How the Osama rubout was like ‘The Godfather’

WHO’S BEING NAIVE NOW? The president channeled his inner ‘Godfather’ to order bin Laden whacked.


NEW YORK, May 5, 2011 — Osama bin Laden sleeps with the fishes — and that’s not the only way the whacking of the terrorist kingpin felt like it was something out of “The Godfather.”

It felt like that right away, as soon as the president came on TV late Sunday night to make the grim announcement that bin Laden had been taken out.  You could almost hear the voice of Tessio (Abe Vigoda) when he broke similar news to his Corleone family colleagues.  “We hit Bruno Tattalgia at four o’clock this morning,” Tessio said, explaining to Clemenza (Richard Castellano) why there were so many “new faces” — new soldiers — hanging around.

How else was the dramatic bin Laden takeout like “The Godfather”?  Here’s how:

Like Michael Corleone, the president “settled all family business”: The weekend whacking of bin Laden was just one of two pieces of lingering, irksome “family business” the president disposed of within the space of a few days — the other one was the lingering doubt about his birth-origins, which he finally decided to “settle” by releasing his birth certificate once and for all.

The president’s “baptism” scene — the White House Correspondents Dinner: Like Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), who participated in his infant son’s baptism while his button men took care of the heads of the other families, Obama spent Saturday night trading jokes with comedians, journalists and other guests at the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington.  Meanwhile, his own button men –Team 6 of the Navy SEALs — were carrying out their own hit mission.

Presidents don’t have people killed?  Who’s being naive now?  The president’s decision to carry out a mob-style hit on Public Enemy No. 1 recalled the conversation Michael Corleone had with Kay (Diane Keaton), when they strolled down a suburban street after being estranged for nearly two years.  “My father is no different than any powerful man, any man with power, like a president or senator,” Michael said, to which Kay responded: “Do you know how naive you sound, Michael?  Presidents and senators don’t have men killed.”  Kay was wrong, of course, and Michael told her so: “Oh. Who’s being naive, Kay?”

“Someone put a bullet through his eye”: Hyman Roth (Lee Strasberg) said those words in “The Godfather, Part II” when he told Michael the story of Moe Greene and how he was killed (a story Michael already knew, of course, and Roth knew it).  Well, someone — a Navy SEAL — put a bullet in bin Laden’s eye.  “This is the business we’ve chosen,” Roth said.  And getting a bullet in the eye is one of the risks, apparently.

Contact Adam Buckman:


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