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January 15, 2009

Obama Backtracks on Osama Bin Laden, Agrees With Bush

For years the Democrats have been critical of the Bush Administration for failing to kill or capture Osama bin Laden. In fact, Barack Obama made such criticism one of the central parts of his campaign for President - moreover, he promised both before and after his election that his "number one national security priority" would be to end bin Laden's 'freedom', one way or another (Obama administration to ratchet up hunt for bin Laden):

President-elect Barack Obama wants to renew the U.S. commitment to finding al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, according to his national security advisers.

The Obama team believes the Bush administration has downplayed the importance of catching the FBI's most-wanted terrorist because it has not been able to find him.

"We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority," Obama said during the presidential debate on October 7.


But, as with most (if not all) statements by President-elect Obama, that was apparently a convenient lie to be used to get elected. He now seems to think that what the Bush Administration has done for the past seven years - isolating bin Laden to keep him from serving as little more than a figurehead for his terrorist organization and focusing more on whittling down Al Qaeda's operational capabilities and exterminating its members - was and is the correct approach. From an article in The Times Online, the web site of the London newspaper (Barack Obama: it is no longer essential to kill Osama bin Laden):

Barack Obama suggested last night that removing Osama bin Laden from the battlefield was no longer essential and that America's security goals could be achieved merely by keeping al-Qaeda "on the run".

"My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him," he said. "But if we have so tightened the noose that he's in a cave somewhere and can't even communicate with his operatives then we will meet our goal of protecting America."

His comments, in a CBS interview, represent a significant watering down of the "dead or alive" policy pursued by President Bush since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001. They also appear to contradict Mr Obama's own statements made in the election campaign.

As recently as October 7, in a presidential debate, Mr Obama said: "We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda. That has to be our biggest national security priority."

Yesterday, the President-elect adopted far less aggressive language, saying his "No 1 priority" was to protect America from further attack.


Hmmm. The Bush Administration, as the article says, has always wanted to kill or capture bin Laden. After bin Laden was allowed by the Northern Alliance (with our inadvertent but foreseeable to anyone with a brain acquiescence) to escape Tora Bora, they have been unable to do so, primarily because of where bin Laden fled to. I suppose flattening a few mountain ranges in Pakistan's tribal regions with nuclear weapons would have done it, but that route wasn't taken.

Instead, the Bush Administration has been quite successful in keeping bin Laden and his closest minions in a virtual prison, unable to function in any leadership role with Al Qaeda. That fact, however, didn't stop the Democrats, the left, and Obama himself from literally mocking President Bush for not 'getting' bin Laden.

Now, however, Bush's position is going to be Obama's.

Where's the "change"? Where's the "outrage"?

Where's the media saturation coverage of this flipflop?



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