Barack Obama: “killing Osama bin Laden not essential” [2009]

Posted on May 1, 2011

Prior to his inauguration,  President-elect Obama agreed with his predecessor: it was not essential to kill Osama Bin Laden:

11:52AM GMT 15 Jan 2009

Mr Obama, who assumes power as US commander-in-chief next week after his inauguration on Jan 20, pledged to try to succeed where his predecessor George W Bush failed by catching or killing the terrorist leader.

But he said that it was not essential to kill or even capture the elusive bin Laden when there were other ways to weaken the threat posed by his network.

“I think that we have to so weaken his infrastructure that, whether he is technically alive or not, he is so pinned down that he cannot function,” Mr Obama told CBS.

“My preference obviously would be to capture or kill him. But if we have so tightened the noose that he’s in a cave somewhere and can’t even communicate with his operatives, then we will meet our goal of protecting America.”

Speaking hours after bin Laden issued a new audio message in which he threatened the US President-Elect, Mr Obama said that al-Qaeda and its leader remain the “number one threat” to US security. [Telegraph]

Bin Laden was not trapped in a cave.  He was luxuriating in a mansion near Islamabad.  And you have since learned that he is not the “number one threat” to Us security.  The deficit  you created is the number one threat.  We are still a nation in decline.