tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 2, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
next. we'll be back in one hour. tonight from ground zero, this is a special edition of "world news." osama bin laden found and taken down by a stealth steely unit of lethal special forces. president obama hailing it as a good day for america. a nation so long at war erupts. how did the u.s. finally track him down? how did they have the dna to identify him? we bring you an exclusive look inside the compound where he was taken by surprise. and tonight the spectrum of reaction from mayor rudolph giuliani to former vice president dick cheney to the families who lost their loved ones on 9/11 and those firefighters. and why are so many saying they're worried about what comes next? tonight, target bin laden, the death of public enemy number one.
good evening to all of you from ground zero and as you can see when we rise above, we're standing right at the edge of the 16 acres destroyed by the plan of osama bin laden almost ten years ago. construction workers striving mightily to rebuild it. all day long, we've been looking at the people streaming by. they're still streaming by me now. some of them just coming to commemorate. some of them coming to be with each other. i just saw a sign that went by and said america keeps its promise. lives lost as we know here and at the pentagon and in pennsylvania because of osama bin laden. and we've heard so many people say they know the promise was kept and was kept by a group of
navy s.e.a.l.s whose precision work accomplished an almost impossible mission. we want to head right away for the very latest details at this hour to martha raddatz. she knows the men, she knows their methods and she knows what they did in the last 24 hours. martha raddatz, part of our team coverage tonight. martha, good evening to you. >> reporter: good evening, diane. imagine being part of that navy s.e.a.l. team on the hunt to kill or capture bin laden and then come face-to-face with him. on a near moonless night packed into two specially outfitted blackhawk helicopters, the most elite navy special operations team, s.e.a.l. team 6, hand picked and experienced, headed for the mission of their lives. the target, this sprawling compound surrounded by walls reaching nearly 20 feet high at points. the s.e.a.l. team, 30 to 40 men, flew low beneath the radar and
undetected in the darkness, descending on the compound. the plan was to repel from the helicopters. but one of the blackhawks stalled. forcing a white knuckle hard landing outside the compound. >> we are very good at making it up on our feet because something will always go wrong. >> reporter: the s.e.a.l.s then moving toward the compound. they began a room by room search. in a smaller building first where they found the wive and children of two of bin laden's trusted couriers. next, the larger compound, where gunfire erupted. two men, bin laden's couriers, were shot dead. on the ground now nearly 40 minute, the s.e.a.l.s climbed the stairs to the upper floors. there he was, staring right at them. those deadly brown eyes. the beard. a man well over 6 feet tall. this had to be bin laden. the s.e.a.l.s shouted for bin laden to surrender. he resisted.
th aimed first for the head, giving the weapon a double tap of the trigger as they are trained to do to o ensure they got him. one shot hit above left eye, one the chest. while a group of s.e.a.l.s grabbed whatever else they could find, others grabbed bin laden's body, carrying it through the compound and loading it on to the helicopter. left behind, bin laden's wounded wife. the s.e.a.l. team had practiced this mission in the last month. even having a replica of the compound built in the u.s. where they trained for every possible contingency. as for bin laden's body, he was buried at sea. the u.s. did not want him to be buried in a grave site so there would not be any sort of shrine. his body was buried at sea. they took him out to an aircraft carrier in the north arabian sea. lowered him into the sea. and they followed all muslim
traditions, diane, cleansing the body, having a muslim official cleanse the body and then wrap him in white. >> seeming to plan ahead, to follow muslim tradition. thank you, martha. as martha indicated, we know in the end bin laden was not hiding, furtively moving from cave to cave in the mountainous region but living right under the nose of the pakistanis. in a place, by the way, that's considered a kind of honeymoon destination by some people in pakistan. as martha indicated, surrounded by 18-foot walls, barbed wire, and, we are told, a human shield. our nick schifrin tonight has more. an exclusive look inside the complex where bin laden lived and died. >> reporter: it is a sprawling eight-room house, slightly dingy, even before it was ransacked in the raid. on the first floor, a bedroom where multiple people were killed. papers left on the floor.
in the corner, a small bed, likely for a mother. her baby's bed next to it. across the hall, piles of blankets, clothes, and desktop computers. u.s. troops took their hard drives. up on the second floor, the master bedroom, perhaps bin laden's. the only room with a queen-sized bed and carpet. also, a large amount of blood on the floor. there is a closet with children's clothes. and medicine still on the shelves, although it's too hard to read the labels. no sign of a kidney dialysis machine. as you walk outside, more evidence of children. toys. a discarded red wagon. and walls at least 12 feet high topped with razor wire. beyond those walls is a quiet, well-off town. this road leads to two things it is the compound where bin laden was killed, and pakistani's premier military institution. this way is bin laden's compound. it is tucked into the
neighborhood and surrounded by dozens of other homes. the compound's only about 500 feet behind me, beyond this wall and beyond those trees. take a look at how close it is to pakistani army base which is right there at those trees and behind that base is pakistan's pre-eminent military institution, the equivalent of west point. the military base is just right there. how is it possible that no one would know he was living there? >> osama bin laden's a big man. >> reporter: perhaps unbelievable. but as a u.s. official put it today, bin laden was hiding in plain sight. and the pakistani military say they never saw him. nick schifrin, abc news, abbottabad, pakistan. >> and as we know, government officials repeatedly said they lost the trail of osama bin laden but, in fact, behind the scenes, the incredibly sensitive operation to track him down was years in the making. and hit high gear last summer. vital new intelligence came together. at each step of the way, the president faced critical decisions about how and when to
launch an assault. and jake tapper has all of that from the white house tonight. jake. >> good evening, diane. well, president obama had top advisers telling him not to go through with this mission. the intelligence was not strong enough, they said. the risks were too great. but ultimately president obama decided the intelligence from the cia was solid. he had faith in the navy s.e.a.l.s. he told his team, it's a go. it was a nerve-racking three hours in the situation room sunday as president obama and his national security team watched in real time the navy s.e.a.l.s making their way to osama bin laden's compound. >> it was probably one of the most anxiety filled periods of time in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday. the minutes passed like days. >> as a presidential candidate, then senator obama argued he would refocus military and intelligence assets from iraq to afghanistan and pakistan. >> we will kill bin laden. we will crush al qaeda. >> reporter: in june 2009, less than five months into his
presidency, the president wrote a memo to the cia director telling him, quote, to provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice osama bin laden. information about this compound came more than a year later. >> it took many months to run this threat to ground. >> reporter: in march the president was told the compound contained a high-value target that the cia believed was bin laden. within weeks, the president rejected a proposal to bomb the compound. he was concerned about the potential for collateral damage and the likelihood that such an operation would vaporize bin laden's body, thus making any proof of his death impossible. in april, the president signed off on the high-risk surgical strike by the s.e.a.l.s and last friday morning, just before the president headed to alabama to survey storm damage, he gave the official authorization. it was set for saturday night, the night of the white house correspondents dinner. but bad weather pushed the operation to sunday. the president and his team attended the dinner, acting as
if nothing was unusual. >> people think bin laden is hiding in the hindu kush, but did you know that every day from 4:00 to 5:00 he hosts a show on c-span? >> reporter: the next day in the situation room came good news, geronimo k.i.a. said a navy s.e.a.l., using the code name for capturing or killing bin laden. we got him, the president said. using dna strands from multiple relatives of bin laden, today intelligence officials estimated with almost 100% certainty that the corpse is america's former public enemy number one. but, diane, as for now, that's all the proof that the administration has provided. they have not yet decided what to do with the video of that burial at sea of osama bin laden or the gruesome photographs of bin laden's corpse. diane. >> that is a tricky and possibly inflaming decision. thank you, jake. there are 19 million people living in the new york city area. crossing its landmark bridges and tunnels and working in its iconic high-rises.
riding the maze of subway lines. the subway is how we made our way down here today. and we found passengers still absorbing the news. one woman told us she was coming here just because she felt she owed it to those who died. to be a part of the history of this day. and once we got here in the shadow of ground zero, i talked with former new york mayor rudy giuliani known as america's mayor in those dark days after 9/11. as he helped a city and a country find its way forward. nearly ten years later, we still remember that chaos and the faces of those staring at the unimaginable. and among the most vivid images, new york city's mayor, rudolph giuliani. >> put your mask on. >> moving with such urgency and reassurance to ground zero. we met up with him again today at trinity church, right across from the site of the fallen towers. when you heard, first thought? >> first thought was a sense of
satisfaction, relief. thank god he's finally been caught. and justice has been done. and then a sense of revenge for all the people that he killed, some of them i knew really well. and then -- and then a sense that this is going to be very difficult for us in the short term. >> from those who think this is their moment that they have to extract -- >> sure, two things. first of all, the organized possible attacks from al qaeda and then the crazy people. >> but you do think in the longer term, longer term, that this is a potentially fatal blow -- >> yes -- >> -- or just a -- >> -- very close to it. this is like taking out hitler or maybe stalin, you know, someone like that, who was an organizing principal for them. >> even though they can be replaced by -- >> -- we'll catch al zawahiri, that's only a matter of time. >> you said revenge is not the noblest of sentiment. >> but it's a human one. right behind me is where the
twin towers stood. they would have been right over our shoulder. and had he not done what he did, all those people would have had normal lives and all these children would have had parents. >> are you inclined to walk back again today -- >> i don't want to. that's a very mixed feeling. i drove down here the same route that i came down here that morning. and there's a lot of mixed feelings. i'm satisfied and i feel relief that he's caught. but reliving a lot of those memories is difficult. >> is there an epigram to this day, is there a final kind of blessing on this day to -- >> i think there's a final blessing for all of these people. you saw what happened last night. even though i was a little uncomfortable with the celebrations, it tells you people haven't forgotten september 11th, haven't forgotten people who died. >> again, mayor rudolph giuliani. and still ahead on "world
news," what about the new york firefighters? today, remembering happiness mixed with haunted memories. and we hear from former vice president dick cheney who has praise and a warning for the president. and we catch up with the mothers and the babies born to fathers who were lost on 9/11. desperate for nighttime heartburn relief? for many, nexium helps relieve heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. talk to your doctor about your risk for osteoporosis-related bone fractures if you take multiple daily doses of nexium for a long time. possible side effects include headache, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. other serious stomach conditions may still exist. talk to your doctor about nexium. if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. toi switched to a complete0, multivitamin with more. only one a day women's 50+ advantage
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as the twin towers burned and people ran for their lives, first responders ran into the danger. images of them in a life and death struggle are now seared in the minds of our nation. symbols of america's resolve to fight for one another, no matter the challenge. 343 firefighters did not make it out of ground zero that day. families were broken. children left without fathers. men still carry scars in their lungs and their hearts. wounds reopen every year. but last night on word of bin laden being no more, they came back to ground zero and remembered the fallen. >> we lost all five of our companies, every member, 33 guys. so it's a happy moment right now. >> reporter: but this time they're brought here by a
feeling rarely attached to 9/11, relief. >> i just felt this is the only place i could be right now. there's nowhere else i could be right now. >> reporter: not a celebration but a burden lifted. the fulfillment of the promise justice made by president bush to a firefighter who famously called out "i can't hear you." >> i can't hear you. >> i can hear you. >> reporter: that voice is rocco panachelo. he was back at ground zero on a day he was never sure he would see. can you hear them now? >> i can hear them all. >> reporter: even on good news, there is the pain of remembering. firehouses like ladder company 25 that lost seven of their brothers. are haunted by the pledge to never forget. >> we see them every day on the memorial. we see them around our truck on the memorial. and we think about them day in, day out. >> reporter: almost ten years since the day everything changed for too many families. there were cheers and tears. both tied to the hope of a better tomorrow. you know, a lot of firemen said
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they never gave up. they never backed off. they just kept plugging along until they got it right. >> reporter: does the president deserve credit, president obama -- >> i think the administration truly deserves credit for the success of the operation. and from what i can tell it looks to me like we all owe him some sense of satisfaction that i'm sure they feel. >> and there is a lot more of john's interview. it's exclusive with dick cheney. we'll play more of it for you in the next half hour of the special edition of "world news." coming up next, for all these years, i've been following the babies who were born after their fathers died on 9/11. nighttime nasal congestion meant, i couldn't breathe right. i couldn't sleep right. next day it took forever to get going. night after night, i sat up. sprayed up. took a shower...
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just become widows. and some of the babies born right after that dark day. hello. remember me? and over the years, we watched them star in their home movies. babble. take their first baby steps. >> where you going to go? whoa. >> reporter: and as the steps grew stronger year after year, we played that song, "we hope you dance." ♪ i hope you dance >> reporter: and through it all, we were struck how much they resembled the fathers who had died that day. one mother said to us, you are the kiss your father left behind. lisa linna, along with other women in this sad sisterhood, recorded video diaries throughout the years. and today, lisa shared her thoughts when she heard the news. >> just a bundle of emotions. very hard to explain.
it just brings it all back. it's just so surreal. >> reporter: though many of these mothers told us they were too overcome with emotion to speak, some sent us pictures to show how much their babies had grown. when we last saw mary danage, it was five years after 9/11. her husband patrick had been on the 98th floor of one of the towers. she said she was not alone in praying to patrick for guidance in raising their daughter royce, that her new husband andy said he prayed to patrick too. what did you pray for? >> help me be a good dad, be a good husband. what would you do? >> reporter: what a wonderful thing. and what do you call andy? >> dad. >> dad. >> reporter: you have so many dads who love you. five years later, grace, now 9 years old, riding horses. her horse named "p.s. i love you," in honor of her dad. and all the children born on the
day when a man dedicated to violence took so much away, all these children look ahead to a world filled with hope. and we thank you for watching us. some of you will be leaving us now. but others, we hope you'll stay with us for the rest of the special edition of "world news." another half hour. we're always on at abcnews.com. don't forget to watch "nightline" later tonight. and from ground zero, here in new york, we wish those of you who are leaving a good night. ne