The first time that I knew that CSI: Miami had been pre-empted and replaced with two “reality TV” shows was because of an important announcement by the president about the death of Osama bin Laden. Of course I missed that owing to my cleaning out cat boxes at the time. And only became aware of this when I went online and visiting Face Book; saw this being reported by CBS News. Yes, the headlines in both the Spokesman-Review and the Coeur d’Alene Press were very big, very bold and in a word, celebratory. And further, with a detailed write up. Turning to CNN, the White House was providing a briefing about what had occurred in Abbottabad, Pakistan. What impressed me was that of course the U.S. Government kept the operation secret until the joint Navy Seals/CIA Task Force had successfully concluded their operation on the bin Laden compound and verified the death of the resident. I don’t feel it is necessary to re-discuss what has been reported here. But I will say this, thank the Gods that bin Laden is gone at last.
And that maybe, for those who suffered heavily as the survivors of 9/11/2001; they will now know a measure of peace.
What I will get into however is a discussion of the man who made this momentous decision, a “gutsy” one (White House Press briefing) that turned out to be the correct one. First point: President Obama listened to the various views of his people in the White House on an actionable intelligence that was not based on a hundred percent certainty. Once he had heard the debate out, he told the joint CIA and Navy Seals teams to simply go for it. He didn’t hesitate to give the order to raid the compound and take out who was there. “What if he had been wrong,” and yes, if the intelligence had been wrong, the president’s decision would have produced some real heat in reaction; a la President Bill Clinton. He was fortunately not wrong. Second point: As mentioned above, the secrecy of this operation. Not a word to the news media until it was all over with. No major White House announcement well in advance of the planned operation. When hunting an elusive criminal/terrorist such as bin Laden; the less he knows that our people are on to him; the better chance that we have of taking the terrorist out. Back in World War ll, the maxim was, “loose lips sink ships.” It is a maxim that the current president fully embraced. He said not a word as he toured tornado ravaged Alabama and spoke with survivors there. Good man. Even if he never served in the U.S. Military; he understood the need for secrecy. Unlike Mr. Ego-trip, GW Bush. Third point: if it just so happened that the Pakistani government didn’t “hear” about this operation until our guys were well out of the country, “loose lips sink ships” would have served as an excellent justification. It would likely have served to complicate matters of getting to and taking out the terrorist mastermind.
And finally, the fourth point: Obama’s critics. As the worst claim that they could have made about the president is that well… because he must be a Muslim himself… In short, not a guy who’d see fit that when Osama bin Laden appeared on the radar screen, to give the order to kill him in his compound. Wrong. How about people who “can’t see him as a leader” because he isn’t a loud-mouthed braggadocio? An empty suit filled with nothing but partisan rant? Yes, Obama speaks quietly and weighs carefully his words. No, he isn’t typically a unilateralist kind of guy. The events in Libya being any indication. But yes, when he made it a campaign pledge to continue the war on terrorism, actually he meant it. We have seen the evidence of that in various thwarted terrorist plots since he became president. Which also meant, that he’d give a unilateral order to take out a terrorist mastermind once we had a pretty good guess as to where he could be. In short, a leader.
“The Daily Show” jokes aside; I wonder what Obama’s constant critics like Mona Charen and Charles Krauthammer would have to say about this successful ending of a terrorist’s career? Especially as to how it ended and who was responsible for the death of bin Laden? At least Leonard Pitts, jr plans on tasking the late and unlamented bin Laden (aside from his supporters) with a posthumous letter. (Facebook) I could certainly suggest that the Obama critics give the guy a break for doing the right thing, for a change.