The “Obama Took 16 Hours” Meme: Hold On, And Think About It

Apparently, Obama took 16 hours to make the decision to go with the operation to get “Codename Geronimo” (yes, some folks do have a problem with that). Drudge linked to a story by the UK Daily Mail, and that has seemed to start an avalanche of political abuse towards Obama for waiting, especially after they put the headline this way

Obama took SIXTEEN HOURS to make up his mind about Bin Laden mission

The use of all caps makes it seem like this is a HUGE DEAL, and that it is UNBELIEVABLE that he would do that. The story goes on to say

The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.

But the president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think – and disappeared out of the room.

‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more,’ said Obama, according to the New York Times. He then added ‘I’m going to make a decision soon.’

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for the president’s decision.

But the next morning after 16 hours, Obama summoned four top aides to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could speak, the president put his fist on the table and declared ‘It’s a go’.

Listen, I simply must disagree with many of my conservative brethren on this. First of all, to be somewhat snotty, making a decision in only 16 hours has to be a record for Obama, when it comes to major decisions. Second, and more important, this was, really, a huge decision to make

The nail-biting, 40-minute clandestine operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death could have been a calamitous political and military failure; a bloodbath in Pakistan that left scores of civilians dead and U.S. forces killed or captured by America’s most ferocious enemy.

Or, as it happened, it could unfold largely in textbook fashion – delivering a stunning success for the often maligned intelligence community, a political and national security coup for a struggling president and revenge for Americans still carrying vivid memories of Sept. 11, 2001.

By secretly sending a team of special operations forces into an enemy fortress in a suburban neighborhood of a sovereign country, President Barack Obama chose the path of greatest risk, but also greatest reward.

Getting past the overblown writing designed to make Obama look like the most genius of genius (forgetting for a moment that he was given a Nobel Peace prize because he wouldn’t do stuff like), this was a Big Decision, sending a SEAL team deep into a sovereign country, 36 miles from that nations capital, a nation we are supposedly allied with, and refusing to tell that nation, in a mission where things had the possibility to go disastrously wrong. I don’t begrudge Obama for taking some time to think it through, even literally sleeping on it. There was a lot of risk in this operation, for Obama, for the U.S., for the assault teams. In this case, I’m glad he was thoughtful.

OK, tell me why I’m wrong.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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