Patterico's Pontifications


(Another) Osama bin Laden News Roundup

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:34 pm

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.  Or by Twitter @AaronWorthing.]

This is just another post where I collect a lot of stories loosely related to the killing of Osama bin Laden.

First we learn that

Obama invited former President George W. Bush to accompany him, but Bush declined.

“President Bush will not be in attendance on Thursday,” The New York Times quoted his spokesman David Sherzer as saying. “He appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight. He continues to celebrate with Americans this important victory in the war on terror.”

I have seen some people argue that maybe he feared being sandbagged, just like Obama did previously to Rep. Ryan and the Supreme Court.  I don’t think he would be that graceless, but then again I never thought he would be graceless enough to lie to the Supreme Court about what they said in a case, to their face.  So who knows?

Still it brings up a funny point.  Mr. President, lean forward, because I have a question.  Why are you going to ground zero? Are you, perhaps, going to celebrate the great thing you did?  No, of course that can’t be it, because you just sanctimoniously told us that “we don’t need to spike the football” so it can’t be that…

Of course maybe it’s a good thing Bush isn’t going, because if radio host Mike Malloy gets his way, the SEALS will pick up Bush right then and there.  Yep, this idiot said: “So when does Seal Unit 6, or whatever it’s called, drop in on George Bush? Bush was responsible for a lot more death, innocent death, than bin Laden. Wasn’t he, or am I wrong here?”  Yes, you are wrong.

Meanwhile the denial in the Muslim world is setting in:

Across the Muslim world, the killing of Usama bin Laden has unleashed a swirl of conspiracy theories, with many Pakistanis, Afghans and Arabs refusing to believe US assurances that al Qaeda’s founder is actually dead, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

And of course there is no news at all that would ordinarily contribute to conspiracy theories, right?  Right?

Ah crap

Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, revealed there was a 25 minute blackout during which the live feed from cameras mounted on the helmets of the US special forces was cut off.

A photograph released by the White House appeared to show the President and his aides in the situation room watching the action as it unfolded. In fact they had little knowledge of what was happening in the compound.

Mr Panetta said: “Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.

Meanwhile the Daily Caller helpfully sums up all the inconsistencies in the official story, and fellow Caller Jim Treacher writes:

It’s been less than 72 hours since President Barack Obama announced that U.S. Special Forces had killed Osama Bin Laden. Since then, his administration has been hard at work screwing the whole thing up.

He goes on talking about the many ways they have screwed the PR pooch.  Stephen Green, the Vodkapundit, slurs out a similar thought:

The plan for killing Osama Bin Laden was perfectly conceived and as perfectly executed as any special forces operation since Israel’s raid on Entebbe. But the follow-through has been strange at best, sometimes bordering on incompetence.

And the White House is not enjoying how the conversation has turned to the question of whether Waterboarding helped with arranging bin Laden’s meeting with Satan:

Officials inside the Obama administration have grown discouraged by the abruptness with which the news over the killing of Osama bin Laden has turned into a debate over the efficacy of harsh interrogation techniques and torture.

Just days after the al Qaeda leader was killed in a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, the political conversation has shifted from the implications of the assassination to questions of whether the waterboarding of valuable detainees was crucial in gathering intelligence on bin Laden’s whereabouts.

Of course this is the HuffPo, so they do their best to ignore the clear evidence that it played a role, such as Panetta’s own words.  His name doesn’t appear until the comments.

Hey, guess who might actually approve of the killing?  The Dalai Lama. Seriously, this isn’t like that fake Martin Luther King quote floating around.  He actually suggests he approves.

(By the way, doesn’t it totally ruin the effect when he wears a college hat?  I’ll try to update this with a picture later, but for now, check it out at the link.)

Meanwhile we don’t know much about the team that killed bin Laden (we are not even technically sure if it was SEALS or not), but we did learn this tidbit:

A FEARLESS four-legged recruit joined US Special Forces as they stormed Osama Bin Laden’s secret lair.

The explosive-sniffing dog was strapped to an assault team member as they took on one of their greatest challenges to date.

He was part of the operation in which the elite US Navy Seals lowered themselves down ropes from three Black Hawk helicopters into the terrorist supremo’s hideout in the town of Abbottabad, Pakistan, on Sunday.

Of course this raises the prospect of this bit from a classic Frank J. Flemming satire being true:

So that’s why everyone involved was very careful to handle [bin Laden’s] dead body in accordance with Islamic tradition… as best they could. I mean, there were a few minor bumps along the way, like when the body kinda sorta got dragged off by wild dogs. That happens. No one is perfect, not even the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)). And you have to understand that dogs are just animals, and a big difference between animals and people is the ability to show respect for Islamic traditions. Anyway, those dogs were chased immediately, the body was retrieved, and the canines involved were given a stern talking to.

Ah, we can only wish it happened that way.  Meanwhile on the more serious side, Jennifer Viegas has a nice piece on elite SEAL dogs, written long before she knew that one was involved in the raid, with links to videos.

We also learn a little more about what bin Laden had on him when he croaked:

Osama bin Laden had 500 Euros in cash and two telephone numbers sewn into his clothing when he was killed, CBS News has confirmed.

The news was first reported by Politico Wednesday. It was unclear whether the money was denominated in Euros or another currency, but the revelation seems to indicate that the al Qaeda leader was prepared to flee in the event of a raid like the U.S. military strike in which he was killed on Sunday.

Okay, once again, why they telling us this?  Sigh.

And we have learned that bin Laden might not have been the mere figurehead that everyone has been claiming for years.

The covert operation that killed Osama bin Laden produced new evidence that the “emir” of al Qaeda actively commanded the terror group’s affiliates in Yemen, Somalia and other parts of North Africa and was not just an inspirational leader.

Materials found in bin Laden’s compound include hard drives, thumb drives and a dedicated fiber-optic cable used for point-to-point access to the Internet, according to two U.S. officials who read initial after-action reports on the raid.

I am still annoyed that they couldn’t keep a lid on this information but it is gratifying to know that the raid didn’t have merely symbolic significance.

And of course Pakistan is offended that we don’t trust them:

Pakistani Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir told the BBC this view was “disquieting” and his country had a “pivotal role” in tackling terrorism.

Earlier, the CIA chief said the US had not told Islamabad in advance about the raid for fear it would be jeopardised.

And in a completely unrelated story, apparently census takers were skipping bin Laden’s house.

Meanwhile, the reaction has officially reached the “stupid” zone when people start getting riled up over stupid crap.  You see the code name for this operation and possibly even the target was Geronimo and some people didn’t like that:

He died 102 years ago in Oklahoma, a beaten warrior, a prisoner of war, an exile from his homeland, a propped-up sideshow, a gambler and a lukewarm Christian. His family was murdered by Mexicans. The Americans stripped him of most everything else….

It was his name that the U.S. military chose as the code for the raid, and perhaps for Osama bin Laden himself, during the operation that killed the al-Qaeda leader in Pakistan. That led to the iconic transmission from the raid: “Geronimo EKIA.” Geronimo, Enemy Killed in Action.

In a triumphant moment for the United States, the moniker has left a sour taste among many Native Americans.

“I was celebrating that we had gotten this guy and feeling so much a part of America,” Tom Holm, a former Marine, a member of the Creek/Cherokee Nations and a retired professor of American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, said by phone Tuesday. “And then this ‘Geronimo EKIA’ thing comes up. I just said, ‘Why pick on us?’ Robert E. Lee killed more Americans than Geronimo ever did, and Hitler would seem to be evil personified, but the code name for bin Laden is Geronimo?”

But the most ridiculous thing about this?  The Senate is taking this serious enough to result in a hearing. Yes, really:

A previously scheduled Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing on racist Native American stereotypes will now include discussion on the use of a codename used during the bin Laden kill-or-capture mission: “Geronimo.”

A committee aide told ABC News today that linking the name of the native American leader with the world’s most wanted man is “inappropriate” and can have a “devastating” impact on kids.

“The hearing was scheduled well before the Osama bin Laden operation became news, but the concerns over the linking of the name of Geronimo, one of the greatest Native American heroes, with the most hated enemies of the United States is an example of the kinds of issues we intended to address at Thursday’s hearing,” Loretta Tuell, the committee’s chief counsel, said in a statement.

And for another stupid reaction, we get a miniature Twitter meltdown from running back Rashard Mendenhall.  Bad reaction to the celebration?  Check.  Trutherism?  Check.  Facepalm by the rest of the team?  Check.

Finally, as a happy book end to the whole thing, Time talks to the children who were there when Bush learned the news of the attacks on 9-11, and they stand up for the ex-president:

Similar fears started running through Mariah Williams’ head. “I don’t remember the story we were reading — was it about pigs?” says Williams, 16. “But I’ll always remember watching his face turn red. He got really serious all of a sudden. But I was clueless. I was just 7. I’m just glad he didn’t get up and leave, because then I would have been more scared and confused.” Chantal Guerrero, 16, agrees. Even today, she’s grateful that Bush regained his composure and stayed with the students until The Pet Goat was finished. “I think the President was trying to keep us from finding out,” says Guerrero, “so we all wouldn’t freak out.”

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

48 Responses to “(Another) Osama bin Laden News Roundup”

  1. Ralph Peters thinks that Bin Laden was actually under house arrest by Pakistan.

    Might explain why so few armed guards and the location, as well as some other odd things.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  2. Geronimo prompts Senate hearing.
    Well, they’ve taken care of all of the other problems besetting the country…
    don’t have to worry about floods in the Mississippi River valley, all of the tornado damage in the South has been repaired, and (of course) the Dollar is sound, and the economy is on the rebound, and the National Debt is shrinking.

    Happy Days are here again!

    AD-RtR/OS! (dff26b)

  3. Well, at least the SEALS had the good sense to turn off the video feed so that AG Holder wouldn’t have as much graphic evidence for the grand jury.

    Hrothgar (97abd9)

  4. The Dalai Lama is a member of the faculty of my alma mater (Emory). He gives a week long course about every two years. On the other hand, Jimmy Carter’s “Peace Center” is also hosted on our campus…although I don’t think the Jimmah is actually listed as faculty in the way the Dalai Lama is.

    Re: Geronimo–I heard that word as a kid being used as a sort of exclamation meaning “Bull’s eye”, “hit the jackpot!” etc. In fact, I heard it that way long before I knew it was someone’s name. Sounds to me like that’s what was behind giving OBL that code name–a way of pointing to him as Target Number One.

    BTW, I heard about the transmission blackout from inside the compound on Monday. And apparently it wasn’t a technical glitch, but something they knew would happen before they entered the compound.

    kishnevi (1b86f1)

  5. This collection of bumblers has turned what should be a moment of unmitigated joyous football spiking into a flaming bag of nuclear poop. What was the rush to hold a press conference when ALL of the RELEVANT facts were not yet known?

    OBL has been on the loose for the better part of a decade. NO ONE would have noticed that he was missing from that suburban Pakistani neighborhood until at least until the morning, SO why were the salient facts not gathered and a coherent narrative obtained and prepared for public consumption?

    On top of that, to have several different Obama administration stooges give GROSSLY different and significantly opposing, contradictory narratives of exactly how the raid went down is the epitome of Amateur Night At The Appollo.

    Really, HOW does this inexplicably stupid shit happen when the POTUS is involved?

    Pannetta says one thing, Gates says another, Carney contradicts them both….I don’t know WTF happened and neither does anyone else.

    NOW, no pictures are going to be disseminated because it might anger people who want to beat us to death, drag our bodies through the street, hang us from a bridge and rape our wives and daughters. These people get upset at cartoons!The NY Times and the U.N. want the SEALS indicted, conspiracy theorists are wetting their pants and just about everybody is rightly off. Why can’t these bumblers simply honor the SEALs, take a simple dignified bow ,get one simple concise story together, and tell the Arab street and the leftist nutballs to both go to hell with OBL.

    The ironic thing is that ALL of the scumbags who could give a flying fuck about the danger posed to our troops by the release of the Abu Graib pictures VEHEMENTLY support the decision to not release the gruesome pics of OBL getting what he deserved.

    REALLY, are you going to tell me that with all of the resources available to the United States of America, this skell’s corpse could NOT have been made presentable so that we could see the SEAL’S handywork without Gabby & Lillian from Lido Beach getting nauseous?

    Reality will intrude; gas is still almost $5.00 a gallon, our manufacturing jobs continue to disappear, unemployment hoovers at 10%, over 900 US Servicemen have perished in Afghanistan over the last two years in the “Hearts & Minds COIN Meat Grinder”, we are still in Iraq, we are now also in Libya,there are no real discernable exit plans in any of these insane wars, the dollar continues to lose value and some think BHO DESERVES another 4 years because he got around to authorizing the SEALS to kill OBL?

    IF that IS the case, maybe the IslamoFascists really are right and our society and Western civilization do deserve to perish and they should take over because no one, certainly not the current occupant of the White House, has the balls to UNAPOLOGETICALLY defend it.

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  6. Well, at least the SEALS had the good sense to turn off the video feed so that AG Holder wouldn’t have as much graphic evidence for the grand jury.

    Comment by Hrothgar

    Their heroism does seem amazing to me. They go in there, even though they are on video before people who prosecute Navy SEALs at the drop of a hat. They are sent in to kill an unarmed man, on video, watched by people who prosecuted SEALs for punching a terrorist in the heat of the moment.

    All the while, death faces them at every turn.

    We probably should sing songs about such people.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  7. And apparently it wasn’t a technical glitch, but something they knew would happen before they entered the compound.

    Comment by kishnevi — 5/4/2011 @ 8:02 pm

    That is very interesting. I suppose they may have employed some kind of passive method of reducing our ability to scan the compound. Perhaps some kind of paint on those walls or the building?

    It’s going to be interesting learning more about what Osama was living like, what he was doing, etc.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  8. “They are sent in to kill an unarmed man, on video, watched by people who prosecuted SEALs for punching a terrorist in the heat of the moment.”

    Dustin – Allegedy punched a terrorist if I recall the facts correctly. They have only the terrorist’s word to prosecute the SEALs, who all deny mistreating the terrorist. Another case of the Administration siding with the terrorists.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  9. It seems OBL had no bodyguards, which would indicate the Pakistani services personnel nearby were to him sufficient. Possible there was some secuirty system in the compound that disabled their technical equipment, until the overcame it. Have heard the choppers were equipped with waht amounts to mufflers. the fact that they entered from Afghanistan and not India and near the army base which ahd constant military chopper flights helped the stealthiness,a t least until the crash landing. We probably should not be told if either Pakistan’s warning systems were jammed, disabled or simply incompetent. Though surely if this gang keeps talking we could get 3 or 4 divirgent stories on that too.

    Bugg (4e0dda)

  10. so Daddy Soros’s cowardly buttmunch didn’t think it might be a good idea to interrogate someone who “actively commanded the terror group’s affiliates in Yemen, Somalia and other parts of North Africa?”

    Smart power indeed.

    In a stroke he’s rendered the war on terror an effing joke.

    happyfeet (760ba3)

  11. With respect to the geronimo thinger, if there’s anyone more insipidly twattish than WaPo’s Jennifer Rubin it’s your average United States Senator I think.

    But only just.

    happyfeet (760ba3)

  12. Kishnevi–

    We kids yelled “Geronimo” before holding our noses and jumping into the deep end of the community pool. I tend to think no disrespect was intended in using that word in the mission since it is firmly in the American vernacular

    elissa (7af3d9)

  13. If Obama does not want to “spike the football,” as Ace said, at least he should act like he’s been in the end zone before instead of having his administration present this clown act to the world to diminish the achievement.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  14. Dustin – Allegedy punched a terrorist if I recall the facts correctly. They have only the terrorist’s word to prosecute the SEALs, who all deny mistreating the terrorist. Another case of the Administration siding with the terrorists.

    Comment by daleyrocks

    I sincerely apologize. I know you don’t mean to beat up on me, but I completely absorbed the meme like a damn fool. That was the word of some dirtbag, vs the word of heroes.

    And still, they all serve on video with this administration watching their every move. I’m sure they were willing to pay any price to get this SOB, but that’s a lot easier said than done. It seems to me that this administration made their jobs much harder to do by granting terrorists the ability to pull into investigations and legal proceedings.

    But when the administration needs to break the Geneva Conventions by shooting an unarmed man, or worse, double tapping a downed man, they do their duty, knowing they will be the ones hung out to dry if there’s some kind of screw up or political problem.

    It’s the least of their worries, I realize, when storming a hardened compound where they could die. For some reason it really bugs me.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  15. musn’t spike the football we’re Americans you see

    happyfeet (760ba3)

  16. Comment by Dustin — 5/4/2011 @ 8:06 pm
    Thick walls by themselves might cut off transmissions. And the version I heard might be wrong about the reason for the blackout. Smog of war and all that.

    Comment by Bugg — 5/4/2011 @ 8:12 pm
    Latest Pakistani story is that they allowed the helicopter flights in the belief that we were going after associates of the guy who planned the Bali bombing, who was captured last year IN THE SAME CITY. I guess A-bad was is for jihadis what Sun City is for retirees.

    Same story also talked about Pakistani forces being involved in the raid, so obviously whatever source it comes from has credibility problems.

    More believably, Yahoo news was running an article this evening which claimed OBL had almost no security on purpose, as a way of maintaining the lowest possible profile, and on the rather reasonable grounds that no amount of bodyguards would protect him from what AQ thought would be the most likely means of attacking him–a missile or bomb.

    kishnevi (1b86f1)

  17. “I tend to think no disrespect was intended in using that word in the mission since it is firmly in the American vernacular.”

    elissa – Whatever happened to the mascot of that school in Champaign?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  18. Comment by elissa — 5/4/2011 @ 8:22 pm
    I never did that, mostly because I almost never cannonballed into the pool. There were always too many older women around who got angry if you splashed their hairdo.

    You are of course right. But you and I think like reasonable people and not like members of the MSM.

    kishnevi (1b86f1)

  19. “I know you don’t mean to beat up on me, but I completely absorbed the meme like a damn fool.”

    Dustin – From what I remember it is a truly amazing and offensive prosecution. You are correct, I was not trying to beat up on you. Read about it when you get the chance.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  20. Comment by Dustin — 5/4/2011 @ 8:25 pm
    In this instance, I don’t think they needed to worry about that. Even if Holder wanted them to be tried for such a hypothetical act–well, what jury would convict them? And one hopes no attorney would consent to prosecute them.

    kishnevi (1b86f1)

  21. Daniel Pearl, and the occupants of the World Trade Center, and the passengers on Flight 93 were all unarmed when they were murdered.

    The hand wringing and crap about shooting “an unarmed man” is just that. Crap.

    elissa (7af3d9)

  22. well, what jury would convict them? And one hopes no attorney would consent to prosecute them.

    Heh. Well, I guess I’m not sure what their orders were in the first place. It just strikes me as ironic that the admin that treated them with rigid, even paranoid enforcement of Geneva Conventions, then orders them to double tap an unarmed man. Seems interesting that the political needs dictated the tactics (in my uncharitable opinion).

    That’s a lot of baggage to carry, but these guys are obviously able to handle it. It would make for a very interesting subplot for the Hollywood adaptation.

    Now, would it be possible for these people to be hung out to dry, if things went wrong? I honestly can’t say. Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about it.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  23. The hand wringing and crap about shooting “an unarmed man” is just that. Crap.

    Comment by elissa

    I certainly understand where you’re coming from. No, Osama Bin Laden didn’t deserve mercy. At some point, someone goes so far beyond decency, that we really can dispense with ordinary gentle practices. I’m surprised Obama was the person to make that call (assuming he was), but I agree it’s OK morally. Nonetheless, Obama distinguished himself from Bush on obedience to the Geneva Convention. It seems like one of those times where he gets away with something he wouldn’t have let someone like Bush get away with.

    Perhaps this is a petty thing to worry about. I am glad Osama got some measure of justice.

    There’s that other matter about the point of shooting Osama Bin Laden like that, rather than bringing him in, perhaps for a military trial and execution, after a thorough interrogation. If we could have done that, and not announced the capture until after the execution, that’s be excellent. But I can’t even say I know that this was a realistic option yet.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  24. Why should ObL maintain his own security force? Hell, the Pakistani answer to West Point was right there is Abadabadu. Money, and prestige in the radical Islamic military members of Pakistan were enough security, so he thought.

    I thought it was pretty nuts when the press was claiming that the compound had no phone or internet service. I guess no one noticed the nice sized satallite sitting on top of one of the outbuildings. Nah, the Saudi terrorist wouldn’t be smart enought to run wires from the satellite dish to his computer. DUH!

    I also said before that I didn’t think the administration could screw this up but I was wrong. It also seems like there is some real tension going on between the Oval Office and Panetta, who is now giving information (like the 20-25 minute blackout) that I am sure the Oval Office was not happy about. Which makes you wonder, what the hell were they all staring at in the photo shot of the situation room? Reruns of Obama’s Cairo speech?

    This had turned into a Class A FUBAR by the Oval Office. As Obama trys to control the narrative, his underlings continue to make it worse and worse to the point where Americans will soon start asking “what the hell really happened?” and more spin will have to be concocked to do more damage control.

    Jay Carney looked like a total idiot today at the presser. He had no answers, did his best Robert Gibbs imitation of punting while propagandizing, and kept saying “I will have to get back to you on that.”

    Here’s the deal: considering the time line that the SEALs landed at Abattabad at 3:30 p.m. EST, and allowing for the 40 minute mission and time from lift off to landing back in Afghanistan, the SEALs were probably already being debriefed by 7:00 p.m. EST and ObL’s body was on its way to the ship. By 10:00 p.m., EST, Obama, and his cabinet, should have had all the after action reports from all 24 SEALs. So why, almost 48 hours later, are we still getting conflicting reports on what happened, and information is still being released (some of it that shouldn’t have been released). If they know that ObL had 500 Euros, and 2 phone numbers in his clothing, where is his clothing? Why not produce that if Obama doesn’t want to produce the photos?

    Also, you have a high value intel source in ObL’s wife of 10 years? Why not snatch her? Why leave her behind, shot?

    retire05 (2d538e)

  25. ===Whatever happened to the mascot of that school in Champaign?==

    daley, why of course he is the victim of PC. But I also believe he is on the field in spirit amid the marching band at every single halftime. And held with respect in the hearts of the students and alums of that once fine institution of higher learning. It’s good of you to mention him.

    elissa (7af3d9)

  26. Which makes you wonder, what the hell were they all staring at in the photo shot of the situation room? Reruns of Obama’s Cairo speech?

    Actually, there was probably some other surveillance. Perhaps a drone with video? Perhaps some kind of spotter from another building?

    Personally, I’d be so nervous watching something like this that Hillary would look like a stoic in comparison.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  27. Dustin, we’ve not heard of any other surveillance. I doubt there was any. This was strictly a SEAL operation.

    No, what is happening here is that the Oval Office is spinning because the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Those after action reports would have told them everything about the mission, lift off to landing. And each SEAL is interviewed separately, not as a group so that they can tell in their reports where they were at each move since each SEAL has a specific job to do (i.e. one blows the door as others rush in).

    But instead, we are getting one story from Brennan, one from Carney, one from Panetta and they are not matching.

    retire05 (2d538e)

  28. “Actually, there was probably some other surveillance.”

    Dustin – It was probably Nikki Haley’s bedroom.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  29. Now that obama has scheduled a ground zero appearance it will be thoroughly recorded. Bush can schedule an appearance later with guiliani and other friends that will not be a campaign event but will be better attended and not a lot of “rah rah, i won”, but a respectful memorial. I expect obama to suffer by comparison.

    dunce (b89258)

  30. I doubt there was any. This was strictly a SEAL operation.

    Well, I can only speculate. If they didn’t have any backup surveillance, I think that’s pretty foolish, given all the possibilities in a situation like this. For example, some kind of emergency escape, and then a need to pursue across town. At least on TV shows, they can pull up satellite coverage and order lots of drones. I would hope there was some kind of air cover (stealth interceptors, like an F-22), and they could probably put surveillance in that, too. I realize such things take planning, but this was Osama Bin Laden.

    If they just sent those SEALs with nothing but what they brought, they certainly are lucky it all worked out OK.

    Anyway, let’s not assume that just because they aren’t telling us about other video feeds that there weren’t any. I mean, let’s think about this: the more stuff they admit to having seen, the greater the clamor for them to share it becomes.

    And really, I do hope they have top secret surveillance I’ve never even considered.

    But anyway, this is my uninformed speculation. I know nothing about this kind of operation.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  31. I think the WH is so used to sending out their nice story with talking points and having everybody in the media just kowtow and accept their narrative without question, that they are absolutely freaking out that it isn’t working this time. It is hard to believe how badly they’ve screwed this up. The real political story here has become the exposure of the obvious disarray in the Obama administration even more than the obliteration of the world’s number one terrorist. People are seeing that on this one they can go after the truth without being labeled as racists– and are taking full advantage of the opportunity, as well they should.

    elissa (7af3d9)

  32. I tend to think no disrespect was intended in using that word in the mission since it is firmly in the American vernacular

    Of course it is, and it’s no longer really associated with the poor benighted Amerind it was originally tied with.

    Further, “Geronimo“, was not his real name, either:

    This appellation stemmed from a battle in which, ignoring a deadly hail of bullets, he repeatedly attacked Mexican soldiers with a knife, causing them to utter appeals to Saint Jerome (“Jeronimo!”). Americans heard this and thought his name was Geronimo, and the name stuck.

    Few people think of the Amerind or his plight when using the term for various activities generally associated with that kind of action his name was associated with — balls out, full of piss and vinegar, and little regard for personal harm. It’s similar to the concept of a “berzerker” attack.

    So, as usual, this is entirely a matter of the **Perpetually Indignant** doing what they’re most well known for, sputtering with pointless and clueless indignance trying to get someone to kowtow to their asinine whims.

    The best approach to a PI, if others around you allow it, is to ignore them, or, better yet, insult and counter-attack.

    In this case, of course, it’s to sputter with heartfelt indignance back at them for attempting to call the great Amerind named Goyaałé (“Goyathlay”) by a ***stupid American nickname***.

    See how fast they backpedal and apologize when you pull THAT one out on them.

    Smock Puppet (c9dcd8)

  33. 25 minute gap? How many of us older kind instantly flashed back on the Nixon Watergate tapes?

    At this point it’s time for somebody to sanitize the videos of any secret techniques and post them to Wikileaks as a whistle blower, ideally with copies of the Obama orders to destroy them.


    JD (bcdcf2)

  34. Watching this whole strange episode unfold, I can only assume we have an administration that not only can not tell the truth, but they have no way to construct a reasonable lie.

    Despite what many people think, good PR people want to tell the truth, but in a way that can, at the least, deflect some criticism away from the source.

    It is beyond me how such a “talented” team of communications professionals could ruin a great win for the people of our nation in such a amateur way.

    All I can think is they don’t care or they honestly believe the masses are a mindless herd that can be directed as they please.

    Of course, they do have a small mindless herd of the press, but all those dumb hicks in the fly-over are not really as stupid as the elite believe.

    Ag80 (04617d)

  35. “I know you don’t mean to beat up on me, but I completely absorbed the meme like a damn fool.”

    Dustin – The three SEALs involved would not accept administrative punishment and demanded a jury trial to protect their honor. Luckily, all three were subsequently found not guilty.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  36. _________________________________________

    but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight.

    I’ve pondered the differences between recent ex-presidents of the left (ie, Carter, Clinton) and recent former presidents of the right (ie, Reagan, Bush Sr & Jr), and how the former epitomizes the liberalism of today’s era: shameless, dumbed down, and lots of scapegoating. The latter have had the dignity, good manners and sense to remain low key and in the background.

    The current president probably will take the scroungy characteristics of his predecessors of the left and push them to a new high (or low).

    Mark (3e3a7c)

  37. Nonetheless, Obama distinguished himself from Bush on obedience to the Geneva Convention.

    Just to be clear, I mean Obama distinguished himself from Bush on the conventions via his rhetoric as a candidate. I don’t mean that Bush is a war criminal or that Obama is obedient to the conventions (clearly not).

    Dustin (c16eca)

  38. 25 minute gap? How many of us older kind instantly flashed back on the Nixon Watergate tapes?

    I was thinking maybe Rose Mary Woods was working the AV equipment in the situation room.

    grs (c0a63a)

  39. Dustin,

    I don’t believe President Obama has been disobedient of the GC at any point. Just disobedient to what the left claimed the GC said (up until his election).

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  40. i would like to note that claiming Geronimo was unarmed is patently untrue.

    he had a right and a left. 8)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  41. I don’t believe President Obama has been disobedient of the GC at any point. Just disobedient to what the left claimed the GC said (up until his election).

    Comment by Stashiu3 —

    That’s probably a valid correction. I assume you mean that the Conventions do not apply to those who don’t follow the laws and customs of war, and are agreements between nations, rather than an agreement between the USA and Al Qaida (and the notion Al Qaida was holding up their end is obviously wrong, anyway). This is my view of the third convention (POWs), but I’m not sure it is the case for the first or second. In particular, I believe the practice of double tapping (shooting someone twice to ensure they are dead) is forbidden regardless of the status of the target. I also think targeting someone who is out of combat would be illegal (by which I mean, an old, sick man who walks with a cane).

    Pakistan is a 1949 member of the agreement, too. Obviously we’re still unclear on the alignment between ISI and Al Qaida, but Pakistan has a terrible track record on complying with the conventions (in actions against India in particular). Regardless of this, when Obama (not to mention the rest of the left) distinguished from Bush on this matter, they were talking about treatment of our enemies in the war on terror.

    I do think this subject is more academic than practical. Osama Bin Laden got far less than was coming to him, and the brave people who made this happen were not committing any crime. As Kishnevi alludes, this is a matter where discretion in enforcement is going to be the final word.

    I just note that Obama in particular represented a force in American politics that was supposed to push towards the ‘left’, and because he has actually gone far to the ‘right’ of Bush, I think we’re seeing the beginning of a major shift if what this nation permits itself to do. Unilateral invasions with no congressional approval, overt assassinations, etc. Whatever movement held America to the standards of the Bush era has really been eroded.

    In this case, hey, it’s Osama Bin Laden, so whatever. But what about the next case? One of the issues with the NYT or Al Gore version of the rampaging villainous war machine is that it doesn’t exist, and the concept is anti american. We are a good people.

    I’m sorry for rambling, but this brings me around to the topic: perhaps Obama should have kept this operation completely covert. I think the big fuss over hiding Obama’s body and video/photos isn’t because this is a hoax or because we captured him. I think Obama realizes the long term consequences of American forces summarily executing someone. He wants to put the cat back into the bag.

    I think a better way to handle this is to have a new set of treaties specifying the treatment of unlawful combatants, regardless of where we find them. Something less than the treatment for a nation’s soldier, but something more than no standards at all. Unlawful torture neatly defined (and waterboarding permitted), the procedures and timing for trials should be discussed, etc.

    Most of the civilized world has a stake in this conflict, which isn’t going away soon, and our current system of laws is so inadequate that we’re just giving up on it sometimes (such as with Osama).

    Dustin (c16eca)

  42. redc1c4 – Was he buried in Accordance with Islamic traditions?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  43. And I’m obviously no expert, so correct me if I’m wrong about some detail.

    Dustin (c16eca)

  44. Regarding the UBL “mansion” …

    Asked why they had not checked out a building so close a major military facility the ISI said that the compound had actually been raided when the house was under construction in 2003 when the authorities believed an Al Qaeda operative Abu Faraj Al Libbi was there. On that occasion he escaped.

    … with a known Al Qaeda link

    Neo (03e5c2)

  45. The guy who says he doesn’t want to spike the football, is the same guy who turned off the lights and claimed he scored a touchdown. He says he can prove he scored, he has it on instant reply, but you can’t see it, you’ll just have to take his word for it.

    ropelight (ecf8c1)

  46. More of the burning moral urgency of hypocrisy, as the UN weighs in.

    Remember when it was Bush that was the cowboy who ignored the “international community”?

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. I remember Condoleezza Rices favorite statement – history’s judgements and today’s headlines are rarely the same and maybe this particular moment is the beginning of Bush’s renewed popularity.

    David (af7dc7)

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