The killing of Osama bin Laden by a U.S. military team last week is indisputably a welcome event to anyone who believes in punishing evil, no matter how long it takes. The Obama Administration deserves commendation for this part of fulfilling President Bush's promise to bring to justice bin Laden and anyone else involved in committing the 9/11 massacres.
Beyond that, however, as in all things Obama, there are contradictions and unsettling questions that come to mind.
First, it appears that if the Obama Administration had gotten its way in closing down the Guantanamo detention facility, the information that led to discovering where bin Laden was hiding might never have been obtained by our intelligence services. In addition, the special attack team that carried out the mission in Pakistan has long been derided by the left as a malevolent creation of America's prince of darkness, former Vice President Dick Cheney. Whatever the nature of the attack team's creation, it sure did come in handy when Obama needed it. Somehow it seems to me it would be nice if the Obama Administration was more forthcoming in giving credit to those in the Bush Administration who helped make this mission possible.
Second, the method of disposal of bin Laden's body, and the apparent indecisiveness on whether or not to present conclusive evidence that bin Laden has in fact been killed is a bit disturbing, if only for the fuel it might provide for yet more conspiracy theories surrounding the events on 9/11. I have to wonder if the concern with showing bin Laden's remains proper Muslim respect isn't going to sicken relatives of victims of the 9/11 attacks, given the Administration's support for holding trials for the terrorists in Manhattan and for the mosque at Ground Zero. Also, if I recall correctly from my short naval career, burial at sea from a naval vessel is granted for those who have served the nation honorably, clearly not the case with bin Laden. And given that U.S. taxpayers have paid for all this, I have trouble conceiving of any valid reason why we shouldn't see the pictures of bin Laden's dead body, whatever the potential for inflaming the endlessly-offended Muslim world.
Third, the Administration appears already to be using this to make political gains. The White House released photos of Obama and senior officials in a room watching the operation as it went down, I suppose to show how incredibly involved and committed Obama & Co. were to the success of the mission. Would they have released these same photos if the mission had been a failure? I find this reminiscent of the failed rescue mission in Iran during the Carter presidency, an indication that Obama may practice the same sort of micro-management that was so spectacularly unsuccessful during the Carter years.
The liberal media has been spinning all this as a wonderful triumph for Obama personally, and as something that should put to rest the notion that his reelection is in danger--in essence, that the election is already over. Obama himself at a "bi-partisan" dinner (planned before the raid) remarked that he hopes this will bring back some of the unity in the country that has been lost since 9/11. Whatever. If he wants more "unity" in the country, he might try backing off on destroying the economy and circumventing the Constitution, for a start.
The notion that Obama has done something extraordinarily courageous and visionary in this affair is simply ridiculous. The American people have long demanded that bin Laden be brought to justice. If it became known that Obama (or any other President) had refused to attack bin Laden once his whereabouts were discovered, he would surely have faced calls for his impeachment and likely would have been driven from office.
So, let me thank you, Mr. President. For once.