Obama gave the order for violent escalation last Friday, and today everything was in place for the operation to go forward.
A senior US official tells me that President Barack Obama approved a recommendation by Defense Secretary Bob Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen to dispatch special forces to the US scene on Friday.RedState is having none of it:
These special forces were authorized to take action "in extremis" against the Somali pirates holding Maersk Captain Richard Phillips, 53, hostage on a motorized lifeboat off the coast of Somalia.
A senior official tells me that when the fourth Somali pirate was on the Bainbridge ship, Phillips moved to side of the lifeboat to relieve himself.
At that point, U.S. special forces saw their opportunity and took other three pirates out.
Captain Phillips is now safe aboard a U.S. vessel.
It's "going to make a great movie," a U.S. official adds.
In the end, Captain Phillips wasn’t saved by the President, but by his own courageous plunge and the deadly professionalism of our men with guns. The President, you see, was saved by the Captain.They spin a story of the President paralyzed with fear, unable to contemplate that most horrible option of using force. Then, when the deed is done all they can muster is "Obama doesn't deserve credit!"
Once again, this is an utter failure of expectations management by the GOP. They have to learn that Obama is playing long ball here, and that by trying to react with maximum indignation within every newscycle they end up looking like craven, waffling idiots, unable to craft any sort of coherent message and clearly uninterested in the task of governing.
Will this sort of frantic attack on every front eventually result in Obama's approval ratings falling, or will it serve to help keep the GOP isolated to the Talk Radio extremes? We'll see.