This paper reviews the speeches of President Obama and the CIA director Leon Panetta in respect to the killing of Bin Laden in May 2011. In reviewing the speeches, the paper will analyze their messages in terms of the future, and the implications of Osama’s death in regards to the fear of terrorism in most U.S. citizens. The death of Osama Bin Laden on 1st of May 2011 influenced a wide range of views from various security experts across the world (Rollins, 2011). In the view of some of them, Bin Laden’s death was widely a symbolic event, and others regarded it as a significant effort by the U.S. government to counter terrorism. For in instance, the critics of Bin Laden’s death claim that the U.S. government and its allies only eliminated his ability to continue supporting and directing Al Qaeda. For this school of thought, the influence of Bin Laden’s began deteriorating from the time U.S. invaded Afghanistan. Therefore, some analysts believe that Bin Laden’s death influenced a shift of terrorism from Al Qaeda to affiliated organizations.
In respect to president Obama’s speech, the message about the future is that the war against terrorism continues. However, the president promises citizens great hope following the killing of Bin Laden. This is because after the 9/11 incident, the U.S. counterterrorism and the military started making strides that led to various positive outcomes. Their collective efforts led to strong homeland security and its defense. It also led to disrupted terrorist attacks in various parts of the world. Removal of Taliban government in Afghanistan was a key effort towards weakening social and political support for Al Qaeda. In this speech, the message is that the spirit of coordination among the presidency, national security team, and intelligence community is sufficient enough to prevent any terrorist attacks in the future (Office of the Press Secretary, 2011). The death of the leader of Al Qaeda marks United States’ greatest achievement in its effort to fight terrorism and thereby giving hope to the Americans. To the Americans who lost their loved ones in the 9/11 attack, they feel justice has been served. Their confidence in the federal government, also, improves after learning that it is committed to fighting terrorism and guaranteeing national security.
In reference to Leon Panetta’s speech, the message about the future is similar to President Obama’s. By saying, just as evil never rests, neither does good, he encourages the American people to realize that killing Bin Laden is a significant achievement in fighting Al Qaeda, but also may attract vengeful terrorist attacks in the future (Panetta, 2011). However, basing on the competence of officers at the Counter Terrorism Center, the creativity and excellent tradecraft, Leon Panetta remains assures the nation of the system’s capacity to combat terror attacks in the future. He urges citizens that going forward into the future, they ought to remain resolute and vigilant. He assures the nation that the enemy (Al Qaeda) has been weakened and may not have the same capacity to strike again in the future. The underlying message is that the nation should have confidence in the intelligence community and remain vigilant all the time.
President Obama’s speech after the killing of Bin Laden was a victory speech. This is because, following the 9/11 incident, many American families lost their loved ones and also their confidence in the government’s capacity to protect their lives (Office of the Press Secretary, 2011). It was expected, therefore, that the affected families and the entire nation would demand the government to bring the perpetrators of the vicious act to justice. Therefore, killing Bin Laden was an indication of the government’s commitment to weaken terrorist networks and bring perpetrators to justice. Leon Panetta’s speech is also a victory speech. Just like president Obama’s speech, it is a speech that indicates the U.S. government’s competence to fight and defeat Al Qaeda. It is speech that put the nation in a celebratory mood for accomplishing a mission that had been started nearly ten years ago. However, despite the sense of victory in both speeches, they also depict a sense of realized risk. According to Panetta (2011), killing Bin Laden does not imply elimination of Al Qaeda. This is the reason why he urges intelligence community and the entire nation to remain vigilant to avoid revenge or fresh terrorist attacks.
Killing of Bin Laden lowered the fear of terrorism in most U.S. Citizens. This this because the U.S. had been at war with Al Qaeda for a long time, the terrorist network had organized successful attacks on various US interests around the world. The 9/11 incident was a major terrorist attack on the American nation that inspired it to strengthen its efforts in fighting the war against terrorism. Given that morale is a critical element in war, killing Bin Laden served as a huge blow to Al Qaeda and as a pivotal boost to the morale of the American people (Rollins, 2011). In fact the victory gave president Obama an opportunity to prove to the nation and the world that national security is a priority agenda for his government. Generally, the killing of Bin Laden increased the confidence of the citizens in government and lowered their fear of terrorism.