In many ways, it was strange for me, because I was reading it as a regular reader. I did wonder, “Does this stand up to the test of time?” I remember in particular the last paragraph, when you’re writing such a long piece, you always think, “How can I wrap this up?” And I remember writing the bit about how, what bin Laden really wanted was to become a martyr to his cause, and that if the United States ever killed him, that this would cause a great uprising in the Arab world against the United States. So when I read that, and it was interesting, I immediately was back in the moment when I actually had written that, ten years ago, and thought, “Yes, this did stand the test of time,” because this was still the question, I think, when we killed him. You see it now in the debate over whether to release his photo—the question of, Does he become even larger in death than he was in life?
A Tight Deadline, 4,000 Words, Then Ten Years of Waiting - Columbia Journalism Review conducts a Q&A with Kate Zernike, Osama bin Laden’s obituarist for the New York Times.