Obama, No High-Five over Death of Osama Bin Laden

On May 1,  the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death, when Brian Williams asked President Obama about seeing the picture of bin Laden, who had been shot in the head, the president took a long pause.

Um…  I think it’s wrong to say that I did a high five,” he said,because you have a picture of a dead body and, you know, there’s I think regardless of who it is, you always have to be sober about death.  But understanding the satisfaction for the American people, what it would mean for 9/11 families, what it would mean for the children of folks who died in the Twin Towers who never got to know their parents, I think there was a deep-seated satisfaction for the country at that moment.

Although I don’t always agree with all of his policy decisions,  I have the highest respect for him especially his handling of  Osama bin Laden.

First, for executing this mission.  On Oct. 7, 2008, in the presidential debate, Barack Obama said  his highest national security priority is to kill Osama bin Laden and crush al Qaeda.  About two and a half years later, as he promised in his debate, he applies surgical precision to very targeted attack: Bin Laden is attacked, not Pakistan; individual Al Qaeda leaders are taken out, Yemen and Somalia are not occupied.

I like the way he handled Osama’ s body and gruesome photos.  Quietly with respect, thereby showing the whole world that we are different from the terrorists who treat human lives including their own with contempt.  When asked why the photos of the corpse would not be released, Obama said:

We discussed this internally. We are absolutely certain that this was him. We’ve done DNA sampling and testing, and so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden… It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies.

And finally, I thank him for giving us the deep satisfaction of seeing Osama bin Laden dead.  Although I am a naturalized citizen, it was important for me to see this happen.  Like most Americans, I still remember vividly where I was and what I was doing when I heard the news of 9/11 attack.  And, I remember the moment just as clearly when I heard the news of death of Osama Bin Laden.  We got him.   Got him with minimal cost and maximum dignity to our nation.  My husband and I, while we were walking out of the gym, high-fived.




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