Michael Barone

This was the "domestic wiretapping" revealed to great acclaim by The New York Times and presented as an intolerable infringement of civil liberties. Given what we know now, it's a good thing our folks were tuning in.

Obama deserves credit also for employing the Navy SEALs, who are part of the Joint Special Operations Command. It was fashionable a few years ago to call the JSOC Dick Cheney's death squad and Cheney's assassination team.

The assumption behind such criticism was that Bush administration officials were using what they termed the war against terrorism as a smokescreen for persecuting domestic dissidents. But there is not a scrap of evidence that either the Bush administration or the Obama administration were doing anything of the kind. They were too busy trying to protect us.

There was criticism as well of the idea of targeting particular individuals for assassination. But in ordering the raid on bin Laden's compound, Obama authorized the killing of bin Laden. And no Miranda warnings first.

Bin Laden's death removes the possibility of any debate about where he would be confined or tried. On this, Obama has already been forced to keep the Guantanamo detention center open and Holder has had to concede that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will not be tried in a civilian court in Manhattan.

Finally, let us note that this was a unilateral operation. Obama didn't go to the United Nations Security Council. He didn't, so far as we know, consult NATO allies. He took care not to inform the government of Pakistan, some elements of which obviously knew that bin Laden was ensconced in a house 800 meters away from Pakistan's military academy.

For years, we heard supposedly enlightened people excoriate our leaders for torture, lawlessness, unilateralism -- the list goes on and on. Now the president they have wanted has used the tactics and methods they excoriated to get bin Laden. Good for him.


Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM


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