Monday, May 07, 2012

'Gutsy Call'?? Obama Knew Bin Laden's Location Since Summer Of 2010

Per General Keane, Retired General Jack Keane, the former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army on Mike Huckabee's show:

"We actually had the target the summer before execution," Ret. General Jack Keane said on Mike Huckabee's FOX News show over the weekend. "In other words, we had the target in the sumer [of] 2010 and it took until the following May to execute the mission."

"I was surprised that it was taking that long to execute it because, you know, the longer you spend on something like that the greater likelihood is that the target will be compromised because of your surveillance and then that target will flee. That's the concern that we always have when we have a target like that. So I was sort of surprised it took until May before we actually executed -- I know for a fact that we had it that summer, maybe even sooner than that," Keane said.

It's really no surprise. President Obama is not noted for decisiveness, and would probably have been fine with not needing to make a decision on this if bin-Laden had moved location. Even after he agreed tentatively to allow things to go ahead, he likely wanted this as close to the 2012 elections as possible. This also seems to correlate with other accounts we seen stating that White Houses advisers like Valerie Jarrett had pretty much talked the president out of approving the operation, and the only reason the decision was made at all was because Leon Panetta and Hillary Clinton threatened to resign and go public.

In the end of course, this president voted 'present' and left the actual decision in the hands of Admiral McRaven, head of Special Operations.


Anonymous said...

The president may have decided to hold off on the raid seeing that there was only a 60% chance that bin laden was in the West Point of Pakistan and that there was a CIA operative in a Pakistani jail as per this article whose life would be in greater danger if a raid had occurred while he was still in Pakistani custody for killing two Pakistanis.

B.Poster said...

"In the end of course this president voted 'present' and left the actual decision in the hands of Admiral McRaven, head of special operations." The Admiral is the military expert. At least, he's supposed to be. As such, this appears to be the correct course of action in having the decision in his hands. In order to manage any large organization, top management cannot have expertise in every area. As such, they are going to have to rely on experts in certain areas and will need to trust their judgement.

Typically big government types like Mr. Onama generally is tend to micro manage every thing when they can't possibly have the expertise to handle every thing themselves. In relying on the Admiral, Mr. Obama appears to have made the right decision.

Even if our people knew the location in the summer of 2010, a number things would need to happen before the operation could be carried out. For starters, agreements would need to be reached with the Pakistanis to allow our people to penetrate their airspace and move into the heart of their defenses without them responding. Once these agreements are reached, the operation needs to be planned for and the special ops units need to have time to train on mock facilities that would try and replicate the terrain and the compound where the target is located. All os this is going to take a great deal of time.

Given the negotiations that would be involved with the Pakistanis for passage through their territory and the training of the forces involved with simulations on the target area, I'm surprised it could be done as quickly as it was!!

Surely General Keane knows all of this. By saying it could have or should have happened faster he either 1.) does not understand the nature of modern military warfare or 2.) he is lying. While 1 is certainly plausible, after all one does not have to have competence to arise in the ranks of today's government, just show the right political leanings, 2 is more likely.

Anonymous said...

You just don't send in America's finest soldiers Seal Team Six without proper planning and verification of who the target is. It's best for conservatives to focus on the President's failure on the economy. Attacking him on Bin Laden is a loser and will not win the White House

Rob said...

Hello Anonymous 9:19AM,
The man you're referring to, Raymond Davis, was a CIA contractor freed by the Pakistanis about a week after the article you cite, after we paid a 7 figure ransom. Bin-Laden was assassinated almost two months later. Davis being in custody doesn't explain the delay, and in fact he was arrested February 10th, 2011 which doesn't explain the delay prior to that time . And the fact that a number of Pakistani CIA informants and operatives were arrested by Pakistan after the assassination and are still in jail, destroying a network that took years to build also negates your point that the delay was solely to protect a CIA asset.

Remember, as General Keane says, the White House knew bin-Laden's whereabouts in the summer of 2010.

Hello Poster,
If you read the memo, it was clearly designed to use Admiral McRaven as a fall guy if anything had gone wrong and to provide plausible deniability to allow President Obama to avoid any responsibility for an adverse outcome.

Hello Anonymous 10:43. Aside from the fact that Navy SEALS would give you the stink eye for referring to them as 'soldiers' rather than sailors, You aren't providing me with any evidence that the target hadn't been verified, or that adequate planning wasn't performed long before the actual assassination.

As General Keane mentioned, the longer you delay, the more chance there is that the operation's cover can be blown and the target move elsewhere.

My chief problem with the entire thing is President Obama's blatant use of this to tout his own qualities as a 'leader' who made 'a gutsy call' when nothing could be further from the truth. Had he declined to do a touchdown dance over the bin-Laden killing, which after all was planned, carried out and completed by far better men, I'd be more than prepared to let this go..