Donald Rumsfeld Called Out for Bin Laden Hypocrisy That Isn’t Really

known knownsOver at
Politico, Glenn Thrush is
Donald Rumsfeld’s characterization of the decision
to kill Osama bin Laden as an “easy call” because of the former
Defense Secretary’s decision to call off a raid in Pakistan in
2005. Thrush writes that Rumsfeld’s reasons for canceling the raid
were “many of the same factors that Obama administration
officials [say] complicated the OBL mission.” What were the

From the 2007 New York Times report
Thrush cites:

Mr. Rumsfeld decided that the operation, which had
ballooned from a small number of military personnel and C.I.A.
operatives to several hundred, was cumbersome and put too many
American lives at risk, the current and former officials said. He
was also concerned that it could cause a rift with Pakistan, an
often reluctant ally that has barred the American military from
operating in its tribal areas, the officials said.

The bin Laden raid, on the other hand, was conducted by a team
of about two dozen Navy SEALs under the direction of the then-CIA
chief Leon Panetta. As for the “rift with Pakistan,” it had begun
to grow significantly in the time period after the cancelled ’05
raid. From the 2007 Times article:

Details of the aborted 2005 operation provide a glimpse
into the Bush administration’s internal negotiations over whether
to take unilateral military action in Pakistan, where General
Musharraf’s fragile government is under pressure from dissidents
who object to any cooperation with the United States.

Unilateral military action in Pakistan, of course, was kind of a

of candidate Obama’s foreign policy in 2008, by which
time General Musharraf’s government had been toppled and the
popular civilian opposition leader and Presidential candidate
Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated. Her ineffective husband rules
in Pakistan to this day, though his grip on power is
at best. President Bush’s relatively limited unilateral
actions in Pakistan,, meanwhile, were ramped up by President Obama
nearly immediately, with a significant uptick in drone strikes
beginning in 2009. 

With the Bush Administration’s professed concerns about
unilateral military action entirely dismissed by

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