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The Death of Bin Laden: A GOOD Recap The Death of Bin Laden: A GOOD Recap

The Death of Bin Laden: A GOOD Recap

by Ann Friedman
May 10, 2011

Gut Reaction

When we found out that Osama Bin Laden had been killed, our first question was a simple one: Are we any safer now? The GOOD community weighed in. We were kind of uneasy as people took to the streets of New York and D.C. to celebrate. Most of us first saw the news on Twitter (just look at how much we were tweeting!), which made us ponder what 9/11 would have been like if we'd all had smartphones.

Digging Deeper

We wondered why people who usually believe in due-process rights and non-violence—looking at you, Dalai Lama—were so quick to celebrate the assassination. Especially after reports surfaced that he was killed in front of his daughter. And we made an infographic showing Americans' feelings about the whole thing.

We grappled with the question of whether teachers should have to talk about this event. (The community had lots of thoughts on that, too.) Students are certainly asking questions. One teacher in Washington state, who pledged to grow his beard until the Al-Qaeda leader was captured, didn't have to add it to the lesson plan—students could see it on his clean-shaven face this week. Apparently, though, schools haven't been talking about Bin Laden enough: a lot of teenagers don't even know who he is.

Weird Details

Some geography students at UCLA got pretty damn close to finding his secret compound—years before the CIA. But some random American dude with a sword was nowhere close to the compound, where apparently Bin Laden was just chilling with some cold soda and a joint.

Mythbusting

As a poignant quote about revenge made its way across the Internet, we pointed out that this wasn't actually something Martin Luther King, Jr. said. (Ditto for this quote from Mark Twain.) We also catalogued how the Obama administration's narrative changed four times in as many days, and urged the White House to release the photos of Bin Laden's body. Bin Laden's will surfaced. The most surprising detail? He didn't want his own children to grow up to be terrorists.