shortformblog
shortformblog:

To close out, Obama again pulls out the Bin Laden hook he used at the beginning:

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden.  On it are each of their names.  Some may be Democrats.  Some may be Republicans.  But that doesn’t matter.  Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.   All that mattered that day was the mission.  No one thought about politics.  No one thought about themselves.  One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission.  It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs.  More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back. 

Think this was totally the right way to intro — and end — his speech.

shortformblog:

To close out, Obama again pulls out the Bin Laden hook he used at the beginning:

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden.  On it are each of their names.  Some may be Democrats.  Some may be Republicans.  But that doesn’t matter.  Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates – a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.  
 
All that mattered that day was the mission.  No one thought about politics.  No one thought about themselves.  One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission.  It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs.  More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back. 

Think this was totally the right way to intro — and end — his speech.

matthewkeys
l that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job – the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other – because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.
President Obama, describing to SEAL Team operation that killed Osama bin Laden, as presented during the State of the Union address Tuesday evening. (via producermatthew)
brooklynmutt
thepoliticalpartygirl:

The Daily Beast dissects the iconic photograph of the White House Situation Room as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, offering insight into the mysterious room. (For example: it’s not as mysterious as we might think. When not in use for top secret national security operations, any White House employee can hold meetings in the Situation Room). From coffee cups to a blurred photograph to secured laptops, no detail is overlooked.

thepoliticalpartygirl:

The Daily Beast dissects the iconic photograph of the White House Situation Room as Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound, offering insight into the mysterious room. (For example: it’s not as mysterious as we might think. When not in use for top secret national security operations, any White House employee can hold meetings in the Situation Room). From coffee cups to a blurred photograph to secured laptops, no detail is overlooked.

brooklynmutt

soupsoup:

A pivotal moment in the long, tortuous quest to find Osama bin Laden came years before U.S. spy agencies discovered his hermetic compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

In July 2007, then Senator Barack Obama’s top foreign policy advisers met in the modest two-room Massachusetts Avenue offices that served as his campaign’s Washington headquarters. There, they debated the incendiary language Obama would use in an upcoming speech on national security, according to a senior White House official.

Pakistan was a growing worry. A new, highly classified intelligence analysis, called a National Intelligence Estimate, had just identified militant safe havens in Pakistan’s border areas as a major threat to U.S. security. The country’s military leader, Pervez Musharraf, had recently cut a deal with local tribes that effectively eased pressure on al Qaeda and related groups.

soupsoup

soupsoup:

“In a sense what we have here is internal discussion,” the counterterror official said. “And also you have a leader alone, writing down his thoughts… It’s kind of like the old concept in the Navy when captains thought they might lose visual contact. They needed to know the commander’s intent in the contingency of having to make decisions on their own. When bin Laden writes to his deputies, he is reinforcing their knowledge of the commander’s intent.”

Bin Laden communicated with deputies such as Mustafa Abu-Yazid, a veteran Egyptian boss who was al Qaeda’s operations chief until he was killed in a U.S. missile strike last year, according to the official. Yazid, based in the northwest tribal areas of Pakistan, sent outgoing orders to commanders in Pakistan or affiliates in other countries, and relayed their messages to bin Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad near Pakistan’s capital.

theweekmagazine
theweekmagazine:

When Reuters/Hollywood Reporter ran an article laying out  the “eerie  links” between the Harry Potter saga and the killing of Osama bin  Laden, the mockery came fast  and furious.  But sociologists say it isn’t a joke for many members of the Millennial  generation (born 1980-2000), for whom the Sept. 11 attacks and the  Harry Potter books and movies are  formative cultural touchstones. For them, “it’s a Harry Potter  world,” says  historian Neil Howe. And now “it’s like Voldemort is dead.”

theweekmagazine:

When Reuters/Hollywood Reporter ran an article laying out the “eerie links” between the Harry Potter saga and the killing of Osama bin Laden, the mockery came fast and furious. But sociologists say it isn’t a joke for many members of the Millennial generation (born 1980-2000), for whom the Sept. 11 attacks and the Harry Potter books and movies are formative cultural touchstones. For them, “it’s a Harry Potter world,” says historian Neil Howe. And now “it’s like Voldemort is dead.”

theatlantic

The return of the torture debate is striking because its apologists no longer feel the need to advocate for a narrow exception to prevent an American city from being nuked or a busload of children from dying. In the jubilation over getting bin Laden, they’re instead employing this frightening standard: torture of multiple detainees is justified if it might produce a single useful nugget that, combined with lots of other intelligence, helps lead us to the secret location of the highest value terrorist leader many years later. It’s suddenly the new baseline in our renewed national argument.

That’s torture creep.

The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf on the renewed torture debate taking hold of American politics (via theatlantic)
theatlantic
theatlantic:

Obama’s First Ground Zero Visit: ‘Where is Osama Bin Laden?’ To understand President Obama’s visit to Ground Zero today, Elizabeth Greenspan suggests we remember his first visit there, back in 2008:

To understand why people filled the streets to celebrate the death of  Osama bin Laden this week, it’s worth taking a look at Obama’s first  visit to Ground Zero. People have been looking for something to  celebrate ever since.
I was at the site that day for anniversary ceremonies. Fewer people  turned out than in past years, despite Obama and McCain’s impending  arrival (rumors were actually swirling that the two decided not to  come). The plaza designated for the public was across the street from  the square closed-off for victims’ families. In one corner, a ring of  people penned their names upon memorial canvases laid out on the ground.  On the other side, a youth Mennonite choir sang solemn hymns. But the  middle of the square was nearly empty save for one woman holding a large  sign. It read, “Where is Osama Bin Laden?” People eyed her  suspiciously and, as if honoring an invisible force field, kept their  distance. It was a question no one really wanted to face.

Read the rest of the story at The Atlantic.

theatlantic:

Obama’s First Ground Zero Visit: ‘Where is Osama Bin Laden?’ To understand President Obama’s visit to Ground Zero today, Elizabeth Greenspan suggests we remember his first visit there, back in 2008:

To understand why people filled the streets to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden this week, it’s worth taking a look at Obama’s first visit to Ground Zero. People have been looking for something to celebrate ever since.

I was at the site that day for anniversary ceremonies. Fewer people turned out than in past years, despite Obama and McCain’s impending arrival (rumors were actually swirling that the two decided not to come). The plaza designated for the public was across the street from the square closed-off for victims’ families. In one corner, a ring of people penned their names upon memorial canvases laid out on the ground. On the other side, a youth Mennonite choir sang solemn hymns. But the middle of the square was nearly empty save for one woman holding a large sign. It read, “Where is Osama Bin Laden?”

People eyed her suspiciously and, as if honoring an invisible force field, kept their distance. It was a question no one really wanted to face.

Read the rest of the story at The Atlantic.