72 Versions: Battlefield Justice and The Unforgiven
May 9th, 2011
By Barry Secrest
There is an old tongue- in-cheek theorem which states that if one single monkey were given an infinite amount of time to punch random keys on a typewriter, it would eventually wind up with the completed works of William Shakespeare. I had always considered this seemingly ridiculous theorem to be illegitimate nonsense. Until now...
The infinite monkey theorem, it would appear, now bears copious amounts of further contemplation, especially after the game-changing news of a recent Sunday night.
Our normally laid-back front porch, which is a favorite haunt of ours on any given temperate night, became an unfamiliar platform of pensiveness when we heard Geraldo Riviera announce that something big was coming from the White House, on a Sunday night quite late, no less.
Oh, for Heaven's sake, what now, was our jaded response.
Our imaginations began firing on what it might possibly be. Perhaps an evil new radical Muslim poisoned salad bar plot, or the beginnings of yet another international birth certificate conflict, maybe even another dreadful intrusion from Michelle Obama's dietary gestapo. The intensity inevitably grew, as one's imagination slid expectantly into overdrive. Luckily, Geraldo being Geraldo, gave the game away before the President made his long-sought announcement.
In retrospect, that was a good thing...
The Personal Pronoun POTUS
The message from President Obama regarding Bin Laden's violent death was still an emotional surprise, in the details, to say the least. The range of emotions present on that front porch went from my spouse's emotional release in the form of a brief spate of glad tears to my own personal contemplation of a momentary resurgent anger. The natural sounds of a Southern night seemed to freeze for a instant. The week of 9/11, filled with unexpected doubt and fear for the future, nearly bringing America's financial system to its knees, came flooding back to the forefront for most of us.
As the anger mounted and then slowly subsided, I momentarily wondered if I had digressed into yet another brief foray into what the Left would consider angry racism.
- A disdain and complete disregard for Bin Laden's murderous belief system
- causing a media-theatrics contrived, unearned guilt,
- being the pre-programmed Civil Society's required response to Osama's differing racial origin,
- among other more typical suspects.
But the anger and the resentment, along with the erroneous complicity, would soon transform into an even more familiar chagrin. After the President's speech had concluded, we were all left with the distinct false impression that the President had performed the entire heroic deed on his own. A one-man wrecking crew of teleprompted death and destruction, as if being President alone just wasn't quite enough.
But then, we have certainly become used to this sort of thing, have we not?
Although most who listened carefully probably did notice the flurry of personal pronouns in mid-speech, many others were quick to jump to the President's defense, as the narcissist-in-chief's, till- death-do-us- part apologists set their defensive screens to maximum deflection. We were then journalistically treated to a veritable "Superbowl" of dueling pronoun counts. The Left insisting that the We's and the Our's won the day, while the Right maintained that the I's and the My's were in clear numerical superiority.
So, how is it that we got here, exactly?
Oh! I actually wrote a book about this very subject, come to think of it. (I may need a refresher.)
When Liberals Crow
Indeed, it wasn't long before the incessant haranguing and the needling began from the cluelessly Leftward with whom I am familiar. The ill-informed Lefties, already woefully over-confident from the still-questionable Presidential birth certificate revelation, now had another formerly improbable notch to cut into the stocks of their wooden toy guns. Obama had Presidentially stepped out of character and made a quick life and death decision for a change, to everyone's surprise, and not a few's delight, or had he?
In response, it's as if the Left has now embarked on a churlish marathon session of playing tic-tac-toe with themselves. Crowing in bizarre joyful earnest each time they beat themselves in the final move of a game that cannot logically be played by itself.
You see, the operative public debriefs flowing from the Presidential apparatchiks, spoke to a singular version of the assassination or execution of Bin Laden, but only initially.
By week's end, the political joke of the week would cynically speak to the fact that:
"The Muslim Bin Laden had been martyred by his enemies, but America got the 72 Versions, Heaven help us all."
In fact, there are now so many versions of Bin Laden's terminal sequence of events, that no one is completely certain of exactly what happened, except for the SEALS themselves. At first it was a missile or a bomb, then it was a bullet to the chest, then it was firefight, then it was not a firefight, then there was a lunge for a gun, then there was Bin Laden's cowardly confusion followed by a wife in-the-attic thrust into harm's way, conversely followed by a wife throwing herself at her SEAL antagonists.
Then we had the agonizing "to publish or not to publish" death pic, which rages on even now. But all of that aside, some few of us were more interested in the President's suddenly having become a decisive angel of death, after having largely fought against this sort of mindset throughout his liberal career.
Devil's In The Details
The fact that Obama had formerly agonized, for a lengthy period of time, on virtually every war decision brought to his desk is what surprised most Conservatives. Liberal icon Paul Krugman, in his May 6th column titled "Lack of Grace," indicated that he was trying to "stay out of the whole Osama thing," and for good reason. Many on the extreme Left, including radical Michael Moore, were outraged at the President for having executed a mass-murdering criminal in the field of battle without due process. Krugman obviously seeks not to upset his massive base of radical fans, while still indicting members of the Right for their "carping." Once again, Krugman either misreads or misplays what is actually happening.
The Right, in most instances, including mine, applauded the President for his actions and appreciated the President's finally having executed his proper duties on behalf of the American people. In fact, I believe that this is only the second or third time in over two maddeningly long years that I, and millions of others, have actually approved of what Obama seemingly accomplished. As with all things Obama, however, the Devil is in the details.
- We also heard Obama state that "Bin Laden is not a Muslim leader." If that be the case, then you, Mr. President, are not a Democratic leader, all things being equal, but rather you're a Socialist-Liberal leader, which is a simple parsing of degrees. No one can honestly deny that Al Qaeda is a radical Islamic fundamentalist sect.
- We have word that Obama ordered a thorough Islamic military burial Rite at Sea in order to placate the Islamic world, despite the fact that Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader, according to the President's own words.
- We have the withholding of the Osama death photos, despite the fact that other grisly terrorists' photos of those that lay dead in the Bin Laden compound now proliferate across the web, in addition to a complete world volume of harrowing 9/11 pictures. Why does the murderous Bin Laden rate special consideration? Hero to the sectonically demoralized Arab world, perhaps?
- We have word that Obama did not wish to appear as "slam dunking" the death of Bin Laden, despite a large number of Islamic terrorists and videos depicting the beheading of various Americans and other Westerners across the Middle East. "We are better than that," being the President's self-adulating response, to which we would respond, "how is the truth in abeyance to a self-perpetuating mythdom better, Sir?"
To wit, as with anything involving Obama and any singular foreign policy decision, there is a considerable amount of coddling and weakness at play while Obama's domestic policy mandates will always advocate the "bringing of a gun to the fight if they bring a knife." What about those of us opposing Americans who are yet your avowed countrymen, Mr. President? Why are your countrymen considered different when compared to the rest of a culturally-biased world? Remember when you called us "your enemies?"
The Sixth Horseman Of The Hypocolypse
The Right-Wing carping that Krugman speaks of certainly does not criticize the President for his actions with regard to Bin Laden, but rather calls out the President for turning a clear victory into a complicated mess of mass misinformation. The simple fact that the President would, on the one hand, beatify and be-medal those Navy SEALS who accomplished the task of battlefield justice against a wanted and murderous terrorist, but on the other hand, would court martial those same SEALS for bloodying the nose of another proven Islamic Terrorist, was not lost on the balance of us, as the irony begins leaching out in a Fukushi-matic display of unbearable fallout proportions.
In fact, the US Department of Justice is even yet pursuing a witchhunt of unlawful interrogation techniques against those members of the CIA whose methods of interrogation provided the President with the ability to terminate Bin Laden in the first place! Dare we drag out the sixth horseman of the Hypocolypse?
In fact, it was most likely Obama who actually approved of Eric Holder's decision to pursue the charges against the CIA interrogators, who had gleaned the Bin Laden lead information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, in the first place. So, the President receives the information forcibly obtained from a confined source, utilizes the information in executing Bin Laden, and then turns and pursues the one's who obtained the information in the first place, as criminals. Isn't this directly akin to receiving stolen goods? Will the President, then, dutifully be seeking criminal prosecution against himself for utilizing information which he deems was criminally procured by those directly under his command? Will this train-wreck of a Presidency ever follow any set logical course of actions if not reason?
When the President was challenged on this subject directly by Debra Burlingame, his response was to turn his back on his questioner and admit that he would not be reading his Attorney General the riot act with regard to ending the prosecution of the CIA interrogators. An obvious game, just having been played out, in which a member of Civil Society goes out of her way to allow the President room to maneuver around the actual facts regarding control of the Department of Justice, while at the same time artfully exposing his complicity, being well-played indeed.
But this leads us into one of many mysteries that continually confuses us with regard to Obama's often bipolar obstinacy as it regards any and all things Muslim or terrorist connected. Remember, the President even tried to relanguage the word terrorists to some other ridiculous term in an effort to inoculate the universally negative meaning to any member of the civilized world, as if that might actually work. But as with all things in question, at some point the counterpoint of motive must come into play. The motive for explaining the Presidential actions as set within a matrix of understanding that works across all fronts comes to us from, once again, the Washington insider, who tells a decidedly different story from the one that we have been regaled with thus far.
Tales From The White House Insider
In this version of events-unfolding, it was not Obama who made these culminating decisions, but rather it was CIA Chief Leon Panetta, which is already beginning to make much more sense. According to the insider, this drama progressed with all types of White House skull duggery being played out across an assortment of fronts. In the insider explanation, Valerie Jarrett, the Mao loving adviser, tried to continually way-lay Obama into avoiding the Bin Laden decision altogether. Obama, being the leftwardly malleable POTUS, seemed to heed Jarrett's council at every turn. In fact, it was the military/intelligence officials who actually overruled Obama at ultimately taking out Bin Laden, as it turns out.
It was Panetta who executed a constant work-around when faced with the President's maddeningly persistent hesitation regarding Osama Bin Laden's demise. The debate to invade Bin Laden's compound had been in the works since August 2010 according to numerous accounts. Hillary Clinton, who had known of the President's hesitation, became livid when Obama never took a position on the intensifying argument to take out Bin Laden while the opportunity was still available. The insider states that Clinton's State Department actually began leaking small amounts of information in an effort to goad the President into acting.
Here again it was the tentative Jarrett who feared for her President's standing should the SEAL campaign fail, and she also feared that the Muslim world and the Mideast would destabilize as a result of any attack on Bin Laden. As the situation continued to unfold and more facts became known, it was Petraeus who had nearly locked down the President's decision to allow him to bomb Bin Laden with little collateral damage; however, Jarrett, once again, moved Obama into a position of neutrality, thereby angering Panetta and much of the staff. In fact, it was at this juncture that Gates made the decision to retire from his position as SecDef.
At this point, the insider states that Panetta began maneuvering the President masterfully into a position that assured that the mission would be tried. Panetta convinced Obama that the leaks were increasing to the point that eventually word would get out. If Obama failed to act before Bin Laden disappeared again, the President's re-election hopes would whither and die in a cloud of Presidential malpractice. At this point, Obama, knowing that an on the ground attack would both require more time and preparation, as well as allowing the President greater time to make a final decision, gave the go ahead for Panetta to plan for an on the ground take down by special forces, also intending that Panetta would be left with sole discretion as the fall-guy should the plan fail. But what Obama and the calculating Jarrett did not know was that Panetta had already planned for this possibility well in advance and had, in fact, been planning for it for months. The operation was ready to go within hours.
A Missing Maoist
Panetta, having already been given the sole authority to act, then gave the order and set the plan into motion unbeknown to Obama and Jarrett. It was here that Clinton and Chief of Staff Daly were informed of the plan and indicated their support, while also urging that Obama be brought into the circle. It was also here that Jarrett, once again, blocked Obama from allowing the plan to go forward. Despite Jarrett's move, Panetta went ahead with the order while Clinton and Daly insulated Obama and Jarrett from Panetta's decision to execute the mission. It was hours later that Jarrett somehow became aware of the plan and issued an order to abort followed by Obama backing the abort. It was also at this time that Daly ordered a confidential meeting with Jarrett, details unknown. Suffice it to say that Jarrett was not seen around the West Wing for the remainder of the weekend.
As the mission went forward, Panetta was the only Administrative Commander involved between his CIA operatives and the Military operatives, as the mission developed even further. In fact, the participants were reporting only to Panetta; Obama was never involved in the command and control aspects of the mission, although he certainly claimed to have been in command and control in his speech to the American People. The truth is, according to the reports, at that particular time Obama was apparently still under the notion that the mission was no longer active as per his earlier abort attempt.
It was not until much later, when the possibility of aborting the mission had passed, that the President was pulled from the golf course. Remember the word from the White House that Obama had been urged to go play golf and carry on as if nothing were afoot, also as if Bin Laden would be tipped-off should the President not be seen playing his usual game of weekend golf?
Now the mission could not be retrieved until completion. At the President's arrival, several high-ranking staff members briefed Obama on what was happening, which necessitated the photo of the President in the corner of the Situation Room looking rather pensive himself. In fact, after the President was briefed, he emerged from the meeting in a state of concerned confusion as he proceeded to watch the events unfold. The inside source indicates that the President's presence within the room was functional only at best, with Clinton and Gates being the Staffers deferred to by participants in control of the operation.
The mission culminated as a success, and the insider states that what transpired was nothing less than a military coup in bringing the mission into being and successfully bringing a bit of closure on the events of 9/11 to Americans.
Now this account, based upon everything we have been privy to thus far with this administration, makes far more sense to many of us. But you must ultimately be the judge as to whether or not this scenario seems more or less likely.
Suffice it to say that Obama's decision making, as it regards all things military, seems more to belong to the endlessly repetitive retreat and regroup category, while unerringly obtaining the world's permission, rather than the Media's formerly constant lament of the prior President's cowboy mentality.
But then, if a monkey on a typewriter could theoretically originate even one Shakespeare Sonnet, then...who knows?