Obama, We Hardly Knew Ye

Most of agree that President Obama did the right thing in ordering the attack which resulted in the killing of Osama bin Laden; but his sycophants and cult worshippers, led by the New York Times, are making an all-out effort to make this single deed into a redemption of all his many policy failures and his persistent lack of decisiveness and leadership.

Says the Times in today's editorial:

"Mr. Obama's risky and audacious decision to attack the Bin Laden compound in Pakistan has demolished the notion that he cannot make tough decisions or cares primarily about the nation's image abroad."

Over on AOL, its newly acquired news mouthpiece, Huffington Post, exclaims with awe:

"By secretly sending a team of special operations forces into an enemy fortress in a suburban neighborhood of a sovereign country, President Barack Obama chose the path of greatest risk, but also greatest reward."

Well, not quite. What Mr. Obama chose was an action that was forced upon him by the situation in which he found himself -- and even so, it did take him almost a full day to make up his mind to act as he did.

Intelligence, developed slowly over a number of years and based upon information extracted through coercive interrogation of detainees at Guantánamo and elsewhere, established a 60-80% certainty that bin Laden was at the Abbotabad compound, no doubt under the protection of some powerful Pakistani officials under whose noses he'd been "hiding" for years.

Considering the dicey trustworthiness of the Pakistanis and the inevitable leaks that would surely become public before too long from one source or another, what else could Obama do? Once it became public that we had a bead on Osama and did not go after him, or waited too long and let him get wise and get away, the chances for an Obama win in 2012 go straight down the toilet.

In effect, Obama had no choice but to act, and to act promptly. He does get credit for giving the order, and he does get credit for choosing to kill and retrieve the body rather than blow it into unidentifiable dust and gunk (though the decision to not release photos forfeits the advantages worth risking SEAL lives for). The mission, however, does not make the man into a bold, decisive leader. It does not undo the miserable foreign and domestic policy failures of his administration. It does not change his quest to bring the largest and most significant parts of American social and commercial life under Washington control.

Let's give credit where credit is due, but not where it isn't.