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In fact, the White House has gone further – they’ve maintained that Obama didn’t issue a kill order, but a kill or capture order. Except that Bin Laden was, by revised accounts, unarmed. Except that he wasn’t shot to wound, but to kill. Except that his body was immediately transformed into chum so that we had no chance to forensically investigate the situation.
Again, why the insistence that no kill order was given? Most Americans would – and did – openly celebrate the killing of the 21st century’s most wanted man. Obama is retrospectively fighting the notion of a kill order because of the implication: that it would have been a mistake to capture Bin Laden. Why would it have been a mistake to capture him? Because we would have had to read him his Miranda rights under current Obama Administration rules, ship him to New York for trial, assign him an ACLU lawyer, and wait for him to claim ill treatment at the hands of US troops, who would then have to be dragged into court. Conservatives have said for years that Obama’s law enforcement approach to terrorism incentivizes our soldiers to kill enemies on the battlefield rather than subjecting Americans to years of criminal justice idiocy. By issuing a kill order, Obama effectively legitimated the entire conservative case – hence his attempts to rewrite his kill order.
Finally, the Obama Administration’s treatment of the Bin Laden death photographs demonstrates that this president has already disassociated himself from the John Wayne routine he embraced at the beginning of the week. Rather than allowing the world to see hard evidence of Bin Laden’s death, Obama announced that he didn’t want to “spike the football” by releasing the death pictures (even though other pictures were quickly leaked to the media). He actually insulted the American people in the process, questioning how Americans would react if Al Qaeda terrorists murdered a U.S. soldier and published pictures of the body.
This Obama, not the John Waynebama of a few days ago, is the real Obama. The real Obama is the fellow who believes that Americans and radical Muslims react the same way to death photos of their heroes, even though Americans have not rioted a single time during the entire war on terror – not when Al Qaeda murdered 3,000 of our citizens; not when Al Qaeda released a taped beheading of Daniel Pearl; not when they released a taped beheading of Nick Berg; not when they killed four civilian contractors in Iraq, burned their bodies, and hung them from a bridge.
Obama has frightened himself with his Charles Bronson routine. Now he is running from it. And the American people recognize that Obama is no tough guy, no hard-ass, no leader in the war on terror. That is what caused the tepid response in the polls.
Ben Shapiro is an attorney and writer and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, and author of the upcoming book “Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How The Left Took Over Your TV” from Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.
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