Obama Erred by Rushing News of bin Laden

'White House triumphalism' trumps good strategy, writes Jonah Goldberg
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 10, 2011 1:49 PM CDT
In this May 2, 2011 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – President Obama “couldn’t even wait until morning” to tell us about Osama bin Laden’s death—but even a day between the event and the announcement could have had big strategic benefits. There’s “a small college library” of information from bin Laden’s compound, the White House says; “even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn't told the whole world, and Al Qaeda in particular, that we had it,” writes Jonah Goldberg in the Los Angeles Times.

“It's a bit like racing to the microphones to announce you've stolen the other team's playbook even before you've had a chance to use the information in the big game,” he notes. It took 10 years to find bin Laden. "Surely one more week of harmlessly searching hard drives while the public was kept in the dark wouldn't have been too great an additional burden.” So why did Obama speak so quickly? “Nobody I've talked to can think of a reason that doesn't have to do with politics.” (Click to read about how US troops had permission to fire at Pakistani troops if necessary.)

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