Not waiting for history to play out, a New Times caption writer, below a picture of celebrants of Obama Bin Laden's demise outside the White House, has written: "As crowds gathered outside the White House, there was little question that Mr. Obama's presidency had forever been changed."
The pic and caption follow the jump.
The picture is the ninth in a series of 20 currently at the Times's home page.
There may be something to what the Times caption writer asserts if President Obama acknowledges the role information apparently obtained from Guantanamo Bay detainees played in finding Bin Laden, as noted by Bill Dedman (HT Michelle Malkin; bold is mine):
It started with a courier's name.
Senior White House officials said Monday that the trail that led to Osama bin Laden began before 9/11, before the terror attacks that brought bin Laden to prominence. The trail warmed up last fall, when U.S. intelligence discovered an elaborate compound in Pakistan.
"From the time that we first recognized bin Laden as a threat, the U.S. gathered information on people in bin Laden's circle, including his personal couriers," a senior official in the Obama administration said in a background briefing from the White House.
After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden."
In 2007, the U.S. learned the man's name.
In 2009, "we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated. They were very careful, reinforcing belief we were on the right track."
In August 2010, "we found their home in Abbottabad," not in a cave, not right along the Afghanistan border, but in an affluent suburb less than 40 miles from the capital.
"Detainees," eh? Gosh, I wonder where they were detained?
Sure, if President Obama uses the occasion of Osama Bin Laden's death to acknowledge that he has been wrong about Gitmo all along, and that having the mantle of responsibility for America's security altered his view of things, it could "change his presidency forever." But it hasn't happened yet, and it is far from certain that it will happen. Thus, there seems to be no basis for the Old Gray Lady's pic caption writer to be engaging in premature e-celebration.
UPDATE: A morning Times report by Jeff Zeleny appears to have inspired the pic caption:
But as Mr. Obama delivered his remarks and the crowds continued to gather outside the White House, there was little question that his presidency had forever been changed by snaring Bin Laden. The search for him has played out over Mr. Obama’s maturation as a national political figure in the last decade.