two a.m. candygram, courtesy of SEAL team six.

Adding a post about Osama bin Laden’s demise to the Intertubes is sort of like carrying owls to Athens, so I won’t go on at length about it. Here, then, are just a few bullet points on the event:

  • I’m not going to join the wringing-of-hands about being glad to see someone dead. He was a mass murderer and a really bad excuse for a human being, the kind of religious zealot that would make God shake His head in disgust, if He existed. I’m glad he’s dead, much in the same way I’d be glad if someone put down a rabid dog who had mauled people in my neighborhood.
  • On the same note, I’ll say that it’s supremely satisfying to know that bin Laden’s last thing to see in this world was an American aiming his rifle at him.
  • The fact that the bastard hid behind a woman to avoid martyrdom adds the perfect cherry on the top of that particular cake. He did manage to get the woman killed by fighting from behind her and forcing the hands of the SEALs, so his last act in this life was one of supreme cowardice and dishonor.
  • Turns out that the great OpSec they practiced at that compound ultimately contributed to giving bin Laden away. The place had a big-ass wall around it and security that was out of place for the neighborhood, they burned their trash rather than leave it at the curb, and there was no phone or Internet connection. All of that is good practice when you’re living out in the sticks by yourself and trying to avoid detection, but it sticks out a bit when you’re in a residential area. The lesson I’d take away would be that blending in is better camouflage than airtight and inflexible security rules.

Is bin Laden’s death going to change things for us? Not really. We’re still going to get felt up at the airports, and all those civil liberties that got flushed down the shitter in the last ten years won’t be returned to us. But I’m pretty sure that a world without Osama bin Laden in it is a better place than one with him still drawing air. Takes a little bit of the stink out of the place, you know?

Also, his continued survival was like a raspberry blown our way for a decade. Now all his underlings are on notice again: If your boss can get a visit from a SEAL team in the dead of night, so can any of you.

Lastly, “Getting Shot in the Head by U.S. Navy SEALs” is becoming a pretty common cause of death in certain parts of the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few coroners don’t already have rubber stamps for the paperwork, to avoid having to write it out so many times…


30 thoughts on “two a.m. candygram, courtesy of SEAL team six.

  1. Penny says:

    Well said. And amen.

  2. Michele says:

    That is very well said. I can not count the people that I know that are turning this into some sort of political issue. It is an issue of justice being served for so many families. Maybe this will help our country heal just a little. I do worry a little about backlash for Americans traveling abroad but it won’t stop my plans this summer!

  3. Außenseiter says:

    One guy I know said…

    That more cruel would be taking him alive, then lock him up somwhere comfortable and then slowly, over years, chip at his belief in radical islam.

    Until one day, he would look at what was his life work and wish he were dead. Or that he’d go to hell and burn there for eternity.

    • Kristopher says:

      That would have required the relatives of his victims to continue to share the same planet with him.

      If any one of them wanted Osama dead, then he needed to die. There is no question here about his guilt, unlike many other murders.

      • Außenseiter says:

        But don’t they understand a bullet to the head is the easy way out? The merciful thing? Did he deserve mercy?

        Or wouldn’t the thought of him, his mind rotting away because of sensory deprivationin solitary confinement deep inside some Supermax be sweeter than just knowing he’s dead?

        Wouldn’t you have been more satisfied had Hitler died in some KGB prison hole in 1950, after years of degrading treatment?

        Deleting his soul, making him dead. No possibility of joy, but no pain either.

        That’s a deal many choose voluntarily each year.

        Living, knowing that your in your fanatical zeal, you became a monster with few equals, wouldn’t that be nastier? (I’m assuming there would be a psychologist smart enough to do that… there probably is)

        I mean, if somoene shoots himself because he just cannot go on living, doesn’t have the will to fight his problems, we consider that a coward’s way out.

        So why did they let him off so easy?

        • Tam says:

          #1) What were they supposed to do, shoot the gun out of his hand like in an old Lone Ranger episode?

          #2) If Hajis will wipe out a whole Olympic team just to get a bunch of no-count third stringers out of the pokey, what’ll they do when their El Supremo is in the calaboose?

          #3) When I take out the trash, I don’t do it to gloat over how it’s going to suffer in the landfill, I do it to get it out of my house. You may have different motives.

        • Chrystoph says:

          While I can, on one level, agree that the man did not get nearly the suffering of his victims, most of me feels this was an appropriate end.

          I do not really care how the criminal died, but torture and belittlement of even so objectionable a person is demeaning to the torturer and prolongs a sickness in the soul of the survivors.

          Whether you feel that “he got what he deserved”, this event allows those people that are still alive and suffered under his actions to move on.

          Not knowing eats at the soul.

        • BobG says:

          I have to agree with Tam on all three points. If I have to shoot a rabid skunk, I don’t gloat over it, it’s just a way of getting rid of a dangerous animal.

        • Außenseiter says:

          Hit him with some beanbags from an AA-12? Would that be too hard for SEALs? I think they could’ve done that. If ordered to.
          Do you think he could have taken a half dozen of those beanbags and not end up sprawled against a wall, panting and with broken ribs?

          2) If Hajis will wipe out a whole Olympic team just to get a bunch of no-count third stringers out of the pokey, what’ll they do when their El Supremo is in the calaboose?

          How about a stiff upper lip? Not letting on that we care about the people they kill.

          Announcing that any terrorist attacks would result in say, dropping a lot of cluster bombs on anything that looks like a Jihadi training camp?

          Americans are .. too soft. Not tough enough, when it comes to dying, taking casualties and killing. These days anyway.
          Proper attitude I think is.. show no regard to hostages. Try to save them of course.. but if it is not possible to avoid killing them while killing people who take them hostage… too bad.
          It’s not like *we* will be responsible for their deaths. Ultimately, the hostage takers killed them. Because they knew full well that the society their hostages belong to refuses to be blackmailed.

          A society with this kind of attitude would have far less hostage taking. Cultivating an image of people who have no problem about killing those who cross them in a violent manner.
          Give an take a few innocent bystanders, hostages.. . As we say around here, you cannot cut down a forest without having splinters in fingers issue. ( a bad translation)

          Wipe out fuckers like Al-Qaeda or Taliban by superior firepower or tactics or nerve gas. Blow them into tiny bits or burn them. Gather what remains and feed that to pigs. Take the Dweller attitude (a race of fictional aliens in the Algebraist book. Funny, but don’t try to kill lots of them, as they hold grudges for millenia and your planetes are gonna get hit by a few .95c megaton kinetic torpedoes. Eventually anyway)

          Anyway. Yeah. I can appreciate those multiple simultaneous thousand meters precision headshots on a squad of violent fuckwads as much as the next gun loving person, but equally sweet would be setting up a few quick firing howitzers twenty miles away and dropping about two hundred of fifty kilos of shrapenl and high explosive on the same fuckwads in an interval of second or two.

          Russians have a far better attitude when it comes to dealing out death and dying.. If only they weren’t such a bunch of authoritarian, alcoholics.

          I’m not into gloating. I’m not aware of ever, consciouly gloating over someone’s death. I wouldn’t be seen dead celebrating even Bin Laden’s death. Or even toasting it.
          I’m just fucking pissed off that in this world(and I know of no other one), to me, it appears that the virtue is not rewarded, being a exploitative, vile fucker is. By getting rich and powerful. There are exceptions, of course. You know, around here, if I tell people I’d never take a bribe or give one, or steal from people who are not evil, around half of them think I’m being a fool and an idiot.
          Yeah .. it’s that bad. I’m not proud of my countrymen. So had Obama thrown bin Laden into a cell in ADX Florence, where he’d rot, that’d give me a feeling that justice has been served. More than his percieved martyrdom by US bullet anyway..(if he died like a coward, I hope Al-Qaeda and everyone who ever admired gets to see the video of that. I really don’t understand that. I thought he was.. you know. More of a man. If I were a someone wanted by a major power like US or China, you can fucking bet I’d try to train and practice dying on my feet and firing away. Or get myself a nuclear artillery shell wired to my vital signs, or stuff my hideout with tons of high explosives that’d go off If my heartbeat stops(three different sensors) and an alarm has been raised. )

          Knowing that evil people are gonna suffer for what they did.. it makes me feel more content with the state of the world. More at peace.

          I know that it’s not really palatable, and I wouldn’t like to be the one tasked with making them suffer. Doesn’t matter…..righteous sadists* would be falling over themselves to get that kind of work. You could probably auction of the job of minding Bin Laden and making his life hell in a myriad different ways. And give the million bucks or so in proceeds to a charity for abused women or something.

          Besides.. what is gonna scare evil fucks like Bin Laden more?

          Knowing that they end up with their head blown off, or being afraid of getting caught and then losing their mind to sensory deprivation, with no one but a sadist with a sick sense of humor keeping them company, growing old, completely alone in some cold cell?

          If I had to pick one of those ends for me, of course I would take the bullet. Almost everyone would.

          *you know.. men who get hard when they hurt living things, but are otherwise fairly moral, but don’t do that needlessly, without provocation, or to people or animals who did not ask for it. So they do it to masochists, neighbours’ dogs that bit them or people who crossed them.. etc. I know of a few, and they’re otherwise okay men.. Pillars of community even, award-winning writers**… etc..

          **I don’t consider Oh John Ringo no to be one of them. Has he ever won a Hugo or Nebula? He’s good, but hollywood kind of good.

        • Außenseiter says:

          Also.. another possible fate.

          Taking him alive. Then taking a mid sized herd some nasty, dirty wild razorbacks. Let them starve for a few days.. or however long it takes for pigs to get really hungry.

          Throw bin Laden naked to the swine. Take multiple videos of what happens next. Set up a streaming video site that shows how he died. And what remained of his body.

          Then declare that every Islamic militant, who is known to have killed a civilian, and who won’t cooperate fully with investigators gets the same treatment.

          Videos posted on the net too, of course. You could probably cover video streaming costs by letting people bet how long a jihadist can survive being in the hog enclosure.

          I wonder what doing that would do to the jihadists fighting spirits? Do you get to heaven if you are eaten by swine? Next time I see a Mohamedan cleric, I’ll ask him that.

          I think I’ve read far too much fiction by a certain Scottish writer.

        • Kristopher says:

          We aren’t barbarians. If someone needs killing, kill him. Don’t stoop to torture.

          If I find a rattlesnake in my sleeping bag, I don’t stop and perform vivisection on it. I just kill it.

        • Außenseiter says:

          We are like dogs, who have mostly convinced themselves they are sheep. Dogs who eat fruit and cereals and wonder why they feel sick.

          Some of us are aliens.. like wolves, or tigers. We call those humans monsters, serial killers, psychopaths. We fictionalize them as vampires.

          All of us, all men, have parts in them, that crave blood. That would love nothing more than to chop off heads of our enemies, put them on spikes and let their bodies be devoured by vultures. I know I do.

          Civilization is a good thing, I’ll give you that. I like law and order as much as the next man.

          But we don’t need to extend civilized niceties into arenas, where letting our darkest instincts run wild is very advantageous indeed.

          There are monsters out there.
          But if we were brave enough to tame them, to use them, like they often use us, we could achieve more with less.
          Achieve, greater efficiency.

          We use fire, we use nuclear fire, we use napalm, we use kinetic projectiles.
          We use all that to kill people dead, people who have done nothing wrong but have been born in different lands and believe strange and silly things.

          Would letting the monsters, the rough men, do those things that give nice men nightmares and PTSD, be that bad an idea?

          Because psychopathic sadists never get PTSD. And they are human, just like you and I. They just think and feel in different ways.

    • Dave says:

      Hmm…how do you say “do it to Julia!” in Arabic?

  4. The hard part was inventing the Candygram.

    Probably won’t even get credit for it, either.

  5. Dick Pilz says:

    We have his hard drives and backups. Hope Osama never heard of TrueCrypt.

    Bombs/missles would have shredded them.

    • As Marko noted, these guys practiced decent operational security, and they weren’t dumb. I’m less worried about encryption than I am that they got their hands on some of the tech that actively destroys itself on being dislodged. On the bright side, it’s always the boss who screws this stuff up (a la HB Gary Federal) so maybe the password is “password” or something.

      Even if we never get into the drives, though, the rest of AlQ will need to act as though we did. They know what we could know, and I bet there’ll be a lot of churn: depending on what they think we might know, high-value targets will need to move, potentially compromised safehouses will need to be abandoned, contact with potentially compromised individuals will need to be severed, operations in progress will need to be scrapped or re-planned.

      And while I’m not in the blame-Pakistan camp, I don’t think it’ll hurt for that kind of churn to happen when they’re feeling really embarrassed and in the mood to prove themselves. I would not be surprised at all if they’re the ones who nab al-Zawahiri.

    • Außenseiter says:

      These guys were idiots.

      If I were bin Laden, the SEALs, the helicopters and in fact everyone else around that villa would have been blown into very tiny bits indeed.

      If you are an evil mastermind, and are building a hideout for yourself..
      it should be
      a) blend well into the area
      b) be riddled with high explosives
      c) electronics come with thermite self destruct charges
      d) in the event of a succesful assualt, first the thermite goes off followed by the whole building. I mean, if you are building a new mansion.. would it be that much a problem to make it bigger and include whole hidden rooms filled with low or high explosives?

      Soviets killed a lot of Germans in WWII by leaving behind huge timed mines in cities they were forced to evacuate.

      But Soviets and Arabs.. that’s like comparing your average schnauzer with a rabid rottweiler whose teeth keep hurting.

  6. Gerry N. says:

    It wonders me, does anyone suppose that Osama bin Rottin’s sycophants, minions, toadys and lickspittles around the world are a bit uneasy that his computer hard drives with many interesting bits of data on them are in the hands of “The Great Satan” and some of their worst nightmares are very likely going to grow, thrive, and blossom in the near future?

  7. ILTim says:

    At the risk of being a crazed tinfoil hat loon, is there any evidence that we found and killed Osama Bin Laden? I know, the official word is “Yup, got him. Trust us.”, but the IMMEDIATE burial at sea is shocking. Yes, they claim to have shot him through the left eye, and that would make public display of the body or photos of the body gruesome, but still…

    After all, it doesn’t take much to brainstorm a long list of reasons why someone (anyone) would WANT to say they offed the SOB.

    Anyway, well said and another example of why I’m glad to be on THIS side of the American armed forces.

    • abnormalist says:

      so it was done for several reasons.

      1. Its almost a given that he had undergone severely altering facial surgery. The man they shot wouldn’t have looked like the Osama we knew and hate.
      This would cause all sorts of conspiracy theories about how we didnt really do the job.

      2. The immediate burial at sea is a political masterpiece. It leaves no “relics” for the faithful to covet, it leaves no grave to be a rallying point for his followers, and it leaves no real hope of finding the remains. A major concern over killing bin Laden was that he would become a martyr. This makes it that much harder to use him for that purpose.

      I agree, it seems suspicious, and honestly I’ve figured he’d been dead for years at this point. Heres what is keeping me from wondering though. He was worth alot to the US Government alive. He represents the current boogeyman we should all fear and hate, and I doubt they would endanger that unless they really did kill him.

      • Tam says:

        Its almost a given that he had undergone severely altering facial surgery.

        Supposedly, the only radical alterations to his appearance were caused by a 77gr Sierra Matchking from a Mk.262 Mod.0 round.

  8. Tam says:

    #1 The Taliban, Hamas, the Pakistani .gov, even Al Q, all agree he’s dead.

    #2 This is the kind of news that you don’t announce unless you are damned sure he’s down and stepped-on, because nothing would be a bigger embarrassment now than a videotape of OBL holding up tomorrow’s Wall Street Journal and saying “Nyah-nyah! You missed!” in Arabic. If there was even the slightest doubt in the administration’s mind, all we would have heard was that an unnamed “high value target” had been taken down.

    • Außenseiter says:

      And those are all groups known for their love of truth and intellectual integrity.

      I mean.. Arabs or Muslims. The kind of people who spin conspiracy theories when someone find a dead vulture that had been once tagged in Israel.

      Who blame shark attacks on Mossad. Who think the British would release killer, man eating badgers just to intimidate the locals .

      Yeah. Those people, when they believe something. It’s gotta be true.

      • Tam says:

        It took you 2.5 days to come up with that?

        I’m not talking about the average idjit on the street like you or me, I’m talking about the people in those various governments or organizations who knew somebody (or at least know somebody who knows somebody else) who has… er, had OBL’s carrier pigeon address.

        • Außenseiter says:

          I don’t think they can be certain that the US killed OBL. Did they have feeds from CCTV in the mansion? I doubt that….

          I think SEALs would be up to stunning him and carting him off in a body bag.

          Not that hard. And it didn’t take me 2.5 days.. I was busy doing other stuff.

  9. Mark Alger says:

    Not disagreeing with the decision to dump the trash overboard, but still…

    Wouldn’t it be a site to have the corpse buried in the middle of a well-defended .mil base — say, somewhere out in the desert — as a flytrap/attractive nuisance, set up a kill zone, and watch the tumblef*cks kamikaze on the Lord’s Own Almighty Bugzapper?


    • perlhaqr says:

      I was thinking to stuff him in the main reactor at Chernobyl.

      “Go worship, little Tangos!”

  10. Ancient Woodsman says:

    I think the coroner’s rubber stamp in this case should be: “Death by misadventure.”

    Fits perfectly.

  11. MarkHB says:

    What I really, *really* like about this is how it’s gone from “America with all it’s high tech weapons can’t kill one man in a cave” to “Run all you want. You’ll just die tired”.

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