The “Obama Took 16 Hours” Meme: Hold On, And Think About It

Apparently, Obama took 16 hours to make the decision to go with the operation to get “Codename Geronimo” (yes, some folks do have a problem with that). Drudge linked to a story by the UK Daily Mail, and that has seemed to start an avalanche of political abuse towards Obama for waiting, especially after they put the headline this way

Obama took SIXTEEN HOURS to make up his mind about Bin Laden mission

The use of all caps makes it seem like this is a HUGE DEAL, and that it is UNBELIEVABLE that he would do that. The story goes on to say

The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.

But the president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think – and disappeared out of the room.

‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more,’ said Obama, according to the New York Times. He then added ‘I’m going to make a decision soon.’

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for the president’s decision.

But the next morning after 16 hours, Obama summoned four top aides to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could speak, the president put his fist on the table and declared ‘It’s a go’.

Listen, I simply must disagree with many of my conservative brethren on this. First of all, to be somewhat snotty, making a decision in only 16 hours has to be a record for Obama, when it comes to major decisions. Second, and more important, this was, really, a huge decision to make

The nail-biting, 40-minute clandestine operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death could have been a calamitous political and military failure; a bloodbath in Pakistan that left scores of civilians dead and U.S. forces killed or captured by America’s most ferocious enemy.

Or, as it happened, it could unfold largely in textbook fashion — delivering a stunning success for the often maligned intelligence community, a political and national security coup for a struggling president and revenge for Americans still carrying vivid memories of Sept. 11, 2001.

By secretly sending a team of special operations forces into an enemy fortress in a suburban neighborhood of a sovereign country, President Barack Obama chose the path of greatest risk, but also greatest reward.

Getting past the overblown writing designed to make Obama look like the most genius of genius (forgetting for a moment that he was given a Nobel Peace prize because he wouldn’t do stuff like), this was a Big Decision, sending a SEAL team deep into a sovereign country, 36 miles from that nations capital, a nation we are supposedly allied with, and refusing to tell that nation, in a mission where things had the possibility to go disastrously wrong. I don’t begrudge Obama for taking some time to think it through, even literally sleeping on it. There was a lot of risk in this operation, for Obama, for the U.S., for the assault teams. In this case, I’m glad he was thoughtful.

OK, tell me why I’m wrong.

Crossed at Right Wing News and Stop The ACLU

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12 Responses to “The “Obama Took 16 Hours” Meme: Hold On, And Think About It”

  1. Neo says:

    Consider now the possibility of a release of a UBL “death” photo.

    It has all the same procrastinating and indecision that were part of the original mission. I have to wonder if they think they can continue the “glow” by dragging it out with a promised “photo” that appears to always be “over the horizon” (like communism). They did exactly that with the “birthers,” so why not do a repeat ?

    As for the sensitivities, doesn’t anybody think that killing him was insensitive enough. After screwing with the narrative, they now even have it looking like they shot down a defenseless UBL … like a mad dog. I don’t think the “he may have had a bomb under his clothes” story line is going to cut it.

    If they really want UBL to be forgotten, let him go. Release the “death photo,” convincing those who can be convinced that UBL is dead, and close the bloody thing out. Instead, they have made a political calculation that they can bask in the glow of a killing, like a KKK mob after a lynching, and somehow show that they are “sensitive” by not releasing the bloody “photo.” Oh, please.

  2. gitarcarver says:

    I don’t think that you are wrong, Teach. I am just not sure that you are right.

    When Panetta told Obama about the opportunity, Panetta said that this was the best chance to get Obama since 2001. The information Panetta was presenting was time sensitive.

    Waiting 2/3 of a day and as you say literally sleeping on it may have put more people at risk.

    I am not thrilled with the idea of a president sleeping while a chance at the terrorist we all wanted was given more time to discover that we knew where he was.

    The bottom line is that it all worked and that has to be seen as a good thing. If it had gone wrong, we on the right would have criticized Obama for not being decisive and moving at an earlier opportunity. The left would have covered for him saying he was being thoughtful and considering all options.

    How this incident was handled, rather how it is viewed, doesn’t depend on what happened when and where. The view of this is through one determining factor – the success of the operation.

    If it had failed, we would be Monday morning quarterbacking. But as it did not, the same decisions or lack of decisions doesn’t matter. All we see is the success.

    And you know know I don’t mean to step on your parade here, but I gave this “difference in success” idea a lot of thought yesterday and wrote,

    http://raisedonhoecakes.com/ROH/2011/05/04/on-the-absolute-surety-of-intelligence-that-may-be-60-80-correct/

  3. BobM says:

    You’re exactly right on this. Mr. Obama deserves credit for actually making a tough decision, and the right decision at that.

  4. Lyle says:

    This was an operation that had been in the works for years. Previous Presidents had either swung and missed, or taken their eyes off the ball. This plan had a “fight-your-way-out” fallback plan. These things have gone disastrously wrong in the past – probably more often than they have gone right. Contemplating an unannounced act of war against a nuclear-armed ally? That’s never a 5-minute decision, except for a lunatic.

    The people who are finding fault here are just desperate not to give BHO any shred of credit, ever, for anything. He could have single-handedly parachuted in and killed OBL with his bare hands, and these guys would complain that he’d waited a year to do it. “Why didn’t he do it in 2009? Because he’s a closet Muslim and he hates America!”

    Sorry guys, sometimes the opposition does get something right, and it doesn’t hurt to give them their due respect for it.

  5. Lyle says:

    And by “here”, I don’t mean on this site, I mean, “with this operation”

  6. gitarcarver says:

    This was an operation that had been in the works for years.

    And this is where the Obama worship comes into view.

    If the operation had been in the works for years, then why the 16 hour delay on making the decision?

    Don’t you see the problem with your own argument?

    It is not that Obama made the wrong decision. No one is saying that. It is the hypocrisy from Obama that is troubling. He pledges to close Gitmo, but uses the intelligence gained from Gitmo to catch bin Laden. He is against enhanced interrogation, but enhanced interrogation is what got the information. He was against “assassination” of foes, but yet that is what he authorized.

    It is not the end result that some of us disagree with. We would have made the same decision. It is the PATH that Obama takes to get the that decision that is troubling. It is the PATH that shows hypocrisy, a lack of leadership and lack of vision from this man.

  7. captainfish says:

    I give credit where credit is due. He stood up like a president should and allowed our men in uniform to do their job when it mattered most. Despite his hatred of the military and all that our military stands for.

    Granted, another president could have done this last year, but, maybe our evidence wasn’t as fully hard as it was this time. Who knows. But, when given the chance, and the opportunity, he went ahead and did it.

    And yes, this was a huge decision. Think about this folks. This COULD HAVE turned out like Black Hawk Down. And we did have one copter go down. Pakistan could have captured the guys as spies and we could have had a HUGE international stink on our hands with a nuclear power.

    He found his balls and pulled the trigger on a very very dangerous mission.

    But, yes, he should give back his PEACE prize. he’s betrayed everything he’s “stood” for.

  8. giantslor says:

    The Nobel Peace Prize is not a pacifist prize, but rather a prize given to a person who promotes peace. Killing bin Laden definitely promotes peace. Even the Dali Lama said a mosquito has more right to live than bin Laden.

  9. captainfish says:

    Ok, good points. But then explain how Yasser Arafat got the “peace” prize.

  10. Bill Quantrill says:

    The killing occurred during Obama’s watch. Big deal! Giving him credit for it is like giving Truman credit for VE Day after Churchill, FDR, Stalin, and their troops had done all the dirty work against Hitler.

    If BO deserves credit for this kill, then Andrew Johnson deserves credit for saving the Union and destroying slavery. The day Lincoln died, General Johnston’s Confederate Army of Tennessee was still in the field, as were General Kirby Smith’s Trans-Missssippi forces. Pitched battles continued through July 1865, and the 13th Amendment wasn’t passed until Reconstruction, during JOHNSON’s presidency.

  11. gitarcarver says:

    Giving him credit for it is like giving Truman credit for VE Day after Churchill, FDR, Stalin, and their troops had done all the dirty work against Hitler.

    That is a good analogy, but your conclusion is flawed. Truman did get credit and rightfully so, for the decisions that brought the end of WWII, namely the dropping of atomic bombs.

    Obama gets credit for authorizing the action that killed bin Laden. Bush gets credit for starting the policies that helped and led to the action that Obama took.

    The best way of saying this is that Americans got bin Laden. Whether it was Bush, Obama, SEAL Team 6, the intelligence groups, the makers of the photographic drones, or the people that pay taxes so that others could do the job of getting bin Laden, we all did our part.

  12. llbeau says:

    Since this was in the planning stages for a while, shouldn’t Obama have been taking the time to think through all the options BEFORE the opportunity came?

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