SECRET ASSASSINATIONS VS. A POLICY PUBLICLY DISCUSSED FOR YEARS: DON'T YOU SEE THE SIMILARITIES?
Stung by the fact that Osama bin Laden was located and killed on Barack Obama's watch, the right is now grasping at straws. Here's one: the Daily Caller's Jim Treacher and the Washington Examiner's Mark Hemingway are whining that the team of SEALs that killed bin Laden, Team Six, was once referred to as Dick Cheney's secret assassination squad by people on the left.
Did lefties say that? Yeah. They said that when Seymour Hersh told a gathering at the University of Minnesota, in March 2009, that the team had worked as assassins under the express direction of Cheney while Cheney was vice president.
Yes, that report did pique many lefties' interest -- not surprisingly. Yes, Stephen Colbert cracked jokes about this. Yes, Keith Olbermann fumed.
But, um, notice a slight difference between what Hersh was alleging about the team's actions in the Bush-Cheney years and what happened over the weekend? According to Hersh, these guys were accountable to no one but Cheney -- not the Joint Chiefs, not the secretary of defense, not anyone in Congress, not our ambassadors in the countries where the team operated. No one else in the government knew what they were doing. No one else knew who their targets were.
By contrast, Osama bin Laden has been an enemy of the state and a traget of U.S. military action since even before 9/11. What's more, the current president of the United States began telling us a year and a half before he took office that he'd deal with bin Laden exactly the way he did this weekend.
Secret? Unaccountable? Using the military to target people who may not be regarded as combatants? That's not what happened over the weekend.
The comparison fails.