Wednesday Highlights

Still busy, but trying to make time for y’all

  1. Bzaaaap!
  2. Hmmm, two ways to go on that … yes censuring both is in order, but only one was a family hour/children’s TV hostess/actress.
  3. Here, however, is a third way you probably haven’t considered.
  4. “I have not yet made a decision” and the subtext is that we all remember “I’m the guy who spent knew for 9 months where Bin Laden and it took all that time for me to make up my mind to go after him.” Somebody should remind him, not to draw a do not cross line if it is just a bluff. Like the bin Laden attack, we’ll have to wait for a wag-the-dog domestic prompt to get us to move.
  5. Related to the above. So, prior to being elected President, Mr Obama was firmly against Presidential unilateral military action, now he’s for it (indeed done it). Stupid or evil (that is, was he so dumb he didn’t anticipate reasons for doing so, or was he lying when he said he was against it?) Liberals keep telling how smart they are, which alas, leaves the “evil” alternative.
  6. I think this belief noted (that racism is the motive) is common on the left. It remains interesting (ironic?) that that assumption is itself  the essence of bigotry.
  7.  Guns and legal control. Back when I was in school, a very good cartoon was on a door in our dorm … “People don’t kill people, Toasters kill people.” with the image of a guy falling down dead with toast impaling his back and another holding a toaster like a mortar.
  8. Noble cause corruption” isn’t noble but it is indeed corruption.
  9. Chemicals to leave for the professionals.
  10. Academic potential.
  11. Who done it?
  12. A short way from surrealism is hyper-realism, both I will admit to liking.
  13. A mistake I’ve made.

12 Responses to Wednesday Highlights

  1. Re #4

    Your position is that Obama knew for 9 months where bin Laden was and opted to time the attack for a moment when it would do him the most political good?

    I’m unclear what was happening around the time Bin Laden’s death that made it an opportune time for ‘political gain’ for Obama. Likewise I’m unclear what was happening 9 months earlier that would have merited Obama thinking killing Bin Laden wouldn’t yield much political gain.

    And, of course, if a President did purposefully decide to hold off attacking Bin Laden after learning where was so he could use it as a sort of ‘get out of jail free card’ in the future, he would run the risk Bin Laden escaping again thereby not only ruining the opportunity but suffering massive political humiliation if the story ever leaked out.

  2. Re: #5

    Turkey is a member of NATO whom we are obligated to defend by Treaty, and while they didn’t make a war issue at the time, it was less than a year ago when Syria’s airforce shot down a Turkish plane over Turkish soil (plus Turkish border towns have been shelled by Syria). It would seem that Kosovo was actually pushing the limits of the law more rather than less.

    Interestingly the War Powers Act does allow the President to send troops in for a period of 60 days without Congressional approval (if approval is denied, an additional 30 day ‘withdrawl period’ is then permitted). That would seem to provide a legal window for a limited operation for punishment for use of chemical weapons. Not sure yet how I feel about that but it’s something to consider.

  3. Boonton,

    Interestingly the War Powers Act does allow the President to send troops in for a period of 60 days without Congressional approval (if approval is denied, an additional 30 day ‘withdrawl period’ is then permitted). That would seem to provide a legal window for a limited operation for punishment for use of chemical weapons. Not sure yet how I feel about that but it’s something to consider.

    And … this use was something a pre-Presidential Obama disapproved.

  4. Boonton,
    Intelligence on the location was firmed up (confirm in Wiki if you wish) by October 2010. The attack was in May 2011. Yes, there were risks he would sneak away, but that presupposes a lot of unlikely things, like that he knew he was watched, that now that we knew where he was that we’d likely lose him in a move, and so on.

    Hmm. What was happening in May 2011? How about a Presidential election? Duh.

  5. Wiki only says that the suspected courier was followed to the compound in 2010. In December 2010 the CIA was asking for a special Congressional allocation to collect intelligence on the compound (incl. est. a safe house near by and conducting electronic surveillance). There was never any definitive proof that Bin Laden was in the compound, only circumstantial evidence (i.e. the infrared images indicating a tall man who paced around inside a lot but never left the house). The raid began to be planned in Jan 2011. In April a 1:1 version of his house had been built in NC for practice and a location in NV was selected to test the effects of the terrain on helicopter flights.

    I suggest you carefully review http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Osama_bin_Laden to begin with before making false accusations.

  6. Boonton,
    Wasn’t false. The book on the Bin Laden capture clearly stated they sat on their hands for months waiting for a decision. Nine months may be incorrect it might have been two. The White House took an unreasonably long time to decide. What made them move? Domestic politics has clearly motivated past (and present) Presidential action on foreign affairs. It’s unclear why you are so sure this is not the case.

  7. The house was only ID’d in August as ‘interesting’ since the courer was followed there. That alone didn’t establish it was Bin Laden’s hiding place. That’s why the house was put under intense surveillance, including the attempt with the ‘vaccination program’ to get some info on the people actually inside the house. No one knew for sure Bin laden was there until the actual raid happened.

    Your timeline is also f’d up. The raid happened in May 2011. The Presidential election happened Nov 2012. A full year and 5 months elapsed between the two. I suppose May was a bit closer to the election but seriously I’m not seeing how having the raid in Feb or March of 2011 could have been expected to have made any difference.

  8. So is the ‘wag the dog’ theory of Bin Laden’s killing going to quietly exist the stage? :)

  9. Boonton,
    Well, when you come up for a reasonable alternative explanation for him waiting an unreasonable amount of time to act … it probably will resurface.

  10. What unreasonable amount of time?

    And how exactly is there a huge political difference between a year and 5 months before the election versus a year and ten months?

  11. Boonton,

    And how exactly is there a huge political difference between a year and 5 months before the election versus a year and ten months?

    So. You’re Mr Obama. Your primary focus is running a campaign. You have this bin Laden thing … which you’ve been sitting on. Assassinating him (as was done) would be a poltical boost, yet if you do it too close to the election it will be seen clearly as dog wagging. If you wait until after and it gets out that you been sitting on it … that will be harmful too. Five months before the election seems long enough to dismiss the wag/dog notion (it worked for sympathisers like yourself). If he waited until August would you have dismissed that so easily? No.

    The point is, he waited a long time after the training was complete. The operatives were sitting on their hands waiting and just staying fresh will Washington made up its mind. No new intelligence triggered the OK. Just weeks and weeks (months) of deliberations. What do you suppose triggered the final OK if it wasn’t domestic politics (which should not have been a consideration)?

  12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_Osama_bin_Laden#Planning_and_final_decision

    The NSA meet at the beginning of March and initially considered bombing the house. The CIA had been unable to confirm whether the person in the house was really Bin Laden or simply a coincidence or a possible decoy. Since the CIA could not rule out a bunker under the house, a bomb big enough to ensure taking out the bunker would have likely destroyed the houses next door and killed civilians and would leave no DNA to positively identify if it was actually Bin Laden. Using a hellfire missile to hit him when he was strolling in the interior garden/courtyard was likewise ruled out.

    In April the team began rehearsals in North Carolina and in Nevada (NC had a 1:1 model of the house from data collected by the CIA, Nevada had the elevation to test the performance of the helicopters.

    On April 28th the NSC meet where only VP Biden opposed the manned mission. On April 29th Obama gave the go ahead and on May 1st it was happening.

    Your gap between training and the mission is now just one month.

    So do you now want to explain to us why a 1 year 5 month wait until the Presidential election was just perfect to get the max. boost while a 1 year 6 month wait would have had people forget and a 1 year 4 month would lead to ‘wag the dog’ accusations?

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