The tableau was striking: the president who spent years hunting Bin Laden next to the one who finally got him. The president defined by his response to Sept. 11 standing alongside the one who has tried to take America beyond the lingering, complicated legacy of that day.
For Mr. Obama, Sept. 11 underpins what has become one of the great paradoxes of his presidency. A Democratic leader who opposed the Iraq war and is pulling troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan has, at the same time, notched up a record as a lethal, relentless hunter of terrorists.
Mr. Obama, a president who banned torture in the interrogation of suspected terrorists and pledged (unsuccessfully, so far) to close the military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, carried out more drone strikes in Pakistan in his first year in office than Mr. Bush did in his eight years.
Bush and Obama: Side by Side at Ground Zero, By MARK LANDLER and ERIC SCHMITT
New York Times, September 11, 2011