Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey told Fox News' Sean Hannity Monday that, if the Osama bin Laden raid were to fail, a "highly lawyered" memo would see to it that the blame fell squarely on the shoulders of Navy Admiral William McRaven, the commander of Joint Special Operations Command at the time of the raid.
The news follows weeks of the president commemorating the anniversary of Osama bin Laden's death and, many say, taking the credit for himself.
A transcript of Mukasey and Hannity's conversation explains:
MUKASEY: ...You better believe if anything else had been encountered and the mission had failed, then the blame would have fallen on McRaven. That’s what that is about.
HANNITY: So, in other words, here the president’s now -- everything worked out in this case. But he had put in place a CYA that if it went wrong, McRaven would have been the fall guy.
MUKASEY: That was a highly lawyered memo.
HANNITY: Wow. So you are saying this was designed to protect the president politically.
MUKASEY: I think there is going to be more that comes tumbling out about that escapade. But, so far, that memo is enough.
Here is video of the entire interaction:In a Wall Street Journal article titled, "Michael Mukasey: Obama and the bin Laden Bragging Rights," Mukasey wrote that it would be "hard to imagine" men like Lincoln or Eisenhower comporting themselves as Obama did after the bin Laden raid, "claiming such credit for the heroic actions of others."
"Consider the way he emphasized his own role in the hazardous mission accomplished by SEAL Team 6," Mukasey explained.
"I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority . . . even as I continued our broader effort. . . . Then, after years of painstaking work by my intelligence community I was briefed . . . I met repeatedly with my national security team . . . And finally last week I determined that I had enough intelligence to take action. . . . Today, at my direction . . .," Obama is quoted as saying.
Detractors of the president are left pointing out how indicative it is of someone's character when they selectively take credit and re-assign blame.
Eisenhower wrote up a similar memo in the event the Battle of Normandy failed, according to Mukasey. In it, he took full responsibility if anything were to go wrong.
However, after it became clear that the move was a success, he only mentioned himself once.
He said, "I'm proud of you."