The most gripping portion of Steve Coll's stellar piece in The New Yorker comes at the very end. Coll has spent the article explaining how Bin Laden minted Terrorism 2.0, using media and spectacle to prosecute a war on the West.
Omar bin Laden, a younger son of Osama, left his father in Afghanistan in 1999 and later co-wrote a memoir with his mother, Najwa, a cousin whom Osama had married when he was seventeen and she was fifteen. In the book, Omar wrote that he had lost faith in his father as a young adult in war-ravaged Afghanistan when Osama suggested that he had his brothers consider taking up suicide bombing in the Taliban's cause. The boys demurred; Omar never got over the request. "My father," he wrote "hated his enemies more than he loved his sons."
We can all agree that killing bin Laden was the right and just thing to do. But it's well past time the U.S. government had a serious conversation about exactly when and where assassination is an appropriate tactic.