Obama Got Osama! Team Obama is touting the one success of this administration, prompting a range of responses.
Mostly nonsense - the idea that delegating operational control to Admiral McRaven meant Obama was dodging responsibility.
More nonsense from Joe Biden:
As [The One] walked out the room, it dawned on me, he’s all alone. This is his decision. If he was wrong, his Presidency was done. Over.
Why would it be over? Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? McQ is brief on this - "We’d have simply never heard about it" - so I will beat a dead horse. Let's cut to the New Yorker account of the raid from Aug 2011 for perspective:
The Abbottabad raid was not DEVGRU’s maiden venture into Pakistan, either. The team had surreptitiously entered the country on ten to twelve previous occasions, according to a special-operations officer who is deeply familiar with the bin Laden raid. Most of those missions were forays into North and South Waziristan, where many military and intelligence analysts had thought that bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders were hiding. (Only one such operation—the September, 2008, raid of Angoor Ada, a village in South Waziristan—has been widely reported.) Abbottabad was, by far, the farthest that DEVGRU had ventured into Pakistani territory.
The added distance made the Osama raid riskier, but if any of these prior raids had gone sour we would have had irate Pakistanis to deal with, just as we are in fact dealing with them now over a botched airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. So were all these raids also acts of heroic leadership in which Obama gambled his Presidency?
Left unreported by the New Yorker - if there were "ten to twelve" prior raids, was the Osama raid really Lucky 13? Obama is bolder than we know!
TO BE CONTINUED...
More nonsense can be found amongst the usual suspects. The BooMan relies on an early report of the raid to tell us, seemingly with a straight face, that the military had no contingency plans for nearbby back-up helicopters until Obama intervened. His excerpt and conclusion:
About 10 days before the raid, Obama was briefed on the plan. It included keeping two backup helicopters just outside Pakistani airspace in case something went wrong. But Obama felt that was risky. If the SEALs needed help, they couldn't afford to wait for backup.
He said the operation needed a plan in case the SEALs had to fight their way out. So two Chinooks were sent into Pakistani airspace, loaded with backup teams, just in case. One of those Chinooks landed in the compound after the Black Hawk became inoperable. The raiders scrambled aboard the remaining Black Hawk and a Chinook, bin Laden's body with them, and flew to the USS Carl Vinson in the North Arabian Sea. The ground operation had taken about 40 minutes.
Not only did the president insert the Chinooks into the operational plan, but that decision proved critical to the success of the mission.
The New Yorker had a different version by August:
Forty-five minutes after the Black Hawks departed, four MH-47 Chinooks launched from the same runway in Jalalabad. Two of them flew to the border, staying on the Afghan side; the other two proceeded into Pakistan. Deploying four Chinooks was a last-minute decision made after President Barack Obama said he wanted to feel assured that the Americans could “fight their way out of Pakistan.” Twenty-five additional SEALs from DEVGRU, pulled from a squadron stationed in Afghanistan, sat in the Chinooks that remained at the border; this “quick-reaction force” would be called into action only if the mission went seriously wrong. The third and fourth Chinooks were each outfitted with a pair of M134 Miniguns. They followed the Black Hawks’ initial flight path but landed at a predetermined point on a dry riverbed in a wide, unpopulated valley in northwest Pakistan. The nearest house was half a mile away. On the ground, the copters’ rotors were kept whirring while operatives monitored the surrounding hills for encroaching Pakistani helicopters or fighter jets. One of the Chinooks was carrying fuel bladders, in case the other aircraft needed to refill their tanks.
I think the two added at Obama's suggestion sat at the border and thankfully were not needed.