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From Power Line:

In a biting column he titles “The first-person presidency,” Victor Davis Hanson conveniently summarizes the national security positions asserted by then Senator Obama, with relevant quotations, and contrasts them with the positions he has taken as president. He then provides this convenient summary:

Senator Obama opposed tribunals, renditions, Guantanamo, preventive detention, Predator-drone attacks, the Iraq War, wiretaps, and intercepts — before President Obama either continued or expanded nearly all of them, in addition to embracing targeted assassinations, new body scanning and patdowns at airports, and a third preemptive war against an oil-exporting Arab Muslim nation — this one including NATO efforts to kill the Qaddafi family. The only thing more surreal than Barack Obama’s radical transformation is the sudden approval of it by the once hysterical Left. In Animal Farm and 1984 fashion, the world we knew in 2006 has simply been airbrushed away.

Coincidentally, Jim Geraghty has received this “motivational poster” from a reader. It applies the teaching of Hanson’s column to the successful operation against bin Laden.

The words at the bottom read: “VINDICATION: When the loudest critic of your policies achieves his greatest success because of them.” Geraghty supports the point with another handy summary:

The interrogations of KSM (which included waterboarding) and the interrogation of Hassan Ghul (held in “black site” prisons) were key to identifying the courier; the president then authorized military action in a foreign country without going to the United Nations or informing the host government; the military action was unilateral, and we did not consult with our allies; Congress was not informed of the military action; and it increasingly appears that no serious effort was made to treat Osama bin Laden as a criminal (reading him his rights, etc.). The monitoring of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s phone call was a result of an extensive global wiretapping system. Furthermore, as Charles Krauthammer notes, the helicopters used in the raid came from Bagram and Jalalabad; if we had withdrawn from Afghanistan on the antiwar Left’s timetable, we would have had no bases from which to launch this operation.

I would supplement Geraghty’s summary with two related points. It was President Bush who set the goal of taking bin Laden dead or alive in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It was President Obama who gave the order to kill (not capture) bin Laden. It was President Obama who ordered the action without the knowledge or consent of the United Nations, the Pakistanis, or any other nation.

Vindication, indeed. And thank you, President Bush.

Five Reasons It Was Important to Get Bin Laden

From The Heritage Foundation:

#1. Honor matters. In Osama bin Laden’s part of the world, “honor” equals “power.” When the U.S. takes out the chief of the world’s most well-known terror network, that is a deep humiliation to al-Qaeda’s reputation. As with kicking it out of Afghanistan, crushing it in Iraq, and preventing another 9/11 (at least 38 plots foiled since 9/11), the U.S. has destroyed its global aspirations. Indeed, bin Laden’s death was widely hailed across the globe as cheerfully in the Islamic world as it was in the West. Getting bin Laden greatly dishonored al-Qaeda. The last thing we should do is take the pedal off the metal and give it a chance to recover, strike back, and (as they see it) regain respect.

#2. It got intelligence. Getting bin Laden may have provided the biggest intelligence coup of the long war on terrorism. To hide from America, he lived in a compound without phones or Internet. That means that all the central records of al-Qaeda had to be there with him—the financial transactions, the contacts. Now, they are the property of SEAL Team Six. It is unlikely that we will see al-Qaeda organizing the revenge of bin Laden right now. More likely, the terrorists are running for cover, fearful of what the U.S. might know or the next door they might kick down.

#3. It sent a message to Pakistan. As soon as Obama announced a withdrawal date from Afghanistan, Pakistan started to question U.S. commitment to sticking it out in the region. The Pakistanis have been trying to manage the “terrorist” problem rather than eliminate terrorism. They have been as concerned about using these groups to manage their interests in Afghanistan and India as anything else. That has to stop. The President should use the death of bin Laden to signal to the Pakistanis not that we are pulling but that we are deadly serious about staying and finishing the job.

#4. It sent a message to Afghanistan. Our mission in Afghanistan is to help build a nation that can govern and protect itself so that it can act a seawall to keep the Taliban and their al-Qaeda sponsors from washing back and forth across the two countries. This is a job worth doing and one that can be done. In fact, recent polls show that in the wake of taking out bin Laden, there has been an upswing of Americans who are now convinced that the war in Afghanistan can be won. They are right.

#5. It sent a message to the world. America is a nation that can and will defend itself and protect the freedom and liberties of Americans. Hopefully the President will realize that this can’t be done with special forces alone or just by lobbing drones and cruise missiles at the enemy. (That was the Clinton strategy that failed and led us to 9/11.) SEAL Team Six may have gotten bin Laden, but it was because conventional forces chased him out of Afghanistan, we rounded up prisoners and sent them to Gitmo to be interrogated, and we established a presence in Afghanistan to hold bin Laden at bay and then launch operations against him. A strong military and special operations go hand in hand. A strong military sends a signal to the world that really proclaims, “Don’t tread on me.”

Faisal Shahzad Was Blogging On Terror Websites Since 2006 But Obama Administration Took Him Off Terror Watch List Anyway

From Big Government:

Earlier this week it was reported that the Obama White House removed confessed terrorist Faisal Shahzad from the Department of Homeland Security travel lookout list sometime after Barack Obama came into office.

Terrorist Faisal Shahzad had substantial connections to the Taliban, reached out to the Taliban, was influenced by Yemeni terror leader Anwar al Awlaki, made at least a dozen return trips to Pakistan since arriving in the United States in 1999, and he bought a one way ticket with cash to Pakistan.

Now we find out that he was “blogging” and asking for jihad as far back as 2006 but that the Obama Administration took him off the terror watch list anyway.

Terror expert Walid Phares weighed in on the confessed Times Square bomber today in an interview on FOX News:

To be clear, Shahzad was actually commenting on terrorist websites and not actually blogging.

Earlier this week it was discovered that Shahzad was posting on terror websites since 2006.

Read the rest at Big Government.

The Left Hopes for a Tea Party Terrorist

From The Heritage Foundation:

Last week, someone tried to detonate a roadside car bomb in Times Square. And while investigators were searching for the guilty terrorist, some liberals in this country had already found a culprit – you.

That’s right. We’ve entered an era where some on the left expressly hope that when terrorist attacks occur, the guilty parties are their fellow Americans, not Islamic jihadists.

It’s crazy, but true.

After Times Square attack, a narrative quickly emerged that the bomber was a lone wolf and may be a conservative, probably a tea partier. It didn’t begin among the fringe, but from names and faces you know. DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer, alike, purposefully attempted to immediately convict a domestic political ideology – the Tea Party movement – rather than waiting for evidence to be uncovered.

Read the rest at The Heritage Foundation.

It’s Because They Want To Kill Us, Stupid

From RedState:

The night the NYC car bomb attempt went down, I was so grateful that, once again, the diligence of the public and the swift action of the NYC Police thwarted yet another potential attack. Shortly thereafter, while still incredibly grateful obviously, I became angry. I’ve had it. Firstly, because the current strategy of homeland security seems to be “Hey, guys, we’ve totally unclenched our fists. We can haz cookie now?” Secondly, because the left and their media lackeys are not only dangerously naive, but also purposefully misleading.

They are so deeply invested in both political correctness and in their violent, racist “tea baggers” meme, it clouds all else. Even common sense and the security of our country. It was swiftly apparent that they were *wishing* that the failed bomber was a tea partier, so that they could further their lame narrative and continue to try to excuse Obama and his administration for their failures and utter incompetence. Gee, Obama, how is that “unclenching of fists” deal working out for you?

That night, Attorney General Holder said “It’s important that American people remain vigilant.” Sadly, it’s quite clear that the administration and many on the left refuse to do the same; unless it’s remaining vigilant in their pursuit of demagoguing Republicans. It’s gotten to the point where I was honestly waiting for the release of a statement from Obama, consisting of a sternly worded apology and claims that he inherited the bomber, Faisal Shahzad, from Bush.

Read the rest at RedState.

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