TPM News

1||May 2, 2011: Late Sunday night, President Obama announced in a live press conference from the White House that American forces had killed Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks, had been sought by the U.S. for over a decade, dating back to the waning years of the Clinton administration. ||AFP/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom&&

2||This undated file photo, taken sometime around 1990, shows Bin Laden at a time when he and rebel forces were fighting to reclaim Afghanistan from the Soviets. ||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

3||The Saudi-born Bin Laden, shown here in the late 1980s, led the Mujahideen against Soviet forces, with the help of American arms and finances. ||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

4||By the late 1990s, then at the helm of Al Qaeda, Bin Laden helped orchestrate the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, and Dar es Salaam. || ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom&&

5||The U.S. embassy bombings, carried out by Al Qaeda in 1998, killed over 200 civilians, and led to the F.B.I. to place bin Laden on their most wanted list. ||AFP/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom&&

6||In the wake of Al Qaeda's attacks on American embassies in Africa, President Clinton launched military strikes against suspected terrorist sites in Sudan and Afghanistan. The attack on Sudan mistakenly hit a pharmaceutical factory. ||White House UPI Photo Service/Newscom&&

7||On September 11, 2001, Al Qaeda carried out the deadliest attack on American soil in the nation's history. ||z03/z03/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

8||Following the 9/11 attacks, President Bush launched what would become a decade-long mission to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. The attacks also formed the basis for Bush's War on Terror, a national security policy that would come to define his presidency. ||U.S. Department of Defense&&

9||Days after the September 11 attacks, President Bush went to Ground Zero in New York City to address rescue workers and call for a swift counterstrike against Al Qaeda. ||Eric Draper - White House via CNP/Newscom&&

10||With American and international forces hunting him, Bin Laden went into hiding, appearing infrequently in videotaped addresses leaked to the media. || RICHARD B. LEVINE/RICHARD B. LEVINE/Newscom&&

11||In an undated Al Qaeda video, Bin Laden was shown firing a rifle. ||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

12||An undated photo of Osama Bin Laden.||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

13||Bin Laden, in a cave in the Jalalabad region of Afghanistan in 1988. ||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

14||Bin Laden, in a video released just prior to the two-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. ||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

15||Late at night, on Sunday, May 1, 2011, President Obama announced that U.S. forces had found and killed Osama Bin Laden, ending a decade-long manhunt. ||BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/EFE/Newsco&&

16||The fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where Bin Laden had been hiding. ||VISUAL NEWS/SIPA/VISUAL NEWS/SIPA/Newscom&&

17||Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, another Al Qaeda leader, in an undated image. Some have speculated that al-Zawahiri will succeed Bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda.||Balkis Press/ABACAUSA.COM/Newscom&&

18||Bin Laden, shown in the early 2000s in an interview with a Pakistani journalist. ||AUSAF/SIPA/AUSAF/SIPA/Newscom&&

19||Bin Laden in an undated photograph. ||AFP/Getty Images/Newscom&&

20||Despite having taken out bin Laden, President Obama warned the country that the threat of international terror still remains.||z03/z03/ZUMA Press/Newscom&&

President Obama, at an awards ceremony for two posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from the Korean War Monday, took the opportunity to thank the U.S. military and their families, saying Sunday's killing of Osama bin Laden couldn't have been accomplished without their bravery, leadership and sacrifice.

The President specifically hailed the leadership of Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were on hand for the awards ceremony.

"I think we can all agree this is a good day for America," Obama said. "Our country has kept its commitment to see that justice is done. The world is safer and it is a better place because of the death of Osama bin Laden."

"Today we are reminded that as a nation, there's nothing we can't do, if we put our shoulders to the wheel, to work together .. to remember the sense of the unity that defines Americans," he continued.

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The Democrats' top armed services expert on Capitol Hill says Pakistan's military and intelligence have grave questions to answer after Osama Bin Laden was killed in an elaborate compound, deep inside Pakistan, near a top Pakistani military facility.

"I think that the Pakistani army and intelligence have a lot of questions to answer, given the location, the length of time, and the apparent fact that this facility was built for bin Laden, and its closeness to the central location to the Pakistani army," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), who chairs the Senate Armed Services committee, in a Capitol briefing with reporters Monday morning.

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President Obama has communicated to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he plans to stick with the current timetable for withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan -- this despite the fact that Osama bin Laden was found and killed in Pakistan, and that Afghan leaders view this as proof that allied actions in their country are misguided.

"The President has a timetable to begin withdrawal of Afghanistan," Reid told reporters in a Capitol briefing Monday morning. "He's indicated he's going to stick with that. I think that's appropriate."

Though lawmakers and administration officials have consistently said that bin Laden's death doesn't indicate an end to hostilities in the Global War on Terror, some experts and advocates have argued that the Obama administration should use Sunday night's development to pivot toward a hastier resolution of hostilities in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Doesn't look like that's in the works, though.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is the latest Bush administration official to make a statement about the death of Osama Bin Laden at the order of President Obama. And as Rumsfeld sees it, the credit goes to two sources: the American military and the counterterror policies he helped put in place.

"All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue," Rumsfeld wrote on Facebook.

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This video, shot by TPM last night, gives a pretty representative slice of the energy at the wild party outside the White House that broke out as President Obama officially announced Osama Bin Laden had been killed. Here a large group of mostly young revelers spontaneously broke into a rendition of the national anthem.

The vid:

And in case you missed it, here's our previous video of the early morning celebration.

More than a month before U.S. military forces launched a deadly raid on Osama bin Laden's compound Sunday, President Obama ordered the development of multiple military plans aimed at killing or capturing the notorious fugitive leader of al Qaeda.

Obama's national security team began drawing up several different options back in March, including plans to bomb the Abbottabad compound located 35 miles north of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital, according to administration officials.

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Mike Huckabee took a page from a tabloid headline writer's book this morning when he put together his statement on the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of American forces Sunday.

"Welcome to hell, bin Laden," Huckabee said. "Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens."

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