May 04 2011

Was Obama Forced Into Action On Osama Bin Laden?

Published by at 9:15 am under All General Discussions,Bin Laden/GWOT

Major Updates Below!

On Monday, the first full news day after the announcement we had brought Osama Bin Laden to justice, I noted an enormous inconsistency in one aspect of the story leading up to the raid on Bin Laden’s compound:

Nothing wrong with a bit of caution here, don’t want to destroy an innocent family hiding out in a fortress. But from August to February? Seems – as usual – team Obama wanted proof-perfect before acting. Anyway, I am not going to nit pick caution. My guess is the intel kept mounting and overcame a lot of internal hesitation inside this hesitant White House.

Now to shift links since this next act in the story is not in the time line from the main article:

Sources tell ABC News that in March President Obama authorized 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 changed his mind.

… First off, the [2] B-2s with 24+ 2,000 lb JDAMS is overkill. You could attack a small city with that kind of ordnance. And I don’t know if a ‘few dozen’ is two [24] or more dozen. This is the proverbial M1 tank used against the gnat.

What struck me about this was the amazing amount ignorance one found in this little footnote to history. I go on in that previous post to prove my suspicions, given the destructive power of a 2,000 lb bomb and the tiny size of the compound. It was as if some naive propaganda agent had cobbled together this bit of revised history to cover up something. It does not take two B-2’s with 24+ 2k JDAMS to take out a house. I remained completely flummoxed and suspicious about this deliberately leaked detail. It did not fit the rest of the narrative, and appeared irrelevant. Why was this fabricated detail added to the history by someone clearly unfamiliar with weapon platforms and ordnance yields?

Now add in some more of the narrative – like the fact we had concluded in August 2010 the compound housed Bin Laden, yet spent 6 months trying to make 100% sure he was there. Why the hesitation? Why authorize a ridiculous and reckless bombing run in March, then order it stopped, and then agonize for days over a precision strike force in April? My experience with the intelligence and military thinking precludes this kind of see-saw thinking AFTER a decision has been made.

Now check out this claim from Leon Panetta, head of the CIA and apparently one of the key forces behind the raid:

But Panetta concluded that the evidence was strong enough to risk the raid, despite the fact that his aides were only 60%-80% confident that bin Laden was there, and decided to make his case to the President. At the key Thursday meeting in which President Obama heard the arguments from his top aides on whether or not to go into Pakistan to kill or capture bin Laden, Panetta admitted that the evidence of bin Laden’s presence at the compound was circumstantial. But “when you put it all together,” Panetta says he told the room, “we have the best evidence since [the 2001 battle of] Tora Bora [where bin Laden was last seen], and that then makes it clear that we have an obligation to act.”

If I thought delaying this could in fact produce better intelligence, that would be one thing,” Panetta says he argued, “but because of the nature of the security at the compound, we’re probably at a point where we’ve got the best intelligence we can get.”

First off, we know there were 5 high level meetings during this time period on this topic. Thursday was not THE FIRST time Panetta was in talking confidence levels. Clearly he had to talk confidence levels for the March indecision, and probably did for months leading up to this point. Once again, a suspect narrative appears.

No intelligence is going to be perfect and there were naysayers with I guess valid concerns (did not want a Carter-style blown rescue mission or a Clinton-style Black Hawk Down). But which side was the President on? Was he holding out for perfection? Was he unwilling to take out Bin Laden and held his ground for almost 6 months against the recommendations of his intelligence team?

Then there is this nugget of reporting:

The mission looked set to be given the all clear last Thursday when analysts confirmed beyond doubt that Bin Laden was in busy town of Abbottabad in northern Pakistan.

But the president stunned officials when he told a national security meeting that he wanted more time to think – and disappeared out of the room.

‘I’m not going to tell you what my decision is now – I’m going to go back and think about it some more,’ said Obama, according to the New York Times. He then added ‘I’m going to make a decision soon.’

The head of the CIA and other senior intelligence officers who were keen to proceed were left tense as they waited for the president’s decision.

But the next morning after 16 hours, Obama summoned four top aides to the White House Diplomatic Room. Before they could speak, the president put his fist on the table and declared ‘It’s a go’.

Sounds a bit strained. Again I note a bit of the theater here with the fist pounding element in the narrative, and the President making a declaration before anyone could talk. Again, I cannot help but feel this story is a rewrite, a bit of propaganda surrounding events that played out differently. Here the evidence was overwhelming on Thursday – yet the President hesitated (this would be the 2nd time in two months, if we believe the March indecision narrative).

Finally, I could not help but note President Obama was not very jovial or upbeat over this news. His Sunday night press conference oozed tension and stress. There was no sign of celebration, no smile. Even the photo of President Obama straight off the golf course watching the raid in real time seems to indicate someone anxious and unhappy, not resolute and confident (click to enlarge).

Heck, the President is not even sitting at the head of the table, supposedly in charge. He is on the sideline! So why am I bringing all this up during a time of national celebration? Am I hunting for a dark cloud amongst all this silver lining? I was worried about that, which is why I toned down my suspicions since Monday.

But then I read this from a claimed White House Insider:

Note: This communication came from our long time D.C. Insider and details previous and ongoing conflicts surrounding the decision to assassinate terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Significant push to take him out months ago. Senior WH staff resisted. This was cause of much strain between HC [Hillary Clinton] and Obama/Jarrett. HC and LP [Leon Panetta] were in constant communication over matter – both attempted to convince administration to act. Administration feared failure and resulting negative impact on president. Intel disgusted over politics over national security. Staff resigned/left. Check timeline to corroborate.

Now THIS seems to fit the established MO of this White House. A White House that banned the term “War On Terror”. A White House that resisted calling the Ft Hood Massacre and Christmas Day Bomber attempt terrorist acts. A White House that pulled back on our monitoring of suspected attacks. A White House that preferred Miranda Rights over interrogation. The fist pounding only comes from this President when he wants to save Obamacare or defend high gas prices.

And there is more:

IMPORTANT SPECIFIC: When 48 hour go order issued, CoC was told, not requested. Administration scrambled to abort. That order was overruled.

…Independent military contacts have confirmed. Stories corroborate one another. This is legit.

Emphasis in original. So, is this why a story was concocted about a March raid with two B-2’s and 24+ 2k JDAMS? As I said, the number of JDAMS shows complete ignorance and you would not use a B-2 when am F117 stealth fighter could do the trick. Was this cover for the effort to abort the raid that succeeded? This story can be confirmed to some level – through the resignations of key people.

This, sadly, makes sense. Can you see Hillary Clinton reliving the hesitation of her husband’s opportunities to take out Bin Laden? If President Clinton had gotten over his fears, we might not have had a 9-11. That had to be what drove Clinton and Panetta and others to take action before they lost Bin Laden again.

If this is true, President Obama is in serious political trouble. And I hate to say it, this has all the signs of two factions warring in the government (see this all the time, up close and personal). One side is covering their trail while the other is celebrating.

If this does break open, it will be amazing to witness.

Update: More details from the Washington Insider are out today:

I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.”

Addendum: My completely independent suspicions confirmed by the WH Insider:

Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the President indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta.

Looks like the fantasy narrative came from the Jarret side of the WH. As I suspected, that fantastically exaggerated story about a March bombing was meant to hide the truth. The truth of a paralyzed and impotent White House that could not bring itself to take out the world’s most notorious terrorist and mass murderer of Americans sitting still, like a fish at the bottom of a dry barrel. Pathetic.

Addendum: Yep, right again (not hard when you spent a quarter of a century working for the federal bureaucracy and can identify its tells):

This insulation ended at some point with an abort order that I believe originated from Valerie Jarrett’s office, and was then followed up by President Obama.

Jarrett and Obama DID try and stop the raid on Osama Bin Laden. If proven, the President’s career is over.

Addendum: Well, this explains the photo and why the President is not sitting at the head of the table:

The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated. President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission.

How embarrassing. Whoever snapped that shot and let it out just confirmed all of this.

45 responses so far

45 Responses to “Was Obama Forced Into Action On Osama Bin Laden?”

  1. Molon Labe says:

    Conjecture: The prinicples used the small conference room because use of the larger rooms requires the president’s prior approval.

  2. WWS says:

    I almost hope that the WHI is a very clever writer putting out entertaining fiction. If these stories are true, the consequences are even worse than we can imagine.

    It would mean that *no one* is actually in charge of the US government anymore – all we have is hundreds of agencies and directorates all going off on their own merry ways.

    what scares me most is that feels exactly like what is happening.

  3. [...] leave the commentary to A. J. Strata, who thinks Obama has blundered this so much it will bring down his Administration.  I suspect Strata has a rich [...]

  4. kathie says:

    I know there is “fog of war”, but………

    Chopper down, not to worry it was set on fire, we see the chopper plane as day in a published picture.

    Special forces, Seal 6, can only be engaged by direct order of the President. CIA couldn’t do it, so who is encharge?

    Special forces shoot their way into Osama’a house. Later, we hear no guards were posted.

    Osama was shot in self defense, but he had no gun???

    Bush must have looked at the pictures and the room that they were using and thought, what is going on here? I have seen pictures of the video conference room, and that isn’t it.

  5. [...] The Strata-Sphere: Was Obama Forced Into Action On Osama Bin Laden? [...]

  6. [...] this line of investigation is borne out, we can expect to see some interesting times in [...]

  7. WWS says:

    Kathie – what makes the WHI’s story plausible is that he paints a picture where Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, and Leon Panetta teamed up to carry this out.

    Panetta – controls CIA
    Gates – in charge of all military assets
    Hillary – in charge of the State Dep’t, and all of its international assets.

    Those 3 positions *do* have the power to essentially knock the President out of the loop on international decisions, if they work together and think they can get away with it. If the WHI is being truthful, they have gotten away with it.

    And again, if the WHI is being truthful, they have this confidence because they know that Obama is just a puppet who’s lost the confidence of whatever person or persons are actually calling the shots. That, to me, is the most frightening part of the whole story.

  8. bdunbar says:

    @dhunter
    Firearms training always includes an admonition to aim for center of body mass when in a fire fight. Head shots are too risky and can get you dead rather than the other guy.

    Osama was supposedly shot in the chest and above the left eye.

    Body shot to put him down, kill shot to the head!

    There is no reason for a body shot after a head shot!

    Google Mozambique Drill.

    You put two center mass, quick assess, one in the head to kill. They were (iirc) teaching this in the 90s to Marines in MEU-SOC. I don’t know anything about SEAL tactics but it seems like something they’d like.

  9. ivehadit says:

    GAteway Pundit is reporting that the picture of the President at the podium Sunday night was staged after he spoke.

    And Pinetta says there was a blackout of about 20-25 minutes during the operation. Speaking of him, where is he in the photo? Not there.

  10. lurker9876 says:

    www, that was what I was saying in the other thread below. I was also wondering if Bill Daley had anything to do with it. Because I read that Bill Daley and Valerie Jarrett are having some serious conflicts but that Bill is overriding Valerie. By the same token, Valerie might be on her way out.

    Some of it is coming from the WHI through that Ulsterman but I’m getting other information from other sources.

  11. [...] A must read. These are the details leading up to the Osama mission. 6 MONTHS leading up to it. VN:F [1.9.8_1114]Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)share: Digg this post Share on fark Share on FriendFeed [...]

  12. Stirner says:

    According to press accounts, Panetta was over at the CIA ops center running the mission.

    Some of the other “situation room” pics that the White House has released do include Panetta. The captions for the pics say that that the pics were from the several briefing sessions conducted regarding the OBL mission. You can tell the pics were taken on a different day, since Obama is wearing a suit (and sitting at the head of the table).

  13. dhunter says:

    The military guy has control of the laptop thus the imaging. The body language especially by Barry and Hillary suggest something serious going down and would be hard to fake.

    Barry Soeteros dress and the room used jives with him being called in after the decision was made and the deed being done.

    If Seal Team was given orders to kill, not capture, which is the only decision that makes sense, then what better way to insulate those guys from prosectution by a bunch of far left nuts who preferr trying our enemies in US courts, publishing our militarys faults, while hiding or excusing our enemies, denying harse interrogation techniques, even to the extent of prosecuting those responsible for getting the info that led to Bin Laden, what better way to insulate the Seals from barrys leftard goons than to have him, hillary, Obiiden, panetta and everyone else in the know be a witness to the chest shot then kill shot?

    This looks like CIA, Special opps, maybe Petraeus, certainly military, calling the shots thus the stories that Hillary says it was a long 28 minutes and Panetta giiving cover to the team saying they (the clusters in the situation room) didn’t see what they saw therefore cannot be witnesses in a kngaroo court against American heros.

  14. Redteam says:

    just this minute heard on tv: and in a moment, the true story of what really happened on the raid. That was followed by, another story. It’ll be a while before we really know, seems as if there are at least 50 or more ‘genuine’ stories on what really happened.
    The true story, in my opinion, obama’s ratings were slipping enough that he needed to get them up to avoid a primary opponent. So, he betrayed Pakistan and decided to take out Osama, whom I’m sure he has known for many months where he was. but politically, it became a necessity for something spectacular to boost his ratings and this was it. The result, one that we could just as well have had a year ago, a dead terrorist that was fed to the sharks, where he should be.
    All the theatrics are just that. Obama played us and the press (willing accomplices) again. I’ve never felt so negative about the pure ethics of the (fake) president of the US. He is a total and complete loser. but, that’s just my opinion……

  15. crosspatch says:

    What is going on here is that we have an administration that is SO eager to pat itself on the back that it just couldn’t resist blabbing everything it thought it knew before the operators had even been debriefed.

    They have so completely screwed everything up to this point that now they have a success and so they want everyone on the planet to know they had a success, which in and of itself is likely to destroy the very success they are spouting off about.

    Rather than looking Presidential and low-key, they are going around acting like a teenager boasting about something.

    In the meantime, every time they change the story, it makes them look even more incompetent and out of the loop. And remember, the official statement was that Obama “meticulously directed the operation”. Obama couldn’t meticulously direct” a group of raw recruits trying to march, let alone a finely tuned machine such as DEVGRU. He didn’t “meticulously direct” anything, he sat there like everyone else waiting to see how it would turn out. The only thing he is “meticulous” about is grabbing the spotlight when there is good news and avoiding it when there is bad news.

    All this spinning and backpedaling is making them look more amateurish than ever. Please, President Obama, just stop it. Try the “strong and quiet” approach for once. It commands a lot more respect than the arm-waiving grabbing boasting approach.

    sheesh, what an embarrassment to our country and to our service members.

  16. crosspatch says:

    Huh, how did I end up in the moderation bucket? I didn’t write any cuss words in my last comment.

  17. WWS says:

    well that last comment came through! happens to my posts from time to time; I think it’s just a system glitch.

  18. DJStrata says:

    Crosspatch, saw your comment and found your pending comment and approved it. It might have been the length.

  19. lurker9876 says:

    Bush and his adm had a lot more class than Obama. And they tried the strong and quiet” approach for once. The problem is that the left had one and only one goal…destroy Bush no matter how much class he had.

    So what do you think about tonight’s debate?

    Looks like Cain came out ahead.

  20. crosspatch says:

    Another problem I have is that Osama bin Laden apparently lived in that house for five years living next door to an Army Major and Pakistan could not locate him inside their own country. We are something like 9000 miles away and WE located him in their country.

    They are either complicit or incompetent. Which is it? Neither alternative looks good for Pakistan.

    Now, where is Zawahiri? Deliver him to us. Now.