This is some interesting video of Vice President Biden Friday discussing the decision to take out Osama Bin Laden. He talks about how all of Obama’s advisers basically hedged except Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then the CIA director, who said to go ahead.
The account has credibility because Biden admits that the only other definitive answer came from him – but he gave what turned out to be the wrong advice, counseling Obama to wait.
I realize that a lot of the basis for this raid was the result of steps taken by George W. Bush to create the capability for it. But though the operation was crassly hyped by the White House as Obama’s “gutsy call,” this was indeed a great moment for the president.
Both he and Panetta’s careers were on the line. If the plan failed or if Bin Laden wasn’t present, Obama would have become another Jimmy Carter, who failed to rescue our hostages in Iran, and Panetta might have gone down in history beside former CIA Director George Tenet, he of the “slam dunk” Iraq WMD intelligence.
And the United States would have been diminished, having made an incursion into a foreign country and shot up some home for nothing.
It was a bold decision, and of course carried out with incomparable skill by our forces.