“At the urging of [Presidential advisor] Valerie Jarrett [above], President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission.” That’s according to The Daily Caller, who’ve read an advance copy of Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him. According to author Richard Miniter, Obama canceled the Osama mission in January 2011, February, and March. And then again the day before the raid. “Obama administration officials . . . blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.” Guess what? . . .

Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.

Hindsight is 20/20. Do we know all the circumstances surrounding the President’s “delay”? We do not. May all the President’s men have spun the fourth no-go to avoid revealing operational considerations? Quite possibly.

To back up its interpretation of President Obama as a wishy-washy leader, the DC says Miniter’s tome paints a portrait of a generally indecisive Commander-in-Chief. Partisan politics or a look behind the mask? We report you deride.

64 Responses to Bin Laden Shooting Was Obama’s “Greatest Failure.” Or Not

  1. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d heard a rumor that he had to be, basically, extorted by someone involved into giving the greenlight. “You give the greenlight or I go to the press that you wouldn’t on x occasions.” type of thing.

      • Friend of mine in the Army who heard it from his Sargent, who heard it from some major, who heard it from some colonel. That’s why I called it a rumor.

        My point was, I wouldn’t be surprised if the allegations were true.

  2. Know what I believe? Based on a leaked email regarding the Somali pirate operation which describes how the Obama-imposed ROE was ignored by the SOCOM on scene commander to rescue the hostages, I hold an unproven belief that the Osama Bin Laden raid was done against orders. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if a regional Colonel (or Navy Captain) was ordered to stand fast and watch while Osama ate his breakfast, and someone said “f–k this” and kicked down the door anyway.

    Since court martialing someone for killing Osama won’t get you far in an election year, the White House merrily pretended it was the plan the whole time, and the troublesome Colonel is kicked upstairs to some anonymous desk in the Pentagon.

    That’s my theory,in any case.I doubt supporting evidence will be forthcoming to prove or disprove it.

  3. Oh for the love of God. Bush was a shitty, shitty president, but at least he gave us our black guns back. Obama’s been pretty shitty as well, but giving Osama an HK sponsored tuneup was a bright moment.

    Give credit where credit’s due. Now let’s elect Johnson in November!

        • I’m not excited about Romney, but it will either be him or Obama in the Whitehouse next year. A vote for anyone else is a waste. At best.

      • Voting for a dead guy for president is looking pretty good to me right now, given the competition. True, he wouldn’t do anything but look on the bright side…he wouldn’t do anything.

    • thats incredibly shortsighted. The Patriot Act stomped on the constitution and two unwinnable wars for the world’s remaining energy resources are unforgivable crimes. Bush left black rifles alone, but burned everything else.

    • I wouldn’t give Bush too much credit, during the 2000 election he did say he would sign an extension on the AWB. We’re just lucky that Congress didn’t decide to re-up the ban. Now we have a Republican candidate that DID sign an AWB (at the state level). Of course, the big ticket alternative is far, far worse.

    • bush didn’t give you your guns back. he just did nothing to renew the AWB. you might as well say clinton gave them back by including a sunset clause.

  4. Yes, but what of it? The point is, that SOB ended up in oblivion; unless there’s some larger context missing from Mr. Farago’s post, so what if a few of the earlier efforts were waived off?

  5. The point being made, if there is one, is something like this was done for max political value rather than as soon as possible. OBL living 2 or 3 more months jeopardized lives and is inexcusable. The hit corresponded with the release of a birth certificate so the news was full of Obama goodness and soundbites.

        • I don’t know if you’re asking for a break down of Bush’s war strategy or a conspiracy theory stating that Bush could have but didn’t, but regardless it’s semantics. Obama succeeded where Bush failed here, and saying anything different is just party line pontification.

        • Actually Blinky, saying either succeeded or failed at anything in comparison with the other is just party line pontification, especially when they are both simply failures period, in mostly the same ways. There are no successes as far as the last four decades of American presidents are concerned. W was a failure, and O is another. Whether we get Willard or Obama again it makes no difference. People should be voting for real change just in case, not throwing their vote away on more of the status quo. I doubt that if Romney is going to win he needs us to do it anyway. Vote for actual freedom for a change, if taking the lesser of two evils were going to improve the world I think sometime in the last century it would have happened by now.

      • Bush waited 8 years?! So this math means he knew about OBL before 9/11/2001 and should of done something? Dammit Bush should hop into his time machine and personally go take out OBL prior to 9/11. Of course SuperPrez Bill Clinton needs to go with him to help send a few cruise missles.

        • …. He did know about OBL before then. They had briefings that summer, one of which was in regards to report titled something to the effect of “Osama bin Laden determined to attack America”.

        • yea Bambie got obl by standing on Bush’s shoulders. Bush had his faults, but he had stronger American values biased in freedom, as opposed to the state of tyranny we are headed for presently. And the last two years he had a veto proof Socialist congress. Name a president that enjoyed universal acceptance. Don’t forget the press worked overtime on Bush, inventing ambush interviews and “got ‘ch” journalism. They were happy to accept a blatantly forged document from Dan Rather to discredit Bush. But Bambie’s phoney paperwork will do just fine. The press contributed more to Bushes disapproval than the mistakes he made. What would the current president look like if viewed under the same lens?

        • Dangit! Dumbarse Bush was briefed on 8/6/2001 in the Presidential Daily Briefing. He had 35 days to divine OBL’s intent and nuke his buttocks. Wurst Prez ever… Well we had the guy attacked by a rabbit while in a boat.

        • read “crossing the rubicon”. Bush sure did know about bin laden before hand. I also do not believe that OBL, who required kidney dialysis, survived for 10 years before being “killed” by Navy SEALs and conveniently buried at sea. Bullshit.

  6. I suspect that Obama is a mamma’s boy and defers to women from his wife to other advisors. At a university graduation ceremony recently, Obama said it’s a great day for America when (about) twenty-five percent more women are graduating from college than men.

    Men are the Atlas of all nations past and present. Without men actively engaging or buying into the fixed modern society’s dream there is no Atlas to uphold the economy, society, and government. When men ghost and increasingly turn their backs then the barbarians will breach the gate.

  7. YEAH! To hell with careful consideration; he should just blunder ahead like George W. Invade them all & let God sort it out.

  8. Well look guys, no matter how you feel about Obama, credit where credit is due. Y’know, Joint Special Operations Command, and the intel services.

  9. Put “The Amateur” by Edward Klein on your reading list. A devastating account of this President and those who surround him. He also paints a portrait of a man incapable of making a command decision.

    • Yeah, like he does not have an agenda.

      I do not believe any tell all book written about any President. I did not believe the crap about W, and I do not believe the crap about O either.

  10. Partisan BS. Obama was the one that insisted in having a team that could fight its way out of Pakistan. The decision to GO was his. He would be risking the men on the ground, as well as an international incident if Pakistan had reacted quickly to shut down its airspace.

    Anyone that thinks that Obama was not the Decider in Chief is practicing partisan wishful thinking.

    • Raymond Shaw is probably the kindest, bravest, warmest, most selfless human being I’ve ever known.

    • partisan BS. people act like obama threw the switch on bin laden, which is hollywood, “24” bullshit. I give the intelligence services, USSOCOM, and the military commanders the credit, but certainly not the politicians, who act on the best intelligence they have.

      • JSOC would never have been able to do what it did if President Obama hadn’t a) fought to increase their budget, b) stepped up the use of JSOC assets around the globe, and c) gave the order to launch the operation. He was no mere spectator in this effort.

        Anyone who thinks differently should read up on Col. John Boyd and the extension of the OODA loop into grand strategy, strategy, grand tactics, and tactics.

    • As if Pakistan could “shut down its airspace” when the US says otherwise.

      There were plenty of USAF aircraft loaded with air-to-air and SEAD missiles loitering within a couple of minutes of the operation.

  11. Obama demonstrated that the executive branch can engage in extra-judicial executions of people entitled to judicial process. Bin Laden was indicted twice by the Justice Dpt, proving he was entitled to due process. It also demonstrated that they can extra-judicially execute family members of the accused without due process too.

    Don’t try to bring up enemy combatant bullshit, that term is only applicable if you have been detained, and determined to be one by a tribunal.

    • No sir. Congress authorized the Commander in Chief to pursue a global war on terror. Enemy combatants in a time of war that fight against their home countries are legitimate targets. If those enemy combatants are taking safe haven in a nation with no legal infrastructure to apprehend them, then lethal force is perfectly legitimate. All of this falls under international standards and laws of war.

  12. I don’t read The Daily Caller for a reason, and if I happen to read a story there, I sure as hell don’t set foot in the comments section. There’s no guns in this story. This place is usually an oasis from the bullshit back and forth Facebook type comments, and I for one like it that way.

  13. If I am reading the comments from Robert’s post correctly here is what I take from it.
    1. Bin Laden has been on the “hit” list for a long long time.
    2. It seems that intelligence knew where he was for a while, i.e. a number of months, and had the team ready to go.
    3. There were three instances where the mission was put on hold due to “unknown reasons”. Unless the administration has commented on why, such as weather, and we can prove otherwise, I will gander that maybe there was some operational reason. (I will refer back to this later)
    4. The last call off which was the day prior, weather was given as a reason, and based on the report we know that was bogus.

    So now we get to the crux of the issue. favorable weather conditions? Really? Navy Seals are trained to work in crappy conditions as well as clean. The helicopters they have use nap of the earth flight guidance systems so weather is BS. They aren’t launching an air balloon.
    I could understand if there was a garrison of Pakistani soldiers right outside the compound, you don’t want to wind up confronting them. Really other than him not being there, I can’t find a valid reason for them not going in much earlier.

    In my mind it is the operational team’s job to be go, no go. Sure Obama can give the nod, but really I can’t fathom him getting intel about weather, and operational intelligence updates which would give him an authority to say yes or no. My thought process tells me he got a “we know where he is and we have the team assembled. Our operational status is green, yes or no?” Trying to get a career politician to understand and agree to operational data is silly, and stupid.

    Any decision to not go would be made from a political stand point. If it didn’t suit him, maybe he had a round of golf to attend to then he would say no. The fact his supposed advisers apparently talked him out of it multiple times tells, me this was done as a political ploy he could use later, not one to actually get the job done and over with.

    The conclusion is he sat on this until it was politically prestigious to move forward. This means everything he does is viewed from one point, how do I get reelected. It also means that during his second term I would expect him to act with much more force to push anti 2A rights bills into law, as well as anything else he feels is appropriate for the citizens. I wouldn’t be surprised to see things done by executive order, and passing over any attempt by the hill to block it, because it is for your own good! Take from it what you will but my take is he can’t get anything done without referring to his lawyers first. You know not wanting to go to jail for dancing all over the Constitution and all!

  14. The logic doesn’t work. Indecisive means that he can’t or won’t make a decision, either “go” or “no-go.” Calling off an inopertune attack is just as decisive as ordering an oportune attack to go ahead. If POTUS was actually indecisive, he would have played Hamlet (“to be or not to be, that is the question”) or delegated decision-making to someone else.

    I think Barry is a horse’s patoot, but give credit where credit is due. If I wanted somebody to run the nation’s executive branch, I wouldn’t pick him. But if I wanted someone assassinated, Barry is the first guy I’d call.

    • ralph, exactly!

      if I wanted someone ordering assassinations and wet work, I would call the guy that received the noble peace prize before killing thousands due to our anachronistic foreign policy. Terrifying dude. The bankers must be blessed to have somebody like him.

  15. The more idle the speculation the better it is for jamming into whichever partisan narrative you choose. I kind of think it is worse than a waste of time, because engaging in such activities only exercises one’s mental muscles used for “seeing” what one wants to see. So self delusion, conspiracy, stereotypes, paranoia, etc. All the stuff that affects one’s ability to be rational and self aware.

  16. Is there a way to block out pieces by RF? That way we can actually read stuff about guns and not about his hard on for Obama.

    • Frasch: Sure. The author’s name is under every headline. When you see his name, stop reading.

      Knock yourself out.

  17. C’mon now TTAG, don’t try to stick your toe into this kind of stuff. That’s what we’ve got Fox”News” and Breitbart.com for.

    Second guessing Commander-in-Chief decisions well after the fact an with barely an inkling of the inter-workings of such an operation like killing OBL just makes you guys look stupid.

    Don’t fall into the same trap as the NRA and become a partisan right-wing group. Just do what you’ve always done and blog about gun stuff. When you write articles like this you lose a lot of credibility, and you just look plain dumb in the effort.

  18. the news prior had been that one president had given up on the hunt while one reinvigorated it. either way, hooray that he’s dead, it certainly took a while if not too long.

  19. Personally, I have no problem at all if the POTUS is reticent about sending US troops deep into enemy territory (and Pakistan is indeed enemy territory) to a location where it was highly probable that the target would be located but no way sassured to commit a tactical military and stategic political assassination. Between the high degree of risk, the need for operational security, and the risk of Murphy raising his head, to say nothing of ordering a killing, reticence was reasonable. What would have been the cost had the mission failed? It would be one thing to miss Osama, but what if we had had another fiasco like Jimmy did in Iran?

    • Have you read Inside Delta Force by Eric Haney ? He was on that failed mission and he puts most of the blame on the friction between the various services. Although the Delta force team had their own helos the Navy commander insisted on using Navy helos. The whole thing turned into a fiasco but Haney wasn’t that hard on Carter.

      • My point is that it was a political disaster for Carter, as would have been this raid for Obama had it failed. Imagine the fallout if things had gone awry and our troops were attacked and captured by Pakistani forces, or even just had gotten into a firefight with the Paks. That would be it for Obama.

        I understand why it had to be done this way–it would have been safer to just drop a cruise missile on his head–but we had to have the certainty of a body, and the ability to dispose of it where it would not become a shrine. But it was ripe with the potential for disaster, and with that crash of one of the helos, almost became one. Tremendous work by our forces, gutsy call to order a go.

  20. I’m just going to reiterate my comment from 1529, and Jonathan Miller‘s from 1648. This post very quickly devolved into a Facebook style Bush bashers vs Obama bashers slapfight, and my email box is full of both groups’ stupidity.

    I’m now going to figure out how to unsubscribe from email alerts from this post, which is the first time I’ve ever done that for any post in the 10-11 months I’ve been reading and posting here.

    RF, please, please, leave this shit to the political websites. Other than the fact that the Navy Seals used guns, this has nothing to do with our subject matter here.

  21. For what it’s worth this president has authorized more targeted killings than any that came before him…

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