See below for Updates…
Osama Bin Laden, the #1 Islamic-Terrorist-Boogeyman for the better part of three decades, is dead.
Barack Obama stepped onto my TV screen last night to announce the news of OBL’s demise and, while it may have seemed a little heavy on the self-congratulation (I, Me , My, I, I, I) and a little light on praising the actual Operators (I only found out late today that it was Seal Team Six) – He is still absolutely to be commended for actually giving the final Go Order.
He could have hidden behind the skirts of some DoJ lawyer and equivocated about how ‘we’re better than that’ – but he didn’t. He manned-up and did what both he in the past and years of established Bush Administration policies said he should. Good on you for that, Mr. Obama.
Since then the Cheering has quieted, the drinking is over (it must be, ‘cause I can see again) and everyone is looking around and breathing a last sigh of relief before getting back to the business at hand – that being the matter of protecting America through the continued prosecution of the recently-renamed GWOT.
And now, a few follow-up thoughts:
1) While Pakistan has always made noises as though they were allies in the GWOT and have always denied that they would give safe haven to Islamic terrorists, OBL is just the last in a long line of “Al Qaedans” found/observed/known in Pakistan.
2) Pakistan was NOT aware of the operation prior to its execution – late-day backpedaling aside, President Musharraf’s original responses about how the operation was ‘unacceptable’ prove this out, as does Pakistan’s scramble of fighter jets in an attempt to find the Seals’ helicopters as they made their escape.
3) It seems that the success of that operation likely hinged on Pakistan’s ignorance of it, as news outlets in India have identified the compound that OBL occupied as an ISI (Pakistani Intelligence Service) safehouse, while the India Times quotes a ‘senior Military Official in Pakistan as saying that ignorance of OBL’s presence was “impossible”.
Finally - this was not, as was originally reported, a “Raid”. This was (as Obama said in his speech) a targeted Kill Order – in short, an assassination.
Now personally, I have no problem with this whatsoever – None. Zero. Zip. Nada.
Do it again – do it twice on Thursdays.
One thing this has done is move the response to OBL’s terrorist-actions well outside that reserved for the merely ‘Criminal’, particularly in the sense that Obama and the Holder-DoJ have tried to have us accept as the ‘Correct’ framework around Terrorists and their crimes against humanity.
This was certainly and undeniably Capital-J Justice, but Justice meted out beyond the realm of what we would ordinarily think of as, well - ‘Civilized Legality’.
It’s also what I would call a ‘Precedent’.
So what we have here is:
- A Special Forces Operation,
- Violating the Sovereignty of a foreign country,
- …that the US Government clearly has accepted is knowingly harboring terrorists
- for the purpose of dispensing God’s Own Richly-Deserved Justice – without the formality of a Manhattan trial - ,
- to a terrorist.
Now, one might be inclined to observe this as a tipping point – that this step means that the GWOT is now considered ‘Real’ by this administration and that they (The Won) has accepted that this is the way it has to be done and that we simply cannot suffer these people and regimes to continue as they have.
Let’s be honest – after Sunday, ANYTHING else in dealing with terrorists and their supporters can only be nothing-short of a huge, waffling step-backward.
So – will that be the answer? That this is for real and the slow-bleed of American blood and treasure is at an end?
Or will the take-away be something less crystalline, and more like: “This is the wages of your offense… If the Administration happens to really, really not like you” - ?
Guess we’ll see.
Pam Geller @ Atlasshrugs.com has a story referencing a ’senior DC insider’ who maintains that The Won was overruled by senior military authorities, when he tried to abort the Kill-Order/Mission he had already signed-off on.
I don’t know how accurate that is, but it does hang more closely with what we’ve seen from Obama before this.
Now understand, this is strictly single-source…
It does gibe with this account of Obama taking 16 HOURS to decide to whack Bin Laden - AND the part of the ‘Panetta’ story that says that ‘The Won had to be dragged in from the golf course to be ‘informed’ of the Op-underway also gibes with the golf-attire in the widely-circuated picture from the Situation Room…
…and I always believe we should trust people to do what we’ve seen them do…