5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

Summary: We'll know more over the coming days and weeks, but for now, here are five questions Americans should ask of our leaders.

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TOPICS: CXO
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Image courtesy CBSNews.com

By now, you probably know that a small team of American operatives found and killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

We'll know more over the coming days and weeks, but for now, here are five questions Americans should ask of our leaders.

1. How have our objectives changed in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Although some of the troop allocations have changed, America is still essentially at war in both Iraq and Afghanistan. While the reasons for going to war in those countries have changed (it was once WMDs, then freeing oppressed peoples), the real fact is that Osama bin Laden has always been an objective.

Now that bin Laden has been verified as dead, how have our objectives changed?

2. How will bin Laden's death affect Al-Qaida?

Al-Qaida has been losing leaders over the years, as Americans find one terrorist leader, then another. Now that the spiritual leader of Al-Qaida is now dead, how will the terrorist organization change? Or will it just collapse?

3. Will bin Laden's death increase America's risk of terrorist attack?

Bin Laden has long been considered the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. He's often given blustery speeches when world events moved his way, and there have been a steady stream of less effective attacks against western targets since 9/11.

Now that bin Laden's dead, do we expect to see retaliatory attacks?

4. What have we learned about bin Laden and Al-Qaida from his body or the circumstances of his death?

In any death scene, there is almost always some sort of forensic information available. If America does, in fact, have bin Laden's body and has identified the location of his death, can we learn anything about the man, his habits, or travel itinerary from an examination of his body and its surroundings?

5. How will bin Laden's death impact American politics?

We all know that if bin Laden were killed during the Bush administration, the Republicans would run hard and heavy on their success in fighting terrorism. The Democrats, on the other hand, are long skilled at looking a gift horse in the mouth, saddling it up, and riding it the exact opposite direction of their own goals and desires.

So, given that Osama was killed on Obama's watch, will the Democrats make political hay from bin Laden's death, or will the Republicans somehow manage to convince the Dems to once again shoot themselves in the foot?

Topic: CXO

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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  • Another question to add ....

    How many times did Obama say the word "I" during his "speech"?

    I did this, I did that, I, I, I ...... when we all know all he did was read a memo after the real work was done by others.
    wackoae
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      <duplicate posts>
      crazydanr@...
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @wackoae

      9 "I"s and 26 "We's"

      This is directly from the transcript of the speech.
      ------------------------------------------------------------

      I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden

      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

      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.

      Over the years, I?ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was

      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

      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.

      And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed.

      And who does he say did "the work"?
      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

      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.
      crazydanr@...
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @wackoae because a bigger lie than 9-11
      zaxeer@...
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @wackoae SMACK
      alphaxi3
  • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

    Nice list, David. Good questions. I hope the White House press asks them. And presses for answers.
    mcwong
  • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

    I really hate the wrong info always spouted about why we went into Iraq... and you still are doing it. There were MANY reasons given to congress before congress voted to go in, it was not WMDs or freeing oppressed peoples, those were just a couple of the MANY reasons... and all of those were stated before invading Iraq.

    This death will do nothing but help embolden many idiots to fight on in his name.

    Will Obama try to use this to his advantage? of course... any politician would, no matter what party, and no matter what role if any they actually had in it.
    doh123
  • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

    You don't get it, this changes everything! Sure, others will try to take his place but he was their leader... This group now falls in behind an American Convert who is in way over his head!

    The only thing that could come out of this bad would be an uprising in the middle east but then the rest of the world would get involved for sure!
    slickjim
  • This night is a night I could care less about political Q and A

    With all due respect, my friend, I really could care less about the answers to those questions.

    The BASTARD is dead! May he NOT rest in peace.

    BTW, as reported on MSNBC, the deaths of both Hitler and this Evil man were both reported on a May 1st.

    I'm going to sleep well tonight.
    kenosha77a
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @kenosha7777
      you are so right. Why was this article ever written. Does the authour think he's god or something. Just be thankful.
      JonnyDee
  • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

    Of course this immediately raises questions as to how the US and the coalition will continue its offense in the mid-east, if they will pull out, whether the Taliban will seek mediation and most importantly if the nation can try to put some sort of bitter sweet closure to the affairs that led to Sept 11, 2001 that obliterated for a day a nation?s spirit and resolve.

    But to put it simply can one man?s death, re arrange the sordid dichotomies of world affairs or is there someone new that we now ought to be concerned about?

    http://scallywagandvagabond.com/2011/05/osama-bin-laden-is-confirmed-dead-us-has-his-body/
    scallywagy
  • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

    My first question would be to the Obama administration:
    What took you so long? After all, the "tip" was reported to have been received last August. Am I supposed to believe that the United States, with all its surveilance capabilities, required nearly nine months to confirm that the tip was accurate? It sounds more like foot dragging to me.
    nikacat
    • Bush failed for 8 years

      Yeh, Republican nonsense in force.
      guihombre
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @nikacat

      At least it got done. You're really going to complain they were extra cautious and secretive to make sure they got him this time? You're really going to take this to a political level?
      crazydanr@...
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      It wasn't a movie, that's why. Next question.
      Chiatzu
      • Where is the &quot;Like&quot; button?

        @Chiatzu
        Well said.
        Thanks
        use_what_works_4_U
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @nikacat
      a fet lot you know
      JonnyDee
  • Watch Republicans talk it down

    Wow, so negative. You finally got your #1 target, the guy behind the murder of 2000+ people.<br><br>The one that Bush didn't chase.<br><br>Yeh, now watching the Republicans look at their feet and mince around is pathetic.<br><br>Obama finished what Bush failed to do.<br><br>Congratulations Obama, that's what competent leadership. The same army, the same intelligence service, the only new thing was competent leadership.
    guihombre
    • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

      @guihombre Or could this success more directly involve Bush building up the same US Intelligence and armed forces that Obama is currently working to gut much like the last Democratic president who refused to take custody if Obama when he was offered it by Pakistan? Seriously... you have no concept of how the world, militaries, or politicians work if you think a man sitting inside of the Beltway did a damn thing to accomplish this beyond authorizing the mission (if that.)
      ITSamurai
      • RE: 5 questions to ask about Osama bin Laden's death

        @ITSamurai

        Uh huh.

        9/11 - Republican watch
        Bin Laden escapes Tora Bora - Republican watch
        IRAQ - Illegal war started - Republican watch

        Bin Laden dead - Democrat watch
        jackbond