At MediaMatters for America, Simon Maloy provides a useful reminder of the abuse Barack Obama received from the rightwing media attack squad after he vowed to act against al Qaeda in Pakistan with or without the Pakistani government’s consent.
The operation [that killed bin Laden] was very similar to what then-candidate Obama said he would do in an August 1, 2007, speech: “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets [in Pakistan] and President [Pervez] Musharraf won’t act, we will.” At the time, however, Obama’s position on Pakistan was attacked and mocked by right-wing commentators who claimed Obama had threatened to invade the country.
Rush Limbaugh said in September 2007: “Well, we’ve got another tape from — I get these guys confused — Usama bin Laden. Another tape says he’s going to invade Pakistan and declare war on Pakistan and Musharraf, which, ladies and gentlemen, puts him on the same page with a Democrat presidential candidate — that would be Barack ‘Uss-Obama.’ ” Limbaugh added: “All right, so, we’re going to attack Pakistan. Poor Musharraf’s going to get it on both ends if Barack’s elected.”
Fox News’ Sean Hannity and Karl Rove repeatedly attacked Obama’s remarks, saying over and over that Obama said he would “invade” Pakistan. Hannity called Obama’s statement “frightening” and Rove said it was indicative of “the inexperience that he has.” Hannity even claimed Obama’s Pakistan policy could “potentially create a theocracy with nuclear weapons.”