Thursday, May 5, 2011

Obama conflicted about assault on UBL compound?

The Brits are always a good source with interesting takes on events.  My favourite is the Daily Telegraph, but yesterday’s Daily Mail has a story that tells of Obama dithering when confronted with the chance to take down bin Laden.  Upon hearing the news, he tells a stunned NSC that he’s going to “sleep on it”, & leaves the room.  It isn’t until the next morning, after 16 hours, that he declares the op a ‘go’, which is then delayed due to weather until Sunday.  Accurate?  I'd like to hear a 'confirm or deny' discussion.

In this case at least, Obama finally arrived at a decision.  This falls in line with his inaction in the case of the rescue of Richard Phillips from the hands of Somali pirates in 2009, when on-scene commanders, frustrated by White House insistence that the issue be settled peacefully, chose to dispatch the pirates when they themselves declared Phillips to be in imminent danger.  In both cases, Obama leaped to take credit, & his sycophants in the MSM wrote the appropriately hagiographic paeans to his dynamic leadership.

Update:  There is some honest debate since the original story about the 16-hour delay (more sources are reporting it, lending the story some credence beyond the Daily Mail), but I still fall on the side of action.  The operation was no less risky after 16 hours than it was before, & arguably it was more risky after the delay & the attendent chance that some information would leak (far less likely in something as strategic as this, but stranger things have happened).  The only risk that I can see would be political.  Otherwise, what is the downside of "Hmm, should I take out bin Laden now that I have the chance?"  There are those would ponder the legal specifics (at this level, all legalities are political), specifically the proscription against 'assassinations', but I would suggest that they read the source that they tend to cite (Reagan's Executive Order 12333) in its entirety, as well as George W’s update in 2001 (during the Cofer Black “flies dancing on their eye-balls” attitude in response to the attacks of 11 September).

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