Monday, May 02, 2011

Congratulations to the Navy Seals

How wonderful to have a moment that we can all celebrate together and we can take pride in the planning, courage, and ability of our special forces to carry out this raid without an American casualty.

As Victor Davis Hanson wrote, it is good that his death came at the hands of U.S. soldiers in battle. It is good that he died in battle and we don't have the debates over how, when, and where he would be tried. We are not going to repeat the debacle over the KSM trial.

How funny that his compound is now already marked on Google maps. And that an IT consultant in Abbottabad, Pakistan has been tweeting the story after complaining about the sound of a helicopter hovering in his neighborhood. And the story seems to have broken on Twitter. We're lucky that our intelligence forces did a much better job keeping the news secret for the past four years as they followed information that was first gotten from interrogations of a detainee. So much for that argument that the information that we got from detainees is just old information. It is being reported that the information about the courier was gotten from a detainee at Guantanamo some time after September 11 and then four years ago our intelligence forces got his real name and two years ago they began to figure out where the courier and his brother resided. It shows how intelligence is built up from a tidbit here and a tidbit there. It also demonstrates the value of keeping these detainees long term. If the detainee that had given the name of the courier had been released, perhaps OBL wouldn't have been trusting him up to the last day of his life.

It's interesting that the Pakistanis are claiming that it was a joint operation while our officials say that only U.S. personnel were involved in the raid. It is a humiliation to Pakistan that the guy was living in a compound built, not in Waziristan but right around the corner from a police station in a region 50 km northeast of Islamabad.

As we think back to September 11 and our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones that terrible day, we can come together as a nation to cheer this news. But it is just one step in our fight against terrorism. That battle continues, but it's heartening to know that we have on our sides the sorts of courageous men who carried out this operation.