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May 01, 2012

Bin Laden Success Yet Another Thing Obama Inherited from Bush

...according to the former chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center:

With some trying to turn bin Laden’s death into a campaign talking point for Obama’s reelection, it is useful to remember that the trail to bin Laden started in a CIA black site — all of which Obama ordered closed, forever, on the second full day of his administration — and stemmed from information obtained from hardened terrorists who agreed to tell us some (but not all) of what they knew after undergoing harsh but legal interrogation methods. Obama banned those methods on Jan. 22, 2009.

This past weekend, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Carl Levin attacked statements made in May 2011 by me, former CIA director Michael Hayden and former attorney general Michael Mukasey regarding what led to bin Laden’s death. They misunderstood and mischaracterized our positions.

No single tactic, technique or approach led to the successful operation against bin Laden. But those who suggest it was all a result of a fresh approach taken after Jan. 20, 2009, are mistaken.

Betsy Newmark contrasts Obama's stunning lack of modesty with the behavior of his predecessors:

The man from whom President Obama has sought incessantly to distance himself, George W. Bush, also had occasion during his presidency to announce to the nation a triumph of intelligence: the capture of Saddam Hussein. He called that success "a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq." He attributed it to "the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers. . . . Their work continues, and so do the risks."

He did mention himself at the end: "Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate them."

While the orders for the raid on bin Laden's compound included an escape clause that put the responsibility on Admiral McRaven for the "operational decision making and control" and the presentation of the "risk profile" given to the President, contrast that with Eisenhower's behavior on the eve of ordering the D-Day landings.

Dwight Eisenhower is famous for having penned a statement to be issued in anticipation of the failure of the Normandy invasion that reads in relevant part: "My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt it is mine alone."

A week later, when the success of the invasion was apparent, Eisenhower saluted the Allied Expeditionary Forces: "One week ago this morning there was established through your coordinated efforts our first foothold in northwestern Europe. High as was my preinvasion confidence in your courage, skill and effectiveness . . . your accomplishments . . . have exceeded my brightest hopes.

Eisenhower did mention himself at the end: "I truly congratulate you upon a brilliantly successful beginning. . . . Liberty loving people everywhere would today like to join me in saying to you, 'I am proud of you.'"

Obama's spiked football comment is just the latest in a series of verbal misdirections ("Let me be clear", "This is not about...", "X is my top priority") in which he loudly claims to be doing one thing while doing the exact opposite.

Pay no attention to the man spiking the football.

Posted by Cassandra at May 1, 2012 08:54 AM

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Comments

"Pay no attention to the man spiking the football."

If he would stay the f#ck off my TV, I would gladly do so, but it's virtually impossible when he has *copped a squat* on every genre from daytime tv to sports to late night talk shows. I'm just glad he's a Chicago fan so I don't have to smile* during the Braves games.


*smiling suppresses the urge to throw up...most of the time.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2012 09:39 AM

*smiling suppresses the urge to throw up...most of the time.

Good tip, I'll have to try that sometime. As for the rest, try BBC America, it's kind of entertaining and I've never seen the TOTUS on it.

What I find most funny is that apparently Teh Won is using Bill Clinton in a commercial to ask "what if Romney had to make the Bin Laden call?" Which is REALLY a dumb choice, given that Bill chose NOT to make that call. Of all the people to question if Romney would have had the guts to make the gutsy call of gutsy-ness, he's the worst choice.

Posted by: MikeD at May 1, 2012 09:49 AM

I'm sure we've all worked for someone who was eager to keep the lines of authority fuzzy when victory was still in doubt, and then suddenly acquired clarity as soon as a good result came firmly to hand. You try to shrug your shoulders and say part of your job is to make your boss look good, but you keep your resume buffed up and ready to mail out. The next project may not go as well, and you need to jump ship before he finds it expedient to blame it on you.

Some of us have been lucky enough to work for someone who took clear responsibility for a risky decision up front and then was gracious about the team's contribution for any eventual victory. For a leader like that, we can't do enough. Their price is beyond rubies.

Posted by: Texan99 at May 1, 2012 10:20 AM

"*smiling suppresses the urge to throw up...most of the time."
Unfortunately, I WON has managed to condition me such that rendering a smile within 15 minutes of a I WON Audio/Visual event, is a bridge too far.

Now, being conditioned as well as Pavlov's dogs, when I see or hear I WON, I turn off the A/V device just as fast as I can while swearing to read all about it at some point in the future.

After all, what can we possibly expect? I WON's lips are moving.

Posted by: bthun at May 1, 2012 11:10 AM

...what can we possibly expect? I WON's lips are moving.

Or, to paraphrase Malcolm Reynolds, "Obama, your mouth is talking. You might wanna look to that."

It's hard to believe that anyone with two neurons to spark at each other can take this man seriously anymore. Other than the damage he still can do.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 1, 2012 01:05 PM

I just want to make it perfectly clear that I had nothing personally to do with the bin Laden raid. If you, too, had nothing to do with the bin Laden raid, then you, too, are like me and can join my new club: The People Who Had Nothing To Do With The Bin Laden Raid Club. We meet Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. in the bathtub of the Holiday Inn, Chantilly, Virginia. Please bring your own soap.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 1, 2012 01:06 PM

The president is a poster child for our times. These days, it's all about how great I am, the superhuman things I did, and how incredible it must be for you to have the privilege to know me. Modesty? Giving credit to others? Those are qualities possessed by old folks and losers. Obama is simply playing to his audience.

Not that I like it much, mind you...

Posted by: BDJ at May 1, 2012 01:27 PM

Now that spd, sounds like a party!

Posted by: MikeD at May 1, 2012 01:28 PM

Is there nothing these people can't screw up? Now, I had always assumed that when the President was talking about tough decisions he meant the one where he had to make the decision on the overall go, which included violating Pakistani sovereignty. Which rightfully, is the President's alone, and is no small potatoes. Technically, Pakistan might have considered it an act of war.

What, they couldn't figure out how to get the press to highlight the overall sovereignty implications of the strike?

Posted by: Allen at May 1, 2012 01:57 PM

spd, is there a Facebook group I can join?

I think it would be prudent for me to maintain plausible deniability so I can distance myself if the People Who Had Nothing To Do With The Bin Laden Raid do something that damages my standing in the polls :p

Posted by: Cass at May 1, 2012 02:12 PM

"I think it would be prudent for me to maintain plausible deniability so I can distance myself if the People Who Had Nothing To Do With The Bin Laden Raid do something that damages my standing in the polls."

Well, crap, there goes the first item of business.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2012 02:19 PM

I hate to admit it but some of our colleagues on the Left have a point when they point to GW Bush's aircraft "mission accomplished" event.

Both, I think, are in a bit of bad taste as America celebrated not just a party.

However that being said we all know that Obama benefited from the mechanisms and institutions (like a huge expanded role for special ops) - Bush implemented.

And Obama would never had done that.

Posted by: Bill Brandt at May 1, 2012 03:19 PM

I hate to admit it but some of our colleagues on the Left have a point when they point to GW Bush's aircraft "mission accomplished" event.

It's funny - I see that so differently. "Mission" has a limited meaning to the military - it was said on a ship returning home after a deployment. The ship's "mission" was accomplished. A mission is not the whole war, and no one in the military (which was the audience that day) thought he was saying "the war is over", which is how the press spun it.

Mission and war are very different words with very different meanings.

But I don't suppose after all these years there's any way to explain that.

Posted by: Cass at May 1, 2012 03:28 PM

I see Mr. President has taken time out from his busy campaign schedule for a side trip to Afghanistan to celebrate his signature accomplishment. I know, I know. You're probably thinking that this is not really worthwhile journey, that it's just another example of what happens when an out -of-touch, out-of-control, juvenile narcissistic gets an AMEX Black Card with no limited and no strings attached, that's it's schoolyard bully theatrics in a pinstriped tie and a gawd-awful waste of taxpayer money.
But that's just because you're haters.
HATERS.
All of you.

Leave Brittany alone!

Posted by: spd rdr at May 1, 2012 03:36 PM

Cass - I certainly see your point - the mission was accomplished - those of us who can have a military mindset - but as you say the press spun that so bass-ackwards - and Bush is anything but a braggart - if he had stuck up for his record instead of let the press hammer him relentlessly for 2 years I don't think we would have Obama today

I have to think he is biting his lip over things he would like to say today but unlike Carter will simply stay in the background....

Posted by: Bill Brandt at May 1, 2012 03:58 PM

I had nothing personally to do with the bin Laden raid.

I was personally involved in the bin Laden raid. Those men were my brothers, as surely as if we shared parents.

...some of our colleagues on the Left have a point when they point to GW Bush's aircraft "mission accomplished" event.

As Bush the Younger acknowledged in his memoir. On the other hand, the only time Bush mentioned himself when "he" caught Saddam, it was to say "I thank all of you."

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 1, 2012 04:04 PM

spd darlin':

I didn't think anything could make me laugh today. I'm getting better at distancing myself, but this is still a painful subject. Sometimes I get so mad I could just put my fist through the nearest wall, except that would really hurt and accomplish nothing.

Thanks :)

Posted by: Francis, Trying Her Best to Lighten Up at May 1, 2012 04:08 PM

But I don't suppose after all these years there's any way to explain that.

It's been explained. Repeatedly. The only rational explanation I've heard for the outrage is that the banner was provided by the White House, rather than the DoD, and I don't know if that is even true. I would think that a carrier would be capable of printing (or painting) her own signage.

Posted by: htom at May 1, 2012 04:15 PM

"You're probably thinking that this is not really worthwhile journey, that it's just another example of what happens when an out -of-touch, out-of-control, juvenile narcissistic gets an AMEX Black Card with no limited and no strings attached, that's it's schoolyard bully theatrics in a pinstriped tie and a gawd-awful waste of taxpayer money."
*the nattily attired, Globalizing Healer, Community Organizer, and Ocean Volumizer whose card reads, Have BIGJET, Will Travel waves a pitching wedge over the entourage and mutters in soto voce,*
This is not the secondteenth gazillion coming of the perpetually campaigning, thin-skinned, self-aggrandizing, out-of-control, juvenile narcissist you seek...

No, this is a low profile mission of state, which just happens to offer tickets for those wishing to break bread for a mere $35k a plate. Yes, a place at the table of a genuine State Mission, seated with the articulate, fearless, munificent, loved, respected, ever-present, and always willing to trade scratches of the back GHCOOV, can be yours for a pittance*.

*adjusted to 1980 stagflation dollars

Posted by: Obama-Won Canhopie at May 1, 2012 04:31 PM

I could just put my fist through the nearest wall, except that would really hurt....

Speaking as one who used to punch things often, it doesn't have to hurt. The trick is to miss the studs. The onliest thing I ever punched that hurt was when I punched my TV. That was, for its time, an expensive TV.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 1, 2012 05:33 PM

"The trick is to miss the studs."

And the door jamb. Don't hit the door jamb, especially with just one knuckle whilst the rest go on through the wall....tends to leave the *other* joint behind, iykwim.
0>;~/

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2012 06:36 PM

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