President Obama Announces Death Of Osama Bin Laden: ‘Justice Has Been Done’
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by Frances Martel | 12:05 am, May 2nd, 2011
After a breathless half hour of speculation where the media knew only that the President would speak at 10:30 PM, but with no clue on what, President Obama took the podium in the East Room to make the national security announcement Americans have been waiting for for the better part of a decade: terrorist thug Osama Bin Laden has been killed, and the American military has the body.
Arriving more than an hour later than expected, the President captured the poignancy of the moment without gloating. “I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that has killed Osama bin Laden,” said the President, who
arrived an hour late to his own speech, after CNN (cautiously), Fox News (raucously), NBC, ABC News, The New York Times, and others already
confirmed the news. “On nights like this, we can say to families who have lost loved ones to the terror of Al-Qaeda, ‘justice has been done.’”
President Obama gave some details of the operation: that he acted upon intelligence he received last August, but only authorized the ground attack in Pakistan that killed bin Laden last week. “No Americans were harmed, they took care to avoid civilian casualties,” he noted, adding that American forces have custody of his body. The President rightfully called the event “the most significant achievement” in the tragic story arc of 9/11, but reminded Americans that “we must remain vigilant at home
and abroad” and be sure to highlight that we “will never be at war with Islam,” but with terrorism.
He also thanked everyone that had a hand in the effort, especially the men who carried out the operation while remaining unscathed and not harming civilians, and culminated with the last words of the Pledge of Allegiance: “with liberty and justice for all.”
Bin Laden, who is responsible for the worst terrorist attack in American history and has, as one commentator put it, been a source of constant source of humiliation for America for as long as he remained free, was
killed in a mansion outside of Ahmadabad, Pakistan, by a bullet to the head.
Below is a full transcript of the speech, and video via CNN: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through
a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came
We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our together.
blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by
Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and
strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture
or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world. And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that
al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we
will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never
will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush
did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with
Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates. The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and
counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day. Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
China accuses Western media of „terrorism‟ against Asia
China accuses Western media of „terrorism‟ against Asia
October 24, 2008
BEIJING: China has launched an aggressive campaign against the alleged bias of the Western media as a top Chinese government representative blasted major Western TV channels and newspapers of conducting „media terrorism‟ against the Asian countries.
At the 4th Asia-Europe journalists roundtable conference which ended on Thursday, CNN, the BBC, the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Times London, The Economist, French paper Le Monde and German magazine Der Spiegel were blamed by name for distorting facts and were accused of blatant bias and prejudice.
Just one day before the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) here in Beijing, a comprehensive charge-sheet was presented against the Western media by Professor Li Xiguang, Executive Dean School of Journalism and Tsinghua University, Beijing, in a media conference attended by
selected journalists from Asia and Europe.
Professor Li has been leading a national program for training government spokesmen and heads of the government press office since 2001. He is also the head of Pakistan Study Centre in Beijing.
He came out with documentary evidence against the Western media in the journalists‟ roundtable conference. Majority of the invitees in the roundtable came from Europe and Professor Li embarrassed all of them by showing evidence of blunders committed by the top Western media outlets.
He said the Western media was very sensitive about US casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan but always showed insensitivity towards the civilian casualties. He gave reference of a story released by a Western news agency and said: “American soldiers killed yesterday in Afghanistan were
worthy victims for the Western media but 10 Afghan civilians killed were unworthy victims, they were not given importance and this dichotomy is creating misunderstandings between the people of two continents.”
He said the Western media and NGOs always try to set the agenda of their own liking for Asian countries. They want to control Asia and if any Asian country tries to get out of their control, it becomes an immediate target of media terrorism.
Professor Li accepted that Asian countries did not have the power to advance their own agendas because the international media was controlled by the Western companies. He said: “Western spin doctors have buried the truth; today the common man in the West is not aware who is a terrorist and who is a victim because CNN and the BBC project victims as terrorists.”
Professor Li taunted that “Osama bin Laden was a freedom fighter for the Western media in 1980 but is now a terrorist.” He said the Western media was using the name of democracy to promote
undemocratic culture in Asia. He said the „tabloid media‟ of the West was promoting tabloid democracy in Asia.
He showed some fake pictures published by the New York Times and the Washington Post with a caption “Chinese police beating protesters in Tibet”. He proved that those pictures were not taken in Tibet but taken in Nepal. The Western media actually used the word “Chinese police” for Nepali police and spread anti-China propaganda all over the world.
No Western journalist present in the conference questioned the allegations made by Professor Li. One French journalist from Le Monde asked Professor Li “why don‟t you allow Western media to visit Tibet for reporting facts”. Professor Li just ignored her question. A German journalist Mercedes Bunz partly agreed with the Chinese professor but said all the Western journalists were not the same.
The roundtable ended on Thursday evening after recommending to ASEM that the media should bridge the gap between different civilisations instead of widening gaps through “disinformation”.
The journalist conference was organised by Asia-Europe Foundation and the All-China Journalists Association. The conference discussed affects of globalisation on the media and especially the need for integrating the print and electronic media to face new challenges. It has been learnt that the Chinese government has started encouraging young information technology experts to form special blogs against the CNN, the BBC and other Western media organisations to counter the anti-China propaganda.