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Although taking out Public Enemy Number One would seem to be the easiest of calls, President Obama allowed key public relations adviser Valerie Jarrett to nix the military operation to kill arch-terrorist Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions last year, according to an upcoming book.
Although President Obama’s reelection team is loudly trumpeting the dispatch of bin Laden in May 2011, saying it shows Obama’s decisiveness, author Richard Miniter suggests in Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him, that the president was anything but decisive.
Apparently Obama had to be dragged kicking and screaming into action against bin Laden. Miniter’s evidence suggests the president took a long time to steel his resolve, hemming and hawing over the life-and-death decision, putting it off repeatedly over a four-month period.
Miniter says Obama bowed to the wishes of his close friend Jarrett, a slick, well-connected political hack from Chicago whose White House title is Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. Obama has confirmed how much pull Jarrett has with him. “I trust her completely … She is family,” he said in 2009. Obama said he trusts Jarrett “to speak for me, particularly when we’re dealing with delicate issues.” Obama has acknowledged that he runs every decision by her.
The military excursion that targeted bin Laden was first scratched in January 2011, then in February, and again in March, according to a summary of the book in the Daily Caller. Each time Jarrett convinced Obama to abort the planned raid, Miniter says, citing an unidentified source within the Joint Special Operations Command. Of course this raises the question of who is actually running America’s Overseas Contingency Operations, i.e. the Obama’s administration politically correct euphemism for the Global War on Terror.
Even on the day before the mission was ultimately carried out, Obama reportedly vacillated. The White House said the mission was temporarily delayed because of inclement weather in the area of bin Laden’s hideaway in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
Miniter disputes the bad weather excuse. He says he examined the day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center and that they depicted picture-perfect conditions for the raid.
Miniter, a two-time New York Times bestselling author, has not yet explained to the media why Jarrett pushed for three separate stays of extrajudicial execution. Americans will have to wait until the book, published by St. Martin’s Press, is officially released on August 21 in order to find out.
Those who study American leftists know their ambivalence toward their country’s use of military power, even for indisputably worthwhile objectives.
One need only look at Obama’s schizophrenic attitude about the military’s use of force against bin Laden.
Last year after the raid, Obama inexplicably vowed not to gloat about sending bin Laden to his maker. This was an unusual promise for any politician to make. When asked why he refused to allow publication of photos showing the secret mission to Abbottabad, the president said, “We don’t need to spike the football.”
Fair enough perhaps. Maybe Obama thought he was being statesmanlike.
But that wasn’t the end of the matter. It wasn’t long before Obama began spiking the football up and down the end zones of the body politic, bragging to anyone who would listen about what in the opinion of many left-wingers and libertarians was a blatant example of an extra-judicial execution, the kind of thing they believe the U.S. government shouldn’t do.
Anyone who watched the stiff and robotic presidential candidate John Kerry on television saluting perfunctorily and saying he was “reporting for duty” at the Democratic Party’s 2004 national convention knows what I mean. Liberals’ hearts aren’t into it.
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