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Archive for May 4th, 2011

Newspaper covers hang on a wall near the World Trade Center site the day after President Barack Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed. (Photo: Marcus Yam / The New York Times)

Now What?

Wednesday 4 May 2011
by: William Rivers Pitt, Truthout

“We need to counteract the shockwave of the evil-doer by having individual rate cuts accelerated, and by thinking about tax rebates.”

– George W. Bush, October 2001

There is something fundamentally crazy-making about the fact that Osama bin Laden, damned murderer of thousands, met his demise on the anniversary of the day George W. Bush, damned murderer of thousands, pulled his infamous “Mission Accomplished” stunt on the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. I suspect that, had Mr. Bush managed to back up his big talk and actually bag bin Laden before his second term expired, we would have seen him jump out of an attack helicopter at Ground Zero wearing a SEAL uniform – complete with night-vision scope and even larger codpiece – under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished II.”

You just know Bush would have done it, too. The core of his greatest strength was his utter and complete lack of shame. The fact that he said, “I don’t know where he is. Nor do I – you know, I just don’t spend that much time on him to be honest with you,” in 2002 would not have fazed him one bit. He would have smirked his way through it, and the mainstream media would have cooed over his masculinity and awesome presidential excellence.

So, at least, we were spared that madness. Thank God for small favors. Seems like that’s all we get these days.

I wanted to celebrate the death of bin Laden, and in my own way, I did. I didn’t dance in the streets or wave a flag or shout “USA! USA! USA!” But I definitely smiled, and I don’t apologize for it. There an old joke about a man who would buy a newspaper every day from a paperboy, scan the front page, and then throw the paper away in disgust. After a while, the paperboy asked him why he kept throwing the paper away. “I’m looking for someone in the obituaries,” the man replied. “But, sir,” said the paperboy, “the obituaries aren’t on the front page.” The man looked at him and said, “When the son of a bitch I’m looking for dies, he’ll be on the front page.”

Or, in the immortal words of Mark Twain, “I never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.” That’s about right, and that’s enough about that.

MORE HERE

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SEAL Team Six: Navy SEALs Unit Who Killed Bin Laden Has Interesting Past

History.com/Huffington Post Posted: 05/ 3/11 01:55 PM ET

History.com – Sources are reporting that Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader who avoided capture for nearly a decade after engineering the attacks of September 11, 2001, was killed by an elite counterterrorism unit of the U.S. military known as DevGru. Find out more about the origins and past operations of these highly trained Navy SEALs.

Originally known as SEAL Team Six, the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DevGru) is one of several publicly disclosed units under the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), an elite and highly classified group that coordinates counterterrorism and other security-related missions around the world. (Others include the Army’s fabled Delta Force and the Air Force’s 24th Special Tactics Squadron.) Based at Pope Army Air Field and Fort Bragg in North Carolina, JSOC was established in 1980 after American special forces failed to rescue American hostages at the Iranian Embassy during Operation Eagle Claw.

For the full story from History.com, click here.

Notable Past DevGru Missions

Operation Just Cause (1989)
Working with Delta Force and other elite units, DevGru members assisted in the capture of deposed dictator Manuel Noriega during the United States’ invasion of Panama in December 1989.

Operation Pokeweed (1990)
DevGru reportedly returned to Panama to take part in a secret operation intended to apprehend the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. The mission is believed to have failed due to poor intelligence.

Battle of Mogadishu (1993)
DevGru members participated in a multinational task force during Operation Gothic Serpent, the U.S.-led mission to capture Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid in the fall of October 1993. It culminated in the Battle of Mogadishu, which was later chronicled in the book “Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War” and a subsequent film adaptation.

For an expanded list of missions and the full story from History.com, click here.

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Wisconsin Democrats Win Seat That Was Held By Republicans For Sixteen Years In Special Election

Think Progress- By Zaid Jilani at 9:50 am

Wisconsin marks the birthplace of a burgeoning Main Street Movement defending the economic livelihood of the middle class. The movement was spawned after Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and his GOP allies passed new laws stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. Last night, Wisconsin Republicans suffered what was perhaps the first electoral defeat resulting from a backlash to their radical anti-labor policies as Democrats won a special election for an assembly seat held by the GOP for the past 16 years:

Democrat Steve Doyle defeated Republican John Lautz for the Wisconsin District 94 Assembly, flipping a seat held by Republicans for 16 years in a race that focused attention on Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to curtail collective bargaining right for most public employees. With 92% of precincts reporting, Doyle won 54% to 46%, based on unofficial results in Tuesday’s special election. The race flips a GOP Assembly seat for the Democrats, who remain in the minority.

The seat was previously held by Mike Huebsch, who Walker picked in January to serve as secretary of administration. Huebsch was first elected in 1994. The district covers rural La Crosse County and parts of Monroe County.

Doyle actually won despite “a barrage of television and radio attacks by third-party groups, along with mailings from the Jobs First Coalition, a Brookfield, Wis.-based group tied to Scott Jensen, the former Republican state Assembly speaker who left office in 2002 amid misconduct allegations.” “I look at it as a rejection of attack ads,” he told the La Crosse Tribune.

SOURCE

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