It appears that the initial intelligence that enabled the US forces to raid and shoot bin Laden was gained from detainees in Guantanamo Bay. While there is no news of the methods used to gain the information, it seems that details of two couriers who were trusted by the arch terrorist was discovered years ago.
Since then there has been an ongoing intelligence effort, firstly to find these people, then track them down and observe their movements. Last year it paid off when they were tracked to the compound where he was dealt with.
Gitmo is something of a difficult issue for libertarians, in finding a balance between individual rights, and how to deal with people who want to kill you. It is reasonably clear-cut though. In a ‘civilized’ war when it is over the combatants go home and get on with their lives. In an Islamic-fascist campaign for world domination, the enemy do not accept your basic right to exist and are forever hostile.
First up there is no end in sight to this campaign, therefore no reason to release enemy combatants, and secondly, those that have been released have a record of going back to fight.
The thing that was most disturbing about the Obama speech was that everything that occurred before he came to office was “WE,” but “I,” did everything afterward. It is clear from the details emerging that by the time he came to power and ordered ….etc, the security services under Bush had already laid the groundwork for what was to become the operation.