Killing the figurehead of a decentralized terrorist organization really doesn’t do much. It gives closure for victims of the 9/11 attacks, sure, but killing someone whose followers are ready and eager to blow themselves up in order to kill others is a hollow victory. Showing terrorists that we will find and kill them in an attempt to frighten them makes no sense when they see no fear in their own sacrifice.
If anything, we should’ve taken bin Laden to New York City. Put him in an expensive suit. Taken him to McDonalds for lunch. Forced him to do all the things he hates about this country. Not torture, per se, but the things that piss off radicals. We should’ve kept him alive, interrogated him, and then forced him to work at a Foot Locker for ten years. We should’ve made him microwave Hungry Man dinners for food, and drink Coca Cola, and talk about baseball with his neighbors. Mow the lawn. Prepare his taxes. Try to find a girlfriend on OKCupid (wait, I said no torture). Make him live in a triplex house in Spokane Washington, next to a meth addict and a obnoxious family with three screaming kids. Cut off his beard, get him some snazzy eyeglasses and a polo shirt. Force him to go to therapy twice a week.
I think that would demoralize al-Qaeda more than just killing Osama. Hell, it demoralizes us, and we’re the ones who think it’s so great, aren’t we?