Aug 1, 2011

The Night We Got Bin Laden

It was around 10pm on a Sunday night and I was exhausted.  I was just starting to get ready for bed when my phone buzzed at me.  A friend had tweeted something about Obama making a special announcement.  "Late Sunday night?  Really?" I thought, searching for the remote control.  After about 10 minutes of talking in circles, Wolf Blitzer started speculating that Obama was coming on TV to announce that Osama Bin Laden was dead.  My immediate reaction was exactly the same as the day we found Sadam Hussein in his spider-hole: "Well, he's getting re-elected."  Time will tell if those words are prophetic or wildly off-base. (My opinion hasn't changed...yet.)  

Today there's a piece from the New Yorker that details not only the covert operation itself, but also the intelligence gathering and planning stages in great detail.  It's an absolutely fascinating read.  My favorite highlights include a dog named Cairo (whom Obama insisted on meeting after the mission), the alternate mission plans (which included tunneling into the compound as well as a not-so-surgical strike by B2 bombers), and the fact that, when all was said and done, Obama pulled the classiest move of all time: he never asked who made the killshot, whereas I feel like his predecessor would have not only asked, but then would've staged a photoshoot in full SEAL gear and sniper rifles.

At the end of a weeks-long economic horrorshow where it feels like the government just can't get anything right, it's refreshing to read about a time when they got just about everything right.  It's also more than a little reminiscent of the Abdul Shareef incident on The West Wing, proving once again that we are living in the de facto Sorkin White House.

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