In a White House briefing held by conference call shortly after midnight on Monday morning, a group of unnamed "senior administration officials" described the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, that resulted in the death Osama bin Laden.
"It was a model of really seamless collaboration across our government," one official said, according to the White House transcript. "Since 9/11, this is what the American people have expected of us, and today, in this critical operation, we were able to finally deliver."
The best thing Barack Obama has done as president is make a simple command decision entirely within his constitutional authority: Get bin Laden.
Although the details of the intelligence trail that led to Abbottabad and what exactly happened when Navy SEALs landed at bin Laden's compound there remain sketchy, it is obvious this raid was a sterling example of the U.S. government doing something right.
The president made a sound decision in the interest of the nation's security and let a group of dedicated professionals work out the means to brilliantly execute that decision.
And unlike his intervention in Libya, Obama's intervention in Pakistan was authorized by Congress.
On Sept. 14, 2001, three days after al-Qaida attacked the Pentagon in Virginia and the World Trade Center in New York, the House and Senate passed Public Law 107-40.
Barely a page long, it said: "That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."
The raid in Abbottabad was exactly the sort of "necessary and appropriate force" this law envisioned.
Congress' enactment of Public Law 107-40 in the wake of 9/11 and the subsequent war against al-Qaida and its supporters that Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have waged is precisely the sort of process the Framers envisioned when they ratified a Constitution that says: The "President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States" and the "Congress shall have power ... To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water."
In getting bin Laden, Congress and the president carried out a core duty laid on them by the Constitution -- to provide for the common defense -- through procedures wholly in keeping with the Constitution's prescriptions.
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