Chinese girl: White House insight the day bin Laden died Chinese girl: White House in

Discussion in 'China' started by Kunal Biswas, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Kunal Biswas

    Kunal Biswas Member of the Year 2011 Moderator

    May 26, 2010
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    Chinese girl: White House insight the day bin Laden died

    BEIJING - "Where were you when ...?"

    It's a question often surrounding dramatic world events, and while most of us remember learning about the death of Osama bin Laden from the TV, Internet or word of mouth, it was a very different story for 25-year-old Chinese intern Gong Xiaosi.

    She was right inside the White House when it happened.

    So while media outlets were waiting on May 1 to hear why US President Barack Obama had called a sudden news conference on a Sunday night, Gong had a view behind the scenes, witnessing the politicians talk firsthand and seeing their considerations behind the carefully orchestrated public release.

    "The government officials and politicians had a lot of discussions about how to set the tone, and I was so lucky to be in the State Department to witness this," Gong said.

    The US government was initially trapped in a dilemma about what manner to adopt - if President Barack Obama celebrated bin Laden's death with joy, it could hurt the feelings of family members of those who died in the war against terrorism and those who died in the 9/11 attacks.

    However, if the president showed grief in his speech, it would not enhance the confidence of the people.

    "That is why President Obama did not receive any media interviews on the day after bin Laden's death, because it was almost impossible to find a balance, and it was improper to celebrate this issue in the name of the US government," Gong said.

    Instead of the president, senators and officials of the US Department of Homeland Security announced the killing as the United States' biggest victory against terrorism.

    Another observation Gong found interesting was that the US government did not release any pictures of bin Laden.

    "In the White House I saw a number of photos of the killing. To be frank, some looked rather dreadful with the man shot in the head and in the chest," Gong said.

    White House officials worried that the photos would provoke revenge from terrorists, so they kept them from view.

    "But when dealing with the issue, the politicians sometimes neglected the feelings of people from other countries, especially from Pakistan," Gong said.

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