Look Who Has Come Out Against Politicizing the bin Laden Killing

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on May 2, 2012

Admiral Mike Mullen. You remember him, I am sure. He was the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff when bin Laden was killed:

Adm. Mike Mullen, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has joined the chorus of concern about the politicization of Osama bin Laden’s killing a year ago Tuesday.

The retired four-star admiral told NBC News that he worries “a great deal” that the bin Laden raid could become a political football this campaign season, although he did not specifically call out President Obama and his campaign for doing so.

“Well, I worry about it, just because it’s the political season,” Adm. Mullen said. “And from my perspective, the president’s support, the decision that he made, and obviously, the result stand alone in terms of the kind of call presidents have to make, and he made it. I do worry a great deal that this time of year that somehow this gets spun into election politics. I can assure you that those individuals who risk their lives — the last thing in the world that they want is to be spun into that. So I’m hoping that that doesn’t happen.”

Mullen’s comments–restrained though they appear–are sufficient to reduce Andrew Sullivan’s cheerleading, and his efforts to turn the Daily Beast into a propaganda arm for the Obama campaign, to rubble. But there is more to laugh at in Sullivan’s post. Consider his decision to favorably quote Jon Meacham’s comment that “the ferocious, sputtering Republican reaction [to the latest Obama ad on the bin Laden killing] is proof positive that” the ad “raises intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions.” One has no idea what those “intriguing, substantive, legitimate questions” are, of course; neither Meacham nor Sullivan are willing to spell those questions out. They are content to say that the questions are raised, and hope that the rest of us don’t ask any questions of our own.

Oh, and the “ferocious” reaction–I hardly think it is “sputtering,” but then, I am not an unabashed partisan disguising as a journalist the way that Meacham and Sullivan are–might have to do with the fact that Team Obama is demagoguing the killing of bin Laden, and lying about Mitt Romney’s comments by taking those comments out of context; something Sullivan himself does in his post. The “ferocious” reaction might also have to do with the fact that the Obama campaign is doing precisely what it attacked the Clinton campaign for doing back in 2008. Hypocrisy does have the tendency to outrage, after all. Republicans might just be angry about that, and the anger might well be justified. If there is any honor left in the Obama campaign, it would heed the warning of the very chairman of the Joint Chiefs who served during the bin Laden killing, and lay off the politicization of the killing.

But no one really expects the honorable course to be taken, now do they?

  • Stephen

    For a Republican, perhaps the only thing better than Obama’s claim to read and appreciate Sullivan is the possibility that he would actually be guided by what Sullivan writes from now until November.

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