Bill Gertz’s conservative credentials are pretty convincing. He is a star reporter for the conservative Washington Times, an analyst with Fox News, and the author of the 2008 book The Failure Factory: How Unelected Bureaucrats, Liberal Democrats, and Big Government Republicans Are Undermining America’s Security and Leading Us to War.
Not a lefty. Here’s the start of his report from this morning’s paper:
President Obama dispatched two separate teams of Navy commandos to carry out last week’s rescue of a merchant ship captain held hostage by Somali pirates but left the operational details and rules of engagement to military commanders, National Security Adviser James. L. Jones said Tuesday.
“I can tell you from a White House and presidential standpoint, there was no conflict, no gnashing of teeth, or excessive influence in trying to manage this thing,” Mr. Jones, a retired Marine Corps four-star general, told The Washington Times in an interview.
He and other military officials gave the most detailed account to date of how Navy SEAL forces were dispatched – first from a base in Africa and later from the United States – to carry out the mission, and how Pentagon officials communicated with the White House. They sought to dispel Internet reports that the military was delayed from taking action by indecision inside the White House.
“I don’t recognize” the information being circulated on the Internet, Mr. Jones said.
Two questions: 1) Can we now stop with the nonsense from some conservative sites about how Obama allegedly delayed the operation for days?
2) The report, based on an exclusive interview with Obama’s National Security Advisor, apparently was posted on the Washington Times site late last night, and yet Google News currently finds no trace of any followup from the major news outlets. How is this not news?
As I wrote last week, I’m not saying it’s time to make room for Obama on Mount Rushmore. I’m just saying that he handled his first high-profile military crisis well. He authorized decisive action and left the details to the on-scene commanders. Sounds like a good job to me.