Obama Would Not Have Taken Blame If The Raid On bin Laden Had Failed

Just over a year ago, President Barack Obama sat in a secret command room with his top military advisors and watched as the night time raid on the Osama bin Laden compound unfurled.

White House Situation Room during the raid on bin Laden compound
AFP PHOTO / WHITE HOUSE

When the raid proved successful and Navy Seal Team 6 reported that bin Laden was dead and that they had secured his computer and other vital effects, the command room rang with applaud and congratulations. Within hours of the success the news was splashed on virtually every headline in America and Obama just as quickly took full credit for the victory.

Since then, Obama and his campaign has tried to use the death of bin Laden as a campaign tool, but many American’s believed it was in poor taste.  It is especially in poor taste considering the pact President Obama signed in Kabul with Afghan president Hamid Karzai with much campaign-style fanfare on the anniversary of the raid on the bin Laden compound.

The May 1 deal is titled “Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.” Its main provision says U.S combat forces will leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

However, the “enduring” part of the agreement is vague. It consists of a section that says the White House will ask Congress to send some aid to Afghanistan each year.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai

The unadvertised provision is buried in the deal that Karzai and Obama signed. It could provide a legal shield for Pakistani-based al-Qaida’s leaders, front-line fighters, terrorism-planners, allied terror-leaders, funders, terror bases and terror training-grounds.

“The United States further pledges not to use Afghan territory or facilities as a launching point for attacks against other countries,” says the provision, found in paragraph 6b of the eight-page deal.

What Obama took proud credit for doing, he now says is wrong and no other American will be allowed to do or repeat it.

Did you know that President Obama would have escaped any blame or responsibility had the raid on the Osama bin Laden compound failed.

Prior to the raid, then Director of the CIA Leon Panetta, had drafted a memo that would have laid all of the responsibility on Naval Special Operations Commander Admiral Bill McRaven and not Obama.

It would not have mattered that the President was sitting in the White House situation room giving orders.

It would not have mattered that the President gave the order to make the raid in the first place.

McRaven was going to be the scapegoat in the event the mission failed.

Text of Panetta memo:

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault. The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

As this election year progresses, we are likely to hear from the president, his staff and advisors, members of his party and his political supporters as they remind us of what a strong leader he is because of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

While contemplating how the killing of bin Laden reflects on the president, consider  the rest of the story.

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