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Why the Hurry to Gloat About Bin Laden?
Townhall ^ | 11 May 2011 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 05/10/2011 11:35:52 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss

For a week people have been asking, "Why won't the president release Osama bin Laden's photo?" That's the wrong question. We should be asking, "Why was Barack Obama in such a hurry to tell us bin Laden was dead?"

The White House says the information in bin Laden's compound is the equivalent of a "small college library," potentially containing incalculably valuable and unique data on al-Qaeda operations, personnel and methods.

________

But that's exactly what President Obama did. He raced to spill the beans. The man couldn't even wait until morning. At just after 9:45 p.m., the White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, informed the media: "POTUS to address the nation tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time."

The announcement came less than three hours after Obama had been informed that there was a "high probability" bin Laden was dead and that the Navy SEAL helicopters had returned to Afghanistan.

_______

Couldn't they have at least tried to give the CIA a week, a day, even a few more hours to look at it all before letting Ayman al-Zawahiri and the rest of al-Qaeda know about it? Why give him the slightest head start to go even further underground?

(Excerpt) Read more at townhall.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 72versions; binladen; infochaos; obama; obamaleaks; obltermination; opsec; osama
To me this is the biggest question surrounding the operation.

Why did Zero announce it immediately? Was he really that desperate to distract from the birth certificate?

Reminiscent of Clintoon bombing an aspirin factory to try to draw attention away from Monica.

1 posted on 05/10/2011 11:35:54 PM PDT by Meet the New Boss
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To: Meet the New Boss

DON’T SPIKE THE BALLLLLLLLLLLLL!


2 posted on 05/10/2011 11:43:21 PM PDT by RowdyFFC
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To: Meet the New Boss

I guess it’s time to resume my litany:

He was killed at Tora Bora!


3 posted on 05/10/2011 11:46:42 PM PDT by dr_lew
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To: Meet the New Boss

It would be like a late-nite radio address by Winston Churchill announcing the capture of an enigma codebook from a german U-boat. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. P.S. The above was one of the most highly kept secrets of the war.


4 posted on 05/10/2011 11:47:42 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: Meet the New Boss


5 posted on 05/10/2011 11:47:46 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: Meet the New Boss
It should have been "we have heard rumors, but can neither confirm nor deny...."

When the leaks came, and they would, it should have been, "Unfortunately, computer equipment at the compound was destroyed in the raid..."

Anything to buy time, instead DuhWon was soo anxious to IIIImemememememe that he 'burned' the intel before it had a chance to be translated.

6 posted on 05/10/2011 11:57:38 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Meet the New Boss
The most effective mechanism to publicly deliver a disinformation operation is through a party that does not have the information.

Pretty confusing thing, no...? Or yes...? Or maybe...?

No one gets it, because that is the intent.

Get it...? No... yes... maybe...

7 posted on 05/11/2011 12:10:21 AM PDT by mmercier (you get no glory)
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To: Meet the New Boss
Was he really that desperate to distract from the birth certificate? Yes,he was.
8 posted on 05/11/2011 12:11:36 AM PDT by tommix2
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To: Meet the New Boss

When you have the personality of obama...you MUST gloat. It just is what it is.

STUPID, DANGEROUS, but...that IS what it is.


9 posted on 05/11/2011 12:15:16 AM PDT by Bradís Gramma (Where do YOU stand in your relationship with God???)
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To: Meet the New Boss
While the US military was planning the operation against OBL, Obama’s cabal were busy planning the political exploitation of the operation.

The CIA was not given a heads-up from the cabal, because that would jeopardize their political mission of the Obama spiking the football speech, before it leaked out.

10 posted on 05/11/2011 12:19:07 AM PDT by Berlin_Freeper (Obama can't see something pure like the truth without wanting to abort it.)
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To: Meet the New Boss
If he had waited a week, or two weeks, or a year or whatever, the author would be whining about why it took so long.

I'm no expert on such matters -- though I've talked to several about this -- but even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn't told the whole world, and al-Qaeda in particular, that we had it.

I think Al Qaeda would know pretty darn quickly that their own leader is dead, genius. Particularly given how many in the compound survived. How long before they told someone about the massive SEAL team that just shot the most wanted man on the planet right in front of them? 30 seconds?

11 posted on 05/11/2011 1:58:47 AM PDT by RDAardvark (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: RDAardvark

Speaking of genius, complaining about whining & speculation with whining & speculation, WTF?


12 posted on 05/11/2011 2:26:11 AM PDT by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Meet the New Boss

Can anyone deny there is at least one American that is benefiting from the depraved existence of UBL?


14 posted on 05/11/2011 2:34:15 AM PDT by Gene Eric (*** Jesus ***)
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To: iopscusa

Fair enough. I just thought it was a hack article with no real insight, YMMV


15 posted on 05/11/2011 2:58:40 AM PDT by RDAardvark (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: RDAardvark

Just what I was going to say. I’m glad I read the thread first. I love Jonah Goldberg and it’s a pretty good story, in the sense that Obama couldn’t wait to grab the credit, but what you say is undoubtedly true: the whole world would have known about it by morning. So it wasn’t a security lapse.


16 posted on 05/11/2011 3:02:41 AM PDT by firebrand (Impeach Obama.)
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To: firebrand
the whole world would have known about it by morning. So it wasn’t a security lapse.

And assuming so, the decision to announce it the same day was indeed purely for political points, but I think it's the same call that any administration would have made.

17 posted on 05/11/2011 3:14:53 AM PDT by RDAardvark (Aim small, miss small.)
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To: RDAardvark

I think Bush would have done it somehow without scaring us halfway to our graves ahead of time. That was unconscionable, that the national security aspect was announced way ahead of time, and the fact that the bases were put on a high alert at the gates, and possibly other unnecessary alarums. We were all going nuts. W would not have put the country through that.


18 posted on 05/11/2011 3:29:13 AM PDT by firebrand (Impeach Obama.)
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To: RDAardvark

“How long before they told someone about the massive SEAL team that just shot the most wanted man on the planet right in front of them? 30 seconds?”

Maybe you should read a little more closely. As Goldberg notes, even waiting 24 hours might have yielded some interesting “chatter” between ISI and Al Qaeda. What exactly would have been lost by waiting a week? Or (as others have pointed out here) claiming that the place was trashed during the operation, or implying that the SEALs were in and out so quickly that nothing of value was seized etc.?


19 posted on 05/11/2011 4:28:25 AM PDT by DrC
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To: Meet the New Boss
IMHO, It's a fundamental ignorance about the importance of the intelligence that was gathered. BHO, with his "they're criminals" mindset, looks at what was gathered as evidence, not leads. The whole mishandling of the event was an indication that our country is run by amateurs.

The raid was planned for months; Why no planning for the aftermath? Instead we have preening administration officials giving out details that are contradicted the next day. Then those stories are contradicted. Even the "release/not release the photos" decision looks 10X worse because of the dithering.

To Jonah's point, they could have planned to obscure the capture of the intelligence trove. Pakistan would not be in a hurry to announce the Americans had conducted the operation under their noses. They could have kept the survivors incommunicado for a week.

Yes, as noted earlier in the thread, monitoring a sudden surge in phone calls from Pakistan military members to AQ members would have been valuable.

Amateurs, pure and simple.

20 posted on 05/11/2011 4:58:45 AM PDT by Dilbert56 (Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war.")
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To: All

Have Your Say Every Day.

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Make Yours NOW and End the FReepathon!

21 posted on 05/11/2011 6:37:16 AM PDT by paulycy (Islamo-Marxism is Evil.)
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To: Meet the New Boss
For a week people have been asking, "Why won't the president release Osama bin Laden's photo?" That's the wrong question. We should be asking, "Why was Barack Obama in such a hurry to tell us bin Laden was dead?"

The White House says the information in bin Laden's compound is the equivalent of a "small college library," potentially containing incalculably valuable and unique data on al-Qaeda operations, personnel and methods.

"It's going to be great even if only 10 percent of it is actionable," a government official told Politico's Mike Allen.

I'm no expert on such matters -- though I've talked to several about this -- but even a casual World War II buff can understand that the shelf life of actionable intelligence would be extended if we hadn't told the whole world, and al-Qaeda in particular, that we had it.

It's a bit like racing to the microphones to announce you've stolen the other team's playbook even before you've had a chance to use the information in the big game.

But that's exactly what President Obama did. He raced to spill the beans. The man couldn't even wait until morning. At just after 9:45 p.m., the White House communications director, Dan Pfeiffer, informed the media: "POTUS to address the nation tonight at 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time."

The announcement came less than three hours after Obama had been informed that there was a "high probability" bin Laden was dead and that the Navy SEAL helicopters had returned to Afghanistan.

In other words, it seems that the White House planned to crow as soon as possible. Why? Nobody I've talked to can think of a reason that doesn't have to do with politics or hubris.

Yes, killing Osama bin Laden is a big secret that would be hard to keep for long. Certainly Pakistan would grow agitated if we simply said nothing about the incursion, though sweating the Janus-faced Pakistanis with silence for a couple of days might yield its own intelligence rewards. In other words, even waiting 24 hours might generate some interesting "chatter." The Pakistanis working with al-Qaeda certainly would have been the first to spread the news that bin Laden was dead or captured.

But the real treasure trove is that "college library" of intelligence.

And while reports are pouring out from a gloating White House that's leaking like the Titanic in its final hours, one can only assume our analysts have barely begun to exploit the data.

Couldn't they have at least tried to give the CIA a week, a day, even a few more hours to look at it all before letting Ayman al-Zawahiri and the rest of al-Qaeda know about it? Why give him the slightest head start to go even further underground?

Operation Neptune Spear was the culmination of years of patient intelligence-gathering. The CIA identified bin Laden's compound nearly 10 months ago, in August 2010, and monitored it by satellite and from a secret safe house in Abbottabad at a cost of tens of millions of dollars.

And even that was breakneck speed compared with the years our government spent hunting bin Laden. In 2002, the CIA heard about a possible courier code-named Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. In 2004, it learned that he might have worked closely with bin Laden. It wasn't until 2007 that it got al-Kuwaiti's real name. It took two more years to track him down to a specific region.

That, of course, barely skims the surface of American patience and sacrifice. We've spent billions of dollars and lost numerous American and allied lives trying to defeat al-Qaeda. Those efforts have ripped apart our politics, from the debates over waterboarding and what some claim is torture to extraordinary rendition, black sites and Guantanamo Bay. Some of those techniques and decisions seem to have led us to bin Laden's door.

Surely one more week of harmlessly searching hard drives while the public was kept in the dark wouldn't have been too great an additional burden. The White House would have still gotten their moment to preen and to ride their bump in the polls as far as they could. All they had to do is hold their tongues for a little while longer.

Obama says he won't release bin Laden's death photo for fear that American triumphalism might hurt American interests. Would that he had the same concern when it came to White House triumphalism.

22 posted on 05/11/2011 7:05:56 AM PDT by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: Kaslin

In my mind it was because the only reasonable explanation is that the result of the raid did not end up the way they planned. If the chopper had NOT gone down, I doubt we would know about it today. We would have snatched him and all of his stuff and just left debris flowing in the breeze. But with a destroyed chopper in your front yard, you know the neighbors are going to talk.


23 posted on 05/11/2011 7:14:41 AM PDT by Vermont Lt (How long before the Mall becomes Tahifir Sq?)
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To: Kaslin

The CIA was in on this and it was undoubtedly planned as carefully as possible, always allowing for mishaps. Everyone knows that when a facility is invaded, any intelligence there has been compromised, and everyone vulnerable is alerted. Keeping it a secret that we had some hard drives was not really an option that made any sense.


24 posted on 05/11/2011 8:57:46 AM PDT by firebrand (Impeach Obama.)
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