After the relentless pounding of Tora Bora caves and tunnels and hiding space by a massive American assault, US military personnel went to body after body punching a special device into the various cadavers found to do field-based testing of the DNA of the remains of those found against the held and known DNA of Osama bin Laden.
Years after, many Defense Department, CIA and other national security intelligence practitioners thought that bin Laden, who needed dialysis support, was dead, that there was no way that he could have survived all these years without surfacing or being exposed by informants.
Tonight, we now know he is dead. President Obama is about to report on this. We know very few details at the time of this writing — but we know that he was alive until a week ago, while many thought he was dead years ago.
My colleague and friend Peter Bergen, who interviewed bin Laden in 1997, will no doubt have much to say about bin Laden’s death — which does matter but which does not necessarily mean that al Qaeda affiliates and look alike outfits will give up their nefarious endeavors.
— Steve Clemons