President Obama's 'gutsy' decision
May 2nd, 2011
02:25 PM ET
11 years ago

President Obama's 'gutsy' decision

(CNN) - The decision by President Barack Obama to launch the assault that killed Osama bin Laden was one of the "gutsiest" calls by any president in recent memory, Obama's top counterterrorism adviser said Monday.

John Brennan, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said that despite intelligence indicating that bin Laden was in the compound in Pakistan, there was no certainty the al Qaeda leader was actually there.

Obama "made what I believe was one of the ... gutsiest calls of any president in recent memory," Brennan said.

Brennan called the elimination of Osama bin Laden "a strategic blow" to al Qaeda.

"It is a necessary but not necessarily sufficient blow to lead to its demise," he said.

Filed under: Osama bin Laden • President Obama
soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Not knowing made the decision to rule out missles far easier. Putting boots on the ground, against Pakistani wishes, meant getting intelligence and evidence that Bin Laden was killed. Assuming the location was correct, at the least he would be captured. A missle strike could miss the target, and you didn't know when the next opportunity would come.

    Gutsy, yeah. That's a good way to put it. Deciding what to do was the easy part. Deciding to follow through took guts, and a good intelligence.

    May 2, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  2. gt

    lets not get carried away..... dont lower the bar .....big.. yes ..but ... come on thats a no brainer...

    May 2, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. JR

    Why would anyone ever questions this mans guts (not that Brennan was). He's one of the gutsiest men in the history of this country. He's a leader that I'm proud to support and follow. Its time for all of us to support Obama and let him lead us out of the mess were in.

    May 2, 2011 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |

    Wingnuts will carp at this since they hate anything that makes America and our President look good.

    May 2, 2011 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    not bad for a guy who has been accusd of being...
    A Muslim sympathizer
    A Muslim himself
    Weak leader on terrorism
    Pals around with terrorist
    Not born in the USA
    UnAmerican and of course
    Worst President ever

    bad thing about it though is most of those who felt that way will STILL feel that way. But you know what they say about small minds.....

    May 2, 2011 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  6. Ed

    What gutsy decision it's an election year give me a break.

    Gusty are the SEALS that went in outnumbered and did the job they are trained for.

    It's easy to make decioions when you are at a party thousands of miles away. I don't think Obama could know what gusty is without having served before.

    The people need to wake up and see what Obama stands for it's all about polls and getting re-elected again.

    This country is worse off now than we have ever been and one reason having an elected person that doesn't have a clue.

    One VET to another great job SEALS.

    May 2, 2011 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  7. Dean

    Might have been gutsy if Obama had been there leading the charge. A president, any president sending other men to action is not gutsy on his part.

    May 2, 2011 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. edog

    AGREED! The buck stops at the desk of The President. If anything went wrong with this mission, in any way, blame would be directly pointed to POTUS (rightfully so). It is just the way it is. This President made a very gutsy call knowing the consequences if things went wrong. Good job!

    May 2, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  9. T

    The President believe in his team and that is a good thing. Good job US

    May 2, 2011 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Deciding what to do was the easy part. Deciding to follow through took guts, and a good intelligence TEAM.

    May 2, 2011 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  11. Checkmate

    America's reputation for efficient and effective elimination of our enemies has been restored.

    America's repuation as an honorable country where integrity goes hand in hand with true, visionary leadership has been affirmed.

    Many of the President's critics have tried to portray him as weak, soft, dithering, not committed to "American Principles" – a socialist, an appologist, etc. None of these have ever been true.

    Obama again disproves the GOP-lie that Democrats are limp wristed wimps! Still think he's soft? Just go ask those Somali pirates or bin Laden. Still think you can play him for a fool? Just go ask BP & the $40B he got out of them.

    While his opponents are playing checkers, he is playing chess.

    May 2, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Sarah Brown

    Today is a glorious day, not only for America,but for the world. Bin Laden and his murderous attacks changed the way the world, spawning division and racism in an already trying time. To every person who has suffered the loss of a loved one at the hands of this madman, no doubt the Hitler of my generation, my heart goes out to you all on this bittersweet day. As a Canadian with family in New York, I can truly say that the strength and tenacity of you all has been an inspiration to the world, never wavering in your resolve to bring this monster to justice. Job well done to the American government and people. Hopefully, this will be a huge milestone in conquering terrorism in our world. From all Canadians, God bless you.

    May 2, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. rhumba

    Obama had the courage to go into Pakistan, no matter what the republicans thought and no matter what that action might do to his presidency. His willingness to put principles ahead of popularity goes to show how much integrity this president actually has. It seems that today's republicans must always pander to their supporters, making them ineffective and cowardly. Our president has guts and brains, a very rare combination in today's political circus

    May 2, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  14. LegendRx

    "To The Victor Goes The Spoils" (As Obama lifts the head of Osama bin Laden so that all, including the Rebubs, to see . . . Like King David did Goliath!

    May 2, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. theCheese

    Well done...but NOT gutsy. They have been gunning for this guy for ten years.

    May 2, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. maggie

    There are many who will come out with yet another theory of conspiracy about this event to attempt to discredit the president. The fact of the matter is that this is a huge feather in Obama's cap on behalf of the United States at a week when he debunked one of the most nationally embarrassing conspiracy theories yet about his place of birth. Sort of makes a lot of people look small and foolish.

    May 2, 2011 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  17. GI Joe

    I find it disgusting that so many republicans want to give kudos to Shrub. They think Shrub diverting everything to Iraq was a plan to get Osama?? Yet they refuse to give Shrub the blame for something he BLATANTLY did for 8 years, run up massive debts and wipe out a surplus, give unfunded tax cuts to the wealthy, and not fund TWO wars in any way whatsoever.

    It's amazing to hear their spin. Republican propaganda akin to the fascist propaganda that led to WWII. SHAME.

    May 2, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  18. GI Joe

    President Obama – the BEST president since Ike and JFK. (Suck on that you Shrub and Raygun fanatics).

    May 2, 2011 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. La, La, La

    Electing Obama has turned out to be good after all. Thank you, Mr. President.

    May 2, 2011 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  20. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Gutsy?? Are you kidding? Maybe for Obama but this is what is expected of Presidents. I hope the poor timid soul didn't lose a lot of sleep over this!

    May 2, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  21. Itsa

    A+, President Obama! A successful outcome of a well-studied, well timed, and well executed plan. Thank you for your service to our country.

    May 2, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  22. AK

    God Bless you Mr. President. This is huge! FDR kinda huge! Three battle front, Great recession, Domestic turmoil, Unemployment etc...You still find the might to keep your cool and make one of the most significant decisions in many generations.
    I do believe that America can still be that shiny city on thet far hill. And President Barack Obama will navigate us to that shiny city.
    Godspeed Mr. President. And thank you to all the members of our armed forces and sp. ops folks.

    May 2, 2011 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. CNNLover

    LEADERSHIP we can believe in!!!

    May 2, 2011 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. ABM

    Way to GO Mr. PRESIDENT. A very good result (once again) for our leader and commander-in-chief! The GOP and Faux News have nothing to show or take credit for. This is why the People have elected this man as President. He gets RESULTS!!!!!!

    Time for some humble pie Mrudock, Palin, Trump, Bachmann, and the rest of the GOP hopeless.

    May 2, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  25. Doug in NYC

    I would like to thank the Navy SEALS, CIA, all our Military and President Obama for a job well done. Let us not forget all the ones we lost on 9/11 and other attacks carried out by this monster. I would love the opertunity to shake the hand of the person who drilled that bullet into osamas head!! Thank you all! Again, job well done!!

    May 2, 2011 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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