By John Kanelis / email@example.com
Americans are going to be marking a date over the weekend that should fill them with justifiable pride in the capabilities of our military special forces.
It was on May 1, 2011 that Navy SEALs and CIA commandos raided a compound in Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attack that had occurred a decade earlier.
Ten years have passed since that raid.
I want to talk briefly here about something that flew out of Donald Trump’s mouth not long after Army Special Forces killed the Islamic State leader on Trump’s watch.
The then-president suggested out loud that the bin Laden raid should have occurred far earlier than it did. Trump was crowing about the success his team had in finding Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and dispatching him. Why couldn’t the Special Forces Command do the same with bin Laden, Trump said.
The military commander of that mission was Admiral William McRaven, himself a SEAL and head of the Special Ops Command. It took McRaven’s team time to assemble and analyze all the intelligence it had collected on bin Laden’s location. Indeed, as President Obama said at the time, he wasn’t absolutely sure that bin Laden would be in the compound once the SEALs and the CIA spooks arrived. It was a gamble … but it paid off!
Thus, for Trump to denigrate the great work that anti-terrorism experts from the Bush and Obama administrations did to locate and to ascertain with some degree of certainty that their findings were correct simply went beyond the pale.
I am going to celebrate the victory our forces scored when they eliminated Osama bin Laden. No amount of cheap second-guessing ever would denigrate the courage of the commander in chief to issue the order and the extraordinary skill of the men who executed it.