It started with an ad from the Obama campaign featuring former President Bill Clinton in which it was suggested that if Romney were President he might not have ordered the raid with killed Osama bin Laden. Put aside for a moment the fact that when President, Bill Clinton passed up multiple opportunities to capture or kill bin Laden. Obama is clearly "spiking the football" in a heavy handed way to politicize the killing of bin Laden a year later just in time for the election.
That theme was confirmed in a press conference with President Obama on April 30 in which he tried to twist Romney's words again and suggest he would have left bin Laden alone.
But not only has Obama's blatant politicizing of this event angered Romney, and former Navy Seals but it exposes once again Obama's weakness in the war on terror that led to the raid which killed bin Laden.
The Hidden Heroes in bin Laden Raid
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. is a 31-year veteran of the CIA. He was agency official in charge of human intelligence with direct responsibility for the interrogation of captured Al Queda suspects. In his new book, “Hard Measures: How Aggressive CIA Actions After 9/11 Saved American Lives,” he discusses this important work. Interviews with Rodriguez, such as the 60 Minutes piece with Leslie Stahl are available on You Tube.
In an op-ed for the Washington Post Rodriguez writes:
[Obama's] administration never would have had the opportunity to do the right thing had it not been for some extraordinary work during the George W. Bush administration. Much of that work has been denigrated by Obama as unproductive and contrary to American principles.Rodriguez goes on to tell the story in some detail and concludes:
He is wrong on both counts.
With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009.Obama and key Democrats fought against Bush efforts to win the war on terror and capture or kill bin Laden. Can they fool enough of the American people that this wasn't the case as Obama faces re-election?
This past weekend, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin attacked statements made in May 2011 by me, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Michael Mukasey regarding what led to bin Laden’s death. They misunderstood and mischaracterized our positions.
No single tactic, technique or approach led to the successful operation against bin Laden. But those who suggest it was all a result of a fresh approach taken after Jan. 20, 2009, are mistaken.