Senior administration officials are trying to minimize the link between President Obama’s trip today to Afghanistan and the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, saying the timing was “driven” by other factors.
According to the pool report from Afghanistan:
Senior administration officials said the timing of the trip was driven by the negotiations over the Strategic Partnership Agreement and by the desire of both presidents to sign the agreement in Afghanistan prior to the NATO summit in Chicago later this month. However, the officials also acknowledged that the timing coincides with the first anniversary of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Obama landed in Afghanistan on what is exactly – almost to the hour – the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The trip had to have been long in planning, but the White House has recently been confronted by intense criticism that he is politicizing the operation that killed Bin Laden by drawing so much attention to it and promoting his decision to order the raid.