Let’s be very clear headed. When President Obama says that the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden was done upon his order, he is correct. However, he had little choice but to give those orders. There was very little presidential discretion involved.
How do we know this? Consider this. Once Bin Laden’s whereabouts became known with a great deal of certainty, and Obama was made aware of this fact, he could not ignore it. Nor was he free to avoid taking action. Had he done either of those things there is no doubt that his presidency and any hope for re-election would have ended.
The only discretion he exercised once he was made aware that we had Bin Laden in our sights was whether to arrest him, or to kill him. And even that decision was nearly a foregone conclusion.
Arresting Bin Laden would have made a circus out of his detention, Obama’s judgement would have become the subject of serious debate, any number of threats and hostage situations would have been employed for the avowed purpose of securing Bin Laden’s release and even Obama’s supporters on the left would have demanded that Bin Laden receive a public trial in the United States courts where he stood indicted by a federal grand jury. Killing him was really the only option.
Presidents often get the blame for things which happen beyond their control while in office, so it is only fair that they get credit for things which seem to go right on their watch as well.
But, Obama would do well to not “Trump” this up too much himself.
Those of us who are not drunk with joy over the outcome know that the decision was already made for him once he was informed that Bin Laden’s whereabouts had been confirmed.
Finding him was the trick. Our military and intelligence services deserve all of the credit for that.
In the end, all Obama did was break a bottle of champagne on the bow of a ship a lot of other people built.
Cross Posted from BluegrassBulletin.com