U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to announce on late Sunday evening that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan, nearly 10 years after the devastating attacks of September 11.
The White House confirmed that Obama would hold an unprecedented late-night news conference, but gave no details. All the major news networks in the United States cited sources saying that Bin Laden had been killed.
According to Fox News, Osama bin Laden was killed over a week ago by a U.S. missile in Pakistan. CBS News, NBC News and CNN also said that Bin Laden's body is in possession of the United States.
The cynic in me is wondering how the right, particularly the crazy right, are going to deal with this. Let's see. GW made it his mission to find and kill Bin Laden. The BBC quoted Bush on Dec. 14, 2001:
"We're going to get [Bin Laden] Dead or alive, it doesn't matter to me." 12/14/2001 But by the time he left office seven years later, he Bin Laden neither captured nor dead.
The Kenyan, Muslim, socialist president (as some on the right like to characterize Barrack Obama) managed to do the deed in a little over two years.
Nixon's attorney general used to say, "Watch what we do, not what we say." Good advice then and now. Bush said. Obama did.
Clearly this is a huge symbolic event, and symbolism is everything. But how much actual physical threat was Bin Laden these days? I don't know. And how will the symbolism play in the Muslim world? We'll see.
At least former President GW Bush handled it well:
This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.