Tag Archives: national security team

Bin Laden is dead! (Updated – there are several)

Awaiting President Obama’s announcement. This is what we know…or think we know. It has been nine years since 9/11. It has been eight years since George W. Bush declared Mission Accomplished.

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I have called for the death of Osama Bin Laden for years. We took the fight to Bin Laden. We focused. We got the resources necessary and accomplished the task. This is how America works. I can’t let this topic go without mentioning how Bush failed. There are going to be many bloggers who are going to rub Bush’s face in his failure. I will say that we had the tools to get Bin Laden when Bush was in the White House. I will not say any more on this at this time.

Information on the city that Bin Laden was found in – Abbottabad.

From President Bush:

Earlier this evening, President Obama called to inform me that American forces killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of the al Qaeda network that attacked America on September 11, 2001. I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission. They have our everlasting gratitude. This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001. The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.

From LAT:

A CIA-led operation has killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and recovered his body after a tortuous decadelong hunt for the elusive militant leader who commanded the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. government officials said Sunday night.

CIA Director Leon Panetta called key members of Congress late Sunday to describe the killing of the Al Qaeda leader, and President Obama is expected to make the announcement on national TV.

From WaPo:

Al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden is dead and the United States has his body, a person familiar with the developments says.

President Barack Obama is expected to make that announcement from the White House late Sunday night.

From MSNBC:

Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is dead and the U.S. has his body, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials.

U.S. President Barack Obama was to make the announcement shortly that after searching in vain for bin Laden since he disappeared in Afghanistan in late 2001, the Saudi-born extremist is dead, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Details of the death were sparse. A senior U.S. counterterrorism official, who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said bin Laden was killed in a ground operation in Pakistan, not by a Predator drone. The official said it happened last week.

CNN and Reuters reported that the al-Qaida leader was killed in a mansion outside Islamabad, the Pakistani capital.

It is a major accomplishment for Obama and his national security team, having fulfilled the goal once voiced by Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, to bring to justice the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

From Yglesias:

I’ve seen this Mark Twain line dug up by a number of people: “I’ve never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure.”

Seems about right.

Finally, I must wonder how we did this. How did we kill Osama bin Laden? Yes we’ve all heard about the intelligence tip. We’ve heard about the compound. We’ve heard about the helicopter and how one of them crashed. We’ve heard about the firefight. But what was different? What did we do different this time that we didn’t do last year or five years ago or even 10 years ago? I really can’t count President Clinton’s effort to kill Osama bin Laden. Yes, President Clinton understood the risk that Osama bin Laden posed but he did not go after Osama bin Laden with the full force of our military. He couldn’t. He was politically hamstrung. You can make other excuses for President Clinton but this is the reality. Monica Lewinsky and Newt Gingrich made it impossible for him to fully go after Osama bin Laden. President Bush, on the other hand, told us that he wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive.” President Bush told us that he was throwing the full resources of the American government behind getting this terrorist. Yet, we came up empty. Why? Was the difference truly the president’s resolve and focus? Did the CIA make the difference? Was Leon Panetta a better manager of the CIA than George tenet? Did he make the difference? In the coming weeks and months we will hear more details about how this was actually accomplished. We hear a lot about the military personnel that were involved. We will hear more about the presidential decisions and Barack Obama’s role in directing the CIA and the military. In my mind, the bottom line is that in spite of all of the criticism that President Barack Obama has had to endure, he has risen to the task and gotten the job done. Whether it was turning the economy around or passing health-care legislation or winding down the Iraq war, Barack Obama has figured out a way to get the task accomplished.

We need to do what? Where?

afghanistanI don’t know. I simply don’t get it. I voted for someone who was a progressive. I voted for someone who wanted us out of these wars. I can’t wait to hear what he has to say cause right now I don’t see it. 30,000 more troops. Why?

From TPM:

By June 1, there will be about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan with a mission of weakening the Taliban, rooting out Al Qaeda and helping the Afghan government bolster its own forces.

President Obama’s wartime decision comes after weeks of private Situation Room meetings between key Cabinet members, generals and his national security team. After nine of those meetings, Obama also has spoken with world leaders and allies who are backing him by sending more troops of their own.

Republicans after weeks of blasting Obama for taking too long already are hailing the decision as the right one. Meanwhile, left-leaning groups question the cost in both blood and treasure, and Code Pink is out with a tough new flier mocking Obama’s “hope” slogan and marching in front of the White House today. Continue reading We need to do what? Where?

What's going on – News Roundup

Monday Evening News Roundup

It appears that the United States warned India back in October that there was going to be an attack on the hotel and business centers in Mumbai.

Contrast the above intelligence “success” to President Bush’s interview with Charlie Gibson last night. Bush admitted that the biggest failure of his presidency was the cataclysmic lack of weapons of mass destruction. Bush had the audacity to place the blame for that travesty at the doorstep of the CIA, when in fact the blame is entirely his. It was his job to look at all the information.  It was his job to weigh the pros and cons. He abdicated that responsibility.

The indictments that a Texas grand jury turned in against Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales have been dismissedWho’s surprised?

Blogger Glenn Greenwald, who has been on my radio show on a number of occasions, had another great post yesterday. He commented on an issue of the New York Times in which an article brought attention to a number of conflicts of interest regarding General Barry McCaffreyGeneral McCaffrey is on the payroll of NBC News. Glenn does an excellent job highlighting the hypocrisy of NBCGenerals who show up on the evening news should really be free of conflicts of interest.

The National Bureau Of Economic Research has now officially stated that December 2007 was the start of this recession. So what has the Bush administration been doing for the last year? With the stock market dropping almost 700 points today, I must say I do not believe Bush administration has done enough.

Barack Obama has announced his national security team. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will continue in his present position. Eric Holder will be the Attorney General. Former General James Jones ( see the Jones commission report) will be his National Security Adviser. Janet Napolitano, governor of Arizona, will become Secretary of Homeland Security. Susan Rice will be nominated for Ambassador to the United Nations. Finally, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will serve as Secretary of State. This team is tremendously qualified. As usual, however, I have some questions. Where is General Wesley Clark? I really thought Senator Chuck Hagel would be appointed to Defense. Is there a spot for him in the administration? (By the way, the “fair and balanced” Fox News didn’t even cover the Obama press conference.)

Almost a quarter of United States employees who use the Internet at work spend a little time during the workday looking at on-line pornography. 🙂  Nice. Nothing else need be said.