Osama Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill, Channel 4, Review
08 September 2011
Tempie Williams reviews ,Channel 4’s, Osama Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill. A demonstrative documentary of American Intelligence and their strategic operational plan that allegedly killed the most wanted man in the world, Osama Bin Laden, who later claimed responsibility of the four coordinated suicide attacks causing 2,996 deaths, including 19 hijackers and 2,977 victims killed on September, 11th 2001.
Over the course of the past ten years The United States in response launched their War on Terror invading Afghanistan deposing of the Taliban who supported and kept Al-Qaeda members. Accordingly other countries strengthened their anti-terrorism legislation and increased their law enforcement powers. This documentary is shown 4 months after his death in May 2011 and 4 days prior to the tenth year anniversary of September 11, 2011.
My husband and I each watched in anticipation as the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the White House Insiders and the United Sates Intelligence Experts gave insight on the planning. We saw the training of the Navy Seals special force team as well as the specially designed equipment used. What will go down in history is the fact of how this entire plan from start to implementation remained secret not only within the White House but within the world.
Who would have imagined that after an almost ten year investigation and all the monies spent that it was the carelessness of one phone call that led the operation to a recognizable high level Al-Qaeda courier named Kuwaiti. And it was tracking his path that led them to Abbottabad and a house. “ .. a house with more security than was really necessary for a herd of goats and a vegetable patch.” (Sutcliffe, 2011)
The real task became obvious that it all had to be proved and all they had was peculiar happenings and human instincts . Such as the Abbottabad’s young cricket players became suspicious when their balls would accidentally go over the 12 -foot walls yet they were never allowed to go over to retrieve them and only be given money in exchange which started to escalate as the lost balls increased?
The documentary stressed that besides the suspicious instincts on the other side of the 12-ft wall with the cricket balls was the frequent appearances of a tall unidentified man who walked the grounds inside but never came out and went by the nickname of Pacer who could have fit the description of Osama Bin Laden, and all they could do was try to get a triangulate of his height from his shadows obtained from the computerized generated images. This basically was all the evidence they had to go on concluding a 30 -70 percent probability likelihood. President Obama had to then make the toughest decision possible based on his calling it a 50-50 bet.
“ It is, naturally enough, gripping, although comic moments occasionally creep in: using grainy footage, recorded by a drone, of a tall Muslim man pacing about the compound, US experts attempted to work out if he was bin Laden (who was 6’4”) by measuring his shadow. ” (Deacon, 2011)
Being American living in America during the September 11th, 2001 tragedy, and now ten years later living in England watching this documentary from the other side has given me an overall perspective. I have gained insight of the operational decisions made in view of the circumstances preventing there to be a dead body or any witnesses other than those involved. I encourage you to watch the documentary for yourself to draw your own conclusion.
Sutcliffe, T. (2011) ‘Last Night’s TV: Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill/Channel 4
Horizon/BBC2’, The Independent, 8 September, [online]
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/reviews/last-nights-tv-bin-laden-shoot-to-killchannel-4-brhorizonbbc2-2350937.html (Accessed 8 September 2011).
Deacon, M. (2011) ‘Bin Laden: Shoot to Kill, Channel 4, preview’, The Telegraph, 7 September 2011, [online]
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/8743990/Bin-Laden-Shoot-to-Kill-Channel-4-preview.html (Accessed 8 September 2011).
Wikipedia , September 11 attacks [online] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_11_attacks (Accessed 8 September 2011).