Tuesday, May 03, 2011

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Reflections on bin Laden

It was really the plane going into the second tower that got everyone’s attention.

I had gotten an alert on my computer from MSNBC about the plane going into the first tower and thought it odd. Details were bizarrely sketchy at the time. Was it a real plane? Or just a prop plane?
Obviously it must have been an accident.

But then a few minutes after 9 o’clock, Flight 175 out of Boston crashed into the second tower — and all hell broke loose.

I was home with the kids. We lived on Niagara Street in Lockport at the time. We were safe. But as the morning progressed, panic swept across the country. Everything seemed like a potential target.

My wife worked in Niagara Falls and all I wanted was for her to come home where it was safe. I remember fear unlike any I’d ever felt before. The sky was falling. All I wanted was for my family to be safe, and I felt like I had no control over it whatsoever.

America changed that day.

I have to imagine that most people feel like Sunday night was the other bookend to Sept. 11. What began with planes crashing into buildings, ended with Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces killing the world’s most famous terrorist following a firefight in Pakistan.

That chapter of our life is complete.

I’m glad he’s dead. But I don’t feel any safer.

•••

The president was barely done speaking Sunday night when the conspiracy theories started to fly saying that we’d had bin Laden for a week, but were waiting for the right time to announce it.

Apparently, according to the nut job conspiracy peeps, we held off announcing it so we didn’t ruin the royal wedding. And the best time to make such an announcement? Sunday night during “Celebrity Apprentice,” of course.

Also, I saw some opining that it was “convenient” that President Obama would make this announcement when his numbers were in the tank. Maybe he should have waited to catch bin Laden?

I did notice the president himself doing a little politicking. Anyone else notice the emphasis of “at my direction” during his announcement Sunday night? He wanted no one to doubt that he gave the word. Over time, I imagine the story will morph just a bit and the president himself will have caught bin Laden bare handed and taken him out personally, despite having only a pointy stick.

Speaking of politicking, I got an email from Kathy Hochul’s camp Monday morning.

It said: “I commend President Obama for his decisive leadership and the special forces who carried out this operation for their tireless work.”

Note to Kathy Hochul: No one cares if you commend the president. His coat tails will not get you elected.

I hadn’t gotten a press release from Jane Corwin as of the time I was finished writing this column.

Obviously that’s because she doesn’t share Hochul’s glee in the world’s top terrorist being caught. Or at least I’m expecting to get an email from Hochul soon, stating as much.