I noticed a post on Facebook yesterday from a friend of a friend who said, “I suppose Obama will want credit for killing Osama bin Ladin.”
Well, duh. Whether Obama wants it or not, he deserves credit.
Some on the right have said the president doesn’t deserve any credit, even that the mission was accomplished because we tortured people (Rep. Peter King, Republican of New York), or that it was illegal (Fox News).
The right’s tactic now will be to turn the conversation away from the capture of bin Laden to something else — probably torture — to make Obama look weak.
But the fact is, Bush couldn’t get bin Laden and Obama did.
There’s plenty of credit to go around, but President Obama promised during his campaign that he would go after bin Laden and that if Pakistan wouldn’t or couldn’t help, we would go in and get him anyway. I consider that a campaign promise kept.
Once in office the president instructed Leon Panetta to make finding bin Laden a priority. It took awhile to track him down, and then a few months more to figure out how to get him with the least risk for our people and for innocent people who might be nearby.
Obama is a patient man, and he wanted to be certain this was done right. Remember the beating Jimmy Carter took when his attempted rescue of the hostages in Iran failed? That’s how this mission could have looked too, but Obama and his people took the time to get it right, and now the world’s most wanted criminal is dead.
Now, contrast this focused search and planning with President George Bush’s comments on March 13, 2002: “I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
And this one: “I am truly not that concerned about him.”
Those comments came just a half year after bin Laden’s people had killed 3,000 Americans, and some people want Bush to get credit for the capture of the man? I don’t think so.
President Obama hgas said he won’t release the photos of bin Laden taken after he was shot, and I’m fine with that, although I’m sure conspiracy theorists on the right will claim he’s not really dead. We’ll call them “deathers.”
So, let’s just say this to those of you who doubt: President Obama WAS born in the United States and he was the man in charge when bin Laden died in Pakistan.