The assassination of Osama bin Laden by US Special Forces in Abbotabad, Pakistan will likely assure Barack Obama’s victory in the 2012 presidential race. Republican hawks will have a hard time pressing their claims that Obama is "soft on terrorism."
Details about the killing of bin Laden remain obscure. The mission, a joint operation between CIA and Special Forces, appeared to have been mounted from a US-controlled air base in Pakistan – without the advance knowledge of Pakistan’s government. US sources say Osama was shot twice in the head; his son was also killed.
Bin Laden’s body was photographed and then apparently dumped into the sea from a US aircraft. Washington claims this was done to observe Muslim funeral rites calling for almost immediate burial. This sounds preposterous.
The real reason was more likely to prevent bin Laden’s burial site from becoming a shrine and, some cynics will assert, getting rid of the evidence. Expect endless claims that a bin Laden double was killed while the real McCoy still haunts Pakistan’s badlands. Various fakes videotapes used to depict bin Laden as the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks used doubles.