Right-wing myths exposed: George W. Bush and the bin Laden raid

Right-wing myths

You remember the raid commanded by George W. Bush that killed Osama bin Laden?  Here are just a few examples of the attempts by right-wing pundits and politicians to take credit from President Obama.  And before checking these out, you might want to take a look at some words from Admiral William H. McRaven, who was in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command for that Navy Seal raid.  Speaking of President Obama’s role in the planning and decision making for the raid he notes:

“[It] was really everything the American public would expect from their national leadership. The President was at all times presidential. I would contend he was the smartest guy in the room. He had leadership skills we’d expect from a guy who had 35 years in the military.”

Mitt Romney tried to minimize President Obama’s role in the operation to kill bin Laden by implying at a campaign event in April that any president would have acted on the same intelligence as Obama stating “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order”.  Of course this runs contrary to what Mitt Romney said in 2007: “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” In usual Mittster fashion, only a few days later he put out damage control saying of bin Laden: “he’s going to pay and he will die.”

Speaking of Romney’s flip flop, Obama noted that:

“I assume that people meant what they said when they said it.  I said I’d go after Bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d let them go ahead and explain it.”

In true Tea Party fashion, Rick Santorum tried to credit Bush with getting bin Laden:

“Osama bin Laden was a continuation of President Bush’s policy. It had nothing to do with a contingency or a problem that came up on his watch. He simply followed through, which we have been trying to do for 10 years.”

“And the president doesn’t deserve credit for doing — he didn’t make a decision, if you will, as to go after bin Laden. That decision had been made 10 years ago. If Obama had gotten his way we couldn’t have gotten bin Laden”.

Back in 2011, Fox News host Sean Hannity echoes that sentiment noting that bin Laden was dead “thanks to George W. Bush” and went on to explain that the raid against bin Laden “wouldn’t have happened if [Obama] had his way, and that can be proven, as well, on tape.”

Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Beast eloquently takes us back to reality writing:

“On foreign policy, the right-wing critiques have been the most unhinged. Romney accuses the president of apologizing for America, and others all but accuse him of treason and appeasement. Instead, Obama reversed Bush’s policy of ignoring Osama bin Laden, immediately setting a course that eventually led to his capture and death. And when the moment for decision came, the president overruled both his secretary of state and vice president in ordering the riskiest—but most ambitious—plan on the table. He even personally ordered the extra helicopters that saved the mission. It was a triumph, not only in killing America’s primary global enemy, but in getting a massive trove of intelligence to undermine al Qaeda even further. If George Bush had taken out bin Laden, wiped out al Qaeda’s leadership, and gathered a treasure trove of real intelligence by a daring raid, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now.”


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