I posted yesterday that it was quite obvious – particularly after the stupid decision not to release the photos of what the Daily Caller’s Jim Treacher called “Osama Bin Laden after his Navy SEAL makeover” – the Obama administration was screwing up the aftermath of the successful hit on the world’s most prominent terrorist.
As time goes by and the chaos grows, I’m more convinced I was right. The fact that there was no live feed of the takedown, according to the CIA, despite the release of the photo of the entire Obama national security team watching, er, something seems like idiocy. John Brennan’s performance in putting out information the White House had to immediately walk back despite the fact he’s in that picture watching the non-live feed makes all this look like a bad comedy.
And then there’s the release of the dead Osama photos, which they say they won’t do. These are the same people who said it was crucial that we release the photos of Abu Ghraib in the interest of transparency. But we can’t release pictures of Bin Laden because it would make Muslims upset? Besides, the whole point of sending in a SEAL team and risking 40 lives was so you could get this guy with certainty, look him in the eye and kill him – and bring back proof he’s dead. And now, when you have the proof, you’re not going to come across with it? How stupid is that? If you’re not going to show the proof you got the guy, then why didn’t you just bomb that compound to Jupiter and be done with it? None of our people would have been put at risk. But you can’t, because the Muslims won’t like it?
The Muslims are already upset. And the constantly changing narrative of what actually happened in Abbottabad on Sunday has the whole country scratching its collective head – not to mention giving life to what will surely be accusations that we shot up a bunch of unarmed people (I couldn’t care less about that, mind you, but others will).
All of this is a prologue to what the guys at Blackfive wrote about this, which is the best I’ve seen…
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 eastare perhaps the most gullible ethnic group on the planet. When I was in Iraq, there was a widely held belief thatVBIEDs were manufactured on our US military base inRamadi, 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 shit together Mr. President!
The whole thing is required reading.
There are polls showing a bump for the president. But the way this has been handled will insure that Obama’s won’t be a big, or long-lasting, one. Killing Bin Laden is a legendary event. It’s an heroic national story. Obama’s people have a responsibility to present it as such, not muck it up with fibs, flip-flops and political posturing.
Besides, what do you think the reaction in the Pentagon to all this will be? I’d be willing to bet the first casualty will be that somebody leaks the dead Bin Laden photos. And somebody else will retire and write a tell-all book about the takedown just in time for the 2012 elections that makes Obama and his people look like idiots.
And on, and on.