10:17 POTUS will be addressing the nation at 10:30 tonight unexpectedly; no official word on what his announcement is about.
10:34 Latest from Twitter:
RT @jacksonjk: House Intelligence committee aide confirms that Osama Bin Laden is dead. U.S. has the body.
10:50 [SL]: NYT confirms that Bin Laden is dead.
11:08: CNN: Several members of bin Laden’s family others were killed along with him. I hope that one of the first things that our President will do is express regret for any children or other civilians who died in the attack. UPDATE: bin Laden’s adult son died with him, along with two couriers, and one women (presumably being used as a shield).
11:17: Finally some effort to distinguish between this operation and drone attacks. How about next they get some actual analysts in front of a camera to discuss potential implications for US foreign policy, soft power, AQ operations, the drone wars debate, etc.
11:40: “They took care to avoid civilian casualties.” Hmm. No word as to whether they succeeded. UPDATE: By war law standards they seem to have done quite well. Perhaps it goes to show that special ops forces can be just as effective and perhaps more discriminate and proportionate than drones in apprehending/eliminating high-value targets. Interesting to see how this will affect the drone debate.
11:41: “Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader. He was a mass murderer of Muslims.” That was good.
11:43: “Today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of the American people.” I see. Killing this individual is on par with walking on the moon. We can all be very proud. The “war” will continue.
My immediate take: they’ve done a masterful job at playing the media and making a huge story and enormous nationalistic success out of a single operation in a vast and endless war, that apparently will have no impact on our foreign policy.
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