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Americans Celebrate Following bin Laden Death

Monday, May 02, 2011

As news circulated on Sunday night about the death of al Qaeda terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, Americans responded to the end of the manhunt with expressions of joy, satisfaction and patriotism.

No new Rasmussen Reports polling has been done since the news emerged, but a review of Twitter and Facebook reaction shows that the news relayed by President Obama was received in a celebratory fashion. Many comments specifically expressed gratitude for military and Special Forces personnel. Others paired their positive comments with expressions of caution that the fight against al Qaeda is not over.

Still, the mood of the moment was more about celebrating the good news rather than anything else. The New York Post  captured the mood with an online headline saying “Justice at Last.” A print version front page simply said “Got ‘Em.” The New York Daily News  print  headline was “Rot in Hell.” Similar headlines were found around the country. Newspaper reports say that those who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks responded with a mixture of cheers and tears.

Still, polling last fall found that only 23% of Americans think capturing or killing bin Laden will make the United States safer.  Most disagreed and said it would have no impact, but that strategic perspective is clearly in the background today.


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