I hadn’t planned on blogging this morning. Mondays are always busy at NRP, especially the first Monday of the month. But, as you can see if you check out The Naked Truth this morning, today is an exception. Not only did I cross the no-politics line on The Naked Truth, but I’m going to expound on it here.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that America is in the midst of a celebration even as some of us are keeping a wary eye out. After almost 10 years, Osama bin Laden has been located and killed. Navy seals executed a pin-point operation over the weekend deep into Pakistan and raided the compound where bin Laden had been hiding. In the ensuing firefight, bin Laden was killed.
This is the news our country has waited for years to hear.
But it didn’t come exactly as expected. The compound wasn’t deep in a cave system, hidden from view. No, it was in the middle of a major town, just down the block from the Pakistani equivalent to West Point. High walls topped with barbed wire.
From what we’ve been told, the op was conducted without notifying the Pakistanis ahead of time about what was about to go down. The SEAL team was in and out without losing any of their own. In the process they not only took down one of the most feared men in the world, but they also “scrubbed” the location, confiscating computers, papers and who knows how much intelligence material.
It was remarkable — and wonderful — to see the crowds that gathered at Ground Zero, in Times Square, outside the White House and even outside of President Bush’s home in Dallas. Hopefully this news helps those who lost friends and families on 9/11 to have some closure and healing. They deserve it, as do all those first responders who still have to deal with all they saw and did — and couldn’t do — on that horrible day.
But this next is what will get me in trouble. I don’t care. Already this morning there are tweets and fb posts and op-ed pieces showing up online lauding President Obama for doing in 2 years what President Bush couldn’t do in 8. While I am pleased — and relieved — the president authorized the strike, I’m not ready to say this operation came about solely because of actions taken during his administration. Nor should anyone else. We simply do not have enough information to know that. We don’t know how much of this came from long term intelligence gathering and how much from pure, dumb luck.
This should not be something that is tainted by partisan politics. For the moment, why can’t we just let the country enjoy the knowledge that someone who hated us and who had sworn to do his best to destroy all we hold dear is no longer a danger to us? Why can’t we let the families of those killed and wounded on 9/11 and after have some time to accept that the man responsible has met justice?
But what really concerns me is that the death of bin Laden will signal a time to let our guard down. This applies to people like you and me as well as those in government. If anything, we should be more vigilant in the upcoming weeks as al-Qaeda regroups. The head of the snake has been chopped off. But there is no guarantee that it won’t grow a new one. Nor is there any guarantee that there aren’t plans long in place about what to do when/if bin Laden was captured or killed.
For now, I will simply repeat my thanks to the brave men and women who made this op possible and who executed it so successfully.