Saturday, April 28, 2012

Was the Osama bin Laden Kill Really a Gutsy One?... Or Was It a CYA Exercise?

by: Les Carpenter
Rational Nation USA
Liberty -vs- Tyranny

President Obama politicizing his decision that resulted in the death of bin Laden. Perhaps it was not really a good decision.

Time magazine securing a memo that could indicate the President was covering his on arse should the mission to take out bin Laden have went wrong. Ben Shapiro writing a column on how the President in his opinion, did just that.

Before beginning my analysis of the above let me say I have real issues with many of the President's policy decisions and I certainly have issues with his desire to grow the federal government beyond recognition. Recognition when compared to what our constitutional republic should look like and how it should function.

Now for my take on the most recent brouhaha.

The memo secured by Time and as reported by Mr. Shapiro in - Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The decision is to proceed with the assault.

The timing, operational decision making and control are in Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at approximately 10:45 am.

Ben Shapiro's assessment of the memo.

...the memo doesn’t show a gutsy call. It doesn’t show a president willing to take the blame for a mission gone wrong. It shows a CYA maneuver by the White House.

The memo puts all control in the hands of Admiral McRaven – the “timing, operational decision making and control” are all up to McRaven. So the notion that Obama and his team were walking through every stage of the operation is incorrect. The hero here was McRaven, not Obama. And had the mission gone wrong, McRaven surely would have been thrown under the bus.

The memo is crystal clear on that point. It says that the decision has been made based solely on the “risk profile presented to the President.” If any other risks – no matter how minute – arose, they were “to be brought back to the President for his consideration.” This is ludicrous. It is wiggle room. It was Obama’s way of carving out space for himself in case the mission went bad. If it did, he’d say that there were additional risks of which he hadn’t been informed; he’d been kept in the dark by his military leaders.

Finally, the memo is unclear on just what the mission is. Was it to capture Bin Laden or to kill him? The White House itself was unable to decide what the mission was in the hours after the Bin Laden kill, and actually switched its language. The memo shows why: McRaven was instructed to “get” Bin Laden, whatever that meant.

I have read the memo, and Shapiro's analysis a dozen times. Each time I've read them I have had the same reoccurring thoughts. Having been a executive I tried to put myself in that frame of mind and asked myself how I would have handled the situation. Here is what I came up with.

The President, after analyzing the situation from intelligence reports, input from his military commanders, the views of his cabinet members, and perhaps other appropriate staff made a decision based on the overall risk assessment. He gathered as much information and as many educated opinions from those he places his trust in as he could. Precisely what a effective executive does in business.

At the end of the day the President made his decision. Yes, he placed the tactical decisions in the hands of his Admiral, much like the executive places the responsibility to execute business decisions in their managers hands. It's just the way it works.

Ultimately the success or failure of decisions made by the President falls on his shoulders. Perhaps the President was giving himself wiggle room in the event the mission had failed. However consider this, had the Admiral recognizes any additional risk before executing the President's orders wouldn't it have been reasonable to error on the side of caution? Especially if given additional risks could have endangered the lives of the men on the ground? Perhaps that was one of the President's concerns.

The President made the strategic decision recognizing his responsibility. He handed the tactical handling of the mission off to his Admiral and the mission team. Execution was flawless and the mission was a resounding success. Judgement... The President made the right executive decision, his Admiral and team executed the mission objectives perfectly, and desired result was achieved.

As to what exactly what "get bin Laden" meant. I think most all reasonable people understand it meant to take him out. To rid society of a major terrorist who was responsible for the death of over 3,000 of our fellow Americans. End of discussion.

In my view not much else is of any significance. All of Ben Shapiro's talking points may be true. They likely are nothing more than conjecture. Then again does it really matter? bin Laden is dead, we should all be willing to give credit where credit is due. Now, isn't it time to move on to the real issues for which this President should be denied a second term?

Oh, for those interested here are links with more commentary on this issue. Little Green Footballs, Rush Limbaugh.

To me the big issue here is the shameless way Obama is using his decision, and the bin Laden kill to ostensibly enhance his reelection chances.

h/t: Gateway Pundit

Via: Memeorandum


  1. .

    "the big issue here is the shameless way Obama is using his decision, and the bin Laden kill to ostensibly enhance his reelection chances."

    Excuse me?!

    One can lie oneself to power, one will not lie oneself to the truth. The truth is Mr Obama's mere existence drives those with a pathological hatred of him and his wife to tell lies, smears, and slanders with out end.

    Many others are willing to spread those lies, slanders, and smears even though they know they are lies, slanders, and smears.

    Mr Obama tells the facts and his enemies lie about him. In this world where lying about people one opposes is celebrated YOU have sided many times with the liars for your own purposes.

    Where do you think you will end up when you side with liars?

    Ema Nymton

    1. Emma, I suggest you shed your pathetic emotionalism and address the issue of the post, which has not even the remotest semblance to your rant here. Good day.

  2. Tricky title Les. Sure to bring many a righty around looking for a way to spin Bin laden's death into an anti Obama thing.

    And 9/11 is still used as a political issue. Everything is a politial issue. One idiot Islamic kook says dudes should be allowed to boink their wive's corpses and it's a political issue.

    My dog is fat. He's either rich and screwing the poor or he's a lazy lard ass on welfare. Vote Obama or Romney depending on political persuasion and blog about it.

    1. No thanks Truth. I have principles.

      Your obvious attempt at hyperbole is cute. I suppose it fits the profile of a progressive who finds his candidate in trouble.

      I know you like talking about boinking and other sh*t but at least address the main point of the article. Which was Shapiro is all wet regarding his analysis . The secondary issue being his using the action as he has chosen to do.

  3. TRUTH101, is correct, RN. The Bush administration "shamelessly" used 9/11 in the 2004 election to scare the crap out of Americans and pound home the fact that Bush had kept America "safe" since the September attack.

    For the GOP and you to criticize Obama for taking credit for ridding the world of bin Laden is nothing more than election year numbskullery.

    It is the opposition's job to discredit any successes the incumbent has achieved. That's all that is going on here.

    Robert Gates, Bush's and Obama's [at the time of bin Laden's killing] Secretary of Defense:

    "Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates called the raid against Osama bin Laden a "gutsy call" -- "one of the most courageous" he's seen a president make -- because the U.S. had only circumstantial evidence indicating the Al Qaeda leader was at the compound in Pakistan."

    I believe Secretary Gates, not Ben Shapiro, the partisan hack who claimed publicly that Mr. Obama had a personality disorder--thereby showing anyone with any sense that it is Shapiro and his obsessive hatred of Obama who may be suffering from psychological abnormalties.

    This is from Wiki:

    "Shapiro has taken conservative stances on many social issues. He favors stronger military and law enforcement spending, as well as more restrictive laws against abortion and pornography. He has also spoken favorably of tighter immigration restrictions and expanded government wiretapping powers of suspected terrorists. Shapiro is also strongly critical of the liberal beliefs of American Jews. Shapiro is also a very strong advocate for abstinence before marriage. He is also a staunch critic of judicial activism, supporting judges whom he believes interpret the United States Constitution according to its original meaning. He has advocated significantly modifying the jury system as it exists in the United States."

    Former Secretary Gates' assessment of Mr. Obama's decision to get bin Laden is more reliable than is Shapiro's, since Gates knew what the actual risks and circumstances were, and he's served both Democratic and Republican administration.

    Shapiro's goal seems to be nothing more than conducting a smear campaign against the Democratic incumbent. IOW, it's worthless.

    1. Reread my post Shaw. Pay particular attention to the early part. Then check in again.

  4. RN, I was responding to this statement by you:

    "To me the big issue here is the shameless way Obama is using his decision, and the bin Laden kill to ostensibly enhance his reelection chances."

    And then I gave you my opinion of Ben Shapiro's partisan take down of Mr. Obama's decision.

    While you didn't actually discredit Mr. Obama for his decision to kill bin Laden, what you did do is criticize him for "shamelessly" using that positive decision as part of his re-election campaign.

    Why did you characterize it as "shameless?" Do you for one minute believe that a GOP presidential candidate wouldn't "enhance" his re-election chances by "shamelessly" reminding the country of that achievement had he been able to achieve it?

    1. If a republican candidate put out the same ad my position would be the same. Conditions being equal.

  5. In our History, military achievements has been a consideration for voting for the commander and chief (President). If that is "shameless" than Obama is in the company of Presidents like Washington, Grant, Jackson, Eisenhower, and others, whose military exploits made them acceptable to Americans, as their President.
    As commander and chief, why would we not consider his military achievements? Killing Bin Laden was closer to the mark for retribution of 9-11, than invading Iraq. Seems Obama's fixation for using drones (a strategy that can be debated) has been successful at killing the enemy, while putting fewer American soldiers at risk. In fact, Obama's military exploits, is one of the successes he should be given credit for, and a normal reason Americans should vote for him as commander and chief.
    So, I guess I miss the point, why you think Obama should not remind the voters about the military successes under his leadership as commander and chief.

    1. Obama has no military record. He simply made a correct and proper decision based on the criteria I pointed out

    2. FDR never carried a gun either, but is responsible for the greatest military victory in modern History. Obama came to office and made a change in our military offense towards Bin Laden, and got him. Republicans have a losing argument, if they attack Obama on his military decisions. There are all sorts of reasons Obama is not a good President, but killing our enemies, is not one of them.

    3. And your point is, reread my entire post and comprehend it, okay? Failing that take your partisan drivel elsewhere.

    4. Your the one who said Obama has no military record, as if that matters.

  6. Anon, I can't speak for RN, but as part of this discussion thread, I'll give you my opinion on why conservatives are enraged whenever Mr. Obama's people or we liberals talk about his achievements:

    They detest him, and they will not acknowledge anything he does because that contradicts their all-encompassing negative narrative of him. It is so utterly and partisanly skewed to such a fictitious degree that it's a waste of time to address that kind of negativity.

    I do read the other point of view by conservative pundits such as David Frum, David Brooks, Kathleen Parker, Russ Douthat. And those pundits argue from facts, knowledge, and historical context, not from their visceral hatreds.

    Ben Shapiro is a hack, and I don't care how many degrees from Harvard he has after his name. In fact, according to many conservative bloggers, that's actually elitist snobbery to show off your Ivy League credentials.'s elitist only when liberals have Ivy League credentials! LOL!

    1. "...utterly and partisanly skewed to such a fictitious degree that it's a waste of time to address that kind of negativity."......Shaw, you do realize that you're describing MSNBC just as readily as Fox, correct?

    2. Shaw, your partisanship is revealing hidebound progressive bullsh*t. I clearly outlined my position (as well as every other reasonable conservative and libertarian's position in my opening )with respect to President Obama's decision regarding the bin Laden kill, as well as the credit he deserves.

      I also clearly stated my position should the president be a republican under equal circumstances.. We are not talking about Bush here although by implication you are. Bush has been gone from office for three and a half years. How long do you plan to blame Bush, until your grandchildren are 50 years old?

      Since you like Frum, Brooks, Parker, and Douthat go read them. But stop misrepresenting and twisting my positions.

      It is you, and the rest of the hidebound progressive mentality SHEEPLES that has no room for compromise, not I.

      Good Day...

  7. "Osama bin Laden is no longer walking the face if this earth." That was the line that seemed to get the biggest response from the audience at Mr. Obama's latest speech. Being that the fellow's a shrewd politician, I suspect that we'll be hearing him saying it quite often during the next 6 months (hopefully not to the point where he morphs into a Democratic Rudy Giuliani).

    1. Yeah Will the point exactly.

      Giving credit where credit is due (As I've done) apparently isn't enough for the hidebound progressive collectivists. It must be their way 100% or screw you. Note the posts I've done actually supporting their positions because they have ben at least partially righ.

      What do we in the middle or those with a and slightly rightward tilt get in return? Scorn and useless drivel and bullsh*t.

      I don't know about you Will but I have had it with being reasonable and accommodating. There is no give and take with the hidebound progressive collectivists period.

      WTF even try? So only for myself its back to reason, objectivity, reality, classical liberalism, libertarianism, sensible thought, and screw the left. Seeing as how none of you apparently have a mirror.

      See later. Get REALLY ready for the eventual fight lefties, you have certainly earned it.

    2. I gave him some credit, too, Les. Oh well, I guess that we need to genuflect next time.

  8. Will: "Shaw, you do realize that you're describing MSNBC just as readily as Fox, correct?"

    FAUX NOOZ is owned by a someone who is under criminal investigation [R. Murdoch] and run by a propagandist [R.Ailes]. There is documentation all over the internet on the half-truths and outright lies broadcast on that cable station. I'm not going to catalog them here, but we can start with some talking head who in 2008 called a fist-bump by Mr. Obama with his wife a "terrorist fist-bump." WTF? What are they trying to imply with that sort of scurrilous description? And we can end with just this past week when Steve Doucey, or whatever his name is, had to walk back a deliberate misquote regarding Mr. Obama. MSNBC doesn't do the same thing. Most of the time, the pundits on MSNBC are reporting on the lies, misrepresentations of FAUX NOOZ.

    RN, you've misread my comment. I replied to your characterization as "shameless" regarding Mr. Obama's team's political ad about the killing of bin Laden. You did label it "shameless" didn't you?

    And the mention of Bush was strictly in connection with his 2004 campaign promotion of keeping the US safe from another attack.

    You've misrepresented what my comments were about.

    I criticized Shapiro, not you, and criticized the use of your word "shameless" in your description of a normal political ad for an incumbent.

    You call that bullshit, I call it discussing what you posted. Maybe you didn't like it? I was keeping to the subject YOU introduced.

    Go back and actually read my points.

  9. "Bush has been gone from office for three and a half years. How long do you plan to blame Bush, until your grandchildren are 50 years old?"

    RN, I assumed you knew the difference between "blaming Bush" and pointing out that he, like all incumbents, emphasize their foreign and domestic successes when they run for re-election. That's what I talked about in my comment. You call that "blaming?"

    Does ANYONE on the right know the difference between drawing a parallel and "blaming?" Apparently you don't and neither do most of the conservatives I encounter.

    I did not "blame" Bush for anything.

    I commented that Bush's team emphasized that he kept the US safe after 9/11--no more terrorist attacks. I pointed out that's what incumbents do. But it's what you labeled "shameless" when Obama does it.

    That's the real b.s., not my pointing it out.

    Your complaint to Will seems a bit overwrought. No one, and certainly not I, "scorned" you.

    And never, when you've visited my blog, have I referred to what you've written as "drivel."

    You have a huge chip on your shoulder for some reason, and I'm not responsible for it.

    Good day.

    1. Shaw, I'm not a Fox News apologist. In fact, I tend to criticize them regularly. But have you actually seen some of that stuff over at MSNBC? Chris Matthews referred to the Republicans as the "Grand Wizard Party" (and he said it to Michael Steele, for Christ sakes!) the other day. Ed Schultz spliced tape to make it seem as if Rick Perry was uttering something racist when he wasn't. Rachel Maddow created OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH some story about how the big pharmaceutical companies were opposing Obamacare (they actually supported it). And that doesn't even cover the damned Olbermann years.

    2. Yeah, I know I said I was done on this comment stream. All I'll say is good luck in finding consistently reasonable progressives. They do not exist.

  10. I'm afraid your definition of "reasonable" is someone who agrees with you.

    1. I'm afraid you just described your's Shaw. Mirrors are remarkable, if you subscribe to using them that is.

    2. Reread your points Shaw. I stand by my post as written.

      As to Bush, hell never mind. I'm through pointing out he was one I made a mistake on and a great disappointment. I'm quite sure you'll forget I said that. Just like so many other things. Life goes on.

      Nighty nite.

  11. "To me the big issue here is the shameless way Obama is using his decision, and the bin Laden kill to ostensibly enhance his reelection chances."

    He's running on his record, idiot. That's what a president is supposed to do.

    1. What record idiot. Other than rock star politician.

      And by the way, people who love is glass houses ought not toss stones, idiot.

  12. What the hell was so Gutsy about a decision that 99 present of all Americana would have made? And he even had to sleep on it! And his ass-hole that is known as Our Vice President warned him NOT to do it!
    Yeah right, Real gutsy! What bravery! What guts! What a man! What a Hero!

  13. "What bravery! What guts! What a man! What a Hero!"

    Well, we're glad you acknowledge that TDDW! Yes, what Mr. Obama did to OBL was gutsy, manly and heroic. Thank you for reinforcing it.

    1. Obama made a call from the safety of his temporary mansion to order brave seals to pit their lives on the line and take out OBL.

      The heroes are Seal Team 6. Obama made a executive decision in which the only risk to him was political.

      Nonetheless it was a good call, he made the correct decision. But lets not make more of it than it really is.


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