The Narrative

Since we are celebrating the one year anniversary of Obama first spiking the Bin Laden football by going over plowed ground, I thought I would promote this back to the top. This was posted 365 days ago (I know that today is the 3rd, but this is a leap year – got to account for the extra day).

Posted on May 4, 2011 at 17:00

Bin Laden is dead. Shark chum. Crab food. Of that there seems to be little question. Give Obama credit, he decided to decide to approve someone else to bust a cap in good old OBL’s brain bucket…took him 16 hours, but he got it done.

What is also clear is that Obama had to take advantage of a significant number of avenues that he found fault with just 3 years ago. He issued lofty oratory about the evils of the Patriot Act, GITMO and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (but dosen’t he support all of those now? Hmmmm….). Michael Barone has a great roundup of these at the Washington Examiner today:

For one thing, it apparently would not have happened without those infamous enhanced interrogation techniques — “torture,” according to critics of the Bush administration.

The enhanced interrogation techniques reportedly led to identification of the courier who eventually led our forces to bin Laden’s hiding place. Critics of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques assured us that “torture” could not produce reliable information.

They were probably right that sometimes such techniques yield false information. But the bin Laden operation shows that they can also produce actionable intelligence.

You may remember that many Democrats called for criminal prosecution of CIA interrogators who were acting under orders vetted by legal counsel. Attorney General Eric Holder actually considered bringing such prosecutions.

Fortunately he decided not to do so — fortunately for the individuals involved but fortunately also for his own reputation. Who would want to be known for prosecuting the people who helped track down bin Laden?

For years we heard supposedly enlightened people excoriate our leaders for torture, lawlessness, unilateralism — the list goes on and on. Now the president they have wanted has used the tactics and methods they excoriated to get bin Laden. Good for him.

In the full article, Barone notes how this operation:

  • Was made possible by enhanced interrogation (that Obama banned)
  • Benefited from intercepted communications that in the Bush years, the Democrats and the New Your Times called “domestic wiretapping”
  • Carried out by the JSOC, the Joint Special Operations Command was called “Cheney’s Assassination Squad”
  • It was a targeted assassination; OBL was not read his Miranda rights – no right to a speedy trial for OBL, guess he didn’t want Holder trying him in Manhattan
  • The operation was unilateral and violated sovereign borders; they didn’t even tell the host country that we were coming

Contradictions, contradictions…

The world is also blessed (or cursed) with “truthers”, “birthers” and I guess we now have “deathers”, those among the community who just don’t believe the government’s story:

Bush era “ultimate moral authority” Cindy Sheehan is representative of the feeling. She tweeted:

I am sorry, but if you believe the newest death of OBL, you’re stupid. Just think to yourself–they paraded Saddam’s dead sons around to prove they were dead–why do you suppose they hastily buried this version of OBL at sea? This lying, murderous Empire can only exist with your brainwashed consent–just put your flags away and THINK!

It’s also easier just to swallow the lies of the Empire like Monica Lewinsky swallowed Clinton’s sperm. It works for me.

So the White House has the lunatic fringe to deal with after using them as point men for 8 years under Bush.

But they don’t need a lot of help. The narrative has changed so much that you would almost think that Cindy was right, it was staged and there were some who saw the play, some just watched the dress rehearsal and some only read the reviews in the paper the next day.

Bin Laden fought back, he didn’t, he had a gun, he was reaching for a gun, he used his wife as a shield, he didn’t, we’re releasing pics – no wait, we’re not…and on and on.

The White House Tuesday blamed “the fog of war” for conflicting statements in its recounting of the events surrounding the Abbottabad raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but the history of misstatements from U.S. government officials about various combat operations raises questions about whether briefers also were subjecting us to a counterterrorism strategy and not just completely confused in their initial statements.

The new “narrative” laid out by Tuesday was written by the Department of Defense, Carney said.

But enough of this tortured logic – there is a larger question that has arisen over the past two days as this story started to unfold and that is – Will the Sesame Street Kids in the White House screw up this moment of victory?

It appears just possible that they might…and they may have sown the seeds of their own destruction years ago in an effort to bring down President Bush.

Another consequence of setting a precedent for political gain is that it can be used against you when you are in power. Remember all the attempts to take Bush to court, to declare presidential prerogative illegal and get the international legal community attack him?

Well, for the Obama administration, past is truly prologue.

Dan Rodricks at the Baltimore Sun:

Indeed, American justice is complex and costly, tedious and cumbersome. But it is supposed to be the highest form of justice, closely watched by the whole world, including those rebelling this spring against the dictatorships of the Arab nations. Killing Osama bin Laden outright — that’s vengeance or something else. It’s not justice, and President Obama knows better.

Der Speigel:

Is this what justice looks like? Al-Qaida boss Osama bin Laden was killed on Sunday in a secret military operation in Pakistan. Americans are celebrating, but there are serious doubts about whether the targeted killing was legal under international law and the laws of war.

Jeffrey Toobin at the New Yorker:

Still, it’s worth noting that the apparently universal acclaim for the killing represents a major shift in American perceptions of such actions. Following the revelations of C.I.A. assassination plots by the Church Committee, in the nineteen-seventies, President Ford issued Executive Order 11905 (later 12333), which stated, “No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination”.

Even our old friends at the UN want in on the investigative fun:

The United Nations’ top human rights official called on the United States Tuesday to give the U.N. details about Osama bin Laden’s killing and said that all counter-terrorism operations must respect international law.

The American Left created a global narrative that defined the world based on defeating a political enemy, George W. Bush. Obama adopted most of Bush’s policies in the war on terror and benefited from his policies in killing bin Laden…but as they say, payback is a bitch.

My friends on the Left, welcome to the world that Bush lived in, the one you helped create with your narrative.

Tread carefully.

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