First let me say that it really is a big deal that we finally killed Osama Bin Laden, if truly did it. I know there are many out there demanding to see the photos the SEAL team took as proof that we indeed got Bin Laden. But this administration has bungled this so bad that I see no reason to doubt that they actually did kill Bin Laden. Let me explain.
Getting to Bin Laden involved multiple agencies, all manner of intelligence gathering techniques, a lot of hard work and time. There was much to be gained by this operation, which some believe was actually opposed by Obama. Killing Bin Laden would bring closure to thousands of Americans still angry about 9/11. It would certainly improve Obama’s image as a leader. And locating Bin Laden would also be a great intelligence boon for he would be surrounded the tools he used to plan attacks – computer, files, notebooks, maps, etc. Bin Laden himself would certainly be worth more alive than dead, especially as an information source.
So what makes me think they bungled it? First, the actual handling of the attack. Capturing Bin Laden would have been better than killing him. Taking him to Guantanamo and waterboarding every last ounce of data from his miserable body would’ve been going easy on him for the atrocities he orchestrated against New York City, Washington and Pennsylvania. Second, the handling of the announcement. The president didn’t wait to address the nation, but immediately went on the air to brag about how his administration had succeeded. We just obtained the greatest source of Al Qaeda data ever – the evil mastermind’s lair, and what do we do? Telegraph to the world that we found massive amounts of data and will be sifting through it in short order and then coming after more bad guys. Think those bad guys are going to stay put for very long now? Right, neither do I.
Doing the right thing, whether we actually killed or capture Bin Laden, would’ve meant keeping the incident a secret, at least initially. That would give our intelligence apparatus time to go through the data and take out more Al Qaeda without them knowing it was coming.
I think the Obama administration’s response to this victory is very telling. He really isn’t in this for us, but for himself. Given his position in opinion polls, he hoped to succeed where Carter had failed. And he did, but part of being a good leader includes knowing when to take credit for something and when not to. There would be time, say next year, when revealing the details would have not only been more advantageous to his re-election chances, but also given us more time to secretly act on the intel we gathered. But blabbing to the world the way they did makes me even wonder whether they truly want to defeat Al Qaeda or not.
In the end, I guess this simply is what you get when you elect a neophyte and not a leader to be president. Every opportunity to beat the chest and say look at me, even at the cost of what is best for the nation, is going to be exploited.