Here are today's top opinion and editorial columns.
WHO IS OBAMA? NOW WE KNOW. BY E.J. DIONNEWASHINGTON POST
[Obama] has now proved that he can be bold at an operational level, even as he remains cautious at a philosophical level. His proclivity to gather facts and weigh alternatives does not lead automatically, in the venerable phrase, to the paralysis of analysis. It can also end in daring action tempered by prudence. ... Yet as one of his close aides told me long ago, there is inside a very cool, tough, even hard man. Obama is not reluctant to use American military power.
DOCTOR, PATIENT AND POLITICIAN BY GAIL COLLINSNEW YORK TIMES
In his capacity as deficit hawk, [Gov. Mitch] Daniels waxes eloquent on his conviction that if Americans have to pay more of their medical bills, they'll make smart choices. Doubting that the individual patient can judge whether more tests or medical procedures are required, Daniels said, "demeans the dignity of people." However, women who are seeking an abortion have to be given not only the information they ask for, or the information the doctor thinks they need, but also faux facts that their local lawmakers want to force on them. And dignity be damned.
RAISE TAXES, BUT NOT TAX RATES BY MARTIN FELDSTEINNEW YORK TIMESIt would be possible, of course, to start with a higher ceiling on the tax expenditure benefit and gradually reduce the cap to 2 percent. A 3 percent cap would raise $208 billion ... Our list of tax expenditures could also be modified — to exempt charitable contributions from the cap, for example. Federal revenue must be raised to deal with our very serious fiscal problems. But it would be far better to do so by capping tax expenditures than by raising marginal tax rates.
THE TORTURE APOLOGISTS EDITORIALNEW YORK TIMES
The real lesson of the Bin Laden operation is that it demonstrated what can be done with focused intelligence work and persistence. The battered intelligence community should now be basking in the glory of a successful operation. It should not be dragged back into the muck and murk by political figures whose sole agenda seems to be to rationalize actions that cost this country dearly — in our inability to hold credible trials for very bad men and in the continued damage to our reputation.
IN PAKISTAN, NO MORE SECRETS BY VALI NASRWASHINGTON POSTWashington should continue its assistance programs and bilateral engagement to show Pakistan a path to a normal, long-run relationship with the United States. Meanwhile, it should engage Pakistan’s civilian and military leadership at the highest levels to push for a change in foreign policy. America’s confidence and Pakistan’s anxiety and vulnerability at this critical moment create an opening to push U.S.-Pakistan relations in a new direction.
A CAUTIONARY TALE FOR MIDEAST PEACE BY DAVID IGNATIUSWASHINGTON POST
Don’t play games. State the U.S. parameters for negotiation as clearly and unambiguously as possible. The heart of this deal is the same as it was in 1967: An exchange of occupied territory in return for a just peace that recognizes Israel’s right to exist. Get it done this time, or don’t try.
ERIC HOLDER'S BIN LADEN MOMENT BY DANIEL HENNINGERWALL STREET JOURNALAfter 9/11, when the fraying started, George W. Bush passed through a seven-year political minefield of media leaks and lawsuits over the Patriot Act, surveillance, renditions, Guantanamo and CIA interrogations. Now bin Laden is dead, and Barack Obama's got the credit. We're all fine with that, just as we're fine with people chanting "USA" over the dead terrorist who tried to kill us. Now how about letting those CIA interrogators come in from the cold and join the celebration?
OUR FRIENDS THE PAKISTANIS EDITORIALWALL STREET JOURNAL
Pakistan's own self interest lies in joining this fight with America. Not merely for the aid. Thousands of Pakistanis have died in terrorist attacks, and Islamists will continue to seek to destabilize a state with nuclear arms. We disagree with those on Capitol Hill calling for an abrupt end to aiding Pakistan, at least for now. But the bin Laden mission shows that Pakistan's game of playing an ally of America while protecting our enemies is no longer tenable. Pakistan has to decide whose side it's on.