I wish I could say I wrote this piece. All I can tell you is that it comes from one of the many anonymous Armed Forces veterans to whom we owe our undying gratitude.
Who deserves the credit?
The interrogator who pulled the thread at Guantanamo.
The analyst who put that, and a couple of other pieces of information together, and saw a pattern.
The collectors from eleven different agencies who were out doing their jobs to get more of those bits of information.
The planners who dreamt up the operation down to the tiniest detail.
The logisticians who got all the beans, bullets, and band-aids to make it possible.
The mechanics who made the aircraft available and the crews who flew them (and there were a lot of them airborne for an operation like this, not just the helicopters carrying the teams).
The teams that practiced and the one that ultimately went in.
The kid who did his duty and pulled the trigger.
All the men and women who have fought and died to get us to this point.
Every wife, husband, mother, father, child, fiancée, and sweetheart who was left behind, sometimes forever.
Every American taxpayer who understood what was at stake in the last decade and uncomplainingly funded what it took to get to this point.
No one person deserves the credit. The ones who made it happen understand that.
Who doesn’t deserve the credit?
Probably no one in a suit or with stars on his collar.
Certainly no one who gets in front of a camera, now or in the future, and says, “I….”
The problem is that people will think that it is now over. It isn’t.
Killing the man who fanned the flames of the war between Islamism and Civilization doesn’t extinguish the inferno. This is a Gates of Vienna struggle: it is Civilization against an ever-darkening night of barbarity. Civilization has been holding on tenuously since 732.
And because it took a decade to kill one man, thousands and thousands with evil in their hearts have been emboldened.
They are everywhere now, including here.
It is over for bin Laden. It is not over for us.