Let’s start with how this whole taking credit for Osama bin-Laden situation is shaping out politically. The GOP has tried very hard to make it appear as if President Obama’s decision to take out Osama bin-Laden was an easy decision…not considering that there were several options with which to consider and that the intelligence rated his even being in the compound at 50/50.
Now – if this had happened under a Republican president – you had better believe that the Republicans would be rubbing that in the face of “weak Democrats” as Dick Cheney warned Americans in 2004 that to elect a Democrat could mean a potential national security disaster…glossing over the fact that the only major attack to happen on American soil since Pearl Harbor was in fact on George W. Bush’s watch. So – now that Obama is rightfully highlighting his accomplishments as Commander and Chief - Republican operatives have tried to get out in front of all of this to make Obama appear as if he’s taking credit for an accomplishment that isn’t his to claim (thank god for Seal Team 6). Well – he ordered the hit and it was successful. And of course – Romney has tried to etch a sketch what he said a few years back regarding Osama bin-Laden; unfortunately for him – there are these inventions called video and the internet.
In April 2007 – when asked if he would have gone after Osama bin Laden – Mitt Romney said:
“It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.”
But with the benefit of hindsight – today when asked if he would have gone after Osama bin Laden…Mitt Romney said:
“Of course. Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”
A reporter asked him to respond to Mitt Romney’s comments….and Obama did:
“I assumed that people meant what they said when they said it. That’s been at least my practice. I said that we’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 suggested they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.”
David Corn has the story behind the scenes during the Osama bin Laden raid – read the whole thing HERE:
On the evening of Thursday, April 28, the president convened what would be the last NSC planning meeting on the bin Laden operation. McRaven was already in Afghanistan, ready to launch the raid if so ordered.
Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, described the latest plans. In response to Obama’s demand for a fight-your-way-out plan, McRaven had added two Chinook helicopters to complement the pair of MH-60 Black Hawk stealth copters. And the SEALs had been instructed to be prepared to engage if they were met by the Pakistani military.
Panetta reported that the intelligence community had conducted a red team test exercise, in which analysts who had not previously worked on the bin Laden case evaluated the intelligence that had been collected. The CIA had earlier told Obama that its analysts had concluded there was a 60 to 80 percent certainty that bin Laden was in the Abbottabad compound. The red team ended up with lower odds: 40 to 60 percent.
You can see the entire press conference with the Japanese Prime Minister HERE.
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