Bin Laden’s Death Brings Justice For 9/11 Families

May 3rd, 2011 at 11:56 pm | 13 Comments |

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On Thursday, President Obama will visit ground zero in New York City to mark Osama Bin Laden’s death and to meet with families of 9/11 victims. FrumForum interviewed 9/11 family members to get their reaction to Bin Laden’s killing. We also spoke to intelligence officials for their reaction to the operation and its implications for the War on Terror.

The military victory brought out a wide range of emotions from the 9/11 families.  Gordon Haberman who lost a daughter, Andrea, was very somber, stating “my first impression was great humility for all the servicemen who have given their lives… I have to give President Obama credit where credit is due.  He authorized this.”

Susan Rescorla, whose husband Rick died on 9/11, cried when she heard the news and wanted Americans to understand that “I have lived it every day since my husband was murdered.  This is a moral victory, a symbol.”

Bob and Shirley Hemenway who lost their son Ronald were pessimistic, feeling that “Americans will forget real fast, in about a week.  A piece of justice has been served by all who died.  However, this is just a step along the way.  The five at Guantanamo Bay must also be put away.”

Debra Burlingame, who lost her brother Chic, a pilot on American Airlines Flight 77, was very emotional.  She recounted how “on the morning of 9/11 I got the call from the same brother who [later] called to tell me that Osama Bin Laden had been killed. I am glad that Bin Laden knew the American people had finally caught up with him.”

All had the same feelings of bestselling author Vince Flynn that, “It’s a great day for America, the CIA, and the JSOC.”  Maureen Santora, who lost a son, Christopher, said it best, “Americans are strong because we are compassionate.  God bless our soldiers and God bless America.  I am thrilled this has finally happened.  My son Christopher and his buddies and all those who were murdered are celebrating in heaven that goodness won over evil.”

The former intelligence officials FrumForum spoke with wanted Americans to know that the foundation for getting Bin Laden had been laid shortly after September 11th.  They agreed with Pete Hoekstra, the former ranking member of the intelligence committee who commented that “there have been a lot of people focused on catching him for almost ten years.  There is no doubt that this is a success and will have an impact since it clearly shows everyone that no one is safe.”

One former high-ranking CIA official was proud of the Agency and the Navy SEALs and wanted Americans to understand that “this was a victory for persistence.  We have been unrelenting, the mojo never left.  People working at counter-terrorism have never taken their eyes off the ball. “

Jamie Miscik, the former CIA’s deputy director for intelligence explained at the The Global Conference on Tuesday that prior to 9/11 the intelligence community knew that something was going to happen but did not know when.  She proudly stated that “from 9/11 until Sunday people in the intelligence community were focused with intensity, skill, and dedication in making sure we got Bin Laden.”

The officials thought President Obama exhibited a great amount of courage in approving the operation.  Fran Townsend, the former Bush Homeland Security Advisor, remarked that the President chose a risky operation but felt he had no other option.  She explained that a predator attack was not an option since it was necessary to get eyes-on-confirmation that Bin Laden was really dead.

The White House is also debating whether to release photos of Bin Laden’s body. According to Townsend, the videotapes and still photos of the battle “must be released even if grisly. There will be some who will not believe his death absent of the photographs.  We did it with the sons of Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.”

There were mixed reactions regarding Pakistan’s role in hiding Bin Laden.  Hoekstra thought that individuals within the Pakistani government knew where Bin Laden was but not the Pakistani civilian administration itself. Townsend believes that either the Pakistani government knew or is very incompetent.  She felt the Pakistanis were not trustworthy and was confident that “the Obama Administration did not tell them anything.  If you pass sensitive information to them and that information was leaked the operation would be rendered impossible.”

Does the elimination of Bin Laden mean the War on Terror is over?  Absolutely not, say the experts.  Michael Hayden, the former CIA Director summarized the feelings of the intelligence officials FF spoke with by noting that Bin Laden’s death boosted America’s reputation around the world.  Although America showed dedication and commitment in achieving the mission, he too made it clear that the war on terror is still ongoing.

He emphatically stressed that, “it was important to get Bin Laden.  It does hurt them. They will have trouble replacing him.  This is a nice macro lesson for the entire world about the reach, precision, and persistence of American power. However, this is far from over.  Al Qaeda is not a hierarchy; it’s a network.”

Everyone interviewed pointed out that besides the Taliban there are other fronts to worry about, notably in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.  Americans need to be diligent warns Clare Lopez, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, considering “Ayman al-Zawahiri (the expected successor) is responsible for Al Qaeda operations…and still wants to kill Americans.”

Jamie Miscik warned that “Bin Laden was a hugely important symbolic leader of this movement.  His absence will have a dramatic impact on the organization.  Although he was not calling the shots for every single operation, he was a huge, attractive, charismatic figure.  When the analysis is done what is usually seen is a quick surge in the activity to show that they are still relevant, that they still have the ability to carry out an attack.”

A former high ranking CIA official agreed that the operation boosted our standing.  He noted: “America can use this incident to say to the Pakistanis, if you do not help us we will do it ourselves.”

Overall, this was a successful operation in which all Americans can be proud of the intelligence community and the military, notably the SEALs.


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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Deep South Populist

    Does this passage surprise anyone?

    Elise Cooper wrote:

    Does the elimination of Bin Laden mean the War on Terror is over? Absolutely not, say the experts. Michael Hayden, the former CIA Director summarized the feelings of the intelligence officials FF spoke with by noting that Bin Laden’s death boosted America’s reputation around the world. Although America showed dedication and commitment in achieving the mission, he too made it clear that the war on terror is still ongoing.

    He emphatically stressed that, “it was important to get Bin Laden. It does hurt them. They will have trouble replacing him. This is a nice macro lesson for the entire world about the reach, precision, and persistence of American power. However, this is far from over. Al
    Qaeda is not a hierarchy; it’s a network.”

    Everyone interviewed pointed out that besides the Taliban there are other fronts to worry about, notably in Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.*** Americans need to be diligent warns Clare Lopez, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy, considering “Ayman al-Zawahiri (the expected successor) is responsible for Al Qaeda operations…and still wants to kill Americans.”

    ***Edit by DSP: And Libya, Syria, Iran, North Korea, etc.

  • Deep South Populist

    My point is that all evidence suggests this phony “War on Terror” is an open ended engagement will never end, and that this country’s leaders in both parties have no plans to try to end, ever.

    • Smargalicious

      You, sir, are an imbecile.

      Ask the relatives of those killed by Muslims on 9-11 if this is a ‘phony war’.

      We must either fight this war on their territory and kill them, or on ours…which one would you prefer??

      • TerryF98

        No he is not, you have to look in the mirror to find one of those.

        Please explain to me how we will know when we will have “won” the war on terror. What will victory look like.

        • Smargalicious

          We can mark the day of victory when we can bring shampoo in our airline carry-on bags.

  • drdredel

    I’m genuinely confused as to what this administration stands to gain from prolonging these wars any longer than necessary. What corporate interest support both the wars and the Democrats?

    • hisgirlfriday

      Corporate interests that can afford to do so donate to both parties and especially to those parties currently in power.

  • TerryF98

    We are a war like people.

    The American Revolution
    1775-1783

    The Indian Wars
    1775-1890

    Shay’s Rebellion
    1786-1787
    Rebellion
    Anti-(state)Government Rebels vs. Massachusetts

    The Whiskey Rebellion
    1794
    Rebellion
    Anti-Tax Rebels in Western Pennsylvania

    Quasi-War With France
    1798-1800
    Inter-State (Naval) War
    France

    Fries’s Rebellion “The Hot Water War”
    1799
    Rebellion
    Anti-Tax Rebels in Pennsylvania

    The Barbary Wars
    1800-1815
    Inter-State War
    The Barbary States
    (Tripoli, Algiers & Morocco)

    The War of 1812
    1812-1815
    Inter-State War
    Great Britain
    The Growing & Troubled Republic

    Primary Name of Conflict Dates of Conflict
    (U.S. Involvement Only)
    Type of Conflict Primary Opponent(s)
    of the United States

    Mexican-American War
    1846-1848
    Inter-State War
    Mexico

    U.S. Slave Rebellions
    1800-1865
    Slave Rebellions
    Various Slave groups

    “Bleeding Kansas”
    1855-1860
    Civil War (state of Kansas)
    Pro-Slavery vs. Anti-Slavery Kansans

    Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry
    1859
    Rebellion
    Anti-Slavery Rebels (Led by John Brown)

    United States Civil War
    1861-1865
    Civil War
    United States (The North)
    vs.
    The Confederate States (The South)

    U.S. Intervention in Hawaiian Revolution
    1893
    Internal Rebellion & Foreign Intervention

    The Spanish-American War
    1898
    Inter-State War

    U.S. Intervention in Samoan Civil War
    1898-1899
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention

    U.S.-Philippine War
    1899-1902
    Colonial War, War of Imperialism

    Boxer Rebellion
    1900
    Internal Rebellion & Foreign Intervention
    Chinese Government & “Boxer” Rebels

    The Moro Wars
    1901-1913
    Colonial Wars
    Philippine Muslim Rebels

    U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution
    1903
    Secessionist Revolution & Foreign Intervention
    Colombia

    The Banana Wars
    1909-1933
    Civil Wars & Foreign Intervention
    Various Rebel Groups In Central America

    U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz
    1914
    Inter-State War
    Mexico

    Pershing’s Raid Into Mexico
    1916-1917
    Inter-State, Border War
    Mexican Government & Mexican Rebels (“Bandits”)

    World War I
    1917-1918 (American involvement only)
    Inter-State War
    Germany

    Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War
    1919-1921
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Russian Bolshevik (Soviet) Government

    World War II
    1941-1945 (American involvement only)
    Inter-State War
    Germany, Japan & Italy

    The Cold War
    1945-1991
    Global Inter-State Cold War
    The Soviet Union & Communist China

    The Korean War
    1950-1953
    Inter-State War
    North Korea & China

    The Second Indochina War “Vietnam War”
    1956-1975
    Civil War, Inter-State War
    North Vietnam & South Vietnamese “Viet Cong” Rebels

    U.S. Intervention in Lebanon
    1958
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    No real foe for U.S. Troops landed to support Lebanon Gov.

    Dominican Intervention
    1965
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Rebels in the Dominican Republic

    The Mayaguez Rescue Operation

    News Story 1975 (May 15)
    Hostage Rescue & Inter-State Conflict
    Khmer Rouge Guerrillas (the new government of Cambodia)

    Iranian Hostage Rescue “Desert One” or “Operation Eagle Claw”
    1980 (April 25)
    Hostage Rescue & Inter-State Conflict
    Iran

    U.S. Libya Conflict
    1981, 1986
    Inter-State War
    Libya

    U.S. Intervention in Lebanon
    1982-1984
    Civil War,Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
    Syria & Various Muslim and Leftist Lebanese Militias

    U.S. Invasion of Grenada
    1983
    Inter-State War
    Marxist Grenadian Faction & Cuba

    The Tanker War

    “Operation Earnest Will”
    1987-1988
    Inter-State War
    Iran

    U.S. Invasion of Panama
    1989
    Inter-State War
    Panama

    Second Persian Gulf War “Operation Desert Storm”
    1991
    Inter-State War
    Iraq

    “No-Fly Zone” War
    1991-2003
    Inter-State War
    Iraq

    U.S. Intervention in Somalia
    1992-1994
    Civil War & Foreign Intervention
    Various Somali Militias

    NATO Intervention in Bosnia (Operation Deliberate Force) Summary
    1994-1995
    Civil War,Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
    Bosnian Serb Rebels

    U.S. Occupation of Haiti
    1994
    Foreign Intervention
    Haitian Government

    U.S. Embassy bombings and strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan (The bin Laden War)
    August, 1998
    Terrorist Conflict

    “Desert Fox” Campaign (part of U.S./Iraq Conflict)
    December, 1998
    Inter-State War
    Iraq

    Kosovo War
    1999
    Civil War, Foreign Intervention & Inter-State War
    Yugoslavia/Serbia

    Attack on the USS Cole
    October 12, 2000
    Terrorist Conflict
    Terrorists associated with Osama bin Laden

    Attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
    September 11, 2001
    Terrorist Conflict
    Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida organization

    Afghanistan War (Operation Enduring Freedom)
    October 7, 2001-Present
    War against Terrorism
    The Taliban and Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida organization

    Third Persian Gulf War “Operation Iraqi Freedom”
    March 19, 2003-Present
    Inter-State War
    Iraq

    2011 Libya no fly zone.

    Not sure I would classify all these as wars, some are conflicts, some incidents. War seems to have a broadened definition in later years.

    http://www.cassiopaea.org/cass/uswars.htm

  • Primrose

    I wouldn’t classify all these as wars and the slave rebellions can’t really be traced to the larger polity. And they were completely morally justified. I don’t think you can say the better option is to stay in slavery.

  • Graychin

    “Justice”? Not really.

    Revenge is what it is – not justice. Not that I’m complaining. Sometimes revenge is all there is to be had.

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    The killing of Osama bin Laden is especially important for justice & retaliation for 9/11 in light of the fact that many US politicians abused the memories of those killed on 9/11 in order to scare the country into a catastrophic invasion of an unrelated country.

  • jreb

    I don’t understand why we can’t come together for one day and celebrate the end of the life of the United States most wanted terrorist and I fail to see the relevance of TerryF98′s list of conflicts.