Friday, October 19, 2012

Lest We Forget

I'm typically a live and let live kinda guy but occasionally that paradigm is shattered and this is one such instance.

In the run-up to the foreign policy debate, it's important to remember just how gutsy a call this was for President Obama to make.

A gripping, albeit long, article from Vanity Fair...
The conventional wisdom is that the intelligence apparatus had slackened off in its search for bin Laden—and it’s true that President George W. Bush, frustrated by the inability to find him, publicly declared that bin Laden wasn’t important. But among the analysts and operatives, the hunt had always continued. Obama’s order just gave it more focus and intensity. Now, a year later, there was something to talk about... 
In truth, the president had all but made up his mind to launch the raid when he left the meeting that Thursday afternoon. He had been thinking about it for months. He delayed making the final decision in order to take one last breath. He had been inclined to hit the target for a long time now. He had made his peace with “50–50” months ago. He had been tempted by the air option, but believed that the importance of certainty was too great. 
Still, he turned it over in his mind until the small hours. His habit was to stay up much later than Michelle and the girls. That night he was preoccupied not so much with making a decision, but with whether he had considered every element carefully enough. “It was a matter of taking one last breath and just making sure, asking is there something that I haven’t thought of?” Obama explained to me. “Is there something that we need to do? … At that point my estimation was that we weren’t going to be able to do it better a month or two months or three months from now. We weren’t going to have better certainty about whether bin Laden was there, and so it was just a matter of pulling the trigger.” Alone in the Treaty Room, he considered the matter for three or four hours. He woke up several times that night, still mulling it over...

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