Osama Bin Laden is Dead. Twitter Told Me.

May 2, 2011

It was a pretty surreal moment at around 10:30 pm on Sunday night to be sitting at my computer trying to decide what movie to watch on Netflix when I saw on twitter the now famous tweet by Keith Urbahn retweeted by someone I follow.

His tweet –

So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.

At first, Keith Urban?

The guy with the kaleidoscope of blonde highlights hair and the guitar and the songs I don’t know, but are really famous. Nicole Kidman’s Keith Urban.

Oh wait! There is an “H” in there.

Keith Urbahn is chief of staff for Office of Donald Rumsfeld. Ahhhh, ok. That makes a little more sense, but what?

We got Osama?!

I turned on CNN and was promptly met by John King and Wolf Blitzer who were arguing with themselves about whether or not they should report on the “rumors”, but all signs were pointing to yes. I hadn’t noticed the tweet earlier saying that the President was going to talk at 10:30pm even though now it was 10:32pm and now Wolf was telling me they were pushing the Pres’ statement back to 10:45pm.

For the next 13 minutes, twitter was going wild with retweets.

Immediately after turning on the TV and listening to that white beard and glasses saying the President was speaking soon, I saw another retweet now from Jill Jackson (no relation to Michael Jackson and/or the famous Jackson Family) a CBS News Capitol Hill producer –

House Intelligence committee aide confirms that Osama Bin Laden is dead. U.S. has the body.

Well, uuuuhhhhh, hmmmmmm…


Then from that moment on Osama Bin Laden’s body got deader and deader as the tweets from all major news networks began tumbling in one right after another like dominoes of death reports about the guy most people on this Earth wanted to see get his death.

Meanwhile, it is 10:45pm and CNN is already saying Osama Bin Laden is dead a million times to the infinity, but President Obama is now pushing his statement back another ten minutes. Around 10:52pm the statement got pushed back to 11:05 and then 10 minutes after that and so forth. It was becoming the Gangs of New York of Presidential statements. It will hit theaters in June… no wait we have to edit some more, so November… errrr maybe some reshoots are in order… and maybe we’ll wait until the following winter… maybe we’ll edit those reshoots and do some more and then more editing, so it will be the winter after that winter, but then we’re serious it is coming out. But this time the final product won’t suck because at no time will this Presidential statement not be about Osama Bin Laden being DEAD.

No matter how many news affiliates around the world announce the death of Osama Bin Laden, it won’t be real until those words come out of the President’s mouth. No one trusts the media fully. They make stuff up, they are hyperbolic manipulators – I mean they’re version of Osama Bin Laden being dead could well be a blown up report of him falling down the steps and now has a whole series of boo boos that need to get better.

Plus, if this is all true then President Barack Hussein Obama is the man of the fucking hour and we want to see and hear him say it. We want it. Him saying it will make it an actuality.

People are cynical. They can believe the President will lie about tax cuts or something financial as all of them have, but telling us the #1 person of the most wanted list is dead is not going to be a fib.

Finally, Obama walks out to that lonely podium and the first words out of his mouth are the death of Osama Bin Laden.


I think everyone knows the story now.

There are moments that galvanize the people and this was one of them.

I have seen some staunch cynicism online since the rumor to the announcement to this morning and as I’m typing right now and it will continue, but remember they are the minority. Don’t get lost in the minority of the outliers who hold onto their cynicism at all costs regardless of the point or issue or occasion. Don’t let them sully this moment for you. Don’t let them stain this memory because it is a good memory.

Many will try and have already, none better than the President himself, to underscore the impact this has on our nation and the world. People talk about a world that is pre and post 9/11. This man was the face of the act. This man was the name behind it. This man was the one who took credit for it. The attacks on 9/11 are not undone by the death of Osama Bin Laden, but nothing is undone by anything in this world. The attacks are past, for 10 years now we lived in a present with the man responsible alive and free and on the run from the retribution he deserved.

Now, we live in a future without him. Without him ever again. There will be no day this day forward where he will be out there unscathed and untouched by the consequences of his actions. Osama Bin Laden put forth an action and with every action there is a reaction. Up until yesterday, that reaction that Bin Laden caused had yet to find him. The moment that his plans on 9/11 were carried out was a day that he knew more than anyone else signed a death warrant on his own head.

Osama Bin Laden knew killing thousands of American citizens on American soil would bring about this reaction of American military seeking out the destruction of him and all of his followers. That was clear as day. In his own words he started a war of attrition between the United States and his followers. A war where they sought to bring the end of the United States of America. He knew that the US would not be the only country against him for this. That the US’ allies would join them. This was all obvious.

That’s why he ran. That’s why he ran and hid in Pakistan in a fortified mansion without telephone or internet and 20 foot walls with barbwire and only a couple highly trusted people to interact with. And after nearly 10 years, what he sought to outrun caught up with him. That is all.

Whether this came about in 2004, 5, 6, or yesterday May 1st, 2011 makes it no less meaningful.

What does this mean now?

The cliche, only time will tell. Regardless of what happens next, it means what it means that he was caught. That is meaningful in itself that that goal was achieved. Finding Osama Bin Laden meant something and they found him and they put a bullet in him as well. That means something. That has its own merit.

I also would like to add that I find it fitting that an actual man killed Osama Bin Laden.

Not the sex/gender of the person, but a human being caught and killed Osama Bin Laden.

I had become reserved to thinking that a predator drone would kill Osama. A piece of brilliant technology that is controlled like a video game from miles upon miles away would drop on a house and through the explosion or from falling debris, Osama would be killed. If we were to catch him it would be through these drone attacks. Maybe they US would bomb a warehouse thought to be planning something and by sheer luck Osama Bin Laden was int here at that moment. That seemed to be the most plausible. But it didn’t happen that way…

Men. Men with their boots on the ground and weapons in their hands. Men who stormed the building he was in with sweat on their brows and adrenaline pumping through their veins. Men with a vision and a plan to cut their way into that building to take out the man they had been searching for for years. For 9 and a half years. Men did it.


Soldiers are our men and women fighting for us. They are our representatives and even more so they represent each other. It was not necessarily a search and capture of Osama Bin Laden put on by the American people as it was the soldiers. This was their lives. This was their dedication. And in the end, this was their victory. They got the win at the end of their fingertips in the same room and not miles away clicking a button.

At any point in human history other than this one, that was the only way someone would be brought to their justice. It was soldiers who did it. Soldiers trained to carry out this task and in a world of impersonal bombings, missiles and rampant war technology – it was a soldier with his weapon in his hands who brought the end to Osama Bin Laden.

I think if there was a satisfying ending to this man’s life then having it end by the outstretched arm of the military on his steps, knocking down his door, and storming his house and ending his life like it could have happened at any moment in all of human history is a fitting one.

Books will be written. Made for TV movies will be produced. Countless interviews will commence. And at some point it will be Memorial Day celebrations and then July 4th celebrations and Labor Day celebrations and it will continue.

The world moves on.

It will be Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, Ramadan, New Years and it will be another year. A year with out Osama Bin Laden. A life without him. A life with him as only a memory, a page in our history books, a moment in time like all the others. In a sense, it will be a world where we can forget him. A world where we can hope that the more men like him who are in our past will hopefully stay there and not appear in our future.

It was about the only good news Osama Bin Laden could have ever given us. So thank you for that.

Now, I hope for a better tomorrow just like everyone does. Everyone hopes for a better tomorrow.

And I hope that the @reallyvirtual the Pakistani coffee man with his dry wit who accidentally live tweeted the occasion will get some sleep and some electricity because apparently he is getting little of either.


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