Some observations on the political implications of the OB L Operation

I received this from a friend just now and thought it worthy of posting.

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The President of the United States speaking after the capture of Saddam Hussein:

The success of yesterday's mission is a tribute to our men and women now serving in Iraq . The operation was based on the superb work of intelligence analysts who found the dictator's footprints in a vast country. The operation was carried out with skill and precision by a brave fighting force. Our servicemen and women and our coalition allies have faced many dangers in the hunt for members of the fallen regime, and in their effort to bring hope and freedom to the Iraqi people. Their work continues, and so do the risks. Today, on behalf of the nation, I thank the members of our Armed Forces and I congratulate 'em.
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The President of the United States speaking after the killing of Osama bin Laden:

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan . And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
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[FONT=&quot] Now here's a blog by a Navy SEAL.[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]Posted By Blackfive • [May 03, 2011]
This just in from our author emeritus, Froggy:

Squandering Our Victory [/FONT][FONT=&quot]​[/FONT][FONT=&quot]
Just like everybody else, the news that Navy SEALs had infiltrated Pakistan and shot Osama bin Laden in the face really brightened my evening. I decided to celebrate with a Patel Brothers cigar and two fingers of Jack Daniels. Of course my heart was especially bursting with pride at the news that my brothers on the East Coast got the call and executed their mission flawlessly despite crashing a helo into the compound. If you have to be in a helo crash, you are far better off being in one piloted by a Nightstalker of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) because frankly nobody on the planet even comes close to how good those guys are. This is an operation that I have dreamed of being a part of for nearly 10 years, and I have fantasized about rolling up on a target to find UBL in my sights. I am fairly certain that I know somebody on that assault force, and I look forward to the East Coast UDT/SEAL Reunion this summer and sharing a cold one with some of the boys.

By now, May 3, 2011, the stories about how this successful operation is going to ensure a Barack Obama victory in 2012 are legion. I even got an email to that effect on the night of the 1st when we were all basking in the afterglow of UBL’s demise. I’ll admit the thought had crossed my mind, but I dismissed it immediately secure in the knowledge that if any POTUS could **** this up, he was sure to be The One. Right on schedule, the Administration has already put out several conflicting versions of actions on the objective, and I have yet to see somebody from the military nay the SEAL community on a podium at the Pentagon laying out the operation and answering (or not answering) questions. The Bush Administration was very good at this, and when some major military operation took place, the White House would direct the media to the Pentagon where some General or Admiral held a press conference often with video clips and some Power point slides showing some the mission highlights. The Bush White House was happy to let the experts handle things and show a unified front..

Meanwhile, between NSC staffers, the WH Press Secretary, Homeland Security, CIA and a multitude of “Senior Administration Officials” on background, the story has morphed into various versions of events. While the political side of me sees this correctly as another manifestation of the incompetence of this Administration, this vacillation is causing real harm to the significance of our victory here and to the reputation of the SEAL Teams. Let me assure you right now that there is no such thing as a “Kill only “ mission. If that SEAL operator came through the door to find UBL with his hands up, compliant, and unarmed (including no evidence of a suicide vest) he would have taken a muzzle strike to the face, but not any rounds. He would have swallowed some teeth, been flex cuffed, and dragged roughly out to a marshalling area and then onto the helo. To start out with the story that UBL had used his wife as a shield while shooting at the assaulters and to devolve that into to a woman was wounded and UBL was unarmed and shot in the face is quite a large spectrum of “truth”. Add to that the false notion of the “Kill only” mission, and now you have the entire SEAL community being thrown under the bus as wonton killers of women and unarmed civilians.

Are Navy SEALs eager to kill terrorists and UBL most of all? Hells Yeah! But we would not be tasked with a mission profile that excludes the capture of the single greatest intelligence bonanza in the history of the conflict. Certainly we will exploit the intel collected on the target and soon, but if you simply want to kill somebody no matter what you do not send Navy SEALs across a sovereign border to do it. That is what Hellfire missiles and JDAMs are designed to do.

This is also curious from the standpoint of Islamic sensitivity, which is clearly foremost in the mind of this White House. Only Obama could go out of his way to emphasize the respect for the Islamic burial process only to tee up perfectly the conditions under which conspiracy theories are born. The primitive peoples of the middle east are perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet. When I was in Iraq, there was a widely held belief that VBIEDs were manufactured on our US military base in Ramadi, and that the guys with beards (like me) were actually Israeli agents driving in HMMVs with the Star of David on the door. I shit you not. The point is that coming out with a well laid out media plan that is executed from the Pentagon by experts is critical if your goal is to provide a clear and undivided narrative of the event. Of course, this White House has never been very good at sharing credit and it is that infantile demand for attention that is causing this victory to become muddled in conflicting accounts and naked political point scoring.

Frankly, I am content to watch Obama shoot himself in the foot while still having presided over a tremendous effort by our intelligence community and the SEAL Teams, but I’ll be damned if he is going to be allowed to implicate my brothers out of his own incompetence or political expediency. More importantly, the killing of UBL is undoubtedly a very significant event in the War on Terror and the momentum that we have gained should not be lost by grandstanding, partisan jackassery, and rank incompetence. Get your [/FONT][FONT=&quot] _____ [/FONT][FONT=&quot] together Mr. President!
He is well known for that in virtually all of His communications. I thought it would be especially entertaining for those ARRSERs who have such a vitriolic hatred of GWB (for whom I have numerous criticisms as to many of his policies that also reflect progressivism) but seem still bedazzled with the "fairy dust" that seemed to have a similar affect on so many Americans, although methinks its effects are wearing off as the grim reality of our current economic predicament sets in across the country.
Of course it rather depends on the appointment of a successful White House/President speech writer. You see I saw "The West Wing" too aswell as "Yes Minister". Wonder what Sir Humphrey Appleton would have made of President Obama. :)

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