Presidential Address Scheduled Immediately (Update: Osama bin Laden Dead)

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This should be a big announcement if he’s going on at this hour.

Update: President has not spoken yet, but reports are that Osama bin Laden is DEAD.

Update 2: As of 10:55 p.m. President Obama still has not spoken, but it has been confirmed that Osama bin Laden was killed a week ago. [Editor’s note: In fact the strike was launched today – see the President’s address below.] We have just now confirmed that it was his body, and that he has left this mortal coil.  This might be a more significant symbolically than militarily, but I don’t care about that right now.

What I don’t quite understand is that this not exactly a sudden development, [Editor: In fact it was, so disregard my question.] and yet the President has chosen this moment to make the announcement.  Sure they had to wait for confirmation, but why do this now and not just wait until morning?  Just curious.

Contra to what I said above, K.T. McFarland has suggested that bin Laden’s death could push a lot of the fence sitters in Afghanistan and in the Middle East towards our side.  I hope she is right.

Update 3: President Obama is now speaking at 11:35 p.m.

The President’s remarks, after the bump.

Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.  The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world.  The empty seat at the dinner table.  Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father.  Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace.  Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together.  We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood.  We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.  On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice.  We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe.  And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.  We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.  In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support.  And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan.  Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.  It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.  I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan.  And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability.  No Americans were harmed.  They took care to avoid civilian casualties.  After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies.  The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.  There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.  We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam.  I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.  Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims.  Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.  So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.  That is what we’ve done.  But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding.  Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.  They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations.  And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The American people did not choose this fight.  It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens.  After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war.  These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.
So Americans understand the costs of war.  Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed.  We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.  We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror:  Justice has been done.
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.
Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11.  I know that it has, at times, frayed.  Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete.  But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to.  That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are:  one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you.
May God bless you.  And may God bless the United States of America.

More to explorer


  1. That was just a guess, by the way. David Gregory on MSNBC is speculating that the announcement has something to do with OBL and an incident in Pakistan.

  2. Geraldo on FOX reported it – OBL was killed about a week ago and DNA analysis confirmed it.

    So now the question is – how much political capital can BHO gain from this for ’12?

    Because as we all know – this is purely political.

  3. If it was a week ago today, it happened on Easter Sunday.

    Divine intervention?

    Maybe that would explain why the royal newlyweds cancelled their honeymoon.

  4. “Sure they had to wait for confirmation, but why do this now and not just wait until morning?”

    Because the news leaked?

  5. Property of Bin Laden…residents were burning their trash rather than putting it out. 40 minutes….Seals did it. 1 million dollar property and yet no tv or internet. 18 foot walls barbed wire….helicopter therefore. CNN 12:23

  6. Apparently it all happened today, not last week, and U.S. forces personally carried out the order — it didn’t happen “accidentally on purpose” by bomb or missile attack. And all I can say is, it’s about time.

  7. How convenient for the Campaigner in Chief. Especially with all those American flag waving kids conveniently stationed at the White House gates to cheer for something the Wussy in Chief was not in support of until his poll numbers tanked and Corsi and Trump forced him to release a birth certificate.

    I thought Osama died several years ago.

    Even if this is true, which is hard to believe because everything other than his support for baby killing, that comes out of Obama’s mouth is a lie; isn’t it more than a little sick to be cheering for someone’s death? Even if it is persona non grata numero uno. It is common in the Arab and Moslem world to cheer for the death of an enemy, but we don’t do that. Is the world better off without bin Laden in it? Sure, but does that mean we cheer? I don’t think so.

    The only thing this tells me is that we will see a major jihadist attack within the next couple of weeks.

  8. Tito:

    Apparently it was done today (Sunday); ordered on Friday. Perhaps they gave the Brits enough of a heads up to let them know that it might not be safe to honeymoon right now. Considering how secret it was, I wouldn’t be surprised if they didn’t. We’ll have to learn more.

  9. American Knight

    Here is Our Lady in the Magnificat:

    “He hath shewed might in his arm:
    he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
    He hath put down the mighty from their seat,”

  10. bill,

    I thought she was referring to demons.

    I guess it could apply to Osama. May as well apply to Obama too.

    I’m not sure there is a difference.

  11. Then remember Judith killing Holofernes and bringing his head back in a bag and thus saving her people from the Assyrians. Uzziah then speaks to her:

    ” Then Uzziah said to her: “Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies.
    Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God.
    May God make this redound to your everlasting honor, rewarding you with blessings, because you risked your life when your people were being oppressed, and you averted our disaster, walking uprightly before our God.” And all the people answered, “Amen! Amen!”

  12. And we must remember St. Faustina, “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have Mercy on us and on the WHOLE world.”

    Osama being dead is a good thing; cheering about it, not so much.

  13. Well, I am certainly happy that bin Laden has now paid for his crimes and I do not mind maying so. That Obama will receive the credit for it does not bother me in the slightest. As President Bush said after 9-11 we would bring the perpetrators to justice or bring justice to them, and bin Laden just had justice served up to him. Bravo to the team of Americans that carried out this operation.

  14. “And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.

    Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.”

    At least Obama gave a weak reference to the work the Bush Administration did in laying the groundwork for this operation. Perhaps if he had more class he would say so directly.

    Points to him though for not cancelling the operation like Clinton did when he was President.

  15. Joe, President Obama will certainly experience a short-term bump in his poll numbers; however, in a couple of months when we’re paying $5 a gallon for gas I think that any renewed enthusiasm will subside.

  16. “Don, Obama may just have won re-election.”

    Unlikely Joe. The people in this country who will be happiest about this are also those who are unlikely to vote for Obama under any circumstance. To his fans on the Left, this will not mean much. Those in the middle are going to be swayed long term by other concerns as Paul noted. I think this event will have as much impact on the 2012 election as Carter’s Camp David Peace Accords of 1979 had on the 1980 election.

  17. If I can jump in here on the political effect: never forget that Bush 41 had stratospheric approval ratings in February 1991, right after the 100 Hours War. His foreign policy coups didn’t help him much during a much milder recession in the fall of 1992.

    The President’s re-election campaign will stand or fall with the economy next year.

  18. Dale is correct. While Bin Ladin’s demise may help Obama a bit, two factors will determine the outcome next year: the Republican candidate and the national economy. The Bush 41 analogy is instructive, especially when one considers that the public rightly gave him far more credit for pushing Iraq out of Kuwait than the public will give Obama for killing Bin Ladin.

  19. Bush’s war; Bush’s Secy of Defense; Bush’s policies. In April 2009, Ofama promised to shut down Gitmo. Not so much . . .

    I’d hold my nose and vote for Obama if he were running against Satan. High food prices; high fuel prices; no jobs; no GDP growth; etc. all directly attributable to Obama big government, anti-private sector, class hate policies.

    I thought Obama-worshippers either voted against Bush or to prove they weren’t racists. Vote for someone else in 2012 to prove you are not idiots.

    In 2012, anybody but Obama.

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