Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Location, Location, Location

After searching for Osama Bin Laden since the late 1980s, they finally located him, about 1,000 yards from Pakistan’s version of West Point. They say he bought the property in 2005 and once he moved in, he never left. Ever.

First news accounts described it as a “mansion.” Perhaps by Pakistani standards, it was. To Americans, it looked like a dive you’d use a rental for undesirables. The kind of place you’d rent to someone you knew was going to tear it apart anyway, so why bother.

Bin Laden was nothing if not an ascetic. One story has it that he and his families were on the run in the desert, and one of the infants needed water. He wouldn’t give it to them. That’s how he treated his family. His current and youngest wife shared his enthusiasm for the “simple life”. Far from a mansion, their dwelling was run-down with only an old television set and a valuable computer chock full of terrorist names.

SEAL Team Six promptly dispatched him. Despite the conflicting accounts, it took the SEALs about 30 seconds to thrown off the ol’ as-Sirat. Recovered home videos show a very gray, old-looking Osama huddled in his favorite chair, wrapped in a blanket, watching recordings of himself in better days. My grandfather in his last days looked better than Bin Laden. Was his shooting justice, murder, or a mercy killing?

While he may have been a has-been, he still had enough marbles left to choose a great location for his hideout – a green, upscale town in Pakistan called Abbotobad, a retirement village for retired Pakistani military and a very short ride to the front door of Pakistan’s premier military academy.

The location must have put the U.S. Military in a quandary. Miss by a few feet and we’d be at war with Pakistan. Obama took 16 hours to decide Bin Laden’s – and his own – fate. Send a bombing mission and miss, and the U.S. would be in big, big trouble. Having missed, Osama would have fled and we’d be ‘splaining things to the Pakistanis with empty hands.

A surgical insert would have to be very fast and precise. The Pakistanis could hardly miss the sound of four helicopters hovering a quarter of a mile away. One of the residents noticed it. Our SEALs would have that long to get in and get out again. One story has it that the SEALs wouldn’t know whether Osama was wearing a suicide belt under his pajamas. Of course, it was the middle of the night, and if, wearing this contraption, he turned over….

The report is he acted scared and confused. That he was scared would hardly be surprising. That he was confused is interesting. What was going through his mind as he saw the SEALs coming? How in the world did the weak-minded, morally corrupt Americans find him?


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