With bin Laden, we’ve become a nation of voyeurs

Terry Garlock's picture

Am I the only one bothered by the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden mission? Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased we seized the opportunity to kill him, and I’m proud to have the Special Ops team under the American flag.

But the White House, the news media and the American people have conducted themselves like children. I suppose some of us have always been unable to control our urges to gawk, insisting that we see the blood and guts, like rubberneckers slowly passing an auto wreck and urgently trying for a glimpse of the brains on the windshield, a broken bone poking through flesh or maybe the bonus of a severed limb awaiting discovery on the blacktop.

For the adults I know who have experienced the ugliness of war, it would have been quite enough for the President to announce the death of Bin Laden at the hand of our Special Ops team, details withheld to preserve security of our sources and methods and to protect the team’s personnel and families, never mind keeping from our enemies the details of how much about them we learned from the mission.

So I applaud the President’s decision not to release photos of bin Laden’s corpse as proof to doubters. I also applaud the burial at sea, eliminating the frenzy to examine the body or turn his grave into a shrine. Those decisions appear to me the sole brief moments of good judgment in the mission’s aftermath.

Many on the right are criticizing administration spokesmen for getting things wrong. First they said there was a 40-minute firefight in which bin Laden resisted and was killed after sacrificing women as human shields.

Holy smokes! In a firefight, 40 minutes is an eternity and suggests the surprise raid was stopped in its tracks.

They said bin Laden’s compound was a mansion without computers or TVs. Over time and many versions they said the firefight was brief against a single gunman, that bin Laden’s wife was shot in the leg when she lunged at one of our men, that bin Laden was shot while not armed, then that he may have been reaching for a weapon, that his compound was rustic but loaded with technology and intelligence on hard drives and thumb drives.

First it was a kill mission and then a capture mission with kill as an option. Each version seemed to be wrapped in the standard Washington, D.C., claim of “No blame here!”

I don’t fault them for getting it wrong at first. The fog of war makes initial reports understandably wrong; they usually are. The real fault lies in the rush to release salacious details that serve no purpose but to titillate the public and to toughen the image of a White House that had earned a reputation of being soft on terrorists.

The fault is also in pundits, reporters and citizens scrambling after every tiny bloody tidbit about the mission.

Spokesmen eagerly reported the examination of the intelligence gathered at bin Laden’s compound, as if al Qaeda operatives were not listening, and that we found for starters a plot to blow up trains in various cities.

I suppose politicians publicly patting themselves on the back for a “well-done” trumps the advantage we might have gained by revealing nothing of what we had learned of a national security nature. I wonder if there are any adults remaining in our nation’s capital?

The pinnacle of absurdity for me is lauding President Obama for his “courageous decision” to approve the mission. I suppose courage is supposedly required due to the political risk had the mission gone bad, but you’ll have to pardon my doubts for two reasons.

First, I don’t think any president, Republican or Democrat, could ever explain away passing up the chance to kill or capture bin Laden after 9/11. Second, any real leader would approve such a mission in a heartbeat no matter the political consequences simply because it is so unmistakably the right thing to do. Congratulating the President’s courage for making the “Go!” decision feels a little silly in contrast to the Special Ops team that did the deed.

I marvel at the things these men do to keep us safe in our blissful ignorance. They are called when the mission is nearly impossible, far too dangerous for line military units.

They are highly trained in close quarters battle, helicopter jumps to a combat dive, high-and-low altitude parachuting, infiltration, recon, intelligence, interrogation, high-speed drops and pickups, fast-rope descent, land navigation, mountain climbing, unconventional warfare, demolition techniques, structure penetration, sniper methods, advanced first aid, radio communications and dozens of other disciplines honed to a razor edge.

Long ago when I was at my physical peak, such as it was, on my best day I could never come close to achieving what these men do every day just to stay mission-ready, like capping off a day of physical training with a five-mile swim in cold surf.

We have no concept of life in their world, and the second-guessing by talking heads on TV raises stupid to new heights.

As I tell high school students when I guest-lecture one class each semester, we now seriously handicap our own ability to fight a war by wanting to send real-time video back home, to capture the excitement and maybe even catch someone doing something wrong.

I tell them the only way we can win a war these days is to get it over quick before the news media starts to root for the underdog, as is human nature. The real secret, I tell them, is that home life and the battlefield are two completely separate worlds that should never touch.

Combat is an evil that is sometimes necessary, a dirty, nasty business of bodies torn apart, ugly, sad, unforgiving, full of chaos and errors and snap decisions that can easily go wrong, killing fast and furious in a desperate attempt to get it done and survive.

The only glory in combat is in the movies and we should not sully the home life of America with the gruesome details of distant battle. And yet nowadays we do just that.

We sit in our living rooms in comfort and safety, watching talking heads on TV hold forth on combat in their makeup and coifed hair under lights in air conditioning as if they know all about it, serving it up for us to second-guess our own warriors on the battlefield and whether or not they properly applied all the rules of engagement.

Why is it those most eager to second-guess are least likely to realize the home world and combat world are vastly different, that you cannot measure in one by standards from the other?

It all gives me the urge to puke.

Maybe some day our nation will grow up and realize that when our armed forces pull off a tough mission, doing our dirty work while we safely sleep, we don’t need to know all the gory details, that it is sufficient that we give them a nod of gratitude and respect.

But I’m not holding my breath.

[Terry Garlock lives in Peachtree City and writes columns occasionally for The Citizen. He has authored a book, “Strength & Honor: America’s Best in Vietnam.” His email is tgarlock@mindspring.com.]

tgarlock
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I would agree with most of what Maximus said . . .

. . . but I would add the Vietnam War events were complex and little understood by Americans who have grown up being fed the popular sound-bite version. Won the war but gave away the peace, is a good way to put it, and that happened when the Watergate scandal handed Democrats control of Congress. The actions of that Congress, ignoring our commitment to an ally and abandoning them to a gruesome fate was a shameful chapter in American history. Don't get me wrong. While Vietnam was a noble cause, there was plenty wrong with the war, but the real problems are not recognized by most, the truth still tangled up in knots of myths, half-truths and political agendas.

I also agree with Maximus' fears about Afghanistan as a result of waning public support and a dishonorable and fickle Congress. If I were king I'd bring home our troops and put lethal force to work on the border with Mexico.

Ninja Guy
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Well, TG What Were The Real

problems with that war--in a nutshell?

Gort
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Ninja_Guy, the real problem

Ninja_Guy, the real problem with the Vietnam War was allowing ourselves to get dragged into it in the first place.

After WWII, the perceived threat from Russia and China led to a wave of jingoistic US politics and policies. The “Red” scare was in full bloom, “Better Dead than Red” was the battle cry, and each political party had to demonstrate they were tough on communism. We were stalemated in Europe, Korea, and Cuba and needed a win for the home team. Along comes Vietnam! The think tanks come up with the “Domino Theory” and away we go! Crank up those draft boards, we got us a WAR!

From the “enemies” point of view, they endured 80 years of French colonialism, followed by a Japanese invasion in WWII, followed again by the French wanting to muscle their way back in, and finally, the western powers installed a corrupt puppet government in the south. Our enemy was willing to endure the loss of life for every battle they fought, (and lost,) so they could free themselves of foreign influence.

The US ended its involvement with the war because it was destroying the US. The people that had to fight the war did so with courage and honor. When they returned home they got little recognition for their sacrifice. The people that sent them no doubt had good intentions but like I said at the beginning, the real problem with the Vietnam War was allowing ourselves to get dragged into it in the first place.

tgarlock
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Using sound bites to convey complex history . . .

. . . is how the complex Vietnam War became America's most misunderstood event, and I'm not going to make it easy for you with more sound bites. You can do some research if you really want to know, and if you want bad enough to know my personal views, look on Amazon for my book - Strength & Honor.

bladderq
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While reading

I can recommend: The Best & the Brightest, Fire in the Lake, Waging Peace & War, A Bright & Shining Lie: John Paul Vann and America in Vietnam, McNamara's dribble, In Retrospect. Of course the Pentagon Papers. For fun read Michael Herr's Dispatches. Could the USA win in Vietnam? Hell, YA! But win what? Why were we even involved in a civil war?
I beg all of you to watch the movie RESTREPO to see how futile the mess in Afganni has become after the initial missteps and focus on Irag & WMD nonsense & personal vendetta. R.I.P. Tim Hetherington.

Gort
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tgarlock, did you interview

tgarlock, did you interview Max Cleland for your book?

BHH
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I just read your article and very much appreciate your insight.

Thank you Mr. Garlock for for telling this the way you have.

My service was local in the fire services and only minutely compares to yours but the similarities are striking.

MYTMITE
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Amen, Mr. Garlock, amen.

I have come to believe that anyone running for office in this country who makes decisions regarding wars (regardless of the names: police actions, etc) should have to serve at least 4 years in the military, and I mean actually duty--not some cushy office position. Unless they have walked in the shoes of our brave men and women in the military they seem unable to understand what is involved. Too often our military are considered 'collateral'. Too often they are considered heroes while fighting and then forgotten or accused of malingering, etc. when they come home. No president, congressman, or anyone else not included in the actual action should be considered brave, or courageous for making a decision while sitting behind a desk while someone else does the dirty work necessary. After all, they were elected because they were considered the best to make the hard decisions. Let's give credit to those deserving it--our brave fighting men and women. God Bless Them.

maximus
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Vehemently disagree with you on that, MYTMITE

Not everyone can, or should, be in the military – especially in fighting units. But everyone can, and should be allowed to, run for office. One of our greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan, never served in the military but was amazingly effective in building the strongest force that the world had ever seen. And of course his economic policies led to the world’s greatest economic boom.

If I remember correctly Jefferson, Franklin, John Adams, James Madison and lot of other great founders never performed military service either.

On the other hand, plenty of veterans have turned out to be complete losers and scumbags after being elected to public office – Carter, Murtha, Rangel, Kerry, Cunningham, etc.

Chris P. Bacon
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Ronald Reagan "never served in the military"?

To the contrary, Ronald Reagan served for several years, rising to the rank of Captain in the US Army Reserve. Really poor eyesight limited him to stateside duty.

Good to see you expandin' out of your comfort zone and lying about Republicans for a change. Bipartisan intellectual honesty is such a refreshing change of pace from you!

Trivia question of the day.....who was the only president to enlist as a private and never rise above the rank of private?

Trivia question for tomorrow....who was the only president to accept an officer's commission AFTER his presidency ended?

maximus
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We’ve all seen the training films, sniffy

Reagan did what he could, but I don’t think that that stateside service would pass the non-“cushy” criteria that MYTMITE would set.

All of the founders that I listed performed vital roles as well, commissioned or not. I don’t recall any heroics in battle, but the war most likely would have been lost without their efforts. That is my point.

kevink
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Maximus. I probably would have saved the spin job.

And just faked like I had lost my internet connection until this post was burried by blogs about Mike Huckabee not having "The Heart" to run for President, former Senator Ensign heading to jail, and Newt Gingrich getting special favors in the car from then staffer (pardon the pun)wife number three while wedded to wife number two. Their campaign slogan is "Values" LOL ROTF! Now your comment, like Newt Gingrich's train wreck of a personal life, will be forced to survive another cycle.

halfdollarandlost
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kevin

In the earlier primaries, when you were trashing McCain and holding Edwards up as a bastion of political correctness, when Edwards fall from grace became public, where was the situational outrage you can't suppress when it involves a Republican, you think Edwards might have gotten a special favor or two? Consistency on your part, I think not.

kevink
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Please half lost mind: Show me one example.....

Where I held John Edwards up as anything. Seriously? You want to go there? Newt "Values" Gingrich having sex with a staffer for 6 years while married, yet tries to Impeach President Clinton over Lewinsky? John Ensign sleeping with his friend's wife as she tried to break it off. Yet he used the fact that both she and her husband worked for him to keep her in his bed. And he also felt bold enough to vocally condemn Bill Clinton? This *christiany member of C Street and The Family? You want to defend that? Go for it, mate. Build that moral high ground that Republicans love to build while hiding gay liaisons and Vitter like solicitation of prostitutes. You may notice that democrats have never tried to push the "moral majority" non-issue campaign. But, my values voter, feel free to apply for the Gingrich "Help me spin my past" job vacancy. He could use your help. But, a bit of advice: Hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause them repubs sleepin with everybody up in here.

halfdollarandlost
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kevin

The last election kevin, the one where the President was elected, can you remember back that far? BTW, is there some reason you have to get so insulting over a difference of opinion?

kevink
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halfadollarlost: Your name is too tuff not to mess with it. And

let's be clear. You saying this:

"In the earlier primaries, when you were trashing McCain and holding Edwards up as a bastion of political correctness"

That is not an opinion. That is an untruth. I have been an Obama supporter from word go. You can't wish it otherwise.

Joe Kawfi
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Kevin

Clinton wasn't impeached over the affair. He was impeached over lying about it , you idiot jaggoff.

kevink
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Sure, jokeawfi.

Men who were sleeping with prostitutes and staffers were not lying about it. They weren't courting so called "values voters," And they CERTAINLY weren't moralizing from Capitol Hill. Whatever man. Whatever.

On a side note: How has your Obamaitis been now that his approval jumped up to 60%? Are you on a suicide watch list or a homocide watch list?

The Wedge
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Questions onthe poll
kevink wrote:

On a side note: How has your Obamaitis been now that his approval jumped up to 60%?

Which poll are you citing Kevin? The one that had 17 or 18% more democrats than republicans and was not exposed until the next day?

kevink
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Wedge. I am shocked. SHOCKED!

That any political poll would be in any way politicized. :-D. So, is our President more popular today than he was three weeks ago or not?

The Wedge
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Kevin, spin is spin

I would say that our President has not truly broken 50% favorable yet. It is definitely up from 2 months ago, but not approaching 2/3 approval rate as you are touting

kevink
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Your opinion is well noted, Wedge.

i've got one order of Gingrich from BHH. Who do you think will beat Obama in 2012?

The Wedge
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Kevin,

I personally have no great feel for who would win the republican nomination. I am not really a fan of many of them. It does amuse me how we all spin and do mental gymnastics just to make our "guy" look good.

maximus
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lying under oath in a testimony

That's what got Bill impeached and suspended from the bar. But of course you and the other presidential historians know that.
And speaking of presidential history, I don't recall Bush Sr. riding his 90% approval rating to victory. It'll come down to the economy, again, which makes obamao one termer.

kevink
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So, who beats the "one termer" Max?

Who? Seriously

BHH
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Newt.

Obama will be hard to beat as most incumbents are. The good news there is he can only possibly stay one more term.

I think Newt Gingrich will surprise most Republican critics and is our best bet.

But ultimately God is in control and I feel that politics doesn't matter as much as most people would like to think.

kevink
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Will God reward a man with the moral fiber Newt has shown with

The Presidency? Newt Gingrich called Barack Obama the "most successful food stamp President" this past weekend. Is that the guy God wants to lead our great nation? Newt? Interesting opinion. Let's see how your theory plays out. I know that I'm hoping for a Bachmann/Palin, Gingrich/Palin, or Gingrich/Bachmann ticket. I think any combination including one of those three would be awesome.

maximus
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What spin you ramblin' about hack?

I can't imagine that any a obumbles supporter would disagree with what I'm saying here. He wasn't elected merely with a complete lack of any military experience, but without any experience in anything. He's still the least knowledgable person in any room that he walks in to.

kevink
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Speaking of "Rambling" Maximus. Let's keep this alive then.

Maximus, oh knowledgable one, you said this:

"One of our greatest presidents, Ronald Reagan, never served in the military but was amazingly effective in building the strongest force that the world had ever seen."

And you said this:

"And of course his economic policies led to the world’s greatest economic boom."

Your statements are equally ignorant of the actual facts, but I have no problem helping you keep them on the front page. All the same to me.

Based on your history of factless lashing out, you are most likely oblivious to the SHEER COMEDY of YOU, a person who didn't realize "one of our greatest presidents" actually served in the military, calling President Obama "the least knowledgable person in any room that he walks in to." :-D. That's just funny right there. Tell us more Ronald Reagan facts that you don't realize you misremember. How many times do you think he was married? Was he ever in a union? Did he support immigration reform in the form of amnesty? Did he preside over federal budget deficits or surpluses? Enlighten us in your unique "Obumbles"-hating way.

Hmmm. Just who was The Screen Actors Guild President from 1947 to 1951? Who might that UNION PRESIDENT have been?

Chris P. Bacon
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Apology accepted, maxipad

Go forth and sin no more.

Davids mom
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Do your research!

It is frightening that persons can share inaccuracies regarding historical facts. Thank heavens some of us 'ole fogies' are still around to make corrections.

NUK_1
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WTH? Reagan didn't "serve?"

Someone didn't realize that Reagan served in the military? I mean, WTF? How can people be this ignorant? He was President for 8 years and Gov of California for 8 years too, besides his acting career and EIGHT YEARS in the Army. AARGH. I give up...all hope is lost.

roundabout
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MyTbravefighter

There are about a million in the military!

How do we sort out the "brave fighting men and women?"

If we don't name names then just saying "I give you credit--meaning all--serves to do nothing!

I suggest that the best way is to take good care of them when wounded and when they get out. Spend whatever tax money it takes.
We do have to be careful and not give them all a pension when all do not deserve it.
After all, there is a budget.

Wrapping ourselves in the flag and spouting praise and thanks to a few who can hear is not what the millions need or want.

Observerofu
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Just how do you know???

A little recognition goes a long way.

lion
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Garlock

Are you telling our high school students that the news media is a real enemy in our wars?

Are you telling our high school students that the Vietnam War was a necessary war that could have been won if it was not for the American news media?

I hope not because that would not be true.

Chris P. Bacon
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Lion, the spitting image

Lion, there's a book out called The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam that does an admirable job documenting the revisionist mythology that our defeat in Vietnam was the result of hippies, leftists, spitters, etc.

This business of "we were stabbed in the back by our own Gummint!" traces it's lineage all the way back to World War One. Google "Harpers Stabbed In the Back!" for an excellent treatment of how those that lose wars generally find someone/something to blame for their failure to accomplish their mission.

Mike King
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C'mon Chrispy

I thought you'd at least try and discredit my statement concerning dissent. You do yourself a disservice by deflecting questions by announcing sources favorable to your side, but historically inaccurate.

Take the time to read Terry's book, you may not be enlightened, but you will be introduced to several Americans that might even resemble your liberal leanings.

Mike King
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lion

Three months after the Tet 1968 the Viet Cong and yes the North Vietnamese Army contemplated throwing in the towel. It seemed that American public dissent changed their minds, but perhaps you were there and can enlighten us.

carbonunit52
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American public dissent

This came about when faith was lost in the leadership. The will of the NV and Viet Cong was not broken, the will of the American people for a foreign war that was not understandable was broken. To verify these results we had to have wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. What was lost in Vietnam has not been won back, rather the battles have moved and the battle lines have hardened. War is not inevitable and it is not a supernatural force.

The fifth law of carbonunit dynamics states that to honor old bones it is better to leave them at rest.

PTC Observer
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Mike King - My guess

is Crisp would have us ignore our experience.

It's nice to be lectured by someone that was not yet born or not out of diapers at the time. Solid public education a work.

Chris P. Bacon
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Now now petey C!

I would not have anyone ignore your experience....or experience your ignorance either, for that matter! (I crack myself up!)

You can pull the "age card" all you like, but I'll have you know I am so old I remember when Channel 17 WASN'T owned by Ted Turner (WJRJ, way back when) and when Rasslin' was live on Channel 11.

So tell me, how much China White did you bring back from Nam, "old" friend? Or were you a Thai Sticks sorta guy?

NUK_1
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CPB: Memories of Channel 17

What TV needs now is a lot more Gordon Solie(RIP), Dead Earnest, and Bill Tush :)

halfdollarandlost
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Channel 17

I can remember when pretty much all the programming consisted of rock music and psychedelic images of people dancing.

T-Man
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Tgarlock

Detailed information regarding a mission's such as this should never be revealed to the public. It provides our enemies with ammunition to do a better job next time. One day it would have come out but wouldn't be any time soon.

The decision to move forward with this mission was a big one, bigger than you and I can reach. You have down played this as a "No brainer". My guest you have stated this do to your political affiliation. Because even you a previous military soldier knows these words -WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION - the intelligence behind this was very flawed and incorrect wouldn't you agree. Thousands of Soldiers dying/wounded on bad intelligence work. Are you okay with that and that being a "No Brainer". You see it took allot of courage to make this move. If this President had made a poor choice on bad info. can you say impeachment?

Proof - The President had to show proof and let the world know OBL is dead. Our own country wanted papers from our own President to prove he is who he says he is not more than 30 days ago. If our own country didn't believe him when he said he was born a here how in the H can we think the world would believe him when he said OBL has been killed.

Can we just say our President did the right thing. Next time no detailed info regarding the mission

tgarlock
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T-man, just so you understand . . .

. . . my thinking I will tell you two things. First, calling a presidential decision "courageous" because it involves political risk to his career assumes he has a serious leadership deficit - a real leader would sacrifice his personal political career if need be to take the chance to nail OBL, assuming the mission is otherwise worth the risk. Leadership does not put one's own hide as the first priority.

Second, I personally consider it silly that we would credit a president for a successful military mission and penalize that president if the mission went bad. In retrospect maybe I should have said so in my column, but Jimmy Carter did not deserve the blame he received for the failed Eagle Claw mission in 1980 trying to rescue the hostages in Iran. Missions sometimes go wrong despite best efforts. At least he approved the attempt, though similarly I wouldn't call it courage, which belongs to those who went into harm's way to give it a try. Yes, it cost that president in public opinion, but it would have been a mark of low character had he refused to try to get the hostages out just to protect his own political skin.

I don't expect you to agree, but wanted to make sure you understand my thinking.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Garlock - Crisp's

definition of courageous also defines his definition of leadership. Crisp’s definition should in no way influence our individual assessment of Mr. Obama and his decision. We have no way to know what went into his decision, but ultimately it was a good one. I believe, and this is contrary to Bacon's assessment, that our President made a decision based on the safety of those men sent in to harm’s way. I believe that this alone was his biggest issue in making this decision. That he knew that he could be watching the killing of members of Seal Team 6, their mission was never a successful certainty.

Though, his after action behavior in my opinion is less than honorable and indecorous and no less so than Mr. Bush's fly in to an aircraft carrier after the fall of Saddam. Both of these Presidents can't and couldn’t control their political instincts.

It is never appropriate to celebrate killing. It may be necessary and in this case satisfying but it is not and should not be a campaign highlight. If ground zero shows up in a political ad, then we must wonder about Mr. Obama’s sense of humanity, proportion and propriety. IMHO

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Mr Garlock

I remember where I was when I heard of the attempt to save the hostages and there was no question that Carter made the right decision. The same thing here with Obama. This mission almost failed too. At times like these the decision is a no-brainer. You do what your heart and the voice in your head tells you.

With Carter everyone was disappointed to say the least but the attempt put the bastards on notice that we were coming to get them one way or the other. Reagan being known world wide as a cowboy image brought the hostages home with his win in the election. He didn't even have to take office before that was in the works.

So I support Carter and Obama for their decisions and pray to God that I never have to make decisions of life or death for others again.

It's not a good place to find yourself.

AtHomeGym
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Terry & T-Man

Terry, I can tell that T-Man has no idea how many military lives are lost every year in training accidents and Commanders are not publicly blamed for those deaths--folks with good sense know that it's a risky profession and sometimes bad things happen. And I agree that Carter did not deserve the criticism for the decision (albeit very late) he made about the Iran attempted rescue effort. BTW,I have always felt somewhat responsible for one of those participants because at the time, I was responsible for identifying and arranging needed linguistic support for NSA worldwide from FORSCOM resources. When they asked me for a Farsi Linguist, I found a Major at Ft Bragg who was not only a Farsi linguist but Special Forces qualified--Bingo! Yes, he went and returned unharmed but guarantee you he gave me an earful for sending his name forward! He is now a VP in a big contractor firm in N. VA.

roundabout
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No way to win according to Garlock

If President Obama had not decided to try to get Bin Laden, he would have been marked as indecisive and a thudball.

If he had ordered the raid and it had gone wrong in any way, just any way, he would have been branded a fool.

If he had ordered the raid, and the SEALS had killed Bin Laden, much intelligence had been captured, no one of ours was hurt or died, he would still be accused of hesitating too long and telling us what happened, and the Bush torture of 6 years ago was the key to the whole operation.

Even President Obama called President Bush, jr., and spoke to him about what was about to happen, and I'll just bet George said very good, Mr. President. If Bush has a dependable area it is in that area.

Chris P. Bacon
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Political courage vs. Physical courage

No one is doubting the physical courage of the Navy SEALS. They had a tough mission, and they performed this mission flawlessly.

There is some discussion here about the amount of political courage required to "push the button". Despite the protestations of Brave Terry Garlock, Hero of Vietnam™ to the contrary, there were enormous political consequences to face had the operation not succeeded.

Remember, there is one entire television network devoted to undermining a lawfully elected president 24/7/365, and the Republican party has shown no qualms whatsoever about advancing their political agenda even if it means compromising the safety of America.

America, for better or worse, has a low tolerance for losing. That's why troops coming home from Vietnam never got their "victory" parade, and some still grumble about that to this day. It's rather telling that despite the overwhelming success of the raid, three dirtbags here (Observerofu, Joe Kawfi and Robert W. Moran) couldn't bring themselves to congratulate the President without qualifying their statements. "good job, Obama, BUT..."

I noticed even Brave Terry Garlock, Hero of Vietnam™ had to chime in, with his "the government shouldn't gloat" rhetoric, which is of course Southern "code" for "that ***EDITED AND WARNED*** is uppity".

Well done, Navy SEALS!
Well done, President Barack Obama!

MYTMITE
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CPB, I have tried and tried but I still cannot see how facing

the fact that you may come home in a body bag or not come home at all could compare with losing an election and going home to some cushy job. And before I am accused of being a racist, I feel this way about any person in office. Too very often in history, decisions have been/are made to color the way an election goes. I have no way of knowing if this happened in this instance or not. But the hard decisions are supposed to be made by those we elect to office and they should not be considered heroes for performing those duties. The only true heroes to me are the ones who actually put their lives on the line and go where they are ordered to go--they and their families who wait and never know if they will get that knock on their door. I feel the same way about the police who put their lives on the line as do the firemen who go into the burning buildings so we don't have to. Now, these are the real heroes.
I do not know Mr. Garlock, but I do feel he deserves some respect from you for serving his country honorably, whether you agree with him or not.

Chris P. Bacon
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Mytmite
MYTMITE wrote:

the fact that you may come home in a body bag or not come home at all could compare with losing an election and going home to some cushy job. And before I am accused of being a racist, I feel this way about any person in office. Too very often in history, decisions have been/are made to color the way an election goes. I have no way of knowing if this happened in this instance or not. But the hard decisions are supposed to be made by those we elect to office and they should not be considered heroes for performing those duties. The only true heroes to me are the ones who actually put their lives on the line and go where they are ordered to go--they and their families who wait and never know if they will get that knock on their door. I feel the same way about the police who put their lives on the line as do the firemen who go into the burning buildings so we don't have to. Now, these are the real heroes.

I respect your opinion, Mytmite. I hoped I made it clear about what I feel is the difference between political courage and physical courage.

MYTMITE wrote:

I do not know Mr. Garlock, but I do feel he deserves some respect from you for serving his country honorably, whether you agree with him or not.

I give Brave Terry Garlock, Hero of Vietnam™ the same degree of admiration and respect that he gave to Senator John Kerry, who was awarded the Silver Star for his service in Vietnam. Probably more, in fact!

Mike King
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Chill Out There Chrispy!

"there were enormous political consequences to face had the operation not succeeded." Are you saying that President Obama exhibited the same type political courage as did President Bush when approving the surge? Both were successful, both took substantial risks, and by logical line of thought you seem to agree with both.

BTW, there is a difference between political courage and courage under fire and that is only one risks being left behind or carried away.

One entire television network devoted to undermining a lawfully elected president? Please!

roundabout
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MIKE

You need to explain just how the surge" has been successful!

The Afghans still aren't able to fight over 8 hours without going home!

If we left there now, or any time, that so-called army we trained would
collapse or join another dictator immediately!

Also, mountain Pakistanis would flood the place---the same bunch we trained
to route the Russians! Too much dope there to give up and grow corn.
We wouldn't even stop the poppy growing without giving them an equal amount of cash!

The old dude presiding is as crooked as Syria's!

Mike King
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Roundabout

The troop level in Irag is at it's lowest point and by summer most will be back. Does that answer your question?

The Afgans have been fighting off invaders for a millenium. Does anyone really know what success will look like?

Mountain Pakistani or Pashtun could give a rat's ass about any locale on earth other than the lands they currenly inhabit.

Now go take your meds and avoid further embarrassment.

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Troop Levels in Iraq

You must admit by now that there never should have been any troop level in Iraq. Bush Lied, Thousands Died. THE war was always in Afgani. Hopefully now we can Declare Victory and Bring 'em Home Alive.

Observerofu
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****shaking my head*****

As I read this I see a good little progressive in all their self-righteous anger. Although I would be remiss if I didn't remind that progressive that his own PARTY voted to go to Iraq and take out Saddam. I believe it was 108 democrats voted for it.

Clinton's and the rest of the big named progressives made speeches about Iraq.

One last little factoid:

When Obama and the Democrats held the House and Senate, as well as, the Whitehouse why wasn't the Iraq incursion de-funded?

roundabout
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MIKE

I guess the thing to do is to declare victory, or "mission accomplished"
in Iraq and Afghanistan, and even close down the "green Zone."

Will there be a green zone in Afghanistan?

As to the Pashtun people---I have seen movies about "Khyber Pass." By the score!

Do you still consider success as "most will be back?" Aren't the enemy in Iraq still killing scores every month which is certain to increase when we
"get back!"

Chris P. Bacon
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The surge vs. Bin Laden's killing
Mike King wrote:

"there were enormous political consequences to face had the operation not succeeded." Are you saying that President Obama exhibited the same type political courage as did President Bush when approving the surge? Both were successful, both took substantial risks, and by logical line of thought you seem to agree with both.

While it truly pains me to disagree with someone who was only two steps away from the Congressional Medal of Honor, I'm obligated to point out that your "false equivalency" has no basis in reality.

President Wartime Deserter was on the ropes politically, under-equipped and under-armored Marines were getting their collective asses kicked in the Anbar province in Iraq, and the American military was in real danger of outright losing a war under the misleadership of the Crawford Coward.

The 2007 "surge" was a high risk gamble borne of desparation, having more in common with Hitler's Battle of the Bulge than any contemporary American military action.

The "surge" was a success, but an accidental success. Let me explain. The whole purpose of the "surge" was to have American troops retreat to well fortified bases (not unlike Vietnam) and control the skies. The Iraq military/police forces would do the bulk of the ground fighting.

After about three months, insurgents realized that they could get away with "ethnic purging" of Sunni Muslims under a policy of benign neglect by the US and Iraqi forces, and used this once-in-a-lifetime chance to purge major cities of Sunni Muslims. Allied casualties went down for almost a year as Sunnis fled to Jordan or were killed. America didn't care, all they saw was Allied casualties going down and the media declared the "surge" a success.

Not unlike me declaring my first golf hole-in-one to be a product of a lifetime of training.

Based on the above (Read Ricks' book Fiasco!), I strongly disagree with your attempt to conflate the politically heroic actions of President Barack Obama with the desparation ploys of the failed presidency of George W. Bush

Mike King wrote:

One entire television network devoted to undermining a lawfully elected president? Please!

The Fox Network. "Fair and Balanced". Just like I am "fair and balanced".

Mike King
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Chrispy

Accidental success my fat ass! Poll a few uniformed individuals and see who is correct. You simply are espousing a Chris Matthews point of view as he would never give Mr Bush credit for anything. While you are polling, please include a few individuals who have been in harm's way and not those White House warriors that seem to miss each and every fracas that comes about.

To your point about under equipped Marines, it might interest you to know that the Marines were the minority service deployed in Irag at the time. Your sense of military expertise evidently equates to an alligator mouth backed up by a hummingbird ass.

I'll give you credit for being fair, but balanced-well let's just say the jury is still out.

Each of my four holes in one were accidents.

roundabout
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MIKE

Shot a 41-47 once and that also was an accident! Hard course too. Haven't
understood that to this day, In medal play I was a 23 handicapper! I only got 18 in match play. I was also an honest golfer. Why do more people not play medal? Can't ever pick up?
The best part of the game for many was the poker after---and the drinks.

Yesterday 70-80 (reported) Pakstani recruits for cops or soldiers (no reporter seems to know for sure which) were killed by their own people! I recall this happening regularly-if the Taliban don't sanction recruits, they are not to exist!

It will be the same when we leave! Also in Iraq.

The Wedge
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Mike,

Chrispy has some myopic views of reality. It is so typical that he would wink at and overlook media offenses 4 years ago that he condemns today when his guy is in office--Detested as a satire upon soldiership and honor

tgarlock
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Of course you can win, Roundabout:

All the White House has to do is resist the temptation to gloat like amateurs, thumping their chest while giving away to our enemies valuable info. Better to just announce OBL is dead at the hand of our teams, buried at sea, details withheld to preserve sources and methods and safety of personnel and their families. Whether Democrat or Republican, they will be hounded by reporters for details, especially bloody details, and all they have to do is stand fast and, by my measure at least, they would win.

Some will say we must prove to the Muslim world he is dead, or must supply this info or that lest they become inflamed against us. But the Muslim world is irrational, going nuts and killing people over a cartoon, or a dumb-ass preacher burning a Quran, or rumors that in Gitmo there is not quite enough respect for their Quran while in some Muslim countries mere possession of a bible can fetch the death penalty. I would reveal nothing other than OBL is dead and buried at sea, they will be irrational anyway.

mudcat
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This is a voice of reason

That's exactly right, Terry, just make an announcement stating the only 2 facts that are relevant - He's dead and he is buried at sea. The rest is classified. If they could keep the house location and the lead up to the operation secret for 5 months or more, they could keep the details secret for a while longer. Eventually someone would leak something - as has been done in the past, but without the Chest-thumper-in-chief grandstanding there would be no confirmation, just some rumors and eventually somebody would write a book and 50 years from now somebody would put all the pieces together. That's what happened with the Hilter assassination teams we sent into Germany, Enigma code-breakers, the CIA teams in North Korea, the Phoenix project, the existence of Delta Force, etc. We can keep secrets if we try. I'm betting someone calm in the Administration - probably Gates, suggested your way of handling it and was overruled by the political crowd.

And I never did get the catering to the Muslim world - what's up with that? They hate us and are trying to kill us and we give that piece of garbage a 40 minute funeral? Are we completely nuts or what?

I think we need a more mature President. Of those running I can easily see Gingrich, Cain and Romney handling this situation using the Garlock method. Not so sure about the others. Trump I am sure would go the grandstanding route.

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Mission Accomplished

I guess the O-man could have flown out to the aircraft carrier on a fighter & stood in front of the once used "Mission Accomplished" banner. "Chest-thumper-in-chief"? "grandstanding"?

Robert W. Morgan
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Now we learn all 25 SEALs had video cameras

Garlock's idea of treating this like a secret mission is a real, real good one, but it appears that political publicity was involved even in the planning of the mission. This gets back to Valerie "missing in action" Jarrett and her role in this whole thing. 2 predictions; 1 - Jarrett resigns quietly then she writes a book that reveals her role in the dithering and delays, and she'll actually be proud of it - stupid misguided liberal hack that she is. 2-Some of the SEAL video leaks out and will be on YouTube.

And what Obama is doing now running around the country "spiking the football" is far worse than the Mission Accomplished banner. Surprised that he didn't ask for BinLadin's head so he mount it in a pole next to his teleprompter.

I guess it is time for somebody to say What about Bush? Ok, I'll do it.
How would George Bush have handled this? Quickly and quietly? Treat it like the secret mission it was? Victory lap or simple announcement? And would he invite to the White House a rapper whose signature piece is "Burn a Bush"? Just askin'.

Oh yea, how would the press treat it? Same as they are treating Barak Terminator Obama?

Davids mom
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Valerie

What is this preoccupation with Jarret? Have you met her? Did she reject you? Interesting. A number of TOP staffers were not involved in the 'planning'. What is it about Jarret's proximity to the president that has you all riled up?

Many in this discussion appear to have first hand knowledge of our brave ones in special forces. Their contribution to the discussion has been educational. To 'out' these brave ones should be considered treason. To put their families in harms way is unthinkable. We are fighting terrorists who follow no 'rules' of combat. No one needs to know the identities of the brave Seals. We are grateful for their service - and grateful to their families.

Robert W. Morgan
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Of course not, I don't socialize with socialists

Her role will become known and its not pretty. She had daily access to Prezbo during the entire 16 days. Hasn't been seen since. Maybe he banished her. Yes indeed, the delay could have been dangerous to the men.

When more info leaks out it will be Democrats doing it to further Prezbo's chances of re-election. And yes, some of that info could be dangerous for some of those involved and that is wrong. Fortunately Presiden't Bush's FBI Director will be there to seek out the evildoers. But then Eric Holder will be in charge of the prosecution. Chinless, spineless wonder.

Davids mom
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Rush to judgement

The Kennedy's - Bay of Pigs: Didn't take the time to determine the advent of a full moon

Carter - Hostage situation. Maybe more time devoted to planning and training MAY have produced a different result, maybe not.

Obama - It appeared that the planning and training paid off. The decision to go ahead with the plan instituted rather than taking out innocents in a residential neighborhood seemed to have worked.

All of these decisions rested on the Commander in Chief of our country - utilizing all of the information at his disposal. It's decisions like this and sending our men and women into battle that are difficult. To politicize this activity is hurting the credibility of some in our country.

AtHomeGym
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DM & Spoof Article

Spoof article is clearly pure crapola.

Davids mom
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AHG

Yeah. It's amazing how some try to make crapola valid. There is enough valid crap from both sides - we really don't need 'creative' stuff.

Robert W. Morgan
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Jake Tapper is on it, Moms

He teased it about an hour ago. Interview with someone in the situation room and someone who may out Valerie Jarrett. Can't wait to see the "bogus" story. You can blog, but you can't hide from the facts.

Davids mom
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Rmorgan

Still waiting on the 'facts' regarding Jarrett. Difficult to discuss issues based in innuendo .

Robert W. Morgan
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She has submitted her resignation and will write that book

Obama wants her to stay until summer and work on his campaign, but the resignation will take place in July and then she will be put on the campaign staff. so the taxpayers won't be paying her salary after that. She is not allowed in the situation room, nor can she talk to anyone about the raid or be seen with anyone in Defense or State. And of course she can't be seen with anyone in a military uniform, but that part is easy for her. She s also not allowed to wear pant suits or be in the First Family's private quarters after 11PM, unless Michelle is there. This is all confirmed by someone inside the White House. Can't tell you who, and you'll never know, so just trust me.

Meanwhile some race baiting by David Gregory. When Gingrich said Obama has more Americans on food stamps than any other US President - 49 million, I think he said - Gregory responded with a racial accusation and Gingrich laughed him off - as he should. First of all, there are more whites and Hispanics on food stamps than there are blacks and everyone knows that most of the blacks on food stamps were put on the program when Bush was President (the first one). What has pushed Obama into first place is all the hispanics - both legal and illegal who lost their construction jobs. This too was Bush's fault because of all the questionable mortgages that he approved and pushed under the Community Reinvestment Act. The effect on food stamps was delayed a couple years until the Hispanics were contacted by Obama's Czar for Hispandering Redistribution Initiatives and told (in Spanish) that they were eligible for this freebie. It took a while to translate the application form into Spanish and to get Eric Holder to agree not to prosecute the illegals who would otherwise be guilty of theft by conversion. Very complicated, but worth it. We're #1!. We're #1!

Davids mom
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R Morgan

Trust you? Like we 'trusted' Trump. Many staffers will leave the White House to join the re-election campaign. I think you are an attorney. This 'sharing' smells. But we'll see. There are attornies staying on top of this - and ready to take legal action. ( they'er ambulance chaser caliber) My sources are appalled at the sleazy attempt to develop an election distraction. We' ll see. It's odd that you can't share any credible proof other than Spoof . Maybe credible journalists don't want to be sued . The tabloids haven't touched this innuendo - to my knowledge .

Robert W. Morgan
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Don't know what Spoof is, Moms

My source is inside the White House and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Trust me, babe. I am correct and you will be happy to give me high 5 when we meet at the election party. Not sure if it will be Trump or Haddix. Pullias or Pawlenty. Rowland or Romney. Maybe Obama and Chapman. You pick.

Davids mom
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Headline from The Spoof

http://www.thespoof.com/news/magazine/shocking_inside_look_at_bin_laden_...

I hope the Republican Party is above this type of 'smear' - found in The Spoof media. Hasn't the 'birther' fiasco been enough?

Davids mom
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Socialist? Who is Valerie Jarrett?

http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,1858012,00.html

She is a Senior Advisor on 'Women's Issues'. Read the article. In a snit? I don't think so.

Observerofu
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Dmom why do you think Ms. Jarrett

picked a self-avowed Communist and 9-11 truther to work in this administration? Oh she claimed she didn't know but her statements said she had been watching him for years. His Communist years btw.

kevink
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Politics may be important to u kevin its just not worth my time

"Dmom why do you think Ms. Jarrett
picked a self-avowed Communist and 9-11 truther to work in this administration? Oh she claimed she didn't know but her statements said she had been watching him for years. His Communist years btw.

The face of the New Neo-Progressive Party

Illegitimi non carborundum
.."

Double speak 101 lesson of the day.

Davids mom
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Self avowed communist in this administration?

Please name. Is it illegal to be a registered/self-avowed communist in the United States? What is a 9/11 truther? Is it the same as an Osama murder truther?

Observerofu
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Ok Dmom here it is

Van Jones a 60's radical that is the founder of Storm. A radical anti-Capitalist pro Socialist/Communist group with ties to radical groups world wide.

No Dmom it is not illegal to be a Communist in the Whitehouse but DO YOU WANT A COMMUNIST IN THE WHITEHOUSE?

A truther is the progressive birther. They believe Bush ordered the attacks on 9-11. Van Jones is a Communist, one time Green Czar, confidant of Valeria Jarrett radical that wants to end Capitalism.

Davids mom
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Van Jones

http://gawker.com/5352832/who-is-van-jones

Van Jones - a 90's 'radical'. Read for yourself. No secret about his past and current political leanings. Lots of recognition for his current accomplishments. Glen Beck and others 'outed' him -as did Time Magazine and other publications.

Nuance / innuendo vs. Truth.

Observerofu
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Dmom do you want a Communist in the Whitehouse?

He is a self-avowed Communist. He was appointed by Obama at Valerie Jarrett's urging.

No nuance, no innuendo, just plain old fact. btw-Just what are his accomplishments?

Davids mom
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Van Jones

Current accomplishments: getting the 'poor' off of welfare; promoting clean/green energy. Isn't that what conservatives want? He's getting the job done- and his label was Marxist, Communist, Young Republican, Democrat, Citizen, Dedicated worker. When and if he breaks the law, considers overthrowing the government, etc., he'll be dealt with. What have you done lately for your community/ country Oou?

Observerofu
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Answer the freaking question Dmom

Do you have any problem with a Communist/Socialist/Marxist in the Whitehouse in any capacity?

I have asked you this three times now. It is a simple yes/no. Not trying to trap you. Not trying to trip you up. I just want to know where you stand is all.

btw- Tell me how Van Jones has got the poor off of Welfare? How many has he hired? What legislation has he authored to do this? What exactly has he done except talk about it? What programs has he initiated that accomplished any of the thing you stated.

You mean STORM Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement (STORM)is that what you mean. Do you know who and what this organization is?
"On the night after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks STORM held a vigil in Oakland, California, "mourning the victims of U.S. imperialism around the world." In a document entitled, Reclaiming Revolution: history, summation & lessons from the work of Standing Together to Organize a Revolutionary Movement, Jones is quoted as saying,
"Anti-Arab hostility is already reaching a fever pitch as pundits and common people alike rush to judgment that an Arab group is responsible for this tragedy...We fear that an atmosphere is being created that will result in official and street violence against Arab men, women and children.

Reclaiming Revolution also blamed the U.S. for 9/11. A passage on page 45 (27 of the PDF file) reads:

"That night, STORM and the other movement leaders expressed sadness and anger at the deaths of innocent working class people. We were angry, first and foremost, with the U.S. government, whose worldwide aggression had engendered such hate across the globe that working class people were not safe at home. We honored those who had lost their lives in the attack -- and those who would surely lose their lives in subsequent U.S. attacks overseas."

Yep ole Van sure has a lot of accomplishments.

It's not about me Dmom. I understand if you don't want to answer the question tells me what I already knew anyway.

Davids mom
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RWM

We'll see.

Observerofu
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Morgan the delay was not only thing that was strange

There was a firefight, oh no wait, no there wasn't.
UBL was armed, oh no wait, no he wasn't.
UBL used his wife as a shield, oh no wait, no he didn't.

And now there was a video blackout oh no wait no there wasn't.

Incompetence or something else.

Watch the left hand folks...watch the left hand.

AtHomeGym
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OofU

Answer is a combination of Amateur Hour & Technical Difficulties.

Robert W. Morgan
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Literally the left hand, Ou

The stench of liberals pandering to the extreme left wing is surrounding this whole thing.

You would think that if someone in the White House knew there was 25 video cameras in the raid, that they would wait until they had video confirmation of whatever part of this they were trying to spin. Can't see where speedy release of details is in anybody's interest. And having to change your story multiple times is really silly. Probably better to use Garlock's idea and just say the dude is dead and buried at sea and the rest is classified.

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