Voting Present: Obama Dithered 16 Hours Before Killing Bin Laden

by Ben Johnson

The media are salivating that Osama bin Laden’s death will seal Barack Obama’s re-election. But detailed reports show that the process that led to the event Democrats are calling Obama’s greatest triumph should be tantamount to a disqualification for holding the nation’s highest office. Delving into the details reveals that Obama proved as weak-kneed and indecisive about getting bin Laden as he has about every presidential decision that does not involve spending America into oblivion, advancing fundamentalist Islamic interests, or harassing middle Americans who oppose his agenda.

Analysts confirmed beyond any doubt that Osama bin Laden was on the premises of the Abbottabad compound months ago. This New York Times story notes that Obama asked his key defense advisers for options – on March 22. The Times passes over everything that unraveled in the ensuing month. Outgoing CIA Director Leon Panetta pushed for a response in a meeting held last Thursday. Three reporters at the NYT record Obama’s response: “I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more. I’m going to make a decision soon.”

Obama finally came to a conclusion – a mere 16 hours later.

Media Matters excoriates the “right-wing media” as “desperate” for pointing this out, but it seems apropos to note the leader of the free world, charged with keeping the homeland safe and meting justice out to international criminals, could not decide whether the man who planned 9/11 should be killed for two-thirds of a day.

What accounts for this indecision? Some bloggers have highlighted the anonymous tale of an alleged White House “insider” posted here. According to that account:

there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East. (Emphasis added.)

It is possible this account is genuine, although proof to that effect is underwhelming. It certainly conforms to what we know about Obama and Jarrett. If true, it proves that Obama/Jarrett fret that even the assassination of Osama bin Laden might be an evil act of U.S. aggression.

What we know for a fact is that Obama and Jarrett are obsessed with outreach to the Muslim world. Valerie Jarrett gave the keynote address at the 2009 convention of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation’s financing of terrorist organizations. Obama bows before their leaders on earth and hopes to take its people on NASA trips through the heavens.

Perhaps the explanation is simpler: Maybe Obama is just indecisive. This is the same president who took 90 days to decide how many more troops to send to Afghanistan in 2009, reportedly “in sticker shock, watching his domestic agenda vanishing in front of him.” This is a president who voted “present” 129 times in the Illinois senate, which he sat in until just three years before running for president. 

Barack Obama is the Indecider.

Whatever the reason, the danger remains the same. That peril may have been diminished had the media vetted his candidacy or the voters required a record of achievement before turning over the keys to the White House, but his hold on the reins of power sends a clear message to all would-be mass murderers of American citizens: If you are the world’s most wanted terrorist leader, all you need to do to stay alive is move every 15 hours.

At least, as long as Barack Obama is president.