Following the rescue of Captain Richard Philips by Navy Seals, many in the media quickly went overboard showering a great deal of the credit on President Obama. In some cases they almost made him sound like Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill.
CNN's Gloria Borgia as well as other politicos at CNN, and even Jeff Birnbaum, a Fox News contributor were quick to give Obama the lions share of the credit for the successful rescue of Captain Philips . It is almost baffling to understand why.
Kenneth T. Walsh in US News and World Report wrote, "Obama's decision to authorize the use of military force to free Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, from a band of pirates demonstrated that the new commander in chief will apply American muscle in a crunch. It also showed that he trusts the military to get the job done and remains cool under pressure. These are significant developments for a man who has endured considerable criticism about being too young and inexperienced to serve as an effective commander in chief."
Gloria Borgia on CNN called the rescue a "win" for the Obama Administration. The Boston Globe called it Obama's first test as President and that he passed with flying colors.
The credit for the successful rescue of course goes to the Navy Seals, the Captain of the Bainbridge and some FBI negotiators who kept the situation fluid until a window of opportunity opened up for the Seals snipers to do what they were trained to do. And the plan to rescue Captain Philips was a Navy operation, not anything devised in the White House.
Unfortunately for Mr. Walsh and others, President Obama did nothing except give the go ahead for the Navy Seals to take the action they had been trained to take under these circumstances and Obama left the ultimate decision, the real decision, in the hands of the Captain of the Bainbridge who was given the authority to use his judgement and did, giving the go ahead to fire the shots that killed the pirates and freed Captain Philips.
This is not to say Obama did anything wrong. He did was he should have done by delegating authority to those who knew what they were doing and knew how to handle what was a very dangerous situation.
But the question no one seems to be asking is, what else could Obama have done? Refuse to let the Navy rescue Captain Philips? Refuse to let them take whatever action the commander on the scene deemed necessary? Refuse to allow the Seals snipers to do what they've been trained to do in situations like this? Not give them the authority to act on a window of opportunity if it presented itself? Had Obama refused and had Captain Philips remained a hostage or lost his life it would have for all intents and purposes been the end of the Obama Presidency.
It was the commander on the scene and the Seal sharpshooters who were cool under pressure not, as Walsh writes, President Obama who made the only decision it was possible to make -- give the authority to the commander on the scene to take whatever action was neccessary to save Captain Philips when the opportunity arose.
It is almost farcical to see that the media has gotten to the point where they are willing to heap praise on Obama for simply not being inept and are willing to set the bar so low that Obama can get over it simply by stepping on it. This is no fault of Obama's. But it simply erodes the mass media's credibility even more. And the way the media is going, and with the credibility they are losing, even Navy Seals won't be able to rescue them.
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