Matthews: America ‘had the right’ to get bin Laden


Let me finish tonight with the big story about President Obama and Pakistan.

What we’ve learned is that the President made sure that there would be no one in the way if we got bin Laden - no local police demanding territorial jurisdiction, no army unit saying we were violating national sovereignty. No one would be able to stop us because the Americans were apparently under orders to shoot their way out of there.

This is cowboy stuff. None of this “coalition of the willing.” Obama didn’t care if Pakistan was willing or not. This guy killed our people. He was ours.

Normally I’d like to see a multi-lateral approach to life-and-death matters. We have no more right to tell another country what to do than they do us - certainly not on the other guy’s territory.

But this was different. This was pursuit - not hot pursuit - but pursuit nonetheless of the worst villain in our history - well certainly up there with John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald or James Earl Ray - and we had the right to go get ‘em.

There’s a report out that we had a deal to do just what we did - go in there on our own. The deal was with Musharraf, who was president of Pakistan back at the time of 9/11. We’d lost bin Laden at Tora Bora. We were dead set on not losing him again. That’s why the deal got made.

The fact that we didn’t trust Pakistan to deliver, that the President prepared for trouble, that he demanded we send in a strong enough team to break out of there no matter what,  tells you something about the quality of the alliance between the two countries.

The more we learn about this, the better, the smarter, the tougher America looks.