Was the fourth time the charm for the “gutsy call”?

posted at 12:01 pm on July 30, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Just how “gutsy” was the call to hit the Abbottabad compound in Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden?  Barack Obama’s supporters have insisted that the final green-light decision shows just how courageous a Commander in Chief the current President is, while his critics called the decision a no-brainer.  Perhaps both sides could find some support for their positions in a new book by Richard Miniter, who claims that Obama refused to give the green light three times before finally giving the go-ahead:

At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.

In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.

Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.

The thrust of the book, clearly, is to paint Obama as a dilettante executive who doesn’t have the fortitude to make tough decisions.  Rumors of waffling arose shortly after the mission was made public, which had Leon Panetta supposedly demanding action from Obama and pushing him into giving approval.  The White House has denied that version of events, but if Miniter’s correct about the three previous cancellations, it provides a little more context for Panetta’s purported frustration.

Let’s presume Miniter’s source is accurate. Will it make much of a difference?  After all, the Special Ops mission succeeded in neutralizing Osama bin Laden and confiscating a treasure trove of intel.  Had we never succeeded and this came out, it would be devastating, but the success leaves the argument open that Obama had less confidence in the previous openings for the mission.  Reportedly, the intel was not 100% or even close to certainty that it was OBL at the compound at the time of the actual mission, and it might have been less certain than that in the earlier windows of opportunity.  Obama’s decisions to postpone might be used as an argument that he was careful with American assets and troops, and could emphasize that this was indeed a “gutsy call.”

That leaves us essentially where we were before Miniter’s revelation.  Obama’s supporters will continue to think this was a gutsy call for which Obama deserves credit, while his opponents will argue that any indecision to go after Enemy Number One shows a lack of fortitude.  The rest are probably just grateful that OBL has had justice delivered unto him, but care more about jobs and the economy than a 15-months-dead terrorist mastermind.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

Jarrett probably didn’t want to “offend” the Islam world.

Del Dolemonte on July 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

looks like jarrett has obamas one testical in the lock box

johnnyboy on July 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Except let’s not forget that it was the left’s argument that the reason we didn’t “get” OBL under Bush was Afghan was not the priority after Iraq.

What then is BHO’s excuse for putting off what he campaigned on as a top priority?

The protect assets in a dubious situation theory is decimated by the later downing of the Seal team helicopter isn’t it?

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on July 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

It does matter.
Even a f^&*ing blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while.
Especially if you stick it under his nose for long enough.

Badger40 on July 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

He couldn’t track down his lucky mom jeans.

Chuck Schick on July 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

looks like jarrett has obamas one testical in the lock box

I have a feeling that mo/jarrett fight over who gets the honor of the day on bho’s ‘testical’?
L

letget on July 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Hes dead and that’s all that matters. Can’t wait to see he helmet cam video “leak” just before election day.

Go RBNY on July 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

What the hell sort of military or international affairs chops does this Valerie Jarret have?

None.

She is Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. [IOW, she is all about his public perception and publicity.]

But, she is calling the shots?

coldwarrior on July 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

letget on July 30, 2012 at 12:07 PM

A cat fight over nothing at all.

coldwarrior on July 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Let’s play “Where’s Audrey Tomason?” Is she cut out of the picture for a reason? (Maybe it’s jut normal ‘croppage’?) Earlier versions of this photo had her peering over a shoulder. (FYI – She’s probably the most evil person in the world.)

xmanvietnam on July 30, 2012 at 12:09 PM

FWIW, this is old news, already disclosed.

However, with the LSM in full protect PBHO mode, it bears repeating. It shows the real Wimp™ is the current President.

NaCly dog on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Oh, I don’t know Ed. The narrative could be:

“Obama defers to Jarret on military matters”

“Obama put politics in front of national interests”

“Obama/Jarret don’t trust military”

“Military had to force hand of Obama to give go ahead”

“Jarret didn’t want to take risk but after success, exploited it and leaked classified intel”

Again, another snapshot into the real Obama.

WisRich on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

What the hell sort of military or international affairs chops does this Valerie Jarret have?

None.

She is Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. [IOW, she is all about his public perception and publicity.]

But, she is calling the shots?

coldwarrior on July 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

You don’t think Obama is, do you?

Bitter Clinger on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

So little Bammie dithered for three months on a ‘no-brainer’, and Governor Romney is the wimp?

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Good thing that Obama surrounds himself with two utterly stupid women, Michelle and Valerie. Those who open their eyes see what’s in front of them.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

It does matter.
Even a f^&*ing blind squirrel gets a nut once in a while.
Especially if you stick it under his nose for long enough.

Badger40 on July 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM

…e x a c t l y…!!!

KOOLAID2 on July 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Obama looks like the Weasel Wimp in Chief, which he is.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Valerie, aka a gnatbrain, is president.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Valerie Jarrett – terrorist extermination expert extraordinaire.

Good grief. Why does this woman have so much control over Obama?

Common Sense Floridian on July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

When the narrative is that only Obama is strong enough to make this call, then yeah it does matter.

The fact is, he wasn’t – not once, not twice, but thrice. (Man. I’ve been waiting to use that one here for years…)

Kinda takes some of the team out of said narrative if you ask me.

catmman on July 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

It was the right call for which he deserves credit, but hardly a “gutsy call”. He doesn’t deserve credit for some king of “bravery” in making this decision.

That’s the problem with this analysis. You judge a president’s decision on whether they were right and/or wrong and the outcomes of the decisions. You don’t equate a decision of a guy sitting in the oval office with an act of bravery.

they are trying to conflate the idea of making a decision with the idea of doing something brave.

that’s where the problem lies.

Fine, Obama made the right call here in deciding to get Osama and deserves the credit for making the call. How much credit – i.e., was this really a “decision” in the sense that some other president would not have done the same thing – is open to debate.

What is not open to debate is whether or not this decision constitutes an act of bravery for which Obama deserves extra credit for being “gutsy”. That’s just silly.

Monkeytoe on July 30, 2012 at 12:14 PM

This is really a decision that has to be put into context. If he had “eyes on” targeting info regarding UBL on the 3 previous opportunities, and failed to go after them—well, we’re back at Clinton and UBL in the Sudan back in the day. OTOH, it was reported that even on the day of the eventual mission that the intel was at best–50/50 on whether UBL was at the compound–then it is still a gutsy call. Truth be told, we had to enter a) a sovereign country b)evade ADA c)infil a walled compound d)conduct a kill/capture mission and e)successfull exfiltrate the area STILL without the Paki’s finding us. Any one of these items is, on its face, gutsy.

I think that criticism of 3 aborted opportunities will be water off a ducks back since, in the then UBL was killed.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

It doesn’t matter. He got Bin Ladin. it’s done with.

gerrym51 on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

in the end UBL was killed.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

fifm

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

WIMP

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

I could understand if Obama turned down three potential attempts to kill Bin Laden if his military or intelligence advisers were unsure about the situation.

But I don’t understand why Valerie Jarrett, who is a political/communications adviser with no military background, would be involved in the decision. If it was Robert Gates or somebody like that, it would be much easier to explain.

J.S.K. on July 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Not surprised one little bit.

Tim_CA on July 30, 2012 at 12:17 PM

But I don’t understand why Valerie Jarrett, who is a political/communications adviser with no military background, would be involved in the decision. If it was Robert Gates or somebody like that, it would be much easier to explain.

J.S.K. on July 30, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Who does have any military experience up there? Val Jarrett probably qualifies because her dad watched Apocalypse Now and went to the Chicago Air Show a couple a times.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Just think….four more years of Valerie Jarrett at the helm!

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

According to that book blurb a lot of Al Qaeda escaped as well…and then there’s the imprisonment of folks that co-operated with the US…

“Obama delayed and canceled the mission to kill Osama bin Laden three times and then committed an intelligence blunder that allowed dozens of high-level members of al Qaeda to escape…”

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/125001610X/thedaical-20

workingclass artist on July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Look. Who knows? Maybe Obama was prudent in his decision not to go forward in the three previous windows. Maybe he carefully considered the intelligence and determined it was too risky. I find it unlikely given what we know about the man, but I guess anything is possible.

What I’m increasingly concerned about is the deference being paid to Mr. Voted Present on behalf of Ed; this is becoming a pattern. Maybe Ed has lost his nerve for a fight.

BKeyser on July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

Looks like Jarrett is calling the shots…..not good

cmsinaz on July 30, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Either way, Mr. O chooses his advisers and his wisdom (or lack) is reflected with the advice they give him. He trust her—I got it. If that’s a wise decision, hmmmmpph. ?? I personally think she’s a bad apple and I don’t want her anywhere near the White House. Nor most/all of the president’s advisors for that matter.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:20 PM

How many terror operations were carried out from Jan 11 to May 11?

Ho many people died because of Obama’s indecision?

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Reportedly, the intel was not 100% or even close to certainty that it was OBL at the compound at the time of the actual mission, and it might have been less certain than that in the earlier windows of opportunity. Obama’s decisions to postpone might be used as an argument that he was careful with American assets and troops, and could emphasize that this was indeed a “gutsy call.”

This isn’t the meat of this story.

The issue is whether Obama decided to postpone the missions himself, or was it Jarrett who actually made the decisions of which Obama simply agreed.

If Obama made the decisions himself, then okay.

If Jarrett is pulling the decision strings, then that’s not okay.

Question is: Is Obama a president, or a puppet?

Lawrence on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Valerie Jarrett is the real president.

That’s mortifying.

Right Mover on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

I could understand if Obama turned down three potential attempts to kill Bin Laden if his military or intelligence advisers were unsure about the situation.

Winner, Winner, chicken dinner!

socalcon on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

What I’m increasingly concerned about is the deference being paid to Mr. Voted Present on behalf of Ed; this is becoming a pattern. Maybe Ed has lost his nerve for a fight.

BKeyser on July 30, 2012 at 12:18 PM

A fight about the economy? Ed is ready and willing to pick that one up, and routinely does.

The rest are probably just grateful that OBL has had justice delivered unto him, but care more about jobs and the economy than a 15-months-dead terrorist mastermind.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I can’t help but wonder if it’d be at all possible to even have this discussion if the word ‘gutsy’ has never shown up.
gerrym51 above is right -

It doesn’t matter. He got Bin Ladin. it’s done with.

But there’s an audience for books with clumsy titles like ‘Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him’ – and such readers aren’t really looking to learn anything.

verbaluce on July 30, 2012 at 12:23 PM

There is no need to take the bait on this one. If there was ever a “beating the dead horse terrorist” argument, then this is it. At the end of the day, the horse is dead. How it got that way doesn’t change the fact that it is dead.

2c

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Obama’s supporters will continue to think this was a gutsy call for which Obama deserves credit, while his opponents will argue that any indecision to go after Enemy Number One shows a lack of fortitude.

Ed’s efforts to provide fairness and balance can be exasperating sometimes.

Right Mover on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The only shot Oblamer calls is–”fore”.

hillsoftx on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Whoever wrote this, did good.

Some people have the vocabulary to sum up things in a way that you can quickly understand them. This quote came from the Czech Republic. Someone over there has it figured out. It was translated into English from an article in the Prague newspaper, Prager Zeitungon.

“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President”

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Was the fourth time the charm for the “gutsy call”?

No, I already covered this.

SWalker on July 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Question is: Is Obama a president, or a puppet?

Lawrence on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

more like: Who is really pulling the strings?

phreshone on July 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

What the hell sort of military or international affairs chops does this Valerie Jarret have?

None.

She is Assistant to the President for Public Engagement. [IOW, she is all about his public perception and publicity.]

But, she is calling the shots?

coldwarrior on July 30, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The very same question could be asked about our current “Secretary of State”, who had absolutely no qualifications to be the Junior Senator from New York, much less the SOS.

Del Dolemonte on July 30, 2012 at 12:27 PM

Leading from behind defines Obama to perfection.

On serious note, he destroys America apace, and is very successful in hie Utopian aims.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Question is: Is Obama a president, or a puppet?

Lawrence on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

A marionette extraordinaire!

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Not sure whether Miniter is telling the same story, but there was a report from some “unnamed source” a few months ago whereby Panetta, Petraeus, and Hillary Clinton had been sure of Bin Laden’s whereabouts several months before the actual attack, and had wanted the military to act on it, but had been rebuffed by Jarrett several times. Apparently, Panetta, Petraeus, and Clinton were even willing to start the attack behind Obama’s back, and only alert him when it was already in progress.

It’s possible that others made the real “gutsy call”, not Obama.

Steve Z on July 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

WisRich on July 30, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I agree. It’s potentially campaign gold for Team Romney.

petefrt on July 30, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Ed’s efforts to provide fairness and balance can be exasperating sometimes.

Right Mover on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I don’t think that that is his intent. Ed’s capital is his reputation. What amount of pounding on Ed’s part changes the outcome here?—UBL is dead. It is quite a known fact that Obama has a herd of puppetmaster advisers that are essentially an ad-hoc presidency. This information here merely illuminates what we already knew–Val Jarrett is influential, well, that and UBL is dead.

next?

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

“The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President”

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

This is the question of our generation…

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

How many terror operations were carried out from Jan 11 to May 11?

Ho many people died because of Obama’s indecision?

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM

How many of these were due to Obama?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2011

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Romney has another hard hitting ad out there covering the meme of “You didn’t build that—Oh, Yes We Did!”

and it’s pretty powerful too and he is gaining traction with it.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:31 PM

It doesn’t bother me that he held off a few times. However, it does bother me that Valerie Jarret was the person who convinced him three times to not proceed with the mission. As a vet, I am all for the whole civilian CiC deal, but I can’t stand the idea of someone with zero military experience(Jarret) having such power over a single mission.

mfrantom on July 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM

It is not the Osama decision alone. The author claims to give multiple examples of Obama failing to lead. That theme, which is already out there, is what could catch on. His own people came up with the “lead from behind” idea. Leaders of his own party have mentioned how few meetings they have with Obama. I have not seen an ad highlighting that leading from behind is actually following. That would be very effective.

D.L.Mc on July 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM

I always get a kick out of that photo. Obama looks so small and he’s sitting in the corner like he’s one of the least important people in the room.

Bitter Clinger on July 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Ed’s efforts to provide fairness and balance can be exasperating sometimes.

Right Mover on July 30, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I think some will see it as “unfair and unbalanced” merely to make a blog post.

ted c on July 30, 2012 at 12:34 PM

The thrust of the book, clearly, is to paint Obama as a dilettante executive who doesn’t have the fortitude to make tough decisions.

So the color of the paint is transparent. (See also “shellacking”)

apostic on July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Repetitive indecision, dithering, and procrastination are never, ever characterized as “gutsy” and often result in defeat in war.

American generals commanding combat troops who behaved this way during WW II would have been relieved of their command.

Being decisive, bold, and audacious when possibly fleeting opportunities present themselves is not “gutsy”.

Obama is very lucky that over a period of many, many months Obama did not get spooked and flee.

farsighted on July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Pantload…

Seven Percent Solution on July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

Was the fourth time the charm for the “gutsy call”?

…that’s odd!…did the MSM mention this as many times as they did that JugEars killed ObL?

KOOLAID2 on July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

not “gutsy”

farsighted on July 30, 2012 at 12:35 PM

It’s all conjecture, in the end. If Jarrett was the one making the actual calls, that information will never be released. If the first three windows were left to wait for a better opportunity based on the intel we’ll probably never be allowed to know the decision-making process, for national security reasons. (I don’t trust this Administration to care much about national security all of the time, as is obvious of them).

In the case of Woodrow Wilson, who was stricken with serious illness toward the end of his term, his wife was the one setting US policy, while keeping secret how badly disabled Wilson had become. And, from what I have read, she was a bigger socialist than her husband.

Just the notion of Obama’s waiting and possibly letting someone other than him call the shots is troubling.

Liam on July 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM

Let’s presume Miniter’s source is accurate. Will it make much of a difference?

Ed, I don’t think the damning part is that he previously deferred. I think the damning part is that he deferred at the behest of Valerie Jarrett who should have no role in military/national defense matters at all since she is the head of the “Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs” whatsamathingee.

Queasy on July 30, 2012 at 12:36 PM

OT: Iowahawk twitter: “Next time the Olympics are in the USA, I hope they have a Broadway extravaganza with dancing DMV clerks”…LOL

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

This is the question of our generation…

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Well, verbaluce is here. Let’s ask him/her.

a capella on July 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Let’s presume Miniter’s source is accurate. Will it make much of a difference? After all, the Special Ops mission succeeded in neutralizing Osama bin Laden and confiscating a treasure trove of intel. Had we never succeeded and this came out, it would be devastating, but the success leaves the argument open that Obama had less confidence in the previous openings for the mission. Reportedly, the intel was not 100% or even close to certainty that it was OBL at the compound at the time of the actual mission, and it might have been less certain than that in the earlier windows of opportunity. Obama’s decisions to postpone might be used as an argument that he was careful with American assets and troops, and could emphasize that this was indeed a “gutsy call.”

An opportunity to kill OBL and Obama blinks three times! Who the Fluke cares if the intel wasn’t 100%, it’s OBL! Shoot first, wring hands later. Didn’t we already cover this stupid meme with Clinton’s failures to take out OBL because of the same kind of hand wringing?

NotCoach on July 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

“The Obumbler…Obumbler…Incompetent and mentally slow, he doesn’t have a sack, but he plays a lot of golf…the Obumbler…Obumbler…” The lyrics are still a work in progress, but they write themselves!

Tbone McGraw on July 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Obama is a wimp who does what Valerie Jarrett tells him to do.

Also, note that Valerie Jarrett is missing from this picture:

http://resources2.news.com.au/images/2011/05/03/1226048/879590-bin-laden-obama-war-room.jpg

I think that the people in that room, other than Obama, made the decision to override Valerie Jarrett’s veto and order the operation against Bin Laden while Barry was on the golf course. Barry may have been brought into that room, and into that picture, after the deed was already done.

A gutsy call by the Secretary of State and Secretary of Defense.

And what is Obama to do, after the fact, other than falsely claim that it was HIS “gutsy call” to order the operation…

ITguy on July 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Pathetic Wimp – feature this Newsweek. An Eunuch is President.

I bet the Clintons pray for Romney to win. They consider Obama a dummy.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:38 PM

He looks so tiny and wimpy in that picture.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Jarret is far more concerned about Obama’s “numbers” than any other aspect of his presidency.

That is her job.

Why was Jarret involved at all?

Beating a dead horse?

Not at all.

Just emphasizing a simple question.

What did Jarret have to do with anything about national security or intelligence, especially in an operation/program that was as tightly held as this, and why was she part of the decision loop?

The Romney campaign needs to take a look at this.

If true…then it is fair game…not killing Osama, but relying on public image experts to tell Obama when he can or cannot or should or should not make an executive decision that impacts the nation, all of us, of grave importance to our national security.

coldwarrior on July 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

OT: Iowahawk twitter: “Next time the Olympics are in the USA, I hope they have a Broadway extravaganza with dancing DMV clerks”…LOL

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Wouldn’t condoms raining down on church steeples be better? Think like a leftist when choreographing the Olympic opening ceremonies or get the Fluke out.

NotCoach on July 30, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Maybe the the brains of the President, the teleprompter, was asleep.

pat on July 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM

It would be interesting to review Obama’s schedule during that timeframe.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM

He looks so tiny and wimpy in that picture.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:39 PM

The camera doesn’t lie.

natasha333 on July 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

This also might help explain the extraordinary number of ‘I’s a and ‘me’s in his speeches about the successful operation to get Obama. Besides being pushed and pulled to approve or cancel the operation, he must have been having a tremendous internal debate. Follow his liberal instincts? Mrs. Jarrett’s even more liberal instincts? The advice from experienced hands? Eventually he broke free of Mrs. Jarrett’s advice and his own reservations and proceeded. Thus, to him, the significant battle was not on the ground at Abbottabad, but in his mind. Thus the ‘I’s and ‘me’s.

This is not to take away from him the decision. He made it, it was correct, and it turned out well. For this he does deserve credit. But if reading of his internal debate is accurate, then what does it say about his maturity and capacity to lead, especially in emergencies. Was Mrs. Clinton’s ad about the three A.M. telephone call correct?

A.S.Rosser on July 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

It doesn’t matter. He got Bin Ladin. it’s done with.

gerrym51 on July 30, 2012 at 12:15 PM

This isn’t 2008. We aren’t willing to lose the election because of McCain style chickenheartedness.

NotCoach on July 30, 2012 at 12:44 PM

This of course leads to all sorts of interesting and provocative questions, such as why the hell hasn’t Valerie Jarrett been dragged before Congress to answer under oath questions pertaining to what other decisions has she told Obama to hold off on, and where does she get the authority to make such requests in the first place?

This is serious, as that this woman seems to be wielding more power over the Presidency than previously thought. Someone needs to be asking some rather hard questions about all this.

pilamaye on July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Iowahawk = brutal:
Gutsy gutsy gutsy gutsy call call call call

hoosiermama on July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

That leaves us essentially where we were before Miniter’s revelation.


W R O N G !

Seriously, Ed, do you and Allah run every column through “RINOvoice” before you post it?

Waffling not once, not twice, not three times, but FOUR times …

… does NOT leave us “essentailly where we were before”.

BEFORE is Obama holding himself up as a steely eyed maker of hard decisions in critical situations.

NOW is revealing a posturing WIMP who is surrounded by dishonorable scum willing to leak the most classified national security in order to get the SCOAMF another term

… and you left out the leaked story that Panetta, Clinton, Petraeus, Daley and Gates decided to stand together AGAINST the SCOAMF with Panetta using his operational discretion to authorize the May 2nd and the three Cabinet members telling Jarret they would resign and go public with the missed opportunities if she tried to convince the President to “pull the plug” AFTER Panetta had given the Go command.

http://socyberty.com/issues/white-house-insider-obama-hesitated-panetta-issued-order-to-kill-osama-bin-laden/

Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound. Was that accurate?

A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama) I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.” There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so. President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper. The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama. Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position. This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton. She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such. As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts. One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world. Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.

Q: What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?

A: Nothing changed with the president’s opinion – he continued to avoid having one. Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack. Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives. Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act. But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy. Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta. A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act. It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated – he was that frustrated. Both Panetta and Clinton convinced him to stay on and see the operation through.

What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta. Panetta indicated to Obama that leaks regarding knowledge of Osama Bin Laden’s location were certain to get out sooner rather than later, and action must be taken by the administration or the public backlash to the president’s inaction would be “…significant to the point of political debilitation.” It was at that time that Obama stated an on-ground campaign would be far more acceptable to him than a bombing raid. This was intended as a stalling tactic, and it had originated from Jarrett. Such a campaign would take both time, and present a far greater risk of failure. The president had been instructed by Jarrett to inform Mr., Panetta that he would have sole discretion to act against the Osama Bin Laden compound. Jarrett believed this would further delay Panetta from acting, as the responsibility for failure would then fall almost entirely on him. What Valerie Jarrett, and the president, did not know is that Leon Panetta had already initiated a program that reported to him –and only him, involving a covert on the ground attack against the compound. Basically, the whole damn operation was already ready to go – including the specific team support Intel necessary to engage the enemy within hours of being given notice. Panetta then made plans to proceed with an on-ground assault. This information reached either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates first (likely via military contacts directly associated with the impending mission) who then informed the other. Those two then met with Panetta, who informed each of them he had been given the authority by the president to proceed with a mission if the opportunity presented itself. Both Gates and Clinton warned Panetta of the implications of that authority – namely he was possibly being made into a scapegoat. Panetta admitted that possibility, but felt the opportunity to get Bin Laden outweighed that risk. During that meeting, Hillary Clinton was first to pledge her full support for Panetta, indicating she would defend him if necessary. Similar support was then followed by Gates. The following day, and with Panetta’s permission, Clinton met in private with Bill Daley and urged him to get the president’s full and open approval of the Panetta plan. Daley agreed such approval would be of great benefit to the action, and instructed Clinton to delay proceeding until he had secured that approval. Daley contacted Clinton within hours of their meeting indicating Jarrett refused to allow the president to give that approval. Daley then informed Clinton that he too would fully support Panetta in his actions, even if it meant disclosing the president’s indecision to the American public should that action fail to produce a successful conclusion. Clinton took that message back to Panetta and the CIA director initiated the 48 hour engagement order. At this point, the President of the United States was not informed of the engagement order – it did not originate from him, and for several hours after the order had been given and the special ops forces were preparing for action into Pakistan from their position in Afghanistan, Daley successfully kept Obama and Jarrett insulated from that order.

PolAgnostic on July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Maybe the the brains of the President, the teleprompter, was asleep.

pat on July 30, 2012 at 12:42 PM

BOTUS?

The horror.

The horror.

pilamaye on July 30, 2012 at 12:46 PM

This also might help explain the extraordinary number of ‘I’s a and ‘me’s in his speeches about the successful operation to get Obama Osama. Besides being pushed and pulled to approve or cancel the operation, he must have been having a tremendous internal debate. Follow his liberal instincts? Mrs. Jarrett’s even more liberal instincts? The advice from experienced hands? Eventually he broke free of Mrs. Jarrett’s advice and his own reservations and proceeded. Thus, to him, the significant battle was not on the ground at Abbottabad, but in his mind. Thus the ‘I’s and ‘me’s.

This is not to take away from him the decision. He made it, it was correct, and it turned out well. For this he does deserve credit. But if reading of his internal debate is accurate, then what does it say about his maturity and capacity to lead, especially in emergencies. Was Mrs. Clinton’s ad about the three A.M. telephone call correct?

Correction: Obama in sentence one should be Osama.

A.S.Rosser on July 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM

pilamaye on July 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Jarret was also instrumental in getting the destruction of religious liberty HHS mandates done. This woman is awful to the nth degree.

NotCoach on July 30, 2012 at 12:47 PM

That Valerie Jarret is (ostensibly) calling National Defense shots should be opening a can of worms and should instantly cause a congressional hearing to be undertaken.

Who is this “woman” who is making decisions like that?

Was she approved and vetted by congress? What are her qualifications?

Does the DoD approve of VJ making these kinds of decisions?

What a cluster-fark this administration is…

jwehman on July 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

WOTUS – Wimp of the US

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Let’s not forget gaffe a minute Plugs who termed this the most courageous military decision in modern history

rjoco1 on July 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

Valerie Jarrett – terrorist extermination expert extraordinaire.

Good grief. Why does this woman have so much control over Obama?

Common Sense Floridian on July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Because he is apparently not quite as bright as we were led to believe?

Night Owl on July 30, 2012 at 12:48 PM

This isn’t anything new … except for the “gutsy” part of it. FDR ordered American forces to get Yamamoto, which we did in Operation Vengeance, when Yamamoto was shot down in the Solomons.

Now, I’m not old enough to know whether or not FDR, or any of his underlings, said anything about the killing of Yamamoto. I do know that his death was publicized, and gave Americans a morale boost.

Were I to guess – I’d guess that it was just another day for FDR, and just another day of America fighting a war against a savage enemy.

But, Obamuh? Yes, for Obamuh, it was “look at me,” “look at what I did,” “aren’t I so very brave, so very courageous?”

I guess that there’s nothing worse than a Communist … an American Communist … an American Communist who suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 30, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Does it matter?

Yes, because if an event arises for which there must be quick, decisive decisions made… he ain’t ready… or he’ll chooses to do the least.

mankai on July 30, 2012 at 12:50 PM

Good grief. Why does this woman have so much control over Obama?

Common Sense Floridian on July 30, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The answer is in front of your eyes.

Schadenfreude on July 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

What concerns me is, is that he’s so beholden to Valerie Jarrett for every decision – not his cabinet, which is presumably a panel of experts who he should rely for his decisions. That a person in the political wheelhouse (a White House Czar?) wields an effective veto over Congress approved officers is worrying, to say the least.

JeffWeimer on July 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

OT: Iowahawk twitter: “Next time the Olympics are in the USA, I hope they have a Broadway extravaganza with dancing DMV clerks”…LOL

d1carter on July 30, 2012 at 12:37 PM

There you go. Perhaps Zeke Emanuel at a judge’s bench pronouncing patients not worthy of medical care.

slickwillie2001 on July 30, 2012 at 12:53 PM

Was the fourth time the charm for the “gutsy call”?


I see people are now drinking the Kool-aid that he made the call on the 4th time. The truth is, Obama never made the call. Gates, Clinton, and Panetta were fed up with Obama’s non-commital and made the call themselves. Do you think that Obama would have to be pulled from the golf course that day if he actually knew this was going down ahead of time because he made the decision? No. He was completely unaware that the operation was going down until that moment he was yanked from the golf course. He never made the call.

DoS_Conservative on July 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Yeah, I read that White House Insider description on how Jarrett kept trying to void these missions and that they had to drag Obama’s sorry arse off the golf course while the raid finally happened. I am surprised this is finally getting out there in more media.

karenhasfreedom on July 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Lol…… some caller on Rush’s show referred to BO as, “Booty Whipped”.

How true.

Cody1991 on July 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Obama hit the ‘Snooze’ button on the 3AM call… 3 times.

faraway on July 30, 2012 at 12:56 PM

What concerns me is, is that he’s so beholden to Valerie Jarrett for every decision – not his cabinet, which is presumably a panel of experts who he should rely for his decisions. That a person in the political wheelhouse (a White House Czar?) wields an effective veto over Congress approved officers is worrying, to say the least.

JeffWeimer on July 30, 2012 at 12:52 PM

VJ goes on vacations with the O’s. She has chased Rahm and Daley out of the WH. No one dares cross her. She has been involved with nearly every aspect of BO’s career. She adores Van Jones and probably had more influence than anyone with his choice of ‘Czars’.

Seems to me that VJ needs more exposure.

Cody1991 on July 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM

Comment pages: 1 2