"No Johnny, Osama bin Laden is not hiding in your closet - please go back to sleep." But maybe he WAS in some closet or under some bed - he had to be somewhere.
But with the inexorable plotting of a VERY extended crime show, intelligence efforts continued apace year after year, finally congealing into tangibility in a fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the opaque menace made vulnerable flesh and blood, and destroyed.
One pictures the grotesque but viscerally satisfying scene from Tarantino's WWll revenge fantasy Inglourious Basterds, where one of the avenging American Jews empties hundreds of bullets into the disintegrating corpse of Adoph Hitler - the anguish of millions of unjust deaths focused on a single point.
For practical and aesthetic purposes, all involved in the bin Laden operation, reportedly involving Navy Seals, knew the order to "capture or kill" was really only about the latter, the assault squad seeking a broken trophy not a captive. It neither could nor should have ended any other way.
While President Obama called bin Laden's death "the most significant achievement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda," it was really much more personal and meaningful than that - his tangible remains awakening a people from an extended, debilitating nightmare.
Awakened and avenged, may we move ahead with wisdom and grace.