Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Getting Bin Laden: Go, Don't Go From President Clinton?

President Clinton questions whether presidential candidate Mitt Romney would make the tough call to kill Osama Bin Laden. I find the decision to use Mr. Clinton to be really weird because it was President Clinton who failed to make that very same decision while he was president.

In the book, Dereliction of Duty, Lt. Col. Robert Patterson* describes the situation when our forces had "eyes on" Osama Bin Laden in 1998. A two hour window to hit him with a cruise missile (the president's second favorite toy) or let him go.

Describing the incident, Col. Patterson says the president was unreachable for an hour after the NSC Director, Sandy Berger, was informed of the situation and tried to contact the president for instructions. When they finally did contact the president, he wanted more study, more time to be sure. You know, hash it over with the Secretaries of Defense and State for a while.

That is the thing about tough decisions, one normally doesn't get a lot of time to mull it over (that's what makes them tough).

The rest is history. Instead of being dead, Mr. Bin Laden arranges the murders of 3000 Americans, stunts the US economy, starts a war, and has the US government and others chasing him for 10 years.

Dear President Clinton. Thank you for your service.

Here is the paid political advertisement by former President Clinton.

*Lt. Col. Robert Patterson, one of the president's Aides from May 1996 through May 1998, carried the "nuclear football" for President Clinton, among other duties.