Monday, May 02, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words ...

This photo was released by the White House. It shows the President, the Vice President, Secretary of State, JCS Chairman, and members of his national security team watching the operation to take out Osama bin Laden unfold in real time. Take a close look at this picture, folks. Notice each of their expressions; the expression on the President's face, on Admiral Mullen, and especially Hillary's expression.

It doesn't get any more real than this. A President with nerves of steel, the weight of the world on his shoulders, and the capacity to multitask with grace and elegance, nary a hint of what was unfolding in the background: consoling victims of the tornadoes in Tuscaloosa; cracking jokes at Donald Trump's expense, who sat there looking stupid at the White House Correspondents' Dinner — "firing Gary Busey ... that's the kind of decision that would keep me up at night" — then heading back to the White House to monitor the operation in the Situation Room.

I don't know about you, folks, but this is what I call the essence of leadership: grace under pressure. President Obama is one hell of a Commander-in-Chief, and I, for one, am glad we elected the right man for the job. This is how John Brennan, the President's counterterrorism adviser, described those fateful 40 minutes (that's how long the operation lasted, from start to finish):
It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled here yesterday. The minutes passed like days. And the President was very concerned about the security of our personnel. That was what was on his mind throughout. And we wanted to make sure that we were able to get through this and accomplish the mission. But it was clearly very tense, a lot of people holding their breath. And there was a fair degree of silence as it progressed, as we would get the updates.
This is how they got word the operation was successful. A Navy SEAL sent the coded message to Washington: "Geronimo. EKIA." Geronimo was the name of the operation that dropped two teams of 12 elite SEALS units into the bin Laden compound. EKIA stood for "enemy killed in action."
And when we finally were informed that those individuals who were able to go in that compound and found the individual that they believe was bin Laden, there was a tremendous sigh of relief that what we believed and who we believed was in that compound actually was in that compound and was found. And the President was relieved once we had our people and those remains off target.
BRAVO! Well done, Mr. President. Well done.


srbushman said...

I am SO proud of our President, his advisors, the intelligence community, the Navy SEALS, and our country! It is a rare gift for any leader to have a clear right or wrong choice, and he absolutely made the right choice, and choreographed it perfectly. I really can't find anything to criticize... did hell freeze over???

Carlos said...

Thanks for this, sr.

You know, the trash talking I do here is mostly good-natured ribbing to spark some independent thought in the anti-Obama crowd that's been hounding and demonizing him.