Previous post:

Next post:

Biden on Obama’s Best Moment: Killing Bin Laden

by Keith Koffler on January 28, 2012, 2:06 pm

This is some interesting video of Vice President Biden Friday discussing the decision to take out Osama Bin Laden. He talks about how all of Obama’s advisers basically hedged except Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, then the CIA director, who said to go ahead.

The account has credibility because Biden admits that the only other definitive answer came from him – but he gave what turned out to be the wrong advice, counseling Obama to wait.

I realize that a lot of the basis for this raid was the result of steps taken by George W. Bush to create the capability for it. But though the operation was crassly hyped by the White House as Obama’s “gutsy call,” this was indeed a great moment for the president.

Both he and Panetta’s careers were on the line. If the plan failed or if Bin Laden wasn’t present, Obama would have become another Jimmy Carter, who failed to rescue our hostages in Iran, and Panetta might have gone down in history beside former CIA Director George Tenet, he of the “slam dunk” Iraq WMD intelligence.

And the United States would have been diminished, having made an incursion into a foreign country and shot up some home for nothing.

It was a bold decision, and of course carried out with incomparable skill by our forces.

{ 1 trackback }

{ 26 comments }

srdem65 January 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

This wasn’t a big deal decision; if the mission failed we would have never heard about it. We go into foreign lands all over the world and take our whomever displeases our leaders, with or without permission.

If I recall correctly, MrO was out on the golf course that day, having no thoughts of the mission to destroy/kill BinLaden until he was called back to take credit from the Seals who actually did the legwork. As for the success, let’s not forget that we lost a valuable piece of equipment that ended up in our enemy’s hands; the heliocopter. We never saw concrete evidence that BinLaden was killed that day so there will always be doubt on what did happen to BinLaden.

Let him take a long, long victory dance on the graves of BinLaden and the lives of the Seals who were later killed in an ambush.
We know who the heros are.

CAR January 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Absolutely, srdem65.

Star January 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

All he did was not stop it.

Andy from Beaverton January 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm

“For about four weeks, only six of us knew the possibility of where bin Laden was. As it got expanded, about a month later, the final call came because literally as you know Colonel, you end up having to make decisions literally based on the moment. Will there be enough light? And we had to make a decision.”

It took you two months to make a decision? What kind of leadership is that? With a real courageous president, bin Laden would have been dead in minutes of that knowledge.

“This wasn’t a big deal decision; if the mission failed we would have never heard about it.” Word is, if the mission had failed, Leon Panetta was going to take the fall. After all, it was Panetta that pushed Obama to finally make the call.

Car in January 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Exactly!!!!

It wasn’t a bold decision, not in my estimation. It was a decision just about anyone would have made.

Susan January 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm

In my opinion, Obama spoiled whatever praise he’s due for Osama’s demise. I still remember him being dragged from the golf course to sit in the corner of the situation room during the operation. It was his decision to hide the evidence of Osama’s death from the American people. All that managed to do is create doubt about what really happened. After the killing, it was his decision to visit ground zero for the first time in his presidency. It was his decision to take a victory lap to Ft. Campbell, where he exploited the accomplishments of seal team 6 and used our military as photo ops for his campaign. I still wonder how much influence that visit had on the helicopter crash that killed so many Navy seals shortly afterward. Still to be revealed will be all the classified info he released to his Hollywood pals for the blockbuster movie on his gutsy call. He’ll probably come out of that movie looking like the Audie Murphy of the 21st century.

Keith Koffler January 28, 2012 at 10:37 pm

I agree, Susan, that they’ve really crassly overdone it exploiting the killing.

brstevens January 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm

It wasn’t just a bold decision. It was a gutsy call™ for Obama to make.

Sara B January 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Oh yeah I forgot about his gratuitous trade marking of the gutsy call meme so his PR operatives could use it to fundraise afterward. Thanks for reminding me brstevens. This president is a disgrace.

Car in January 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Yea, and remember Obama wasn’t going to take a victory lap about it NOR run on it.

@@

Keith Koffler January 28, 2012 at 10:39 pm

Careful, you’re infringing!

I’d forgot about that too.

ImNoDhimmi January 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Has anyone presented absolute, incontrovertible proof that the person killed in Pakistan really was bin Laden?

No pictures of the body, wives whisked away to who knows where, SEALs mysteriously murdered……the whole thing stinks. Until proof is offered, Obama gets no credit from me. Not that he deserved any, anyway.

James Crawford January 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

The operation to kill Bin Laden was certainly soul satisfying for the American people and good political theatre for President Obama, but commiting such a gross violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty to kill Osama was a disastrous decision. You might recall that when the 9-11 attacks were perpetrated, In Laden and Al Quida were under the protection of the Taliban. The Taliban were essentially a client regime of Pakistan’s ISI (equivalent to the CIA) that had been installed as rulers of Afghanistan by Pakistan’s semi theocratic, military dictaorship. History will someday reveal what President George W Bush did to persuade (intimidate?) Pakistan, which had an arsenal of some one hundred nukes, to cooperate in the destruction of their client regime. Even more amazing, Musharif cooperated in economic development programs that fostered the secular middle class that voted him out of office. Even more astonishing is the fact that Musharif actually relinquished power peacefully rather than stage yet another military coup. Since winning the election, Pakistan’s civilian government has been struggling to control the militant islamicist in the Pakistani military and the ISI. The raid to kill Bin Laden severely undermined the credibility of Pakistan’s civilian government. It has now been revealed that Pakistan’s elected President felt so threatened that he solicited aid fromWashington to ward off a potential military coup.
The expulsion of US troops and drones from Pakistan along with the frequent closure of supply routes to our forcesin Afghanistan are proof of how vital it is that Pakistan not revert to an Islamo-Military dictatorship. If the Pakistani government is overthrown whileUS troops remain in land locked Afghanistan, it will be a reenactment of Dunkirk but without the sea lift. Even worse is the spectre of a militantly Islamic Pakistan government, that now has 200 nukes, handing nuclear weapons off to terrorists. Killing Bin Laden will become a phyhric victory if the operation that should have remained plausibly deniable provokes a nuclear 9-11.

Liz Thompson January 28, 2012 at 8:42 pm

According to a report in the Daily Rash, during a recent appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball, Obama told Chris Matthews that he was surprised that he enjoyed killing militant Muslims so much. http://www.thedailyrash.com/obama-says-killing-muslims-more-fun-than-he-expected

Susan January 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm

The Daily Rash is not a news site – it is satire.

Stefan January 28, 2012 at 9:06 pm

He lost all bragging rights when he gave Bin Laden a burial “in strict conformance with Islamic precepts and practices.” (National Security Advisor John Brennan’s words).

Keith Koffler January 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

That was a good one. “Please don’t hurt us, we buried him as a Muslim.”

AC7880 January 28, 2012 at 9:18 pm

“Thanking Obama for killing Bin Laden is like going into McDonalds and thanking Ronald McDonald for the hamburger. It’s the guy cooking the burger that should get the credit, not the Clown.”

Keith Koffler January 28, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I don’t agree, but I do like the analogy.

gobnait January 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm

If the generals called me up to ask for the go-ahead, I would had yes too and I’m just an ordinary middle-aged grandma. No great smarts or courage required in that decision. BTW, since when do presidents publicly discuss the operations of special forces?! Doesn’t that put the members in danger?

Keith Koffler January 28, 2012 at 10:42 pm

Hey – don’t put down middle aged grandma’s. There’s one out in Alaska a lot of people think should be president!

gobnait January 29, 2012 at 8:12 am

My bad, you’re right! I think so too!

James Crawford January 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Amen!

9-11, both Iraq wars, the war in Aghanistan and the war on terror, may be even the current recession that Obama is intent on turning into a depression, could all have been avoided if the United States had implemented policies to give us energy independance. W tried during his years in office, but everyone fought him including SenMcCaine and his own brother. Governor Palin is the only nationally prominent politician who has had a consistantlyrational energy policy. (okay, she pretended to believe in global warming theology out of respect for Sen
McCaine while she was his VP running mate.

As an added bonus, watching President Palin deliver theState of the Union Address would be far easier on the eyes than Obama.

Knothead January 29, 2012 at 7:58 pm

As Buckwheat of “Our Gang” would say “And How!”

Paul January 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I have to disagree with you that Obama made a difficult call on this one. The decision was purely politics-driven, and was a “no-brainer”.

Obama knew there were way too many people who had knowledge of the opportunity to take out Bin Laden to keep a secret for long. He also knew that Clinton had a well-publicized opportunity earlier, and was roundly criticized for not killing Bin Laden then. So he had to anticipate that if he did not act, then the fact of the opportunity, and his failure to act would become public knowledge at some time, probably about one to two months before the November 2012 election. That would have been at least damaging to his reelection effort, and fatal if there were some other terrorist attack on U.S. soil before the election.

He gave to order to go to make sure he could never be faulted for failing to act. Besides, if the mission had failed, he would just blame the intelligence community and/or the military.

Knothead January 29, 2012 at 8:07 pm

You are correct Paul, in my opinion.
The mission in Afghanistan was to Kill Osama. If Private Knothead had the chance, I would have rid the Earth of his lowness without permission from my commander. And put his head on a stake for all the world to see.
Is that wrong?