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October 28, 2008 — BAGHRAM AIR BASE, AFGHANISTAN: A man closely fitting the description of Osama bin Laden has been shot and killed by Governor Sarah Palin from a light plane flown by Senator John McCain. A statement issued by US officials said that McCain and Palin acted without official sanction but had access to military intelligence from ground and satellite sources that bin Laden and a small group were thought to be traveling along a mountain trail in the rugged mountain region just across the Afghan border in Pakistan. (Scroll down and read comments for updates) McCain and Palin, accompanied by a United States Marine who squeezed in on Palin’s lap, armed with a M-40A3 sniper rifle, were allow to fly a prop driven T-6A Texan II along the border. (See image right of Greek A.F. T-6A, click to enlarge.)
McCain’s pre-jet Navy aviator experience was flying the propeller driven Douglas A-1 Skyraider.
They deviated from their flight plan which would have kept them in Afghan air space and crossed the border into Pakistan. McCain navigated a perilous route along a mountain valley avoiding detection by the Pakistan military, and until the last minute avoided being seen by the group thought to include bin Laden.
They came up from flying just above the floor of the valley surprising the group of six or seven men walking along a path along the edge of a cliff where there was no place for them to take cover.
The subject thought to be bin Laden was easily recognized because he was over 6’4″, with a thin build, long arms, and a white streaked beard.
Palin asked for the sniper rifle (image left) and quickly shot the tall man in the center of the chest. Other members of the party had begun to fire back. The Marine, yet not identified, returned fire with his second weapon, a 7.62x51mm M240 medium machine gun, while McCain made several passes until the return fire ceased.
It is thought that all members of the party were killed.
UPDATE: Reports from the Pakistani government indicate that a military party has reached the scene of the shooting and Osama bin Laden’s body has been identified.
UPDATE: A comment issued by Barack Obama says he is glad Osama has been eliminated but views McCain and Palin’s role as unnecessary because the action should have been taken by the United States military and reckless because they put their lives and the American political process in jeopardy.
UPDATE: Overnight polls show a 15 point increase for McCain among undecided voters and a loss of 5 point among voters who previous said they were leaning towards Obama. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and members of their inner circle met for several hours to discuss the future of the campaign in view of the latest developments.
Obama spokespersons who had previously claimed that the McCain Palin visit to Iraq and Afghanistan was a desperate last ditch effort to turn the election around with a classic October surprise admitted that with less than two week before the election, Obama would have a difficult time regaining his lead.
UPDATE: U.S. Navy sources speaking on the condition that their identity not be revealed reported that McCain, the former fighter bomber pilot was stopped from taking a test flight on a fully armed F/A-18E Super Hornet when he stopped on the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf to visit the sailors after the killing of bin Laden.
They said they suspected but could not prove that McCain had obtained the coordinates of the residence of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.