I wanted to let a few days pass to let the news of Osama bin Laden’s demise sink in. To let some of the details of the mission unravel as they do. So many thoughts. SO many opinions – also quite typical. So much hindsight post-game analysis. Truly quite a bit worse than any major sporting event for sure! As I’ve been reading around the internet as I do, the one article which covered what I feel most accurately was written by Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post.
This paragraph pretty clearly sums up some of the discussion that started swirling around not 24 hours after the news broke:
When questions started being asked about the role enhanced interrogation techniques may have played, I found myself thinking, “I don’t care what was done.” When the question about whether he should have been captured instead of killed arose, I found myself not caring that bin Laden took two bullets to the head. What I cared about was that bin Laden was dead
I know in many ways this “I don’t care” opinion goes against pure liberal values. But, there are always exceptions eh? And I do believe that OBL was THE exception of all exceptions.
My own reactions over the last few days:
- USA! USA! USA! – on yes, plenty of patriotic pride. I would have LOVED to be in DC or NYC Sunday night to join in the celebrations
- So very grateful for our supremely skilled military. Always, but of course this mission really highlighted it.
- While there are many nits to rightfully pick (getting distracted by Iraq, eliminating funding for the OBL task force, stating publicly that OBL didn’t matter to him anymore) – this is something for both Bush & Obama to be proud of. The groundwork was laid out during Bush and even if he let it fall to the back burner publicly, clearly the CIA & others kept at it and they passed on a great deal of the information to the incoming Obama administration for them to take over and make front & center again. As many have stated correctly, Bush should take partial hit for the trashed economy since it started on his watch, therefore he gets partial credit for this mission because that also started on his watch.
- Wise move in not bombing the compound to smithereens. Avoided more unnecessary casualties and also the destruction of any evidence it was OBL AND also all that intelligence data they are now sifting through on Al Qaeda that was on those computers & thumb drives that were there. It was more dangerous this way. Riskier overall to the soldiers who undertook the mission. A gutsy call by Obama because failure would have been disastrous. But it all worked out (other than the helo which broke) and I firmly believe this was the best possible outcome.
- Yes, I love the burial at sea – no grave for his followers to use as a place to gather.
- Yes, I agree with killing him on the spot as indicated above.
- I could argue both ways on releasing the pictures really. I have a feeling they will eventually come out anyway.
- I’m not surprised that many details are changing over the days. The Fog of War and all that. At least they are telling us when they realize something is wrong! Not trying to cover up as was done in the cases of Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch. But the media & knee jerk critics will bitch anyway because that’s just their nature.
- I think anyone who runs with, or reacts to, stories originating from the Pakistani government or ISI or any of the members of OBL’s family who were captured after the attack are being ridiculously naive. His family has an agenda – to protect OBL’s reputation. The Pakistani govt has an even deeper agenda – to cover their asses for letting him live there right under their noses all these years. Stories coming from those sources will be rife with embellishments and outright falsehoods.
- Yes, I think Pakistan knew where he was. Yes, I think we need to cut off aid to them.
- Yes, I think we need to, and will, draw down out of Afghanistan even more aggressively than planned in July.
- How amazing is it that NONE of this came out at all in the 8 months since they zeroed in on the courier and the location? No Wikileaks memos! Yes! See? Sometimes the government NEEDS to keep secrets. The members of Congress who were briefed along the way, the security teams, any surrounding staff involved – kudos to all of them for keeping their eyes on the prize & their mouths (and blackberry’s) silent.
Finally, while I know that the families of the 9/11 victims can never be completely made whole again, I do know that to have faced the ten year anniversary of that horrible day in a few months all the while knowing OBL was alive and well would have been an added twist of the knife in their guts. So this..maybe…will make that day just a teensy bit less painful.