Obama kills Osama: Mixed reactions to bin Laden slaying

Some Americans responded to news about the death of Osama bin Laden much like the Munchkins did when Dorothy vanquished the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of Oz: with jubilant cheers and official proclamations.

Local television cameras captured frenzied UVA students at Boylan Heights chanting "USA, USA," with raised beer bottles after the news was released late May 1 that America's number one enemy had been killed.

Congressman Robert Hurt called bin Laden's death "a great victory in the War on Terror," and the first-term Republican was moved enough to commend Democratic President Barack Obama along with President George W. Bush and their teams "for their resolve in seeing this mission through to its success.”

The assassination of the man who launched the deadly decade-ago attacks on New York and the Pentagon prompted politicians to issue statements that included the words "justice served" and "closure."

But for some like Burley Middle School teacher Barb Pemberton, who suffered personal loss on September 11, 2001, it's just a little too soon for her to share any talk about closure.

"It brings it all back," says an emotional Pemberton.

On that crisp fall morning nearly 10 years ago, Pemberton's sister, Susan Sauer, had been at a business meeting on the 99th floor of the North Tower at the World Trade Center and died in the daylight attack.

This time, Pemberton was awakened at 1am on May 2 with a phone call bearing the news that bin Laden was dead.

"I was stunned," says Pemberton. "I'm glad they finally found him. Ten years is an awfully long time for the mastermind of 9-11."

Still, Pemberton finds little joy in the fact that bin Laden was killed and admits she's worried about U.S. troops and fears retaliation.

"I'm not an eye-for-an-eye person," she says. "I would have liked to see him brought to justice through the court system.

During a recent trip to Oklahoma City for the 16th anniversary of the domestic terrorism there, Pemberton learned that family members of victims recalled the smirk of Timothy McVeigh as he sat through his trial, and she has wondered whether bin Laden had been doing the same over the past 10 years, thinking he got away with killing 3,000 Americans in the unprecedented airplane-based attack.

"I'm devastated by the number of people killed or wounded because of this man," she says.

"It had to be done," says Middle East expert and UVA professor emeritus Ruhi Ramazani, who commends the military operation that took out bin Laden. "It was neatly done. And to our knowledge, there was no collateral damage."

In the 2001 attacks, observes Ramazani, bin Laden accomplished something neither the Japanese at Pearl Harbor nor the British burning Washington did: shattering the notion of American invincibility.

"Before 9-11, we never had this sense of the need to protect ourselves," he says. "We had to create Homeland Security. It's unprecedented, and enormously costly."

If the feeling of vulnerability gets assuaged with the assassination of bin Laden, Ramazani cautions that Americans should prepare for retaliation.

One positive outcome of finding bin Laden is showing the world "we have the ability to take care of ourselves and bring people to justice," says the scholar, who sees an uplifting effect on the spirits and the morale of the American people.

"People are spontaneously celebrating," Ramazani says. "This had hurt our confidence in ourselves."


Update 9:48pm: Misspelling in caption of Osama bin Laden corrected.


"Joyous crowds gathered at the White House in response to the news that Obama bin Laden was dead."

Caption check.

LOL @ Michael...

I was waiting for someone to slip up and put Obama bin Laden.

See first hand view of what is going on in Middle East, hunt for Osama bin Laden and Pakistan's duplicity check out novel
king of Bat'ha

Headlines should NOT read that Obama killed Osama ! HE did NOT kill him our soilders did ! HE does not deserve credit they do ! Give credit to them !

Agree with Brandy...The ignorance in the photo posted above, is beyond words.

Do you blame osama bin laden for the attacks on 9/11? You know he wasn't on any of the planes right?
I think it is obvious that Obama didn't fire the gun that killed him, but he is the commander and chief who green lighted the strike. Certainly give the guys who were on the operation and the many many people who made the operation possible credit, but also give the leadership credit.

There sure is little respect for our Commander In Chief during this event. I didn't want to think before that it was because of race with the birther issue. Now I am not so sure.


I certainly give credit to those out there doing their jobs, but you also give credit to the leadership that lets them do their jobs. The right wing loves to talk about being great war leaders, and then have little to show for it.

Perhaps if they would spend a bit more time with their eye on the ball, and a little less time worrying about long birth certificate forms and gay marriage, they might do better.

Let's see....soon after taking office George W. Bush ignored all the warnings about terrorist threats to focus on unfunded supply-side tax cuts.

See, for example, the Presidential Daily Briefing of Aug. 6, 2001:


Those tax cuts, and the unfunded wars that followed 9/11, and the near-total deregulation of Wall Street, are directly responsible for the vast portion of debt incurred over the last decade. "Bush-era policies...account for more than $7 trillion and are a major contributor to the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits that are dominating the political debate."



Obama took office in late January 2009. "In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to "provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice" Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived."

"The final phase of the painstaking process started in mid-February. Intelligence officials started to get good information on the compound. A series of meetings were held in the White House to develop aggressive intelligence gathering operations. A family lived at the compound that matched the description of the Bin Laden family. By mid-March the president was chairing the national security meetings on the operation. (In all he would chair five such meetings, including the ones on the day the operation took place.)"

"Early Friday morning before departing to view tornado damage in Alabama, the president gave the order to initiate the operation to kill Bin Laden. On Sunday, he met throughout the day in the Situation Room, making final preparations and receiving updates."

The President is the commander-in-chief. He issued the orders for the military action.

Moreover, the president gave credit where credit was due, saying in his comments:

"Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day."

The president was gracious and acknowledged the efforts of those who tracked down bin Laden.

Take a lesson, Brandy and JoeJoe.

We need to cull this muslim on muslim violence

actionable intelligence from secret us prisons gained more then likely from torture performed by potentially private contractors and other nation states, and our own government = complete success. If Obama continues with a double tap diplomacy I may even convert, roll on, way to go SEALS

no peter. There's no evidence that any of the actionable intelligence came from enhance interrogation techniques, even though that the current GOP talking point. The intelligence gained from the rendering program was NOT actionable, but instead was from 2004, 7 years before the "action". It was a kernel that led to the actionable intelligence, but it was NOT the actionable intelligence.

The actionable intelligence came in August of last year, long after Obama took office.

And Bush didn't invade Iraq and also didn't defeat the Taliban! Also, FDR didn't defeat Hitler and Truman didn't drop the bomb on Japan..... Lincoln didn't free the slaves, Washington doesn't deserve credit for the American Revolution and Reagan didn't defeat Grenada!

It will be funny to see how Obama's nearly certain re-election will bring out the crazies in the next year and a half. It will also be funny to see how quickly serious GOP contenders fold up their tents and wait until 2016. They'll let Mitt Romney take one for the team next year....

Former Vice President Dick Cheney declared, “The administration clearly deserves credit for the success of the operation.” New York’s former mayor, Rudolph W. Giuliani, said, “I admire the courage of the president.” And Donald J. Trump declared, “I want to personally congratulate President Obama.”

It's rather interesting to watch conservative Republicans refuse to take any responsibility for what the DID do (preside over millions of job losses, enable and abet Wall Street in becoming a taxpayer-funded casino, bungle badly two wars, wreck the economy), and then make things up to try and take credit for what they DIDN'T do (get bin Laden).

Democracy( fixated on George Bush) like so many of his fellow liberals, chooses to forget or is not old enough to remember the lack of executive ability of past democratic presidents such as Jimmy Carter and the womanizing of Clinton. Reagan set the bar for how to be president. Obama was lucky with Bin Laden and happened to be in the right place at the right time which will also serve to sum up his presidency. I wonder if it will ever come out that the Seals were ordered to not bring Bin Laden back alive and actually put the bullet through his head after he was down from the chest wound. No forensic evidence will ever be available.

Perhaps the only anquish would be if the raid failed.............then what would the POTUS do?

Who could he blame- George Bush, Gates?

It was only a matter of time- our G2 is excellent and may not always expose what they know- this has been in the works for years.........thank goodness it was a success, congrats to the POTUS listening to his military advisors and for giving the go-ahead.

Now- raid the Congress and take cae of your self-inflicted economic situation.

County Farmer,

What has Jimmie Carter got to do with Obama catching Osama? I certainly have not forgotten his decision of the Iran hostages. I also have not forgotten that he took full responsibility for it. And I give Bush credit for coming out and standing behind it, even though he said he didn't care where Osama was

Like it or not, its the little craven right wingers who run around blaming everyone else for their porr decisions. They are the ones who talk defense, but then don't have much to show for it once their party is in office. They are very good at building over priced bombers and poisoning our soldiers via contractors, but they couldn't even protect our borders from the influx of illegal resident aliens.

That's because they like to spend their time running around birth certificate forms, and abortion, instead of what their elected officials are doing, like letting corporations poison them with bad meat, or sell them defective products made in China, or sending their jobs to countries where the terrorists live.

There must be a treasure trove of actionable intelligence obtained from the 8 month stakeout of OBL compound coupled with that picked up inside from the raid .Lots of anxious higher up operatives in the network will have their cover blown . Consequently there should be a series of similiar raids picking up or shooting these newly identified persons .

Perhaps Osama should have been dropped from 110 stories on to the UBL compound..........splat!

Steve Pieczenik, collaborator of Tom Clancy and former Deputy Secretary of State & Senior Policy Planner for Sec'y's of State: Kissinger, Vance, Shultz, & Baker, a Harvard Psychiatrist with an MIT PhD in International Relations would beg to differ with the unverified account of Osama bin Laden's demise.

His is a contrary interpretation of the last 10 years that claims Osama bin Laden has been dead since 2002.
The link below introduces his recent pronouncements on 911 & Osama/Obama:

{in the linked radio interview, he clearly states that Osama bin Laden
has been long dead, and the recent faked assassination of a pseudo bin
Laden is another ominous sequel, among many, to the 911 fraud used to turn the USA on its head}


@eris, thanks, for the past 5 days I've been asking myself:
"What does Steve Pieczenik make of all this?"

Obama killed Osama as much as Osama made attacks against the USA. Obama did not pull the trigger and Osama did not fly a plane