By Bill O'Reilly
There's a lot of misinformation floating around about the operation that killed Usama bin Laden on Sunday, so we will set the record straight.
We begin Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET, 12:30 a.m. Pakistan time. Forty Navy SEALs arrived at a housing compound about 30 miles north of Islamabad. The SEALs came from Afghanistan. They were based at Bagram air base. Four helicopters took them in. One of those helicopters was damaged upon landing and later destroyed by the SEALS.
Quickly surrounding the compound, the SEALs were met by gunfire and a firefight ensued. It lasted less than 20 minutes and at 3:50 ET, Usama bin Laden was tentatively identified as one of the five people killed. The maniac had been shot in the face by the SEALs. Bin Laden's body was removed, but the other bodies were not.
The U.S. raiders also took all kinds of information from the compound. They then flew back to Afghanistan. The entire operation lasted about 40 minutes.
It is worth noting that President Obama and his national security team watched the operation in live time from the White House. You can do that now with satellite technology.
Also, the president did not inform the Pakistani authorities that the raid was taking place. That's because Pakistan is not to be trusted. I mean, come on. A million-dollar compound in a poor area with high walls and barbed wire and the Pakistani government doesn't know who lives there? Sure.
The successful "get bin Laden" operation began almost four years ago when CIA agents discovered the name of one of his couriers. Two years later, they located the courier in Pakistan and eventually traced him to the compound. The CIA then began watching the building, which contained dozens of people. In February 2011, President Obama was advised that bin Laden was likely inside the fortress. But the president did not want to bomb it, fearing civilian casualties. And so a SEAL operation unfolded.
The raid was planned for Saturday but bad weather pushed it off to Sunday. It went very smoothly according to intelligence sources. There were no U.S. casualties at all.
Apparently, U.S. forces took photographs of bin Laden's body and then dumped it in the Arabian Sea, officials saying Muslim law requires some kind of burial within 24 hours.
Reaction to bin Laden's death has been interesting. The Taliban is promising revenge, and Hamas has condemned the USA. On the political front, former Pakistani leader, General Pervez Musharraf, says he is outraged by the raid:
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
GEN. PERVEZ MUSHARRAF, FORMER PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN: American troops coming across the border and taking action in one of our towns that is Abbottabad is not acceptable to the people of Pakistan. It is a violation of our sovereignty. It would have been far better if Pakistani special services group had operated and conducted the mission.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
The problem with that, as you well know, General, is that your guys would have tipped off bin Laden like you've done hundreds of other times in the past.
Simply put, the United States has a major problem with Pakistan. It is enabling terrorism and helping the Taliban against NATO forces in Afghanistan. In 2010, the USA sent $3.4 billion to Pakistan. This year another $3 billion is supposed to go over there. Yet President Obama cannot tell -- cannot tell -- Pakistan President Zardari that we are going to launch a raid in his country. That says it all.
Almost. Here's Secretary of State Clinton:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound in which he was hiding.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
With all due respect, that's twaddle. Some elements inside Pakistan may be helping us but we simply cannot count on or trust that country. No spin.
The legacy of Usama bin Laden is flat-out evil. The man was a homicidal maniac, responsible for thousands of deaths worldwide. You can just tick off the list: the first World Trade Center attack, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, the U.S. embassies in Africa, the USS Cole, 9/11, Madrid, London, Bali, and on and on. If there is an afterlife, this guy is in big trouble right now.
Yet he still gets some sympathy in the Muslim world, and that's what I mean when I tell you there is a Muslim problem. A few countries like Saudi Arabia have applauded the U.S. action, but most Muslim countries are silent. If there was not a Muslim problem in the world, every responsible Muslim leader would have called to congratulate President Obama. Would they not? "Talking Points" would like to know exactly how many calls the president has received from Muslim leaders worldwide.
Many Americans are frustrated that it took so long to get bin Laden, but remember: We did not get much help from the Muslim world and that made hunting the terrorist much harder. Apparently, we developed our own intelligence and it took four years to track the guy down, but we got him. And as we said, this is a great day for America.
Going forward, President Obama must confront Pakistan. We can't be sending billions of dollars to these people and having them aid the Taliban. That's insane, almost criminal. Americans are being killed in Afghanistan by Taliban fighters who have sanctuary in Pakistan. No more excuses. Pakistan either joins in the fight against the Taliban or we put them on ice. Yes, there are unintended consequences to doing that. Militant Muslims might overthrow the government, but that's all the more reason for President Zardari to partner up with the USA. Pakistan is a chaotic country, full of jihadists who are pretty much running wild. Is that what Zardari wants when his own wife was assassinated by terrorists?
And then there's always the ultimate: Pakistan does have nuclear weapons.
Here at home, the demise of Usama bin Laden is a major turning point in the war on terror. Al Qaeda has been downgraded severely, at great cost to us, and now its chief villain is gone forever. But there are other villains and they are not going to stop trying to kill us. That is the reality of America in 2011. We have to stay strong, we have to stay smart, and we have to understand that war requires great sacrifice.
We finally won big with bin Laden, but there are other battles to come.
And that's "The Memo."
Pinheads & Patriots
At the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday night, Seth Myers was pretty funny analyzing the president:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SETH MYERS, CAST MEMBER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": So it's not a strong field, and who knows if they can beat you in 2012. But I'll tell you who could definitely beat you, Mr. President. 2008 Barack Obama. You would have loved him. So charismatic, so charming. Was he a little too idealistic? Maybe, but you would have loved him.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
What do you think of that? Is Mr. Myers a pinhead or a patriot? Please vote on BillOReilly.com.
On Friday, we showed you the "Imus" crew:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
"MARGARET THATCHER": Such a pleasure to be here with an icon of radio on your show.
DON IMUS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: What are your observations up to this point?
"THATCHER": The Queen Mother dressed up like Pac-Man, apparently, all in yellow. Lovely. Chasing fruit around the aisles. What a fetid, decaying mass of flesh she is.
IMUS: People love the queen.
"THATCHER": She's so old she could have bought the Shroud of Turin at a white sale.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
That was supposed to be Margaret Thatcher. Sixty-six percent of you thought that bit was pinheaded; just 34 percent patriotic.