The parts highlighted were removed before he delivered his final text.
It’s true! I got it exclusively off the back of a truck...
Text: Obama's remarks on the killing of bin Laden
Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaida, and a terrorist who's responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
Of course I can report that, if I want to. Even if it didn’t happen, I can report it. I am the President, so I can do anything. Maybe you believe that Bin Laden died many years ago, but I say you’re wrong. You’ll just have to believe me on that because we disposed of the body straight away, so there. This of course was out of our deep respect for human life and Islamic tradition. Maybe we’ll release some photos if you really don’t believe us, but you’ll just have to wait until we are satisfied with the results from the Pentagon Photoshop. We might even have to come up with a believable independent witness once we agree on the amount of the bribe, or after we do a little water-boarding. Perhaps even an impressive looking DNA result can be cooked up, if you really want it. I’ll get back to you on that.
Of course, good terrorists responsible for the murder of, not just a few thousands, but vastly more impressive millions of innocent men, women and children are fortunately still walking free. I am of course referring to people like George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Henry Kissinger and myself.
It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.
Not counting the mass slaughter of the native American Indians, of course, whose lands we put in better hands. That doesn’t count. And not counting Pearl Harbour which we also organized as an ‘inside job’ to get us into World War 2 – but I’m getting side-tracked.
The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory, we made damn sure of that -- hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; WTC 7 also collapsing in controlled demolition fashion, even though no plane hit it – but we don’t talk about that one; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
But of course you already know the official fairy story about 9/11, and how it was all done by a bunch of Muslims who “hate us for our freedoms”, and a man in a cave somewhere.
And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
A much greater gaping hole in our hearts, of course, than left by the countless millions of innocent children and parents we ourselves have slaughtered in the name of Empire since our murderous history began. Of course, they weren’t Americans, so they don’t count.
On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country.
We should have asked real questions about the grievances caused throughout the world by our economic and foreign policies, military occupations and wars – but of course we don’t want to go there!
On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who we decided had committed this vicious attack to justice. We rather too quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda -- an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, our ‘freedom fighter’ from the days of the USSR in Afghanistan, and our paid CIA asset, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies, and all our oil that non-Americans in other countries are living on.
Yes, Bin Laden denied doing 9/11 but of course he'd say that. How can you believe the words of a man who kills innocent people? We put all the blame on Bin Laden and his band of terrorists so that the real people responsible for 9/11 would be protected. Of course 9/11 was really an “inside job”, but we don’t want people thinking dangerous things like that.
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we've made great strides in that effort, and killed and displaced millions of innocent people who stand in our way.
We've disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense.
Well, that’s what we tell a gullible public anyway, to keep them in a permanent state of fear so we can get the military-security budget approved while we are busily cutting public spending on the public so we can bail out our mates in the banks, and enrich the super-rich even more at the expense of the majority. We don’t want to tell them about the FBI set-ups of fake “terrorist’ plots because that will undermine all our efforts.
In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al-Qaeda safe haven and support.
Of course, we had to remove the Taliban from power very quickly because they were negotiating to hand Bin Laden over to an agreed court process if we had evidence he was responsible for 9/11 and guaranteed him a fair trial. We refused to do that because we were in no mood to negotiate, the FBI had no such evidence, and God knows what might have come out in court about our associations with Bin Laden, and who really pulled off 9/11. Besides, we had already decided on regime change in the interests of controlling the oil and gas pipeline and minerals we wanted in Afghanistan, so Bin Laden was the perfect opportunity, so there.
And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al-Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Some even admitted their complicity in 9/11 or other crimes, after we gently persuaded them with our ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ and water-boarding a few hundred times. The ones who haven’t yet come around to admit their guilt can continue to enjoy the loving hospitality of our secret and not-so-secret prison system forever, without worrying about nuisance phone calls or visits from their lawyer, family or Amnesty International do-gooders.
Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan, cunningly dragging his kidney dialysis machine and medications with him. Then the world’s No. 1 fugitive took up residence in a lovely sprawling house, reportedly without underground bunkers or escape tunnels, or even trees in the grounds to prevent our helicopters from landing there. This shows his complete arrogance – not that perhaps we knew he was there, protected him there, and killed him at a time of our choosing to suit our purposes. Or, was it actually his look-alike that we killed – you know, the one we used in fake Bin Laden videos to scare the world because the real Bin Laden had died back in 2001? No, it was definitely the real Bin Laden. I’m your President – would I lie?
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al-Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. So the ones who died don’t count as they are just “collateral damage”. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
Note I did not say “During a firefight, ...” because even the President must be careful not to get caught out lying too blatantly, but I do not want to give anyone the impression that we took him alive and then murdered him execution-style.
We can let you know that Bin Laden was armed and fought back, using a female as a human shield, but our brave hit squad shot him in the eye with precision accuracy. Later, we can tell you that Bin Laden was actually not armed, did not resist, and there was no human shield. Actually, we are so brazen and above criticism that if we chose to we could even admit that he was taken alive and then assassinated in cold blood to avoid an embarrassing court trial, and we’d get away with it. We can tell you anything we jolly well like, as our media will spread whatever story we choose for you to believe. Anyway, I and my colleagues watched the whole wonderful exercise of ‘Justice the American Way’ live from our air-conditioned office, so you can just believe us whatever we say.
For over two decades, bin Laden has been al-Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al-Qaeda.
Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort.
Good Lord, no! We still have many things to achieve in pursuit of Empire, and we’re not stopping now. There are still evil regimes who want to be independent of our control so we have to change them to our way of thinking. We have a list of them we are working our way through. There are still resources to control, military bases to establish, a world to conquer.
There's no doubt that al-Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.
We’ll make sure of it – that’s how we get our way in the world.
We must -- and we will -- remain vigilant at home and abroad, to make sure that people continue to be deluded into believing that our aims are entirely noble and we love peace and human rights. The ordinary people must remain ill-informed, apathetic and acquiescent. I am a Noble Peace Prize winner, don’t you know?! Would I lie to you?
As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not -- and never will be -- at war with Islam. I've made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam.
Well, we have to say that, don’t we? We mustn’t have people getting some silly idea that this is a Western fundamentalist Christian-fascist capitalist enterprise we are running here, must we?
Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al-Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own.
Of course, he managed nowhere near as many as we have slaughtered, but we are Americans, and we can do anything.
So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
Over the years, I've repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we've done.
So maybe we had to break international law to do this without the approval of a sovereign nation, but shit happens. We do it all the time. Anyway, International Law only applies to others, not to us, so get over it!
But it's important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
Of course, not as many attacks against innocent Pakistani people as I have ordered, even surpassing George W. Bush’s best efforts in that regard, but I am after all the Commander-in-Chief of the world’s greatest military, with a fleet of unmanned drones available to bomb wedding parties and funerals whenever and wherever I like.
Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts, to make sure they know where they stand. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
And they will do so – unless they don’t want our kind economic aid, or prefer to be regime-changed.
The American people did not choose this fight.
Indeed not, it was their democratically elected government that did that – and we have the world’s best democracy corporate money can buy.
It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who's been gravely wounded.
And I just hope they believe me when I spin the tale that their sacrifice was for a noble cause, not to make our super rich even richer. My God, if they start to think of it like that, our game is up.
So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are.
Yes, fine values like lynch mobs, slavery, Wild West justice, and continuous wars for control of resources from the very beginning.
And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al-Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
Yes indeed, we will say that over and over and over again, ad nauseum, until everyone understands that ‘Justice has been done’ - when we Americans are judge, jury and executioner. Of course, for everyone else Justice will continue to be about quaint things like due process in a court of law. (Just in case someone gets an idea like storming into Bush’s ranch in the dead of night and shooting him in the head, now that of course would not be Justice.)
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who've worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
Ah, yes, thanks to Hollywood we just know the people really love the blood sport of revenge, waving our blood-splattered banner enthusiastically.
We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country’s rich ruling class. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed.
Some would say it was squandered when we launched our wars against Iraq and Afghanistan, based on lies, which had nothing to do with 9/11. Of course, sensible people like me would never say that.
Yet today's achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to, and if you don’t like, well stuff you. That is the story of our history, whether it's the pursuit of prosperity for our richest people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place for our corporations to do business.
Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, and the world’s biggest military machine.
Thank you. May God bless you. And may God bless the United States of America.
(Sorry, I mean our Christian God, the only decent one, of course. Ha, ha, you can’t see my tongue in cheek, can you?!)