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The phrase is: "Let sleeping dogs lie." The left should have abided by its wisdom.
After the killing of bin Laden, Republicans and conservatives everywhere were going in front of microphones and applauding President Obama for his decision to execute the plan that brought the terrorist mastermind to justice. It was a truly bipartisan moment...for a few minutes anyway.
Unfortunately for the left, their bitter partisanship overcame the patriotic moment and their deranged hatred for George W. Bush once again got the better of them.
While conservatives who vehemently disagree with Mr. Obama on a host of issues were able to put things in perspective and compliment him on a great moment, the left simply could not do the same with Obama's predecessor.
Had they been able to do so - had they been able to put aside their bitterness for just a few days - President Obama would have enjoyed a more sustained bin Laden bounce in the polls than what he is likely to get now because they couldn't. Because in their desperate effort to show no goodwill towards George Bush and deny him any credit for the killing of bin Laden, they have opened up a can of worms that in the end will hurt them far more than would have otherwise happened.
It is unlikely that had liberals been able to issue simple statements like, "We thank President Bush for his efforts and congratulate him for 7 years of pursuit," conservatives would have never brought up the uncomfortable realities that they are now beginning to point out to the country - realities that not only vindicate George Bush, but that will diminish the political potency of Mr. Obama's success. What are those realities?
Barack Obama was able to pull the trigger on a mission to kill bin Laden because of intelligence gathered from sources and techniques that occurred during the administration of George Bush and through policies and strategies that the left vehemently opposed. In other words, had the left's policies been in place during the last 10 years, Barack Obama would not have had the opportunity he took advantage of to rid the world of Osama.
This is going to become widely known precisely because the left has denied Bush any credit in the events of Sunday night. In their attempt to help their political cause, they will wind up hurting it. In response, folks like Barney Frank and Dianne Feinstein are leading the charge to suggest that those aggressive interrogations profited nothing useful. But even if the critical info about the bin Laden courier didn't come as the direct result of something like waterboarding, Shannen Coffin explains:
[T]his argument is specious. When [Khalid Sheikh Mohammed] was captured, he was resistant to any form of interrogation, conventional or otherwise. As our colleague Marc Thiessen learned in writing Courting Disaster, KSM's resistance was "superhuman." It was only after being subjected to waterboarding and other enhanced measures that he became compliant, and from that point forward, cooperated with more conventional techniques. As one of the CIA interrogators told Marc, "If we had not had these techniques, we would have gotten zero from him." So enhanced interrogation methods played an integral role in all of the intelligence collected from him.
Notice I'm not suggesting that the question of whether waterboarding and aggressive interrogations are moral and ethical is settled. I think rational and reasonable people can disagree on that point. But the question of effectiveness is settled. No sane person can deny that fact.
So here's where the left has left themselves: 1.) continue to praise the great victory of President Obama in killing Osama bin Laden, which demands simultaneously eating crow by acknowledging that the very techniques they fought against were what brought us to this point of celebration, or 2.) lament the fact that Osama bin Laden was killed by the use of techniques that are "un-American."
It didn't have to be this way. Conservatives were - as is apparent by every public statement they made - content to let this be a victory for all Americans. But liberals wouldn't, couldn't let the sleeping dog lie. They made it political, and now that's going to become pretty uncomfortable for them.