What a brilliant resolution of the problem of what to do with the corpse.
Congratulations to all involved. I am told the mission was carried out by Navy SEALs working under the control of the CIA. The 40-minute operation, most it spent gathering intelligence, sounds like an extremely difficult task carried off well. It is a nice bonus that there were no American casualties. This is how a government official described the compound where the jerk was hiding:
When the compound was built in 2005, it was on the outskirts of the town center, at the end of a narrow dirt road. In the last six years, some residential homes have been built nearby. The physical security measures of the compound are extraordinary. It has 12- to 18-foot walls topped with barbed wire. Internal wall sections -- internal walls sectioned off different portions of the compound to provide extra privacy. Access to the compound is restricted by two security gates, and the residents of the compound burn their trash, unlike their neighbors, who put the trash out for collection.
The main structure, a three-story building, has few windows facing the outside of the compound. A terrace on the third floor has a seven-foot wall privacy -- has a seven-foot privacy wall.
Tom again: What suspicious minds are asking: Why did the Pakistanis give him up? And what did we give in return?
I also think this will strongly up the pressure on the Obama Administration to end its involvement in Afghanistan. Not just politicians but the man on the street is likely to say, Hey, we got him, mission accomplished, let's go home.
Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post from 2000 through 2008.