Joe Biden is calling the killing of Osama bin Laden the most audacious plan in 500 years. No wonder he gets booed in Pittsburgh. " You can go back 500 years. You cannot find a more audacious plan. Never knowing for certain. We never had more than a 48 percent probability that he was there." Audacious? What would he call the invasion of Normandy? Or how about the Israeli raid on Entebbe? One of the most audacious raids in modern times was carried out by the CIA, back when it still worked under the command of Wild Bill Donovan. Midway through the Korean War Sweden announced it would deliver humanitarian aid to North Korea. When diplomacy failed, Donovan went to Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek and borrowed a freighter. Then disguised as pirates, the crew stopped the Swedish ship on the high seas and hi-jacked the entire cargo of medical supplies. Donovan then gave Chiang Kai-Shek the booty as payment for the ship.
Later Biden lets us know Obama's risk was political. " Do any one of you have a doubt that if that raid failed that this guy would be a one-term president?" The propensity to meddle in military affairs seems to be a failing of all latter day Democratic presidents. During the Vietnam war bombing targets were selected by the National Security Council in the White House. Kennedy's last minute loss of nerve left thousands of Cubans hanging out to dry when he cancelled military support for the Bay of Pigs Invasion. Jimmy Carter insisted on being in constant contact with the raiding Delta force in the ill fated hostage rescue mission.
Did we see White House photos of Ronald Reagan and his team during the invasion of Grenada? No, Reagan just told the Pentagon to draw up a plan and the rest we know. Did we see Bush One running about the country bragging about winning a war in 96 hours? When Bush Two laid it all on the line with his surge he faced massive political opposition yet he made the right call and saved Iraq.
The inability to delegate authority is a management flaw. Whether driven by insecurity or ego it is still a flaw. If we are to believe Biden and his 48 percent probability bullshit we see a president risking dozens of lives on a mission that wasn't even money to succeed. Gutsy or stupid? The killing of bin Laden was a success but a modest success. Had the mission failed the public would have never learned of it.