May 3, 2011

They’re Not Really Letting This Thing Fall Apart, Are They?

Currently at Drudge (Drudge archive link):


Links: First, second, third, fourth (go to 4:55 p.m. and 2:59 p.m. items), fifth.

At Hot Air: “The Story Shifts on the Abbottabad Raid; UPDATE: Carney Revises Again, Says There Was “Resistance” from bin Laden”

One thing I have little patience with is the idea that having assassination as a mission objective if there is meaningful resistance by the target or his accomplices is somehow not okay, But the hand-wringers are starting to crawl out of the woodwork:

As more details of the death of Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden surfaced Monday, some individuals suggested that the killing of the Al Qaeda leader by U.S. special forces may have violated international law.

However, human rights and civil liberties groups that have sharply criticized the Obama administration for its use of lethal force against terror suspects outside of war zones remained largely mum after the notorious bin Laden was shot by U.S. Navy SEALs in an operation that took place in Pakistan, where the U.S. is not involved in formally declared combat.

Some legal scholars and intelligence analysts are also expressing concerns that the covert military operation in Abbottabad was further evidence to them that the U.S. is taking the wrong approach in the so-called “global war on terror.”

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern went as far as to say that bin Laden was “martyred by U.S. forces acting arbitrarily and independently in a Muslim nation.”

“The professor turned president was out to show how tough he is and how his crackerjack extrajudicial assassins can get their man,” McGovern said. “There are commonly accepted legal ways to capture and bring such people to a court of law — yes, even the ‘bad guys’ like Osama bin Laden.”

What the ironically named McGovern is saying is in my opinion horse manure — but it happens to have been the prevailing narrative of the left and many in the Obama administration, certainly including Eric Holder, until Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, someone needs to acknowledge that making Osama bin Laden a martyr was something a certain presidential candidate said he did not want to do:


Democratic White House hopeful Barack Obama said he would bring Osama bin Laden to justice in a way that would deny the al Qaida leader the chance to become a martyr.

Mr Obama’s comments, following a meeting with his new team of national security advisers, marked another push by the first-term Illinois senator to battle criticism by presidential rival John McCain and other Republicans that he lacked the national security expertise needed to become president.

… Meanwhile, Mr Obama told reporters that if Bin Laden were found during his watch, he would bring him to justice in a way that wouldn’t allow the terrorist mastermind to become a martyr, but he may be killed if the US government finds him.

“First of all, I think there is an executive order out on Osama bin Laden’s head,” Mr Obama said at a news conference. “And if I’m president, and we have the opportunity to capture him, we may not be able to capture him alive.”

Mr Obama’s campaign said he was referring to a classified Memorandum of Notification that President Bill Clinton approved in 1998 – revealed in the 9/11 Commission report – that would allow the CIA to kill Bin Laden if capture were not feasible.

But at crunch time, Obama issued orders to kill unless, as Leon Panetta said today, “he suddenly put up his hands and offered to be captured …” Unfortunately, that’s not the only situation during which capture him alive is feasible. The fact that he was unarmed may — emphasis may — indicate that capture was feasible.

The series of what appear to be missteps and snafus are opening up the possibility that bin Laden will become more widely seen as a martyr that necessary (it was going to happen anyway with some, regardless of the care taken). It’s not helpful. Get it together, people.


UPDATE: John at Powerline

The administration’s missteps do not significantly tarnish the achievement of getting bin Laden, but President Obama and his minions can be grateful that the press will, for the most part, pass over its errors and contradictions in silence.

He’s most probably correct, but there does seem to be a bit of press opportunism here. Perhaps they’re thinking that if the administration’s narrative deteriorates further, it will starting rubbing off on the heroes who carried out the mission and the military in general. Denigrating the military is media obsession no matter who’s in the Oval Office.



  1. It figures. It freaking figures. Obama is going to botch this up after all. I, and most Americans, could care less if UBL was unarmed and could care less even if they shot him when he could have been captured. (At least from a moral standpoint, many would have wanted to capture him to see what info we could get from him.)

    But to the twisted views of the jihads, allegedly shooting him when he was unarmed will make him look noble and the claim that he didn’t use his wife as a shield makes him look less cowardly and callous in the situation. It turns a slam dunk into a layup. This sucks.

    Unbelievable, is there anything Obama and his administration can’t screw up? Way to go guys, pooping on the ultimate party.

    Comment by zf — May 3, 2011 @ 10:24 pm

  2. The only good thing to come out of this is that his wife might not have been killed. Assuming she’s more an innocent victim that was under the spell of “mans” power and more of a slave rather than a dedicated follower of her “husbands” ideology, at least that is one innocent person who didn’t get killed as a result of UBL.

    But damned if this new narrative if proven true doesn’t make Laden more a martyr not only to jihads but to the extreme left like McGovern. And even if it’s not true, by not being able to to be consistent from the start this administration will foster suspicion. It’s been botched no matter what happens now.

    Comment by zf — May 3, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

  3. [...] 7: Cowards and monsters, with another confirmation of Pakistani non-involvement (NOTE: As seen at this May 3 post, this narrative is not holding together) – President Obama personally gave the order Friday [...]

    Pingback by BizzyBlog — May 3, 2011 @ 10:55 pm

  4. “The administration’s missteps do not significantly tarnish the achievement of getting bin Laden…”

    Considering the points I brought up, I don’t know how anyone can say that. It’s not the fact the narrative changed so much, it’s the fact that the narrative got watered down in UBL’s favor (so to speak) enough to ignite the jihadists and convince them UBL was killed in “cold blood” and that we tried to “lie” about it. This has the possibility to galvanize the jihadists more than just the death of UBL would have. Shooting an unarmed UBL just doesn’t have the same force and narrative power and sorry John, it’s a significant downgrade.

    Comment by zf — May 4, 2011 @ 1:43 am

  5. #4, I think John should have probably put the word “military” before the word “achievement” to be clearer. And he would be right in that sense. Much else around this shows signs of turning into a SNAFU of major proportions.

    Comment by TBlumer — May 4, 2011 @ 7:44 am

  6. Which begs the question, what precisely were Obama’s orders concerning the take down of OBL? If they were to kill him, i.e. take no prisoners then fine. But why be coy about it? Worse, why give any operational details? Why didn’t they just leave it at Obama ordered Navy Seals to find and kill OBL? So now what we have here is Obama gave the order to kill OBL and either for political reasons he doesn’t want to own it OR is only too willing to give himself plausible denibility to blame the Navy Seals for being gung ho.

    I think liberals need to face an ugly truth about their man in the WH, he is a stone cold killer (pathological) and they can’t accept a liberal could be that way – denial. After all, look at his use of drones for killing. Obama campaigned and sold himself as not being like George W Bush and yet here is Obama doing exactly as George W Bush – killing OBL and terrorists using drones. I can’t emphasize the drones enough because Obama and Biden prefer drones over soldiers to keep the US body count low in killing terrorists NOT their stated position of negotiated peace and understanding. They are not anti-war, they are only anti-politically objectionable coffins with US flags on them. Notice how the MSM doesn’t demand to video or take pictures of US remains coming into Dover AFB?

    And if you accept that, then the 16 hour period for thinking it over was one of consternation over a blown political plan given the WikiLeaks expose’ of OBL’s location. It meant that after waiting since August 2010 of knowing the location of OBL could no longer wait until the summer of 2012 to kill him which would have been a political coup. Imagine if you will Obama risking waiting until the summer of 2012 then OBL relocates and news leaking in the intervening time that he had the opportunity and didn’t take it? He would be charged as being feckless as Clinton blowing his chances literally 10 times. Either way you look at this WikiLeaks forced his hand.

    Comment by dscott — May 4, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

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