“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Reflections On Osama Bin Laden's Death & Related Issues

After the initial wave of comments on the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of Seal Team Six, other aspects of the event have become more evident, at least to me.

For example, Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal alleged that George Bush's presidency began to decline from the moment that he said it wasn't important where Bin Laden was, nor exactly when he would be captured or killed.

Stephens is wrong, Bush was right. The actual killing or capture of Bin Laden had become, while an occasion for celebration, not the most important event in the war.

People forget Bush's major emphasis- that we are in a war on terror. Primarly Islamic terrorism. Helped along by people like Gore Vidal who denigrated Bush's calling it a war, liberals have consistently avoided acknowledging that reality.

Thus, Karen Hughes, one-time Bush press official, was, I believe, correct to note that killing Bin Laden was not an act of foreign policy. It was simply one event in a war on terror.

So if you recall, as I did, that even Bush 41's victory in Kuwait couldn't re-elect him a year later, why would you think this event will ensure Wonderboy's re-election 18 months from now?

Glenn Beck made some interesting points on his program last night which give the lie to those who believe that Bin Laden's killing shows Obama to be capable of managing something to a good conclusion.

Beck noted that, with over six months of planning and preparation for this event, it's impossible to believe that nobody among Wonderboy and his advisers discussed what to do in the aftermath of Bin Laden's killing. Specifically, how and when to show pictures or video.

Beck as relentless on this point. He reminded everyone that, in today's world, with so many cellphone cameras, nobody really believes anything without visual proof. Don't you think at least one of those Seals took a few private images on a prepaid cell just for that purpose?

For example, Beck continued, how can you believe a Muslim cleric would be present onboard the USS Carl Vinson, but no policy had been determined regarding publishing photos or video of the dead terrorist? Or that anyone would care about seeing a white-sheeted lump of something dumped off of a board on the side of the Vinson into the sea?

Now, I want to be clear about this. I believe Bin Laden was shot and killed. I really do. But Beck's point is, especially after the recent birth certificat flap, you'd think Wonderboy has learned that coming clean with conclusive proof immediately is the best way to silence critics and/or sceptics.

Moreover, fumbling and dithering publicly over whether or not to publish the pictures only reinforces Wonderboy's inability to make decisions, or have foreseen this and planned a coherent and reasonable story to back his decision on the matter. He can't even seem to decide on something so simple as that.

I don't personally agree with those, even Charles Krauthammer, that this event means Republican presidential candidates now have to admit that Wonderboy has achieved a foreign policy success. Or that he actually managed to successfully orchestrate something. It's clear that all the heavy lifting was done by career intelligence and military personnel. All the First Rookie did was to choose inserting a Seal contingent over dropping a bomb, then giving the go ahead.

At this point, only a moron in that office wouldn't have done the same thing, presented with the evidence, estimates and options available.

I think it's fair to say that the point of the Bin Laden killing is revenge. Thus, it's not the most salient event in the continuing war on terror. Both of these points were missing from Wonderboy's speeches in the aftermath of the raid. He also took pains to avoid acknowledging the obvious- that the terror threats we face are Islamic-based.

Unfortunately, killing Bin Laden doesn't end the war on Muslim-originated terror, nor relieve the government's oppressive presence which retards US economic growth and resurgence.

Also, the post-raid exchanges of comments to the press by various Congressional and administration officials raised the evidence that waterboarding and other 'harsh interrogation' tactics bore fruit in this case. KSM was rendered to Poland or Romania, where harsh methods, including, according to NY GOP Representative and current House Intelligence Committee chair Peter King, resulted in information about the courier's identity.

Meanwhile, Democratic Senator Feinstein (or was it Boxer? I can't tell anymore) swore on camera that harsh tactics were of no use in producing any information leading to Bin Laden's death.

However, in his on-camera interview, CIA chief Leon Panetta grudgingly, very grudgingly admitted that waterboarding did the trick.

I saw Donald Rumsfeld state on Sean Hannity's program that he never said harsh interrogation methods don't work. What he said was,

"Then, before Hannity could interrupt, Rumsfeld addressed “some confusion… suggesting that I indicated that no one who was waterboarded at Guantanamo had provided any information on this… What I said was, ‘No one was waterboarded at Guantanamo by the U.S. military.' In fact, no one was waterboarded at Guantanamo, period. Three people were waterboarded by the CIA away from Guantanamo and then later brought to Guantanamo and, in fact, as you point out, the information that came from those individuals was critically important.” "

This meshes with Peter King's remarks that KSM gave up the courier's nickname after harsh interrogation outside the US.

What's clear is that liberals are trying very hard to ignore the truth on this, i.e., waterboarding produced information which, over time and with substantial additional work, led to the identification of the couriers who led US forces to Bin Laden.

Yes, it was a tremendous accomplishment that the Navy Seal teams effected in Abbotabad last weekend. Too bad the follow-up management of it by Wonderboy's administration wasn't up to the same standard of performance.

But, really, after three years in office, is this surprising?

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