Reader Comments (9)


Of course, now you have to have that party, with everyone invited :)


Yeah, that's a good point. A promise is a promise, and any excuse for a party is a good one.



On a completely related note. Today is also the day in 1945 that Hitler was declared dead.

May Day in the US should be celebrated as Dead Dictator Day.


For me, there's 20 more Bin Ladens not in hiding and starting things.

Bin Laden needed couriers to give him news, he was far removed from operations of most things.

So our secret prisons and interrogation...work?

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad the fucker's dead. Hope they wrapped him in bacon before burying him at sea.

david i

"Let's be clear: Obama did nothing."

Well, not quite. Bush certainly did nothing.

Obama made this a priority and handled endless in-fighting debates about the political ramifications of lauching such an assault in a supposedly allied country.

That's different from jumping out of a helicopter and leading an attack, yes.

But it's a prettier picture than putting on a flight suit and prancing around on the deck of an aircraft carrier to celebrate--hugely prematurely--the "victory" in Iraq.

All in all, I think that Obama has been rather presidential about it. Yes, he's taking some credit. He would also have been the target of overwhelming opprobrium if anything had gone wrong.


Okay, he authorised the incursion(s - quite a lot of them) into Pakistan.

(Though, reasonable people disagree about whether that's appropriate.)

At any rate, civilian intelligence professionals, and conventional and spec-ops military personnel, have been working day and night on this for 10 years. Then they went out and effectuated it. Obama, apparently, would have us believe that A) they never would have done it if he hadn't told them to get on the stick:

"shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of Bin Laden the top priority" - gee, thanks;

and B) that he somehow personally, hands-on, oversaw the effort:

"I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information ... finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action"

As if it were helpful telling the CIA that UBL was a priority - or telling JSOC when they had enough intel to conduct a raid.

He could no more direct an intelligence operation than he could conduct a building assault and takedown. The running-up-to-the-head-of-the-caravan is unseemly, at best.

David I

"...Obama, apparently, would have us believe that A) they never would have done it if he hadn't told them to get on the stick..."

That's in accord with my assessment. I don't think the Bush Administration made bin Laden a priority. Their focus was all on Saddam--and to tell the truth, I think they liked having bin Laden on the loose.

As to whether it is unseemly for Obama to declare that he is, as Bush so maladroitly put it, "the Decider," well, he is.

I remember all too well the failed attempt to free the American hostages during the Iranian Revolution. One could argue that Carter wasn't responsible for that any more than Obama is responsible for this--but he was certainly held responsible by the voters.


Two things.

1) Michael, in regards to your editorial about Obama ordered Pannetta to make capturing or killing Bin Laden top priority. Please keep in mind that the CIA unit devoted to finding Bin Laden had been shut down by the Bush administration since 2005! There was literally no effort to find him going on before the political will was restored to find that SoB. So please be a little more generous in your assessment of the man's involvement with the effort.


I wasn't aware of the shuttering of the bin Laden unit. ( http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/04/washington/04intel.html ) And it hadn't occurred to me that the search for UBL was anything other than ongoing and full-tilt. But, obviously, I was making that up.

I was wrong on that, and thus probably wrong that Obama had nothing to do with this.

And David is right that the CINC ultimately bears responsibility for all intelligence and military successes and failures.

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Black Squadron by Michael Stephen Fuchs