I’ve never understood the crowing that Obama and his supporters engage in over the fact that Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy SEALs during Obama’s administration. The direction to track Bin Laden, the funding and supplying of the teams in that mission, the priority set on him were all matters undertaken by the previous administration. Obama simply continued to carry that priority forward. (It’s curious that the same people who can’t seem to accept the responsibility for the disastrous economic decisions most definitely made by the Obama Administration, preferring instead to blame everything on Bush, have no problem taking the credit for Bin Laden’s killing and ignoring the Bush Administration’s contribution to that effort.)
With that little irritation acknowledged, however, I’ve been perfectly happy to give credit where it’s due and to applaud Obama for making the right decision to green-light the operation that took Bin Laden out. I have to say, however, that it never occured to me that the credit for that decision was due to someone else.
As reported by Big Peace, Time magazine has obtained a memo written by Leon Panetta, then-director of the Central Intelligence Agency and now-Secretary of Defense, that says “operational decision-making and control” was really in the hands of William McRaven, a three-star admiral and former Navy SEAL.
“The timing, operational decision-making and control are in Adm. McRaven’s hands,” the memo says. “The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the president. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the president for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and, if he is not there, to get out.”
In other words, it was McRaven’s call to pull the trigger or not on the raid.
To put a finer point on it, what Obama did was sublet the decision to someone he could throw under the bus if anything went wrong. Yeah, now that’s a real profile in courage and leadership, there. As the IBD editorial I’ve linked points out there will be those who protest, saying Obama gave the thumbs-up and then allowed McRaven to make the go/no-go decision based upon conditions in the field. And, as IBD say, if that’s the situation then the credit rightly goes to George W. Bush who’s the one started the hunt to begin with. Either way, Obama’s taking credit for the decision when it’s not his, just as he shifts the blame when it most certainly belongs to him.
It’s not surprising that he trumpets this operation as a victory for himself. It’s just about all he has to point to, virtually all else that he’s attempted to push through being little more than abject failure. He’s been a failure at the position we hired him for. His contract should not be renewed in November.