President Obama is scheduled to go on TV tonight (Miguk time) to give a special security-related address.
He’s not saying what yet, but according to numerous reports, it appears has been killed Osama bin Laden, and we (Miguk) have his body.
How and where he was killed, I guess we’ll find out soon enough. Sadly, I think it is very unlikely he was blown from a gun, the fate I, being a traditionalist, would personally have preferred for him.
UPDATE: Here’s BHO’s address:
According to the address, Bin Laden was wacked in a compound in the lovely town of Abbottabad, a city that, according to Wikipedia, is “well-known throughout Pakistan for its pleasant weather, high standard educational institutions and military establishments.” Interestingly enough, the town is named for British army officer and colonial administrator Major James Abbott, making it a somewhat odd choice of residence for the mastermind behind an act committed “in aggrieved response to imperial aggression.” But hey, I’m sure that like any good father, Bin Laden was there for the schools. The Guardian also reports that the district is home to Pakistan’s main military training institution:
Abbottabad is about a two hour drive north of Islamabad, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It is not part of the tribal belt, where the CIA drone strike campaign has been concentrated, but is home to the Pakistan military’s main training institution, the Pakistan Military Academy at Kakul.
The fact that bin Laden was killed outside the tribal belt in Pakistan will raise questions about how the six-foot-four fugitive, one of the most famous faces in the world, managed to escape justice for so long.
Like I said, I guess we’ll be learning more soon enough.
UPDATE: We have more on the operation, including how they found them, where he was living (spoiler: it wasn’t a Saddam Hussein-esque rat hole) and how he died.
UPDATE: In the Guardian, Simon Tisdall says Pakistan has got some explaining to do:
Tellingly, the Pakistani government was not informed beforehand of the American special forces’ raid. The truth is, US officials would simply not have trusted their counterparts in Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s powerful security and spy agency, with such sensitive information.
Extremely pointed questions are now certain to be asked about whether the ISI or its various branches and minions, knew of the existence of the highly unusual, heavily fortified, expensively built compound in Abbottabad, 35 miles north of Islamabad – and of its high-value, low-profile tenant. If they did, why did they not investigate? If they did not, was it because they didn’t want to know?
The most damaging (and familiar) suspicion, which is certain to resurface in the coming days, is that elements within the ISI who have maintained links with terrorist groups such as the Haqqani network, did indeed know Bin Laden and his retinue were in Abbottabad, and by keeping silent, were effectively providing him with protection.
As somebody on the radio just pointed out, he was staying in a fortified compound near three Pakistani army regiments. I certainly don’t want to rush to judgment about our valiant allies in the Global War on Terror, but this doesn’t look very good for Pakistan.
Nice to see the celebrations in America. Granted, I don’t think Bin Laden’s death will change a whole lot (in fact, it may lead to a spate of retaliatory strikes), but I guess we should allow ourselves a moment of joy, at least before we get really, really pissed at Pakistan.
UPDATE: Great story about the man who inadvertently live-tweeted the raid:
It was about 1am local time or 12 hours ago, when world-weary Sohaib Athar tweeted under the handle @ReallyVirtual: “Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event),” and “Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter.”
He then describes hearing a “huge windows shaking bang.” In discussions with other Twitter users he goes on to impart that the helicopter is gone and that a few others online are saying that one of the now multiple helicopters “was not Pakistani.”
Over the next few hours Athar muses if the owners of the helicopters are Taliban or drones, and expresses suspicion at reports that the apparent crash is connected to breaking news about Osama Bin Laden’s death. It turned out the helicopters belonged to U.S. forces. “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it,” Athar tweeted.