I heard someone say today that if you’re wondering if Barack Obama is soft on national defense, just ask Osama Bin Laden. It got me to thinking back to that evening in April, during the aftermath and someone from the Whitehouse made the comment that the decision to “terminate” bin Laden was “the gutsiest call I have ever seen anyone make”. It might not surprise you to learn that I beg to differ.
Barack Obama was merely an observer of the operation which had been set in motion during the administration of his predecessor. Oh, he may have been asked “the” question: “Mr. President?”, but the question was merely a courtesy. Moot. The answer was “yes”. The answer had always been yes.
Think of it. The United States’ military and intelligence apparatus tracks bin Laden for 11 years since Clinton passed the opportunity to drop a Hellfire missile on his head in the fall of 2000. The US Air Force drops thousands of tons of bombs and expends huge sums of money flying B-52 sorties trying to kill him as he slips away at Tora Bora. Now they come to the president and say “we’ve found him”. What can Barack Obama do? He had no choice. If he says “no” when it leaked (and it would have leaked) there would be a public firestorm. If he calls the Pakistanis and they whisk him away (as they surely would have) and it gets leaked (as it surely would have) there would have been a public firestorm.
No, there was only one way for Barack Obama to have lost on this deal, and that was for him to say “no”. Even if it had gone horribly wrong he would have come out looking the part of the strong military leader.
So when someone says “he got bin Laden”, please feel free to disagree and ask “what were his options?”
But that’s just what an average guy thinks.