We have almost no context yet, but there’s big news tonight: Osama bin Laden is reportedly dead.
I’ll be blogging for a while adding context, but please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
11:35 p.m.: President Obama just reported the death of bin Laden himself in an announcement at the White House. As you’d expect, he started by recalling the deaths of more than 3,000 Americans at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pa.
11:37 p.m.: Obama says he told CIA director Leon Panetta to make killing or capturing bin Laden his top priority. The White House received a lead last August, and a small group of Americans conducted an operation in Pakistan on a compound today to get him. After a firefight, they collected his body, the president said.
11:40 p.m.: “Over the years, I have said repeatedly that if we received actionable intelligence that bin Laden was hiding in Pakistan, we would take action,” Obama said. He credited Pakistan with helping in the operation.
11:42 p.m.: The president just thanked counterintelligence and counterterrorism personnel for working to keep the U.S. safe. He has not said who carried out the mission, but the assumption is it was a CIA operation.
11:46 p.m.: There are now hundreds of people celebrating outside the White House, CNN reports.
11:49 p.m.: Multiple reports on Twitter say it was U.S. special operations team that carried out the mission, but it’s not confirmed.
11:57 p.m.: For perspective’s sake, the White House Twitter feed is online here. Thanks for the comments.
11:59 p.m.: A Gold Star mother just texted me the following: “As a Gold Star mother, I am happy for this human obstacle to be eliminated. One down, more to go.”
12 a.m.: Additional context is becoming available about where bin Laden died. The compound was in Abbottabad, deep in Pakistan.
12:05 a.m.: Here’s an initial wire story on the news.
12:09 a.m.: For reference sake: Adolf Hitler was declared on May 1, 1945.
12:11 a.m.: CNN reports that the National Security Council met five times since mid-March. The order to attack bin Laden’s compound was given Friday.