Killing Osama bin Laden: Twitterer Live-Tweeted Raid (and didn’t know it?!)

This is bananas

A man twittering from Abbottabad, Pakistan, under the Twitter handle ReallyVirtual, seems to have unwittingly live-tweeted the raid which led to the assassination of Osama bin Laden.”

Relatedly, I’m in DC this evening, and suffice it to say, the city is going wild.

(h/t Shoq!)

[cross-posted at ABLC]






79 replies
  1. 1
    Kane says:

    “If we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority,” – Barack Obama, 2008.

    Remember during the 2008 campaign when McCain and other Republicans accused Obama of being “naive” for calling for Special Operations-type incursions into Pakistan?

  2. 2
    Martin says:

    the city is going wild.

    As well it should be. Whether it’s deserved or not, having OBL walking free has been a HUGE crushing weight on everyone in the WH and related agencies.

    CNN reporting that OBLs body was disposed at sea. Probably a wise move.

  3. 3
    eemom says:

    hey ABL, how long will you be here? Howzabout a little BJABL get together?

  4. 4
    MattR says:

    Susan Kitchens linked to this in the previous thread. One thing that struck me as I read it a second time was how mundane (and even typical of us Juicers) his reaction was to an event that turned out to be rather historic.

    Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/

  5. 5
    Yutsano says:

    @MattR: Most poignant comment in that string:

    ‘safer’ is a relative term that has lost its meaning in Pakistan

    after he reports moving there for security reasons. I hope these people finally find true peace some day.

  6. 6
    James E. Powell says:

    @Martin:

    How could that be a wise move? Somebody from the family has to ID the body. And somebody with major Islamic cred has to manage its internment. Anything else is going to be trouble.

  7. 7
    WarMunchkin says:

    CONFIRMED: Headshot.

    U.S. sources including a senior official and a congressional source familiar with the operation said bin Laden was shot in the head.

    http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/.....index.html

  8. 8

    bin laden buried at sea in accordance with muslim traditions and the big pussy’s flipped episode of the sopranos.

  9. 9
    Martin says:

    @James E. Powell: Why does someone from the family need to ID the body? We can confirm that with DNA. And we’re not going to give OBL the honor of major Islamic cred. They stated he was interred in accordance to Islamic practice, I expect they’ll have documented that and will have some significant Islamic figures attest to that.

    My understanding is that Islamic practice is that the body should be interred quite quickly – within a day.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Carol says:

    His son was killed. I imagine that the family knows which one, and the return of that body will also confirm the death of Bin Laden. Not to mention the death of the other three, who probably lived with him. These are people who would not have left him unless Bin Laden was dead, and provably so. After all, if he had been captured alive, so would they have been taken into custody with him.

  12. 12
    James E. Powell says:

    @Martin:

    Let’s consider the phrases ‘major Islamic cred’ and ‘significant Islamic figures’ to mean the same thing.

    I figured since there are family members who are friendly to the U.S., or at least hooked in enough to get the White House to help them out of the country after 9/11, it would help with credibility to have a family member ID the body. I don’t think DNA tests will convince that part of the world that is not inclined to be believe statements from the U.S. government.

  13. 13
    Yutsano says:

    @Martin: You’re correct on that point, in fact a sea burial is customary up until the actual internment in the ground, since he would be required to face a certain direction. It wouldn’t surprise me if the burial at sea story is just misdirection to keep his true burial ground from being a point of pilgrimage.

  14. 14

    @Yutsano:

    the burial satisfies not only islamic traditions but also the big pusci flipped story line of the sopranos.

    my other spelling got me into moderation.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    @Carol: The US collected DNA from some of the other Bin Laden family members so that we could use it to ID a body. We’ve been prepared for that since 2002.

    Burial at sea is smart for two reasons:
    1) No displaying of the body. I thought that was an inflammatory move by Bush with Saddam’s kids.
    2) No shrine for his followers.

    Honestly, if we held onto the body, it wouldn’t change a thing. Anyone that doubts that we killed him would still doubt it a week from now with his face on TV. Have we learned nothing about the value of evidence from the birthers?

  16. 16
    bemused says:

    It was suggested on either CNN or MSNBC that burial at sea was to avoid a gravesite that would become a pilgrimage. I guess that would make sense but I hope that there is definite confirmation for all (wingnuts) to see that it was Osama. Not that even an actual video of of Osama’s death would convince some but still…

    Wingnuts wetting their pants about President Obama’s coup will not go over well with all the people celebrating this closure in DC and Ground Zero and elsewhere this morning.

    Our president is one cool, collected character. How some prefer pseudo cowboys with knee jerk reactions is a mystery to me.

  17. 17
    Tim in SF says:

    ABL – get your ass down to the crowds with a camera and take some video for us!

  18. 18
    Bob Loblaw says:

    It’s Pakistan, my dear ABL. Things are blowing up all the time.

    You learn to shut it out, I imagine.

  19. 19
    No one of Importance says:

    @Martin:

    I have to admit I feel queasy about him being buried at sea, though I acknowledge it’s a better solution than other alternatives. If he was buried in Pakistan, his grave would become a shrine. Burying him in America would be a slap in the face to the victims of Sept 11 (and I am disgusted by suggestions that his corpse should be violated with pig parts before destruction – do we *have* to sink to Pam Gellar’s level?)

    But burial at sea leaves room for questions about whether he’s really dead, whether his death was as reported, etc etc. Of course the conspiracy theorists would go wild anyway….

    I don’t know. Maybe we need someone to write a guide book, “When a mass murderer dies” to help in these cases. It’s not like this is the first time we’ve needed it.

    I feel sorry for the women who died. I can’t believe they were active agents – not allowed to be even if they wanted to be. One of those bastards used a woman as a human shield, and she died as a result. Death was too good for him.

  20. 20
  21. 21
    MattR says:

    @bemused:

    Not that even an actual video of of Osama’s death would convince some but still…

    I would not be surprised if such a thing exists. I am no expert but I am guessing the Navy Seals had some sort of camera included among their attire. And if such a video exists, it will get released – either by the government or eventually by Wikileaks.

  22. 22
    Studly Pantload, now with enhanced schmuckosity says:

    Y’know, trying to remember the last thing GW Bush did in office that was greeted with Americans spontaneously gathering together to waive the American flag in jubilation.

    Uhm, yeah, still tryin’…

  23. 23
    No one of Importance says:

    the last thing GW Bush did in office that was greeted with Americans spontaneously gathering together to waive the American flag in jubilation.

    Easy. Handing his keys over to the new guy on his way out.

  24. 24
    Studly Pantload, now with enhanced schmuckosity says:

    @No one of Importance:

    Don’t count! That wasn’t something he could do anything about.

    On the other hand, considering how he obtained office…

  25. 25
    bemused says:

    @MattR:

    I’m linky impaired but just saw a video from India, appeared to be a news channel clip, via reuters reporting on and showing a photo purported to be Osama after being killed. So yeah, I would think there will be more visuals coming out.

    Time to get a few winks before dawn.

  26. 26
  27. 27
    roshan says:

    The “Obama needs to thank President Bush for this” chorus is going to get a hell lot louder today. Expect every Bush admin crony to crawl out of the woodwork all over TV. Naturally, MSM is going to honor each and everyone of them with an interview. And, of course, the last word on this is going to be offered to John McCain.

  28. 28
    Hobelhouse says:

    Does anyone else think Obama just got reelected?

  29. 29
    stuckinred says:

    @James E. Powell: Fuck “Islamic street cred”. It’s just like “birther cred”.

  30. 30
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Martin: Correct. It’s likely that there was a Muslim chaplain with the US forces in Pakistan for the op, or on board the ship from which Osama was buried at sea, who would have taken charge of that part of the business.

  31. 31
    drkrick says:

    Can’t say I understand the jubilation. I figured the guy had died years ago and the various videotapes had been fakes, so maybe that’s part of it. News of people singing “We Are the Champions” at Ground Zero?

    The news he was living in a big ass complex more or less within sight of the Pakistani version of West Point ought to be leading the story. Interesting “ally in the War on Terror.”

  32. 32
    JGabriel says:

    TPM has a collation of Republican reactions:

    Mitt Romney: This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere.

    Tim Pawlenty: This is terrific news for freedom and justice.

    (I think I’m detecting a: motif.)

    Rick Santorum: This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world…

    (Yep, motif confirmed.)

    Michelle Bachmann: I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community.

    Wow. Shockingly, Michelle Bachmann — of all people — wins the sincerity award amongst Republican presidential wannabes who have commented so far. Bachmann is the only one who started with simple gratitude rather than delving immediately into political cliches. I never, ever, thought I’d be saying this in reference to Michelle Bachmann, but: Kudos.

    .

  33. 33
    stuckinred says:

    It’s so cool that Obama knew this during the dinner Saturday night!

  34. 34
    stuckinred says:

    @drkrick:You can’t huh? Amazing.

  35. 35
    stuckinred says:

    @stuckinred: Oh, I guess it wasn’t confirmned.

  36. 36
    Amir_Khalid says:

    @Yutsano: With burial at sea, which is permanent, aligning the body to face Mecca is impossible and thus not required. Muslim burials at sea were quite common in the days when the Haj required a long sea voyage (nowadays, of course, everyone goes by plane) and an elderly pilgrim expired en route. Many pilgrims are elderly because it often takes a lifetime’s savings to make the trip. In 1959, my late father was part of the government medical team accompanying Haj pilgrims from Malaya. He said the ship had a funeral almost every day.

  37. 37
    Carol says:

    @Martin: On the other hand, while there would be a need to bury Osama in such a way as to not make a shrine, there would be no need to withhold the bodies of the others from family members. Once receiving the remains, there would be no doubt about Osama’s fate.

    I find water burial pretty respectful for both sides. The body can’t be either glorified or desecrated, and even if people find out where the body was dumped, all they could do was gather on a shoreline.

    I don’t think Obama is going to just leave it up to “take my word on this”. There are no doubt pictures taken all through the operation and afterwards, possibly a video. And with the capture of enough intel and personal effects of the kind that would never be given up except if the person is dead, that should satisfy.

    If I were also asking for this operation, I would want to have something with his dna stored permanently just in case people doubt that that is him.

  38. 38
    JGabriel says:

    roshan:

    The “Obama needs to thank President Bush for this” chorus is going to get a hell lot louder today.

    Only after they finish demanding the long form death certificate.

    (Pause.)

    Okay, that was glib.

    So. A bunch of 27%’ers are going to insist that Obama couldn’t have accomplished Bin Laden’s capture in 2.3 years without the previous 7.3 years of Bush not accomplishing it?

    I can live with that.

    Still too glib?

    C’est la vie.

    .

  39. 39
    stuckinred says:

    He sleeps with the fishes.

  40. 40
    stuckinred says:

    @JGabriel: Obama called Bush to let him know.

  41. 41
    JGabriel says:

    @stuckinred: Which was very gracious of Obama.

    I, on the other hand, feel no need to be generous to, or any compulsion to humor, the remaining pro-Bush dead-enders who want to blame Obama for an economic crash that occurred 5 months before he took office, yet simultaneously want to take credit on behalf of Bush for capturing Bin Laden two & a quarter years after Bush left office.

    .

  42. 42
    stuckinred says:

    @JGabriel: Ding

  43. 43
    stuckinred says:

    ”I am not saying they are at the highest level…but I believe somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida and where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Taliban are,” Clinton said on May 10 last year, adding, ”We expect more cooperation (from Pakistan) to help us bring to justice capture or kill those who brought us 9/11.”

  44. 44
    stuckinred says:

    Mark McKinnon, former Bush advisor says “It’s not a political thing it’s an American thing”. As Joe pimps for Bush.

  45. 45
    AkaDad says:

    Obama gave Bin Laden exactly what he wanted. A shitload of virgins. I hope you Libs are happy.

  46. 46
    stuckinred says:

    @AkaDad: Fuck you jerk.

  47. 47
    Len says:

    @stuckinred: I think that was snark?

  48. 48
    AkaDad says:

    @stuckinred:

    I can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome Obama is.

  49. 49
    Len says:

    @Len: Guess it wasn’t.

  50. 50
    gene108 says:

    Tried watching Bloomberg News this morning. They basically went for the theme that (1) al-Qaeda can be more dangerous than ever because we don’t know who is in charge and (2) Osama was just a figure head and al-Qaeda is no longer a centrally controlled entity, so his death was symbolic and didn’t serve any tactical purpose in making us safer.

    To cement this theme they had a talking head on, who worked in the Bush, Jr. White House and is a partner with the Chertoff Group, which advices on national security matters. I think the talking head is also advising the city of New York on security matters.

    The talking head basically went on about how Osama wasn’t in charge and this is just a symbolic victory.

    The rewriting of history is already on.

  51. 51
    AxelFoley says:

    @AkaDad:

    Pump it up some more, ass.

  52. 52

    My main feeling is relief.

    Wouldn’t be human if I didn’t admit this was major accomplishment for the Obama administration. He has certainly won the news cycle.

    And all Republicans would have their heads explode… if they were capable of thought.

  53. 53
    JGabriel says:

    @AkaDad:

    I hope you Libs are happy.

    Are you really saying you’re the kind of American who would only be happy with Bin Laden’s demise under a Con’s presidency?

    Thanks for telling us so much about yourself.

    .

  54. 54
    AkaDad says:

    Guys. You really need to have your sarcasm detectors repaired.

  55. 55
    JPL says:

    Andrew Card was interviewed last night and mentioned that Osama was a priority for Bush but the major priority was keeping the public safe.

  56. 56
    Strandedvandal says:

    If nobody gets it, then perhaps it isn’t the audience.

  57. 57
    Triassic Sands says:

    @JGabriel:

    Kudos seem excessive and unnecessary. Bachmann went there because it was as far away from Barack Obama as she could get. Is there anything in her statement praising the president’s involvement in any way? Of course not.

    If this had happened in 2003, leading up to the 2004 election, don’t you think Bachmann would have led with her gratitude to the greatness of Bush? And his leadership? And don’t you think the troops would have been an afterthought?

    Maybe I’m too cynical, but that’s what I think she would have done.

    As I read the statements of a number of Republican “hopefuls” the common element is that none of them mention Obama at all. Bachmann’s statement is no different. They all had to say how glad they were OBL is dead without giving BHO any credit at all — even for allowing others to carry out the raid despite his supreme incompetence.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    I’m sure this has been mentioned before but is there a long form of the death certificate?

  59. 59
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    ALL HAIL PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

  60. 60
    JGabriel says:

    @gene108:

    Tried watching Bloomberg News this morning. They basically went for the theme that (1) al-Qaeda can be more dangerous than ever because we don’t know who is in charge …

    We know who’s in charge now: Al-Zawahiri.

    If Zawahiri has any brains at all — and we know he does — he’s probably terrified to make a move right now: He wants to go into hiding, but if he’s at any of several sites he must assume we have under surveillance, he knows any sudden extensive movements will tip us off.

    On the other hand, not moving could leave him an open target for our next action, especially if we find anything at Bin Laden’s compound to tip us off.

    I have no doubt that Zawahiri would like to use, eventually, Bin Laden’s death to re-motivate Al Qaeda for fresh terror attacks, but, for at least the next few days or weeks, he’ll probably be too preoccupied with fear and doubt regarding his own self-preservation to act upon it.

    … and (2) Osama was just a figure head and al-Qaeda is no longer a centrally controlled entity, so his death was symbolic and didn’t serve any tactical purpose in making us safer.

    Huh. Bin Laden controlled the purse strings, and most likely retained input and veto power over strategy and various actions. Zawahiri may have had greater tactical influence and oversight, but if my analyses above are correct, it’s not going to do him any good.

    Al Qaeda already was already fully motivated to attack us. Bin Laden’s death doesn’t increase that. It just reduces their capabilities.

    .

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    @AkaDad:

    Guys. You really need to have your sarcasm detectors repaired.

    I thought you were probably trolling, but wasn’t certain enough to let it be. Kudos on a nearly flawless imitation.

    .

  62. 62
    AkaDad says:

    @JGabriel:

    Thanks. I almost went with something else.

    I hope Obama doesn’t politicize this. Bush wouldn’t have.

  63. 63
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    PRIMARY OBAMA!

    Donate now!

  64. 64
    bemused says:

    @JPL:

    Ha, ha. Card is such a joker.

    Bush: I have no idea where bin Laden is and “really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority”. The priorities were, of course, oil (aka Operation Iraqi Liberation) and how american corps could enrich themselves with building hotels, fast food restaurants and whatever else their profit driven hearts could desire.

  65. 65
    JGabriel says:

    Triassic Sands:

    Kudos seem excessive and unnecessary. Bachmann went there because it was as far away from Barack Obama as she could get.

    It was a pretty restrained and heavily qualified Kudos. Of the four GOP presidential wannabes who released a statement, Bachmann’s was the classiest (a low bar, to be sure) and the only one to avoid Tea Party buzzwords in its opening sentence.

    It wasn’t praise, per se; it was just giving (minor) credit where credit was due.

    .

  66. 66
    BruceK says:

    @AkaDad: I like to think that half of them are men, most of them have chainsaws, and all of them were in the Towers and have been waiting for him ever since.

  67. 67
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @James E. Powell:

    I don’t think DNA tests will convince that part of the world that is not inclined to be believe statements from the U.S. government a Democratic administration.

    FTFY.

    No long form.

  68. 68
    Mike Kay (Chief of Staff) says:

    Remember how bush shut down the CIA bin laden unit back on july 4th 2006.

    of all days to surrender – the 4th of July.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07.....intel.html

  69. 69
    JGabriel says:

    @AkaDad:

    I hope Obama doesn’t politicize this. Bush wouldn’t have.

    Heh. Almost as good as Obama’s line: All kidding aside, obviously, we all know about [Donald Trump’s] credentials and breadth of experience.

    .

  70. 70
    WereBear says:

    @JPL: Andrew Card was interviewed last night and mentioned that Osama was a priority for Bush but the major priority was keeping the public safe.

    Aaaaand they screwed that up.

  71. 71
    roshan says:

    It would be fun to watch what the Bush sycophants come up with to pooh pooh the killing of OBL under the Obama regime. “oh, look at them gloat” is going to be one of the top five excuses, I guess.

  72. 72
    Emma says:

    No One of Importance:

    I feel sorry for the women who died. I can’t believe they were active agents – not allowed to be even if they wanted to be.

    Google “female suicide bombers,” and get a horrifying education.

  73. 73
    Triassic Sands says:

    @JGabriel:

    Not to worry. My statement said more about my contempt for Bachmann than your kudos. My contempt is limitless; somehow I doubt if your kudos are.

    Now, back to hating Republicans (a full-time job).

  74. 74
    Mart says:

    I am surprised almost no one is commenting on how erudite and funny that Pakistani tweeter is. Time to get out my helicopter swatter. My swatter worked. Better hurry up and hide my swatter.

    He moves there for reliable power and safety. Now he has a generator and UPS for his coffee shop, and attack helicopters overhead. Found it to be very amusing and a fascinating perspective.

  75. 75
    The Populist says:

    @AkaDad: Wow, really? If we had caught him alive, what would you be saying then: Obama should have killed him, strip him naked, shave off his beard and make him eat pork?

    God you people are idiotic.

  76. 76
    The Populist says:

    @WereBear:

    Didn’t Bush say he couldn’t care less about Osama and never thought about him? Whatever righties…keep spinning.

  77. 77
    The Populist says:

    @AkaDad: Thanks for playing concern troll here. Gee, Bush never politicized anything eh?

    Do I need to start the list? Don’t be a fool.

  78. 78
    The Populist says:

    I imagine it must be very difficult for the rank and file right wing apologists like AKADad to accept that our Kenyan in chief kicks ass when Bush got his ass kicked.

    Yep…Tora Bora is proof that Bush should have been kicked out of office for letting Osama escape.

  79. 79
    The Populist says:

    @AkaDad:

    Look you got one right for once.

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