Obama takes time to honor September 11 victims

By Kyla Cook |Asst. News Editor

President Obama visited Ground Zero to honor those who have passed on September 11, 2001 and those who have been fighting the War on Terror.

Over a week has passed since President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden and still little has been made known to the American public.

The news spread like wildfire via social media outlets and even through an announcement at Stagecoach courtesy of Rascal Flatts.  That night people rallied in the streets at Ground Zero chanting, “USA, USA, USA!”

Just days after, conspiracy theories surfaced over the killing and burial of bin Laden. To quell rumors, the president considered releasing post-mortem photos, but opted not to citing, its inflammatory nature and fear of retaliation from al-Qaeda.

The Los Angeles Times was among other news outlets that reported that the White House said bin Laden was unarmed when killed.

“There was concern that bin Laden would oppose the capture operation and indeed he did resist,” said Press Secretary Jay Carney, who gave a description of the 40-minute raid as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

“In the room with bin Laden, a woman, bin Laden’s wife, rushed the U.S. assaulter and was shot in the leg, but not killed,” Carney reportedly said.

In response to the burial, the NY Daily News reports that city Muslims feel that even a “monster” like bin Laden deserved a better burial.

Those interviewed by NY Daily News said they believe that releasing the body into the ocean was wrong and that even though they do not approve of bin Laden’s actions, burying him in the ground would’ve been better.

However, Carney said aboard the USS Carl Vinson, “the burial of bin Laden was done in conformance with Islamic percepts and practices. The deceased’s body was washed and then placed in a white sheet. The body was placed in a weighted bag. A military officer read prepared religious remarks which were translated into Arabic by a native speaker. After the words were complete, the body was placed on a prepared flat board, tipped up, and the deceased body eased into the sea.”

“I don’t know much about Islamic faith,” said CSUSB student Aaron Panther. “Under the circumstances in which Saudi Arabia did not want the body, I find it acceptable – even respectable that the US military released his remains in the sea after following Islamic traditions as Jay Carney reported.”

Photos have been taken of the deceased bin Laden but Obama has declined to release those photos to the public due to the photos being a possible national security risk.

Obama stated to CNN, “It is important for us to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool. That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies.”

However, photos have already been published of the aftermath by Reuters; with three men lying in pools of blood.

A spokesperson for Reuters defended this act and said the photos were purchased from a Pakistani security official.

“As this is a story of global importance, Reuters chose to share these photographs with its media clients and allow them to make editorial decisions on how they were used,” reported The Huffington Post.

CNN further reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security expects retaliation from al-Qaeda.

A state official said, “We certainly anticipate threats of retaliation – this is an organization that declared war on the United States more than a decade ago. Threats from al-Qaeda are not a new phenomenon,” reported CNN.

Obama reminds the American public to remain vigilant.

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