Bin Laden Dead
It took Bush seven years and he didn’t get close. Obama got him in two years.
Had this happened under Bush, even after seven years, one can assume that this would have been the beginning of a weeks-long self-congratulatory paroxysm of crowing amongst right-wingers, with the media showering praise on Bush in particular, followed by a double-digit jump in his popularity ratings.
One wonders how this will be handled differently now that it took Barack Hussein Obama, in a long-planned and well-coordinated mission, to accomplish.
Bush in March 2002, when he was diverting his attention from bin Laden and Afghanistan so he could prosecute the war in Iraq instead:
… I don’t know where [bin Laden] is. I — I’ll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him.
And we have a difficult situation in Pakistan. I believe that part of the reason we have a difficult situation is because we made a bad judgment going into Iraq in the first place when we hadn’t finished the job of hunting down bin Laden and crushing al Qaeda.
So what happened was we got distracted, we diverted resources, and ultimately bin Laden escaped, set up base camps in the mountains of Pakistan in the northwest provinces there. …
And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out.
Nor was this a chance or accidental result; Obama was truly focusing on the task, while Bush let his attention wander almost immediately. Obama today:
And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda. Even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle and defeat his network.
Then last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain. And it took many months to run this thread to ground.
I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.
And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abad Abad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties.
And, time until conservatives find some way to criticize Obama for taking out bin Laden, in three, two….