The most common expression was happiness that bin Laden was eliminated, but there were also listeners critical of the spontaneous displays of joy on the streets of New York City and at the White House. However, having spent a week broadcasting from NYC just weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I’m not at all surprised that there was a lot of pent up emotion over the huge losses the city suffered.
It’s been incredibly difficult for survivors of the attacks to live with the knowledge that the man behind the attacks couldn’t be held accountable. As one of our callers who’d lost an uncle and cousin to the attacks said, “My aunt slept better last night.”
I wonder what it would have been like had bin Laden been captured instead of killed. Can you imagine the public interest surrounding his trial? Administration officials say he survived 25 minutes of the military operation inside his house, before finally taking a bullet to the head. Given the length of time the operation took, it’s surprising there weren’t any American casualties.
There are so many questions remaining about Sunday’s operation. I’m sure many of them will be answered over time, with in-depth books likely to be published within the next few months. It should be fascinating reading.