Report: Obama waited a month before ordering the James Foley rescue attempt

posted at 11:21 am on August 25, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Dan Riehl, who wonders if any of the seven rounds of golf O played during that month were less relaxing than usual. Toby Harnden has the scoop:

According to locals, some of the [U.S.] commandos were wearing Jordanian insignia, perhaps to mask their nationality. They entered the buildings and found the prison. But the hostages were not there. The special forces troops had found what they term a “dry hole”…

For President Barack Obama the decision to send in the Night Stalkers was an agonising one. The audacious bin Laden raid in Pakistan had been a success but also preying on his mind was the failed 1980 Delta Force operation to rescue American hostages in Tehran…

Pentagon sources said Foley and the others might well have been rescued but Obama, concerned about the ramifications of US troops being killed or captured in Syria, took too long to authorise the mission.

Anthony Shaffer, a former lieutenant-colonel in US military intelligence who worked on covert operations, said: “I’m told it was almost a 30-day delay from when they said they wanted to go to when he finally gave the green light. They were ready to go in June to grab the guy [Foley] and they weren’t permitted.”

According to a Defense source who spoke to the NYT last week, the Pentagon knew that the hostages were being moved periodically. Another Defense source claimed that it may have been “a matter of hours, perhaps a day or two” by which the the troops had missed Foley when they finally arrived at the prison in Syria. Time was obviously of the essence, yet if you believe Harnden’s source, it took 30 days for a green light. How come? The White House’s fears of a debacle a la Desert One or Mogadishu are understandable, but less understandable now than they were before the Bin Laden raid. Even if the Foley raid had fallen apart, what would the knock on Obama have been? That he had too much faith in the capabilities of soldiers who scalped the head of Al Qaeda and then exfiltrated without a single American casualty? The foot-dragging is also hard to explain. He took his time in ordering the Bin Laden raid, with internal deliberations extending over several months, but extra prudence was warranted in that case: Pakistan is (nominally) an ally, there were no innocent lives directly in the balance, and the White House had no reason to believe that Bin Laden would flee the scene before they got there. As I recall, intelligence showed he’d been at the Abbottabad compound for years. With Foley, that equation changed. The raid was aimed at enemy territory, the prisoners were being moved, and they could have been killed at any time. Why wait?

Maybe Obama thought he simply didn’t have the political capital needed on foreign policy anymore to make this call at the time. Scroll through his job approval ratings on foreign policy over the past six months. Starting in March, around the time that Putin began bullying Ukraine, his approval goes from single digits negative to double digits. If he had ordered the Foley raid quickly and it failed, it would have reinforced the image of a guy who’s at sea in dealing with bad actors abroad. So he waited, probably hoping things would turn around a bit before giving the order. Unfortunate.

Speaking of dealing with bad actors abroad, if you believe the Independent, we’re now handing over intelligence to the same guy we almost bombed a year ago.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Classic example of Obama admin complaints/critiques from the right…
 
‘Why don’t you do something!’
‘Why did you do something?!’
 
verbaluce on August 21, 2014 at 11:36 AM

 
Classic example of Obama admin true-believers thought process from progressives.
 
Because grinding beans to make a fresh pot coffee while your toddler chokes on a hot dog is also “doing something”.
 
rogerb on August 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

 
I really like the way you think. Your metaphors are always spot on…
 
UnstChem on August 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM

 
Thanks. I enjoy language, so that means a lot.
 
BTW, if anyone ever figures out why verbaluce thinks I’m not appropriately and precisely on topic when I post, please let me know.

rogerb on August 25, 2014 at 2:05 PM

First my contempt meter pegged and then it broke. Now what do I do?

Mason on August 25, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Obama probably wasn’t agonizing over what happened in 1980 when he delayed the operation to rescue Foley.

Steve Z on August 25, 2014 at 1:34 PM

There’s a good chance that the dirt ball is not even aware of the Iran hostage rescue attempt.

justltl on August 25, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Other than knowing the name of Lincoln, the clown’s knowledge of history likely begins and ends with his grandfather supposedly being tortured in Kenya when Churchill was Prime Minister.

justltl on August 25, 2014 at 2:52 PM

O probably approved it on the first day he was back in the WH after his month long fundraising tour/vacation.

KenInIL on August 25, 2014 at 2:53 PM

So he waited, probably hoping things would turn around a bit before giving the order. Unfortunate.

Fatal.

MissMagnolia on August 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Obama is old woulda coulda shoulda.

Herb on August 25, 2014 at 3:03 PM

A number of almost-contradictory thoughts on this:

1. We should never have heard about this – obviously an administration doofus leaked the info to cover the Presidents behind, probably ‘authorized’ at the highest levels. To leak something, then officially release it because the newsmedia was going to publish your leak is an old trick.

2. Though we shouldn’t have heard about it, I was heartened that we at least tried – at least, until I heard he showed his clay feet yet again – he always delays these things, hoping, I guess, a decision won’t become necessary.

3. Of course, the 30 day delay was brutal – I have to wonder, then, why would SOCOM proceed based on 30-day-old intel? The timing of all this isn’t clear – and you have to wonder if his execution was based on the raid, and the fear that he might be rescued?

I really can’t stand this guy, he’ll belittle or try to destroy any political enemy without blinking, but whenever there’s an actual decision to be made, he hems and haws and dithers – in that sense, he reminds me of Jimmy Carter in the last days of the Presidency, so depressed and frightened, he probably couldn’t order coffee, frozen because maybe he should order “tea” instead …

Squiddy on August 25, 2014 at 3:04 PM

but also preying on his mind was the failed 1980 Delta Force operation to rescue American hostages in Tehran…

One failed mission from almost 35 years ago? I’m surprised he flies overseas after that Amelia Earhart thing.

RadClown on August 25, 2014 at 3:06 PM

The Messiah couldn’t rescue an American but he single-handed killed osama.

#smartpower

everdiso on August 21, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Someone posted it already, but it’s worth posting again:

Judge Jeanine takes Obama apart.

justltl on August 25, 2014 at 3:20 PM

It was timed for the fourth of July. Pathetic.

jake49 on August 25, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Another military problem that the desk generals thought they could solve, sounds familiar.

mixplix on August 25, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Ruth’ pain is truly schadenfreudig.

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Report: Obama waited a month before ordering the James Foley rescue attempt

“Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

even if they have to foment a crisis.

Question is, what are they getting out of all this?

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Well they’re getting ready to behead another journalist and have already started a twitter #stevesheadinobamashands

This man has so much blood on his hands it is now at the point of being absolutely indefensible. DO SOMETHING, you worthless putz POS poser Urkel wanna be failure!

/Grrrrrrrr

Key West Reader on August 25, 2014 at 3:44 PM

You mean people are really hurting Obozo’s feelings you know. Not to mention what all this disappointment is doing to his short game,

KMC1 on August 25, 2014 at 4:01 PM

I don’t know about y’all, but with Presnit Dog Eater running the show, I have every confidence that Americans at home and abroad are safe and well protected and will remain so right up until Sept. 11, 2014, when he will, once again, rise to the occasion and save us from the evil plans that ISIS and their pals have planned for us. //

bimmcorp on August 25, 2014 at 4:04 PM

Actually, it tends to vindicate the idea Panetta arranged the bin Laden hit, getting buy-in from Gates, the Hildabeast, and Petraeus, and doing end around both Barry and ValJar.

formwiz on August 25, 2014 at 4:07 PM

The Messiah couldn’t rescue an American but he single-handed killed osama.

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Maybe that might make some here question that Obama/LSM produced meme.

I think the guy was already dead a decade before.

Dr. ZhivBlago on August 25, 2014 at 4:09 PM

BTW, if anyone ever figures out why verbaluce thinks I’m not appropriately and precisely on topic when I post, please let me know.

rogerb on August 25, 2014 at 2:05 PM

That’s her SOD. Standard Operating Deflection. Her way of avoiding the topic. Or answering any point that you’ve raised.

By the way, what’s more off-topic, or guaranteed to get there, than a complaint that someone is off-topic? What’s saying “you’re off topic” got to do with anything?

de rigueur on August 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM

okaaaay…. redo:

BTW, if anyone ever figures out why verbaluce thinks I’m not appropriately and precisely on topic when I post, please let me know.

rogerb on August 25, 2014 at 2:05 PM

That’s her SOD. Standard Operating Deflection. Her way of avoiding the topic. Or answering any point that you’ve raised.

By the way, what’s more off-topic, or guaranteed to get there, than a complaint that someone is off-topic? What’s saying “you’re off topic” got to do with anything?

de rigueur on August 25, 2014 at 4:11 PM

It was timed for the fourth of July. Pathetic.

jake49 on August 25, 2014 at 3:23 PM

What is especially pathetic is that O’bama’s past of hating how the US was founded (which we celebrate on July 4th) is extremely well documented. It’s how he was raised. He’s apologized for America abroad, and he’s apologized for America here.

I wonder if there was another angle to choosing the 4th-remember, IDF carried out the Entebbe Airport hostage rescue on July 4, 1976.

Del Dolemonte on August 25, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Backpedals laugh

Schadenfreude on August 25, 2014 at 4:16 PM

With his dilly dallying around Obama in effect signed Foley’s execution warrant. What a guy! When you need help now, Obama will send it in a month, if he is in a good mood, after you have been moved.

VorDaj on August 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

He does not make decisions such as this, Valerie Jarrett makes therm. She had put the kibosh on the bin Ladin raid two times before it went. Simply, she does not want to take snyinebtysg risk.

Techster64 on August 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

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

This story seemed a little to on the nose at the time, although the pictures from the war room do appear to show Bama in a golf polo, but taken together with the history since it does construct a fairly plausible narrative. Of course, with our wonderful CIC the most outlandishly gutless suggestions can still generate entirely plausible suspicions.

djaces on August 25, 2014 at 5:15 PM

Time for a coup.

Bet on August 25, 2014 at 5:40 PM

Obumbles wishy washy faculty lounge approach to American power probably cost James Foley his life. Just like the current air strikes … too little, too late.

Whitey Ford on August 25, 2014 at 5:46 PM

Malignant narcissists like him don’t simply walk away when made to look bad. Such embarrassment often leads the narcissist to lash out, sometimes violently. A significant loss for the dems will likely make him even more dangerous.

CurtZHP on August 25, 2014 at 12:44 PM

Curt, you’re scaring the Hell out of me. The Dems are set to take a drubbing this fall. There has to be a way to have Obama objectively and definitively diagnosed (then declared) mentally unsound and therefore unfit to serve in any official capacity.

partsnlabor on August 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

The man has no spine. No integrity. No vision. No focus. No friends.

Obama came down with the karma-cooties. May the karma-cooties infest his armpits like fleas on a camel.

Key West Reader on August 25, 2014 at 5:51 PM

He does not make decisions such as this, Valerie Jarrett makes therm.
Techster64 on August 25, 2014 at 4:33 PM

Now here all along I thought his caddy was making the big decisions…..

Don L on August 25, 2014 at 5:55 PM

There has to be a way to have Obama objectively and definitively diagnosed (then declared) mentally unsound and therefore unfit to serve in any official capacity.

partsnlabor on August 25, 2014 at 5:50 PM

If that ever happened, they’d just vote for him again anyway.

Don L on August 25, 2014 at 5:57 PM

they don’t essentially invade a sovereign nation without orders from the very top.

GWB on August 25, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Since Obama considers this a law enforcement matter, and not a military matter, they did not need Obama’s approval. There would have been no “invasion”, merely a “jailbreak” action.

they lie on August 25, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Why did it take so long to make a decision? Because he’s a coward. He’s not afraid to make a decision about things that matter to him, he’s perfectly capable of using his pen and his phone to ram through things he wants, but when it comes to the big decisions about how to lead our nation, what our mission is, what our foreign policy or national security issues should be, whether a military act should take place, he’s not there. He’s afraid. Plus, I think he’s insane.

scalleywag on August 25, 2014 at 6:20 PM

but also preying on his mind was the failed 1980 Delta Force operation to rescue American hostages in Tehran…

LOLOLOLOLO. The stooge was (allegedly) 19 at the time and stoned out of his mind. He doesn’t remember anything that happened in 1980 (except maybe that superb Pakistani BJ)

Nutstuyu on August 25, 2014 at 6:25 PM

The Democrat Media has been desperately trying to keep it quiet, but the White House sent NO representatives to Sunday’s memorial service for O’bama’s “good friend” “Jim” Foley here in New Hampshire.

This despite the fact that New Hampshire’s (Democrat) Governor has announced all flags in our state to be flown at half staff in Foley’s memory.

However-the White House did have the resources to send 3 representatives to today’s race-baiting media circus in Missouri.

Shows where their true priorities are…certainly not with protecting national security…

Del Dolemonte on August 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Del Dolemonte on August 25, 2014 at 6:31 PM

And Obama had the Bergdahl parents to the WH for their press conference/photo op, as opposed to personally stepping on the Foley parents press conference.

Midas on August 25, 2014 at 6:57 PM

A similar situation occurred with the bin Laden case…

Obama bobbled, dithered and wrung his hands…
Hillary and Panetta went behind his back and set things up.
He was only informed at the last minute… that’s why he looks so shocked in that picture of the situation room if he was actually even there.

Then he took all the credit and campaigned on it…

“bin Laden is dead and GM is alive”

Absolute worst President ever…

snoozinglion on August 25, 2014 at 7:06 PM

“bin Laden is dead and GM is alive”

Absolutely true statement.

King Barry takes time to make thoughtful decisions. He is not going to send more Americans to die. He takes that responsibility seriously. And has made good decisions. And he does not get pressured into acting by any one. Take your time, Mr. President King Barry. Let these mad dogs keep barking. That is all they know.

Captain Phillips rescue – flawless decision making and execution

Bin Laden Raid – flawless decision making and good execution despite the helicopter crash at the beginning of the raid nearly doomed the mission

Drone Strikes on Al-Queda #2 and #3 – Countles perfect drone strikes at the orders of President Obama including an American citizen in Yemen that got Rand Paul’s panties in wad.

Ned Pepper on August 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

I think that it was Col Ralph Peters that said something close to…
President Obama is unparallelled in his ability to thoroughly review all of his options, and then doing nothing.

WestTexasBirdDog on August 25, 2014 at 7:31 PM

The real question is: should we have tried to rescue Foley?

Seems like, to me, he wanted to be there.

lorien1973 on August 25, 2014 at 7:42 PM

Of course, I was pretty sure that was the case when the information came out.

What is really bizarre, is that the Whitehouse wanted us to know that Obama failed. They over rid the pentagon to get this information out to us.

I find that line of thought impossible to understand. Why would you brag about failing. Especially, when it was obvious incompetence on the part of the President?

The things liberals are proud of. That’s one reason we have a hard time beating them, we really don’t understand them.

petunia on August 25, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Obama was right. If he had a son, he would be like Trayvon Martin – a dope smoking, little punk – and not like Michael Jordan, who slammed that his success had much to do with his willingness to fail. Much of Obama’s foreign policy ineffectiveness comes from the fact that he’s afraid to fail, afraid to look bad, afraid to do what’s right even if it’s not popular. His policies revolve around avoiding failure rather than achieving success. Unfortunately, Obama’s cowardly hesitations and narcissism cost Mr. Foley his life.

RIP Mr. Foley

Rot in hell, Obama.

sixchickensleft on August 25, 2014 at 8:40 PM

Do not confuse his inability to make a decision with deep thoughtfulness. He has never been trained to make decision. Our Military leader both non commissioned and commissioned as well as Captain Kirk of the Enterprise have been well trained to ignore the poop and focus on the salient points to make a proper and timely decision. Obama has not. He is by his very upbringing and schooling a total and complete failure in this area. He has no,none,zip leadership training. What would you expect from this sort of pot head special child other then the continual stream of lies and deceit. This is all he knows. We voted for and got a tele reader not a real leader.

jpcpt03 on August 25, 2014 at 9:01 PM

Late to this party, had to get a new set of bars.

Thirty days. THIRTY freakin’ days.

You know earlier we were talking about a new missile system being developed that could deliver a hypersonic missile anywhere on the globe in 30 minutes.

Why even develop such capabilities when we have total douchebags who are more worried about the political angles than protecting American citizens.

Dog Eater can GFH, I’m so tired of this coward.

Bishop on August 25, 2014 at 9:14 PM

I’ll bet he tipped the musses off to the plan and that’s the reason for the dry hole.

mixplix on August 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM

jpcpt03 on August 25, 2014 at 9:01 PM
Kirk! JAMES T. KIRK(he’s dead Jim). The only thing on Kirk’s mind (head) is his next shore leave(and a certain belly dancer) How the man saved the Federation so many times is beyond me.

flackcatcher on August 25, 2014 at 9:25 PM

I will never believe that this dolt ordered the Bin Laden raid. Especially after seeing the Situation Room photo showing his *deer in the headlights* look, while sitting on a hastily brought in stool, wearing his presidential golf jacket. No one in the room looked or was, smaller.

Also, I will never believe that this dolt had any intention of being the Leader of the Free World, his only focus was and still is the fundamental destruction of America. He revels in tearing us apart, the world be damned.

AppraisHer on August 25, 2014 at 9:48 PM

Obama looked like a 12 year old boy in that photo. Hard to believe this person was elected twice. This country really is insane.

envycat on August 25, 2014 at 10:23 PM

I finally read Maureen Dowd’s Golf Address…..

It is the most brilliant piece of political satire I’ve seen in this administration.

Wow, and to think I almost didn’t bother because it was one of the President’s biggest cheerleader.

Obama is in trouble, because that will likely make it into the history told about his reign of horror.

It’s that good.

petunia on August 25, 2014 at 10:50 PM

Like a boss/

BDavis on August 25, 2014 at 11:18 PM

Now let me be clear. Um.. if it doesn’t have nine holes, aah.. a hoop or it doesn’t enrich… my fellow democrats, or involve race-baiting opportunity then I don’t um… give a rats arse about some christian white journalist held by my fellow muslims.

stuartm80127 on August 25, 2014 at 11:36 PM

How many more Americans are going to die and how much more is radical islam going to rampage before people start to realize, Øb☭ma is not on our side?

Bikerken on August 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM

“bin Laden is dead and GM is alive”

Absolutely (un)true statement.

Ned Pepper on August 25, 2014 at 7:17 PM

Actually Obama’s azz is a pretty safe place to be.

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Schadenfreude on August 26, 2014 at 12:56 AM

King Putt is then directly responsible for Foley’s death. When ISIS starts attacking U.S. cities, he will be responsible for that too.

Every death at the hands of an illegal is also on him. He doesn’t give a crap.

He’s been killing people for six years.

dogsoldier on August 26, 2014 at 5:40 AM

Obama fearing the failure, like that of Carter’s Desert One, makes no sense. He made it with the OBL operation, he knows the technology is there.

So why did he hesitate? Good question, but it is not the failure issue. It may be the percentage issue. Like all frauds, he hit the ball out of the park once, claimed to be Babe Ruth, then walked away. Having to hit it twice out of the park becomes a problem of perception, if he fails, he is no better than anyone else. i.e.- narcissism.

Or, he just doesn’t care. And the only reason we know about the attempt is a pure political reaction to the bad optics of him saying “We’ll miss Jim, but I gots to go! Or I’ll miss the tee off time too!”

THAT motivated the release.

Like I said, if we could, we should put Obama in a museum with a sign saying “Narcissist, Warning, don’t put in charge of anything.”

And then a plaque of all the names of the people he got killed with his narcissism and a reminder “Never again.”

archer52 on August 26, 2014 at 7:10 AM

Blame Reggie Love.

Terp Mole on August 26, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Sad.

It’s interesting too that Foley was such an ardent Obama supporter and against Romney. But if Romney had been elected President would Foley still be alive right now?

Jack_Burton on August 25, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Who knows, but I wonder if his parents are surprised to learn how little Obama cared for the life of their son. I wonder if they, too, are ‘Obama Catholics’. If so, they really shouldn’t be surprised. The man thinks it is perfectly fine to leave tiny struggling babies on cold linen closet shelves to die. The devout Catholic James Foley supported the man who voted not once, but twice against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act. When you support someone with so little respect for life, how can you be surprised when he has no respect for yours or your sons or brothers…?

May God have mercy on James Foley.

pannw on August 26, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Question: What has 9 holes and Obama wants to drop a ball in each?
HINT: It is not golf.
Answer: His inner White House Staff.

jpcpt03 on August 26, 2014 at 9:06 PM

Did you see how Obama looks ?

He now looks like Morgan Freeman’s younger, but still old, brother.

J_Crater on August 26, 2014 at 10:33 PM

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