The Third Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by kingthlayer, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Or the alternative is that there was US-Pakistani cooperation but with a nod to domestic security in Pakistan they agreed to the story that the US acted without Pakistani knowledge.

    Changes nothing; a few blowhards in politics will demand more answers but over time that will just fade away.

    ES
  2. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    You guys amaze me with your consistency. As usual, Jabba has found nothing to be happy about. Watto is tsk tsk-ing Americans for their brash confidence. Mr44 is defending Bush and obfuscating. JediSmuggler has yet to come in and praise Obama. Only J-Rod has broken character. Bravo, fellas! :p
  3. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    So true.


    I posted about how serious a blow Osama's death really is to Al Qaeda in my 2011 thread, good article by Fareed Zakaria I found and posted, as well as some news I've heard about Zawahiri.
  4. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I'd like to at least try and add that I think this hyperbole is totally dependent on hindsight, not to mention very johnny-come-lately.

    Some things the SEALs didn't know when entering the room with Bin Laden:

    They didn't know if:

    1. Bin Laden was wearing a suicide vest.
    2. The woman who rushed them was wearing a suicide vest.
    3. Bin Laden had a concealed firearm under his clothing.
    4. Bin Laden had a firearm somewhere in the room.
    5. Bin Laden had the entire building rigged to blow.

    They had a split-second to make a decision on ALL of that.

    Also, the room was also poorly lit as there were few windows in the complex, they had goggles on and they were in a high intensity firefight with others in the building. I'm sure he wasn't on his knees with his hands in the air, with no clothes on to prove he had nothing hidden. Its f***ing Osama Bin Laden, why is he all of a sudden so trustable and sincere?

    Obama has been laying down the law with predator drones since day one. How could any of the men killed by hellfire missiles have surrendered or fought back? Liberals have been mum on this the whole time, probably to avoid sapping political capital away from their own party. But once you surrender that ground, you can't really credibly try and take it back when something like this happens. The alternative to going in there on foot was to hit the building with a bunch of drones or a stealth bomber, and what were the chances of him surviving that?
  5. jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2002
    star 8
    ES - I do agree that our involvement with Pakistan should be a crucial issue. As it stands, we have been giving them money and it is unknown if they were betraying us by hiding Bin Laden. Even if that were to be the case, (and as much as it pains me to say it), if we cut our funding, they will seek alternate sources, many of which we may not like. If they did not have knowledge of his whereabouts, that would certainly make the situation (a little) easier.

    g - You mention a few things I was going to bring up as far as not knowing exactly what deadly devices were present despite him not outwardly holding a gun. I'm sure some humanitarians and religious leaders will shout "you shot a defenseless man!" but when dealing with Bin Laden there are so many unknowns. There could have been bombs all over the place including strapped around his waste. At least we can agree that he's a crazy fellow that could have attacked in any number of unconventional ways.

    The alternative to going in there on foot was to hit the building with a bunch of drones or a stealth bomber, and what were the chances of him surviving that?

    If that were the case, there would be a whole hell of a lot more people questioning whether or not he died. It is bad enough as it is! Ha. (But yes, there does appear to be a double standard there.)
  6. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    This is fascinating to me: http://swampland.time.com/2011/05/03/obama-pushed-for-fight-your-way-out-option-in-bin-laden-raid/

    Without the president's insistence, those extra helicopters probably would not have been there. You don't need military experience to make good military decisions.
  7. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Obama has been laying down the law with predator drones since day one. How could any of the men killed by hellfire missiles have surrendered or fought back? Liberals have been mum on this the whole time, probably to avoid sapping political capital away from their own party. But once you surrender that ground, you can't really credibly try and take it back when something like this happens. The alternative to going in there on foot was to hit the building with a bunch of drones or a stealth bomber, and what were the chances of him surviving that?

    These are good points, and I have to say I've watched our involvement with Pakistan over the years with mounting concern. My own dismay peaked maybe more with the Raymond Davis case and Obama's apparent team of roving assassins gunning people down in open daylight than with bin Laden's death.

    The cynic in me is rarely disappointed by America's international policies, and the fact that we sent a SEAL team in rather than dropping bombs not because we found an opportunity to take bin Laden alive and bring him to justice, but because we wanted to make absolutely sure we could ID the corpse is just more proof of Barrack "George Bush Jr, Jr." Obama continuing the legacy of the last administration.

  8. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    I respectfully disagree.

    Yes, for the reasons I described above, the odds were heavily stacked against Osama Bin Laden surviving the SEAL operation. But that isn't our problem, and it doesn't mean Obama ordered a "kill mission", or sent in soldiers for the sole purpose of getting a corpse. Bin Laden had 10 years to turn himself in and face the consequences for his actions, instead he chose to continue to hide out and further plot ways to harm Americans, Europeans and Arabs. He has paid the price.

    The more we hear about this, the more certain I am. Panetta revealed to Congress that Osama was getting ready to flee Abbottabad. He had phone numbers in Europe and money sewn into his clothing. That rules out our "waiting" option. The only other viable choice would have been a drone strike, which would certainly have been a "kill" mission from the start.

    Of the three choices, Obama made the best one.
  9. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Finally it looks like the media is at least beginning to air my viewpoint:

    Bin Laden's killing without process undermines rule of law

    It's one thing to accept why the Obama administration insists on the "resisted arrest" storyline, another thing entirely to swallow the story whole without the slightest bit of skepticism.
  10. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Obama also had the option of casting doubt over whether single-handedly hunting down enemies in sovereign nations is even America's prerogative to begin with. You know, as Bringer Of Democracy and all that.

    /predictable
  11. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Maybe that would world in Hol La La land, but not in the USA. :p
  12. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Some things the SEALs didn't know when entering the room with Bin Laden:

    They didn't know if:

    1. Bin Laden was wearing a suicide vest.
    2. The woman who rushed them was wearing a suicide vest.
    3. Bin Laden had a concealed firearm under his clothing.
    4. Bin Laden had a firearm somewhere in the room.
    5. Bin Laden had the entire building rigged to blow.

    They had a split-second to make a decision on ALL of that.

    Also, the room was also poorly lit as there were few windows in the complex, they had goggles on and they were in a high intensity firefight with others in the building. I'm sure he wasn't on his knees with his hands in the air, with no clothes on to prove he had nothing hidden. Its f***ing Osama Bin Laden, why is he all of a sudden so trustable and sincere?

    Bin Laden had 10 years to turn himself in and face the consequences for his actions, instead he chose to continue to hide out and further plot ways to harm Americans, Europeans and Arabs. He has paid the price.


    Hmmm...Why do all these points seem so familiar? Yes, so familiar indeed? They're like a warm, fuzzy blanket that you can snuggle up to with a nice cup of tea...
  13. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    At least you have the satisfaction of having called us all on the hypocrisy two years ago. It took me a while to catch on. But, hey, War On Terror hawks who are not die-hard Republicans now have a solid reason to vote for Obama in 2012. He is a reliable enabler of the Bush Doctrine.

    It will help Obama. It may not prove decisive, but people will remember, although I won't be voting for him. I could perhaps forgive him his Obama-branded torture dungeons and roving CIA hit squads if he were a reliable advocate for the poor and middle class. But he's not that either. He's just another puppet of the rich.
  14. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I'm not so sure. The problem is that the administration has put themselves between a rock and a hard place. We won't ever see another attack the scale of 9/11 or Bali bombing, but if there's another Khobar towers or USS Cole incident because of this, it's going to be a tricky spot for everyone involved. Best case scenario, we have A LOT more drone strikes and such to look forward to. At the very least, it's going to ensure that the US stays on a high alert war footing for the foreseeable future. But then again, that wasn't going to change. Of course, politically, this issue will fade, and other issues are going to be the deciding factor for (re)election, it's just going to come down to if this is a bump, a neutral push, or even slightly negative.

    The Chicago Tribune has an interesting headline article today. The interesting part is that it's being treated almost like a scandal. Obama isn't quoted directly, but the source is John Brennan, "white house terrorism adviser." In sharp contrast to the first day, Brennan comes off as rather unsure, and offers up a lot of backpeddling and pointless revision. It's along the same lines as that link you provided-the "against the rule of law" one. There's a direct quote provided from an aide which says: "(bin Laden) would have had to have been naked for them to allow him to surrender (under the rules of engagement)..." That's kind of a direct, if not damning statement, especially since it came from inside the White House.

    It's going to come down to how much focus the media continues to give this issue. Of course, the numerous announcements that the White House is, and then isn't, and then is, and isn't... going to release photos of bin Laden doesn't help matters.
  15. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    But that helps Obama. The right wing media can't make an issue of whether bin Laden "resisted arrest" because they support taking him out. The mainstream U.S. media isn't going to make an issue of it because they understand the broad public support.

    What's left is the western European/foreign media as the only ones asking what happened to Mr. Nobel Peace Prize. Obviously, they helped create the fantasy too. The Europeans are the only idiots handing out peace prizes to politicians.
  16. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Well, thats sincerely nice to hear, 44, though please refrain from snuggling my posts. They aren't that fast. I guess it may be easier for me to say that than some of the other folks around here because I wasn't involved in the debates of the early Bush years. Blank slate, etc. I kinda' hope this forum doesn't exist by the next Republican administration because then I'll have a record, so to speak.

    Jabba, you're getting all worked up over something that you have no evidence to prove. As someone claiming that this was a kill mission from the start, the burden is on you to back up your claims.
  17. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    Yeah well we can't all make a big brouhaha about handing out prizes for gaffers so we had to come up with something else.
  18. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Ah, well I can see that Jabba. I was talking more about a political/election bump within the country.

    I think its obvious that 99.99% of the population in the US at least supports taking out bin Laden. But in a political sense, this is where it's going to be tricky. Because if Obama starts wavering with back and forth justifications now, he's going to loose the strong image with the right wing, and I think the left wing base only supported this action out of political loyalty, even if its hypocritical. So much for being "internationally sensitive." So much for not going on ideological crusades. and so on.

    But I think this is where a lot of the boisterous nature of the Presidency-both good and bad- has to come into play by necessity. I think the most pragmatic political course right now is for Obama to take ownership and continue with "yep, I gave the order to assassinate bin Laden" and ride out where ever the path takes him. The deed is done. But the more backpeddling that starts coming out of the administration like "he was armed but unarmed," or "he could have been hiding a dirty bomb under his robe," or "factors prevented us from taking him back to the US alive," etc....and it's going to make Obama sound like an idiot, which is the George Bush school of justifying one's actions to the media. If that's the case, he won't get a bump at all.
  19. wannasee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2007
    star 4
    If bin Laden had done something provocative, we would have received details.
  20. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    While I agree Al-Qaeda will certainly try the martyr angle, I don't think it has that much chance of being popularly taken up. The revolutions in the Middle East have effectively displaced Bin Laden and his ideology.

    This is an article from the Evening Standard, a conservative London paper by any estimate:

    http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23946442-bin-laden-was-no-longer-a-force-for-most-arabs.do


    Bin Laden was no longer a force for most Arabs
    Charles Glass


    The speaker of Sudan's parliament, Ahmed Ibrahim Al-Tahir, may not have spoken for the entire Arab world when he condemned the US for killing Osama bin Laden. "If they are so thrilled with his death," he told Sudanese MPs, "then they should lift their hands off Afghanistan and let Afghans run their own affairs." Parliamentarians chanted "Martyr, martyr!" in homage to the jihadist who ran his operations from their country from 1992 to 1996.

    In the Arab world, as elsewhere, those who hated Bin Laden's ideology and tactics welcome his demise. Those who sympathised with his objectives, however, condemn the US for shooting him and dumping his body in the sea.

    To them, this is another illegal murder by a government they, like Bin Laden, regard as their greatest enemy. In between, millions of Arabs disapprove of the way the US dealt with Bin Laden while not lamenting his demise.
    (my emphasis)

    It's this last group that should be thought of most as they are the ones to be won over, you'll never get the extremists but the moderates? All to play for, the only problem is the US' seeming inability to understand the value of subtlety and nuance in foreign policy.

    The other question on how Bin Laden was dealt with goes right to the heart of the issue that the War on Terror has never answered definitively and is the problem - is it a war on terror or a glorified police action to apprehend mass murdering criminals? If the former then shooting Bin Laden is perfectly justfiable, but if the latter, then there are questions to answer.
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah well we can't all make a big brouhaha about handing out prizes for gaffers so we had to come up with something else.

    And besides, you can only have so many pedophile filmmakers hiding out in Europe as well, so something else needed to be done to fill the void.
  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7

    US Official: "This Was a Kill Mission"


    If the administration had wanted bin Laden alive, bin Laden would be in U.S. custody now.

    The only reason any of this is an issue is that the SEALS left live witnesses, and their accounts may eventually begin to make it out into the world media, if they haven't already. I commend the U.S. for not nuking the compound from orbit and saving the lives of women and children and possibly innocent neighbors as well. But honestly I don't think they chose this route for humanitarian reasons, but rather to get hold of the corpse. It should be clear to everyone that Obama had no interest in a living Osama.

    If they had been able to get away with claiming bin Laden was armed, they would have continued to claim it. Now, unfortunately, they're left with trying to finesse the definition of "resisting."

    And Obama wants America to know it was a "kill mission," hence the headlines. But he also wants the foreign audience to know bin Laden "resisted" capture. He's trying to have it both ways through this crude attempt to parse the event for his domestic political needs and foreign relations.
  23. SuperWatto Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 5
    [image=http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39310000/jpg/_39310410_polanskiafp_203.jpg]
  24. jedi_master_ousley Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2002
    star 8
    Two years ago: Barack Obama to release 2,000 images of prisoner abuse.

    The Bush administration had resisted releasing the images to the public, contending that the disclosure would fuel anti-American feeling and violate US obligations towards prisoners under the Geneva Conventions. Several people have already been tried at courts martial for using guns to threaten detainees in cases connected to the photographs.


    Two months after that: Obama attempts to block release of torture photos

    Just weeks after announcing he would make the images public, administration officials said the president had told his legal advisers that releasing the photos would endanger troops.

    The change of heart is thought to have come after senior military officials gave warning the release could cause a backlash against troops.



    Today: Obama: I will not release the Bin Laden death photos.

    "The fact of the matter is, as the president described, these are graphic photographs of someone who was shot in the face -- the head, rather," he said. "It is not in our national security interests to allow those images, as has been in the past been the case, to become icons to rally opinion against the United States. The president's number one priority is the safety and security of American citizens at home and Americans abroad. There is no need to release these photographs to establish Osama bin Laden's identity. And he saw no other compelling reason to release them, given the potential for national security risks. And further, because he believes, as he said so clearly, this is not who we are."



    Initially, Obama wanted to release the torture photos because it would do further damage to the image of the Bush administration. There is really no other reason why those would have been released. It was known that the torture happened. It did not need to be flaunted and displayed to the public. Releasing the images would have said "look what Bush did! I won't do that!"

    He was informed that there was a legitimately good reason to not display such images to the public and has thankfully followed that policy since that time. I do not need to see images of bin Laden to believe he is dead and neither do the vast majority of people. I think he made the right decision by not releasing the photos.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Holy crap, Watto! What year was that picture taken? It looks recent, eh?

    Oh Han Solo, what were you thinking!?! :_|