Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant living in Abbottabad, discovered on Monday morning that he had live-tweeted the fatal raid on Osama bin Laden‘s compound by acccident.
Athar, who lives near the Jalal Baba Auditorium – about 250m from bin Laden’s compound – put out his first tweet relating to the attack at about 9pm on Sunday BST, or 1am local time, when he noticed a helicopter hovering overhead: “a rare event”, he commented.
That was followed by ”A huge window-shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope it’s not the start of something nasty.”
But he mused that something odd must be going on: “Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicpoters, and since they’re saying it was not “ours”, so must be a complicated situation,” he pondered.
The downed helicopter also puzzled him: “people are saying it was not a technical fault and it was shot down. I heard it CIRCLE 3-4 times above, sounded purposeful.” He added “it was too noisy to be a spy craft, or, a very poor spy craft.”
The Pakistan army put out suggestions that the helicopter crash was “accidental” and not an “attack”.
But the misdirection didn’t fool many. Reports that the army had cordoned off the crash site arrived from a taxi driver, and then that it was conducting a door-to-door search suggested the crash was no accident. Soon another rumour surfaced: that two helicopters that followed the crashed one were “foreign” (ie not Pakistani).
He awoke to discover “interesting rumours” about the events – and then realised, from reading Twitter, that “the helicopter crash in Abbottabad, Pakistan and the President Obama breaking news address [which at that stage was had not announced bin Laden's death] are connected.”
The realisation hit him at about 6am UK BST (10am Pakistan time): “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it.”
Warning : Stop Eating Or Drinking Taiwan made products – cancer causing DEHP might be used as ingredient
That is because Yu Sheng, the company responsible for the scare, is Taiwan’s biggest supplier of emulsifier – a food additive often used in fruit juice, jelly and sports drink.
Media reports said it has been selling the plasticiser as a food additive for five years. More than 300 tons have been sold mostly in Taiwan and overseas.
Shiu Ming Neng, Deputy Director General of Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration, said: “Affected countries include the US, Hong Kong and China. Plasticiser made by Yu Sheng has been shipped to the Philippines and Vietnam.”
Products by big names in Taiwan like King Car, HeySong and Taiwan Sugar have been found to be tainted and the contamination is spreading from beverages to children’s vitamins.
philippine health officials have warned the public about drinking and eating food and drinks imported from Taiwan to avoid consuming food and drinks that may contain DEHP which may cause cancer and affect the reproductive organ of an unborn child if taken by pregnant women.
DEHP is a plasticizer which is an ingredient used for concrete and plastics, mostly for PVC.
Plasticizers (UK = plasticisers) or dispersants are additives that increase the plasticity or fluidity of the material to which they are added; these include plastics, cement, concrete, wallboard, and clay. Although the same compounds are often used for both plastics and concretes the desired effects and results are different. The worldwide market for plasticizers in 2004 had a total volume of around 5.5 million tons, which led to a turnover of just over 6 billion pounds.
Plasticizers for concrete increase the workability of the wet mix, or reduce the water required to achieve the desired workability, and are usually not intended to affect the properties of the final product after it hardens.
Plasticizers for wallboard increase fluidity of the mix, allowing lower use of water and thus reducing energy to dry the board.
Plasticizers for plastics soften the final product increasing its flexibility.
this is the effect of DEHP:
Effects on living organisms
Smaller penis size and other feminizing links
DEHP metabolites measured from the blood of pregnant women have been significantly associated with the decreased penis width, shorteranogenital distance, and the incomplete descent of testes of their newborn sons, replicating effects identified in animals. Approximately 25% of US women have phthalate levels similar to those in the study.
A study on CDC data published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), revealed that American men with abdominal obesity or insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) were more likely to have high levels of DEHP and DBP metabolites in their urine than men without those problems.
The acute toxicity of DEHP is 30g/kg in rats (oral) and 24g/kg in rabbits (dermal). Concerns instead focus on its potential as an endocrine disruptor. Some countries have banned DEHP from toys; see phthalate for legal status.
A clinically relevant dose and duration of exposure to DEHP has been shown to have a significant impact on the behavior of cardiac cells in culture. This includes an uncoupling effect that leads to irregular rhythms in vitro. This is observed in conjunction with a significant decrease in the amount ofgap junctional connexin proteins in cardiomyocytes treated with DEHP.
Man of God, legal maverick keeps his faith in the law of man
By Alya Honasan
First Posted 10:29:00 05/14/2006
Published on page Q1 of the May 14, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer
MORNING sunlight is dappling the leaves of the trees outside the Jesuit Residence inside the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City, and the nation’s recently christened “guru of destabilization” is basking in the almost ethereal glow, talking about good things.
“One of the reasons I joined the Jesuit order is because of their belief that man is good, and the world is good,” says Reverend Fr. Joaquin Guevarra Bernas, SJ. Then he laughs, an easy, hearty chuckle that emanates from his belly and somehow cushions this intellectual giant’s gravitas, bringing him back to earth and within our reach. “That, and the fact that we’re all really nuts.”
Hardly what you would expect from a prophet of doom, but anybody who assumes that this priest, lawyer, constitutionalist, teacher and respected amicus curiae—literally, a “friend of the courts”—is one-dimensional is destined for trouble.
Ask Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, the man who christened Bernas with the aforementioned monicker.
“No, it doesn’t irritate me,” Bernas deadpans, because no intelligent person would take Gonzalez seriously.” It must take some getting used to, we suggest, to be told to shut up after years of being asked to participate in government, and actually being invited to the Supreme Court.
Bernas can turn serious in a blink, furrowing his trademark bushy brows and peering over his glasses. “Nobody has really told me to shut up; nobody can. But that’s part of the game. When (Chief Justice Andres) Narvasa invited me to join the Supreme Court, the main reason I said no was because the only time I would be able to talk was during the decisions. And I didn’t want that.”
Bernas is very clear about the distinction between giving advice—as he often does as an amicus, an expert consulted by the courts on prickly issues—and meddling. “As far as canon law is concerned, there may be restrictions on what priests may do. But as far as civil law is concerned, when a person becomes a religious, he does not cease to be a citizen of the Philippines, and he does not shed his constitutional rights.” He shifts mood again, eyes twinkling. “And that’s why even clerics are constitutionally free to make fools of themselves.”
On a more personal level, he would rather “balance my rights as a citizen against my primary responsibility as a priest,” says Bernas, who admits that he hardly ever loses his composure. “If I feel that saying something at a certain moment may harm my own apostolic work, then I restrain myself. Or I just talk to the wall.”
Two of the words most often used to describe Bernas are “liberal” and “progressive.”
In the September 2004 edition of the Ateneo Law Journal, a tribute to Bernas refers to this man, who co-authored the 1987 Constitution and virtually drafted the Philippines’ Bill of Rights, as “The Father of Philippine Liberal Constitutionalism.” In the same tribute, Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban called him “brilliant, versatile and venerable.” The tribute was made on the occasion of Bernas’ retirement as dean of the Law School and his becoming Dean Emeritus.
“That just means I’m laos na” (washed up), he says of the new title.
The real reason Bernas joined the Jesuit order was because, in his own words, “I wanted to become a priest and something else. I didn’t want to be confined in the sacristy, because I feel the role of the priest and the Church in general is both spiritual and worldly. Christ came to save not souls, but people, and people are body and soul. He was curing the sick, feeding the hungry. And the thrust of the Church today, which is social justice, is because of the responsibility to care about the material welfare of the people also. Of course, if it’s a matter of losing something material instead of your soul—well, that’s what martyrs are. And I haven’t been given that opportunity.”
Lawyers, not Palace advisers
Yet, while he speaks freely on matters of law, Bernas has been known to remain silent on other hotly debated areas, like birth control. “Let’s put it this way: I would not talk about things on which I would not consider myself an expert. On contraception, I say, let’s talk about it in the confessional. I’m not a very judgmental person—I forgive sins easily.”
Bernas does not deny the claim that the Ateneo is an elitist institution, but he qualifies what the word may be referring to.
“Necessarily in law school we choose only the best and the brightest, because it would be a disservice to the nation to give them lawyers who are, well, Malacañang advisers,” he says with another chuckle. “But when we are working in the missions, with the poor, it’s the elitism of the excellence of service. Becoming a man or woman for others means being as good a man or woman for others as you can be.”
Bernas takes a thoughtful view of being such a man, keeping his faith while working within a very fallible legal system. “The reason I’m teaching law is because of our Lord, who came to save sinners. People criticize my having friends like (industrialist) Lucio Tan and (former President) Erap (Estrada), who don’t have very saintly reputations. Our Lord hung around with pharisees. If I had lost faith, I would have abandoned law school!
“You have to have a sense of humor,” he continues, “and accept that there are some things you cannot do anything about, even if you try. It is messy, and I see a lot of corruption, bribery. I don’t really lose sleep over things I cannot achieve, because I’m not God. I realized that long ago.”
What Bernas did realize long ago was that he wanted to heed God’s call. He was born in 1932 in Baao, Camarines Sur to a doctor and a housewife. His father died young, and his mother continued to raise her 12 children by herself. Bernas—Quining to friends, and Bernie to fellow Jesuits—was the second in the brood and one of three who would join the religious life. Two sisters became Benedictine nuns; one would be president of St. Scholastica’s while Bernas was president of the Ateneo de Manila University, from 1984 to 1993.
Bernas studied at the Ateneo de Naga, and played a lot of basketball, while reading Zane Grey westerns and the Ellery Queen and Perry Mason detective books. By the time he was in his last year of high school, he was already giving priesthood some serious thought. “The biggest influence was studying in the Ateneo. I saw a lot of young Jesuits, and the life attracted me.” The only time he had second thoughts was when he was nearing ordination, Bernas recalls. “I already had a graduate degree in law then, and I wondered, will I push through with this? And then I thought of my mother, and how she would be terribly disappointed.”
His mother was no religious fanatic, Bernas recounts, but she was a major influence on his choice of vocation. She passed away in 1984.
Although he had also considered becoming a journalist when he was younger—he has been a much-read columnist for several broadsheets, including the Inquirer—Bernas got interested in law while earning his MA in Philosophy, after teaching English and Latin at the Ateneo High School. “I enjoyed teaching, but I hated correcting papers!”
Bernas graduated from the Ateneo Law School in 1963, and was ordained a priest at the Fordham University Church in New York on June 10, 1965—the same year he completed his master’s degree in law at New York University.
Bernas zoomed in on constitutional law because of a preference for “grand views. I’m not very good with details. That’s why I find reading financial reports difficult. But there are philosophical things in constitutional law. It’s about big things, and not the nitty-gritty.”
Although he also served as Jesuit Provincial, Bernas’ true home is the Ateneo Law School, where he was dean from 1975 to 1977, and again from 2000 to 2004. He teaches constitutional law and public international law six hours a week, but gets his hands on students in their first and second years. Bernas mischievously describes himself as a “delightful” teacher—and his students agree.
“He’s probably the most brilliant legal teacher I’ll ever have,” says PJ Bernardo, a junior associate at the Poblador Bautista and Reyes Law Offices who placed eighth in the last bar exams. “In our first year, we would be trembling whenever we were on deck. We were never bored; you’d be too afraid to be bored! But I still remember his cases up to now. He had this ability to simplify vague concepts of law, and draw out the answers from you.”
“Everybody holds him in such high regard, because he’s smart, funny, and can dish out good advice—it’s the whole package,” agrees another former student, Anna Su, who also passed the last bar exam and will be working at the Supreme Court.
“I don’t insult people,” Bernas clarifies good-naturedly. “The only one I’ve used is, ‘Explain to the class why your answer is wrong.’” Lawyer Pedro Ariston, a former Jesuit scholastic and student, remembers another subtle one: how Bernas would greet students with the question, “So what’s on your feeble mind today?”
Bernas says he can spot a good lawyer in first year. “Some of them are very smart. The amazing thing is, I teach them in first year, and they’re struggling, and then I meet them again in fourth year when they’re defending their thesis, and I ask, is this the kid I taught? They really grow up. It’s very gratifying to see.” The kind of lawyers he’d like to help mold, he says, “have to be excellent academically, but they also have to have a good heart. They should be willing to serve people, country, God. It’s always a mixture—you have very good graduates, and you also have scoundrels. I always tell them, if nothing else, come back to the Ateneo to go to confession.”
Since becoming Dean Emeritus, Bernas has had more time to hear those confessions, say Mass (his daily Mass at the Law School is famous for his short, succinct sermons) and give retreats. “My former students have accused me of becoming soft in my old age, but I still flunk people on occasion,” he says.
An admittedly sociable fellow, the 73-year-old Bernas hardly uses his quarters in Rockwell because “I don’t like being alone. I come back here every night so I can have breakfast with the guys,” referring to his fellow Jesuits. “People who don’t know me think I’m unapproachable, but when they buy me a drink they realize that’s not true.”
That drink, by the way, is usually a Royal Tru-Orange, and he admits to a fondness for Spanish food and ice cream. “When I visit with my siblings, they’re in trouble if they don’t have any ice cream for me. But they also have to rearrange the table, because I only eat what’s right in front of me.”
‘Temptation was there’
Having his own family was never an option, Bernas says, although “the temptation was there,” he says with a chuckle. “In fact, when I came back to the Ateneo after it became coed, I wondered if I would have survived if I had studied here as a young Jesuit, what will all those bright-eyed and bushy-tailed students.” In many ways, he is also a friend to the students he mentors, who consult him frequently about personal problems, even love lives. “There’s this student here, whose father was my classmate. I married her parents, baptized her, married her and baptized her child.” One of his own nephews is already teaching in the law school.
Bernas enjoys a good walk around the Ateneo campus most mornings before breakfast to stay in shape, although he used to enjoy more vigorous rounds of pelota and tennis. He’s fit enough to drive himself around, though, and enjoys surfing the Net. “I’m just waiting for my retirement, which will never come,” he says with a laugh. “But seriously, I will retire when I feel I am no longer effective as a teacher. That would be unfair. But I’m very relaxed, and I’ve accepted what I can no longer accomplish.”
Does that mean that the lawyer has more time to be more—for lack of a better word—priestly? “My God is still the same. He never changes.”
Ariston summed it up during a speech he made for his beloved mentor’s 70th birthday: “More than being a premiere Filipino constitutionalist, more than anything else, the ‘SJ’ after his name defines the man!” Ariston said of Bernas. “My favorite defining image of him… is the Joaquin G. Bernas, SJ who at night, after dinner, clad in his pambahay shirt, khaki shorts and well-worn sneakers, walks around the Ateneo campus in solitude, praying the rosary.”
Writing about presidents
While the number of new priests has been dwindling, Bernas characteristically looks on the bright side. “It’s the age of the laity, and there are many things lay people can do that priests can’t.” For his part, the immediate plan is to keep writing. “I’ve already done the Cory presidency, the Ramos presidency, the abbreviated Erap presidency, and I’ve started putting together the GMA presidency, but I’m still looking for an adjective for that.” The good father peers over his glasses, smiling and pretending to search for a word you know he has already found. “‘Troubled’?”
join the facebook group :
Fr. Joaquin Bernas SJ for Ombudsman
the case of the 2 defective Nokia C3 is not yet over. not only is it still on-going, the most recent dealing with Nokia Care, Nokia’s customer “care” service made it worst by showing they really don’t care about customers.
after a string of failures with ronald of the Nokia Care center at Greenhills, we have decided to get the information we needed on our own. through our contacts from nokia itself and from the industry, we are able to get the names of the key officers of Nokia Philippines – it’s general manager, marketing director and customer care manager. we were able to get through to the office of the general manager and the assistant in that office listened to our complaints and got our contact numbers.
the result was swift, we immediately got a call. from a certain Byan who we think is the manager in charge of the Nokia Care center operations. we guess getting a call from the office of the general manager of Nokia Philippines has pushed the right button.
bryan in his mild mannered tone told me at the outset that he has been briefed by Nokia Care Greenhills and is aware of our request for a refund. he quickly told me that they are prepared to make an offer. he said they are giving us two (2) options : option 1 – replace the 2 C3 units with brand new C3 units or option 2 – refund the purchase price of the 2 units. the latter was actually my request.
we asked him more questions to fully understand the offers he made. i asked him what guarantee can he give me that the brand new C3 units he will replace the defective ones will no longer have the same problems as the ones i bought? i asked if there were changes in hardware parts since the time i bought them. he said there were no changes in hardware parts.
he told me that it should have no problem with the ones i bought because these new units will have the latest software. i told him i doubt if that will solve the problems. i told him that the 2 units that i bought have been loaded with new and the latest software several times at their Nokia Care Center and the problems continued to reoccur.
on the refund – i asked him what was the process involved and how long will it take them to give me the refund. he said the refund will take a little bit longer to accomplish as it will involve “coordinating” with the resellers or the stores from which the units were bought from.
since the users of the cellphone were my teen-age children and not me, i told bryan i needed some time to make the decision. i wanted my children to make the decision on what they want to do with their defective Nokia C3 units. we were given two options, i wanted each child to make up his/her own mind as to what option to take.
true enogjh, my two children had different preferences – my 13 year old son wanted a refund. he does not want to have anything to do with a nokia phone. my daughter continue to like the C3 and her decision was for the replacement of a brand new unit.
since i was going to buy a new cellphone myself, i had my two children come with me to the stores for them to see other brands before they make a final decision. we spent a whole afternoon looking at cellphones in the malls. in the end my son stayed with a refund and my duaghter changed her mind and now wanted a refund, both now had firm ideas on the brand and model they wanted to have and both are not nokias.
with the decisions made, i told bryan what they were the next time he called me. i asked him again – what are the processes that they will need to follow and when will i get the refund. he gave the same answers – he will need to coordinate with the resellers and it will take one week. he said he will call me the following week, on a tuesday.
so last wednesday on the first working hour, i called bryan to ask about the refund, he was not answering his phone. after lunch, he finally called me and this call was a dramatic disappointment.
he told me that they will not be able to give a refund on the units we bought from nokia. this was very shocking to me. he did not mention any problems with the refund during the previous two times we talked about it. i asked him very direct questions and all he said length of time was the only issue and nothing else.
bryan was now denying he made the offer of the refund. he said that the offer made then was tentative and that after further review, they found out they cannot offer it to me.
i was adamant – i had told my children about the refund and we even spent time to look at cellphone options to make a proper decision. and now, i will need to tell my children no refund was forthcoming.
a few more discussions ensued. i explained to him why we preferred the refund which was basically we did not think Nokia can guarantee that replacing the defective units with brand new ones will solve the problem. i told him i no longer wanted to keep going back to the Nokia Care Center for any repair. cellphone units are not supposed to break down every two months, they are supposed to last for a long time .
sensing this was a dead end with byan, i asked him for the name of his superior. i thought that itr was time to elevate the matter to a higher level. he refused to give me the name of the person of hyis superior. i asked him what department he belonged to, he also refused to give me the specific name of the department and only said he worked at Nokia Philippines.
i asked him several times the name of his superior at Nokia Philippines and he simply ignored my question. what got me ticked was he ev en pretended not to hear what I was asking him, saying the connection was bad and he could not hear me.
that really got me very angry. i thought this bryan in his mild mannered tone was completely unprofessional. i also thought that he was hiding something,, he probably knew he had screwed up the discussion with me and he did not have the balls to give the name of his superior as he will be found out by Nokia higher management.
i hanged up the phone even more determined to get the refund and to expose bryan.
IT consultant inadvertently livetweets attack on Osama bin Laden’s compound
Living just 250m from the location where head of Al-Qa’ida was killed in attack by US forces, Sohaib Athar noticed helicopters overhead at 1am local time as attack started.
president obama’s speech on death of osama bin laden announcement, watch video & read transcript here
a brilliant speech. you hear what you want to get. it captured very well the spirit of the people and the meaning of this achievement by the american military. this is a big win for america!
from news reports:
- osama bin laden was shot in the head
- his body has already been buried at sea (so that no one can dig it up?). it is a custom among muslims that the dead be buried within 24 hours of death.
- bin laden was hiding in a $1M mansion with high walls and barbed wires built in 2005. was bin laden living there since 2005?
- and the pakistan government never knew he was there? really??
- the house did not have telephone and internet service. such an expensive house and no telephone and internet. perhaps to avoid being traced or bugged?
- because of no internet and telephone, couriers were instead used to communicate to the outside world. and these couriers were what the intelligence units looked into.
- unlike the neighbors, trash from the house was not thrown but burned inside the house. this was to prevent intelligence units to track down bin laden through the trash?
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release May 1, 2011
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON OSAMA BIN LADEN
East Room 11:35 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
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 of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. 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.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. 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.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must — and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
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. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. 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.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
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.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
END 11:44 P.M. EDT
at long last, osama bin laden is dead! and dead at the hands of american military forces, the most fitting death for the top terrorist. we did not want osama to die of natural causes, he needed to dies from a hit from an american soldier’s gun. we applaud america and we certainly applaud the military personnel who assaulted osama’s hideout. we equally applaud the intelligence personnel who put this together and made the attack possible, these two separate units needed to be at their best to make this happen.
this american victory reaffirms america’s greatness. more importantly, perhaps for many it closes a chapter among the families whose loved ones were lost on 9/11 and the wars that followed. we think the american soul has been replenished by the death of osama at the hands of an american military man.
congratulations to america! to the military and intelligence units who made this possible. the world thanks you.