But a page was turned Sunday when U.S. Navy SEAL Team 6 stormed a compound in Pakistan and killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the man believed to be responsible for those attacks and top of the “Most Wanted” list.
Lincoln “Link” Savoie, a veteran, columnist and local veterans advocate, praised those involved in the mission, including the Navy SEAL team responsible, whose names are secret to protect them and their families.
“We will never know who they are, but we are lucky to have the best of the very best wearing our American military uniform performing a great service for this country.
“Their ability to perform this mission depended on the information provided by other teams of intelligence gathering professionals who also risked their lives to have this and any mission a total success,” Savoie said Wednesday.
Initial reports suggested that bin Laden was armed and resisting when he was shot, but later in the week it became clear bin Laden was unarmed, but resisting capture, at the time he was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, resulting in his death.
To Savoie, that matters little.
“Who cares how many times he was shot during his last minutes on earth? Who cares if he was unarmed during this mission? When Bin Laden gave to order to attack America on Sept. 11, he could have cared less how many people were armed in the Twin Towers,” Savoie said.
After bin Laden’s body was positively identified via DNA and other evidence, it was removed, and later buried at sea, a move which has raised some debate.
Concerns about proving bin Laden’s death surfaced shortly after President Barack Obama’s announcement about the mission and its successful conclusion.
“If President Obama and his team are satisfied that the dead person has been identified (beyond a doubt) that the dead body is that of Bin Laden, that should be enough to satisfy America and to hell with anyone who disagrees,” Savoie said.
Every available identification method was used to I.D. this dead body, and a statement made by the President that ‘Bin Laden will never walk on this planet again’ should be enough to close this part of the mission,” Savoie said.
The Obama Administration considered releasing photographs of bin Laden’s corpse, but decided against it Wednesday, considering the photos “too gruesome”, and might incite violence from other extremists.
Savoie said he disagrees with the decision not to release the photos, saying that it would deter others from following in his footsteps.
Savoie noted that bin Laden’s death does not end the threat posed by extremist terrorists.
“That is all in one days work for this administration. Now, we must go back to the business of protecting this country and supporting our citizens,” Savoie said.