In 1962, a satirical BBC TV show debuted in England entitled “That Was the Week That Was.” Hosted by David Frost, it broke new comedy ground by lampooning events of the week. Here, if there ever was a week that was, it ended two Sundays ago when it was announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed by U.S. Navy SEALs. (Wikipedia lists the cause of death as “ballistic trauma,” which I suppose is a another way of saying he “got his head blown off.”)

Lately, it seems there’s been a whirlwind of events. First, the uprising in Libya, then the royal wedding, and then Obama produced his birth certificate. And then, on that memorable Sunday evening, there was a special bulletin that “the president is going to address the nation.” My first reaction was, at 11:30 p.m. eastern time, this better be good. The revelation that bin Laden was essentially swimming with the fishes in the Arabian Sea, I’d say it lived up to expectations. (And yes, grammatically I know it’s fish, not fishes.)

But just as there are “truthers” who don’t believe the official story of 9/11 (I’m actually one of them) and “birthers” who don’t believe Obama was born in the U.S. (two years ago I wrote birthers are bonkers) so are there now “deathers” who don’t believe bin Laden is dead.

Among the deathers are anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan and a growing group on Facebook (“Osama Bin Laden NOT dead”) which numbers into the thousands. I wouldn’t be surprised if Donald Trump jumped on the band wagon (which would be bad news for the wagon).

Fittingly enough Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” was interrupted by Obama’s dramatic announcement. Actually, the remarkable success of the raid in Pakistan on bin Laden’s “mansion” (the grungiest mansion I’ve ever seen) has the right-wing bewildered. It pains them to admit anything positive about Obama. (I didn’t have that problem with Bush because I don’t think he had any successes.)

No one on the right should be more embarrassed than those at the highly conservative magazine The Weekly Standard (edited by William Kristol who not only was shamefully wrong on WMDs and the Iraq war, but is the one credited with insisting that Sarah Palin be the 2008 vice presidential nominee).

During the week before bin Laden’s death, The Standard cover featured an unflattering caricature of Barack Obama hiding behind a sand dune next to an equally frightened camel. The title of Kristol’s piece was “Leading From Behind.” Here’s what he had to say about the 2012 election. “All the Republicans have to do is nominate a real leader; a work horse, not a show horse; a steady hand, not a flip-flopper; a profile in courage, not in cleverness; a confident man or woman with strength and confidence in defense of liberty at home and abroad.” One word for Kristol, “Oops.”

From day one the far right has portrayed Obama as a socialist, a secret Muslim and an indecisive and weak leader. It now drives them crazy that, while it was George Bush who uttered, “Wanted dead or alive,” it was Obama who followed through with action.

Speaking of George Bush, before Obama presented a wreath at Ground Zero on the Thursday following bin Laden’s death, he invited the former president to join him. Revealing perhaps a sensitive, feminine side (?) W. declined the invitation. Sources close to him reportedly said that Bush was miffed that he wasn’t given more credit for bringing bin Laden to justice.

And yet it was Bush who, for some inexplicable reason, outsourced bin Laden’s capture at Tora Bora to Afghani warlords, who of course let him escape. Actually, not so inexplicable. If we had caught or killed bin Laden there’d have been no rationale for the Iraq War, which is what Bush wanted long before 9/11. What was curious was Bush’s later comment about bin Laden, “Frankly, I just don’t think about him that much anymore.”

To me there are so many fascinating details of the seemingly near-perfect Navy SEAL raid, not to mention the remarkable poker face Obama kept. In the 72 hours prior to the raid, Obama gave no hint as he consoled tornado victims, toured NASA facilities with his family, met privately with wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and delivered a college commencement address at Miami Dade College.

Saturday night the president returned to Washington and, only hours before the attack on bin Laden, flawlessly cracked jokes at a black-tie event. (He was hilarious. At YouTube type “Obama at Correspondents’ Dinner.”)

On Sunday the world’s most intense manhunt, which lasted almost 10 years, ended with the violent death of Osama bin Laden, the man responsible for 9/11. And on Sunday evening President Obama informed the nation. Yes, that was definitely the week that was.

Jack can be reached at

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