Click GutsyCall.com and see for yourself. Hey, give the guy credit: How many Americans can there be who’d gladly give the order to kill Osama Bin Laden?
A domain lookup reveals that the owner is privately registered with GoDaddy, so there’s no way to tell whodunnit. Reid Wilson of Hotline claims that O’s campaign owns the URL but cites no evidence of that. The phrase, which plays off something John Brennan said at Monday’s presser on Bin Laden, isn’t a term people will naturally search for the way, say, a candidate’s name is. So unless the White House bought it and reserved it for some sort of future OBL-themed campaign webpage — which would be the consummate example of, ahem, “spiking the football” — then I’m thinking the guilty party is probably just some random adoring O-bot or mischievous conservative Obama critic. Then again, precisely because the term “gutsy call” is unlikely to be searched, it seems odd that political reporters would have discovered it so quickly. Who tipped them off to its existence?
As for whether the Abbottabad raid really was a gutsy call, the argument rests partly on Obama’s own perceived weaknesses. There’d be huge risk involved under any president, of course: The choppers could have been shot down; the SEALs could have been stranded and forced to fight their way out a la Mogadishu; the compound could have ended up belonging to some random family in a case of mistaken identity. Any of those scenarios would have produced a horrible international clusterfark — and for Obama, they’d probably have finished him politically. The comparisons to Carter and Desert One would have haunted him until election day as proof of his inexperience and counterterrorism haplessness and he surely knew it when he gave the order. So yeah, he took a significant risk, especially since the CIA was never quite 100 percent confident that Bin Laden was at the compound. On the other hand, given the sluggishness of the economic recovery and the fact that, until Sunday, his big accomplishment this year had been releasing his birth certificate, the risk was less than it might have been. And had it emerged later that the CIA had a pretty good idea of where OBL was (60-80 percent confidence, per Panetta) and yet O didn’t act, he’d be roundly attacked for his timidity. So he gambled on the fact that the SEALs would come up big and that it would give a shot in the arm to the war on terror, his reelection bid, and the country at large. Jackpot. Now all he has to do next year is explain why the GOP nominee wouldn’t have made this same gutsy call and he’s in business.
The latest from Bin Laden’s compound, meanwhile: According to some of the computer data seized in the raid, Al Qaeda was hoping to launch attacks on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. (Nothing concrete was yet planned.) Quote: “The evidence appears to confirm that Bin Laden still had a role in approving al Qaeda plots, just he did for the 9/11 terror attack.”