Social Question

josie's avatar

Shouldn't the President and his minions be given a little bit of breathing room after the Bin Laden mission?

Asked by josie (29299points) May 5th, 2011

I did NOT vote for the president, and if given the opportunity I will not the next time either. And I am no great fan of Hillary Clinton.
Having said that, his administration made a tough call, and managed to kill Osama Bin Laden. Difficult decision, risky mission, good outcome.

But now there is all this bullshit.
Was OSB armed?
Where is the picture of his body, absent the cranium?
Why did Hillary Clinton have her hand over her mouth while she looked on in real time while edgy, tightly wound commandos shot there way through a strange building in a foreign land.

It was a kill mission, for heaven’s sake. It doesn’t matter if he was armed or not. But killing is sobering business, I do not care who you are. If I had been there, and I didn’t have a rifle in my hand, I probably would have had my hand over my mouth too! And if you have ever witnessed death in that context, you are probably not that excited about seeing more of it in pictures.

So what is it that makes so many in the press (and it isn’t just Fox, my friends) want to approach this as if there is anything more to know. The guy’s dead. Death is ugly. Mission accomplished. Be patient. There will be a book.

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46 Answers

janbb's avatar

@josie I am agreeing with you on a political issue for once! Red circle this day!

marinelife's avatar

You are asking the wrong person. I think that these reactions are within the acceptable range of human reactions, but they do not make a lot of sense.

ucme's avatar

I’m going to say yes, I believe they probably do. Big judgement call which in essence, went according to plan. One theory about Hillary’s look of shock, one of the helicopters developed a mechanical failure during the operation, it was summarily destroyed as a matter of procedure. Could have been that incident which she reacted too.

cazzie's avatar

I think wanting to know what happened blow by blow and somehow see it recreated is morbid and disgusting. Wasn’t this the end every American wanted when it became apparent that Al qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks and that Osama was head of this organisation?

I’ve always shaken my head about this issue. You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an ideology by killing a man. If anything, history teaches us we simply make martyrs for their cause. But our psychology wants a serpent with a single head we can lop off like St. George did. I’m afraid the head of this serpent will simply be replaced, or, like a Planarian, it divides in parts, regenerates, and frighteningly enough each remembering its history.

Qingu's avatar

Yes, absolutely.

I can understand why people want to know the gory details, but the WH made the right move not releasing gory details. And the conspiracy theorizing and the obsession with “omg they said bin Laden was in a firefight but now they’re saying he was unarmed but reaching for an AK” is really annoying. They started talking to the public before the SEALs were even fully debriefed.

mazingerz88's avatar

The media is an altogether different kind of animal. When you watch TV, think ratings, profits, business as usual. Nothing to do with anything else much. I do hope you change your mind and vote for Obama next year. lol :- )

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I couldn’t agree with you more, Josie. I hold no love at all for Obama, but it was a tough call to make, and the single word “GO” meant that he would personally have blood on his hands. He deserves a break now.

mazingerz88's avatar

My parents were right years ago, GET OFF THE DAMN TV! just play Mortal Kombat you sonavagun!

Qingu's avatar

I’m just waiting for Republicans to start spinning this as “Obama is soft on terror” because he used a super-risky precision special forces raid to take out bin Laden, instead of sending an ICBM to take out Abottabad.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Qingu No whats happening is Clifford May, a republican operative is giving credit to Cheney’s torture for Bin Laden’s killing. Im sure thats whats in the daily memo…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Can we seriously, please not get into the whole stupid Republican thing? You know damn well had it been Bush that took down Bin Laden, Democrats would have had plenty of stupid jokes about him and his IQ and would have somehow warped the situation to make it look like he’s a hillbilly fuckup and all that crap.

Qingu's avatar

I don’t know, @WillWorkForChocolate. Do you think Bush would have sent special forces? Bush’s ROE in Iraq and Afghanistan, at least for most of his tenure, relied very heavily on airstrikes and overwhelming force. He also tended to kowtow to the military. (Gates apparently was against the helicopter raid idea and wanted to bomb the compound.)

What bothered me so much about the Bush administration wasn’t simply that they unilaterally decided to go to war in Iraq, it’s also that they did such a shitty job, that they sort of put the whole operation on autopilot by an outdated military not used to fighting guerillas in civilian areas… and thus they killed thousands and thousands of civilians and created a geopolitical nightmare. Since Obama took office, he remade our war strategy in Afghanistan to rely more heavily on special forces raids. We now routinely do “night raids” on Taliban and AQ suspects, where SF surround their house with bullhorns and tell them to surrender or get shot. Before, we would probably have just bombed them, or not even been in urban areas where they live because we were too focused on securing remote outposts in rural valleys. NATO-caused civilian casualties have plunged, even as we have more operations and troops in the country.

Part of what I admire about this turn of events isn’t just that they managed to kill bin Laden but that they also did not kill any civilians (not counting the courier’s wife), or generate a war with Pakistan. The raid was really a microcosm of Obama’s war strategy as a whole. And frankly, I seriously doubt that Bush would have used a light, intelligent hand as Obama did. But in an alternate history, if Bush did order the raid the same way, then I’d hope I wouldn’t be so partisan as to criticize him unfairly for it.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Qingu I’m not even going to read all that, because I don’t care to debate about all the pros and cons of Bush and Obama. My point with my comment was to JUST answer @josie‘s actual question instead of dragging the R word into it, just like on every other political debate here. We already know that over half the jellies say the word “republican” like the pope would say the word “fuck”. Honestly, it’s getting old, and there was no need to throw that barb into this question.

ucme's avatar

Just thought i’d say, being English, my views would have been exactly the same no matter who was in office. A good call is a good call regardless who made it, credit where it’s due.

Jaxk's avatar

Let’s see, the rescue of Jessica Lynch was a pretty heartwarming story until the press decided to rip it and Jessica to shreds. And Lt. Colonel West went to trial for threatening an Iraqi that had information about an attack on his unit (which was successfully thwarted by the way). There are numerous stories about how the press would rip any story to shreds if they could. Too much information I guess. Of course it was another way to attack Bush so any tactics were fair game.

Let’s not kid ourselves into believing that if it had been Bush it would have covered the same way. Nor should we believe that more information would settle things down, it would only serve to bring criticism and turn a good thing into a nightmare. I agree with @josie, it’s time to let it go and move on while we can still call it a victory.

Qingu's avatar

I’m sorry, but I cannot abide by this revisionist history where the Bush administration was doing all they could to get bin Laden and craft a valid military strategy to deal with terrorists, and it’s only pure chance that this happened on Obama’s watch. Bush closed down the CIA team hunting bin Laden in 2006. He needed to focus more resources to Iraq, to help hunt all the terrorists that didn’t even exist there until we invaded and fulfilled the jihadists’ caricature of the American evil empire.

It was because of the Bush administration’s incompetence and ideological stupidity that we had to wait this long to see justice done. And I’m sorry, but I don’t think this is something that should be swept under the rug in the interest of post-partisan feelgoodery.

Jaxk's avatar

And the claws come out. Frankly I don’t want to find out that somebody shit on Usama’s prayer rug.

flutherother's avatar

Obama has handled this impeccably from start to finish. He took a brave chance and I’m glad it paid off. He deserves a holiday and can come to my house if he wants.

josie's avatar

I appreciate you knowing how much I would hate that. I actually already brought that up in this question. But thanks for thinking of me. And it is absolute total bullshit.

mazingerz88's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I’m not so sure if Bush will be ridiculed as such if it was during his watch that Bin Laden was caught or killed. I don’t ridicule Bush just for the sake of doing it. I ridicule him only when he is being portrayed as some good president which he wasn’t. I’m sick of Republicans defending him just because he is a Republican. If Obama screws up I will be the first to ridicule him if he pretends to know what he is doing but is not.

And to hear the Pope says fuck, that will be priceless! :-)

Aethelwine's avatar

Should the press give him breathing room concerning OBL, sure. Concerning all other important topics, no. The press has been easy on him since before he was elected.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I agree with you, @josie . Absolutely.

King_Pariah's avatar

Just want to get one thing straight, it was a capture or kill mission. And since he decided to make sudden movements as if he were going for a weapon, I’d say they were justified in nailing Usama. Should the administration be given more breathing space? I’d say no, but they shouldn’t be cinched up on either. They did the world a favor, but Al Qaeda has sworn revenge and they need to be focused on dealing with this new threat as they clearly seem to grasp that Al Qaeda, in fact, is not a snake but a hydra, and is far from dead.

Brian1946's avatar

Yes they should.

“Why did Hillary Clinton have her hand over her mouth while she looked on in real time while edgy, tightly wound commandos shot there way through a strange building in a foreign land.”

“So what is it that makes so many in the press (and it isn’t just Fox, my friends) want to approach this as if there is anything more to know.”

According to a sound bite I heard from Hillary Clinton on Inside Edition (which is carried on
a CBS local affiliate here), she was using her hand to cover a cough caused by her springtime allergies.

I’d say that for most of the press, the reason is a ratings-driven compulsion to dramatize ordinarily insignificant events.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@mazingerz88 And I’m sick of every political question on this site turning into a free for all republican bashing session. Seriously. Every political question, regardless of the title, turns into a good ol republican hating party. Josie’s question here has nothing to do with republicans and democrats and who’s better than who, but just like every other political thread here, it turned into that, because some people just don’t know how to keep their mouth shut.

But please, by all means, carry on if it makes you feel superior to all us dumb bunny hicks. Lordie knows we all walk around spattin tobaccy and screwin our cuzzins, and we have late night parties in the barn where we scream yeehaw and decide what bad things we’re gunna say about mr prezzy tomorrow. Yessiree, we republicans is just a bunch o stupid rednecks livin in trailers and ain’t got no brains.

No really, it’s fine. Keep on making stupid comments that start off:
“Those republicans are”
“I’m waiting to watch the republicans”
“Can’t wait to see what the republicans”
“It’s funny how the republicans twist”
and so on and so forth, like being a republican is a fucking disease.

“Republicans” are not a diseased group, and those in power do not speak for everyone, so how dare everyone lump all republicans together and try to pigeonhole them into one little box and make fun of them at every turn? Republicans, Democrats, straights, gays, women, men. Everyone is part of a larger group, yeah? So figure out which groups you’re in and quit hating on the other ones, mmkay?

You know how fast my ass would be jumped on if I started making comments like “the gays are”, “watch out for those gays”, “can’t wait to see how the gays twist it” and so on… My eyes would bleed from all the PM’s I would get, telling me how inappropriate and judgemental I was.

There was a question earlier today about groupthink mocking going to extremes, in which I said that groupthink mocking goes on a lot on this site. Point proved on this question.

Rarebear's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate I wish I could give you more than one GA. As a centrist libertarian-leaning Democrat I have voted for Republicans many times in my long life. I even switched parties recently so I could vote for a particular Republican I really admire (Tom Campbell), but he lost so I switched back.

I especially love this part: “But please, by all means, carry on if it makes you feel superior to all us dumb bunny hicks. Lordie knows we all walk around spattin tobaccy and screwin our cuzzins, and we have late night parties in the barn where we scream yeehaw and decide what bad things we’re gunna say about mr prezzy tomorrow. Yessiree, we republicans is just a bunch o stupid rednecks livin in trailers and ain’t got no brains.”

Qingu's avatar

My “aside” comment aside… my comments were not about feeling superior, my comments were intended to correct inaccuracies in the historical record.

majorrich's avatar

I am troubled that the President can order a hit anywhere in the world. Sounds kinda Chicago doesn’t it? Under executive order the President can order an assassination of any any enemy combatant on the field of battle. Because this is a global battle, this would include the United States. While I respect the office, I don’t have enough respect for the man to make these kinds of decisions. Of course, he has access to information that we do not. That is a mitigating caveat.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Qingu I’m just waiting for those gays to start walking around naked in public to really prove a point that we’re all the same.

Come on. Who’s gonna jump me first?

Your “aside comment” is the rude, unnecessary one that originally got my dander up. There are many many many comments on Fluther that either imply or flat out state that “Republicans are dumb”, “Republicans have low IQ’s”, “Republicans always twist things around to make Obama look bad”, “Republicans say the stupidest things”, “If the Republicans were wiped out of the government, some real progress could be made”..... All comments of that sort indicate the feeling of smugness or superiority. That type of “groupthink” comment is seen here much too often, as proven by mazingerz88.

josie's avatar

Your analysis is accurate. My experience on Fluther, which may or may not allow a comprehensive picture of the collective, is that most jellies identifiy with the Democrat party. They know this as well.
This gives them the confidence of numbers.
This in turn allows them to take liberties in the how they they participate in the comment threads.
My comments about @Qingu ‘s interpersonal skills are already on the record. He/she seems to be unable to refrain from the inevitable descent into partisan politics. But let’s face it. Lot’s of people do it these days. And not just @Qingu
I do not like to get involved in my own threads. I would rather everybody else jump in.
But I would like everybody to know that I agree with your observation. The people who often enough engage in political “groupthink” on Fluther are the same ones who decry the same practice in the “real” world. It is flagrant hypocrisy. I am glad to see stalwarts like yourself stand up to it.

Aethelwine's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate and @josie I agree with everything the two of you have said here.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@josie Thank you so much for that. Sincerely. I’ve tried so hard to ignore irritating remarks and just move on lately, but I couldn’t hold my tongue anymore after seeing so much hypocrisy in just one day.

@jonsblond Coming from you, that means a lot, since we don’t agree much of the time. =0)

Qingu's avatar

I guess we’ll see what Republicans actually end up saying. They’re having a debate right now, as it happens, and I already feel pretty vindicated. (Ron Paul’s isolationism notwithstanding.)

Qingu's avatar

Also, when have I decried “groupthink”? I decry opinions I think are wrong. That’s what most people who criticize Republicans do. And I think there is a false equivalency being drawn between the two parties, between their levels of discourse and the quality of their beliefs, largely so the “independents” among us can feel above the fray.

But whatever, I suppose that’s a topic for another question.

CaptainHarley's avatar

The press is just doing what they always too… milk every story for all it’s worth. Very, very few of the reporters and photogs in the industry have ever been in combat, and thus they look at war through rose colored glasses, and ask quetions about whether some action was legal or not and fuss about collateral damage. Sometimes this helps keep the military honest, sometimes all it does is piss us off.

Jaxk's avatar

Wouldn’t it be nice to, just once, have a story that makes you feel good rather than bad. Instead we spend all our time trying to find a flaw. Ever question asked by the media is couched as a ‘Gotcha’ question. Every convoluted answer given merely prompts more of them. Every comment seems to be intended to diminish someone.

@josie‘s question is really good. Can’t we just for once take good news as good news, feel good about it, and let it go. Everybody involved deserves credit. Let’s not continue to search for someone to blame.

Qingu's avatar

The administration that tortured detainees and diverted resources to Iraq instead of hunting bin Laden does not deserve credit.

And it is infuriating that all these torture apologists are now trying to bask in the Obama administration’s success and rewrite history to glorify their disastrous policies.

Let’s give credit where credit is due… and not give it where it’s not due.

CaptainHarley's avatar


And of course you believe that Obama is due all the credit. Sigh! : (

Qingu's avatar

I think there were CIA teams throughout both administrations that deserve credit; so does the JSOC that really did evolve a lot of useful techniques used in this raid, starting in the later years of the Bush administration.

I think Bush wanted to get bin Laden (even despite his quote that he didn’t really think about bin Laden and didn’t care about him)—just not as much as going to war with Iraq, and his military and intelligence priorities reflected this.

I don’t think the CIA teams who tortured detainess, or the administration that put those policies in place, deserve jack shit except condemnation, outrage, and ideally jail time. I haven’t seen any evidence that (1) torture led to any vital intel for the bin Laden raid, or (2) that such intel couldn’t have been gotten by other means. And it is absolutely infuriating to see these dishonest fucking scumbags writing op-eds saying “see we were right to torture detainees, you all owe us an apology!”

Jaxk's avatar

So much for the ‘feel good’ idea. Apparently, some of us only feel good if we can tear down someone else. C’est la vie.

Qingu's avatar

I feel good about the fact that Osama bin Laden is dead and that the operation killed only zero or one innocent civilians.

This, however, in which Charles Krauthammer argues that “we got him” because of torture and Bush’s military invasion of Iraq, does not make me feel good. It makes me feel sick to my stomach.

Jaxk's avatar


Thanks for posting that. I thought it was quite good.

Qingu's avatar

You agree with Krauthammer? Or with my assessment of Krauthammer?

Jaxk's avatar


Sorry for the confusion. I thought Krauthammer’s account was quite good. And gave a good overview of the effects of the broader war on terror. It took nothing away from Obama but put it all in context. Sorry you have a sickness.

majorrich's avatar

To the question itself, I don’t think we should give them any wiggle room as when we do that, they seem to find wilder and wilder tales to tell and we get further and further from getting the truth out of them

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