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Gutsy call? Not at all. Former Attorney general Says Kill-Osama Memo Was "Heavily Lawyered" To Throw All Blame on Admiral McRaven If It Failed.


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Showing 1-25 of 140 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 7, 2012 2:15:38 PM PDT
Lettuce Prey says:
MUKASEY: There was a memo from Leon Panetta that described the authority that was given to McRaven and it was to proceed according to the risks, only according to the risks that had been outline to the president.

And if he encountered anything else, he had to check back. You better believe if anything else had been encountered and the mission had failed, then the blame would have fallen on McRaven. That's what that is about.

http://freebeacon.com/admin-drafted-memo-to-shield-obama-if-obl-raid-failed/

Posted on May 7, 2012 2:16:50 PM PDT
Captain says:
Maybe they meant gutless?

Posted on May 7, 2012 2:18:39 PM PDT
Lettuce Prey says:
What you have to ask yourself is, does this sound like Obama? Well, does it punk?

And the answer is yes, of course it does, to a T.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 2:20:44 PM PDT
So, it may not be "true", but in wingerland it has the all important "truthiness".

Posted on May 7, 2012 2:20:48 PM PDT
Mark Time says:
Yeah, I remember in the good old days, you know, in the good old days the military brass didn't get the boot for a losing campaign, in the good old days we just blamed the President and let the military officers keep their posts.
How many high ranking military officers went away during the Iraq conflict?

Posted on May 7, 2012 2:26:40 PM PDT
Lettuce Prey says:
Truth is, we would never have heard a word about this operation if it had gone wrong, and you know it.

Posted on May 7, 2012 2:28:06 PM PDT
DKF says:
Mountain, meet molehill.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 2:29:00 PM PDT
If it had gone wrong it would be on the front page of the Romney campaign website, and you know it.

If a covert op in a "allied" nation with an uncooperative security service went wrong, it wouldn't have been kept quite.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 2:29:40 PM PDT
Or: How many Generals took the fall for Rummy's incompetence?

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 2:38:22 PM PDT
John M. Lane says:
In reply to original post, I believe you're correct, healthpro. The Campaigner in Chief has never taken responsibility for anything. Indeed, he's still campaigning against Bush insofar as I can see.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:01:06 PM PDT
Lettuce Prey says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on May 7, 2012 4:13:42 PM PDT
And the tantrum continues. You guys are more upset by the death of Osama then you ever were by 9/11 or the Iraq debacle. Seriously guys, the more you belly ache and shake your little fists the more you remind everyone about how Obama did what you most tragically could not. Thanks.

Posted on May 7, 2012 4:17:58 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 4:18:24 PM PDT
Rev Otter says:
if the mission had gone pear-shaped, not a thing in the world would have shielded Obama from the blame. not even a memo.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Eagle_Claw

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:21:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 4:21:49 PM PDT
Still it's not really fair for Obama to mention a military accomplishment when the other side has none to counter it with.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:42:08 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 4:51:11 PM PDT
Lonya says:
Its all malarkey in any event. Bullspit from people who don't know any better.

I sent the Memo to a friend for his response. He was an Army lifer, West Point, retired with the rank of Major, a combat vet with multiple tours in Asia and the Middle East. He was also a staunch advocate of the Iraq war and is no liberal. Here are his two responses:
1. Nothing about this strikes me as remotely strange. The President made the call, named an operational commander, turned him loose on the problem, and told him to report back if conditions changed significantly.

Not sure how this would be read as gutless or a way out. First, the fact that the memo was made is pretty standard - when decisions are communicated by phone, face-to-face, etc, most significant players will immediately write an MFR to document the fact. Second, if someone is trying to paint this as Obama shifting things to McRaven, they don't understand how the chain works. As reflected in this memo, Obama had already made the tough call. He didn't give McRaven a choice to raid or not to raid - he had already said 'go,' and left the specifics to McRaven. That's sound leadership. The final part is also pretty standard. Say, for example, that a last-minute UAV recon revealed that Kayani had entered the compound. McRaven would have been expected to notify Obama and await a new decision.
2. He then fleshed it out a bit in a post to me on Facebook:

Just saw and responded on the DB. Short answer: Obama made the decision, named an operational commander, gave that commander the freedom to decide the raid's details, and turned him loose with the understanding that if ground truth changed enough to change the Presdident's understanding of the risks, those changes would be reported back to him. Absolutely sound process. The key is that Obama left the "operational" decisions to McRaven; in other words, Obama made the call that the raid would happen - that wasn't up to McRaven - but McRaven was given the freedom to decide which night, at what time of night, with what force, under which rules of engagement, etc - without having to run back to Obama for permission at every step.
In short, every senior commander dreams of having the kind of boss who demands good information, makes a call - then gets the hell out of the way.

The memo itself, by the way, is CYA and par for the course at the same time. It wasn't written by Obama, it was written by someone (Panetta, IIRC) who was documenting Obama's decision. Any senior leader, military or civilian, will write a memo like this when given important instructions orally. It's CYA in the sense that if the guy writing the memo got burned by Obama or his administration later for exceeding his authority, he'd pull the memo out and say "on such and such a date, this member of your administration gave the following instructions." But it's not JUST CYA. It's also serves as a historical record and as a reference, so that, 3 days later, if someone asked the author "what exactly did Donilon say to you?", he'd pull this out instead of searching his memory.

33 minutes ago · Like

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:49:59 PM PDT
Thanks Leonard, that was really an interesting and informed take, and really the folks trying to spin this against the President are working backwards from the ideological premise that if Obama did it than it must somehow be wrong, or cowardly etc.

Seems by any rational standard Obama handled it as one would hope, he made the call and let McRaven handle the operational details. Does anyone doubt that if the mission had failed that the President wouldn't have taken the heat for it? It's beyond childish.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:54:14 PM PDT
Lonya says:
This sort of stuff is designed for people who are prepared to acceppt it ab initio. If they were liberals they'd be called knee-jerk. But my friend has been in the trenches and in war rooms and knows from first-hand experience how it works. And he calls a spade a spade as you would expect from a career soldier.

Will this matter to the splutterers? Nah. Who cares what someone with knowledge thinks when you can get off on your daily two-minute hate. Sad.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 5:01:31 PM PDT
Rev Otter says:
<<by any rational standard>>

found yer problem.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 5:22:36 PM PDT
S. Evans says:
@Leonard... Excellent post. Thanks for asking your friend and posting his response.

I find it endlessly fascinating that from the time I was first aware of politics (50+ yrs. ago), Democrats/liberals were accused of being soft and weak. Conservatives, on the other hand, were painted as hawkish and war-like. Conservatives LOVE war and battle, especially the ones who are careful to stay as far away from it as they can get. They also love to critique Dem. presidents -- especially if the Presidents haven't served in the military. This makes them somehow unfit to be commander in chief, in their minds.

I think your friend summed up the perfect CiC in his message: "...demands good information, makes a call - then gets the hell out of the way. "

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 5:28:08 PM PDT
It is astonishing that after 9/11, Tora Bora, and Iraq that conservatives think they have any leg to stand on in terms of national security, but these guys have absolutely no shame.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 5:49:55 PM PDT
Lonya says:
Thanks S.E.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 6:26:53 PM PDT
Lonya says:
It did not take much work to get a real military persective on this.
Wonder why none of the high powered bloggers pushing this didn't bother?

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 7:01:33 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 7, 2012 7:03:04 PM PDT
S. Evans says:
Leonard Fleisig says: "It did not take much work to get a real military perspective on this.
Wonder why none of the high powered bloggers pushing this didn't bother?"

My guess is that they don't know anyone in the military who trusts them enough to say anything. I have a long-time cyber friend, also a major who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, who agrees with your guy on this. Like your guy, he's also a conservative and not an Obama fan. And as is true with the best of our military guys/gals, he's honest to a fault.

Posted on May 7, 2012 7:02:04 PM PDT
Lettuce Prey says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 7:03:57 PM PDT
Lonya says:
You are full of crap.

Is that all you have little fella, calling me a liar?

My friend is real and you are talking out of your behind.
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Discussion in:  Politics forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  140
Initial post:  May 7, 2012
Latest post:  May 9, 2012

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