When the most finely trained military/intelligence team in America finally killed Osama bin Laden, MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell sent an embarrassingly misspelled tweet that informed the world, “Obama shot and killed.” However, MSNBC inadvertently allowed some truth to slip through its reporting of the assassination. The left-wing network quoted “a senior official in the Obama administration” admitting the chain of events that culminated with Osama bobbing on the waves of the North Arabian Sea began under President George W. Bush, came about because of interrogation techniques Barack Obama opposed, at a facility (Guantanamo Bay) he continually threatens to close, and would likely have never occurred if Obama had enacted policies he continued to advance even while announcing Osama’s death.
Advertisement – story continues below
During a briefing about how agents finally found the world’s most wanted man, MSNBC reveals the official said:
After the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, “detainees gave us information on couriers. One courier in particular had our constant attention. Detainees gave us his nom de guerre, his pseudonym, and also identified this man as one of the few couriers trusted by bin Laden.”
In 2007, the U.S. learned the man’s name.
Advertisement – story continues below
Two years later, they tracked this courier down to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, valued at $1 million – a cavernous, windowless structure that is eight times larger than other structures in the area, surrounded by a 15-feet-high security walls – which he shared with another courier, Osama bin Laden, and the terror mastermind’s youngest wife.
Al-Jazeera reported, “US spies have been monitoring many of those couriers for years, the CIA said on Sunday.”
The Washington Post quotes “senior U.S. officials who detailed the operation under the condition of anonymity,” one of whom told them intelligence agents had “been working this target for years, years, years. They finally found the guy who led to the guy who led to the guy who led to the guy, and this is it.”
Insiders told Fox News the courier’s pseudonym was disclosed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), who was the subject of “extreme interrogation methods” at Guantanamo Bay. It was confirmed by Abu Farraj al-Libbi, another Gitmo detainee.
After learning the real name of this trusted al-Qaeda insider and finding his hideout, intelligence agents verified that it housed bin Laden himself. Obama deserves credit for withholding the military’s plans from any foreign nation, including Pakistan, which has been at best ambivalent and at worse treacherous in its dealings with the United States.
Not content with his due of being the beneficiary of years of anti-terror investigations, Obama claimed much more credit, and the media are happily obliging.
In his speech Sunday night Obama claimed with a straight face, “shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda.” It wasn’t before? Come on, Barry.
He made sure to say the operation went forward “at my direction.”
He closed with what sounded like steel-spined resolve:
The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice…Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are.
Only Obama could use such tough-sounding rhetoric to mask surrender and self-castration.
The key to understanding his speech begins with that last sentence. In the opening days of his first (and I pray last) term, Obama signed three executive orders banning harsh interrogation techniques, ending “rendition” (sometimes), and closing Guantanamo Bay no later than early 2010. While signing the triple-threat executive orders, he pontificated, “The message that we are sending around the world is that the United States intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism, and we are going to do so vigilantly, we are going to do so effectively, and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals.”
Throughout the 2008 campaign, he stated George W. Bush’s policies of treating terrorists like, well, terrorists violated America’s moral fiber. He had another idea.
In 2008, Barack Obama said he wanted Osama bin Laden brought to a new Nuremberg trial. The Associated Press reported at the time:
He said he wouldn’t discuss what approach he would take to bring bin Laden to justice if he were apprehended. But he said the Nuremberg trials for the prosecution of Nazi leaders are an inspiration because the victors acted to advance universal principles and set a tone for the creation of an international order.
Curiously, AP has not reminded anyone of this contradiction in the last 24 hours.
Obama went further, implying he felt the United States was really on trial. He said, “What would be important would be for us to do it in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he’s engaged in and not to make him into a martyr, and to assure that the United States government is abiding by basic conventions that would strengthen our hand in the broader battle against terrorism.” AP reported, as Obama mouthed these inanities, “He was standing before 17 American flags and a sign that said ‘Judgment to Lead.’”
Sunday’s killing of Osama bin Laden would never have happened without the Bush-era policies of denying non-uniformed terrorists and “enemy combatants” the same status as uniformed soldiers, detaining them in Guantanamo Bay, and interrogating the worst of them as harshly as was warranted. Opposing these practices catapulted Obama to the Democratic presidential nomination with the support of the MoveOn.org Left. Now, his administration tacitly admits they allowed the greatest triumph in the War on Terror to take place.
His wording implies he will continue to push for the end of these practices. Obama apparently believes, since he was able to pull off the assassination after threatening but failing to halt these practices, he would have been able to do so if they never occurred. If Obama’s handling of the economy has proven anything, it is that he does not understand the law of cause-and-effect. With our economy dangling over the precipice of permanent decline, this is dangerous. When that short-sightedness or ideological purism is applied to our security, it is perilous.
No Obama pronouncement would be complete without in some way belittling the office of president. Sunday’s speech turned dangerous just before it turned silly and banal. Obama summed up the great lesson he had learned from this long-awaited moment, and it wasn’t very deep:
America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
Thus did the president of the United States and commander-in-chief of the armed forces put avenging the most serious incident of terrorism in U.S. history on par with boosting GDP and preserving quotas forever. Close Gitmo, kill terrorists, stimulate the economy, hand out stealth reparations, and re-elect Obama in 2012? Yes, we can!
Terror experts agree the assassination of Osama bin Laden will spark retaliatory acts of terrorism around the world. Unfortunately, the United States may not have five years of prior Republican intelligence at hand to stop those. The world has become a better place upon the death of Osama bin Laden, but it has also become at least temporarily an infinitely more dangerous place, and the fate of our nation rests in the hands of the foolish, the impetuous, and the deluded.