As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: Osama Bin Laden

Trump Gets No Credit for Ordering Daring Baghdadi Raid that Biden Wouldn’t Have

Where are all the stories, like we had when Barack Obama offed Osama Bin Laden, about how the president courageously took the decision — a militarily and politically risky one — to kill Public Enemy #1?

Where are the stories about how he deliberated, whom he asked, how he overrode the objections of the bellyachers? About how he threw politics to the wind to do what’s right for America, knowing that failure could mean defeat at the polls??

Of course, the chief bellyacher when Obama took the decision was Joe Biden.

It takes a conservative columnist to give Trump some credit. From an opinion piece today by Marc Thiessen:

President Trump deserves credit for ordering the operation that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. It was a high-risk mission that required U.S. forces to fly hundreds of miles into al-Qaeda-controlled territory to storm a heavily armed terrorist compound. If things had gone horribly wrong, Trump would have been blamed and borne the consequences. Just ask Jimmy Carter how the Desert One disaster affected his reelection. Trump knew the political risks but gave the order to go anyway.

Would Joe Biden have done the same? Unlikely.

The former vice president advised Barack Obama not to carry out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. As Mark Bowden, author of “The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden,” explained in 2012, “The only major dissenters were Biden and [then-Defense Secretary Robert] Gates, and before the raid was launched, Gates would change his mind.” During a meeting in the Situation Room, Biden later recalled, Obama turned to him and asked, “Joe, what do you think?” Biden answered, “Mr. President, my suggestion is don’t go.” Worse, his reason had nothing to do with national security. According to Bowden, Biden told the president that “if the effort failed, Obama could say goodbye to a second term.” 

Hmm, looks like Biden jeopardized national security for politics.

Maybe he should have been impeached.

Obama Took Osama Out of Context

Now this is fascinating.

President Obama Thursday deceptively took Osama Bin Laden’s words out of context to help make a point about how al Qaeda is on its knees and we can curtail our use of drones – and start winding down the rest of the War on Terror. Or what’s apparently now “The War on a Couple of Remaining Terrorists.”

Next time get your facts straight, infidel.
Next time get your facts straight, infidel.

The deception was uncovered by terrorism analyst Thomas Joscelyn, who wrote today in The Weekly Standard. Joscelyn notes that the drone program has indeed been effective at killing bad guys. But he also makes the important point that drones are a tactic, not a strategy – and a tactic to which al Qaeda has adjusted.

In Thursday’s grand strategy speech before the National Defense University, Obama said this:

To begin with, our actions are effective. Don’t take my word for it. In the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, we found that he wrote, “We could lose the reserves to enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives.”

Sounds like Bin Laden is saying, OMG, we’re even about to lose the reserves! We’re helpless with our primitive explosives before these high-tech air strikes!

But Joscelyn takes a look at the entire document of Bin Laden’s writings, as released by the White House, and notices that, well, that’s not what Bin Laden was saying at all. Here’s the full quote:

The Ummah will use the reserve in the future, but during the appropriate time. In the meanwhile, we do not want to send the reserves to the front line, especially in areas where the enemy only uses air strikes to attack our forces. So, the reserves will not, for the most part, be effective in such conflicts. Basically, we could lose the reserves to enemy’s air strikes. We cannot fight air strikes with explosives!

What Bin Laden is actually saying is – We got reserves, let’s not waste them! And, Bin Laden goes on the suggest, he has lots of reserves:

It is known that they teach in military and war science that if a war breaks out between two countries, the two countries do not send all of their forces to the front line. Instead, they hold back some forces, especially forces with special training . . .

We still have a powerful force which we can organize and prepare for deployment.

Now, whether or not Bin Laden has a “powerful force” lying in wait – I got no idea. What’s important here is that Obama has selectively quoted Bin Laden to suggest Bin Laden himself knows the jig is up. And that just ain’t so.

Rice Allegedly Helped Thwart Effort that May have Prevented 1998 Africa Embassy Bombings

Writing in 2003, a former U.S. diplomat accused current UN Ambassador Susan Rice of helping thwart intelligence gathering that might have uncovered and prevented the 1998 Al Qaeda bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The attacks killed hundreds of people, including 12 Americans, and helped al Qaeda gain confidence in its ability to target the United States.

Rice is said to be on the short list to be named Secretary of State by President Obama

Meanwhile, also in 2003, a veteran investigative journalist suggested Rice also opposed an offer by Sudan in the mid-1990s to hand over Osama Bin Laden, who was staying in the country at the time. Whether there was ever a credible offer to give Bin Laden to the United States is in dispute, however. Former Clinton administration officials have said there would at the time have been insufficient grounds to hold Bin laden.

Rice, according to the allegations, opposed dealing with Sudan because of concerns about Sudan’s persecution of Christians and its own involvement in supporting terrorism – concerns those who allege Rice dropped the ball say should have been set aside in the interest of gaining invaluable intelligence and possibly getting Bin Laden.

Rice at the time of the embassy attacks and in the years leading up to them was a senior adviser to President Clinton on African issues and then Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs under Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

According to a 2003 piece in the Washington Post by the diplomat – Tim Carney, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Sudan from 1995 to Nov. 30, 1997 – Sudan had offered in the spring on 1997 to begin cooperating with the United States on terrorism and share its extensive intelligence trove. The country had until the previous year hosted Bin Laden, before expelling him.

From the piece:

A further change took place in Sudanese thinking in April 1997. The government dropped its demand that Washington lift sanctions in exchange for terrorism cooperation. Sudan’s president, in a letter that Ijaz delivered to U.S. authorities, offered FBI and CIA counter- terrorism units unfettered and unconditional access to Khartoum’s intelligence.

Sudan’s policy shift sparked a debate at the State Department, where foreign service officers believed the United States should reengage Khartoum. By the end of summer 1997, they persuaded incoming Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to let at least some diplomatic staff return to Sudan to press for a resolution of the civil war and pursue offers to cooperate on terrorism. A formal announcement was made in late September.

Two individuals, however, disagreed. NSC terrorism specialist Richard Clarke and NSC Africa specialist Susan Rice, who was about to become assistant secretary of State for African affairs, persuaded Berger, then national security adviser, to overrule Albright. The new policy was reversed after two days.

Overturning a months-long interagency process undermined U.S. counterterrorism efforts. In a final attempt to find a way of cooperating with U.S. authorities, Sudan’s intelligence chief repeated the unconditional offer to share terrorism data with the FBI in a February 1998 letter addressed directly to Middle East and North Africa special agent-in-charge David Williams.But the White House and Susan Rice objected. On June 24, 1998, Williams wrote to Mahdi, saying he was “not in a position to accept your kind offer.” The U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed six weeks later.

And in a 2003 interview with World Magazine, investigative journalist Richard Miniter, who authored the book “Losing Bin Laden,” indicated Carney had also supported accepting offers from the Sudan to turn over Bin Laden himself, and that Rice played a role in rejecting these.

But while that government hosted Mr. bin Laden from April 1991 to May of 1996 and, for its own selfish reasons, wanted to rid themselves of Mr. bin Laden, I don’t see why the Clinton administration couldn’t have accepted this offer. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Susan Rice did cite the suffering of Christians as one reason that she doubted the integrity of the Sudanese offers. But her analysis largely overlooked the view of U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Tim Carney, who argued for calling Khartoum’s bluff. Accept their offer of Mr. bin Laden and see if the National Islamic Front actually hands him over. If they do, we would have taken a major terrorist off the streets. If they do not, the civilized world will see that, once again, Sudan’s critics are proven right.

A spokesman for Rice did not respond to a request for comment

Blogger’s Head Explodes

I was in the East Room yesterday, listening to President Obama speak at the unveiling of the official George W. Bush portrait, and that’s when it happened: My head exploded.

I felt terrible. I mean, it hurt, yes, but mostly I was just mortified. The General Services Administration had to come in and clean everything up. I’m pretty sure some of it got on the famous Washington portrait that Dolly Madison smuggled out of the White House as British soldiers approached to burn the place down.

The painting escaped British cannon balls, but not my exploding head.

But, I mean, what did the White House expect? I had just heard Obama try to say that he had shared credit for the killing of Bin Laden with Bush.

Bush was in the audience along with Laura, whose portrait also was presented. I looked at them as Obama said this. They are clearly stronger people than I. Neither of their heads exploded. I have to give them a lot of credit.

Here’s what Obama said:

And last year, when we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden, I made it clear that our success was due to many people in many organizations working together over many years — across two administrations.  That’s why my first call once American forces were safely out of harm’s way was to President Bush.  Because protecting our country is neither the work of one person, nor the task of one period of time, it’s an ongoing obligation that we all share.

If Obama or any of his people have ever said that George W. Bush shared credit for killing Bin Laden, I missed it. He doesn’t even quite do it here, but he certainly strongly suggests it.

What I am keenly aware of, as I know you are too, is that Obama and his surrogates have shamelessly promoted his own role in the operation, with the phrase “gutsy call” now forever enshrined – for many, with a sense of irony – as the emblem of Obama’s decision to go ahead and kill America’s Public Enemy No. 1.

Gutsy is the word that should be applied to the brave servicemen who conducted the operation. An operation based on intelligence developed under Bush and executed by a military built by Bush.

And now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to try to get my head together.

Did Obama Risk Letting Bin Laden Slip Away?

Obama’s “gutsy move” took a ten-month gut check, according to former Army Vice Chief of Staff Jack Keane. Have a look.

I realize they wanted to be as sure as possible, and gather as much intel as they could. But this seems a very long time to wait. Bin Laden could have left the compound at any time.

Officials Suggest Timing of Trip Not Due to Raid Anniversary

Senior administration officials are trying to minimize the link between President Obama’s trip today to Afghanistan and the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden, saying the timing was “driven” by other factors.

According to the pool report from Afghanistan:

Senior administration officials said the timing of the trip was driven by the negotiations over the Strategic Partnership Agreement and by the desire of both presidents to sign the agreement in Afghanistan prior to the NATO summit in Chicago later this month. However, the officials also acknowledged that the timing coincides with the first anniversary of the US raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

Obama landed in Afghanistan on what is exactly – almost to the hour – the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The trip had to have been long in planning, but the White House has recently been confronted by intense criticism that he is politicizing the operation that killed Bin Laden by drawing so much attention to it and promoting his decision to order the raid.

Obama’s Politicization of Bin Laden Raid May be Backfiring

President Obama’s tactic of campaigning on the killing of Osama Bin Laden appears to be backfiring amid plunging polls and objections from a key Democratic ally and Navy SEALs themselves, whose members executed the operation.

Meanwhile, Obama decision to make the killing a political showpiece has galvanized conservatives, who are outraged that an operation that relied partially on work done during the Bush administration and that was carried out by American’s finest servicemen has become a political pawn.

Conservative media and talk shows are dominated by discussion of the political maneuver and Obama’s move to open the Situation Room to NBC News in order to showcase the president’s role in the killing.

In the days since Vice President Biden launched the Bin Laden effort Thursday with a speech in which he said “Osama bin Laden is Dead” should be emblazoned on an Obama bumper sticker, Obama’s approval rating has declined from 50 percent to 47 percent, while the number who disapprove has climbed from 44 percent to 48 percent, according to Gallup.

Over the same period, Mitt Romney has erased a seven-point Obama lead, with the matchup switching from 50-43 percent in favor of Obama to a one-point Romney lead, 47-46 percent.

Many variables can contribute to polls, including margin of error. But the major storyline of the campaign over the last several days has been the Bin Laden killing.

In a startling development, one of Obama’s most important supporters, Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, came out Monday against Obama’s use of an advertisement to tout the Bin Laden killing.

Here’s what she said:

In a piece in the Daily Mail, several former and current Navy SEALs themselves objected to the use of their work for Obama’s reelection campaign.

One current SEAL stuck his neck way out to express his displeasure.

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney, who has been the butt of Obama campaign suggestions that he would not have green lighted the raid, appears to have developed an effective counterstrategy, positioning himself as being above such low-grade tactics.

“Let’s not make the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden a politically divisive event,” Romney said today.

Obama rejects the idea that he’s overdoing it. “I hardly think you’ve seen any excessive celebration taking place here,” he said Monday.

Osama Bin Laden Joins the Obama Campaign

Vice President Biden this morning went fishing in the Arabian Sea and retrieved the body of Osama Bin Laden, vowing to take his partially eaten corpse on campaign with him during the 2012 general election.

In an overtly political speech in Washington this morning focusing on foreign policy, Biden made no secret that the Obama campaign will use the successful SEAL operation as a political weapon against Mitt Romney.

“If you are looking for a bumper sticker to sum up how President Obama has handled what we inherited, it’s pretty simple: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive,” Biden said. “We can’t say for certain what Gov. Romney would have done.”

While Obama deserves credit for going ahead with the risky attack, some may question the good taste of using for political advantage an operation in which the main heroes were America’s finest and bravest sailors, and for which George W. Bush – who built the military capability that put an end to Bin Laden’s – deserves ample credit.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Biden had not overemphasized the politics of Bin Laden’s demise.

“I think the way that we’ve handled it represents exactly the balance we need to strike,” Carney said.

Biden, being Biden, wandered into a faux pas that will certainly draw as much attention as the other portions of his remarks.

“I promise you, the President has a big stick,” said Biden.  “I promise you.”

Biden on Obama’s Best Moment: Killing Bin Laden

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… Continue Reading

Obama Ditches Mao Suit, Dons Epaulets

In 2008, America elected Comrade Obama. He promised to spread the wealth around, to raise taxes on the Kulaks, to usher in hope and change and to improve the condition of the common man. He’d create universal health care and save the environment. Forget all that. The economy is not doing well. The environment for… Continue Reading