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Posts Tagged ‘Osama Bin Laden’

Navy SEALs & Surgical Strikes


By the end of this fiscal year, the U.S. will have spent $1.3 trillion dollars over the past decade prosecuting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I propose we wrap things up now and employ that Navy SEAL-6 squad instead.

Seems to me you can spend billions and billions going after the tail of the monster, or a couple hundred million and go for a double-tap to the head of the beast. No, really. What if instead of sending hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops, we had just used good intelligence and Navy sharp-shooters eight years ago to take out Saddam Hussein?

What if instead of fighting what may become a protracted conflict in Libya, we send Muammar Ghadafi a little note hinting that some Navy SEALS may be paying him a visit shortly. Might he immediately negotiate for exile in Sharm el Sheikh where he and Hosni Mubarak could have adjoining estates?

I’m only half-kidding. It seems to me there are a lot of different ways to get to the same end. The surgical strike approach gets there faster and a hell of a lot cheaper in both treasure and human lives. Getting the leader doesn’t ensure victory but I suspect it speeds up the process.

But you can’t go around the world assassinating people, you argue? Excuse me, but did you see what we just did with Osama bin Laden? Did we ask Pakistan’s permission? Did we ask them to come along? No, we didn’t. That would have been pretty darned silly, considering the laser-sharp quality of Pakistani intelligence which couldn’t figure out what that big million dollar mansion was with the 18-foot walls and barbed wire some 50 miles from their nation’s capital.

And in total seriousness, the more I learn about these Navy SEALs, the better I sleep at night. I am so glad they’re on our side. The truth of the matter is that they have been engaged in many missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Remember the American ship captain they rescued last year from Somali pirates with pinpoint fire at a tiny target bobbing up and down in a large ocean? I believe that was the last time we know of that President Obama specifically turned to the SEALs.

For a few facts and photos about this elite squad of warriors, you might want to check out this slide-show from Slate.com entitled, “No Bark, All Bite.”

Hell Freezes Over: Limbaugh, Giuliani Thank Obama


He was not being sarcastic. Turns out he was being sarcastic. Rush Limbaugh opened his program today by saying, “Thank God for President Obama.” Politico has now updated its original take and now says El Rushbo was in full mockery mode.

He went on to say:

“Ladies and gentlemen, we need to open the program today by congratulating President Obama. President Obama has done something extremely effective, and when he does, this needs to be pointed out….

President Obama, perhaps the only qualified member in the room to deal with this, insisted on the Special Forces. No one else thought of that…not a single intelligence adviser, not a single national security adviser, not a single military adviser came up with the idea of using SEAL Team 6 or any Special Forces.”

That turned out to be part of the mockery as well.

Former New York City Mayor and vociferous Obama critic, Rudi Guiliani, actually was sincerely gracious today:

“I feel a great deal of satisfaction that justice has been done, and I admire the courage of the president to make a decision like this because if something had gone wrong everyone would be blaming him and I admire the courage and professionalism of our military intelligence officials who carried this out and this is a great victory against terror. Nobody can minimize it. He was a symbol more than anything else right now but…symbols are really important.”

Others have been less than gracious, congratulating the military but failing to mention the role the President played in approving the surgical strike.

According to Politico.com:

Over the past seven weeks, Obama had chaired numerous National Security Council meetings on the topic, including ones on March 14, March 29, April 12, April 19 and April 28.

“In the lead up to this operation, the President convened at least 9 meetings with his national security Principals,” a senior administration official e-mailed reporters. “Principals met formally an additional five times themselves; and their Deputies met 7 times. This was in addition to countless briefings on the subject during the President’s intelligence briefings; and frequent consultations between the [White House National Security Council], CIA, [Defense Department] and Joint Staff. The President was actively involved in reviewing all facets of the operation.”

This was a total team effort; from the Situation Room in the White House to the incredible heroism and courage of the U.S. Special forces who despite losing a helicopter and going on with the mission anyway not knowing if they had a way out of there, pulled it off anyway.

This also speaks to the merits of continuity between Presidential administrations. The groundwork for this was laid by George W. Bush. And he deserves credit as well. There will always be debate about the tactics that were used and whether Iraq should have ever have been part of the equation. Those debates are for another day.

For now: justice served.

Reacting to the Demise of OBL


I’ll let others do the commentary. From solemnity to humor, here are a few of the reactions to the death of Osama Bin Laden:

From Daily Beast blogger, Andrew Sullivan on what the President knew but didn’t let on about:

The poker face of the man has for the last few weeks been pretty damn impressive. Just because he’s calm doesn’t mean he isn’t lethal.

From New York’s Newsday newspaper:

Kathy Ugalde of Deer Park, whose father, Raymond Downey, chief of rescue operations for the FDNY, was killed, said her emotions ran the gamut from relief to sadness. “Ten years later, I feel a sense of relief to know they got the person who murdered my father,” she said.

“I do think it was something that had to be done, but all those poor souls, it will not bring them back,” said Joan Dwyer of Smithtown, whose son Patrick, 37, perished. Dwyer was a trader at Cantor Fitzgerald.

The Tweets (from Business Insider)

9/11 widow on my flight. In tears. Comforted by entire cabin. Life altering event to see- Jim Forman

Leave it to America to upstage a royal wedding- Emily Zanotti

Bin Laden dead; invasive TSA patdowns to be replaced by invasive TSA high-fives- Kris Straub

They should have captured Bin Laden alive and made him go through airport security 4 the rest of his life- Jeremy Hanks

Hm. Maybe this is what the Prez meant when he told Trump he had more important things to do- Andrea Seabrook

And from Tweet Soup.com

In one last act of terror Osama bin Laden ruined a great episode of Celebrity Apprentice last night. NBC’s special report on his death cutoff the last 30-minutes of the show, leaving Apprentice fans in the dark about who was fired on this week’s episode.

The main headline: Trump fired Hope Dworaczyk, 2010 Playmate of the Year.