Norah O'Donnell: Obama Has More Aggressively Prosecuted the War on Terror Than Bush
As she steps into her new role as CBS News Chief White House correspondent, Norah O'Donnell may have made a good impression on the man she'll now be covering with comments she made this weekend.
While chatting with the panel of "The Chris Matthews Show," O'Donnell told the host that President Obama has more aggressively prosecuted the War on Terror than George W. Bush (video follows with transcript and commentary):
NORAH O’DONNELL: I covered the Bush White House. He started the war in Afghanistan. But it took President Obama to finally capture and kill bin Laden. There have been more drone attacks under the Obama administration than the Bush administration.
There’s an argument that can be made, and there are numbers that support that Obama has more aggressively prosecuted the quote unquote War on Terror – if you like that phrase, some don’t – than Bush did.
In reality, you can make an argument about anything you choose, but that doesn't mean it will be cogent.
If you were to add up all the terrorists - including high-value targets such as Saddam Hussein, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - that were captured or killed during Bush's two terms, there's no question that total would far exceed the number since Obama was elected.
The lives saved as a result of Hussein and KSM's capture alone far exceed any as yet realized benefit from bin Laden's death which could in the end be more symbolic than anything else.
The primary goal of the War on Terror when Bush began it was to prevent a further attack on the American homeland, and that has clearly succeeded.
Have there been some significant victories since January 20, 2009? Certainly, with the murder of bin Laden being the boldest.
However, George W. Bush kept America safe for over seven years following 9/11.
Until Obama exceeds that, this "argument" is specious.