It was called “Operation Vengence”.

He had ordered the deaths of thousands of Americans using airplanes, and alerted the average American that a war of civilizations was now endangering them.

Therefore, the president used secret intelligence networks to find where the mastermind was hiding. And after some discussions, the president approved of the mission tasked to kill this enemy of all Americans.

On April 18th 1943 a group of 18 American fighters, piloted by a hand picked group of airmen was sent to find and shoot down the airplane transporting Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Yamamoto was the Commander of the combined fleet of the Japanese Imperial Navy as well as the man responsible for the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Codenamed Operation Vengeance, the attempt to kill Yamamoto is one of the most fascinating stories of World War.

Yet even then, there was some controversy:

The success of Operation Vengeance …stands out as an effective and controversial moment in American military history. Was Yamamoto killed in a military action or purposefully assassinated, an action which would be in direct conflict from the American policy of not singling out foreign leaders as targets to be eliminated?

There is a difference between personal vendetta and war, and there is a big difference between trying to capture an enemy during a war and the targeted killing of an enemy.

The usual suspects have pointed fingers at the US for “assassinating” Osama.

Yet the dirty little secret is that, unlike the targeted killing of Admiral Yamamoto by FDR,  President Obama in this case ordered a raid, not a bomb, even though he has in the past authorized the targeting of enemy bunkers or safehouses thought to contain terrorists, with few people objecting.

The SEAL team, not a bomb, was used in this case was that there was some small hope of capturing Osama, who would have given much useful information to the US.Few thought he could be captured like Saddam Hussein, but the possibility of capturing an enemy with valuable information, and of capturing files and computers that also held information to identify the terror networks, were probably the true reason for the raid.

From Politico:

The assault force of Navy SEALs snatched a trove of computer drives and disks during their weekend raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound, yielding what a U.S. official called “the mother lode of intelligence.”…“They cleaned it out,” one official said. “Can you imagine what’s on Osama bin Laden’s hard drive?

So the usual suspects who condemn this as “murder” are a bit off target.

So are those who are writing from their safe apartments why Jesus wouldn’t approve and do so to show their superiority to those shouting “USA USA” in joy.

Never rejoice in a man’s death? No, but some of us are happy that he is no longer here to inspire murder.

The story of the raid keeps changing, probably for political and diplomatic purposes.

The initial story was that Osama was killed a week ago by a bomb. That story would have allowed some breathing time to examine his computers before the bad guys knew they were now being targeted.

What the supposedly computer savvy White House hadn’t anticipated that a computer expert would tweet the raid, and of course, a destroyed Black hawk helicopter hanging inside a private house would be hard to explain to the local authorities.

Even before President Obama confirmed the death of Osama Bin Laden, informed tweeters were speculating online about the reason for a hastily-organised White House press conference.

The story keeps changing, I suspect for political or diplomatic reasons, but I suspect that the real story and maybe even the film will soon be Wikileaked on the Pirate bay, just as the information of Pakistan’s ISI helping the Taliban was leaked a couple months ago.


addendum: BlackfiveBlog also agrees it was not a kill raid:

If that SEAL operator came through the door to find UBL with his hands up, compliant, and unarmed (including no evidence of a suicide vest) he would have taken a muzzle strike to the face, but not any rounds. He would have swallowed some teeth, been flex cuffed, and dragged roughly out to a marshalling area and then onto the helo(helicopter)…..
Are Navy SEALs eager to kill terrorists and UBL most of all? Hells Yeah! But we would not be tasked with a mission profile that excludes the capture of the single greatest intelligence bonanza in the history of the conflict. Certainly we will exploit the intel collected on the target and soon, but if you simply want to kill somebody no matter what you do not send Navy SEALs across a sovereign border to do it. That is what Hellfire missiles and JDAMs are designed to do.


Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She blogs at Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.

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