They're called the best of the best and the baddest of the bad. Of all the Special Ops forces that currently operate in our Armed Forces, the SEALs (sea, air, and land) are the elite. And this special team, Team Six, which was formed in 1980 in the aftermath of the failed attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran, has been the go-to team for the toughest missions since.
The team is so secret and special that our government will not publicly acknowledge its existence and no member of the team is allowed to ever talk about it or the missions they carry out to anyone. They allegedly have trained for the past month in Afghanistan using a full scale mock-up of bin-Laden's compound.
If this sounds cloak-and-dagger, it is, but in today's world of terrorism and having no idea who you can trust, it has to be.
This is the team that dropped into Osama bin-Laden's compound in Pakistan from helicopters and carried out a "kill not capture" assignment that was perhaps the most important they've ever conducted.
That's the part I want to talk about.
There's always going to be criticism, regardless of what you say or what you do. I discovered that early on in column writing. I wrote things I thought no one could be offended by but someone always was. Every part of life is like that and as the stakes increase, so does the criticism.
I've heard since the attack that bin Laden should have been captured instead of killed and put on trial, like the war criminals from Germany after World War II were, because we live by the rule of law and to kill instead of capture lowers us to the level of the enemy we're fighting.
Although I agree with this perspective in principle, I've also learned that you can't always fight fair. A situation is what it is and you have to do what you have to do to make sure you win and that you accomplish your mission.
Capturing bin Laden would have created a multitude of problems, headaches, differing opinions and controversy too. Where would he have been jailed? How would he have been interrogated? What kind of trial would he have had? And would he have ever said anything at all to aid the United States in combating terrorism?
President Bush, shortly after 9/11, ordered bin-Laden to be hunted down and captured dead or alive after thousands of innocent Americans died at his hands and that's eventually what happened. Osama bin-Laden took full credit for the untold number of tragedies that occurred on that day and other days since and our government and military never gave up on finding him and prosecuting him, regardless of whether the prosecution was bullets or court briefs.
So this 10-year old chapter is finally closed. Osama bin Laden is dead and he will never be able to lay claim to the taking of another innocent life in defense of his misguided interpretation of the Qur'an.
And that's a good thing.