Category Archive 'Leak'

03 May 2011

Did Obama Really Decide?

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Seated, from left, are: Brigadier General Marshall B. “Brad” Webb, Assistant Commanding General, Joint Special Operations Command; Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton; and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Standing, from left, are: Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; National Security Advisor Tom Donilon; Chief of Staff Bill Daley; Tony Binken, National Security Advisor to the Vice President; Audrey Tomason Director for Counterterrorism; John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. (click for full-sized image)

Looking at the Times’s photograph (by Pete Souza) of the White House National Security team once again, I am struck by how much Barack Obama appears to be a passive outsider on the sidelines, while the group sitting and standing on the right side of the picture, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, seems to be in command and in charge.

It’s just an impression I got looking at the photograph, and it may not mean anything, but I then came upon what purports to be a leak from a knowledgeable insider.

This alleged witness claims that Barack Obama was taken in hand by his senior military and intelligence staff and steamrollered into permitting the mission to go ahead.

From Ulsterman via Theo.

HC = Hillary Clinton

BD = Bill Daley

LP = Leon Panetta

CoC = Chain of Command/Commander in Chief

[There was a s]ignificant push to take [bin Laden] out months ago. Senior WH staff resisted. This was cause of much strain between HC and Obama/Jarrett. HC and LP were in constant communication over matter – both attempted to convince administration to act. Administration feared failure and resulting negative impact on president. Intel disgusted over politics over national security. Staff resigned/left. Check timeline to corroborate.

Now Intel already leaking to media facts surrounding how info obtained. Namely from enhanced interrogation efforts via GITMO prisoners. Obama administration placed in corner on this. Some media aware of danger to president RE this and attempting protection. Others looking for further investigation. We are pushing for them to follow through and already meeting with some access.

Point of determination made FOR Obama not BY Obama. Will clarify as details become more clear. Very clear divide between Military and WH. Jarrett marginalized 100% on decision to take out OBL. She played no part. BD worked with LP and HC to form coalition to force CoC to engage.

IMPORTANT SPECIFIC: When 48 hour go order issued, CoC was told, not requested. Administration scrambled to abort. That order was overruled. This order did not originate from CoC. Repeat – this order did not originate from CoC. He complied, but did not originate.

There is no way to know if there is any truth in all this. If so, I expect we will hear more along these lines.

If the report is false, I would say that it was dastardly and outrageous to fabricate such a thing libeling a president who has just made a courageous decision.

I was persuaded to pass it along because the source is right: anti-Obama Intel leaks are popping out all over, identifying the crucial roles played by enhanced interrogations and renditions in making the operation that killed Osama bin Laden possible. I would still file it in the “Interesting, But Not Known to Be True” category.

31 Mar 2011

Our New “Professional” Friends

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Reuters is reporting a leak disclosing that President Obama signed a finding “within the last two or three weeks” authorizing the covert arming of rebel forces seeking to oust Muamar Qaddafi.

We certainly wouldn’t want weapons we supplied winding up in the wrong hands.

Members of Congress have expressed anxiety about U.S. government activities in Libya. Some have recalled that weapons provided by the U.S. and Saudis to mujahedeen fighting Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s later ended up in the hands of anti-American militants.

There are fears that the same thing could happen in Libya unless the U.S. is sure who it is dealing with. The chairman of the House intelligence committee, Rep. Mike Rogers, said on Wednesday he opposed supplying arms to the Libyan rebels fighting Gaddafi “at this time.”

“We need to understand more about the opposition before I would support passing out guns and advanced weapons to them,” Rogers said in a statement.


But, President Obama assured CBS News that he knows what he’s doing.

Well, first of all, I think it’s important to note that — the people that we’ve met with have been fully vetted. So, we have — a clear sense of who they are. And so far, they’re saying the right things. And most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors — people who appear to be credible.

Pundit & Pundette responds with this photo from The Guardian:

photo: Anja Niedringhaus
A credible professional brandishes his machete over the heads of captured Subsaharan mercenaries loyal to Qaddafi.

and comments:

Relax: They’re “professionals.”

The enemies of our enemy are doctors and lawyers. I for one am greatly relieved.

Quick — someone from the White House — get that man a labcoat!

Hat tip to Vanderleun.

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