"What you posted was nothing more than your opinion and had no basis on what a so called career officer told you."
Now you are lying.
Here is my original post.
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2012 4:42:08 PM PDT
Last edited by you 18 hours ago
Leonard Fleisig 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.
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