Last night, a team of Navy Seals were dispatched to Pakistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden. Unfortunately, the team was unsuccessful. They failed. The details are still emerging, and it is unknown at this time if the mission failed because of mechanical, logistic, or personnel problems. Either way, the blame for this rests with the Special Forces team. They had their orders and failed to complete them.
Can you imagine if this had been the message shared by the President last night? This entire nation would be (justifiably) outraged that the President… the Commander-in-Chief… had put the blame on the Navy Seals. We would all be pissed off that he was shirking his responsibility and authority as the head of the United States military and, instead, criticizing the Special Forces teams. We would all remind him that he was ultimately in charge of everything that the military did, good or bad, and that he needed to step up and take responsibility.
So, why is it that some are so quick to attack the President for his words last night? Based on what I’m reading, the President is being criticized for taking credit for the successful mission launched against Bin Laden. First, I didn’t hear that in his speech at all, but that is an argument for another day. Even if he was boasting, why shouldn’t he?
Just as he is ultimately responsible for any failures of the military, he is also ultimately responsible for any successes. He is the C-I-C, and it was under his leadership and command that Bin Laden was brought to justice.
If you know me at all, you know that I am a passionate and dedicated supporter of our military. My support is more than just a bumper sticker, too. My husband and I happily give our time and our money to a variety of military-related charities, and we directly help our extended Marine Corps families. Like so many others, I have lost countless hours worrying and praying for our brave servicemen and women in harm’s way. And I say all of this to remind people that I would never take anything away from our military.
But the President IS the Commander in Chief. He is the man who made the capture or killing of Osama Bin Laden the highest priority. And yes, he deserves credit for doing his part to make this happen.
More details will surely come in the days to follow, but I did find this today. It's worth reading to get an idea of how this whole thing started.