Obama 'not politicizing' bin Laden anniversary

Barack Obama's top adviser on terrorism brushed aside criticism by the president's political opponents that he has exploited this week's one-year anniversary of Osama bin Laden's killing for political gain.

"I don't do politics. I don't do the campaign. I am not a Democrat or Republican," said chief White House counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan.

"All that I know is that the president made the decision when he was given the opportunity to take a gutsy decision, to carry out that raid with our special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan," Brennan told ABC television's "This Week" program.

"The president made that decision. I think the American people are, you know, clearly very appreciative and supportive of that decision. We're safer today as a result," he said.

Brennan noted that Obama took the decision to go forward with the raid against the advice of some of his most senior advisers who had reservations about the operation, which was fraught with peril for the Navy Seals sent into Pakistan to carry it out in the dead of night.

Obama's campaign last week released a video to mark the anniversary and suggested that Osama bin Laden might be alive today had Republicans' soon-to-be presidential nominee Mitt Romney been in the White House.

US Senator John McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election and who remains one of the president's most dogged critics, said last week that the advertisement politicized an issue that ought become fodder for November's presidential campaign.

"Shame on Barack Obama for diminishing the memory of September 11th and the killing of Osama bin Laden by turning into it a cheap political attack ad," he said.

"He's doing a shameless end zone dance to help get himself reelected. No one disputes that the president deserves credit for ordering the raid, but to politicize it in this way is the height of hypocrisy."

In the upcoming presidential campaign, Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, is seeking to unseat the Democratic incumbent Obama, mostly for what he says has been faulty stewardship of the economy. But like McCain he also criticizes the president's handling of military and security matters.

Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs meanwhile told NBC television that the success campaign to hunt down and kill bin Laden was "fair game" on the campaign trail.

"Look, just a few years ago President Obama, then a candidate, said in a speech if we have actionable intelligence of a high valued target in Pakistan we'd go in and get that high value target. Mitt Romney said that was foolish. He wouldn't do such a thing. That he wouldn't move heaven and earth to get Osama Bin Laden," Gibbs told NBC's "Meet the Press."

"Barack Obama... was brought actionable intelligence, directed the brave men and women in our military to go in and kill Osama bin Laden," said Gibbs.

"Osama bin Laden no longer walks on this planet today because of that brave decision, and the brave actions by the men and women in our military."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded
    Indonesia informs convicts of execution, Frenchman excluded

    Indonesia said Saturday it has officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, but a Frenchman was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where they will face the firing squad along with an Indonesian prisoner, despite strident international criticism. "Today, just now, we just finished …

  • Double Celebration
    Double Celebration

    Ropali Corporation, one of the top multi-brand motorcycle dealers in the Philippines, now holds two Guinness World Records. In the span of four days, Ropali Corporation broke two records, namely: The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars and The Largest Simultaneous Motorcycle Burnout. As such, it also became the first motorcycle dealer in the Philippines to become a two-time Guinness World Record holder. The record for The Largest Parade of Motorcycles with Sidecars was previously …

  • United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot
    United States seeks access to Philippine bases as part of Asia pivot

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …

  • China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit
    China's island-building to loom large at SE Asia summit

    China's creation of new island footholds in contested seas will hover over a Southeast Asian summit that has become an annual test of the region's nerve in standing up to its massive neighbour. The South China Sea hot potato drops this year into Malaysia's lap as the rotating chair of the 10 member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and host of Monday's meeting. ASEAN states Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei claim parts of the strategic South China Sea, but Beijing …

  • Philippines, China trade accusations over sea threats

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines accused China of aggressive maneuvers against its reconnaissance plane and fishermen in disputed seas where Beijing has stepped up construction of artificial islands, but China reiterated its claim on the strategic waterways. …

  • Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others
    Indonesia orders execution of Mary Jane, 9 others

    Indonesia has ordered preparations for the execution of 10 drug convicts, including Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, as the Philippine government filed yesterday a second appeal for judicial review of the case to save the maid from death by firing squad. The Attorney General’s Office (AGO) of Indonesia released an official letter dated April 23, instructing prosecutors to prepare for the execution of 10 convicts, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday. The execution would be conducted after the …

  • Noy to visit Canada, Japan
    Noy to visit Canada, Japan

    President Aquino will embark on a state visit to Canada in May and Japan in June to meet with his counterparts and promote Philippine interests. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Aquino accepted the invitation from Canadian Governor General David Johnston to make a state visit to Canada from May 7 to 9. Tied to this trip is the President’s one-day working visit to the United States to meet with potential investors and with the local Filipino community in Chicago, Valte …

  • Business groups back K to 12 program
    Business groups back K to 12 program

    The government’s K to 12 program adding two more years to basic education received support from various business groups yesterday. However, they urged relevant government agencies to deal with issues regarding the implementation of Republic Act 10533, the Enhanced Basic Education Act or K-12 Law. In a statement, business groups led by the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) said RA 10533 is a milestone piece of legislation that intends to bring the Philippines up to par with the rest of …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options