 AM ET

Bin Laden is Dead: What Happens Now?

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For almost a decade, the U.S. has anticipated the moment it could tell the world with confidence: Osama bin Laden is dead.

Sources say that America’s most wanted was tracked down and killed at a mansion just a couple of hours' drive from the Pakistani capital Islamabad. Not in the Tora Bora caves. Not in the remote mountains of Waziristan. Osama bin Laden was – apparently – found in relative comfort.

The man whose image will forever be entwined with the indelible scenes of 9/11 is now a corpse under U.S. ownership. It’s an iconic occasion for President Obama and for the country as a whole. But its significance will only become apparent in time. Does martyrdom await? Will bin Laden’s death serve only to assemble the disparate factions of al Qaeda?

The cheers outside the White House are long-awaited and well-deserved in a nation still scarred by the events of 2001. But one man’s death doesn't necessarily kill a movement. And Mr. Obama will be judged not just by this singular success – but by how he uses it.

Watch his announcement in full below:

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Filed under: General • Personal musings
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. G Smith

    I am so pleased .... THANK YOU President Obama for finally displaying Presidential leadership in the War on Terrorism ....

    My statement is this: WHY is CNN .. namely David Gergen, thanking George W. Bush for this ? ..... George W. Bush said that bin Laden was not a big deal ..... He didnt really care if we got him or not .... The GOP in fact reduced Anti-Terrorism funding just prior to 911, knowing that OBL was a threat .... George W. Bush is the LAST person to thank for this ...

    As a Liberal Democrat and a supporter of the President, I want to thank the REAL heroes – The military forces who have fought the hard battles, and who have finally brought home the evil person who killed so many innocent people .... Thank you from the bottom of my heart !

    May 2, 2011 at 5:02 am | Reply
  2. HI

    G. Smith!!

    CNN IS COVERING OBL'S DEATH BECAUSE IT IS THE GREATEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO USA SINCE WW1...... AND GEORGE W. BUSH IS THE PERSON WE NEED TO THANK FOR THIS, HE DEFINATELY DESERVES THE CREDIT FOR OBL'S DEATH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IF YOU ARE WATCHING TV YOU WILL KNOW THAT "YOUR PRESIDENT OBAMA" GAVE CREDIT TO GEORGE W. BUSH, JR., HE JUST CALLED HIM, HIS DADDY AND THE GREAT BILL CLINTON !!!!!! SO JUST A NOTE ...... BUSH DOES DESERVE CREDIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    May 2, 2011 at 5:19 am | Reply
  3. GalacticCannibal

    Yes all out national TV networks broke into their scheduled programming to announce the killing of Osama bin laden by US troops.. Did I say all our national networks .. Not exactly one network did not mention it . Can you guess which one.. Its the GOP network who hate Pres Obama. That network is named FOX

    May 2, 2011 at 5:22 am | Reply
  4. G Smith

    Nonsense ! ..... We might as well thank Grover Cleveland than George W. Bush ..... Yet another lame assertion by a mindless GOP sycophant ... get a grip ..... Georgie Boy was out 'clearing brush' when he should have been minding the store ... Then he had the audacity to claim OBL 'wasn't important' ... You can lie all you want (and you want you want), but everybody knows this is a fact .....

    Bush deserves credit, all right .. along with the rest of the conservatives within and outside of government – we can thank them for the destruction of the Middle Class .... Thanks, but no thanks ....

    May 2, 2011 at 5:27 am | Reply
  5. Marconi Darwin

    "The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him."
    - G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

    "I don't know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don't care. It's not that important. It's not our priority."
    - G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

    "Mission Accomplished" banner overseeing G W Bush May 1, 2003

    "I can report to the American people and to the world, that the US has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden.”... "Shortly after taking office, I directed... the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority." Obama, 5/1/11

    BWP.

    BWpa.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    May 2, 2011 at 5:32 am | Reply
  6. sonia

    Yes finally got him but now what worry is it for all americans now i would be to scared to go there atm keep safe all america

    May 2, 2011 at 6:32 am | Reply
  7. yo mamma

    Bush would have never gotten the Pakistani government to cooperate because of his bad habit of pointing the finger in the wrong direction...Obama handled this situation perfectly...i love how he was able to keep this operation a secret for so long

    May 2, 2011 at 6:39 am | Reply
  8. freematt

    G Smith...

    you have no idea what your talking about at all... you yourself said your a liberal democrat so of course your going to say whatever sounds good and assume Obama should get all the credit just as I'm sure a conservative republican would say obama should get no credit. Who cares where the credit is. This is why I hate politics, because so many of us get wrapped up in party dribble and who gets credit for what, that we forget the reasons behind what we stand for. The fact of the matter is that a major terrorist leader, whether connected to 9/11 or not, is now dead and that can be a great thing but also bring about consequences that I hope our country is ready to face.

    May 2, 2011 at 6:58 am | Reply
  9. G Smith

    Freematt – I know exactly what i am talking about ...

    The Bush administration in fact held a dialog with the Taliban as soon as they took office .... They coddled and adored the Taliban, even though they knew that Osama Bin Laden was a threat and was associated with the Taliban ....

    To offer some sort of credit to George W. Bush, on this very day, is absolutely absurd ....

    But it's par for the course in the crazy upsidedown, through-the-looking-glass world of the GOP and their lame supporters ....

    Matt ? .. I used to believe in 'bipartisanship', until I realized it actually meant 'Shut Up Liberal' .... Rubbing our faces into the mud at every turn .... We are done with that ....

    It wont be tolerated anymore .....

    George W. Bush is to be tarnished forever as the President who allowed 9-11 to happen on HIS watch ..... Make no mistake about it – We were attacked on our own soil while the GOP controlled government .....

    Thank YOU President Obama ....

    May 2, 2011 at 7:23 am | Reply
    • Braulio

      Yes there are many structural and legal porlbems as you mention; but isn't it the discourse which is keeping Congress from fixing them? The Dems and Repubs are in a very bad marriage. There are so many things wrong in their household and with their checkbook, they can't seem to make any headway whatsoever towards fixing them. And its all because they hate the livin' bejesus out of eachother. They can't communicate and they surely will not give any compromise to the other. And to boot, there is close to 5o million bystanders egging them. Somehow, I think we need to find a strong enough President, who sole focus is to unselfishly make the U.S. Congress, the most powerful branch of government is has been in a very very long time. By design, the legislative branch is the most powerful of all three branches of our gov't, but it should be very troubling to all, that even with all its power, our Congress is struggling to acomplish anything. Back in colonial days, many Virginians seems to be the most adapt at relating to political forces in the north as well as the south. Hence, these favorite sons were all very successful presidents. Its seems to me, an honest elected official would always stay within himself and continually strive to become a statesman , and never a successful politican. I truly thought this blog resembled this sort of attitude more than any I have come across, until I read this entry tonight. This sort of bomb throwing can be found all over the internet, but tell me, what exactly has that done for any of us? Nothing. I've read have this blog from time to time over the years and for the most part, all of its contributors are far more thoughtful and intelligent than those elsewhere. Perhaps I'm too much of a dreamer to think different, but I believe there is a far better approach to blogging, then constantly seeking to inflame the opposite end of the political spectrum.

      March 5, 2012 at 6:03 am | Reply
  10. Sam101

    Thank you, President Obama. This is a GREAT day in our history. This will be a day celebrated in the great US of A for years to come. This is truly an amazing day. I am astounded. I never thought it would happen. Thank you to the incredible military stealth team that took care of business for us. I can't believe it!

    May 2, 2011 at 7:48 am | Reply
  11. carlos pezua

    My respects and admiration to our President Mr. Obama, for the Wise and calm mannerHe conducted the manhunt of Bin Laden. oOf course my most sincere gratitud to our servicemen in the Military. they deserve palms, our respect and permanent ADMIRATION.

    May 2, 2011 at 8:15 am | Reply
  12. J.McIntosh

    If you really want to thank those of us who serve in the military, the please give us a new, qualified, competent commander in chief the next go around. If Obama is re-elected, Osama will have won. Osama was already a minimal influence in this war on terror because early on our leadership realized Al Qaeda was a hydra who would grow two heads for every one cut off – so we went for the body. There was not a single successful attack on the US from 2001 till now – because we went for the body. President Obama has done more harm economically and politically to our nation than any in recent history and his "triumph" in killing Osama was made possible by the work of the military & intelligence communities – he was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Four more years of Obama's policies nationally and internationally may well seal the doom of the US. Four more years and Osama's death will insure his victory. Please take a comprehensive look at what Osama's and the democrats policies have done to our country from escalating death to the creation of an entitlement culture we can ill afford.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:26 am | Reply
  13. Hashim

    Finally the person who has given a bad name to Islam has been assassinated

    May 2, 2011 at 9:28 am | Reply
    • Iman

      Conor A very thoughtful piece. I am sapkticel that Obama's specific stance during the campaign pushed Bush to adopt the Iraq withdrawal pledge, or multilateral talks with Korea. In my view, the Iraq timetable is driven largely by the success of the surge, which created an opening for Iraqi's to force the issue (aided to be sure by Democratic control of Congress). Same for Korea it was more than just Obama's criticism that led to a change (if it was a change) there.I think you raise an excellent point regarding Bush's failure to guard his power prospects by bringing in Congress, and the courts for that matter, or at least anticipating their reactions, in the early days of the War on Terror. It's one I've made as well. In the end, he had to negotiate iwth both so why not start from that position, rather than being forced to bargain and all the lost of prestige and reputation that caused? I think Bush officials would probably cite two responses: first, the urgency they felt to act quickly after 9-11. I think they didn't believe they had sufficient time for a long, drawn out policy process. My response to this has always been that Congress likely would have been more pliable early in the crisis than later. But there's a second response Bush officials might make: that they DID keep Congress apprised. We often forget that Bush did get Congress to pass resolutions of support to prosecute the war on terror and to invade Iraq. More importantly, as the Pelosi controversy suggests, there may have been alot more behind the scenes consultation going on than we know about, at least so far. That's one reason why I suspect Obama is not eager to take up a Truth Commission-like inquiry it may implicate Democrats as architects, or at least willing participants, in the early controversial stages of the war on terror.A final thought: don't underestimate the advantage Obama has with hindsight it enables him to continue those pieces of the Bush war on terror that have worked and have political support, while jettisoning the others. So although you and others are correct, I think, to point out that he has changed the tone of the prosecution of the war on terror, I'm not so sure he would have used the same language had he been in Bush's position, presiding the in the immediate aftermath of 9-11. Of course, we'll never know .

      March 3, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
  14. Gina diallo

    I agree. Murder and suicide is a sin in islam... Bin laden has tarnished islam and turned the world against muslims... He will be judged.. May god be with my fellow americans.. And my prayers go to the familys who lost loved ones because of the mastermind behind 9/11. Justice was served.

    May 2, 2011 at 9:57 am | Reply
  15. KVKS CHOUDARY, HYDERABAD

    I REMEMBER A SMALL STORY I READ A LONG TIME AGO IN READER'S DIGEST – A PROSPECTIVE EMPLOYEE WAS ASKED BY AN EMPLOYER AS TO WHAT HE DID EARLIER. HE SAID HE WAS A DOG CATCHER IN HIS TOWN. THE EMPLOYER ASKED WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT JOB. THE GUY REPLIED THAT HE CAUGHT THE DOG!
    OSAMA WAS THE DOG THAT USA WAS CAREFUL NOT TO CATCH SO THAT THEY COULD TRY FINDING IT IN IRAQ, MAY BE LATEST IN LIBYA.
    BUT SOME FOOL STUMBLED ON THE DOG AND FORCED UNCLE SAM TO CATCH, RATHER KILL THE DOG.
    DON'T WORRY, UNCLE SAM WILL KEEP FINDING NEW DOGS IN LIBYA AND ELSE WHERE TILL RABIES CATCHES UP.

    May 2, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
  16. AJ

    Show us where Bush made statements like that before you make ignorant comments Smith. If you really want to make this political, I didn't see Clinton going after Al Qaeda after they tried to blow up the towers the first time, or ran that craft into the Cole. All Obama is doing is taking his credit. We wouldn't be out there hunting that murderer if it wasn't for Bush.
    Get your facts straight, and stop making this country dumber than it already is. Obama has done nothing compared to what Bush has accomplished. Obama has cut costs to our military, restricted oil production (GAS PRICES), and the list goes on. Trust me I'm one of many service members that has to deal with this. Obama is just another Carter, all we can hope for is another great successor like Reagen.

    And how dare you spout your trash about the middle class disappearing because of Bush! This administration has completely destroyed the middle class. Already taking the brunt of the taxes, thanks to Obama's spending on social programs, the middle class suffers but hardly sees any of that funding. My guess is your an educated person but very narrow minded because all you've done is sit on CNN and argue with people. Get your facts straight.

    May 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  17. G Smith

    For AJ ...

    AJ ? .... You are a conservative republican because you believe in 'things' .... I am a Liberal Democrat because I believe in things DIFFERENT than you believe in ..... Who is right ?

    I am right ... of course ..... That means you are wrong .... Why would I believe otherwise ? .... What I say is NOT based on 'ignorance', but of knowledge that I have learned through history and first hand in my own life ..... Notions like Public Schooling, Child labor Laws, the 8 hour workday, etc are all Liberal ideas that were implemented over the loud shrieks of people just like you .... The implementation of Social Security INSURANCE (That is INSURANCE, It's NOT an entitlement if somebody paid for it ! .... So stop calling it an 'entitlement') .... and Medicare were informed by the NEED for those programs ..... I am a Liberal who has worked nearly every day in my adult life (countering the notion that Liberals are lazy – quite the opposite – Most the Bush supporters I knew were a bunch of idiotic drunks ....)

    I am a worker who has paid GLADLY to provide SSI, and I do not consider it a 'free ride' ...... I consider those who use the benefit of the security of the United States of America, gained by the hard work and toil of soldiers of ALL stripes and political persuasions, to gouge and exploit the families and the soldiers later on for their own profit, and then not contribute ONE THIN DIME to provide that security ....

    THAT is a free ride .....

    The Middle Class need tax relief, and that tax relief must be borne by the rich, who MUST pay more than the pitiful amounts the GOP has allowed them to get away with ......

    The GOP can go to hell ..... and so can their lying supporters ....

    So .. AJ ? .... Wanna talk about 'straight facts' ? ..... Belly up to the bar, fella ..... I would like to hear ONE from you ..... Even just one ....

    May 2, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Reply

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