May 04 2011

Was Obama Forced Into Action On Osama Bin Laden?

Published by at 9:15 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

Major Updates Below!

On Monday, the first full news day after the announcement we had brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, I noted an enormous inconsistency in one aspect of the story leading up to the raid on Bin Laden’s compound:

Nothing wrong with a bit of caution here, don’t want to destroy an innocent family hiding out in a fortress. But from August to February? Seems – as usual – team Obama wanted proof-perfect before acting. Anyway, I am not going to nit pick caution. My guess is the intel kept mounting and overcame a lot of internal hesitation inside this hesitant White House.

Now to shift links since this next act in the story is not in the time line from the main article:

Sources tell ABC News that in March President Obama authorized a plan for the U.S. to bomb Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound with two B2 stealth bombers dropping a few dozen 2,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) on the compound.

But when the president heard the compound would be reduced to rubble he changed his mind.

… First off, the [2] B-2s with 24+ 2,000 lb JDAMS is overkill. You could attack a small city with that kind of ordnance. And I don’t know if a ‘few dozen’ is two [24] or more dozen. This is the proverbial M1 tank used against the gnat.

What struck me about this was the amazing amount ignorance one found in this little footnote to history. I go on in that previous post to prove my suspicions, given the destructive power of a 2,000 lb bomb and the tiny size of the compound. It was as if some naive propaganda agent had cobbled together this bit of revised history to cover up something. It does not take two B-2’s with 24+ 2k JDAMS to take out a house. I remained completely flummoxed and suspicious about this deliberately leaked detail. It did not fit the rest of the narrative, and appeared irrelevant. Why was this fabricated detail added to the history by someone clearly unfamiliar with weapon platforms and ordnance yields?

Now add in some more of the narrative – like the fact we had concluded in August 2010 the compound housed Bin Laden, yet spent 6 months trying to make 100% sure he was there. Why the hesitation? Why authorize a ridiculous and reckless bombing run in March, then order it stopped, and then agonize for days over a precision strike force in April? My experience with the intelligence and military thinking precludes this kind of see-saw thinking AFTER a decision has been made.

Now check out this claim from Leon Panetta, head of the CIA and apparently one of the key forces behind the raid:

But Panetta concluded that the evidence was strong enough to risk the raid, despite the fact that his aides were only 60%-80% confident that bin Laden was there, and decided to make his case to the President. At the key Thursday meeting in which President Obama heard the arguments from his top aides on whether or not to go into Pakistan to kill or capture bin Laden, Panetta admitted that the evidence of bin Laden’s presence at the compound was circumstantial. But “when you put it all together,” Panetta says he told the room, “we have the best evidence since [the 2001 battle of] Tora Bora [where bin Laden was last seen], and that then makes it clear that we have an obligation to act.”

If I thought delaying this could in fact produce better intelligence, that would be one thing,” Panetta says he argued, “but because of the nature of the security at the compound, we’re probably at a point where we’ve got the best intelligence we can get.”

First off, we know there were 5 high level meetings during this time period on this topic. Thursday was not THE FIRST time Panetta was in talking confidence levels. Clearly he had to talk confidence levels for the March indecision, and probably did for months leading up to this point. Once again, a suspect narrative appears.

No intelligence is going to be perfect and there were naysayers with I guess valid concerns (did not want a Carter-style blown rescue mission or a Clinton-style Black Hawk Down). But which side was the President on? Was he holding out for perfection? Was he unwilling to take out Bin Laden and held his ground for almost 6 months against the recommendations of his intelligence team?

Then there is this nugget of reporting:

The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.

But the president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think – and disappeared out of the room.

‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more,’ said Obama, according to the New York Times. He then added ‘I’m going to make a decision soon.’

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for the president’s decision.

But the next morning after 16 hours, Obama summoned four top aides to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could speak, the president put his fist on the table and declared ‘It’s a go’.

Sounds a bit strained. Again I note a bit of the theater here with the fist pounding element in the narrative, and the President making a declaration before anyone could talk. Again, I cannot help but feel this story is a rewrite, a bit of propaganda surrounding events that played out differently. Here the evidence was overwhelming on Thursday – yet the President hesitated (this would be the 2nd time in two months, if we believe the March indecision narrative).

Finally, I could not help but note President Obama was not very jovial or upbeat over this news. His Sunday night press conference oozed tension and stress. There was no sign of celebration, no smile. Even the photo of President Obama straight off the golf course watching the raid in real time seems to indicate someone anxious and unhappy, not resolute and confident (click to enlarge).

Heck, the President is not even sitting at the head of the table, supposedly in charge. He is on the sideline! So why am I bringing all this up during a time of national celebration? Am I hunting for a dark cloud amongst all this silver lining? I was worried about that, which is why I toned down my suspicions since Monday.

But then I read this from a claimed White House Insider:

Note: This communication came from our long time D.C. Insider and details previous and ongoing conflicts surrounding the decision to assassinate terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Significant push to take him out months ago. Senior WH staff resisted. This was cause of much strain between HC [Hillary Clinton] and Obama/Jarrett. HC and LP [Leon Panetta] were in constant communication over matter – both attempted to convince administration to act. Administration feared failure and resulting negative impact on president. Intel disgusted over politics over national security. Staff resigned/left. Check timeline to corroborate.

Now THIS seems to fit the established MO of this White House. A White House that banned the term “War On Terror”. A White House that resisted calling the Ft Hood Massacre and Christmas Day Bomber attempt terrorist acts. A White House that pulled back on our monitoring of suspected attacks. A White House that preferred Miranda Rights over interrogation. The fist pounding only comes from this President when he wants to save Obamacare or defend high gas prices.

And there is more:

IMPORTANT SPECIFIC: When 48 hour go order issued, CoC was told, not requested. Administration scrambled to abort. That order was overruled.

…Independent military contacts have confirmed. Stories corroborate one another. This is legit.

Emphasis in original. So, is this why a story was concocted about a March raid with two B-2’s and 24+ 2k JDAMS? As I said, the number of JDAMS shows complete ignorance and you would not use a B-2 when am F117 stealth fighter could do the trick. Was this cover for the effort to abort the raid that succeeded? This story can be confirmed to some level – through the resignations of key people.

This, sadly, makes sense. Can you see Hillary Clinton reliving the hesitation of her husband’s opportunities to take out Bin Laden? If President Clinton had gotten over his fears, we might not have had a 9-11. That had to be what drove Clinton and Panetta and others to take action before they lost Bin Laden again.

If this is true, President Obama is in serious political trouble. And I hate to say it, this has all the signs of two factions warring in the government (see this all the time, up close and personal). One side is covering their trail while the other is celebrating.

If this does break open, it will be amazing to witness.

Update: More details from the Washington Insider are out today:

I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.”

Addendum: My completely independent suspicions confirmed by the WH Insider:

Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the President indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta.

Looks like the fantasy narrative came from the Jarret side of the WH. As I suspected, that fantastically exaggerated story about a March bombing was meant to hide the truth. The truth of a paralyzed and impotent White House that could not bring itself to take out the world’s most notorious terrorist and mass murderer of Americans sitting still, like a fish at the bottom of a dry barrel. Pathetic.

Addendum: Yep, right again (not hard when you spent a quarter of a century working for the federal bureaucracy and can identify its tells):

This insulation ended at some point with an abort order that I believe originated from Valerie Jarrett’s office, and was then followed up by President Obama.

Jarrett and Obama DID try and stop the raid on Osama Bin Laden. If proven, the President’s career is over.

Addendum: Well, this explains the photo and why the President is not sitting at the head of the table:

The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission.

How embarrassing. Whoever snapped that shot and let it out just confirmed all of this.

45 responses so far

45 Responses to “Was Obama Forced Into Action On Osama Bin Laden?”

  1. MerlinOS2 says:

    Add to that we now have the story that OBL’s daughter is basically saying that he got snuffed after the firefight was over and done.

    So in other words the orders would have to have been to make sure he assumed room temperature so we don’t have a couple of years of a live and captive OBL pushing headlines during a campaign run up as we waffle on where to try him and what to try him on.

    Even more interesting is the text of the BHO presser that comes out with this odd quote from it as to what TOTUS was scrolling on it’s screen for POTUS to deliver

    Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.

    Read more:

    Now why would he say After the firefight and not During the firefight?

  2. dorsai_mail says:

    make sense …

    the JDAM story smelled from the start …

    if Obama had really order the go and was acting as COC no way he should have been on a golf course that day … should have been huddled in the Sit room all day leading up to the raid …

    16 hours to say yes … after 2 months previously saying no to a supposed bombing mission ? I don’t buy it … the 16 hours yes, in fact I believe the mission was already green lit and his “yes” was just a confirm of him not saying no one last time …

    My guess is someone told him this simple fact, “If you don’t say yes today, then in 2012 someone will leak the fact that we could have had a shot at UBL and you chickened out”. This was a 2012 campaign decision pure and simple …

  3. dorsai_mail says:

    should have started out “makes sense” …

  4. MerlinOS2 says:

    Another point here is that it is taking a very long time just for the White House to give a yes or no on releasing the photos of the body to prove his death.

    Waiting for the DOJ to give their take on if that would violate the Geneva Conventions or something.

    Remember all the fluff up over releasing pictures of Saddam in his whitey tighties while he was in custody.

    Of course the conspiracy types are already trying to spin that even if they release photos and even video of the raid that it’s all photoshop magic staged at the clone of the house they built in Afghanistan to train for the raid and it is all a fake.

    Just like how they did it for the moon landing.

  5. MerlinOS2 says:

    The lame stream media is trying their best to give the White House a shout out over the 11 point surge in the polls BHO has gotten.

    The gals on the View are saying we might as well not hold an election in 2012 since this made it a lock for him to do Prez 2.0

    Now if you go back Bush got something like a 40 point surge after 9/11 and excluding 9/11 after a national security related event average bumps in the poll numbers are 13% or more.

    If all he can get is a 11 point bump then it really is sort of bleak down the road for him and not as rosy as some are trying to frame it to be.

  6. dhunter says:

    I’ve said since the beginning as eaglesdad on Lucianne that the Obama administration was likely told what was going to go down and that they could get on board or their careers would be over. I have said it was likely CIA, Patraeus and Seal or special opps teams who decided.

    This situation room meeting could just as well be the meeting where Petraus TOLD the clowns in the White House that ” We know where he is, we are gonna go and you all are gonna keep your mouths shut till its over. Then take credit if you want. Try to stop us and Sunday morning talk show will be filled with operatives saying this admin refused to take down Bin laden.”

    Something else to ponder.

    Firearms training always includes an admonition to aim for center of body mass when in a fire fight. Head shots are too risky and can get you dead rather than the other guy.

    Osama was supposedly shot in the chest and above the left eye.

    Body shot to put him down, kill shot to the head!

    There is no reason for a body shot after a head shot!

    Once the Liberals figure this out we shall see how patriotic it is to bring a Navy Seal up on charges.

    The narrative is leaking out… armed… unarmed… Obama needs to issue a blanket pardon before his base calls for heads to roll but the ditherer in chief will not offend his base rather try to play both ends against the middle.

  7. Frogg1 says:

    The Military Mission VS Obama Golf Timeline seems to support the report that Obama was literally called to the situation room while golfing…. when the mission was already in progress:

    Obama golfs while troops hunt Osama bin Laden? –Terrorist’s capture is top national-security mission, but not before tee time

  8. MerlinOS2 says:

    If you watch the gallery shots that is an shot released by the White House itself not something that leaked

  9. crosspatch says:

    Obama is concerned for his own rear end. He only gets 10 years of secret service protection after he leaves office. Remember that Clinton is the last President to get lifetime protection, Bush and Obama will only get 10 years. This leaves a President open for intimidation.

    We should correct that blunder.

  10. MerlinOS2 says:

    Clearly from watching all this as it unfolded we really have to wonder how this all was handled and the story we are being told.

    We have multiple examples of walk backs and breaks in the story lines in what is a White House that normally seems to be in such control of the narrative and the message.

    It is likely that we will hear much more on this as all the material out there gets evaluated.

    Read more:

  11. Stirner says:

    I take the “White House Insider” with a grain of salt. On one hand, he can’t be what he claims, because if he were, the leak would be pretty easy to track down. On the other hand, Ulsterman is a pretty mediocre writer, but the WHI accounts are very compelling. Frankly, I don’t think Ulsterman has the chops to make things up so plausibly. My guess: someone else is writing the WHI narratives, and Ulsterman is going along with it. Perhaps a disgruntled DC insider who turns gossip and speculation into WHI reports. Our the spouse of a DC insider. Or some sort of spook that is wired into the doings of the oval office.

    So, even though the WHI is likely counterfeit, perhaps he does have some inside scoop that gets mixed together with rumor and guesswork.

    Strata Sphere seems to be the only site that is trying to match up the anomalies in the published accounts with the WHI theory, so three other points to make:

    1) The WHI claims that the stated reason for pushing the mission from Saturday to Sunday (bad weather in Pakistan) is BS. This is something that can be independently verified with a bit of web sleuthing on global weather sites. This wouldn’t be decisive either way, but it would provide another data point of substantiation.

    2) The situation room photo is very, very odd. Google white house situation room, and look through all the pictures. The President is always sitting at the head of the table. In the OBL mission pic, the general is sitting in POTUS’s chair. Why on earth isn’t the President sitting in his own chair during an unfolding critical situation?

    3) The situation room photo is NOT taking place the main situation room. The West Wing “situation room” seems to be a complex of offices with multiple rooms for meetings and conferences. The OBL mission conference was not held in the main situation room, or even in the main conference room – instead it was held in a small conference room in the complex. Note how cramped and crowded the room is? The main situation room has a row of secondary seating all along each side wall alongside the main conference table. The OBL mission room doesn’t have that. Go here and you can see the pictures of various rooms in the complex:
    The room used for the OBL mission is likely the one with the caption “A newly-finished small conference room in 2007″

    The takedown of OBL doesn’t rate the main situation room in the West Wing? If not the WHI theory of the”coup” what else explains why that operation was relegated to rinky dink room the size of a closet? What else explains why the POTUS is sitting in the corner, looking like he should be wearing a dunce cap on his head?

  12. crosspatch says:

    And the stories are going all over the place. No internet or telephone yet there was supposedly a dedicated point-to-point fiberoptic cable discovered.

    Imagine for a moment bin Laden wasn’t in that house. I would suppose the story we are hearing now would be much the same as the one we are hearing.

    If they *really* found an intelligence bonanza, do you think they would tell everyone that before they even had a chance to translate it?

    Something isn’t adding up here. We either have a massive display of incompetence after the mission, or … something, I don’t know. But the administration looks too nervous, they keep changing their stories, they are spilling beans that should not be spilled. It just isn’t making sense, almost as if there is nobody really in charge.

  13. dbostan says:

    Ulsterman’s insider stories all (minus the one predicting Pelosi to be replaced as the minority chief) proved true.
    The picture that Ulsterman is painting is frightening…

  14. MerlinOS2 says:

    Ok on this thing the left is strangely giving him a pass on what would be a full all out war on the White House if Bush had taken him out for example.

    Reuters just put up photos of the others taken out in the raid and BHO has nixed any of our photo proof to be released.

    There are only a few voices out there seeming to question what went on here Human Rights Watch being a major one of them.

    This is starting to look more and more like a pre determined take down and not a capture chance.

    I have already seen positing on the rules of engagement here that almost surely set it up that he would be done in if located.

    For what is likely to be an event which will shape the entire legacy of this White House it really has been handled lousy and gives rise to questioning almost every thing else they have said on any issue at all.

  15. crosspatch says:

    They should have gone in and out and never announced it at all. No different than the White House making an announcement that someone had smashed a bug.

  16. MerlinOS2 says:

    Doubt that one cp

    Hamas and others have tried near sainthood on OBL after this was done.

    I doubt the news would not have leaked somehow

    Then the egg would really be on the face of the WH for clamping down on such a large event

  17. crosspatch says:

    Yeah, it would be a hard one to keep. Still, they are talking about it too much.

  18. crosspatch says:

    That picture in the situation room *might* be staged. Pinetta has said that they lost video for about 25 minutes while the operators were in the building. But maybe that picture is on the way in or on the way out.