New from Pete Souza:
President Obama greets 9/11 families and elected officials from the New York area at Ground Zero
A signed message from President Obama is seen on a pamphlet during his meeting with 9/11 family members
Paul Krugman: After reading John Yoo’s attack on the president for not taking Osama alive and bringing him to Gitmo, I thought I might take a minute to explain something I sometimes say … the Bush administration saw torturing people as a plus, not a cost … not because they’re sadists, but because it suited their self-image.
From day one of the War on Terror (TM), it was clear that the Bush people reveled in the notion that they were tough guys, willing to Do What Needs to be Done. They were all wannabe Kiefer Sutherlands. Far from showing qualms about suspending the rule of law and using torture to extract information, they obviously enjoyed the idea that they were willing to go all the way, unlike those wimpy liberals…..
…And so they are, inevitably, deeply upset that someone who isn’t a tough guy by their standards seems to be doing a better job of getting the terrorists than they did.
Krugman: ….isn’t the GOP showing a stunning lack of grace in this whole affair?
It’s particularly striking if you remember the atmosphere from 2001 through until 2004 or so. Back then, any hint of criticism of Bush’s War on Terror, or even a failure to show sufficient enthusiasm for his leadership, led to accusations that you were unpatriotic and somehow warped by your partisanship.
Now Obama actually gets his man – and does it in what seems to have been a truly gutsy fashion – and all we get is carping.
I can’t actually say I’m surprised, but it’s still kind of amazing.
It’s hard to believe this was only a week ago …. think of all that has happened since:
Michael Hirsh (National Journal): Ever so gingerly, even as they praised President Obama’s success against Osama bin Laden, some former senior Bush administration officials have sought to take a little credit for the mission themselves. Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, interviewed by MSNBC this week, even called the operation “a good story for continuity across two presidencies.”
That assessment couldn’t be further from the truth.
Behind Obama’s takedown of the Qaida leader this week lies a profound discontinuity between administrations – a major strategic shift in how to deal with terrorists. From his first great public moment when, as a state senator, he called Iraq a “dumb war,” Obama indicated that he thought that George W. Bush had badly misconceived the challenge of 9/11. And very quickly upon taking office as president, Obama reoriented the war back to where, in the view of many experts, it always belonged. He discarded the idea of a “global war on terror” that conflated all terror threats from al-Qaida to Hamas to Hezbollah. Obama replaced it with a covert, laserlike focus on al-Qaida and its spawn….
…Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once famously lamented that “we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror.” Neither he nor other senior members of the Bush administration ever developed those “metrics.” But by any metric, Barack Obama has just tallied a major victory.
Full article here
David Rothkopf (Foreign Policy): …..let’s try to put this week in perspective by highlighting a few winners, a few losers…The winners who have thus far emerged from the shootout at the Abbottabad corral include, in reverse order of the size of the win:
….The Families of U.S. Service Men and Women in Afghanistan: They’re coming home sooner now. This was their mission too. You can hardly beat that … and because there are so many of you, that’s why you edge out those folks at the pointy end of the spear who completed the mission.
….Barack Obama: His finest hour. Decisive. Cool. Able to both strike hard and do so with the kind of American values and restraint that elevated the mission and stands in stark contrast to the bombast and recklessness of some of his predecessors.
….The Planet Earth: A day without bin Laden is a better day for everyone.
Ah, very nice redesign at Steve Benen’s site
Washington Post: …..When bin Laden’s corpse was laid out, one of the Navy SEALs was asked to stretch out next to it to compare heights. The SEAL was 6 feet tall. The body was several inches taller.
After the information was relayed to Obama, he turned to his advisers and said: “We donated a $60 million helicopter to this operation. Could we not afford to buy a tape measure?”
Daily Texan: Meet Rick Perry. He’s been the governor of the great state of Texas since Dec. 21, 2000. Meet Hannah Treadway. She’s my little sister, who lives with my family in Oakville, Ontario, Canada and was born on July 20, 1999.
Gov. Perry and Little Sister Hannah seem like they have a lot in common – strong leadership skills, great hair and my best guess is that they’re both into watching cartoons.
…I decided it would be a fun exercise to test how closely they align or differ on policy issues … I’m going to write out the question I asked my little sister, and then I’m going to put two answers. One will be the response my little sister gave me, and one will be a quote from our governor….
Question 1: What is Juarez, Mexico?
Answer 1: “It’s a place in Mexico. My dad says it’s not very safe.”
Answer 2: “Juarez is reported to be the most dangerous city in America.”
If you guessed that it was Hannah’s dad that told her that Juarez is not very safe, you are correct. In February, Perry delivered the second answer to reporters, but in fairness, it was an honest mistake that any politician who doesn’t speak in front of the media very often could have made. Now, moving on to question two.
Question 2: Who is responsible for the BP oil spill?
Answer 1: “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.”
Answer 2: “BP.”
Answer 2 belongs to my naive 11-year-old sister, who in her youth thinks oil companies that skirt regulations are accountable for their mistakes. Fortunately our governor, in all his experience, has enough perspective to realize that it could have just been God’s fault.
Full article here