2 May

To politicize or not to politicize the kill…

                                       

I won’t politicize if you won’t, Mr. President.

President Obama does deserve credit as it happened on his watch. He’s made good on his campaign promise (really, it was only a matter of time before justice would catch up to al Qaeda’s #1 figurehead, a culmination of the last 9 years, not just the last 9 months). But it’s irksome that his narcissism can’t help but inject himself into this:

“Last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground,” President Obama told the nation in a speech Sunday night.

“Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body,” he said.

Or maybe as a partisan, I’m far too sensitive and am reading more into it than is warranted. Of course President Obama had to green light the operation; but I seem to always feel like this president has a way of always making it all about him; of taking undue credit for things he had little to do with (yes, he gave the order; but what sitting president wouldn’t have? Actually, Clinton had opportunities and did not take them, so nix that). Even when he says, “it’s never been about me”, he inadvertently seems to make it otherwise.

President Obama deserves credit, whether he wants to claim it (and he does) or not. And I am glad he called his two predecessors to give them the news. The hunt did not begin on his watch but President Obama has seen it to through to its conclusion.

The real winners, of course, are the American people.

Finally setting aside partisan politics at the end of this partisan post, I’d like to say, thank you President Obama and congratulations for a job well done!

Josh Rogins offers a timeline (beginning with Obama’s decision-making for what led directly to this operation).

This entry was posted in 9/11, American Intelligence, Barack Obama, CIA interrogation program, Guantanamo, Obituaries, Politics, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Monday, May 2nd, 2011 at 9:02 am
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187 Responses to To politicize or not to politicize the kill…

  1. another vet says: 151

    @Nan G: When the troops (not Bush) captured Hussein, Bush supposedly got a 7 point bump (I was in Balad when it happened so I’m going on recent news reports). I was anticipating at least that big of a bump when the SEALS and their support personnel(CIA, Army chopper pilots, USAF air support personnel, and anyone else I may have missed, not Obama) took out UBL.

    As for #141 (don’t know how I could have missed that the first time) you brought up a good point. This is far from the first time a CiC has had to make a decision like this. The Israelis must be amused at the political jockeying going on as they are no strangers from doing these types of operations.

    The bottom line is I could care less about “political risks”, be it Obama AUTHORIZING this mission or Bush deciding to invade Afghanistan in the first place, both of which were wise and necessary decisions on the part of both presidents. My main concern is doing what is necessary and being concerned about the success and welfare of those putting their lives on the line. The patriots and their mission were in support of GWOT. Neither they nor their mission were “political risks”. To emphasize the “political risks” rather than the mission and those involved, is rather demeaning as they are heroes not “political risks”. I know I’m preaching to the choir on this!

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  2. Old Trooper 2 says: 152

    @another vet: I Concur.

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  3. jerseyflash says: 153

    Obama LIES (Over 150 documented times) Do you think if anything went wrong-Barry was going to take the fall. Look at that WAR ROOM ??? picture again-there’s a half a dozen people in that room that would HAVE TO fall on there sword for any mistake that happen. Barry’s sitting on a little chair-hunched over while some Air Force guy is in the BIG CHAIR. Doesn’t something look phoney about that picture. All went well so were is my BUMP ????? It’s now 5:17 my time-there are now 5 news stations giving conflicting stories. SHOW ME THE PRE-OP PHOTO’S OF BIN WALKING THE COMPOUND GROUNDS
    Here’s my take on this: Obama gets the axe in 2012 and goes to HOLLYWOOD to make this picture with Steven Spielberg-Barry writes a book first-NO Bill writes it for him. TITLE OF THE MOVIE ?????????? By the way-didn’t this guy get a PIECE PRIZE. Isn’t that something you get when you DON’T give “KILL ORDERS” (Libya-bin who’s next ?????????)

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  4. johngalt says: 154

    @rich wheeler:

    I don’t believe all things in life can be reduced to a simple right and wrong.

    And that is where we differ, Rich, and it is essential to the philosophy that I hold. But your right, we can discuss that another time.

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  5. First of all, I will admit that certain phrases and announcements almost have to include the singular personal pronouns, however what I think is being argued by Mata and others here at FA is that Obama’s narcissistic nature impels him to take a different view, and therefore puts him in a different frame of mind when he makes these announcements to America.

    @blast: You said:

    Do we need to pull out President Bush’s statements about ordering some operation or another to find the same language? Does that make Bush narcissistic?

    And @openid.aol.com/runnswim: You said:

    @Word: You are offended at “at my direction” and “I ordered?” That’s the way that Commanders in Chief talk. That’s the way GW Bush always talked, in such situations.

    Okay, lets do that. I chose to view the video of President Bush when he announced our invasion of Iraq.

    He used the word “I” twice.

    Here are the two sentences for full context:

    “I want all Americans and all the world to know that coalition forces will make every effort to spare innocent civilians from harm.”

    “And I assure you, this will not be a campaign of half measures.”

    He used the word “My” once.

    ” On my orders, coalition forces have begun striking selected targets of military importance to undermine Saddam Hussein’s ability to wage war.”

    Now let’s look at Obama’s announcement of the death of Bin Laden.

    He used the word “I” 10 times.

    He used the word “My” once.

    He used the word “Me” twice.

    “Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts.”

    “Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was.”

    “Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.”

    “…I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.”

    “I met repeatedly with my national security team…”

    “And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence…”

    “These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.”

    That is thirteen references to himself versus Bush’s three times. And so in contrast, you can clearly see that one President does indeed interject himself into the fabric of his speeches much more than the other.
    .
    .

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  6. another vet says: 156

    @Old Trooper 2: Some of us must look at things differently. Ever see or use a decision matrix where one of the criteria for deciding on a COA was “impact on career”? I was almost tempted to copy and paste a matrix from 101-5 to show how decisions are made in the military but I don’t want to beat this dead horse anymore.

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  7. Old Trooper 2 says: 157

    @another vet: Nor do I. It has been Politicized into the dirt. The COA is 100% based upon Risks involved and Force Protection/Economy of Force. I never traded Lives for “career impact” and never respected those Who did. We always knew Who the Politicians in Boots were and I was able to get Missions accomplished with minimal losses even if I had to catch the heat for it. I always sent what was necessary to do the deal and never worried about the heat.

    No One but a Fool argues with Success. Only a Fool proceeds with less than what is required. Troops will not follow Fools or do anything less than what their Commander is willing to do Himself. Taking Credit for the Courage of Others is quite frankly what is referred to as Stolen Valor. I reckon that I have made my point. If You can look Your Troops in the Eye or ever have, that is understood.

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  8. johngalt says: 158

    @Old Trooper 2:

    In other words, it sounds like your motto is “Lead, follow, or get the hell out of the way so that I can do my job!”.

    Thoughts on the impact on a career never got the job done. And all decisions, despite the protests of Rich, can be boiled down to a simple ‘right or wrong’.

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  9. another vet says: 159

    @johngalt: Looks like most of us here are in agreement.

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  10. Old Trooper 2 says: 160

    @johngalt: AMEN.
    That is why I’m Retiring as an O-6, am known as being abrasive when someone wants “more done with less” but on My last Deployment My Group and Teams knew that Failure was Never an Option and the Team Leader gave Direction and if the Plan hit the weeds, I would personally lead the QRF in Support and give Credit in Public and Criticism in Private.

    My Superiors gave Authorization but No One Directed Actions on Objective but the Team Leader. That is Leadership, My Style. Taking Credit for success if Your Boots are not “on the ground” is quite frankly Stolen Valor. Anyone Who believes anything else is too much Full of Him/Herself or has never risked anything less than a reputation. Period. If a Mission failed, I had failed in Their Training. That is My POV. Old School. I was Trained by the Best.

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  11. Old Trooper 2 says: 161

    @another vet: Roger that.

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  12. rich wheeler says: 162

    J.G. Who decides if Obama’s decision not to release photos is right or wrong? Does hindsight ever play in? Is there a clear right or wrong on kill vs capture? I vote Clinton,you Bush,Mata Perot??

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  13. johngalt says: 163

    @rich wheeler:

    I wasn’t aware that the decision to not release photos was being discussed here.

    All decisions boil down to the right one and the wrong one, and stem from morally grounded principles on what is right and what is wrong. One must use the lessons of history, or hindsight, of similar decisions, to determine which decision is the right one to make. Politics, and the concern for one’s own career, should never come into play, yet I will admit that it does, no matter which political philosophy one adheres to. I, though, will NEVER give someone credit for making a politically driven decision, even if I consider the decision the right one to make. That is why I have given Obama credit for continuing the policies, regarding terrorism, that Bush started. Because it was the right one to make. And because of that, he was presented with the opportunity to make a decision on whether to get UBL, which he did, and which I believe, again, was the right decision to make.

    The choices presented to him, of how to get UBL, weren’t a matter of political thought, but simply how best to go about the goal, of getting UBL, dead or alive. In order to make that decision, one is presented not with political effects in mind, but with probability for success of each, which boils down, again, to what is right and what is wrong.

    One should go through life using the basic premise of doing what is right, and shunning that which is wrong, no matter the implications, or effects, on oneself. That is an honorable, and admirable, life. When one goes through life deciding only what is the expediency of the moment, regardless of right or wrong, it is a dishonorable way to live, particularly towards one’s fellow man. I don’t believe that you live your life that way, but you support and admire someone who does, and give them credit for it as well. Not all decisions made on the expediency of the moment are wrong, for even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then, but the overall life is tainted by dishonor amongst their fellow man. I will not live my life that way, nor admire and support anyone who does.

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  14. Nan G says: 164

    @Old Trooper 2:

    Taking Credit for success if Your Boots are not “on the ground” is quite frankly Stolen Valor.

    That explains it!
    Obama wanted to de-criminalize stealing valor* and I couldn’t, at the time, understand why.
    Now it is clear.
    HE intended to steal some.

    *Wearing medals not earned, falsely claiming to have attained a rank or status not earned.

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  15. rich wheeler says: 165

    John G. All decisions are being discussed here,not just one’s you chose to deal with.You didn’t answer my questions.You get tired of patting yourself on the back for your moralistic certitude? Are you right for being a self proclaimed Christian or was Rand right as an atheist.I hope you’re not saying your well thought out decisions are always correct.Are you?

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  16. MataHarley says: 166

    @Tom: So another complete misrepresentation of what I wrote, which is available for all to see above. Okay, I’m being too kind: it’s a flat-out lie, because I’ve helpfully corrected Mata several times on the point that nowhere have I written that I consider political risk to be comparable to risk of life of limb, which is an asinine concept in the first place – I merely pointed out it exists; and certainly nowhere did I write it was of “such high import”.

    Perhaps with over 150 comments on this thread, you’ve lost track of the subject matter, Tom. The original post was about the Obama statement, politicizing the event with far too much emphasis on self, and little focus on those that did all the ground work… from both past admins to today’s and the planners/executors of the plans.

    From the beginning, everyone agreed that Obama deserves credit as a CiC, approving the mission. We disagreed with the balance of his statement, and less than acceptable gracious acknowledgement of those involved other than himself. A pathetic pittance of a few paragraphs, mid or at the end of his statement.

    Also, from the beginning, you have refused to acknowledge the improper balance of that statement, and have simply gone full bore with the argument that Obama deserves credit for “political risk”. Indeed, you can’t even see how Obama getting credit reflects on credit for the intel teams for years, the strategists and military.

    But that was never the original argument… which was that the imbalance of the statement was politicizing the event, and placing himself high on a pedestal for involvement. Something you have not argued to the contrary.

    Considering your lack of input on Obama’s short sheeting the real heros in this endeavor, and your focus only on how much credit he *is* due for his “political risk”, there is only one conclusion this reader can have. That you consider his involvement and credit warranted his ungracious statement – which placed the events and actions from past years to the storming of the compound – little more than an afterthought. Therefore, your silence indicates you don’t think there was an imbalance of accolades at all.

    If you think differently, it’s about time for you to speak up. ‘cus you sure ain’t done it yet. And there is no way for you to reverse your opinion that a CiC, doing the job he was elected to do by approving or disapproving a mission, deserves praise because he has “political risk”. Such a statement makes my former military family blood run cold.

    @rich wheeler: J.G. Who decides if Obama’s decision not to release photos is right or wrong? Does hindsight ever play in? Is there a clear right or wrong on kill vs capture? I vote Clinton,you Bush,Mata Perot??

    What the heck are you talking about, rich? Not sure where Clinton, Bush or “Perot” even fit into this conversation, but whatever.

    If you want an opinion about the release of photos, I’ll be brief. I don’t care if they do, or if they don’t. I believe it was Bin Laden for sundry reasons…. I believe our Seals, and Bin Laden’s daughter, in the custody of the Pakistani’s, also confirms it. I don’t believe there will be any more or less retaliation with, or without their release. Cockroches need little provocation to infest. In fact, they will use the lack of pictures to their press advantage the same way they would use any release.

    This is a WH decision. To show what a babe in the woods, this POTUS is on the political scene, when Abu Gharaib hit, he was a jr IL Senator, and at the later times in 2006, campaigning for the US Senate. Not even around long enought to have a record in that era.

    It wasn’t until 2009 that we learned of his opinion when the ACLU was using the FOIA to get additional photos released. At first Obama decided he would not fight the ACLU, but then changed his mind and did indeed fight their release with an appeal. So when it comes to releasing photos of possibly offensive nature, he is consistent. No complaints. Like I said, I dont’ need them.

    And I’m wondering when we can leave the UBL 24/7 news cycle, and start paying attention to more dire looming events… like the debt ceiling debate/vote, Mexico’s dumping dollars for gold, the housing double dip, and the US dollar value being flushed down the toilet.

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  17. Old Trooper 2 says: 167

    Here is Your Photo…

    http://curmudgeonlyskeptical.blogspot.com/2011/05/burial-at-sea-proof.html

    Got it? Cool, Lets move along now, nothing to see here. I concur on not releasing any photos. Good call.
    As Mata has stated the Budget, the Deficit, the Borders, the Economy and Unemployment are the Clear and Present Danger. Add rising Energy costs and Food costs while You are at it. The OBL Mission is completed.

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  18. rich wheeler says: 168

    Mata I was questioning Galt’s assertion there is always a right and wrong to every decision made.Much too simplistic (or complex?)Let him explain.
    I note he doesn’t like Pink Floyd. Now that’s Wrong.

    Ot2 #167 CONCUR I’ve been saying move on but watch for conspiracy theories for 2 days.

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  19. Nan G says: 169

    @MataHarley:

    Cockroches need little provocation to infest. In fact, they will use the lack of pictures to their press advantage the same way they would use any release.

    You are so right!
    Proof?
    Angry Muslims don’t need any proof!

    Muslims are already calling the site (in the North Arabian Sea) of Osama bin Laden’s ocean burial the ‘Martyr’s Sea’, according to one of Britain’s leading Islamic scholars.

    __________________________

    Bin Laden Shrine Forms As Tourists Flock To Death Compound
    US efforts to prevent a shrine to Osama bin Laden were under threat Thursday as several hundred sightseers flocked to the house where the world’s most notorious terrorist met his death.

    Pakistan officials said the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was shot dead Sunday already became a tourist attraction and that there were no plans to destroy the building.

    “I can tell you for a fact that it will become a place of tourism,” said Dr. Muhammad Azfar Nisar, the deputy civil chief of the city. “People are already coming here from as far away as Lahore to see the house, so why should we destroy the building? The more revenue, the better.”

    Nisar said the city might even expand to accommodate tourist demand. “I am sure some hotels will be constructed nearby the house if the military allow it,” he added.

    “I’ve come here today to see a piece of our history,” said Ahmed, 24, who brought his 11-month-old daughter with him. “Osama was a good Muslim who fought for Islam. He was a hero to us. I expect in time to see all sorts of tourists here, even Japanese and Americans.”

    “I had thought he would be living in a cave like a proper rebel outlaw,” said 25-year-old Zulqurnain. “But instead they say he was hiding here, in a nice residential area. I’m a bit disappointed and can’t believe it. Even so, I will come to visit again. Osama was our lion.”

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  20. Esdraelon says: 170

    @Old Trooper 2:

    ROFLAMO! Especially one comment: “Now when you go to the beach you can piss on his grave!”

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  21. Nan G says: 171

    @rich wheeler:

    All decisions are being discussed here,not just one’s you chose to deal with.You didn’t answer my questions.You get tired of patting yourself on the back for your moralistic certitude? Are you right for being a self proclaimed Christian or was Rand right as an atheist.I hope you’re not saying your well thought out decisions are always correct.Are you?

    Have you forgotten your basic Algebra, rich?
    Look up the Venn Diagram.
    (Gosh! For me it has been a LOOOONG time!)
    Not all sets of beliefs are completely outside one another.
    There is plenty of overlap.
    Between Ayn Rand’s ideas in her writings and Christianity there are many, many overlapping areas.
    You expecting them to be 100% mutually exclusive only shows your ignorance of one or both of those sets of teachings.

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  22. rich wheeler says: 172

    Nan G says. overlapping etc. Glad to see you agree with me.

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  23. MataHarley says: 173

    rich, while you directed that “clear right or wrong on kill vs capture?” comment to johngalt, I will respond that there is indeed. State assassinations are illegal. So is invading another country’s sovereignty without their permission.. especially to carry out an illegal assassination. That is a clear wrong. Also, shooting an unarmed man who may have been surrendering or not resisting would also be a clear wrong. Our military isn’t meant to be used for illegal executions.

    At least overtly so in policy.

    My desire is, if it’s an assassination, stop telling us it’s that and just do exactly what the Seals are doing… hey, he resisted. Self defense. And puleeeeze, stop telling us that you didn’t let the Pakistani’s know you were doing this, and that they had no involvement. And for heaven’s sake, stop saying dumb things to the media like “we didn’t trust them”…. not exactly a pathway to great diplomatic relations with a former enemy, and now a nuke empowered quasi-ally.

    Whether this mission was executed via a “right or wrong” method will be revealed in time… ala whether Pakistan again reverts to being an enemy, or the ICC attempts to haul our Seals in on charges for illegal assassinations. The only people who really know whether this was a capture or kill mission, with legal incursion into Pakistan, do not reside on this forum.

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  24. johngalt says: 174

    @rich wheeler:

    Actually, Rich, I wrongly voted Perot, so that should answer your question in #165. I did, however, learn why that decision was wrong, which is what hindsight is all about. No one is perfect, and everyone makes decisions that are wrong, although some don’t know it at the time, nor do others even acknowledge that they were wrong.

    As for moral certitude, I don’t have it, and neither does anyone on the planet. We can only make the decisions in our lives based on what we have previously learned to be right, or wrong, and our knowledge isn’t always correct. Those who profess a moral certitude are those most likely to go through life making all the wrong decisions, for they lack the ability to examine their decisions objectively, and the ability to question those decisions as having been right, or wrong. In short, am I right all the time? No, I am not, but I learn why I was wrong, and try never to make the same mistake again. Don’t you?

    And, as far as Rand goes, you question doesn’t matter in the slightest. But I will answer it anyway. I do believe that Rand was wrong to be an atheist. I also believe that it is wrong to place your life into servitude for a church, though, and although I have my reasons, this isn’t the discussion for it. Let it suffice that I consider myself a Christian, as one part of the definition states; “a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ”. But again, as this isn’t a theological discussion, I’ll leave it at that.

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  25. johngalt says: 175

    @rich wheeler:

    Mata I was questioning Galt’s assertion there is always a right and wrong to every decision made.Much too simplistic (or complex?)

    You do not believe that a decision is either right, or it is wrong? It’s not a complex idea.

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  26. MataHarley says: 176

    johngalt: You do not believe that a decision is either right, or it is wrong? It’s not a complex idea.

    I think that’s just a built in “present vote” ‘tude that so many have, johngalt. To actually make a stand entails actually assuming responsibility. Even if it’s within your job description to do so.

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  27. rich wheeler says: 177

    John G. Thanks.I think Are you saying,there is a right or wrong decision,but in spite of our best efforts we may make the wrong decision,which should help us to make the right decision next time,though we may still inadvertantly make the wrong decision.

    “The Princess Bride” comes to mind.

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  28. MataHarley says: 178

    OT… Hilarious! I’m sold on that photo proof!

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  29. Nan G says: 179

    @rich wheeler:
    Right.

    Example:
    Both atheists and Christians are opposed to incest.

    IOW:
    There are overlaps.

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  30. johngalt says: 180

    @rich wheeler:

    Essentially, that is correct, although I believe that you are confusing the issue.

    For every decision, there is the consideration of right, and wrong, morally speaking, as the factor of a decision. No middle ground is possible. Decisions that one makes can be as simple as deciding what to have for dinner, or whether to, and what specific course to take, on getting UBL, and they are always made with a goal in mind. And the more complex the decision to be made, the more little, individual decisions leading to the ultimate decision, there are. But each, small, individual decision is based on one’s moral principles of what is right and what is wrong.

    As for the determination as to whether a decision was the right one, or the wrong one, only history can be the final judgment, just as it is our knowledge of previous history that helps in determining whether a specific decision is right, or wrong, at the time. No one is infallible, though, and wrong decisions are made all the time. What should never be in question is the reasons used to make a decision, at the time of the decision. What I mean, is, that outside, arbitrary influence, not based on moral principles of right, or wrong, should never be used as a factor in determining what decision to make. Which is why, as I’ve stated, that I WILL not give credit to Obama, for any part of the decision to get UBL, that is based on his own political expediency, and neither should you. We should content ourselves with the fact that, as is apparent at this time, the decision to do so, was the right decision to make.

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  31. Old Trooper 2 says: 181

    Father Of 9/11 Victim: Obama “Putting Too Much Spotlight On Himself”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/05/05/father_of_911_victim_obama_putting_too_much_spotlight_on_himself.html

    David Beamer, father of 9/11 victim Todd Beamer on FOX News: “I feel some chagrin now, though, about how the rest of it has been handle. And frankly it started May Day, 2011 when the president announced what had happened. The excessive use of the personal pronoun that he used in his remarks, I really felt that was the beginning of the Commander-in-Chief putting too much spotlight on himself, taking too much credit for what the remarkable Americans had done. And of course it’s only now accelerated to a greater degree in the media. “

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  32. Ditto says: 182

    @ Jongalt

    For every decision, there is the consideration of right, and wrong, morally speaking, as the factor of a decision. No middle ground is possible. ….

    Except where elections are concerned. When you are given the option of voting for the “lessor of evils”, you are not able to vote for good. Refusing to vote simply ends in others deciding which evil you will receive, thus, by not voting you are still allowing evil to win. The world would be so much better if we could choose between the “greater of goods.”

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  33. Wordsmith says: 183

    How much credit does Obama get?

    The Facts

    The president’s statement was notably spare on details, but he clearly thinks he should get a lot of credit. He noted that bin Laden had “avoided capture” for many years and emphasized that “shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al-Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.”

    Then follow a lot of other “I” sentences. “I was briefed….I met repeatedly…I determined…today, at my direction, the United States launched…” Former President George W. Bush is not mentioned until Obama noted that he had made clear this was not a war against Islam.

    ~~~

    The Bottom Line

    There are times when a president takes credit—or is given credit—for things that he has little control over, such as the economy. He also gets the blame for a bad economy, even though it may take years for the policies he put in place to have an impact. It’s the nature of politics.

    In this case, Obama clearly built on efforts initiated during the Bush administration. (A big, as yet unanswered question: Did the information about the courier come from “enhanced interrogation techniques” during the Bush administration that Obama later condemned?) The kind of seamless teamwork apparently demonstrated by U.S. operatives and intelligence officials in crafting and conducting this operation does not happen overnight.

    But it is also true that ultimately Obama had to make the final decision on whether to proceed. As was later documented in Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars,” then President Bill Clinton failed to make a firm tactical decision about how to best capture or kill bin Laden. And if the mission had been a public failure, in the middle of a suburban Pakistani neighborhood, Obama would have gotten the blame—as Jimmy Carter would attest about the failure to rescue hostages held in Iran.

    Obama might have given a bit more of a public shout-out to his predecessor. But the buck stops with the current occupant of the White House. Certainly, if bin Laden had not been found, Obama’s Republican rival might have used a clip of Obama promising to kill bin Laden in some kind of attack ad.

    We’re with Pete King on this one: This happened on Obama’s watch, and he will reap the credit.

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  34. MataHarley says: 184

    @Ditto, I just got around to checking out the knoll that jerseyflash mentions in his comment #120. Using the Google measure for an approximate, it’s about 5100 ft from the UBL compound. I don’t know much about sniper rifles, but the only one I’ve seen (granted, with minimal research) with that accuracy may be the Harris Gunworks M-96, up to about 5000ft. Slightly under that is the Remington Modular Sniper Rifle. Sketchy at best, depending upon wind and weather conditions. Especially for a target that they couldn’t even positively ID because he rarely came out in the open. Not to mention that sniper would have to take out all the other personnel in the compound as well.

    Using a sniper would not have easily availed the Seals to abscond the hard drives and documentation around the place. To simply assassinate UBL, and bypass his intel stash would have been absurd. I think the mission planned, presented, and chosen, was the right one. And our amazing spec ops guys continue to wow.

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  35. Ditto says: 185

    That’s assuming also that the hypothetical sniper’s scope would have been good enough at that range to positively identify UBL. If said sniper uses a silencer the range would be lessened. Given our discussion here, it sounds more to me that all this would rule out the use of a sniper as a realistic plan.

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  36. Old Trooper 2 says: 186

    @MataHarley: I’m satisfied with the Outcome. Use of Snipers requires a Clear Field of Fire, patience and a rapid exfill. The Intel Received in the Raid has value. Entry into the Home gave us that. With the exception of the Mechanical issue with the Bird, the Plan worked. Best of All No Casualties.

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  37. jerseyflash says: 187

    HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all that deserve it. “To politicize or not (THE KILL)” I’m going to work this backward’s for a short time. ANSWER to Mata #184 When they ran the film from outside the compound, it show’s that hill range-not that far away. (Only one camera seems to have that shot) It is motion-not still I see tree’s and shubbs on the hill (all coming from a camera of one of the news networks)!!!! Try to understand IF it possible-I would have used a SNIPER. Good shooter can kill from 100 yard or less-UP TO A LITTLE OVER A MILE AND A HALF. A British sniper**2 kill’s-one wounded from OVER a mile and a half. Once again 2 men-not 40 or 50 plus (Loss lips sink everything and anything)Do I have a great dislike for Barry “YES I DO” Do I have a great love for Sarah and Allen West “Just Sarah”
    The illustration shows 2 dishs-how old is this ???? There are now 7 dishes on the compound roof’s.
    HBO-SHOWTIME ????? (BREAKING NEWS****USA knew he was there as soon as he walked in****) Let’s see who get’s the $25 million. One of the chopters goes down in the compound-they carry approx. 12 combat loaded troop’s. Copter 2 comes back and picks-up Copter 1’s load plus it’s own (Shown on 60 LYING MINUTES) Looks like a UH-60**was something other then UH-60 used ??????
    Doesn’t the NEW WAR ROOM look different then the first one that they were in ?????
    CONSPIRACY THEORIES-Does that mean that the guy’s on the grassy knoll didn’t do the shot, or should no one ever ask the question “Show me”
    WORDSMITH #183 “Only the FACTS” I directed Leon to KILL or CAPTURE bin “The” top priority, but then the more I taught about it*** “KILL HIM”
    OT2 #186 what happened to our Ping-Pong game ??????????

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