Wednesday, 4 May 2011

President Hindmost?

Obama: Intent or just angry at being there?
Was Mr Barack Hussein Obama suddenly revealed on Sunday as the decisive Commander in Chief who made the call to take out Bin Laden? Possibly not, according to this report.  In fact, Mr Obama may not even have known that the operation was underway until he was literally hauled off the golf course:
What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta.  Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be “…significant to the point of political debilitation.”  It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid.  This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett.  Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure.  The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr., Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound.  Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him.  What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound.  Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go – including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice.  Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault. This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other.  Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself.  Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority – namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat.  Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk.  During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary.  Similar support was then followed by Gates.  The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan.  Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval.  Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval.  Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion.  Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order.  At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.


President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission. Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military. When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.” The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold. Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation. A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was. The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants. What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates. The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room.
Read the whole thing.  If true, it's not surprising.  I never did think that Mr Obama was Prince Hal waiting to prove himself.

Update:  Instapundit has the best take on this: Take it with grain of salt for now.

Update: The Wikileaks angle.

Update: Sixteen hours to make a decision.

Update: The gang that could shoot straight... but not much else.


Sergej said...

Agreed. Not implausible, but grain of salt until proven otherwise.

eon said...


Seconded. Although the behavior attributed to Jarrett is consistent.

And there seems to have been a very long interval between target ID verification and the IA, by specops standards. One that would also be consistent with observed behavior of the political principals. (Unfortunately.)



Dann said...

This version of events seems much more likely then the idea that the dithering “man in charge” actually decided to DO something with the military. We know from his own words he dose not like the military he is in command of. He dose not have confidence in there abilities and he dose not trust them. So the sad day comes where a conservative like my self has to be grateful for Hillary Clinton of all people for having the spine to help make this happen. It is strange at this moment but she may be more “in charge” at the operational level then the commander in chef just because she is there and competent. I would never say I agreed with her policies but at lease she is competent.

Sergej said...

I've thought a little about this (beats sitting in meetings), and here are my thoughts. If this is true, it is an instance of a weak king being ruled by his advisers. In such a case, I think it would be against the advisers' interest to advertise that they are the power behind the throne. On the contrary, their interest would lie in keeping the power of the king, which they control, great, and themselves out of the picture. I am suspicious, therefore, of this leaky source, which boasts of really being behind the decision. I think it more likely that the President voted present on this, as is his wont. Only this time it wasn't some corrupt congresscritter asking for a stimulus handout for his district, but competent military-type people making the plans.

I propose this experiment: wait a month and see what happens. If former top advisers start leaving to work on their golf swing (even a weak king can declare one a traitor), then maybe they were smart enough to pull off the hit, but dumb enough to make noise about it. If nothing happens, then as I speculated above. If we suddenly start taking out enemies, as Bush should have done in 2002, then here is an intriguing possibility. The President is notoriously vain, and lives on praise; if he is indeed behind the operation, I can just about see him noticing the uptick in his popularity and suddenly becoming quite hawkish. Prince Hal made a turnaround, didn't he? (Though to be honest, I can see B. Husseinovich trying on the royal crown before having the right to wear it, but not any of the rest of that.)

eon said...


We think alike. If LP suddenly "decides he doesn't want to be SecDef", that would be a flare-lit tipoff, in Lenspeak.

If HC abruptly speeds up her already-announced departure, even more so.

What lends some credence to this version is that there have been several departures at lower levels on the intel and military side, which the source states were due to conflicts over action on UBL once he was localized. This I can easily believe.

I can also easily believe POTUS wanting to do anything to avoid making a decision on anything but his domestic agenda. And VJ doing anything to avoid taking a military action. It's practically in their "progressive" genes. Both would be inclined to see stomping UBL like the cockroach he was as "unhelpful" to the whole "reset button" thing. And having to share credit with GWB would bite even more.

As for HC, this could have been personal. After all, she was in the Capitol Building on 9/11, and could have been a casualty. Not something She Who Must Be Obeyed is likely to forget- or forgive.



Fruitbat44 said...

Thanks for posting the link David.

I'm still putting on the salt. Too many "sources" for it to come across as a 100% kosher.