Monday, May 07, 2012

Ex-Attorney General Says Bin-Laden Memo "Heavily Lawyered" To Throw Blame For Failure On Admiral McRaven

Regular readers of these pages will remember that I commented some days ago that the memo which surfaced from then-CIA chief Leon Panetta tentatively authorizing the bin-Laden assassination was heavily weighted to give President Obama lots of running room if things had gone wrong and make Admiral McRaven, head of Special Ops the fall guy.

It appears the media has finally caught up. Here's ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasy weighing in:


HANNITY: Explain this.

MUKASEY: There was a memo from Leon Panetta that described the authority that was given to McRaven and it was to proceed according to the risks, only according to the risks that had been outline to the president.

And if he encountered anything else, he had to check back. You better believe if anything else had been encountered and the mission had failed, then the blame would have fallen on McRaven. That’s what that is about.

HANNITY: So in other words, here, the approximate president’s now, everything worked out in this case. But he had put in place a CYA that if it went wrong, McRaven would have been the fall guy.

MUKASEY: That was a highly lawyered memo.

HANNITY: Wow. So you are saying this was designed to protect the president politically.

MUKASEY: I think there is going to be more that comes tumbling out about that escapade. But so far that, memo is enough.

HANNITY: You went through a little bit of history here. You talked about General Eisenhower and you talked about Abraham Lincoln and you talked about–their handling of very delicate military situations that they faced.

MUKASEY: Well, I chose Abraham Lincoln, not on my own but because president Obama said that was the person he wanted to emulate. So I figured it was reasonably just to go to Abraham Lincoln.

The night after Lee surrendered, Lincoln delivered what turned out to his last speech from the window of the White House. He rejected taking any credit for it. Put it on General Grant and the troops and then talked mostly about the problems of reconstruction and in favor of black suffrage –

HANNITY: He actually did the opposite. He stood up for General George McClellan.

MUKASEY: Earlier in his career, he stood up for McClellan and for his defense secretary, who were being blamed. He said, no, no. The blame should be mine. The definition of a — one definition of a great leader is somebody who takes less credit than he should and takes more blame than he should. That’s not what we have now.

HANNITY: You also talked about Dwight Eisenhower.

MUKASEY: Dwight Eisenhower before the Normandy invasion wrote out a message to be given in the event the invasion failed and in the event that Germans threw us off the beaches. What it said was, I picked the place where we landed. The troops, the Navy, the airmen did their best and are most valorous. If anybody deserves blame, it’s me.

HANNITY: How many troops did we lose — what 7,000 or 8,000 men when they slammed the beaches of Normandy?


HANNITY: A lot of people. A lot of loss. He prepared to actually take the blame, not –

MUKASEY: Correct.

HANNITY: Then he gave praise after.

MUKASEY: A week later when it became clear that it was a success. He wrote another message, giving all the credit to the troops. The only time he mentioned himself was at the end when he said, I’m proud of you.

Not only did General Eisenhower have a fully prepared message to take personal blame if the Normandy Invasion was a failure, ( you can read it in his WWII memoirs, Crusade In Europe) so did President Roosevelt, who also had a message prepared to read to the nation taking full responsibility as commander-in-chief.

They were men,prepared to make the hard decisions in peace and war and take responsibility for them ..unlike the current occupant of the White House.

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