In terms of iconography this photo is destined to rival that taken of FDR on D-Day.*
With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009.
The Washington Post, The path to bin Laden’s death didn’t start with Obama
Any doubt that Barack Obama is a small, petty, and inconsequential human was dispelled last week when his campaign released an ad claiming credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden, portraying the decision to order a raid to do something to bin Laden (we aren’t quite sure what his intent was based on the directive issued by the White House) as some kind of watershed moment in American history. As was noted then, the video is notable for being narrated by the guy who allowed bin Laden to rise to prominence and insinuating that Mitt Romney would not have ordered the raid.
Continued the president, “I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
The article then helpfully points out some context for Romney’s statement.
Romney, incidentally, was hardly the only politician taking issue with then-Senator Obama’s comments about Pakistan. Then-Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, called the remarks “irresponsible and frankly naive” in an interview with Iowa’s Quad City Times, and then-Senator Joe Biden, D-Del., said “the last thing you want to do is telegraph to the folks in Pakistan that we are about to violate their sovereignty.”
So, presumably, the Secretary of State and Vice President have been called to account for their opinions as well.
Unfortunately, Obama using the accomplishments of the U.S. military for personal political gain seems to be part of his make up. When Navy SEAL snipers whacked three hapless part-time Somali pirates, Obama was, according to his fluffers, there on the quarterdeck picking out the targets. The new ad could lead you to believe that he personally fast-roped into the Abbottabad compound and killed bin Laden for all the mention that is made of the men who actually did the job. (Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal, describes how other presidents have handled similar situations.)
The fact is that Mitt Romney was right, even Jimmy Carter would have made this call. In fact, Jimmy Carter made a much tougher call during Operation EAGLE CLAW. Or as one former Navy SEAL told the Daily Mail:
“The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call. I think every president would have done the same.”
And despite bin Laden enabler Bill Clinton’s statements, there was no political downside risk for Obama whatsoever. Jimmy Carter actually got a 4 point bump in his approval rating, though admittedly a short-lived bump, in the aftermath of the disastrous raid into Iran. Had the compound been empty, Obama would still have gained some credit for continuing the pursuit.
So now we have the sorry spectacle of the President of the United States, as our economy and international prestige circle the crapper, reduced to basing his reelection hopes on the death of a strategically irrelevant fugitive in Pakistan. A man so small that he can’t be bothered to mention the skill of our troops or intelligence agencies in his orgy of self-congratulation.
*Like all of my good lines, I stole this one from Dan McLaughlin.