Seals in the Desert
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      Spring was just taking hold in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern Pakistan, and the weather was strikingly pleasant at 2,000 ft. this time of year in the relatively upscale town of Rawalpindi, especially in the still of the evening as the Sun begins to set. The walled hideout, where the man who is number one on America's most wanted list, and who so far has kept one step ahead of his hunters for five years, appears calm and quiet. An occasional sentry peers over the wall from a turret. Local villagers below pass by on their way home from a day's shopping in the market. A few shadows move about between the inside lights and the windows of the compound. The scene is one of peace and solitude.
      Inside the spacious three story, stucco retreat, Hussein bin Laden feels and acts as if just another night in his journey of running and hiding will pass. His wife and two sons, Khalid and Hamza, named after his brother's sons, mill around in their upstairs library, and once in a while they try dialing the radio, hoping to hear some familiar music or interesting news. Hussein is at his desk, pouring over some details of his next planned attack on the U.S., the when, where, and how to go about unnerving and crippling the United States in any way possible, and hopefully eventually destroying the "Giant Oppressor" of all that the terrorist Muslim leader holds dear. In bin Laden's mind, while safely at his desk, he feels all is well with the world, and it's just a matter of time before either his crusade destroys his enemy, or his enemy destroys itself as its citizens grow weary of the prolonged uncertainty coupled with fearful anxiety over more terrorist attacks and a crippled economy to boot. As he bends down over the papers on his desk, a wry smile crosses Hussein's lips, and he recalls the utter chaos and misery the 9/11 attack brought on millions of people around the globe. For a brief moment, he is content with his goal and his progress.
      A few miles southwest of this, another scenario was taking place. Five U.S. Navy Seals were frantically, but methodically, going over the mission details they were given earlier. Get Hussein bin Laden! Dead or alive, get him! The routine was simple. Drop from the Apache copter, form the unit, hike the remaining distance to the compound, scale the walls, secure the area, locate the target, capture if possible, finish him off if he resists, and finally, return to the rendezvous spot with the body. Each man had his assignment, and each man was set to go. And to the Seals it was a now familiar routine. They had done this before, and it was time to shove off.
      The last thing the sentry heard was a barking dog. It came from across the balcony from where he stood watch. Then he was done for, a bullet through his head, muffled and deadly. Two more guards suffered the same fate, one at each end of the house on the third level. The Seals quickly secured the entryways to the level where they thought Hussein might be in hiding, and like thieves in the night, made their way to the one lit room on that floor. With a man on each side of the door, a third kicked it open and rushed into the room followed by the other two, while the two other Seals outside guarded the front door. The men inside spread out and searched each room, while the target sat calmly in a recliner, a woman by his side, and two teenagers stared in shock as the Seals pointed their weapons at all of them. The young men made a quick move toward a nearby door, but were gunned down before reaching it. They fell limply to the floor. In horror, the woman beside bin Laden jumped in front of him as if to shield him from danger. But she too was fired at, the bullet piercing her right side, and she fell across Hussein's lap. Then, in one bold move, bin Laden pushed his wife off to the floor, stood up and charged one of the guards, waving his arms over his head wildly, using a language the Seals were unfamiliar with. Two bullets shattered the man's skull and he was repelled backward from the force of the two hits, and he crashed into a wall behind him. After five years of searching for the man who helped Osama bin Laden mastermind the 9/11 attack on New York City not so long ago, Hussein bin Laden was dead. It was a simple feat. Found him, shot him, brought him back. No sweat, and no love lost. The only thing left was to find the best way to announce to the world what happened, what it meant, and prepare for whoever would succeed Hussein, the brother and successor to Osama, in what seemed like never ending attacks on the country struggling to keep its freedoms alive and its "government of the people" intact. But the mission was accomplished, without a hitch, and America would wait for the congratulations they hoped would come their way.
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