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President Obama vs. Mitt Romney: Highs and lows of the 2012 campaign

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 23 2012 6:33 a.m. MDT

Obama gives order to go after Osama bin Laden Next » 13 of 20 « Prev
Associated Press
On May 1, 2011, President Obama went on television to announce that the U.S. had conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, nearly 10 years after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakisatan," Obama said. "A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda's leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achivement to date in our nation's effort to defeat al Qaeda."

At a March 2012 fundraising event, Vice President Joe Biden said the decision to go after bin Laden was a decisive moment for Obama's presidency, The Hill reported.

"He said, 'Go,' knowing his presidency was on the line," Biden said. "Had he failed in that audacious mission, he would've been a one-term president."

The president's counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said the decision to go after bin Laden was a "gutsy call."

By giving the order to kill bin Laden, Obama neutralized the GOP on foreign policy, Alan Greenblatt wrote at NPR. The Democratic National Convention included a number of bin Laden mentions, with Biden using the phrase, "bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive."

A group of former operations soldiers launched a media campaign accusing the president of wrongly taking credit for the mission that killed bin Laden, ABC News reported in August 2012. Their message to the president is that, "The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not."

>> In this May 1, 2011 image released by the White House and digitally altered by the source to obscure the details of a document in front of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington.

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