promises shmomises

Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’re no doubt aware that the U.S. recently killed Osama Bin Laden by sending a team of Navy SEALs across the Pakistani border to Abbottabad, without informing the Pakistani government. I don’t have much to say about the death of Bin Laden; I don’t feel happy at the taking of anyone’s life, but I certainly don’t feel sad about the fact that Bin Laden is no longer a threat.

One thing that I did find interesting about the media coverage of this event was the idea (I heard it from Chris Matthews) that the statement Obama made about Bin Laden and Pakistan during the 2008 Presidential Debates (see the clip below) meant that he had to authorize this operation.

Really? I’ve come around on Obama a bit after losing a lot of faith in him over the first two years of his administration, but how can anyone look at his actions now through the lens of statements he made during the 2008 election? It’s become pretty clear that past statements are secondary to political considerations. Guantanamo remains open, the public option didn’t make it in the health care bill, the Bush tax cuts got extended

By all means, let’s recognize the fact that Obama made the decisions necessary to kill Bin Laden. But let’s not pretend that he did so because of what he said in the debates.

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