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Yes, friends, Obama got this one right

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:00 pm - May 2, 2011.
Filed under: Credit to Democrats,Post 9-11 America,War On Terror

The more we learn about the operation that successfully dispatched Osama bin Laden to the nether regions, the more we see just how truly American an operation it was, not just in the determination to see it through, but in the fact that leading figures in both political parties played a key part in carrying it out.  So, as Jim Geraghty puts it, “rejoice. America always gets her man, sooner or later.

From the White House, we learn that “for years”, the CIA was gathering “leads on individuals in bin Laden’s inner circle, including his personal couriers.”  Detainees had identified a certain man

. . . as one of the few al Qaeda couriers trusted by bin Laden.  They indicated he might be living with and protecting bin Laden.  But for years, we were unable to identify his true name or his location.

Four years ago, we uncovered his identity, and for operational reasons, I can’t go into details about his name or how we identified him, but about two years ago, after months of persistent effort, we identified areas in Pakistan where the courier and his brother operated.  Still we were unable to pinpoint exactly where they lived, due to extensive operational security on their part.  The fact that they were being so careful reinforced our belief that we were on the right track.

Emphasis added.  Four years ago, George W. Bush was president.  So, this operation began to blossom in the previous Administration.  But, it wasn’t until the incumbent Administration when it bore fruit.  In August, “U.S. teams located” Obama’s residence (well, his residence as until yesterday.  Thanks to the Navy SEALs, he has a new home today!)

But, “the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden” may have emerged has far back as 2003 with the capture of “Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks”.  Even after locating the compound, “C.I.A. analysts spent the next several weeks examining satellite photos and intelligence reports to determine who might be living”  there.  By March, they were convinced it was the refuge of bin Laden lived.  On the 14th of that month, the president “held the first of what would be five national security meetings in the course of the next six weeks to go over plans for the operation.”

And in March, according to Jake Tapper of ABC News,

President Obama authorized the development of a plan for the U.S. to bomb Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound with two B2 stealth bombers dropping a few dozen 2,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions) on the compound.

But when the president heard the compound would be reduced to rubble he chose not to pursue that option.

That would mean there would be no evidence bin Laden was dead to present to the world – no DNA evidence, as the administration anticipates it will have.

Smart move, Mr. President.  Very smart.   He did the right thing in choosing to send troops in (instead of bombing) and in giving the go-ahead for this operation.

Not only do we have proof that we got Osama, but this also ensured that the America-hating terrorist’s last image in this world was an American service member shooting at him.

“It was,”  Jonathan S. Tobin writes, “Barack Obama who gave the order to launch the assault on bin Laden’s compound, and the credit and glory that belongs to the brave Americans who carried out that command will always be attached to their commander-in-chief as well. As they should.

Let’s join Rush Limbaugh in congratulating President Obama.

NB:  Links to the White House and ABCNews above via Best of the Web.

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69 Comments

  1. Did he have a choice, really?

    What Obama did is exactly what most Americans would have expected their president to do, regardless of who that president is.

    Praising him for getting it right is a little like praising a 15 year-old for not crapping his pants.

    Comment by Robert — May 2, 2011 @ 7:09 pm - May 2, 2011

  2. It’s interesting to see Americans celebrating in the street. Under Bush, that would have been religiously denounced by America’s campaigning reporters and journalists. That said – I give credit where credit is due too. Graciousness is not a crime.

    Comment by Ben — May 2, 2011 @ 7:42 pm - May 2, 2011

  3. I think Rush was mocking Barry… sometimes Rush doesn’t know when to shut up. Actually, I’ve about given up on Limbaugh… boring. I now listen to Laura Ingraham in this time slot and she had Rummy on for commentary today (which was cool).

    http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_050211/content/01125110.guest.html

    I’m thrilled that Obama chose the SEAL operation – brilliant. It’s been my hope that when bin Laden was found, he would know who it was that had found him. A bomb would’ve spared him the knowledge that we’d caught up with him. He spent his last cowardly minutes – probably hiding behind some woman’s burka – knowing that the USA was there to send him to hell.

    Obama is a disaster but – for this – he deserves a “job well done” along with those that discovered OBL’s location and the SEALs that took him out.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — May 2, 2011 @ 8:36 pm - May 2, 2011

  4. And this blog got it wrong.

    Or do you not remember this?

    http://www.gaypatriot.net/2007/08/02/has-obama-had-his-howard-dean-moment/

    I haven’t posted on this blog in over two years, but to ignore the fact that this was a major difference between the 2 candidates during the 2008 presidential election is to gloss over an inconvenient truth.

    Candidate Obama consistently said, if, as President, he had actionable intelligence to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s leadership in Pakistan, he would unilateral give the order to take them out — that we would not wait or depend upon the Pakistani government to act.

    This weekend, that is exactly what President Obama did.

    On July 28th, 2008, in an interview with Larry King, Republican candidate John McCain said the exact opposite.

    KING: If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?

    MCCAIN: Larry, I’m not going to go there and here’s why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it’s causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself.

    http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0807/28/lkl.01.html

    This was one of the defining differences between the two candidates in the 2008 presidential election. Obama was criticized by many for his stance, including the lead writer at this blog. It was his “Howard Dean moment.” But as the last 72 hours have shown, Barack Obama had it right. His opponents had it wrong.

    I will close with what I said in response to that blog post from August 5th, 2007:

    There are terrorists holed up in the mountains of Pakistan that murdered 3,000 Americans. Certainly taking military action on Pakistani soil is dangerous, but waiting for Pakistan to move against the Al Qaeda leadership exposes the United States to significant danger, as well. The longer they are at-large, the greater the likelihood they will strike us again.”

    I knew it. Barack Obama knew it. Now that it’s done, I’ll let you all pretend you knew it, too.

    Comment by Erik — May 2, 2011 @ 9:08 pm - May 2, 2011

  5. I’d also like to congratulate Obama for sticking with the Bush 43 anti terror efforts. Leaving Club Gitmo open, keeping some black CIA sites open as well. It seems even waterboarding helped lead us to UBL. Even a boob leftist like BHO can learn what the real world is like after 2 and a half years in the oval office. Gitmo, rendition, preditors, black sites and finally seal missions…..the Bush military and anti terror plans were used successfully by BHO. The liberal left must be really going nutts.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 2, 2011 @ 9:40 pm - May 2, 2011

  6. Can someone explain to me why so many gay people in the western world cheer for communism when in all the places where communism have been practiced homosexuals are some of the first minorities imprisoned if not executed?

    Comment by Mario — May 2, 2011 @ 9:51 pm - May 2, 2011

  7. Have to give credit where credit is due:
    Thank you Pres Bush, VP Cheney, Pres Obama

    Most of all, thanks to our outstanding armed services in general and special ops in particular.

    When I first heard the news I hoped that OBL’s death was horrifically agonizing. Alas, a bullet to the head sent that piece of sh!t to hell.

    I think BO knows he’s in way over his head and that’s why he has wisely chosen to retain Pres Bush’s policies and people when it comes to the War on Terror.

    Now if only he comes to the realization that he’s in way over his head with respect to American Exceptionalism and the economy and begins to implement the policies of the greatest president in at least 100 years: Ronald Reagan.

    Comment by Roger Sherman — May 2, 2011 @ 9:57 pm - May 2, 2011

  8. Can someone explain to me why so many gay people in the western world cheer for communism when in all the places where communism have been practiced homosexuals are some of the first minorities imprisoned if not executed?

    After reading the comments of Levi, Cas, Dooms, evil Kevin, Brendan, Auntie Dogma, buckeyenutlover, et. al. all these years, I think I can answer that.

    It’s because they’re idiots.

    Comment by V the K — May 2, 2011 @ 11:09 pm - May 2, 2011

  9. “Can someone explain to me why so many gay people in the western world cheer for communism when in all the places where communism have been practiced homosexuals are some of the first minorities imprisoned if not executed?”

    Heh, you’ve got to defend the history of Communist countries, least someone learn they never come close to living up to their romanticized hype. It a combination of the never admitting that a Leftist state can be that evil and the fact that a lot of people on the Left holding on to the illusion that only people on the right have issues or negative views about any aspect of sexuality.

    This reminds me of a thread I came across on an openly Communist website’s forum. One of the young members heard that pornography was illegal in the USSR and made post asking if this was true. One of the older members responded saying it was and though it sort of sucked but more or less down played it as unimportant. This was followed a number of members expressing shock to learn this was true, until one of the members posted something along the line of “Well, who cares! People people in the USSR didn’t need pornography, because if they wanted sex they just had sex!” Everybody seemed to think this was a great answer and fell in line, and I was amused to see a bunch of people who upon learning the USSR wasn’t the completely sexually liberated wonderland they thought it was double down and see what they wanted to see.

    Well, of course, they had to ban pornography in the USSR! If they didn’t, people might wear themselves out masturbating at home, instead of attending the Roman-style orgies going on 24/7 in every government building and on the very streets!

    Not to say banning pornography is on the same level as imprisoning or executing gays, but a lot of people on the Left have issues with aspects of sexuality, while claiming ONLY those on the Right do. Heck, over the last few weeks I’ve been attending weekly parties to watch HBOs A Game of Thrones and it’s funny about how the only person who has an issue with the nudity in it is a Left-wing woman who is very vocal about it.

    If I was President, I’d be pushing for more nudity on TV and Roman-style orgies would be instigated as a standard reward for successful missions in the military, intelligence community and anyone who switches sides and helps us. I suspect that Osama Bin Laden would have been found a lot quicker under my hypothetical administration.

    Comment by Thulsa Doom — May 2, 2011 @ 11:09 pm - May 2, 2011

  10. Erik

    Welcome back! And you come back in fine form indeed!

    Comment by Sonicfrog — May 3, 2011 @ 12:10 am - May 3, 2011

  11. I think BO knows he’s in way over his head and that’s why he has wisely chosen to retain Pres Bush’s policies and people when it comes to the War on Terror.

    Sure buddy. That makes sense. Obama is in way over his head, so he copied Bush’s policies and achieved better results with them. That’s using your noodle.

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 3:14 am - May 3, 2011

  12. Nice post Erik.

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 3:15 am - May 3, 2011

  13. Erik, I’m trying to parse the meaning of your comment, particularly attached as it is to a post that I wrote when you cite as evidence for error something I didn’t write. And even there, my co-blogger was talking not about a pinprick operation (like that conducted on Sunday), but an actual invasion.

    Now, re-read the comment that you quoted from John McCain. Note his very first comment, “I’m not going to go there”. He didn’t mean that he wasn’t going to go to Pakistan, but that he wasn’t going to answer the question. Which is a very diplomatic answer. The media would have pounced on him had he spoken differently.

    The second part of his comment nearly perfectly parallels what Secretary of State Clinton said about the Pakistanis on Monday. (Not that I believe her, but it was the diplomatic thing to say.)

    We don’t know what John McCain would have done if he had the intelligence that Obama did. We do know what Obama did with that intelligence. And we at GayPatriot have been unequivocal in our defense and praise of his actions.

    Just curious about the tone of your comment and your suggestion that I got it wrong, especially in a comment to a post where I lavish praise on the president. First, as you should know by now, I don’t speak for Bruce, nor he for me. Not just that, you misread Bruce’s comments in the post you link.

    And you twist John McCain’s words to mean something other than they do. Finally, I can’t speak for Bruce on this, but having just re-read his post, I just don’t find him indicating opposition to the kind of action Navy SEALs took on Sunday. And had you posed the hypothetical to me, a private citizen and not a candidate for office (or public official) the same question Larry King posed John McCain, I would have said “Go for it”. Whether it was in 2001, this year — or any year intervening.

    And if you have any evidence to the contrary, please provide it.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — May 3, 2011 @ 3:40 am - May 3, 2011

  14. […] Yes, friends, Obama got this one right […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » Thank you, Navy SEALs! — May 3, 2011 @ 3:51 am - May 3, 2011

  15. I’m curious as to how Erik can handily provide a quote by McCain, but not one by Chairman Obama.

    Comment by TGC — May 3, 2011 @ 4:47 am - May 3, 2011

  16. Erik,

    Your first hint that something’s wrong is Levi agrees with you.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 7:47 am - May 3, 2011

  17. Levi,

    Funny how you don’t admit you (and President Obama) were wrong about EIT, Gitmo, et al. Also funny how you don’t admit that it’s not only a continuation of President Bush’s policies but how it’s intelligence gathered, acted on, and followed up during the Bush Administration.

    Now hush Levi, adults are talking.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 7:49 am - May 3, 2011

  18. […] Blatt ’85 has a variety of […]

    Pingback by Eph Reactions To the Death of Bin Laden : EphBlog — May 3, 2011 @ 9:12 am - May 3, 2011

  19. Obama has had serious on-the-job training. He has learned that Clinton diddled Osama away by looking for a “legal” reason to protect the general welfare of the United States of America.

    Obama first decided to adopt the Clinton policy and started to give detained terrorists their day in court in the domestic, civilian justice system reserved for citizens and covered by the Constitution. He even dragged the scrawny Somalian “pirate” to New York. Then, he “learned” that the military tribunals were pretty good at their jobs after all.

    Obama set out to shutter Gitmo and maybe drag the “victims” to Illinois and do “justice” there. Then, he “learned” that Gitmo was state of the art and in no way the “black hole of Calcutta” his moonbat fringe insisted it was.

    Obama was oh, so opposed to “torture.” Then he “learned” that his best leads came from radical rats who gave up bits and pieces through “enhanced interrogation techniques.” So, Obama completely abandoned the whole “torture” theme and went with EIT.

    The hated Patriot Act was not dismantled. Obama “learned” its utility to fighting the shadow world of terrorism.

    George Bush was a “cowboy” when he talked about “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” Obama, if anything, acted the “cowboy” by sending a hit squad to “take out” bin Laden.

    So, let me be clear. Obama picked up where Bush left off. The compound where Osama was killied was already an active surveillance target when Bush left office. The courier was being tracked down when Bush left office.

    Obama “ordered” Panetta to proceed on bin Laden more than six months after taking the oath of office. The CIA and other agencies were already deep into the job. Obama’s memo to Panetta was standard operating procedure in the way of issuing covering paperwork. It is not as if Panetta and the CIA he took over were playing solitaire waiting for directions from Obama. (Or McCain, had he won.)

    This “cowboy” stuff thrown at Bush was great political demagoguery, but if it attached to Bush, it surely attaches to Obama. There was Obama telling the Navy Seal to shoot the Somalian “pirates” and now we have Obama telling the Navy Seals to take Osama: Dead or Alive. You can’t have it both ways.

    I praise Obama’s growth spurt. He seems to have “learned” a lot. I doubt he is planning an apology tour of Europe and the Middle East to trash the United States for killing Osama bin Laden.

    Gitmo is open for business and going nowhere. bin Laden is dead. The troops are not leaving Afghanistan any time soon. Pakistan is as fragile as ever, Al Qaeda has a new leader and Obama and the intelligence community are now focusing on the other jackals who mean to destroy us.

    Obama has been taught that grandiose campaign rhetoric does not converge with reality with any great, sweeping ease. He has been taught that chatting up the world does not stop nuclear weapons from being developed or the people who overthrow dictators to be organized, pure minded citizens who are hot for equality.

    He has also learned that Katrina comes in many forms such as tornadoes and tsunamis and oil spills; and, that “The Won” in the Oval Office has very little control over the efficient repairs in the aftermath.

    I am glad to see a bit of growth in our boy President. I would like to see a little growth in the Kos Kids and the leftist moonbats who can’t chill on their Bush derangement syndrome. But I will settle for growth in the President. The moonbats will just have to fight it out among themselves.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 10:13 am - May 3, 2011

  20. Helio, that was pathetic.

    Obama has had serious on-the-job training. He has learned that Clinton diddled Osama away by looking for a “legal” reason to protect the general welfare of the United States of America.

    Obama first decided to adopt the Clinton policy and started to give detained terrorists their day in court in the domestic, civilian justice system reserved for citizens and covered by the Constitution. He even dragged the scrawny Somalian “pirate” to New York. Then, he “learned” that the military tribunals were pretty good at their jobs after all.

    Obama set out to shutter Gitmo and maybe drag the “victims” to Illinois and do “justice” there. Then, he “learned” that Gitmo was state of the art and in no way the “black hole of Calcutta” his moonbat fringe insisted it was.

    Obama was oh, so opposed to “torture.” Then he “learned” that his best leads came from radical rats who gave up bits and pieces through “enhanced interrogation techniques.” So, Obama completely abandoned the whole “torture” theme and went with EIT.

    No. Torture is not a reliable method of gathering intelligence. In the event that crucial information was extracted during one of Bush’s torture sessions, that still does not justify the policy and it does not make torture an effective means of interrogation.

    The haphazard approach wherein people were rounded up based on hearsay, gossip, and foreign-sounding last names and tortured to varying degrees was an abject failure regardless of where the original piece of information came from. And by the way, there is no indication that this information was received through torture.

    The hated Patriot Act was not dismantled. Obama “learned” its utility to fighting the shadow world of terrorism.

    As above, there is no evidence so far to suggest that the Patriot Act had anything to do with the operation. You’re making assumptions based on what you would like to be the case.

    George Bush was a “cowboy” when he talked about “Wanted: Dead or Alive.” Obama, if anything, acted the “cowboy” by sending a hit squad to “take out” bin Laden.

    So, let me be clear. Obama picked up where Bush left off. The compound where Osama was killied was already an active surveillance target when Bush left office. The courier was being tracked down when Bush left office.

    Obama “ordered” Panetta to proceed on bin Laden more than six months after taking the oath of office. The CIA and other agencies were already deep into the job. Obama’s memo to Panetta was standard operating procedure in the way of issuing covering paperwork. It is not as if Panetta and the CIA he took over were playing solitaire waiting for directions from Obama. (Or McCain, had he won.)

    This “cowboy” stuff thrown at Bush was great political demagoguery, but if it attached to Bush, it surely attaches to Obama. There was Obama telling the Navy Seal to shoot the Somalian “pirates” and now we have Obama telling the Navy Seals to take Osama: Dead or Alive. You can’t have it both ways.

    You don’t understand what the ‘cowboy’ label means. It should be abundantly clear after Bin Laden’s death that the best way to handle terrorism is with these kinds of small strikes. There’s nothing cavalier about ordering a precise assassination. But invading a country and prancing around on an aircraft carrier in a flight suit and encouraging your enemies to ‘bring it on’; that’s why Bush is called a cowboy. He’s reckless, he’s arrogant, he’s stubborn, and the poor results of his foreign policy demonstrate how counterproductive someone with those characteristics can be.

    I praise Obama’s growth spurt. He seems to have “learned” a lot. I doubt he is planning an apology tour of Europe and the Middle East to trash the United States for killing Osama bin Laden.

    What is that supposed to mean? You think he’s gone around trashing the United States before? Are you completely incapable of delineating between criticism of George Bush and criticism of the United States?

    Gitmo is open for business and going nowhere. bin Laden is dead. The troops are not leaving Afghanistan any time soon. Pakistan is as fragile as ever, Al Qaeda has a new leader and Obama and the intelligence community are now focusing on the other jackals who mean to destroy us.

    Obama has been taught that grandiose campaign rhetoric does not converge with reality with any great, sweeping ease. He has been taught that chatting up the world does not stop nuclear weapons from being developed or the people who overthrow dictators to be organized, pure minded citizens who are hot for equality.

    God you’re full of shit. You clearly think you’re capable of divining the inner workings of Obama’s mind. The above is a list of convenient assumptions that you can really only hope are true, and you offer it as if there is no question about any of it. The conservative movement has bought into the idea that Bush’s policies were huge successes, and so you get to claim victory any time something good happens, huh?

    He has also learned that Katrina comes in many forms such as tornadoes and tsunamis and oil spills; and, that “The Won” in the Oval Office has very little control over the efficient repairs in the aftermath.

    I am glad to see a bit of growth in our boy President. I would like to see a little growth in the Kos Kids and the leftist moonbats who can’t chill on their Bush derangement syndrome. But I will settle for growth in the President. The moonbats will just have to fight it out among themselves.

    This little act where conservatives pretend to be the foreign policy specialists that have to explain the big, scary world to naive, bleeding heart liberals is getting a little long in the tooth. Especially in light of what’s happened. It took two years for the Democrat to get the guy the Republican couldn’t get in eight. Huh. Those aren’t the results I would expect if your premise is that the Republicans are the experts and the Democrats are the children.

    And you’ll explain that away with your little ‘education’ theory. Bush supposedly showed Obama the way, is that right? And we can just assume, because something positive happened, that Obama took office and almost immediately copied Bush’s mindset down to the letter? Remember all of the conservative attacks against Obama during the campaign, that we has weak, that he couldn’t make tough decisions, that he sympathized with terrorists, that all he wanted to do was talk, etc.? I suppose you don’t think that your credibility is harmed at all by any of this, do you? Oh I get it… Obama used to be like that, until Bush showed him the light, right?

    Exactly the kind of magical thinking I would expect from a grown man who believes in angels.

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 11:05 am - May 3, 2011

  21. so Levi’s now arguing ‘torture doesn’t work, except when it does.’

    This is fun watching him try to tie himself in knots to avoid saying he was wrong.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 11:09 am - May 3, 2011

  22. This “cowboy” stuff thrown at Bush was great political demagoguery, but if it attached to Bush, it surely attaches to Obama.

    In celebrating OBL’s death, the Left concedes the moral premises of the Bush administration. The Left validates that, as with Gitmo and so many other security issues, the Bush administration was on the right track.

    The sane, moderate ones (think Pat) don’t mind. Like our host Dan praising Obama, they are happy to give credit when it is due. But the hardcore, mentally immature ones like Levi do gymnastics to not admit what they just conceded.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — May 3, 2011 @ 11:11 am - May 3, 2011

  23. #1:

    And even there, my co-blogger was talking not about a pinprick operation (like that conducted on Sunday), but an actual invasion.

    Actually, no, you are wrong. The attacks which prompted the August 2, 2007 National Review piece, cited by Bruce in his August 5, 2007 blog post, stem out of an August 1, 2007 policy speech Barack Obama gave on national security at the Woodrow Wilson International Center in Washington, DC.

    In the speech, Obama speaks multiple times of getting off “the wrong battlefield in Iraq” and taking “the fight to the terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan.” But the segment of the speech which prompted the attacks from his opponents was this:

    As President, I would make the hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditional, and I would make our conditions clear: Pakistan must make substantial progress in closing down the training camps, evicting foreign fighters, and preventing the Taliban from using Pakistan as a staging area for attacks in Afghanistan.

    I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

    Nowhere in that August 1, 2007 speech did Obama say he would support an “actual invasion” of Pakistan. That was a distortion of the speech made by his political opponents. This is but one example of how the right has continually distorted the statements and record of the President. Obama has always been clear — if we had actionable intelligence to the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden or others in the leadership of Al Qaeda, Pakistani sovereignty would not be an obstacle to bringing them to justice, that we would act unilaterally if necessary. This weekend, on his order, that is what we did.

    The transcript of that speech is here: http://www.cfr.org/us-election-2008/obamas-speech-woodrow-wilson-center/p13974

    (Obama quoted and cited… TGC — satisfied?)

    #2:

    We don’t know what John McCain would have done if he had the intelligence that Obama did.

    This much is true. But we do know Senator McCain continually attacked Obama’s position and attempted to score political points off it.

    This from the second Presidential debate at Belmont University on October 7, 2008:

    QUESTION: Should the United States respect Pakistani sovereignty and not pursue al Qaeda terrorists who maintain bases there, or should we ignore their borders and pursue our enemies like we did in Cambodia during the Vietnam War?

    OBAMA: (snip) …What I’ve said is we’re going to encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our nonmilitary aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

    And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden; we will crush Al Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority.

    BROKAW: Senator McCain?

    MCCAIN: Well, Katie (ph), thank you.

    You know, my hero is a guy named Teddy Roosevelt. Teddy Roosevelt used to say walk softly — talk softly, but carry a big stick. Senator Obama likes to talk loudly.

    In fact, he said he wants to announce that he’s going to attack Pakistan. Remarkable.

    You know, if you are a country and you’re trying to gain the support of another country, then you want to do everything you can that they would act in a cooperative fashion.

    When you announce that you’re going to launch an attack into another country, it’s pretty obvious that you have the effect that it had in Pakistan: It turns public opinion against us.

    Again, this was debated extensively throughout the 2008 presidential election. Obama was always clear in his position.

    Just to add comment to Senator McCain’s assertion — After this weekend, it’s obvious President Obama talks loudly AND carries a big stick.

    Transcript: http://elections.nytimes.com/2008/president/debates/transcripts/second-presidential-debate.html

    #3:

    Just curious about the tone of your comment and your suggestion that I got it wrong, especially in a comment to a post where I lavish praise on the president. First, as you should know by now, I don’t speak for Bruce, nor he for me.

    Correction, I said the blog got it wrong. Considering Bruce’s nom de guerre is the title of the blog, I don’t think that is a misappropriation. He speaks for the blog.

    #4:

    Finally, I can’t speak for Bruce on this, but having just re-read his post, I just don’t find him indicating opposition to the kind of action Navy SEALs took on Sunday.

    But that’s a red herring. The right distorted Obama’s speech, appropriated a position to him he never took, and now that he has followed through on the position he did take, you say — we always supported that!

    That is what is called “the bait and switch.”

    Comment by Erik — May 3, 2011 @ 11:25 am - May 3, 2011

  24. Because I am a perfectionist, I would like to point out it should be past tense, not present tense, in the sentence that reads “Obama speaks multiple times.”

    It should be “Obama spoke multiple times.”

    Just wanted to clear that up.

    Comment by Erik — May 3, 2011 @ 11:35 am - May 3, 2011

  25. Levi and Erik are the master torturers of logic.

    They are not engaging in EDT (Enhanced Debating Techniques) so much as they are stringing snippets of meaninglessness “factoids” together with gossamer strands of pure non sequitur invention.

    That they are willing to engage in such displays fanciful denial of being caught red handed with the goods deeply embedded in their pockets is a tribute to their firm conviction that if you repeat it often enough, you can fool some of the people on rare occasions.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 12:01 pm - May 3, 2011

  26. In celebrating OBL’s death, the Left concedes the moral premises of the Bush administration. The Left validates that, as with Gitmo and so many other security issues, the Bush administration was on the right track.

    Okay – the right track. Let’s focus on this.

    Most problems have multiple solutions. There can be many right tracks, and obviously, there are many, many wrong tracks. For the sake of argument, I will assume that this operation is directly attributable to information that was acquired through Bush’s detention and torture programs. You can give him full credit if you like. If we define the problem exclusively as finding and killing Osama Bin Laden, and Bush’s policies lead directly to this successful operation, then one could argue that yes, George Bush put us on one of those right tracks.

    However, in putting us on this right track, Bush missed out on taking advantage of many other hypothetical right tracks. When we consider the length of time it took for this track to be successful, when we consider the enormous cost of a decade’s worth of of military deployments, when we consider the havoc that Bin Laden wreaked while he remained free, when we consider the damage done to our reputation and credibility, it doesn’t exactly seem worth it. It kinda seems like a wrong track that kind of had positive outcome as a sort of side effect, doesn’t it?

    And while we’ve been wasting all of our time, money, and blood on this wrong track, there were opportunities all along the way that would have could have achieved the same result at a minuscule fraction of the cost. Liberals have suggested all along that terrorism was better handled as a kind of police action versus using the military, and what happened this week certainly seems to confirm that. (Conservatives always dismissed this as liberal naivety.) It’s widely agreed that Osama Bin Laden could have been captured 9 years ago if the administration hadn’t trained its focus on Iraq.

    The bottom line is that the end result isn’t the only thing that matters. You’ve failed at problem-solving if you solve the problem with inefficient methods that create a myriad of new problems for you to deal with. In this hypothetical situation where Bush’s leadership and policies lead directly to this result, he’s also left us with two un-winnable wars, an exhausted military, huge bills from these continuing operations, an enemy that enjoyed a huge recruitment burst upon our invasion, and a tarnished reputation as moral leaders and credible intelligence sources.

    Do you seriously think that the costs and problems that Bush has saddled us with are worth it? In the end, the actual operation required a few dozen men, some helicopters and 45 minutes. Don’t you think there was a much better ‘right track’ that could have gotten us here a lot sooner than ten years? You’re simply ignoring too many of the details if you can convince yourself that this has been ‘the right track.’

    The sane, moderate ones (think Pat) don’t mind. Like our host Dan praising Obama, they are happy to give credit when it is due. But the hardcore, mentally immature ones like Levi do gymnastics to not admit what they just conceded.

    It will only take a few weeks for this all to be forgotten and compartmentalized, and you’ll be right back to accusing Obama of hating the troops and coddling the terrorists.

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 12:16 pm - May 3, 2011

  27. Liberals have suggested all along that terrorism was better handled as a kind of police action versus using the military, and what happened this week certainly seems to confirm that.

    Except for the fact that the military was the group that ultimately killed bin Laden.

    Using the intelligence that liberals like Levi didn’t want to collect from people that liberals like Levi didn’t want to imprison.

    Using the trained teams that Levi opposed.

    Using the tactic of infiltration of another country that Levi shrieked was a violation of “national sovereignty”.

    And using the weapons that Levi didn’t want to fund.

    So let’s see: Levi and his fellow liberals like Barack Obama have flatly opposed every single one of the tactics that proved successful this week.

    Thankfully, adults were in charge and ignored the whining, crying children like Levi and Barack Obama who were engaged in nothing more than magical thinking.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2011 @ 12:25 pm - May 3, 2011

  28. Totally awesome, Erik.
    Cheers,
    Cas

    Comment by Cas — May 3, 2011 @ 12:26 pm - May 3, 2011

  29. More ‘watch Levi twist’ fodder. Wikileaks suggests courier’s identiy came from operative captured in Iraq.

    Looks like President Bush’s actions in Iraq not only freed millions, and helped the environment, it helped lead us to OBL.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 12:38 pm - May 3, 2011

  30. OK, Erik, let’s play. You cite @ #22:

    I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

    Based on this Obama quote which you have cited, you state:

    Nowhere in that August 1, 2007 speech did Obama say he would support an “actual invasion” of Pakistan. That was a distortion of the speech made by his political opponents.

    So, we are playing weasel words, are we not?

    1. Is it fair to assume that Obama is talking about Pakistani territory in the citation you post? (Why would Obama be insisting Musharraf act outside of Pakistani territory?)

    2. Is it fair to assume that “If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.” clearly means that Obama and the US will ignore the sovereignty of Pakistan and deploy deadly force by air or ground?

    3,) Are you not placing unstated but critical emphasis on the concept of an “actual invasion” which serves to blur the concept of ignoring sovereignty. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and flew back home. Was that an invasion of our sovereignty? St. Franklin of Roosevelt thought so. So did Congress.

    I could parse your silliness to the end of your meandering semantic disaster zone, but this one example should be enough to commence your juices to foam.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 1:21 pm - May 3, 2011

  31. Obama will get a bump from this but it will be short lived. Even getting Osama will not impact the economy which will be the downfall of Obama.

    For Mario,

    The reposnses you have received are good, but the historical reason goes back to the Stonewall riots of 1969. The riots said we were not going to be victims anymore. So this led to organizing during the milieu of the Vietnam War. The organizers likened the our struggle for civil rights to those of the South Vietnamese communists, known as the National Liberation Front, attempts to overthrow the Diem regime. So was born the Gay Liberation Front. Radical Democrats seized upon this for their own political gain. So a large segment of the gay community bought into this and continue to march lockstep with the radical and embrace enemies of our country and our lifestyle. And they have consummate gall to call gay conservatives self loathing. What a piece of work they are!

    Comment by Roberto — May 3, 2011 @ 1:22 pm - May 3, 2011

  32. #25: “If we define the problem exclusively as finding and killing Osama Bin Laden,…”

    We don’t. Bush didn’t. Which is why Levi sounds like an idiot when he asserts that “the costs and problems that Bush has saddled us with” were “not worth it” because “[i]n the end, the actual operation required a few dozen men, some helicopters and 45 minutes.”

    Levi’s condemnation of the methods implemented by Bush (after Congressional Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of them) is based on the absurd premise that terrorism is a criminal matter better handled by law enforcement rather than the military, as confirmed by this quote:

    “Liberals have suggested all along that terrorism was better handled as a kind of police action versus using the military, and what happened this week certainly seems to confirm that. (Conservatives always dismissed this as liberal naivety.) It’s widely agreed that Osama Bin Laden could have been captured 9 years ago if the administration hadn’t trained its focus on Iraq.”

    Calling it “liberal naivety” [sic] is far too diplomatic. It’s liberal stupidity mixed with dishonesty and the actions taken by Bush during his Presidency were an explicit rejection of the Democrats’ (and Levi’s) imbecilic assessment of what the “problem” was after 9/11. Levi is correct when he states that liberals have wanted to treat terrorism as a “police action” all along, but he has conveniently forgotten that President Clinton had the opportunity to test that concept following the FIRST bombing of the WTC by Muslim terrorists in 1993. And we all know how well that worked out.

    Bush responded to 9/11 by taking the actions and implementing the policies known collectively as the War On Terror because a global network of Muslim terrorists are AT WAR WITH US. Meanwhile, Levi wants to pretend that we could have fixed everything quickly and efficiently (and without offending other Muslim jihadists) if we had just agreed with their ignorant and dangerous assessment that 9/11 required only a “law enforcement response” and accordingly defined the effort as INTERNATIONAL MANHUNT FOR OBL instead of the WAR ON TERROR.

    Levi, there’s no other way to say it: you are an ignorant fu*king douchebag of the first order. Clinton responded to Muslim jihadists bombing the WTC in 1993 by taking a law enforcement approach and eight years later Muslim jihadists took a second run at the towers and brought them down, murdering thousands of Americans. And here you are, STILL advocating the same dangerous, politically-correct policy that has already racked up a body count of thousands of Americans. You’re a vile disgrace to humanity and shockingly ignorant for someone so outspoken. Please, go fu*k yourself.

    Comment by Sean A — May 3, 2011 @ 1:59 pm - May 3, 2011

  33. Levi, there’s no other way to say it: you are an ignorant fu*king douchebag of the first order.

    Rats! Now Sean A has contracted Levi Syndrome. “No other way to say it” is hyperbole. Given the chance, I believe what Sean A has said could be said in hundreds of ways.

    However, perhaps I would subscribe to “No better way of saying it.”

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 2:17 pm - May 3, 2011

  34. #8 don’t forget…educated in the public school system hehe

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 3, 2011 @ 2:47 pm - May 3, 2011

  35. I love the one picture of the 9 ppl in the SIT ROOM, all watching the op go down. Who’s the smallest person in the room…looking totally out of place…
    none other than POTUS. Priceless.
    I’ll try to find it.

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 3, 2011 @ 2:48 pm - May 3, 2011

  36. http://mashable.com/2011/05/02/situation-room-pics/#13469Obama-and-Staff-in-the-Situation-Room

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 3, 2011 @ 2:51 pm - May 3, 2011

  37. Meanwhile, let’s humor Levi and build on this.

    Don’t you think there was a much better ‘right track’ that could have gotten us here a lot sooner than ten years?

    Based on Levi’s suggestion:

    Liberals have suggested all along that terrorism was better handled as a kind of police action versus using the military, and what happened this week certainly seems to confirm that.

    Well, let’s do a comparison, then, of something that was handled solely as a “police action”, without military involvement, and without any of the things to which Levi and Barack Obama object, with the defendant being tried in a regular court of law, etc.

    How about one of the members of the “creative class” that Levi supports and endorses — Roman Polanski?

    In 1977, after a photo shoot in Los Angeles, Polanski was arrested for the sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl and pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful sex with a minor. To avoid sentencing, Polanski fled to his home in London, and then moved on to France the following day. In September 2009, Polanski was arrested by Swiss police at the request of U.S. authorities who asked for his extradition. However, in July 2010, the Swiss rejected that request and instead released him from custody and declared him a “free man.”

    You don’t like that analogy? How about for Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, in which it took eleven years to even get the fool to trial despite everyone knowing exactly where he was for at least eight of them? And what’s he doing today?

    So let’s see: Levi’s “police actions”, handled exactly the way liberals demand, with no imprisonment, no interrogation, no military involvement, and nothing but diplomacy, result in a) eleven years to even get the perp anywhere close to trial, b)34 years without the perpetrator in custody, and c) both perps walking around today as free men.

    And these are with people who aren’t even trying to hide and lay low, and who are, in fact, even filing libel cases and winning in a court of law.

    This is where Levi’s patent stupidity comes into play. Barack Obama, the Obama Party, and its syncophants wanted the United States to treat Osama bin Laden and the other al-Qaeda members like Roman Polanski and Abdelbaset al-Megrahi — and are still insisting that such a methodology would be “more effective”.

    Unlike your speculations, Levi, there are hard cold facts and existing cases that show your preferred methodology to be far less effective. But as is typical for liberals, you continue to insist that your insane ideology is right regardless of the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2011 @ 2:54 pm - May 3, 2011

  38. #33:

    Helio,

    Thank you for reeling me in. You’re so right! Asserting that “there’s no other way to say it” IS hyperbole and it was beneath me to go there. There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to express how repugnant, stupid, and inconsequential Levi is, and it was pretty arrogant of me to assert that my choice of how to express it (“ignorant fu*king douchebag of the first order”) was the only one.

    Therefore, I hereby amend my comment to replace the words “no other way to say it” with your suggestion, “no better way of saying it”. As the amendment implies, I believe my expression is the superior way to communicate how offensive, contemptible, and aggressively dimwitted Levi is, but I AM open to alternate suggestions.

    So, if anyone has suggestions of better ways to accurately capture what a warped and morally-deficient miscreant Levi is, by all means, let’s hear them and we can have a spirited debate about the issue.

    Thanks again, Helio! ; )

    Comment by Sean A — May 3, 2011 @ 3:13 pm - May 3, 2011

  39. We don’t. Bush didn’t. Which is why Levi sounds like an idiot when he asserts that “the costs and problems that Bush has saddled us with” were “not worth it” because “[i]n the end, the actual operation required a few dozen men, some helicopters and 45 minutes.”

    Levi’s condemnation of the methods implemented by Bush (after Congressional Republicans and Democrats voted in favor of them) is based on the absurd premise that terrorism is a criminal matter better handled by law enforcement rather than the military, as confirmed by this quote:

    “Liberals have suggested all along that terrorism was better handled as a kind of police action versus using the military, and what happened this week certainly seems to confirm that. (Conservatives always dismissed this as liberal naivety.) It’s widely agreed that Osama Bin Laden could have been captured 9 years ago if the administration hadn’t trained its focus on Iraq.”

    Calling it “liberal naivety” [sic] is far too diplomatic. It’s liberal stupidity mixed with dishonesty and the actions taken by Bush during his Presidency were an explicit rejection of the Democrats’ (and Levi’s) imbecilic assessment of what the “problem” was after 9/11. Levi is correct when he states that liberals have wanted to treat terrorism as a “police action” all along, but he has conveniently forgotten that President Clinton had the opportunity to test that concept following the FIRST bombing of the WTC by Muslim terrorists in 1993. And we all know how well that worked out.

    Bush’s strategy was completely ineffective and actually exasperated the problem for years, so you really have no grounds to be dismissing the argument that terrorism is most effectively dealt with as a police matter. Invading countries and attempting to re-engineer the societies is probably about the most counter-productive thing you can do if you’re trying to apprehend a handful of human beings, and Bush’s disastrous wars are a testament to that fact.

    And while we’re blaming Bill Clinton for 9-11 again, I think this landmark event is an appropriate time to review who receives credit/blame for all of the Bin Laden-related events over the years. I’m willing to bet that most conservatives would organize it thusly;

    1993 WTC bombing – Clinton’s fault, despite his being in office only 1 month at the time.

    9-11 – Also Clinton’s fault, despite the Bush administration receiving briefings and intelligence from the field.

    Non-existence of Iraqi WMD – Also Clinton’s fault, despite the Bush administration repeatedly insisting they had an airtight case.

    Killing of Bin Laden – Bush deserves the bulk of the credit/praise, despite his being out of office for years and squandering years of opportunity to catch Bin Laden. Obama was basically a button-pusher.

    Bush responded to 9/11 by taking the actions and implementing the policies known collectively as the War On Terror because a global network of Muslim terrorists are AT WAR WITH US. Meanwhile, Levi wants to pretend that we could have fixed everything quickly and efficiently (and without offending other Muslim jihadists) if we had just agreed with their ignorant and dangerous assessment that 9/11 required only a “law enforcement response” and accordingly defined the effort as INTERNATIONAL MANHUNT FOR OBL instead of the WAR ON TERROR.

    And here come the catchphrases.

    You can’t declare war on a tactic. Terrorism is never going to go away. People were dealing with terrorism a thousand years ago and they will be dealing with it a thousand years from now. Taken as a metaphor, declaring war on something like terrorism as a perfectly reasonable rhetorical point. We should combat terrorism, do what we can to stop it and prevent it, most certainly. However, if you take this declaration of war literally, and believe that the military needs to be deployed to the field as your means of tackling the problem, you’re only going to be creating more problems for yourself. After a decade of spinning our wheels in the desert, if you still can’t recognize this glaringly obvious fact, then you’re really hopeless.

    I don’t understand how you can be saying this so self-assuredly. Recent history completely disagrees with the your assessment that terrorism is a problem best dealt with by deploying the military. The nature of terrorism is that it can be triggered for any number of reasons by any individual or group at any location and at any time. Terrorists are capable of moving in between countries and blending with local populations. You think that a big, lumbering, uniformed military made out of APCs and helicopters is the best way to deal with that? It’s not like we’re meeting anyone on the battlefield, we aren’t vying for control of ports and railroads.

    Dismantling terror cells requires effective intelligence gathering and investigative diligence. That’s far more in line with modern police work than military operations. We can save the military for when we the redcoats are coming, okay?

    Levi, there’s no other way to say it: you are an ignorant fu*king douchebag of the first order. Clinton responded to Muslim jihadists bombing the WTC in 1993 by taking a law enforcement approach and eight years later Muslim jihadists took a second run at the towers and brought them down, murdering thousands of Americans. And here you are, STILL advocating the same dangerous, politically-correct policy that has already racked up a body count of thousands of Americans. You’re a vile disgrace to humanity and shockingly ignorant for someone so outspoken. Please, go fu*k yourself.

    Did you just fart?

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - May 3, 2011

  40. Rats! Now Sean A has contracted Levi Syndrome. “No other way to say it” is hyperbole. Given the chance, I believe what Sean A has said could be said in hundreds of ways.

    However, perhaps I would subscribe to “No better way of saying it.”

    #33:

    Helio,

    Thank you for reeling me in. You’re so right! Asserting that “there’s no other way to say it” IS hyperbole and it was beneath me to go there. There are hundreds, if not thousands of ways to express how repugnant, stupid, and inconsequential Levi is, and it was pretty arrogant of me to assert that my choice of how to express it (“ignorant fu*king douchebag of the first order”) was the only one.

    Therefore, I hereby amend my comment to replace the words “no other way to say it” with your suggestion, “no better way of saying it”. As the amendment implies, I believe my expression is the superior way to communicate how offensive, contemptible, and aggressively dimwitted Levi is, but I AM open to alternate suggestions.

    So, if anyone has suggestions of better ways to accurately capture what a warped and morally-deficient miscreant Levi is, by all means, let’s hear them and we can have a spirited debate about the issue.

    Thanks again, Helio! ; )

    Like clockwork.

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 3:30 pm - May 3, 2011

  41. ##39-40: Levi, I was commenting ABOUT you, not TO you. Now go play in traffic you fu*king loser.

    Comment by Sean A — May 3, 2011 @ 3:46 pm - May 3, 2011

  42. I don’t understand how you can be saying this so self-assuredly. Recent history completely disagrees with the your assessment that terrorism is a problem best dealt with by deploying the military.

    Probably because we are intelligent adults armed with facts, and you are a desperate and foolish ideologue unable to face reality.

    What’s the matter, Levi? Aren’t you able to explain why the Lockerbie bomber walking around free as a bird, in plain view and quite available to inspire/plan/commit additional acts of terrorism is a triumph of your “police action” method? Aren’t you able to explain why your “police action” method can’t even nab a child rapist who, given his nomination and receipt of Academy Awards from the Obama Party and its base, couldn’t be more conspicuous if he tried?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2011 @ 3:53 pm - May 3, 2011

  43. You can’t declare war on a tactic.

    Gulp! What profundity. Even if the tactics organize, choose a leader and invade? The tactics are coming! the tactics are coming!

    You can’t declare war on terrorism.

    You can’t declare war on nuclear bombs.

    You can’t declare war on poverty, puberty or puerile pomposity.

    No siree. You can’t declare war on fossil fuel. Or on drugs. Or on hate crimes. Certainly not guns.

    Nope, war is always waged against the perps. People. People who terrorize. Terrorists, we call them. They use terrorist tactics. That is why they are terrorists. Get it?

    Now get this: we know what the tactics are, but we don’t always know the non-uniformed character ready to employ the tactic. So, we profile the suckers and try to get them before they become “successful” terrorists. Get it?

    Levi, is s-o-o-o-o-o right!!!! You can’t declare war on a tactic. Tactics just sit there and do nothing. It takes a genius to strap on a suicide vest and walk into a Starbucks and spew lattes all over the place.

    Levi is a literalist stuck in 4-wheel drive hyperbole. Imagine that a hyperbolic literalist. Now, for his encore, Levi will set forth this maxim: You can not declare war on people you can not identify.

    Yippee, Skippee, Doodle. Terrorists get a free pass. What a perfect, rosy scenario. Call the UN and give al Qaeda a seat on Human Rights Council before some belligerent darn-fool country snuffs them all.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 3:58 pm - May 3, 2011

  44. Now that BHO has adopted nearly all the Bush Cheney anti terror policies, if he’d just glomm onto smeo Reagan economics, I might even vote for the dolt in 2012 hehe

    Comment by Gene in Pennsylvania — May 3, 2011 @ 4:52 pm - May 3, 2011

  45. Hi HT,
    “Are you not placing unstated but critical emphasis on the concept of an “actual invasion” which serves to blur the concept of ignoring sovereignty. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and flew back home. Was that an invasion of our sovereignty? St. Franklin of Roosevelt thought so. So did Congress.”
    “I could parse your silliness to the end of your meandering semantic disaster zone, but this one example should be enough to commence your juices to foam.”

    First, these are hardly similar types of case–no attack was made on the Pakistani military, nor on a “traditionally” military target.

    So, what constitutes “invasion” for you? If special ops go into Iran (as we believe they have done) as part of reconnaissance missions, does this count as an invasion in your eyes? http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/07/07/080707fa_fact_hersh

    As far as I can tell, Erik uses what I think are common sense ideas about what constitutes invasions for most folks–you know, declarations of war, massed formations of troops, armaments, shelling, widespread destruction, some form of territorial occupation (at least in part), etc. I would call this an “incursion.” Maybe that is “weasal words” to you. But I suspect that most people would understand the difference. Do you think of Pearl Harbor as an actual example of “invasion”? Does invasion connote some degree of intended long term occupation? If so, do you actually see this in Pakistan-US relations right now?

    Finally, I like the way you move from “invasion of sovereignty” to “invasion.” One could call it a “violation of sovereignty” as well, and the US does that sort of thing pretty regularly.

    If you wish to call it an “invasion”, OK. I am unclear, given underlying meaning associated with the term “invasion,” how many folks would agree with you on that one.

    Comment by Cas — May 3, 2011 @ 5:05 pm - May 3, 2011

  46. I’m just enjoying Levi’s ranting and raving, unable to admit that it is everything he opposed that gave use Dead Ladin.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 5:13 pm - May 3, 2011

  47. #43: “You can’t declare war on terrorism.

    You can’t declare war on nuclear bombs.

    You can’t declare war on poverty, puberty or puerile pomposity.

    No siree. You can’t declare war on fossil fuel. Or on drugs. Or on hate crimes. Certainly not guns.”

    Aaaaaaand, Helio, don’t forget: War is Not Healthy for Children and Other Living Things. So, to review, we can’t declare war on a tactic, and we can’t declare war on adversaries we can’t identify, and with regard to children and other living things, it’s just not healthy (hello!). Obviously, the best course of action has been staring our leaders in the face since 9/11: DO NOTHING.

    And by “do nothing” I am, of course, only referring to military action (I’m sure you realized that). Certainly, our President and other elected leaders should engage in vigorous diplomatic measures such as giving speeches abroad containing abject apologies for the consequences of America’s oppressive imperialistic nature. Also, it goes without saying that the President should sign an executive order redirecting all resources of the US Justice Department nation-wide to the investigation and prevention of hate crimes against Muslims (in 2008 there were 105 incidents of alleged hate crimes against Muslims reported–for a population of 330,000,000, that clearly reflects an out-of-control epidemic that must be the sole priority of federal law enforcement).

    How could Bush be so stupid that he interpreted the 9/11 attacks as an “act of war” when it was clearly just a demand for a sincere apology? How?

    Comment by Sean A — May 3, 2011 @ 5:29 pm - May 3, 2011

  48. Helio, Sean, are those supposed to be, like, responses?

    I would say that it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss the appropriateness of invading and occupying countries as a means of combating terrorism given the enormous difficulty we’ve had in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. But that’s a non-starter for the both of you? You’re not interested in trying to find ways of being more effective and efficient? For you, it seems that the policy is set, the doctrine is established, and that from now until the end of time, deploying the military is the one and only sensible way of dealing with terrorism. You don’t really have any evidence to support argument, so why insist that this is the best way to go forward?

    (That was rhetorical question. You’re following the leader, and are helpfully incapable of recognizing the failure that can be directly traced from the implementation of the policy your party claims is so effective.)

    Shall we wrap this up by having you two pointlessly insult me over the internet?

    Comment by Levi — May 3, 2011 @ 5:59 pm - May 3, 2011

  49. @Heliotrope (#30)

    To understand my comment at #22, you need to read Daniel’s comment at #13, my original comment at #4 and the blog entry written by Bruce (aka GayPatriot) that I cited from August 5, 2007.

    Because you are trying to make points I am not disputing. The answers to your first 2 questions are unequivocal — yes. As for your third question, I placed added emphasis on “actual invasion” because those were the words used by Daniel in #13.

    The whole point is — this blog (re: Bruce) attacked Obama for the August 1, 2007 speech which echoed the decision he made this weekend. Obama made clear in that speech, as President, he would violate Pakistani sovereignty, putting boots on the ground if necessary, should the United States ever have actionable intelligence to the whereabouts of Al Qaeda’s leadership.

    That is exactly what he did this weekend.

    Obama was attacked by his opponents, including those at this blog, for saying that in 2007.

    Now they’re saying they supported it. They didn’t then.

    Comment by Erik — May 3, 2011 @ 6:12 pm - May 3, 2011

  50. You’re not interested in trying to find ways of being more effective and efficient?

    Actually, Levi, since you endorse and support ways that are proven to be both ineffective AND inefficient, no one seriously believes you care about either.

    Perhaps when you man up and explain why you continue to advocate ways that have proven to be abject failures in terms of identifying, capturing, and neutralizing terrorists, people will take you seriously. But for now, all you’re doing is running away from the facts, as you invariably do when confronted by mature, intelligent adults who are used to dealing with childish, uninformed ideologues like yourself.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 3, 2011 @ 6:15 pm - May 3, 2011

  51. And by the way, there is no indication that this information was received through torture.

    From BreakingNews.com:

    Panetta acknowledges information from waterboarded detainees was used to help plan mission at bin Laden’s compound – NBC News

    Now the question must be asked of dipshit: If torture “is not a reliable method of gathering intelligence“, then why was the information used and relied upon?

    Comment by TGC — May 3, 2011 @ 6:54 pm - May 3, 2011

  52. TGC, don’t forget the ‘courier’ was detained in Iraq You know, that place that Levi thought we shouldn’t be in?

    Like I said, he can’t handle everything he believed was wrong.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 3, 2011 @ 6:58 pm - May 3, 2011

  53. Erik,

    I am an opponent of moral relativity or situation ethics.

    To be recognized as a nation state among nations, you must have a defined land mass, a population, a government that has dominion and understood, recognized borders. If the nation state meets those criteria, it is sovereign.

    When one nation crosses the borders of a sovereign nation without that nation’s permission it is violating the sovereignty of that nation. World stability and diplomacy in particular are based on these simple assumptions.

    “War is diplomacy by other means.” No President can pursue diplomacy and international trust successfully by violating sovereignty. That is why spies cause so much of a ruckus.

    McCain was 100% in accord with almost all previous Presidents in saying that he would respect the sovereignty of Pakistan. Obama said he would respect the sovereignty of Pakistan unless he found reason not to.

    When you give your word with your fingers crossed your word has no meaning.

    War changes the rules. The morality and ethics of war are nearly oxymorons. We operate under the Geneva Protocols. Some would like us to operate under the US Constitution and require us to extend the presumption of innocence to every enemy combatant and cooperating civilian.

    What Obama did is most likely illegal in any reasonable world court. He did not violate his meaningless oath to respect Pakistan, because he said he would not hesitate to violate its sovereignty. What Obama said could be taken as the word of any imperialist who will act on the power of strength if it suits his needs.

    What McCain said is that he respects every diplomatic bridge and he cannot foresee one he would cross that would change his respect for sovereignty. Those can be construed as diplomatic weasel words, but they are the very words that glue international relations together.

    Is it possible that Pakistan provided Osama a certain safe haven? Yes. Is it possible that Pakistan was keeping Osama as a form of captive by agreement? Yes. Is it possible that when the US helicopters appeared and the shooting began that Pakistan let the “invasion” play out? Yes.

    Pakistan has a tiger on a cobweb leash with its wild frontier, Taiban and Islamic fundamentalist crazies.

    I have not followed your gripes with Bruce and Dan. But I know a fair amount about diplomacy. Your word is your bond. No country can trust us if we say we can imagine reasons to violate its sovereignty. And any country that has had its sovereignty willfully violated has the right to assume that the violating country will do it again for whatever reason it deems fit.

    I applaud Obama’s action. That means I back his violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. I do not think the Pakistan could ever claim that it was unaware of Osama’s importance to the war on terror. I do not think that Pakistan could ever make the case that they would have arrested Osama and turned him over to us.

    Pakistan needs to save face and the US needed to deal with a duplicitous Pakistan which has to walk on its own radical fundamentalist Islamic eggs. In other words, this is Kabuki theater in reality. Everyone needs to be able to bow and come out of the mess with honor.

    McCain understood that (Kabki theater) in his remarks. Obama prattled like a naif in high dudgeon. Either you understand ancient rules of telling the truth while lying and lying while telling the truth or you do not.

    Consider this: Obama withheld his birth certificate for no apparent reason and allowed a world of conspiracy to cloud his honor as a truth teller. Now he expects the world to believe that Osama is dead on his word, alone.

    So, Obama speaks his mind and says he will not respect sovereignty under terms he sets and then says “trust me.” It doesn’t work that way in the “real” world.

    To end where I began, Obama said he is a creature of moral relativity and situation ethics and he, alone, sets the rules. Funny, he doesn’t talk to China that way, but he is all over Libya and not Syria with his elastic ethics and morality.

    Stability should be made of sterner stuff.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 7:14 pm - May 3, 2011

  54. #45 Hi! Cas:

    So, what constitutes “invasion” for you? If special ops go into Iran (as we believe they have done) as part of reconnaissance missions, does this count as an invasion in your eyes?

    Yes.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 3, 2011 @ 8:34 pm - May 3, 2011

  55. #50: “Actually, Levi, since you endorse and support ways that are proven to be both ineffective AND inefficient, no one seriously believes you care about either.”

    Exactly. I love Levi’s feigned shock and confusion when no one has any interest in entertaining his thoughts and suggestions for improving military effectiveness and efficiency. (“You’re not interested in trying to find ways of being more effective and efficient?”) As if we don’t recall Levi hosting a satellite campus of the Krugman School of Economics right here on this blog, FIERCELY advocating even greater spending than the trillion dollar Stimulus that ended up being poured down a government rat-hole. Obama insisted that every penny would be meticulously tracked and accounted for and that this could be verified by the taxpayers through a White House website.

    Well, then he put Joe confused-by-a-light-switch Biden in charge of overseeing the distribution of the Stimulus funds and (shocker!) no one ever bothered to update the WH website and the information it did contain was erroneous. And who could forget the fact that within months, billions of dollars in taxpayer funds had evaporated into thin air, some of it into Congressional districts that don’t even exist. Levi didn’t give a flying FU*K about it. In fact, he fully supports Obama’s proposed budget pursuant to which we would continue to run $1.6 trillion annual deficits, and he agrees that we cannot cut one red cent from federal spending because…uh…something about murdering old people…shoeless orphans in the rain starving to death…I dunno, whatever (what was it he said about Ryan’s proposed budget again? It’s “not a proposal” it’s a “list of conservative wet dreams” or some such bullsh*t?)

    Anyway, it’s hilarious that Levi thinks ANYONE would be interested in hearing him (with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight) second-guess, nit-pick, and (ultimately) condemn every decision Bush made following 9/11 because of his profound and enduring commitment to government efficiency and effectiveness. Billions of dollars in taxpayer funds are floating around somewhere, unaccounted for because it went to Congressional districts that don’t even exist, but Levi doesn’t care about that. No, he thinks that we need to have a serious discussion about the cost of each individual bullet and whether the troops really need “that much cornbread?”

    Comment by Sean A — May 4, 2011 @ 1:47 am - May 4, 2011

  56. Dipshit just gets dumber and dumber. First:

    In the end, the actual operation required a few dozen men, some helicopters and 45 minutes.

    And then:

    You think that a big, lumbering, uniformed military made out of APCs and helicopters is the best way to deal with that?

    Nope. No dumbassery there.

    Comment by TGC — May 4, 2011 @ 5:34 am - May 4, 2011

  57. From BreakingNews.com:

    Panetta acknowledges information from waterboarded detainees was used to help plan mission at bin Laden’s compound – NBC News

    Now the question must be asked of dipshit: If torture “is not a reliable method of gathering intelligence“, then why was the information used and relied upon?

    I’ll say it again – there is no indication that this information was received through torture. Panetta says that the information was received from waterboarded detainees, that does not necessarily mean that the information was extracted during waterboarding. Your question doesn’t really require an answer because it’s premise is false – how do you know that the useful information wasn’t gathered through normal interrogation methods?

    Another thing I will say again – even if it is revealed that the information came directly from a waterboarding session, this still does not vindicate Bush’s policy and it still does not make torture a reliable method for gathering intelligence. To make that case, you need to demonstrate conclusively that torturing people induces them to give information that they would never give under any other circumstance. The widespread consensus in the intelligence community is that this is never the case, and that traditional interrogation methods result in more information and easier detection of false or misleading information.

    Comment by Levi — May 4, 2011 @ 8:55 am - May 4, 2011

  58. Dipshit just gets dumber and dumber. First:

    In the end, the actual operation required a few dozen men, some helicopters and 45 minutes.

    And then:

    You think that a big, lumbering, uniformed military made out of APCs and helicopters is the best way to deal with that?

    Nope. No dumbassery there.

    You’re clipping my statements and stripping them of context. You’re lying about something that a total stranger said so you can call them a dumbass on the internet in front of your internet friends. Way to go pal, this has been a productive use of your time.

    Comment by Levi — May 4, 2011 @ 9:01 am - May 4, 2011

  59. I’ll say it again – there is no indication that this information was received through torture. Panetta says that the information was received from waterboarded detainees, that does not necessarily mean that the information was extracted during waterboarding.

    1. I will say it the first time – there is no indication that this information was NOT received through torture.

    2. How the elephant was taught to shake his head sideways: The trainer whacked his testicles and asked the elephant if he wanted him to do it again. (rim-shot) They stopped waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed because he indicated through cooperation that he did not care to have it happen again. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed got a taste of something he learned how to avoid. He talked. And when he denied knowing major players, the interrogators mapped his patterns of lying and figured out his games.

    Levi, your simplistic notions of how the psychological games of interrogation work underwhelm me by a factor that verges on infinity. As you so deftly reported, being locked in a comfortable cell with three meals a day would be torture for you. Therefore, any notions you have concerning torture are useless for intelligent discussion.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 4, 2011 @ 9:38 am - May 4, 2011

  60. And Levi lies again.

    I’ll say it again – there is no indication that this information was received through torture. Panetta says that the information was received from waterboarded detainees, that does not necessarily mean that the information was extracted during waterboarding.

    From the link in Dan’s post from 3:43am (which Levi replied to before making the above statements).

    “Enhanced interrogation techniques” were used to extract information that led to the mission’s success, Panetta said during an interview with anchor Brian Williams. Those techniques included waterboarding, he acknowledged.

    So again, Levi finds himself caught in a lie. is anyone surprised?

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 4, 2011 @ 10:06 am - May 4, 2011

  61. Levi, your simplistic notions of how the psychological games of interrogation work underwhelm me by a factor that verges on infinity. As you so deftly reported, being locked in a comfortable cell with three meals a day would be torture for you. Therefore, any notions you have concerning torture are useless for intelligent discussion.

    I know that when I said that, I was specifically refering to the countless numbers of innocent people who were arrested and held as part of George Bush’s torture and detention programs. It should go without saying that I believe incarceration is justifiable in many situations, and certainly KSM is but one such example. If your country were invaded by foreigners who didn’t speak your language, and they threw you in a jail cell and held you for a year without telling you why, even if they gave you three meals a day, you would consider it torture and you know it.

    Comment by Levi — May 4, 2011 @ 10:34 am - May 4, 2011

  62. Oopse, sorry, Levi. KSM said he was innocent, so you have to let him go.

    After all, Levi, you say interrogating him would be torture. Imprisoning him would be torture. Inconveniencing him in any way would be torture.

    Thank you for playing. Perhaps one of these days you’ll realize that your constant moral relativism means you end up supporting and endorsing scum like KSM simply because you’re desperate to attack Bush and don’t care who gets hurt in the process.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 4, 2011 @ 10:59 am - May 4, 2011

  63. I know that when I said that, I was specifically refering to the countless numbers of innocent people who were arrested and held as part of George Bush’s torture and detention programs. It should go without saying that I believe incarceration is justifiable in many situations, and certainly KSM is but one such example. If your country were invaded by foreigners who didn’t speak your language, and they threw you in a jail cell and held you for a year without telling you why, even if they gave you three meals a day, you would consider it torture and you know it.

    countless numbers would be a mass of people too big to count because either time or numbers ran out. Would you care to amend this hyperbole?

    innocent people: how is “innocent” determined?

    George Bush’s torture and detention programs: send us a link to the source outlining this program, please.

    If your country …….. : I assume you are speaking about the US rounding up people in Iraq and holding them in prison during time of war until they could determine whether they were cooperating with the enemy. If so, in what manner was the US in violation of the Geneva Accords? This is World Court level stuff and NATO was involved in the Iraq War. So, pony up some links to where the US violated the Geneva Accords. I suspect you will drag the panties on the head theme in, but that was fully addressed. Furthermore, your charge to me did not involve any of that.

    If I were considered a civilian helping my country and arrested by an invading army for collaboration, I would hope the invaders were at least as honorable as the United States. I would make the most of the situation and not mope and whine about torture. I know what torture is and being incarcerated, even unjustly, is not torture. And I know it. You are a delicate little flower, aren’t you?

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 4, 2011 @ 11:10 am - May 4, 2011

  64. The other interesting thing is, Helio, that Levi never talks about what happened to people who were detained by al-Qaeda or Saddam Hussein for suspicion of collaborating with the enemy.

    Probably because the only way what the United States was doing can be made to look bad is by eliminating all comparisons to anything else.

    But when one considers how al-Qaeda and Saddam routinely imprisoned/tortured/killed entire villages of people on the suspicion of housing or hiding collaborators, what it makes obvious is that Levi has no interest in how innocents were treated and much more in attacking and trying to destroy/tear down the United States.

    Levi’s drawing of moral equivalence between the United States and the tactics of al-Qaeda/Saddam Hussein is at best laughable and at worst a sign of a serious cognitive misfire.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 4, 2011 @ 11:22 am - May 4, 2011

  65. Guys, asking Levi for links is like asking me for weight loss tips.

    Levi lies, over and over again. Even when you link to his own words, he denies saying them.

    He’s not worth talking to. Just point out his lies and move on.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 4, 2011 @ 11:31 am - May 4, 2011

  66. countless numbers would be a mass of people too big to count because either time or numbers ran out. Would you care to amend this hyperbole?

    Boring.

    innocent people: how is “innocent” determined?

    And that’s the problem, isn’t it? If you’re just kind of rounding people up, how do you know you’ve got a good guy or a bad guy? Bush didn’t even try to account for this problem. We would torture someone, they would give us the name of someone down the street they had an argument with last week, and we would go out and torture him. At least, maybe we did. Maybe we got the wrong house or the wrong name and ended up torturing someone else? Who knows?

    If you’re looking for specifics, we sent that Canadian guy to Syria to be tortured for a year and he didn’t do anything. We’ve released hundreds of people from Gitmo over the years, including journalists and teenagers, and they didn’t do anything either. Do you care at all about what your government did to them?

    George Bush’s torture and detention programs: send us a link to the source outlining this program, please.

    If your country …….. : I assume you are speaking about the US rounding up people in Iraq and holding them in prison during time of war until they could determine whether they were cooperating with the enemy. If so, in what manner was the US in violation of the Geneva Accords? This is World Court level stuff and NATO was involved in the Iraq War. So, pony up some links to where the US violated the Geneva Accords. I suspect you will drag the panties on the head theme in, but that was fully addressed. Furthermore, your charge to me did not involve any of that.

    If I were considered a civilian helping my country and arrested by an invading army for collaboration, I would hope the invaders were at least as honorable as the United States. I would make the most of the situation and not mope and whine about torture. I know what torture is and being incarcerated, even unjustly, is not torture. And I know it. You are a delicate little flower, aren’t you?

    But you weren’t collaborating. You were just some regular guy, and they just locked you up and never told you why (this was the case for many people whom we arrested and held). It wouldn’t be torture not knowing what they might do next to you? Not knowing whether they had your wife and were doing something similar (or worse) to her? Not knowing what happened to your kids or neighbors or co-workers? Not knowing if all of those people were dead? Remember, your country is embroiled in total war. You don’t think that would be torturous?

    Comment by Levi — May 4, 2011 @ 2:10 pm - May 4, 2011

  67. So again,

    Levi’s against holding anyone accused of a crime because they ‘might’ be innocent.

    Heck, Levi’s against holding anyone guilty of a crime, because they might be innocent.

    Someone want to get Levi his kool-aid and a cookie? Adults are speaking here.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 4, 2011 @ 2:53 pm - May 4, 2011

  68. I think we have to understand how the idiot Levi works here.

    In Levi’s mind, since he is always right, anyone he accuses of doing anything is automatically guilty. Therefore, you would never have an innocent person in custody.

    However, in the real world, where police departments must have evidence and cannot just declare someone guilty, they identify, detain, interrogate, and release suspects all the time. It’s called investigation.

    Let’s use this as an example.

    Two men who were being questioned by Irish police over the murder of a republican informer five years ago have been released without charge.

    Therefore, according to Levi, the government of Ireland unnecessarily detained and tortured two innocent men. By Levi’s standards, they should have known that the men were innocent and they wasted resources questioning them, which prolonged the case.

    By the way, Levi, why aren’t you offering to help the Irish police? You state that, if you were in charge, you would automatically always find the right person and thus could avoid ever having to question anyone else.

    Who’s the killer, Levi? Tell us. You know so damn much and don’t have to ask any questions. State it. Can’t you answer?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — May 4, 2011 @ 3:26 pm - May 4, 2011

  69. Levi,

    I choose to address you seriously on two of your points in #66.

    1.) Maher Arar held dual citizenship in Canada and Syria. The US deported him to Syria. Syria tortured him. He was sent to Canada by Syria. The US picked him up on the basis of his name on the Terrorist Watch List which was placed there by the RCMP.

    He has become a celebrity “victim” of rendition gone bad. The Canadian government paid him a settlement for its errors.

    I do not hold the justice system of the United States or Canada blameless for its errors. We expect perfection and are grieved when we use the force of government improperly, even when it is inadvertent.

    You, on the other hand, wash all the good the justice system does down the drain by damning everything because of one injustice. What motivates you to be so harsh when issues you dislike arise, but so accepting that Obamacare and state socialism and social justice and hate speech and hate crimes will get it all so correct? The myopia in this is just stunning.

    2. “We’ve released hundreds of people from Gitmo over the years, including journalists and teenagers, and they didn’t do anything either.” I presume you are as sloppy in your writing as you are in your logic. I will assume you mean we locked up a few journalists and teenagers in Gitmo who are innocent. I will ignore the “hundreds” claim, because the stats do not back up having that many releases whether innocent, journalist or teenaged. You do muddy your own arguments with your enthusiasm for gilding the rose.

    Levi, is the left so weak, so impotent, so lacking is skills that it can not make the case you lay out? Is there no one Soros could fund and the ACLU could field and the MSM could herald to make your case about the evil detainment of total, pure innocent journalists and teens who have fallen prey to the evil clutches of GW Bush and Republicans gone wild?

    You have charged impeachable offenses of the highest order. Is the left and its Democrat Party so incapable of bringing about justice?

    Explain it to me. You have The New York Times, The Washington Post, the MSM, most of academia, the ACLU, the American Bar Association, a good number of important judges, plenty of money and lots of air. Why are you so unsuccessful getting your people to use the Constitution and close Gitmo, release them all, end the wars, impose gay marriage, etc?

    Your impotency must gnaw at you night and day.

    Comment by Heliotrope — May 4, 2011 @ 3:56 pm - May 4, 2011

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