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  • Karrie E. Alms: Amazing insight into the world of politics awaits any reader at pibgorn … from a Demon’s...
  • Tony: Homefield is Dynegy. Dynegy is Ameren. There Charging You twice for the same energy. Do you really thihk $.04...
  • SouthEnder: Also does anyone remember the Velvet Freeze located on Jefferson St, up the street from the Warner Homes....
  • Eric Pollitt: I flew economy class to Hong Kong for Christmas vacation, which is a 14 hour flight. When I got back...
  • Mike: Homefield has been sold to dynery. Google dynegy scandal to see who your new parent is. If this upsets you give...
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  • Billy Dennis: Of course the Chronicle is done: Screw you. The Chronicle is one of the best researched blogs...
  • Paul Wilkinson: CJ, am sorry you have ended your blog. It was well done. It seems many have given up as we keep...
  • Sharon Crews: Your voice is definitely needed in this community. Thanks for all your insights.
  • emergepeoria: Your blog is great resource to research Peoria issues. I hope you leave it up.
  • BucketHead: I was not suggesting that, I believe the both of you had very strong common sense and that lead to your...
  • C. J. Summers: Without anonymity, there is no courage among my detractors. Take a look back at the wide variety of...
  • Of course the Chronicle is done: Without Sandberg to give stores to the Chronicle there is no Chronicle.

OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD (Updated)

If you don’t have the TV or radio on, you’ll find most programming has been preempted for a special news report: Osama bin Laden has been killed. President Obama is expected to make the official announcement soon.

UPDATE: Here is a transcript of President Obama’s address, delivered Sunday night:

THE PRESIDENT: 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 together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our 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.

35 comments to OSAMA BIN LADEN IS DEAD (Updated)

  • Anon E. Mouse

    Woot!

  • Pig blood was smeared on the bullets used by Navy Seals to kill Osama Bin Laden and his pals, to ensure that they will not go to paradise as martyrs.

  • I predict by noon today, Fox News will implode, The Donald will demand to see the full death certificate, and Sara Palin will ask; “Who is Bin Laden and did he write Obama’s thesis?”

  • He was having dinner with the Gaddafi's

    I heard he was at the Gaddai’s house at a BBQ, they had pork chops on the grill when the home was raided. Osama and Saif- al-Arab (Gaddafi’s son) were playing basketball with three of Gaddafi’s gradchildren. They never saw it coming

  • Latest blog is up. While the death of Osama Bin Laden is certainly a coup, I hope we all remember that this will, most likely, increase the threat of terrorist acts among the free nations of the world. I pray we will be able to withstand them. I pray our sons and daughters in the military will be safe from them. I pray that peace, not war, will come of this.

  • Hope

    Bin Laden was finally killed because of our men and woman who serve selflessly in the Armed Forces. Ten years and 2 wars…..Bin Laden has finally been “asked” to come forward. Emtronics: let’s not forget that Bill Clinton had Bin Laden by the hand and let him go, prior to 9-11.

  • It's a great day!

    Kudos to the PJStar or the AP or whoever is responsible for giving George W. Bush equal credit on the front page of the paper today.

  • Paul Wilkinson

    Not to get sidetracked but word on the street mentioned the developer will be coming back to the city for changes in the agreement for the hotel project…….doesn’t hint at what those changes are….

  • District 150 observer

    Paul, good catch. I would be wary of further changes in the redevelopment agreement. I doubt those changes will be favorable toward the city’s position.

  • District 150 observer

    That said, a project like this is very dynamic and there may very well be good reasons for some changes in the redevelopment agreement. Some changes may simply be date extensions.

  • conrad stinnett

    The hotel project is a bad idea and, like Bin Laden, needs to go away.

  • District 150 observer

    Wishful thinking Conrad, I don’t think it is “going away”.

  • bob

    Am I the only one wondering if Osama is really dead and buried at sea, or buried deep in a secret CIA facility today having his fingernails torn off.

    I am not sure what would make me more happy.

  • Well my predictions are coming true. Anyone here Limbaugh today? Read the Drufge report and how does Bush get any credit from Boehner?

  • Leslie Smith

    Completely off topic but does anyone know why suddenly the city is cutting down trees in the North Valley??? I’m wondering if it has something to do with the Steamboat Classic? You know, since the city seems to forget we exist down here except around this time of year!

  • Point of Order

    May Osama’s 72 virgins all look like Nancy Pelosi.

  • mnjdg1

    Bob: you can bet every step has been taken to ensure and satisfy the”doubters’ that the big nosed one was the one killed and buried at sea, hundreds of photos were taken and identification made by his friends in the land where he has been hiding for years, as well as irrefutable DNA. Stand easy.

  • vonster

    As the old saying goes, I’m sure Bush “loosened it” somewhat but congrats to Obama anyway.

    And lighten up, Randall. Success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. Fact of life.

  • vonster

    POO: uh uh…Helen Thomas.

  • Hey Von, it’s a great day no matter what BUT I would have to wonder what we would endure if Bush had gotten him. Listening to Limbaugh today calling us sissies for shooting a woman used as a shield or even suggesting that the story was made up mad me puke. Now that’s one big fat drug addicted orphan I would love to see shipped off.

  • What?

    Em: why would you listen to a talk show that you don’t agree with? Life is to short to spend it looking for “defects”. Move on….

  • David P. Jordan

    Emtronics,

    I don’t recall Rush Limbaugh saying anything today about “us” (special ops forces) being sissies for shooting a woman being used as a human shield, but IF he did, it would have been in a sarcastic way. That’s his style. “Demonstrating absurdity by being absurd” is what he calls it.

    But to the point, it was the Bush Administration that strengthened the CIA and special forces in a way that helped them to take out OBL yesterday. Also, interrogations of Khaled Sheik Mohammed and others spilled the nickname of one of OBL’s trusted couriers, and subsequent intelligence gathering enabled us to find that compound in which he was living.

    To his credit, Pres. Obama did things the “cowboy” er, Bush, way. Let’s hope he gets Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri as well.

  • Sharon Crews

    Emtronics, many people just aren’t going to give Obama any credit at all–they would have to admit they were wrong, so don’t expect that to happen. 🙂 Bin Laden was a dispicable man, but I have trouble listening to all the expressions of hatred and desire for cruelty directed at him. No matter how evil he was, we don’t have to give into our basest desires to wish all manner of cruelty even on his dead body, do we? I am just grateful that he can no longer do any harm. Also, don’t expect Limbaugh or Beck to give Obama any credit–they, too, would have to admit they were wrong.

  • W. Hernandez

    The very first thing Rush did today on his show was to praise Obama, not for finding Osama Bin Laden, but for following through on Bush/Cheney policies. He’s a master spinster.

  • David P. Jordan

    Sharon,

    Wrong about what? It is Pres. Obama that has adopted Bush policies regarding the War on Terror (even if he doesn’t want to call it that :)), military tribunals and Guantanamo Bay. He’s become a born again unilateralist in this instance. Too bad he’s deferred Libya to NATO.

    When Candidate/Pres-elect Obama became Pres. Obama, reality set in and he realized Bush policies should continue. Sometimes this transformation took longer than others. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’ve resumed waterboarding either.

  • Sharon Crews

    David–no point in arguing about it–what’s done is done and it seems to be a victory, so we don’t have to quibble about which President deserves the credit. I guess, as with all team work, no one person can ever claim victory for the whole team. I do believe that practicality always wins out over idealism once a President takes office. Obama is no different in that regard–many (even most) never live up to their promises (their ideal). I just believe that Obama has a harder time than most getting credit where credit is due (just my perception).

  • David P. Jordan

    Sharon,

    It is necessary to counter the inevitable “Obama succeeded where Bush failed”-type rhetoric before it takes root. I will say that Obama deserves credit for having the backbone to carry out the mission (there was certainly some risk of failure a la “Desert One” in April 1980), but intelligence gathering that helped us kill OBL pre-dated his presidency. I’m glad, however, to see heis using the tools he has, as it makes our country safer.

  • Paul O'Donnell

    Who cares what Limbaugh thinks? He’s an entertainer. His job is to deliver an audience to an advertiser, not make policy for the United States.

  • David P. Jordan

    Sharon,

    It is necessary to pre-empt the “Obama succeeded where Bush failed” rhetoric before it takes root. I’ll say that Obama deserves credit for having the backbone to carry out the mission as it could have failed a la “Desert One” in April 1980. He took the risk and won. But it should be remembered that some intelligence used in this operation dates before his presidency. Obama did well, however, and what happened yesterday helps keep the country safe.

  • Osama Bin Laden’s last words as he entered the Afterlife: “It’s sturgeons, not virgins! I hope you like fish!”

    Regarding the threat of retaliation: So we’re terrorized by living terrorist AND dead terrorists? What a load of crap! Sure, be on guard, but for crying out loud, I refuse to be terrified by fears of revenge.

    If we are to be intimidated into thinking there msy be retaliation, I guess we should avoid killing these fiends, and just be satisfied with scolding and imploring them to be Buddhistically transformed?

    bleh…

  • Partisan politics on this occasion? Hardly seem fitting. Bush’s policies, Obama’s actions? Does it really matter? Bin Laden is gone, al Queda is without a leader, and yes, there is the threat of another attack on American soil or against American soldiers on foreign soil. It is the risk we accept when we stand up to the despotic acts of terror. We should not be afraid, but rather resolved, that any such acts will be answered with equal and irrevocable justice. We are the nation the world looks to, despite the occasional condemnations and slurs from the jealous shores of others. We have always been the nation respected by the world, and will continue to be as long as we are true to the ideals of our founders. We are the bright shining beacon the world is looking to for guidance in these troubled times, and we must not fail, for without us, the world will truly fall into darkness. God Bless America!

  • We SHOULD always trust our leaders because they are so honest.

    “Read my lips: no new taxes”

    “We killed Osama Bin Laden”

    “Nothing happened at Area 51”

    “Weapons of mass destruction”

    “Shovel-ready projects”

    “I was dodging sniper bullets”

    “Karzai and Pakistan are allies”

    “A lone gunman killed JFK”

    “All bills will be put online for all to read”

    Yes, trust, submit and obey… for there is no other way.

    “We are winning in Vietnam”

  • “Nothing happened at Area 51?

    Big Will Smith fan, are we?

  • No. I’m a fan of leaders because they love us and always tell the truth. We MUST submit to their will and always seek to please them.

    “The higher up you go, the less they do and the less they know.”