The e-mail from the White House press office held a simple message: “[T]the president will make a statement as early as 10:30 p.m.” And immediately speculation began on Twitter on what it could be. A Sunday night. So late. Whatever President Obama had to say, it couldn’t be good, and it was news that couldn’t possibly wait.
At 11:33 p.m.., the president strode down the dramatic red carpet to the East Room of the White House to announce: “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.”
Nine years, seven months and 20 days after two airliners were flown into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania — talking 2,977 lives — the mastermind behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 was killed in a covert operation authorized by the president earlier in the day Sunday. A victory over evil has been secured. As the president said, “Justice has been done.”