Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Peter King: Not All Bad

I'm definitely impressed by Peter King's apolitical sincerity today. His profile in the National Review regarding the killing of OBL is what we should expect from top American officials, elected or otherwise:
For the past two years, the Long Island Republican has been one of President Obama’s leading security critics on Capitol Hill. But this week, as he has heard more details about the Navy SEALs’ mission, he has been increasingly impressed by the president’s leadership. “I think that the president handled everything very well,” King says. “Think about this: There was no direct evidence that bin Laden was in that compound. Nobody saw him.”

“It could have been anything; it could have been a set-up, full of civilians, women, and children,” King surmises. “It could have been full of weapons and explosives to blow our helicopters out of the sky. Or it could have been absolutely nothing.”

“I understand that there were a number of people in the president’s circle who were opposed to the decision,” King observes, his eyebrow raised. “But with this operation, he never flinched, he never blinked. If it went the wrong way, it would have ruined his presidency, in the same way the helicopters in the desert did to Jimmy Carter.”
Whereas Palin has been attempting to take cheap, self-defeating shots at the President, and Republican presidential hopefuls provided obligatory homage to the military and intelligence agencies without acknowledging the leadership involved in actually making this momentous decision, Peter King provides an honest appraisal of the risks involved. Note to Republican politicians: more of this please.

It also appears that the ever-Republican-concerned National Review wheedled out a "Bush was responsible" quote from the Congressman, even though they couldn't get him to endorse the conservative line that torture played any role in delivering the intelligence that brought the U.S. to Bin Laden's doorstep.

To fully critique the article, I should mention this quote, which to me seems totally unwarranted:
“Giuliani is the only [potential Republican candidate] capable,” King says. “He is the one who has the credibility. Rudy, on terrorism, is the full deal. He would be strong on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. He would also be strong on Guantanamo,” and on threats in “downtown New York and Minneapolis.”
What exactly is Giuliani's counterterrorism portfolio or expertise? I forget- was Times Square inhabited mainly by terrorists or strip clubs before Giuliani pushed them out of midtown?

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