There’s an email making the rounds alleging that President Obama’s orders regarding the pirate hostage crisis earlier this month extended the crisis and endangered the captain’s life. I first saw it here. (Via Chaos Manor, via Instapundit.) I’m not going to repeat the whole thing, but it (one version, anyway) opens this way:
From some friends with ties to special ops who would like to remain under the radar: Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following . . .
This is an urban legend. There’s no way to know whether the underlying allegations are true, as the people who know aren’t saying. But the email is certainly bogus. First of all, these sorts of things nearly always are. Second, we can actually track the evolution of the email over time. If it ever started as a private email from someone with inside contacts (unlikely), it’s definitely not the same email now. Trying to use this to indict President Obama’s handling of the crisis isn’t just wrong, it’s embarrassing.
ASIDE: Incidentally, note that the email isn’t just an attack on the president. It’s also an insult to the SEALs, because it alleges that someone broke operational security.
President Obama didn’t handle the crisis the way I would have preferred. I think it would have been much better to use force as soon as we had a good likelihood of success. (From what we know now, that probably would have been days sooner.) But we cannot be surprised by what happened. Barack Obama is the president, and of course he ordered them to try to find a peaceful resolution first. That’s who he is. But he also gave them the latitude to use force if necessary. In the end, we have to judge the incident by its outcome, and the outcome was good.
Some bloggers on the left are trying to make Obama into some sort of David Palmer over this. That’s silly. Obama isn’t David Palmer; he isn’t even Bill Clinton. But it’s even sillier to try to make this success into a failure. On this occasion, Obama’s approach worked. Let’s not forget that this is a good thing. If we start begrudging the president even his successes, we start to look like the left has looked over the past eight years.
UPDATE: It’s on Snopes now.
UPDATE: James Jones (the National Security Advisor) is now on record with a detailed account refuting this. (Via LGF.)