How leaders conduct themselves in a time of war and what they say about their military tells much about the character of the person.
One year ago Navy Seals entered the home of Osama bin Laden and killed him. During the past week Barack Obama has tried to politicize the killing of Osama bin Laden, giving himself credit for the success of the operation and stating bluntly his opinion that Mitt Romney would not have had the courage to do the same thing.
Obama has received criticism from both the Right and the Left for his unjustified attack on Romney. Obama’s own Vice President openly opposed capturing or killing Osama bin Laden. Arianna Huffington, Editor of the Huffington Post, called Obama’s actions “despicable,”
Arianna on Monday criticized the Obama campaign for questioning whether or not Mitt Romney would have killed Osama bin Laden in a recent attack ad.
Appearing on 'CBS This Morning', she said, "Using the Osama bin Laden assassination, killing, the great news that we had a year ago, in order to say basically that Obama did it and Romney might not have done it ... to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do."
She compared the ad to one that the Hillary Clinton campaign aired during the 2008 election.
"It's the same thing that Hillary Clinton did with the 3 A.M call, you know, 'you are not ready to be commander-in-chief'," she said.
Discussing the negative effects of such ads, Arianna said, "It's also what makes politicians and political leaders act irrationally when it comes to matter of war, because they're so afraid to be called wimps that they make decisions which are incredibly destructive to the country. I'm sure the president would not have escalated in Afghanistan if he was not as concerned as Democrats are that Republicans are going to use not escalating against them in a campaign."
Navy Seals have spoken out against Obama politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden. Toby Harnden of the Daily Mail commented,
Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.
‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice - it was a broader team effort.’
Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’
Jose A. Rodriguez Jr. commented on the killing of Osama bin Laden in The Washington Post, crediting the Bush Administration with doing the necessary work that made it possible to locate Osama bin Laden.
But his administration never would have had the opportunity to do the right thing had it not been for some extraordinary work during the George W. Bush administration. Much of that work has been denigrated by Obama as unproductive and contrary to American principles.
He is wrong on both counts.
Shortly after bin Laden met his maker last spring, courtesy of U.S. Special Forces and intelligence, the administration proudly announced that when Obama took office, getting bin Laden was made a top priority. Many of us who served in senior counterterrorism positions in the Bush administration were left muttering: “Gee, why didn’t we think of that?”
The truth is that getting bin Laden was the top counterterrorism objective for U.S. intelligence since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. This administration built on work painstakingly pursued for many years before Obama was elected — and without this work, Obama administration officials never would have been in a position to authorize the strike on Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in bin Laden’s overdue death.
War and other military actions should not be politicized, but this has not deterred Barack Obama from politicizing the killing of Osama bin Laden for Obama’s own political gain. Justin Sink reported in The Hill,
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen said he worries "a great deal" that the killing of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden will get "spun into election politics," joining a chorus of political and military leaders expressing reservations about the politicization of the raid.
"Well, I worry about it, just because it's the political season," Mullen told NBC News as part of an hour-long special on the raid set to air Tuesday. "And from my perspective, the president's support, the decision that he made, and obviously, the result stand alone in terms of the kind of call presidents have to make and he made it. I do worry a great deal that this time of year that somehow this gets spun into election politics. I can assure you that those individuals who risk their lives — the last thing in the world that they want is to be spun into that. So I'm hoping that that doesn't happen."
Character and integrity matter in our leaders. Unfortunately character and integrity do not seem to matter to Barack Obama and many who reside with him on the Progressive Left.