Thingish Things

Squeezing the bin Laden Lemon

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - May• 10•11

The Obama Administration should stop talking about the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound for its own good.

With every passing day it is revealing details of the action — in a clear effort to keep the story going — that do not have to be made public. Those details are causing problems for allies and diminishing the glow of a brilliant operation for which President Obama rightly receives credit.

Today the White House reveals that standby U.S. forces were on hand to fight their way out of Pakistan if need be. That is, to open fire on an ostensible ally.

No one doubts that the US military had a back-up extraction plan — one would expect that — but do we need to detail it now, especially when the Pakistanis already are looking like fools? It is rubbing salt in the wounds of an ally, however tentative a friend she may be, for a handful of headlines.

Imagine how those headlines are reading in Islamabad today.

Details of military operations are ordinarily kept under wraps for years.  These ones should come out at a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations or the 92nd Street “Y” circa 2025.  But this White House seems determined to squeeze this lemon for every drop of juice it’s worth — to cash in every story angle – and it doesn’t seem to care about the consequences of doing so.

The President’s re-election team should know better.  Even as a practical political matter. This storyline is electoral gold, and the ads Team Obama will be able to make in October 2012 should be capable of moving the dial when it is most needed. Unless the story is burned. That is, unless it has been played to death.

That is what the White House is doing now — burning this story’s fuel and unnecessarily agitating allies in the process. It is just plain dumb.




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  1. bill says:

    He jumped the camel with his comments at the fundraiser today. At least for now. Barf.

  2. […] business, certainly not the international press corps’.  Obama press operatives haven’t seemed to care in an effort to keep the story going and […]

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