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Osama Bin Laden

Special Operations OPSEC targets Obama for reckless intelligence leaks

From RedState:

A group of former special operations and C.I.A. officers accuse President Obama of spiking the football — taking credit for killing Osama bin Laden, and recklessly leaking intelligence information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden and other security matters solely to gain political advantage.

“Mr. President, you did not kill Osama bin Laden, America did. The work that the American military has done killed Osama bin Laden. You did not.” — Ben Smith, a Navy SEAL

The Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc, argues that high level Obama administration’s leaks are damaging U.S. security. They make their case in a very well done documentary-style video called “Dishonorable Disclosures: How Leaks and Politics Threaten National Security.”

The good folks at Special Operations OPSEC see their mission as stopping President Obama and others, from politically capitalizing on U.S. national security operations and secrets, which allows the special operations and intelligence capabilities to be degraded., and educating the public about the importance and necessity of Operational Security. The video does a good job of doing that.

Ron Paul: Killing OBL “absolutely was not necessary”

From Hot Air:

Ron Paul’s supporters plan on another run for the presidency from the Texas Congressman, and some are saying that the mainstream has finally begun to embrace his ideas on economics and the Fed.  On foreign policy and national defense, though, perhaps Paul is farther out than ever.  In a radio interview on Tuesday, reported this morning in Politico, Paul said he would not have greenlighted the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and would have worked with Pakistan to arrest him instead:

“I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”

Paul also told WHO’s Simon Conway that the mission “absolutely was not necessary”:

“I don’t think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary,” Paul said during his Tuesday comments. “I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he’d been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters into London, because they were afraid the information would get out?”

For one thing, had we found him holed up in London, we would have been able to trust the British intelligence service to cooperate.  MI-5 didn’t spend more than a decade helping to build up the Taliban and playing footsie with radical Islamists the way Pakistan’s ISI did, primarily as a bulwark against India.  Moreover, as Paul should know, we tried trusting Pakistan once before on an opportunity to target bin Laden when Bill Clinton had a chance to target his compound.  The ISI warned bin Laden, and to paraphrase President George Bush, we wound up sending a $10 million rocket into a ten-dollar tent to hit a camel’s butt.

I would have had no problem with capturing Osama bin Laden, or with killing him.  He declared war on the United States and continued to pursue it until his last breath.  Furthermore, I have no problem with us conducting a military mission in Pakistan to get him.  Pakistan has proven themselves unreliable on high-level intelligence matters in the past, specifically on OBL, and we have had little cause to put any more trust in the Pakistani ISI ever since.

Paul has a few good ideas on fiscal policy, but is otherwise a nut.  Insisting that we should have asked the Pakistanis to arrest bin Laden proves rather clearly that Paul lives in a fantasy world.

Vindication

From Power Line:

In a biting column he titles “The first-person presidency,” Victor Davis Hanson conveniently summarizes the national security positions asserted by then Senator Obama, with relevant quotations, and contrasts them with the positions he has taken as president. He then provides this convenient summary:

Senator Obama opposed tribunals, renditions, Guantanamo, preventive detention, Predator-drone attacks, the Iraq War, wiretaps, and intercepts — before President Obama either continued or expanded nearly all of them, in addition to embracing targeted assassinations, new body scanning and patdowns at airports, and a third preemptive war against an oil-exporting Arab Muslim nation — this one including NATO efforts to kill the Qaddafi family. The only thing more surreal than Barack Obama’s radical transformation is the sudden approval of it by the once hysterical Left. In Animal Farm and 1984 fashion, the world we knew in 2006 has simply been airbrushed away.

Coincidentally, Jim Geraghty has received this “motivational poster” from a reader. It applies the teaching of Hanson’s column to the successful operation against bin Laden.

The words at the bottom read: “VINDICATION: When the loudest critic of your policies achieves his greatest success because of them.” Geraghty supports the point with another handy summary:

The interrogations of KSM (which included waterboarding) and the interrogation of Hassan Ghul (held in “black site” prisons) were key to identifying the courier; the president then authorized military action in a foreign country without going to the United Nations or informing the host government; the military action was unilateral, and we did not consult with our allies; Congress was not informed of the military action; and it increasingly appears that no serious effort was made to treat Osama bin Laden as a criminal (reading him his rights, etc.). The monitoring of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s phone call was a result of an extensive global wiretapping system. Furthermore, as Charles Krauthammer notes, the helicopters used in the raid came from Bagram and Jalalabad; if we had withdrawn from Afghanistan on the antiwar Left’s timetable, we would have had no bases from which to launch this operation.

I would supplement Geraghty’s summary with two related points. It was President Bush who set the goal of taking bin Laden dead or alive in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It was President Obama who gave the order to kill (not capture) bin Laden. It was President Obama who ordered the action without the knowledge or consent of the United Nations, the Pakistanis, or any other nation.

Vindication, indeed. And thank you, President Bush.

Five Reasons It Was Important to Get Bin Laden

From The Heritage Foundation:

#1. Honor matters. In Osama bin Laden’s part of the world, “honor” equals “power.” When the U.S. takes out the chief of the world’s most well-known terror network, that is a deep humiliation to al-Qaeda’s reputation. As with kicking it out of Afghanistan, crushing it in Iraq, and preventing another 9/11 (at least 38 plots foiled since 9/11), the U.S. has destroyed its global aspirations. Indeed, bin Laden’s death was widely hailed across the globe as cheerfully in the Islamic world as it was in the West. Getting bin Laden greatly dishonored al-Qaeda. The last thing we should do is take the pedal off the metal and give it a chance to recover, strike back, and (as they see it) regain respect.

#2. It got intelligence. Getting bin Laden may have provided the biggest intelligence coup of the long war on terrorism. To hide from America, he lived in a compound without phones or Internet. That means that all the central records of al-Qaeda had to be there with him—the financial transactions, the contacts. Now, they are the property of SEAL Team Six. It is unlikely that we will see al-Qaeda organizing the revenge of bin Laden right now. More likely, the terrorists are running for cover, fearful of what the U.S. might know or the next door they might kick down.

#3. It sent a message to Pakistan. As soon as Obama announced a withdrawal date from Afghanistan, Pakistan started to question U.S. commitment to sticking it out in the region. The Pakistanis have been trying to manage the “terrorist” problem rather than eliminate terrorism. They have been as concerned about using these groups to manage their interests in Afghanistan and India as anything else. That has to stop. The President should use the death of bin Laden to signal to the Pakistanis not that we are pulling but that we are deadly serious about staying and finishing the job.

#4. It sent a message to Afghanistan. Our mission in Afghanistan is to help build a nation that can govern and protect itself so that it can act a seawall to keep the Taliban and their al-Qaeda sponsors from washing back and forth across the two countries. This is a job worth doing and one that can be done. In fact, recent polls show that in the wake of taking out bin Laden, there has been an upswing of Americans who are now convinced that the war in Afghanistan can be won. They are right.

#5. It sent a message to the world. America is a nation that can and will defend itself and protect the freedom and liberties of Americans. Hopefully the President will realize that this can’t be done with special forces alone or just by lobbing drones and cruise missiles at the enemy. (That was the Clinton strategy that failed and led us to 9/11.) SEAL Team Six may have gotten bin Laden, but it was because conventional forces chased him out of Afghanistan, we rounded up prisoners and sent them to Gitmo to be interrogated, and we established a presence in Afghanistan to hold bin Laden at bay and then launch operations against him. A strong military and special operations go hand in hand. A strong military sends a signal to the world that really proclaims, “Don’t tread on me.”

Reactions to Bin Laden’s Death

From National Review:

While Mitch Daniels, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich haven’t released statements yet on the death of Osama bin Laden, many of the other possible 2012 candidates have done so. Here’s a round-up of their reactions:

Mitt Romney:

This is a great victory for lovers of freedom and justice everywhere. Congratulations to our intelligence community, our military and the president. My thoughts are with the families of Osama bin Laden’s many thousands of victims, and the brave servicemen and women who have laid down their lives in pursuit of this murderous terrorist.

Tim Pawlenty:

This is terrific news for freedom and justice. In the hours after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush promised that America would bring Osama bin Laden to justice — and we did. I want to congratulate America’s armed forces and President Obama for a job well done. Let history show that the perseverance of the US military and the American people never wavered. America will never shrink from the fight and ultimately those who seek to harm us face only defeat. Today, justice is done, but the fight against radical Islamic terrorism is not yet over.

Donald Trump (statement given to ABC News):

I want to personally congratulate President Obama and the men and women of the Armed Forces for a job well done. I am so proud to see Americans standing shoulder to shoulder, waving the American flag in celebration of this great victory. We should spend the next several days not debating party politics, but in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those currently fighting for our freedom. God Bless America!

Sarah Palin:

Americans tonight are united in celebration and gratitude. God bless all the brave men and women in our military and our intelligence services who contributed to carrying out the successful mission to bring Bin Laden to justice and who laid the groundwork over the years to make this victory possible.  It’s a testament to the hard work and dedication of these brave Americans who relentlessly hunted down our enemy.

This is a victory for the American people, for the victims who were heartlessly murdered on September 11 and in Al Qaeda’s other numerous attacks, and for all the peace-loving people of the world.

May God bless our troops and our intelligence services, and God bless America!

Mike Huckabee:

It is unusual to celebrate a death, but today Americans and decent people the world over cheer the news that madman, murderer and terrorist Osama Bin Laden is dead. The leader of Al Qaeda— responsible for the deaths of 3000 innocent citizens on September 11, 2001, and whose maniacal hate is responsible for the deaths of thousands of US servicemen and women was killed by U.S. military. President Obama confirmed the announcement late last night. DNA tests confirmed his death and his body is in the possession of the U. S.

It has taken a long time for this monster to be brought to justice. Welcome to hell, bin Laden. Let us all hope that his demise will serve notice to Islamic radicals the world over that the United States will be relentless is tracking down and terminating those who would inflict terror, mayhem and death on any of our citizens.

Michele Bachmann:

I want to express my deepest gratitude to the men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence community. Their persistence and dedicated service has yielded success in a mission that has gripped our nation since the terrible events of 9/11. Tonight’s news does not bring back the lives of the thousands of innocent people who were killed that day by Osama bin Laden’s horrific plan, and it does not end the threat posed by terrorists, but it is my hope that this is the beginning of the end of Sharia-compliant terrorism.

Rick Santorum:

This is extraordinary news for all freedom loving people of the world, and I commend all those involved for this historic triumph.  Americans have waited nearly ten years for the news of Osama bin Laden’s death.  And while this is a very significant objective that cannot be minimized, the threat from Jihadism does not die with bin Laden. As we were vigilant in taking him out we need to demonstrate we will continue to be vigilant until the enemy has been subdued.

UPDATE: Gingrich just issued this statement:

The killing of Osama bin Laden is a significant victory in the long struggle between radical Islamists and modern civilization.

This victory is a tribute to the patient endurance of American justice.  I commend both President George W. Bush who led the campaign against our enemies through seven long years and President Obama who continued and intensified the campaign in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

We should remember to thank those who made this possible.  Without the courage and professionalism of our men and women in uniform and in the intelligence services, this victory would not have been achieved.

This victory is only a milestone in a long war.  We must also recognize the long struggle ahead.  Radical Islamism did not start with bin Laden and it will not end with his death.  This is the 32nd year since the Iranian dictatorship seized our diplomats illegally and held them hostage for 444 days.  It has been 28 years since Iranian-supported terrorists killed 241 servicemen in Beirut in 1983.

As long as there are schools teaching children to hate; as long as there are state-supported terrorist systems; as long as several countries actively recruit children to be suicide bombers; this war will continue.

The world is a better place without Osama bin Laden, but his just demise cannot erase the loss and suffering of the families and friends of those who died on September 11 or died fighting in the war since September 11.  So while we are celebrating this victory, we should take time to remember all who suffered and sacrificed and pray for them.

Thank God for Navy SEALs

From National Review:

There’s lots of credit to go around pertaining to the demise of bin Laden. Obviously, no one person or group can claim sole responsibility (despite the best efforts of the media to turn the president into Rambo).

That said, the nation once again owes a debt of gratitude to the SEALs, the elite warriors who have distinguished themselves as the tip of America’s spear. Rarely do we hear about their missions and we probably won’t know the identities of those who participated in the raid on bin Laden’s compound.

Whether it was Orwell, Kipling, or Churchill who said, “We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm,” the quote applies to SEALs. It’s appropriate that the last thing bin Laden saw was a rough man with an MP-5.

God Bless America

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Every man who loves peace, every man who loves his country, every man who loves liberty ought to have it ever before his eyes that he may cherish in his heart a due attachment to the Union of America and be able to set a due value on the means of preserving it. — James Madison, Federalist No. 41, January 1788

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