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Killing bin Laden was a duty properly executed.

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Posted: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 5:00 pm

I can't bring myself to dance on Osama bin Laden's grave but his assassination was a moral act of war.

He killed our citizens and citizens of many nations and would continue to do so until he was stopped. Our military and political leaders did their job.

On Monday, we published some very thoughtful reflections on the morality of killing Obama from some of Lodi's Christian pastors.

I have been reflecting on the duty and risks taken by those who carried this out. A report from McClatchy Tribune New Service said when bin Laden's location was reported to the White House, the military told Pres. Obama the easiest thing to do would be drop a bomb on the compound where he was hiding.

But that would destroy the evidence of his death. One point in killing him is to discourage our enemy. So Obama asked for "a bolder plan."

Military planners came up with the idea of flying SEALs in on helicopters — under the Pakistani radar. The plan was good enough but not flawless.

One chopper crashed. A backup helicopter flew in. The firefight lasted 20 minutes. The Pakistanis scrambled jets when they heard shooting. It took another 20 minutes to load up and lift off. The SEALs and helicopters got out with a load of computer equipment and bin Laden's body. Not one American was hurt.


You probably heard all that. But I'm sobered by the risks everyone took.

The SEALs and pilots risked everything.

Our leaders ran political risks. I know, it's not the same. But so many of our leaders refuse to take political risks. Witness the budget debates.

In this case, the leaders of the military and intelligence bureaucracies and, of course, the president would clearly have taken the blame if the operation had imploded.

They did their duty, too.

Having to take a life should be humbling. But I'm proud of America's achievement.