Phil Reese

Osama bin Laden's Death and My Impromptu Dance Party

Filed By Phil Reese | May 02, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Iraq War, Michael Jackson, Osama Bin Laden, President Obama, September 11, Thriller

[UPDATE: I wanted to amend the entry, at the bottom, with some extra thoughts that may give a bit more explanation to my emotion at the end of the piece. These come from a comment I made to the post bellow, but not everyone reads the comments when they read the post, and these thoughts definitely flesh out some things only initially touched on]

In 1985 my grandparents won the lottery.

osama-celebration.jpgThey didn't win a lot, and they split it with some other families, but it was still a pretty big idea. I was three-years-old. There was one thing and only one thing I really cared about in the world at three-years-old, and that was Michael Jackson. Well, probably my teddy bear, Louie, too, but mostly Michael. Michael was a mainstay in our home. Every day I insisted we listen to Thriller. I used to spend my afternoons practicing my adorable three year old dance moves, or creating stream-of-consciousness Crayola interpretive art pieces visualizing the sonic goodness I was consuming.

After all, I was three-years-old, and Michael Jackson was just about the best music I'd ever heard. Well, Michael and Madonna, of course. I was obsessed with both. But I do believe that my mom preferred Michael to Madonna anyhow, so we definitely spun that old vinyl out on the daily.

It just so happened that Thriller was on the spindle on the RCA player that night in October that a call came in at midnight.

I was asleep, of course. I'd been asleep for hours. I was three, after all, and, while I was already a party animal, I also required long recovery periods, unlike all the time since. I was off in slumberland somewhere, dreaming of hitting 54 with Bert and Ernie, or a Key West excursion with Levar Burton - I'm sure we rode a butterfly in the sky all the way there, together.

I had recently graduated to a big-boy bunk bed. It was the 80's, so of course, there were only two choices when my parents asked me what my dream big boy bed would be. Either a vegetable cart that would tip forward and gently lower me to the world when I completed my slumber (and serve as a constant reminder not to play hide-and-go-seek in refrigerators) or a bunk bed. I wasn't allowed yet to sleep on the top bunk, but we were working our way up there.

There I was in my blue velour PJs, spooning with Louie, who at this point had stopped looking so much like a Polar Bear as much as he looked like a brown bear who had a cut-rate barber, when suddenly my dad burst in my room.

I didn't know why, but for some reason there was an impromptu dance party occurring in my living room featuring my parents, an early camcorder (that thing was huge) and Michael. I didn't really care that I'd been roused from sleep. Much like whenever I'm raised early for some surprise, I went with it. I did the baby bop, and the toddler sway, the jumping jack flash, and the high kick. It was a pleasant surprise, and ever since I've always loved impromptu dance parties in the middle of the night.

So it would only follow that when my father texted me about Bin Laden...

Flash forward to late Sunday night, and my dance moves have improved some, certainly. In the middle of being hunched over my latest Database assignment - I'm in the last few moments of grad school at the moment - I started feeling extremely sleepy. As I strove hard to stay awake, suddenly a text comes in. My dad is no stranger to sending me ridiculous text messages at all hours about this or that, generally announcing a Seinfeld episode being on that I can't watch because, as I constantly remind him, I do not have TV at my house.

But my dad is straight to the point tonight. "Bin Laden is dead. President is on TV right now."

It takes a minute for something like that to sink in.

On September 12, 2001, I saw the country I'd grown up in disappear before my eyes. My friends polarized to one extreme or another. Either you were for the president or you were for the terrorists, right?

I did not lose anyone close to me in 9/11. I knew people who knew people, and since I've lost good friends to the War on Terror, but I did not personally lose anyone that day. Still, it changed me. Starting at 9:00am September 11, 2001, until mid-December, my dorm-room television remained on and remained trained on CNN. 9/11 pushed me out of the liberal closet, and forced me to form opinions on war, on the military, on defense that I'd not ever attempted to have opinions on in the past.

Overnight the country I was born in died and was replaced by some strange and crippled clone of what it had been. It was bizarre.

I protested against the Iraq war, I argued for cuts to the military budget, I moved further and further to the left on foreign policy as time went on. I wanted our troops home. I wanted the bloodshed to end.

But I have no love lost for Osama Bin Laden.

Call me bloodthirsty (I know some of you will). Call me a traitor. Call me a fake leftie. Call me what you will. My first reaction to my dad's text was a blank. But a whole lot of emotion hit me quickly. CNN was feeding the president's remarks live online, so I tuned in. Suddenly I was so proud to have voted for this man, so proud of the men and women in uniform, and so incredibly relieved and happy that this chapter is closed.

I know that this doesn't mean the war is over. For all we know it will get worse now that Al Qaeda's leadership will surely splinter further and power-grabs are now certain. It won't fix the economy, though certainly, the stock market is bound to get a boost this week on this news. The wars won't end. Unemployment won't go down. Social Security won't be saved. Climate change won't be reversed. Equality won't be won.

However, I can't help but feel a smug sense of satisfaction, and a gleeful sense of giddy relief. It may be symbolic, but in this time of pessimism and cynicism, this is a powerful psychological victory for those of us still barely hanging on to a belief that there is still a chance for America to become that beacon on the hill again; fatigued by a decade of disappointment. And then again, it may be more than symbolic.

One thing is for sure, as soon as the president was done, I put Michael on the spindle (or, rather, the iTunes) and danced like I was three-years-old again. The database can wait.

--AMENDED: I posted this as a response to some comments below, but I think it may be appropriate to include in the post, considering the depth of emotions people are experiencing today:

"I think I skipped a little logic there, because that was a very quick post, written very quickly on a very personal and complex subject.

So let me start untangling some things that got tangled up in the post. For those of us who were at a certain age in 2001--the age of enlistment--and saw many friends enlist and saw many friends change their lives forever, I think 9-11 is a very personal thing. Its been so much a part of our consciousness for the past ten years, its almost a part of our DNA at this point. It certainly informs a lot of who many of us are today. I think some of us were almost rewired that day. So here maybe I can flesh a few things out that didn't get articulated in my post.

1. I'm not sure what I was celebrating last night. Though I have no love lost for Bin Laden, frankly, I don't think I was celebrating any person's death. I happen to be against the wars. I think no person is worth more than another. But Osama Bin Laden was a person AND a symbol, and that symbol means very different things for everyone. For some people he's a symbol of a culture they see as evil. For some he's a symbol of war and violence. For me (and this is really boiling it down to its simplest), he's a symbol of a paradigm shift in our nation that I always resented. It sounds fake and insincere, I'm sure, to say such a thing--that I was glad to see this happen because he represents the nastiness in discourse and blind patriotism that infected our public consciousness after 9-11, but there it is. Honest and plain truth. I can't articulate it fully, but I was glad to see the death of that concept last night.

2. I'm not sure we can really expect any tangible good to come from this. Sometimes we're just selfish. We're human beings. We aren't automatons. We have intellect and emotion, and they live next to one another in the same grey squishy organ up in our skull. Try as we want to separate them, or keep the intellect guiding the emotions, none of us can say we're masters of our feelings all the time. I own my joy and relief from last night--and I certainly agree its inappropriate to dance on someone's grave. But last night my intellect took a nap, and my emotions had run of the roost. And this morning, I still feel just as relieved as last night. Does this event do any real good for me, for my country, or for the world? I have no clue. And that's why its difficult to articulate exactly what it is I am relieved about. But it is, as they say, what it is.

3. I am certainly in support of anyone who was turned off by the celebration last night, even as I make no apologies for my own celebration. Like I said above, however, I don't see 9-11 as something that happened to America so much, anymore, as I see it as something that happened to each of us individually to various degrees of intensity, and in very different ways over a decade. I didn't know anyone who died on 9-11, but I know people who have since died in the wars that followed. And those men died at different times in my life, and were of different degrees of closeness. Each of those events colors and bends my experience with the event, and by extension, the symbol that is Osama Bin Laden that I described above. Certainly there are going to be many very dangerous and invalid reactions that we should avoid. However, at the same time, I think it also means that the spectrum of what we can consider a valid reaction is broad and deep.

You may not agree with the points I've posited above, but this is my view from where I'm at right now. What we all can agree with is that we all experienced those events of 10 years ago very differently, and we're all going to react to this news in equally as varied of ways. Its difficult to boil down to a few words what is prudent on a day like today, when it is so wrapped up in nuance and personal experience for a billion individuals worldwide. "

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“Do not rejoice when your enemy falls”. Prov. 24:17. We can be glad that he can no longer spread his evil, but rejoicing at the death of a human being shows how little respect we have for life despite our pious mutterings at others.

Amen. I have a post on this formulating in my head now, Jill. I've saved a spot on the calendar for it later in the day.

I agree with Bil and Jill here.

A friend texted me last night suggesting there were crowds in locations that erupted in celebration when President Obama won the election, so I walked down to see what unfolded. I was relieved when Seattle did not erupt into spontaneous patriotic chanting or flag waving. The streets were strangely quiet. I didn't even have to wait in line to get ice cream -- which is typically a 20 minute wait.

(Note: I got ice cream because I really wanted it, not because I was celebrating).

I also felt the same way when I got this news. We Americans seem so arrogant that we cheer when we kill another human, like everyone did when Sadam was hung. It is the redneck, we got guns, Sarah Palin way some Americans want to revel in someone else's pain. Remember, bin Laden has a family who are grieving.

This should be a time for a country-wide prayer. We lost so much and so many lives (more than who died at 9/11) to reach this goal. Remember, like the three-headed hydra from the Greek myths, when we cut off the middle head, two more will grow back in its place. Bin Laden maybe dead, but the hydra still exists. Nothing to celebrate here.

I certainly wish my feelings about this were less complex. I couldn't sleep last night, and I've been in my head all day. I can't divorce myself from the gut feeling of satisfaction, and I can't help but be a little angry with myself for feeling that way. But this site is about these sort of conversations, isn't it? I'd rather own it at this point.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 2, 2011 9:43 AM

I'll celebrate when the US government stops torturing Bradley Manning, when it stops wasting the lives of tens of thousands of GIs and when it stops murdering civilians in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine.

It was rage over those US/zionist policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid that made it easier for Bin Laden to recruit terrorists for his inhuman attacks on civilians in the first place, although as a member of the Saudi ruling class he was careful not to get involved in the suicide attacks. No doubt he thought he was too important by far to risk his own ruling class ass. After all, his family is one of the richest in Saudi Arabia and had close connections to the Bushes.

He was just another mass murderer like the Bushes, Clinton and Obama.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 2, 2011 10:49 AM

The torture will stop when he's freed.

The conditions he faced in Quatico were meant to break him. They seemed to have failed, perhaps because he faced life as a gay man and learned to endure.

I'm more curious since you're definitely not the only one who celebrated, Phil, and I don't think you have to be defensive about saying that you did when there's still enough nationalism in the US that more people who actually think this killing was wrong will be afraid to argue that, but...

What good did his death do? You list a bunch of things that won't be changed, and then say you celebrated because it might make America a beacon on a hill again. But it wasn't Osama's fault America wasn't a beacon on a hill - it's the fault of our own economic policy, our privatizations, tax cuts, and social spending cuts, our own foreign policy that has destroyed our own moral standing in the world and has been used to recruit people to try to kill Americans, etc. What Osama did was wrong, but let's not kid ourselves into believing that the economy tanked because of him or that US foreign policy is that much different because of him.

But is that why people are celebrating in the street? I don't think so, something tells me that they do because they think they should, because they think it's the patriotic thing to do so there they are, and it reminds me of the people who celebrated in the streets when 9/11 happened, when people saw Americans dying and, since they blamed us for the problems in their lives, took to the street and celebrated. Are we trying to prove that we're not that different?

I assume that relief that the man responsible for killing thousands of people in America and internationally--who had escaped capture and trial for more than a decade--had finally been dealt with spilled over into uncontrolled joy.

Would a trial and life sentence have been more cathartic? Would a trial and execution have been more cathartic? Maybe. But we would still be having this conversation.

So was it better to kill him there? Or spare him and risk his escape (again)? That's an interesting question.

I also wonder, since I think many people view the shift in America's political sensibilities occurred after 9/11. I think you can argue that xenophobia was alive and well long before an attack on our soil, but was Islamophobia (or discussions of Islam in general, for that matter) really so pervasive on 9/10 as it was on 9/12? Was American polarization and the political trump card of "freedom, terrorism, America--Fuck Yeah!" really the same in August of 2002 as it is in August of 2011? Were people quite so "You're either with America, or against her" defensive? Alone, would the war effort have happened? Have been this long sustained?

I was 14 when this shift happened, so in my limited perception of political discourse back then, I would say no, it wasn't the same. I would say that indeed the attacks on the WTCs DID change American discourse, the trauma of which still sits and burns in our national psyche, warping the way we discuss with and relate to one another and our perceptions of the the domestic and national "other". But I could be wrong.

Sorry, wrong button: August 2001.

Well, I wouldn't be able to respond about why people are celebrating since I didn't think to celebrate when I read the news.

But if it's just about someone who killed a lot of people who escaped justice, will similar celebrations rise up if Dick Cheney were to die tomorrow? Or GWB? I remember some people saying they would celebrate when Reagan died, but nothing like the massive celebrations in the street that we saw last night. All those people killed far more people than bin Laden did.

So I think there's something more going on. The discourse did change after 9/11 - it got more nationalistic, more divisive, more us against them, and more violent. But how does celebrating the death of someone on the other side of the world solve any of that?

I'm looking at pics and video of the celebration, and it looks a lot like the 9/11 celebrations other people in other countries engaged in that enraged Americans. It seems like raw hatred to me, perhaps justifiable if one believes that hatred can ever be justified (Christianity says it isn't, but I'm not Christian). Do massive, public displays of hatred, however justified, do anything to fight nationalism?

I also remember getting tut-tutted by lots of very respectable people here at Bilerico when Storm Bear ran a few toons celebrating Jerry Falwell's death. Something tells me those very respectable people won't be saying the same thing about last night's celebrants.

Ah, but Alex, you DID comment on why people were celebrating: ("But is that why people are celebrating in the street? I don't think so, something tells me that they do because they think they should, because they think it's the patriotic thing to do so there they are, and it reminds me of the people who celebrated in the streets when 9/11 happened, when people saw Americans dying and, since they blamed us for the problems in their lives, took to the street and celebrated. Are we trying to prove that we're not that different?")

And you do so in your response.

I wonder if you feign ignorance about what Osama bin Laden represents to Americans, whether or not you believe he actually should represent it. He was the one who created Al Qaeda. He planned, ordered, and then took credit for the attacks that killed thousands of people in our country. And then he proclaimed to continue doing so. I feel that many Americans, pro-war or not, feel (again, whether your believe it is correct to feel this way or not) that "were it not for him and what he did, this country would be in a different place than it is now". I certainly believe this to be true.

As a more geeky analogy, consider the origin story of Batman. As a youth, Batman witnesses his father and mother gunned down by a petty thug, launching him into an obsession to be the best at everything and fight crime to ensure that nothing like what happened to him ever happens again. I look at Batman as an individual obsessed and consumed by a moment of horrific trauma, and the criminal will always represent the action that sent him from growing up as a happy child to being a hardened vigilante. That's, to me, what Osama bin Laden represents in the context of America. Because of what he did, America became what we've discussed, from whatever it might have been. It never would have been a Utopia, but it wouldn't have been this. It is obsessed with fear of attack, obsessed with its identity, obsessed with its safety, so obsessed that it looks for anything it can isolate as an "other" to blame. And in the past 10 years, that was because of him.

You could argue that ultimately, the US is to blame for where it is, that at any moment, the US could have looked at itself and decide to walk away for the better. You could even argue that on 9/12/2001, the US could have chosen not to take a path fueled by vengeance and focus instead on rebuilding. But the nation reacts in a way that a human being reacts--it was traumatized, and traumatized by him. So even if the US is responsible for how it deals with its trauma, the instigator will always have a special role of responsibility in it all. So is it difficult to understand what he represents? Is it hard to understand what his death means, even half way across the world?

And in the end, the death is simply viewed as a punishment. And inherently, people seek justice for crimes. In his case, there were only two kinds of punishment: Capture, trial, and a life sentence, or death, either through capitol punishment or firefight. And let's be real--a life sentence was never going to happen.

So in a situation where crimes require punishments, between the two--execution or death by other circumstances--he was punished. And though it is a punishment that our super-egos should acknowledge as base, it is inherently tied to the relief that surviving families feel when the murderer of their mother, father, or child is sentenced. It is the satisfaction one feels when an unrepentant rapist is put behind bars.

Have you criticized a rape victim for wanting their long-escaped rapist dead? Or the mother of a murdered child for wanting its long uncaptured murderer executed?

Or in those cases, do you say that you understand, even if you don't agree, even if it's not the answer? If you can understand that, then you can understand what the country feels when they learned that Osama bin Laden has been killed by those he hurt.

And as a matter of disclosure, when Jerry Falwell died, I remember reflecting that he may mean something more to someone else, a daughter, wife, or son...but to me, he was an evil man who harmed many people, and I was glad he was dead and couldn't hurt anyone else.

If you want to contrast this celebration to those individuals you listed, you have to keep in mind that only liberals have reason to celebrate the deaths of Ronald Reagan, GWB, or Dick Cheney. But the majority of Americans have reason to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden. Just as liberals may celebrate the death of Ronald Reagan while conservatives hold him in esteem, Americans celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden while Al Qaeda holds him in esteem.

The point of all of this is not to respond to the statement that it's wrong to chastise the celebration of the death of a human being. In my higher mind, I agree.

But I want to point out how offensive it is and completely disingenuous to me for someone to say "Well, I don't understand at all why punishing this man would make anyone feel better."

Maybe there are people out there like that, but I've never met one; someone who couldn't understand hatred. I've only met those who understand it, but don't abide by it.

OK, so you're blaming false consciousness. To think that the US never would have attacked Iraq if it weren't for 9/11 is just plain naive, considering how the neocons wanted another war with Iraq since the 90's, considering US foreign policy in the region throughout the Clinton years was one of economic violence that resulted in an estimated 1.5 million deaths, and considering how openly people talked about opening up Iraq's economy pre-9/11.

But you think that's why people are celebrating, because they really think the US only went to war in Iraq to capture bin Laden (mistakenly or not)? I don't think people are that dumb, this much into the war. Phil, specifically, I don't think thinks we went to war in Iraq to capture bin Laden and if there are people who think that, we obviously need to do a better job educating people.

Also, I don't think it's a liberal/conservative divide on the others. Reagan's actions on HIV/AIDS killed both liberal and conservative gay men, his actions in Nicaragua killed both liberals and conservatives there. Bush's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan didn't discriminate along political lines for the peasants. On the other hand, even Phil mentions that he knew no one who was hurt in 9/11. It's more complicated than that.

Of all places, we were debating the Bush Presidency in the evening of 10 Sept 2001 at Windows on the World, One World Trade Center, laughing and convinced that his would be a one term presidency to be endured that would ensure a Democratic sweep in 04. Hours later two of the women at our table were dead and Bush was a hero.

I felt relief last night, for the man who symbolised the dark evil of terror was dead, yet the risk and the danger continue.

I suspect that people celebrated precisely because of the symbolisation that both Bush and Bin Laden, on parallel courses,created about bin Laden.

I think I skipped a little logic there, because that was a very quick post, written very quickly on a very personal and complex subject.

So let me start untangling some things that got tangled up in the post. For those of us who were at a certain age in 2001--the age of enlistment--and saw many friends enlist and saw many friends change their lives forever, I think 9-11 is a very personal thing. Its been so much a part of our consciousness for the past ten years, its almost a part of our DNA at this point. It certainly informs a lot of who many of us are today. I think some of us were almost rewired that day. So here maybe I can flesh a few things out that didn't get articulated in my post.

1. I'm not sure what I was celebrating last night. Though I have no love lost for Bin Laden, frankly, I don't think I was celebrating any person's death. I happen to be against the wars. I think no person is worth more than another. But Osama Bin Laden was a person AND a symbol, and that symbol means very different things for everyone. For some people he's a symbol of a culture they see as evil. For some he's a symbol of war and violence. For me (and this is really boiling it down to its simplest), he's a symbol of a paradigm shift in our nation that I always resented. It sounds fake and insincere, I'm sure, to say such a thing--that I was glad to see this happen because he represents the nastiness in discourse and blind patriotism that infected our public consciousness after 9-11, but there it is. Honest and plain truth. I can't articulate it fully, but I was glad to see the death of that concept last night.

2. I'm not sure we can really expect any tangible good to come from this. Sometimes we're just selfish. We're human beings. We aren't automatons. We have intellect and emotion, and they live next to one another in the same grey squishy organ up in our skull. Try as we want to separate them, or keep the intellect guiding the emotions, none of us can say we're masters of our feelings all the time. I own my joy and relief from last night--and I certainly agree its inappropriate to dance on someone's grave. But last night my intellect took a nap, and my emotions had run of the roost. And this morning, I still feel just as relieved as last night. Does this event do any real good for me, for my country, or for the world? I have no clue. And that's why its difficult to articulate exactly what it is I am relieved about. But it is, as they say, what it is.

3. I am certainly in support of anyone who was turned off by the celebration last night, even as I make no apologies for my own celebration. Like I said above, however, I don't see 9-11 as something that happened to America so much, anymore, as I see it as something that happened to each of us individually to various degrees of intensity, and in very different ways over a decade. I didn't know anyone who died on 9-11, but I know people who have since died in the wars that followed. And those men died at different times in my life, and were of different degrees of closeness. Each of those events colors and bends my experience with the event, and by extension, the symbol that is Osama Bin Laden that I described above. Certainly there are going to be many very dangerous and invalid reactions that we should avoid. However, at the same time, I think it also means that the spectrum of what we can consider a valid reaction is broad and deep.

You may not agree with the points I've posited above, but this is my view from where I'm at right now. What we all can agree with is that we all experienced those events of 10 years ago very differently, and we're all going to react to this news in equally as varied of ways. Its difficult to boil down to a few words what is prudent on a day like today, when it is so wrapped up in nuance and personal experience for a billion individuals worldwide.

Thanks for the response, Phil.

It might just be a question of factual beliefs here - I'm about your age but I saw no fundamental change in the way America sees the world at 9/11 or the interests certain Americans had in promoting war in Iraq and elsewhere (we invaded in the early 90's, it's not like invading a second time is a huge departure for American foreign policy).

But maybe I'm wrong. Does Osama's death mean that the wars are over now? Or does it just mean that those of us who oppose the wars get the smug, yet empty, satisfaction of knowing that our previous justification was just a lie?

I certainly agree that the sense of relief may very well be empty. As I say in the post itself, there's no way to know what--if any--effect this turn of events will have. But an empty sense of relief is still a sense of relief. Mind you, Osama Bin Laden didn't retire to the Cayman Islands after 9-11. He continued to deliberately stoke the coals of irrational fear across the world, and oversaw numerous additional attacks across Europe and Asia over the past few years--not to mention encourage the copy cat 'local' versions of Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda isn't dead, but this specific phantom spectre of death is no longer thinking up new ways to freak us out and hurt millions.

Its not just Americans that Al Qaeda killed--Al Qaeda killed people all over the world. For some this may be about vengeance, but for me, its as if the beast in the woods have been caught. Maybe there are more, and maybe we'll continue to get attacked, but its incredibly comforting on a very shallow level to know at least this one is no longer a threat.

I think there is something else wrong with this post, though. I think I make the intellectual point in the post that people's reactions to this are very personal, while not really realizing it on a deeper level. Its impossible for me to communicate, in such a short post written within hours of the event, to speak to the full array of nerves this news touches on. Maybe I overestimated my ability to describe how personal this is to me. I certainly can't easily articulate my complex feelings about this man's death, let alone ten years of internalizing every bit of news that interconnects with the events of that day.

I can simply share my imperfect attempt at confession, and trust that while we aren't all going to the same about this its not going to breakdown our ability to continue sharing this space on this blog.

Over 1,000,000 Iraqis, Afghanis, Pakistanis, and soldiers from around the world are dead. Trillions of dollars taken from schools, health services, social services, LGBT community centers, and everything else. This is justice?

I don't think I used the word justice, nor implied it--in fact I implied the opposite, when I noted this doesn't mean anything will change. This isn't a piece analyzing what will happen next, or commenting on the politics. This is a personal piece about a very complex emotional reaction to this that I surely haven't even completely unraveled yet.

Celebration and relief are easily confused-
I also had to write about it: What to feel upon the murder of a murderer?

I don't think I ever said I was celebrating, but I definitely used "relief."

I didn't mean you, necessarily- but the word has certainly been out there...

Eric Payne | May 2, 2011 5:29 PM

I wonder how long it's going to be before the President's political opponents - who have favored Gitmo and secret military tribunals over prisons and criminal trials - start complaining the President over-stepped his authority, and bin Laden could just as easily have been taken into custody and tried for his alleged crimes.