Thursday, May 12, 2011

Was it Obama who ordered the bin Laden raid?

One thing that is generally admitted about the bin Laden raid is that bin Laden's whereabouts were known for several months beforehand. So what led to the delay in acting? Clearly there was indecision about whether to act and how to act and much discussion of the various options.

What went on in those discussions and who was arguing against action? We may never know for certain but a "White House insider" says that Obama was so indecisive that the order to act was eventually given by CIA director Panetta without Obama's prior knowledge. Obama was brought in only after the operation was underway. I reproduce below the opening paragraphs of the story concerned. They are in the form of an interview with the "source" -- JR

Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?

A: 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.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position.

This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.


It rings true to me. Note that in the famous picture from the operations room, Obama looks very much an outsider -- JR


Liberal "Patriotism" in their own words

It has been heartwarming to see a few liberals actually thumping their chests about America in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death via old age and a bullet to the face (but mostly a bullet to the face.) It's just so nice to see our liberal brethren feeling, for a few brief moments at least, the sort of patriotism that conservatives feel all the time.

….Not that there aren't patriotic liberals. They certainly exist, much in the same manner that albino alligators exist. You see one every once in awhile in captivity, but if you ever run across one in the wild, you'll be genuinely surprised. Instead of patriotism, what we usually hear from liberals sounds a lot more like this.

1) When I see an American flag flying, it's a joke. -- Robert Altman

2) As you probably know, some American politicians and American journalists refer to Washington, DC as the “capital of the free world.” But it seems to me that this great city (Brussels), which boasts 1,000 years of history and which serves as the capital of Belgium, the home of the European Union, and the headquarters for NATO, this city has its own legitimate claim to that title. — Joe Biden

3) As to those in the World Trade Center… Let’s get a grip here, shall we? True enough, they were civilians of a sort. But innocent? Gimme a break. …If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I’d really be interested in hearing about it. — Ward Churchill

4) A friend of ours said if the same laws were applied to U.S. Presidents as were applied to the Nazis after WWII, that every single one of them, every last rich white one of them, from Truman on would be hung to death and shot. And this current administration is no exception. They should be hung and tried and shot as war criminals. -- Zack de la Rocha, Rage Against The Machine

5) I don't know if a country (America) where the people are so ignorant of reality and of history, if you can call that a free world. -- Jane Fonda

6) Let's get rid of all the economic (expletive) this country represents! Bring it on, I hope the Muslims win! -- Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders

7) Patriotism threatens free speech with death. It is infuriated by thoughtful hesitation, constructive criticism of our leaders and pleas for peace. It despises people of foreign birth. It has specifically blamed homosexuals, feminists and the American Civil Liberties Union. In other words, the American flag stands for intimidation, censorship, violence, bigotry, sexism, homophobia and shoving the Constitution through a paper shredder. Whom are we calling terrorists here? -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

8) America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself. Has there ever been a big, powerful country that is as patriotic as America? And patriotic in the tinniest way, with so much flag waving? You'd really think we were some poor little republic, and that if one person lost his religion for one hour, the whole thing would crumble. America is the real religion in this country. -- Norman Mailer

9) The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country? I don't see why people care about patriotism. -- Natalie Maines

10) Of course, Mr. Hannity was outraged that any American would not cross her hand over her heart and repeat the hypocritical words, one nation. Whenever we come up on the Fourth of You Lie, I think of Frederick Douglas and his masterful oration, The meaning of the Fourth of July to the Negro. Pledge the flag? I think not! -- Julianne Malveaux

11) (T)he dumbest Brit here is smarter than the smartest American. -- Michael Moore At London's Roundhouse Theater

12) You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a (flag) pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we're talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won't wear that pin on my chest... -- Barack Obama

13) For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country. And not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction. -- Michelle Obama

14) My daughter, who goes to Stuyvesant High School only blocks from the World Trade Center, thinks we should fly an American flag out our window. Definitely not, I say: The flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war. -- Katha Pollitt, The Nation

15) The President wants to talk about a terrorist named bin Laden. I don’t want to talk about bin Laden. I want to talk about a terrorist called Christopher Columbus. I want to talk about a terrorist called George Washington. I want to talk about a terrorist called Rudy Giuliani. The real terrorists have always been the United Snakes of America. — Malik Zulu Shabazz

16) While the rest of the country waves the flag of Americana, we understand we are not part of that. We don't owe America anything - America owes us. -- Al Sharpton at the "State of the Black World Conference" in Atlanta

17) America has been killing people on this continent since it was started. This country is not worth dying for... -- Cindy Sheehan

18) The Pentagon as a legitimate target? I actually don’t have an opinion on that and it’s important I not have an opinion on that as I sit here in my capacity right now. — David Westin, ABC News President

19) The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing “God Bless America.” No, no, no, God d*mn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people. God d*mn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God d*mn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme. -- Jeremiah Wright

20) In practice, US officials seem to know better than to indulge in the patriotic myth that our constitution is the greatest system of government ever devised. — Matthew Yglesias

SOURCE (See the original for links)


The new boogeymen of the American Left

Is the New York Times Reporting on Events or Participating in Them? A Letter to the Public Editor about the Koch brothers

Dear Mr. Brisbane:

I regret that I have to write you yet again. I am writing this time because the New York Times appears to have once again taken a gratuitous shot at Koch Industries and the Kochs, and I wanted to bring it to your attention.

A piece published on May 4, 2011, by Jim
Rutenberg, “Liberal Group’s Video Assails Koch Brothers,” raises the question again of whether the Times is observing and reporting on events or is it taking part in a concerted campaign? What follows are some specific concerns:

* The story is about the launch of a “video campaign” – yet at the time of its publication yesterday, the video had not even been made public, except by the Times itself.

* The “video” has no formal distribution platform other than its own obscure online site. In other words, it seems to be no different than countless other partisan advocacy clips that are posted on sites like YouTube every day. This leads me to ask how is this particular video newsworthy and why is the Times giving it a such a public forum?

* Mr. Rutenberg writes up top that “the [video] campaign marks another step toward conspicuousness for a family whose political activity was largely in the shadows until last year.” That is a puzzling claim. David Koch ran for Vice President on a national ticket more than 30 years ago, and both he and his brother have made public contributions to candidates and public affairs groups for years, all of which has been widely reported. In addition, the Kochs and the business they have built have been the subject of many media stories and profiles over the past decades.

I would be grateful if you could query editors on this and give some consideration to why the Times has been focusing this extreme level of attention to the Kochs and with such disregard for the paper’s own standards of accuracy and objectivity.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Mark V. Holden
Koch Industries, Inc.
Senior Vice President and General Counsel




The Presbyterian Church (USA) abandons the Bible: "The Presbyterian Church (USA) voted to approve the ordination of openly gay church leaders, becoming the fourth mainline denomination to do so. After a vote late yesterday, the protestant church decided to remove the requirement of its leaders to live "either in fidelity within the covenant of marriage between a man and a woman" or in "chastity in singleness". The Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the US with more than 2.3 million members, is separate from the more theologically conservative denomination known as the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), with nearly 350,000 members." [One guess that the PCA will be getting some new congregations]

Hayek on morality: "One way to discredit defenders of political and economic liberty is to allege that they do not take ethics or morality seriously, that they are indeed subjectivists or relativists. Most people are pretty sure that some human conduct is ethically wrong or right. They teach this to their children and hold to this idea as they judge their fellows, including politicians and international movers and shakers. So to suggest that someone like Hayek, who defends freedom of choice in the market place, is a moral relativist pretty much serves to dismiss his or her views. But it is a mistake."

Scofflaw gets life sentence: "A 35-year-old man from New Orleans was sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison after he was convicted of possessing two pounds of marijuana with the intent to distribute, according to a report in The New Orleans Times-Picayune. It was the fourth marijuana conviction for Cornell Hood II, and likely his last as a free man. Louisiana allows life sentences to be handed down in cases where the accused has three prior convictions. In this case, the prosecutor used that provision to argue that Hood is a hardened, career criminal worthy of severe punishment."

The good funding the evil: "The feeling of obligation to pay 'taxes' seems to be little hampered by the fact that 'government' is notoriously wasteful and inefficient. While millions of 'taxpayers' struggle to make ends meet while paying their 'fair share' of 'taxes,' politicians waste millions on laughably silly projects — everything from studying cow farts, to building bridges to nowhere, to paying farmers to not grow certain crops, and so on, ad infinitum — and billions more are simply 'lost,' with no accounting of where they went. But much of what people make possible through payment of 'taxes' is not just wasted but is quite destructive to society."

Revisiting selfishness: "Because I am always eager to do well for myself -- have done this for as long as I can recall, starting with wanting to succeed in school, on the athletic field, in trying to be healthy and fit, and wanting to escape the brutal Soviets when I was only 14 -- I always pay attention to people who denigrate selfishness. After all, I and most people I know well or even just a bit seem to me to be like me, are concerned to do well for themselves. ... So then why are so many who speak up about how we ought to act make a special effort to denigrate self-interested conduct?"

Ron Paul: Less lonely these days: "The man who likely has done more than anyone to put the libertarian philosophy of freedom and small government on the political agenda probably will make another run for the presidency: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul. Paul is always upbeat, but lately he's had more reason to be, as he sees libertarian ideas bubbling up from the grass roots"


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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