While acknowledge the fact that the news of Osama Bin Laden taking the dirt nap is a testament to the hard work and sacrifices of our military and intelligence personel, let's not lose sight of the role President Obama played in this.
Unless you can't read between the lines, it's pretty evident that the President not only pulled the trigger on invading a soverign nation's airspace when he greenlit this mission in Pakistan...but Obama okay'd putting a team of snakeeaters on the ground to make sure Bin Laden got Got.
Given the details that have leaked out since last night (it was a huge "mansion" compound in a suburb of Islamabad, less than a mile from one of the most prestigious Pakistani military training facilities, that just got built about 5 years ago; we have been working on reconning this place about that long; and Pakistan scrambled jets), it seems quite obvious that President Obama did what he said he would: Do whatever it took to bring Bin Laden to justice.
Remember back during the election when Obama was considered reckless and comments about being willing to go into Pakistan if we knew Bin Laden was there were trotted out as signs of "inexperience?" In August of 2007, Obama said:
"I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."
Remember McCain playing that card to Larry King in July of 2008?
KING: If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?
MCCAIN: Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself.
Or how about the Mittster trying a similar attack during a televised GOP debate:
"[Obama] went from going to sit down to tea with our enemies, but then he's going to bomb our allies. I mean, he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week."
You gotta ask yourself after last night's news: WHO DO YOU WANT TAKING THOSE 3AM PHONE CALLS, NOW???
Let's also not forget, as we already see statements from people like Cantor and Rumsfeld crediting Obama with following W's lead...that by his own account, W downplayed the necessity in tracking down Bin Laden. Bush's comments about not giving much thought to Bin Laden and not considering him that big a deal are well documented. And we're of the mind that a lot of that was BS, just meant to deflect the fact that we had not yet managed to catch the guy. But there is one pretty undeniable fact that questions the "vigilance" W really had about catching the guy: in July of 2006, the W administration shut down the unit that had been hunting Bin Laden for a decade.
Compare that to the CINC we see through John Dickerson's piece in Slate, money quote:
In June 2009, Obama directed his CIA director to "provide me within 30 days a detailed operation plan for locating and bringing to justice" Osama Bin Laden. By August 2010 intelligence officials had identified the suspicious compound where Osama lived.
So...while the men and women of our military (especially that SEAL team) and and ingelligence deservedly should be championed for this succes, let's remember the Big Dog that pushed to make it happen.
We should have known we'd eventually have this news from this picture: