I received word from editor Martha Krienke, indicating that Boundless was not allowed to publish the following comment for this thread, because I mentioned the name of a Presidential candidate (President Obama):
I’d say there’s room for celebration. Not so much that OBL is dead, but rather that our forces have earned a very well-deserved victory. Credit is due all the way around.
(1) Many key facts of intelligence were gleaned from controversial detention (CIA prisons, Gitmo) and “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Score one for President Bush.
(2) Our CIA–which was in total disarray before 9/11–has materially improved to the point where (a) they are developing intelligence more effectively, and (b) they are sharing that intelligence with key decisionmakers. Score another one for President Bush.
(3) Our Special Operations groups are nothing short of outstanding. What they accomplished in Pakistan is the stuff you read about in Clancy novels (Think Rainbow Six and Executive Orders). This is the most impressive U.S. military operation since the raid on Cabanatuan POW camp in WWII. Score a big one for our military Special Operations community.
(4) President Obama took a very big risk, and it paid off big. He did not KNOW that it was OBL, and his advisors were divided on whether to execute the mission as they did. Moreover, we have a history of bungling such operations–Desert One (Operation Eagle Claw) in 1979 for instance–so success was anything but guaranteed.
But give Obama credit: he made the decision; he took the risk; and it turned out that the intel folks were correct: it was OBL. And they took him down with no American casualties. This in spite of a firefight that lasted 40 minutes. (In the world of tactical operations, that is as close to an eternity as you are going to get.)
Many conservatives are hounding the President, but I say let him take the credit. He took the risk, and won. When you do that, you get credit. As far as Presidents deserve credit when such things are successful, Obama deserves it here.
I’m not saying we should have paraded OBL’s carcass in the streets (a la Mussolini), but incinerating him in pork fat might not have been a bad thing. (A would-be terrorist who knows that his body may be desecrated by pigs, may get second thoughts…)
While a sea burial was otherwise classy, I do believe that showing the picture of the body–to clarify the act to would-be naysayers, and to those would-be terrorists who need a reality check–is in order.