Skip to comments.New Obama campaign video asks:
Posted on 04/27/2012 12:54:23 PM PDT by Kaslin
They went there.
Is anyone surprised by this? Im not sure I expected this particular attack to be leveled so early in the campaign, but there was no doubt it was coming. And if you are going to put out an ad this shameless, why not stoop even lower and time its release to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Bin Ladens death for maximum political effect.
Now what I do find perhaps a little surprising is the messenger chosen to deliver this. But on second thought, is there anyone with more credibility than Bill Clinton when it comes to talking about spineless decision-making and Bin Laden? In a word, no:
[Sandy] Berger ambled down the stairwell and entered the Sit[uation] Room. He picked up the phone at one of the busy controller consoles and called the president. Amazingly, President Clinton was not available. Berger tried again and again. Bin Laden was within striking distance. The window of opportunity was closing fast. The plan of attack was set and the Tomahawk [missile] crews were ready. For about an hour Berger couldnt get the commander in chief on the line. Though the president was always accompanied by military aides and the Secret Service, he was somehow unavailable. Berger stalked the Sit Room, anxious and impatient.
Finally, the president accepted Bergers call. There was discussion, there were pauses and no decision. The president wanted to talk with his secretaries of Defense and State. He wanted to study the issue further. Berger was forced to wait. The clock was ticking. The president eventually called back. He was still indecisive. He wanted more discussion. Berger alternated between phone calls and watching the clock.
Ultimately it was too late of course, and this opportunity in 1998 to nail Bin Laden and avert the horrific attacks of 9/11 was lost.
In truth, this really wasnt much of a gutsy call on President Obamas part: the ramifications of not making the call would have probably been far worse politically for the President than if the mission had gone wrong. Given Clintons history, President Obama could have ill afforded to become the second Democratic president to pass on a prime opportunity to capture or kill Bin Laden. And in terms of national security considerations, it was practically a no-brainer. Since 9/11 our elite special forces have undoubtedly conducted raids on foreign soil just as dangerous, and diplomatically sensitive, as this one. They are not all successes, and tragically missions of far less import have resulted in the loss of some our nations bravest and dedicated warriors. The Commander-in-Chief is expected to make these decisions, and he would be better served by following the example of those who put much more than their careers on the line in fulfilling this mission, and let his actions speak for themselves.
Update: Was Romneys quote about Bin Laden taken out of context? Sure looks like it, via Ace.
Obama's new ad claims he made a call others wouldn't, and includes an out of context quote by Romney suggesting that Romney wouldn't have made the call.
Here is the out-of-context quote, which, if you search for it on Google, you'll find thousands of times, without context. You have to page forward a lot to find the context.
"It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person."
This got pushed by McCain back in the primary of 2007. The late great Dean Barnett inquired into the actual context of the quote (AP only reported what's above) and found that AP was distorting Romney's meaning.
Our own Matt Lewis, showing the innate industriousness that sets Townhall contributors apart, contacted the Romney campaign and got the full text of the interview. Surprise, surprise- turns out the AP did miss some context. The exchange between Romney and reporter Liz Sidoti went as follows:
LIZ SIDOTI: "Why haven't we caught bin Laden in your opinion?"
GOVERNOR MITT ROMNEY: "I think, I wouldn't want to over-concentrate on Bin Laden. He's one of many, many people who are involved in this global Jihadist effort. He's by no means the only leader. It's a very diverse group Hamas, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood and of course different names throughout the world. It's not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person. It is worth fashioning and
executing an effective strategy to defeat global, violent Jihad and I have a plan for doing that."
So Romney's quote was intended to suggest that we need to do more, not less, in the war on Jihad, and that killing a single man was useful but not sufficient.
This is being turned into "Romney doesn't care about bin Ladin."
Democrats have long urged limited war aims (actually, no war at all, but that's "limited.") The argument through the war has been minimalist versus maximalist. I'm not confident in Bush's version of maximalism any longer (I do not want to use our troops to nation build, ever), but it's absurd to turn a quote by Romney urging a maximalist response -- kill bin Ladin, yes, but don't focus only on that; we have a much larger war to win -- as somehow suggesting he wouldn't even do the minimum.
SIDOTI: "But would the world be safer if bin laden were caught?"
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "Yes, but by a small percentage increase a very insignificant increase in safety by virtue of replacing bin Laden with someone else. Zarqawi we celebrated the killing of Zarqawi, but he was quickly replaced. Global Jihad is not an effort that is being populated by a handful or even a football stadium full of people. It is it involves millions of people and is going to require a far more comprehensive strategy than a targeted approach for bin laden or a few of his associates."
SIDOTI: "Do you fault the administration for not catching him though? I mean, they've had quite a few years going after him."
GOVERNOR ROMNEY: "There are many things that have not been done perfectly in any conduct of war. In the Second World War, we paratroopered in our troops further than they were supposed to be from the beaches. We landed in places on the beaches that weren't anticipated. Do I fault Eisenhower? No, he won. And I'm nowhere near as consumed with bin Laden as I am concerned about global Jihadist efforts."
Another bit of context that must be understood: At the time, the media and the liberal Democrats (but I repeat myself) was attempting to claim the War on Terror was a failure due to the single variable "Have we got bin Ladin?" (Of course, had Bush gotten him, they would have changed the premise to "The war is a failure unless we get Zarqawi," or whoever was left.)
Bush's political strategy at the time was reminding people that this wasn't just some global posse set to arrest or kill a single man-- that terror was not the work of a single man, Al Qaeda was not the work of a single man, 9/11 was not the work of a single man, but rather of a million-plus strong movement and ideology, and that that ideology -- not a singe standard-bearer -- had to be defeated.
From other posts in the Forum, it appears that an Admiral whose name I have regrettably misplaced in my memory was given final decision authority.
I love the smell of desperation so early in the game.
If I recall Sparky was golfing the day of the raid and was still in his golf attire when the raid went down. Funny, wondering if the military timed it that way.
Thank you for your service Admiral McRaven.
And “Skippy” Obama was the smallest person in the room.
They did. Thy also made him sign non-disclosures so he wouldn’t let it “accidentally slip” through aides and blow the op. The real planners wanted 0 to look as incompetent as usual so as not to arouse suscpicion....hence another day the links.
In context, Romney is spot on.
The war on terror IS about a lot more than Bin Laden.
For Obama to ‘celebrate’ and tout the most obvious decision for a president to make, on a target that we were hunting for 10 years, is laughable.
Only the koolaid drinkers would call it ‘gutsy’ for the rest of us it was a ‘duh’ obvious decision - get him.
That photograph was devastating .... revealing of his peripherality to the operation, his smallness of presence, and his obvious, glowering distaste at seeing a big-hat jihadist go down hard. No way he'd have given the green light if he'd been in the loop -- you can see it written on his face in Arabic script 3" high. The cabinet members and Joe Biden crammed their patriotism down his throat.
If I were elected president in November, I'd have that photo blown up to life-size and framed in the East Room. Or maybe better still, the Press Room. "Here is your hero, punks!"
You’re welcome. Go for it!