12 Oct

“General Motors is alive…and so is bin Laden!”

                                       

That might have been the campaign stump line according to Tom Mahnken had the Navy SEALs not shot first and asked questions later. After all, President Obama did have an alternate plan for bin Laden…one that involved executing his original plans for 9/11 mastermind, KSM: Showing the world and the terrorists what a great nation we are by putting Osama bin Laden on trial!

“Osama Bin Laden is dead; and General Motors is alive!”
Vice President Joe Biden

Photograph by Pete Souza/White House

VP Joe “Malarkey” Biden in last night’s VP debate, working in the “bin Laden is dead” campaign stump meme:

When it came to Osama bin Laden, the president the first day in office, I was sitting with him in the Oval Office, he called in the CIA and signed an order saying, “My highest priority is to get bin Laden.”

Prior to the election, prior to the — him being sworn in, Governor Romney was asked the question about how he would proceed. He said, “I wouldn’t move heaven and earth to get bin Laden.” He didn’t understand it was more than about taking a murderer off the battlefield. It was about restoring America’s heart and letting terrorists around the world know, if you do harm to America, we will track you to the gates of hell if need be.

…and put them on trial to show the terrorists our values:

Mark Bowden (author of Black Hawk Down) has a new book out. (Vanity Fair offers an excerpt) In The Finish, it’s shown that despite political rhetoric, the hunt for bin Laden had ever been a high priority for President Bush as well as for President Obama.

The difference, however, seems to be that for the former president, bringing bin Laden “to justice” was important as not only the al Qaeda leader responsible for financing the 9/11 attacks, but also as the symbolic figurehead of the global jihad movement that declared war on the U.S. President Bush understood that the war we find ourselves in involved more than simply one man and one organization- The Base. The current president seems to think that the war we are engaged in began and ends with Osama bin Laden; and that with his demise, so too ends the war.

Wishing it away and disengaging ourselves from two theaters isn’t going to make “the war” with the global jihad movement simply “go away”, no matter how much the Obama administration wishes to roll us back to a 9/10/01 law-enforcement model. [snarky] You know? The same failed (Clinton-era) policies that got us here in the first place? [/snarky]

President Obama and vice president Biden continue beating a dead horse (i.e., “Osama is dead”) in order to sell us the malarkey that they have been strong on foreign policy and national security. But how much political mileage would they expect to squeeze out of this had bin Laden been captured instead? And had President Obama pushed for trying Osama bin Laden in federal court?

Tom Mahnken:

Bowden’s account contradicts the image of a bold Obama who decided on the Abbottabad raid in the face of a split among his advisors. According to Bowden’s research, nearly every one of the president’s advisors favored the raid. “The only major dissenters were Biden and Gates, and before the raid was launched, Gates would change his mind.”

According to Bowden, in the event that Osama bin Laden had been captured alive at his Abbottabad hideout, Obama’s plan was to put him on trial in a federal court, resurrecting the idea that Attorney General Eric Holder had put forward in the case of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that proved to be a fiasco for the administration. As Obama explained to Bowden:

“I mean, we had worked through a whole bunch of those scenarios. But, frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.”

It is an astonishing admission on two counts. First, it shows just how much Obama backed Holder’s idea of putting KSM and other terrorists on trial in the United States. Holder took the fall when the plan collapsed, but it appears that Obama was fully supportive of the idea, and remained committed to it even after it collapsed in the face of Congressional and public opposition.

Second, Obama’s statement brings into focus just how much he benefited politically from a tactical decision by SEALs on the ground to kill bin Laden. Just think: If things had gone differently, Joe Biden’s tag line at this summer’s Democratic National Convention would have been: “General Motors is still alive…and so is Osama bin Laden!”

By the way: Did you guys know that Osama bin Laden is dead?

And anyone want to take bets on whether or not the status of Osama bin Laden’s current situation isn’t brought up in the next presidential debate by the PotUS?

This entry was posted in American Intelligence, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, War On Terror. Bookmark the permalink. Friday, October 12th, 2012 at 11:31 am
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14 Responses to “General Motors is alive…and so is bin Laden!”

  1. Nan G says: 1

    The PLO, Hamas, Hezb’allah and ”the Base,” (al Qaeda) all work organizationally on the same principle.
    One, or few, top commander and a whole lot of lessor group leaders all vying for the favorable attentions of their dear leader.
    (Almost like how a harem full of girls vie to be the one who will have the 1st born male.)

    When Yasser Arafat died the PLO evolved into Fatah which was weakened by a big war with Hamas.

    OTOH, Hamas used to have two strong leaders, Ahmed Yassin and Abdel Aziz Ali Abdulmajid al-Rantissi.
    Israel assassinated each man in turn in 2004.
    And, after that, Israel assassinated every other man who came out of the woodwork to claim himself head of Hamas.
    Israel did the same with Hezb’allah.
    After a few of these deaths the ”leaders” of those two organizations either fled their own land or used pseudonyms and were not photographed.

    What Obama did in killing Osama was assassinate a toothless tiger, a figurehead, if you will.
    And the result has been that al Qaeda is regrouping as many of their mini-leaders are vying for a bigger role by trying to please their REAL leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
    Al Qaeda really is alive.
    Thriving and coming after the West is one of its main goals.

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  2. Wordsmith says: 2

    And anyone want to take bets on whether or not the status of Osama bin Laden’s current situation isn’t brought up in the next presidential debate by the PotUS?

    Another line I find annoying in speech after speech is his taking credit for “ending” Iraq.

    His phrasing has been interesting, however:

    “You know, four years ago I told you I’d end the war in Iraq; and we did”

    He sometimes claims credit that “I” ended it; but recently he seems to slyly slip in “we” to the 2nd part of that. I wonder if this is intentional, as cover, since the reality of it is that he did not end the war in Iraq; did not negotiate and sign the SOFA; and failed to renegotiate the terms to America’s advantage and national security interests.

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  3. Tom says: 3

    @Wordsmith:

    And anyone want to take bets on whether or not the status of Osama bin Laden’s current situation isn’t brought up in the next presidential debate by the PotUS?
    ….
    Another line I find annoying in speech after speech is his taking credit for “ending” Iraq.

    This is his sole mention of either item in the debate with Romney:

    But look, my philosophy has been I will take ideas from anybody, Democrat or Republican, as long as they’re advancing the cause of making middle-class families stronger and giving ladders of opportunity into the middle class. That’s how we cut taxes for middle-class families and small businesses. That’s how we cut a trillion dollars of spending that wasn’t advancing that cause. That’s how we signed three trade deals into law that are helping us to double our exports and sell more American products around the world. That’s how we repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell.” That’s how we ended the war in Iraq, as I promised, and that’s how we’re going to wind down the war in Afghanistan. That’s how we went after al-Qaida and bin Laden.

    Is that spiking the football and hogging credit? There is a point, I think, where people need to step back and realize the man is running for an elected position. You don’t get very far by not tooting your own horn, by being self-effacing and modest and deflecting credit. Does the Romney campaign not remind us over and over again that he single-handedly “saved” the Olympics?

    You and the people on this site, to your credit, are voracious consumers of political news, so I understand hearing someone say the same thing over and over can get old. But have some perspective. He is trying to communicate his accomplishments to an electorate that is, on average, not as well informed. The stump speech, repetition,talking points: Obama didn’t invent these concepts. It’s time to get over it. He’s going to take proper credit for OBL being killed during his term and on his order – as any sane politician would – so this feels like an easy way to take umbrage on schedule. The fact that this claim by Obama is often annoyingly and obtusely misinterpreted as Obama literally taking credit for personally killing OBL speaks volumes as to how the reality of the situation doesn’t quite measure up to the desperation to take offense and thus necessitates dramatic embellishment.

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  4. MataHarley says: 4

    Tom, when Obama said, “That’s how we ended the war in Iraq, as I promised…”, he was spiking whatever ball, when he didn’t even HAVE The ball. Iraq ended on Bush/Iraq’s SOFA, not Obama’s. And, in fact, Obama wanted not to end it, but to stay there longer. He could not negotiate satisfactory terms to do so.

    Iraq truth? The war ended as Bush designed. Obama couldn’t keep it going, contrary to his promise, because he did not get acceptable terms. So Iraq is not only an outright lie, but an attempt to spike any ball, without even having possession of the ball.

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  5. MOS 8541 says: 5

    OK! do you really think the US buried the sucker at sea?? In your dreams. Hx says bin Laden had been on dialysis for renal failure. No mention in the reports that there were any shunts in his arms or a catheter in his belly? OK! did the fools shoot the right man or an imposter. History has recorded that the original Booth died in 1912 or 1914. The man killed in the barn was a double..Booth’s hair was black..the alleged Booth’s hair was blond? US government can never get the stories correct..like the fbi..

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  6. Wordsmith says: 6

    @Tom:

    Is that spiking the football and hogging credit?

    It’s that he has been doing it in a number of campaign stump speeches and in interview. Like on 60 Minutes:

    Well, let’s see what I’ve done since I came into office. I said I’d end the war in Iraq. I did. I said that we’d go after al Qaeda. They’ve been decimated in the Fatah. That we’d go after bin Laden. He’s gone.

    He has to keep reminding; as a politician who has to get his message across and sell himself to the American public (and messages must be said repeatedly over and over again; and not assume it’s been heard already by all)- I get it. But speaking as a partisan on the opposite side of the aisle, it’s annoying. ;)

    There is a point, I think, where people need to step back and realize the man is running for an elected position. You don’t get very far by not tooting your own horn, by being self-effacing and modest and deflecting credit.

    You’re right.

    Does the Romney campaign not remind us over and over again that he single-handedly “saved” the Olympics?

    I actually have not heard it in a while. :) Especially not from Romney.

    You and the people on this site, to your credit, are voracious consumers of political news, so I understand hearing someone say the same thing over and over can get old. But have some perspective. He is trying to communicate his accomplishments to an electorate that is, on average, not as well informed. The stump speech, repetition,talking points: Obama didn’t invent these concepts. It’s time to get over it.

    Absolutely right. Thank you.

    He’s going to take proper credit for OBL being killed during his term and on his order – as any sane politician would – so this feels like an easy way to take umbrage on schedule. The fact that this claim by Obama is often annoyingly and obtusely misinterpreted as Obama literally taking credit for personally killing OBL speaks volumes as to how the reality of the situation doesn’t quite measure up to the desperation to take offense and thus necessitates dramatic embellishment.

    I do wish to give proper credit. But as a partisan, it does grate on the nerve to hear him beat the dead horse and “spike that ol’ football” again and again and get as much mileage as he can out of it.

    I know he has mentioned that the hunt for bin Laden was made possible by work that stretches across administrations; but as someone who believes that the interrogation program that he put the nail on the coffin to did play a role in ultimately finding bin Laden, I find his trumpeting annoying.

    And as you make it a point to mention that of course President Obama is going to spike the ball on the bin Laden kill as he should and as is expected in politics…well, so too should it be expected that his political opponents will try and undermine/minimize his role in bringing this about.

    And of course, there are legitimate nitpicking issues regarding the whole bin Laden killing…partisanly and politically-speaking. ;)

    He wishes to conflate his role in it. I choose to downplay and contextualize it. :)

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  7. Budvarakbar says: 7

    Looking again at the picture at the beginning of the post — that SOB obie really had zero to do with getting anybody — in fact the perspective of the little weinnie sitting in the rear corner is very suspect – too damm small to fit properly in the photo– I vote he was photoshopped in – and was actually still out on the golf course –I have always stated that the one thing missing in the photo is a dunce cap

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  8. john says: 8

    Obama was elected by the people of the United States. So sorry you do not approve of their selection. Iraq was a debacle, and so is Afghanistan. And no matter how much you say THE SURGE WORKED it didn’t.

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  9. MOS 8541 says: 9

    You need to read history….

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  10. MataHarley says: 10

    john: And no matter how much you say THE SURGE WORKED it didn’t.

    You haven’t been around much, john…. nice to see you back. However exactly why do you believe the Iraqi Surge did not work?

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  11. Jason says: 11

    “Osama Bin Laden is dead; and General Motors is alive!”

    Biden’s words are true. Keep them in mind, Ohio. What would the employment situation look like in Ohio today if republican thinking had won out and GM and been allowed to go under?

    There wouldn’t have been those unemployment extensions to tide working families over, either. Republicans fought them tooth and nail.

    Before you vote, take some time to think back on that. And then think about their stated intentions.

    It’s your choice.

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  12. retire05 says: 12

    @Jason:

    I did think about that, Jason, when I wrote my check to the IRS last April and reminded myself that my taxes went to bail out a bunch of petulant UAW workers.

    Maybe instead of spending my tax money on Chevy Volts for the Vienna Embassy, they could have spent it on a effective security detail for Ambassador Stevens and three other foreign service employees, ya think?

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  13. Liberal1 (Objectivity) says: 13

    So many wasted words. Oh well, I guess they serve some sort of therapeutic affect.

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  14. Sua Sponte says: 14

    @Liberal1 (Objectivity): Yes, and you show each post, a strange need to be acknowledged, you’ll even take the negative simply to justify your existence…..You’re a sad little person….But, a clowns gotta do what a clowns gotta do….

    ReplyReply

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