Sept. 11 terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed one year ago by a group of Navy SEALs during a daring raid at the compound where he was living in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
But the terrorist still seems to be living today as a trophy in the 2012 presidential campaign.
President Barack Obama is using the one-year anniversary of bin Laden's death to pat himself on the back for approving the raid that resulted in the al-Qaida leader's death.
Bin Laden's death happened on Obama's watch and he is certainly entitled to take credit for this accomplishment. It is an accomplishment we wish former President George W. Bush had spent more time attempting.
However, noting the anniversary - and, with it, his role - doesn't seem to be enough for President Obama. Now in a new campaign television ad, Obama seems to insinuate presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would have lacked the moral courage to approve the bin Laden mission. This assumption is beyond ridiculous, even during a presidential election year when hyperbole is the rhetoric of choice for both parties.
Romney seemed to shrug off the charge and gave Obama credit for ordering the mission. And he deftly counterpunched the president's preening by comparing Obama to the president many Americans already associate him with.
"Of course," Romney said when asked if he would have approved the operation. "Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order."
The world is a better, less dangerous, place today without bin Laden living in it. Even though he was more of a figurehead than a real threat by the time he was killed, his death was an emotional lift to Americans as was evident by the numerous spontaneous celebrations held after news of his death became public. But even though bin Laden's death was a blow to many radical Islamists because of his seeming invincibility in the decade following 9-11, terrorism did not die with him. That war continues today.
The one-year anniversary of bin Laden's death is certainly worthy of celebration. And, President Obama deserves the credit for approving that operation that brought about that death.
However, Obama's elbowing his way to the front of the attaboy line for political purposes is a cheap stunt. It not only makes him look unpresidential, it takes away from the real heroes of that operation - the Navy SEALs who risked their lives carrying out the mission.