Mon, May 09, 2011
World > Americas > Osama bin Laden killed

Obama says lost no sleep over death of bin Laden

2011-05-09 01:43:33 GMT2011-05-09 09:43:33(Beijing Time)

WASHINGTON - Anyone who questions whether the United States should have killed Osama bin Laden needs to have their head examined, President Barack Obama said in remarks broadcast on Sunday.

A week after a secret US strike team killed bin Laden at his Pakistan hideaway, Obama trumpeted the success and brushed away notions that the unarmed al Qaeda leader should have been captured alive.

Bin Laden got what he deserved, he told CBS News' "60 Minutes" in an interview capping a week-long focus on the bin Laden mission and the high-stakes decisions behind it.

"As nervous as I was about this whole process, the one thing I didn't lose sleep over was the possibility of taking bin Laden out," Obama said.

"Justice was done. And I think that anyone who would question that the perpetrator of mass murder on American soil didn't deserve what he got needs to have their head examined," he said.

Jim Messina, campaign manager of Obama's 2012 re-election bid, sent out a mass email on Sunday urging the president's supporters to watch the interview.

Obama has received a least a short-term political boost from the raid. His poll numbers have risen since bin Laden's capture and death.

In the CBS interview, Obama revealed that in ordering the raid he did consider the fate of two of his predecessors who suffered public humiliation when military missions went awry -- Jimmy Carter's failed rescue attempt of American hostages in Iran in 1980 and Bill Clinton's battle in Somalia in 1993 thatinspired the book and movie "Black Hawk Down."

Obama visited the site of the World Trade Center, known as Ground Zero, in New York on Thursday to honor the memories of the nearly 3,000 people killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks orchestrated by bin Laden.

The next day he met with members of the bin Laden assault team at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

White House officials have said bin Laden resisted during the raid -- but did not say how -- when US forces stormed his compound in what has been described as a "kill operation."

Obama, who watched the tense raid unfold from the White House Situation Room with top national security aides, said the operation to get bin Laden -- who was codenamed "Geronimo" -- seemed to take an eternity.

"It was the longest 40 minutes of my life with the possible exception of when (my daughter) Sasha got meningitis when she was three months old and I was waiting for the doctor to tell me that she was all right," he said.

Obama said he and his team were surprised to learn that it appeared bin Laden had been living in the Pakistan compound for an extended period.

"We know he was there at least five years," he said.



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