Posts Tagged "Osama bin Laden"
A man in Colorado, known as the “Rocky Mountain Rambo” wants 25 percent of the $25 million bounty that was on Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s head.
“I had a major hand and play in this wonderful thing, getting him out of the mountains and down to the valleys… Someone had to get him out of there. That’s where I came in,” Gary Faulkner of Greeley, Colorado, told ABC News. “I scared the squirrel out of his hole, he popped his head up and he got capped.
“I’m proud of our boys, I’m very proud of our government… They were handed this opportunity on a platter from myself,” he said.
Faulkner found himself in the international spotlight last June when he was detained by Pakistani authorities while trying to cross into Afghanistan during his eleventh attempt to track down the world’s most wanted man. He was discovered equipped with a pistol, a samurai sword, night vision goggles and a map. When he was arrested, Faulkner told police he was intent on avenging the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Pakistani authorities said at the time that they laughed when Faulkner told them about his quest. Pakistani officials and doctors questioned Faulkner to determine his mental state. Faulkner’s brother told reporters that Faulkner does not have mental problems. He does have an extensive criminal record of minor offenses stretching back to the 1980s.
Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs Sunday. Military personnel could not collect the prize money.
Faulkner will instead have to settle for 15 minutes of fame.
When Osama bin Laden was killed Sunday, the transmission came, simply, “Geronimo, EKIA.”
That the United States military used Geronimo as the code-name for bin Laden in the raid has left a sour taste in the mouth for American Indians.
“I was celebrating that we had gotten this guy and feeling so much a part of America,” Tom Holm, a former Marine, a member of the Creek/Cherokee Nations and a retired professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, said by phone Tuesday. “And then this ‘Geronimo EKIA’ thing comes up. I just said, ‘Why pick on us?’ Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Geronimo ever did, and Hitler would seem to be evil personified, but the code name for bin Laden is Geronimo?”
Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Morning Star Institute, a Native American advocacy group based in Washington, has long fought against the use of Indian imagery in American life (including as the mascot of the Washington Redskins).
She sighed when asked about the latest iteration of Geronimo.
“It’s how deeply embedded the ‘Indian as enemy’ is in the collective mind of America,” she said. “To this day, when soldiers are going into enemy territory, it’s common for it to be called ‘Indian country.’ ”
It isn’t clear yet which branch of the military came up with the nickname — the Army, Navy, CIA or any of the anti-terror special forces groups involved in planning the raid — but it apparently wasn’t bin Laden’s nickname for very long.
A database search of news stories shows that, while military leaders sometimes compared bin Laden’s elusiveness to Geronimo’s, there is no news account of calling the al-Qaeda leader “Geronimo” until this past weekend.
The New York Times has some great reporting on the operation that the United States undertook to kill Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan Sunday.
Like the fact that, “In all, 79 commandos and a dog were involved.”
And that not everything went according to plan.
The tensest moment for those watching, he said, came when one of two helicopters that flew the American troops into the compound broke down, stalling as it flew over the 18-foot wall of the compound and prepared to land. After the raid, the team blew up the helicopter and called in one of two backups. In all, 79 commandos and a dog were involved.
President Obama considered other options that would have been less risky, like an airstrike, but ultimately opted to send in commandos because, Mr. Brennan said, “it gave us the ability to minimize collateral damage” and “to ensure that we knew who it was that was on that compound.”
Even a day later, not all of the details of the operation were known; some may never be. Officials did say that Bin Laden resisted arrest, but it was not clear, Mr. Brennan said, whether he opened fire himself.
In all, it took 40-minutes. And it was a 40-minute battle that the Pakistani government did not know about. Pakistan scrambled jets but the United States forces were apparently gone, with bin Laden’s body, before they arrived.
In addition, “the team removed a large trove of documents and materials from the residence.”
All of this went on while the President and his national security team monitored the raid from the Situation Room in the White House.
“The minutes passed like days,” Obama’s counter-terrorism advisor John Brennan said at a briefing Monday.
I guess I missed this in the flood of information last night and today — but Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is a Truther.
Mike Freeman flagged Mendenhall’s “twitter meltdown” though Mendenhall seems to have come to his senses and deleted the messages from his meltdown where he wonders if Osama bin Laden really was behind the attacks on 9/11.
While much of the country is celebrating the death of Osama Bin Laden, one man, Pittsburgh running back Rashard Mendenhall is basically defending him.
Oh, boy. I mean, seriously, Rashard, oh boy. This is going to be bad for you, bra’. Here is the link to his Twitter .
This is the quote from Mendenhall that will get him in deep poopy doo: “I’m not convinced he was even behind the attacks we have really seen no evidence to prove it other than the gov telling us.”
That one isn’t there anymore, but this tweet is:
@dkeller23 We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style
Then again, this is from the same Twitter feed as this gem:
Whenever you see a man and wonder “why hes with her?” it’s cause she do things that you won’t! #NASTY
His teammate, James Harrison, has a different conspiracy theory. He wonders if the US really killed bin Laden.
It didn’t take long for conspiracy theorists who believe that Osama bin Laden is still alive to gain a celebrity spokesman. Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison took to Facebook to question the death of the infamous terrorist.
Who thinks they just now got Bin Laden and who thinks that they are just now telling us they did? I just think the timing is too coincidental!
First of all, I’m not sure how this timing would be coincidental. What would the point of doing it now be? Maybe in, say, September or October of 2012 if President Barack Obama was down in the polls.
But in May of 2011? Come on.
Anyway, at least now crazy deather Cindy Sheehan has someone to talk to.
A teacher in Washington did something he hadn’t done in nearly ten years — shave his beard. He hadn’t even trimmed his beard since September 11, 2001.
It was a vow Gary Weddle had made — not to shave until Osama bin Laden was caught. It was a vow he kept until bin Laden was finally caught, and killed, by United States forces on Sunday night.
Weddle has wanted to cut his beard for years. His wife, Donita, has wanted him to cut it, too. But for Weddle a vow is a vow and so he hadn’t even trimmed it until Sunday night.
Weddle was a substitute teacher in Wenatchee when the infamous al-Qaeda terrorist attack occurred on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 3,000 Americans. Weddle was so caught up in the news that he neglected to shave. A week or so later, he vowed not to shave until bin Laden was captured or proven dead. He figured it would just be a month or two.
At the start of each school year, Weddle told his students the beard was a reminder of the attack. He frequently said he didn’t understand how anyone could use the name of his God to justify murder.
Weddle, according to the story above, is 50 years old. That means he kept his vow for nearly 1/5 of his life. Amazing. Hat tip to @MatthewArco for the link.
Time magazine has a great behind-the-scenes story on what happened Sunday in the Situation Room with President Barack Obama and his national security team.* The team was in the unenviable position of watching the action but not being able to intervene — not even to contact the commanders in the mission.
The President sat stone-faced through much of the events. Several of his aides, however, were pacing. For long periods of time, nobody said a thing, as everyone waited for the next update. In the modern age, Presidents can experience their own military actions like a video game, except that they have no control over the events. They cannot, and would not, intervene to contact the commanders running the operation. So when word came that a helicopter had been grounded, a sign that the plan was already off course, the tension increased.
Minutes later, more word came over the transom. “We’ve IDed Geronimo,” said a disembodied voice, using the agreed-upon code name for America’s most wanted enemy, Osama bin Laden. Word then came that Geronimo had been killed. Only when the last helicopter lifted off some minutes later did the President know that his forces had sustained no casualties.
The decision to attack had been made days earlier by the President. He gathered his senior intelligence, military and diplomatic team together in the Situation Room on Thursday afternoon to hear his options. There were already concerns about operational security. At that point, hundreds of people had already been read into the potential whereabouts of bin Laden. Any leak would have ruined the entire mission.
It’s a fascinating read. Go read the whole thing.
* Some the scenes pictures were released by the White House Monday afternoon.
Note: Title updated, post slightly updated for accuracy.