Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Was The Osama bin Laden Mission A CIA/Military Coup?

....because as more and more information drips out about how the assassination of Osama bin Laden went down, the more it appears that Barack Obama was true to form: indecisive, feckless, weak, and above all, politically correct.  Which allowed what possibly might have been the first (and only) instance of the military overruling its Commander-in-Chief and acting on its own.

A little Q&A session with a White House insider gives a more nuanced view of what went down:

There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president....

...a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position.

As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.

One wonders if Valerie Jarrett is a real-life version of Tolkein's Grima Wormtongue....

Separated at birth?
Seems like it took pressure from the grownups in the room to force Obama to "act", and as you will see, there is a reason I put that in quotes.  Pressure,yes, but also Leon Panetta speaking in a language that Obama could understand:

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.

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.

But Panetta had his trap laid:

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.

Typical Obama.  If the plan succeeds, take all the credit, should it fail, lay the blame at the feet of Leon Panetta. And what happens when you have a weak Commander-in-Chief, dithering while the war lays in the balance?  Subversion:

I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military – both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States. There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier. 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. 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 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....

Obviously, we have no corroboration for this story yet.  But it seems so true to form, I am willing, for the moment, to give it the benefit of the doubt.  And it would certainly explain why a confused Obama had to be unceremoniously pulled off the golf course...

But let this sink in a moment. A weak president, so scared of Muslim "reaction" that he was willing to let Osama bin Ladin walk free.  An enraged military, with its sights squarely on the man who sent them to war for a decade, decides to go it alone.  A president who then claims this victory as his own, unable to speak a horrifying truth: that this mission was unauthorized by him, save in the most general terms, and would have most likely not have been approved had he been asked permission beforehand.

Of all the damage Obama has done to American democracy, this may be the worst: Allowing a coup of sorts to go unpunished in order to protect his own standings in the polls.  While I have unvarnished faith in our military and am thrilled with the result of the mission, this successfulul subversion of the CIC may give them (and the CIA) precedent and impetus to further act on their own when they feel it necessary.

While heads will not roll here - how could they, with the public's euphoric mood? - the truth should come out here.  We need to know who acted and when.  The liberal's wet-dream moment - their guy getting Osama bin Laden - may yet turn out to be a national nightmare...


Anonymous said...

Sounds too good to be true, although the details seem to be changing constantly.

File it under one of many Osama Bin Laden conspiracy theories that are taking root. Seems like more of a leftist angle, though - blaming the "military/industrial/entertainment" complex - than a conservative one.

The JerseyNut said...

Jeesh - do I really sound like Fox Moulder?