President Obama is once again using the killing of Osama Bin Laden as a prop in his reelection campaign. I have no problem with the President point to this as one of the accomplishments of his Presidency. After all, it is one of the few actual accomplishments that most Americans give him credit for. However, for some reason, the President's campaign staff are now suggesting that Presidential candidate Mitt Romney would not have given the go-ahead to kill Bin Laden, distorting a comment of his as their evidence. Mitt Romney's comment is so taken out of context as his actual statement is that killing any one terrorist is not not a strategy, but a starting point. Basically he is advocating a much stronger response than the assassination of one man.
Lets not forget that the President's 'Gutsy Call' was given only after sleeping on it, a full 16 hours after being asked. Now maybe Mitt Romney would have said no, but I seriously doubt he's take a nap first. (Mitt Romney in response to the Obama Campaign allegation notes that even Carter would have made the call to take out Osama.)
The Obama campaign's outright lying of the facts reminded me of the photo of President Obama in the Situation room observing the mission as it happened. For making such a 'Gutsy Call', the President does not even have a seat at the table. Why exactly is that? How many other White House photos have you seen where the President does not have a prominent place at the table? Any table? I am no fan of the President, but if I had him over for dinner, I'd give him the honor of my place at the table, if for no reason than one of respect.
Now take the following story that appeared on the internet shortly after this photo appeared that comments on the situation leading up to the photo, keeping in mind that there is nothing to back up the allegations made in the story:
I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military – both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States. There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier. The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation. A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was. The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants. What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates. The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room. - Socyberty (White House Insider: Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden)
Go read the entire article which notes how much of an obstacle Valerie Jarrett was on behalf of the President and how those interested in actually fighting a war on terrorism managed to work around the President. Providing that there is any truth to this story.
Interestingly enough, the recent Times article on the raid, provides a copy of the mission order Leon Panetta issued (At least his note of it). This part of the official story just happens to fit into the storyline above.
Given that the President's campaign is all interested in discussing the raid on Bin Laden, perhaps they would like to explain why the President is sitting in the corner during one of the most important meetings of his Presidency. Perhaps, this was to give him easy access for the door in case the raid did not end so well. I wonder, are there any photos of this meeting where the President is not seated in the room...
I suspect that we will be returning to this photo before November's Election.