Charles G. Cogan on the anniversary of bin Laden’s death

The Controversy Over the bin Laden Raid Anniversary: The Real Contrast Is Between Obama and Carter
The Huffington Post
May 1, 2012
Commentary by: Charles G. Cogan, International Security Program associate
Topic: Anniversary of bin Laden’s death

“As the one who was in charge of the CIA side of the attempted hostage rescue mission in Iran in 1980, what jumps out at me from a reading of the two-part piece in Time (‘The Last Days of Osama bin Laden’) is the feeling that Barack Obama would have gone ahead with the operation that Jimmy Carter called off.

Obama is a risk-taker who went ahead with the bin Laden raid against the recommendation of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and the President’s No. 2 military adviser, Gen. James Cartwright.

Carter, on the other hand, was a pacifist-inclined president who dallied for months before deciding to go ahead with an operation to rescue the hostages in the American Embassy compound in Tehran. The concept of the operation was of a piece with the Carter Administration: a surreptitious entry operation that could be called off at any step along the way. And finally, the operation was cancelled by President Carter when the number of helicopters had been reduced to what allegedly was an unacceptable level.”

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