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Never Underestimate A Grandma Who Is Covered By The Blood Of Jesus And Was Born In August Shirt, hoodie, tank top
On the morning of May 1, 2011, most Americans had never heard of Abbottabad. By that night, the dusty midsize city near the mountains of northwest Pakistan was the center of the biggest story in the world. A team of U.S. Navy SEALs had just descended by helicopter on a high-walled mansion there in the dark of night, located the globe’s most hunted man and killed him.
The effort to track and execute Osama bin Laden, which took place 10 years ago this weekend, was the most closely held operational secret in modern American history—a highly sensitive, politically fraught and physically risky mission that involved breaching the sovereign territory of a purported U.S. Ally to target an icon of international violence and terror.
Once his death was announced in a hastily organized late Sunday night presidential address, much of the initial attention focused on the bravery and skill of the SEAL operators who flew in and conducted the attack. Other popular culture, like the movie Zero Dark Thirty, would later center on the years of work by the analysts who traced the elusive bin Laden to his compound. But the operation also stands as a fascinating window into the most rarefied zone of presidential decision-making: Barack Obama had sole authority to approve an act with huge consequences and huge risks, one that could easily sink his presidency if it went bad. And, with a decade’s hindsight, there was another consequential domestic political subplot at work that week, too: On the day between when Obama approved the operation and when Seal Team Six helicoptered in, the president kept a long-scheduled date at the White House Correspondents Association dinner, where he publicly roasted celebrity real estate developer-turned-TV host Donald Trump for pumping up the “birther” conspiracy theory that he wasn’t a real citizen.