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Judi's avatar

Could a bin Laden capture be the October surprise that sways the election?

Asked by Judi (39865points) September 11th, 2008

On Larry king the other night Bob Woodward spoke about a top secret technique or technology that has enabled us to capture and kill top level terrorists. Do you think they are waiting to use it on Bin Laden to sway the election? Here’s a short clip.

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31 Answers

tonedef's avatar

I’ve heard people kicking this idea around for almost four years, now. In the light of the recent announcement of redoubled efforts to capture Osama Bin Laden, I have to suspect that, just maybe, he has already been captured.

GAMBIT's avatar

If so it would bring a new meaning to “all the world is a stage”.

The name Osama Bin Laden means many things to different people to some he is a son of an oil tycoon to others he is a hero against the evil Bush to others he is a sick criminal mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. If he were captured now right before the election it would appear to some that he could have been captured years ago and now his imprisonment would be for only political gain. I’m not sure if Americans would fall for that so easily. However I can see Bush on CNN saying that his presidency is complete and his mission has been accomplished.

Bin Laden has been our boogie man, the face of terror and Jihad and every time we forgot about him. He came out with a new tape authenticated by the CIA and fear was sent back to the American people. If he were miraculously captured or killed before the election I would say William Shakespeare was right “all the world is a stage”’s_a_stage

JackAdams's avatar

Only if it could be conclusively proven that a particular candidate had something directly to do, with such a capture.

Besides, the current occupant of The White House is not up for re-election, Praise Gawd.

Harp's avatar

To take a cynical view, it would be better strategy to announce a capture after the elections, since having the perception of a strong enemy threat plays into McCain’s PR strengths. A diminished threat would seem to argue for a troop drawdown, Obama’s platform.

Judi's avatar

I agree, but there would be a pro Bush/McCain elation “bubble” and if timed correctly COULD sway an election, especially one this close.

allengreen's avatar

I think it is more likley that another major attack will happen before the election. These folks are desperate to stay in power.

1 they are brutal
2 they will do anything to win
3 they think we all are stupid

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

His followers have orders – his orders – to kill him before he is allowed to be captured. Newsweek ran a story about it a couple of years ago. He may be dead already. Nothing that can be authenticated to him has been heard in months.

allengreen's avatar

Osama Bin Ladin is at the Western White House in Crawford Texas. Bin Ladin is a Bush tool, and the Republicans love Bin Ladin for the fear that he brings up.

cheebdragon's avatar

didn’t you hear? Obama is going to find him in a cave….....

Judi's avatar

No he’s not, George MCheney let him run from the cave.

allengreen's avatar

Cheeb…where is the link? Are we supposed to have “faith” in you?

tinyfaery's avatar

Something will happen, be it Osama or another attack. The closer we get to the election, the more I fear something will happen. My worst fear is that McCain will be elected.

allengreen's avatar

We can all do like Cindy McCain and tank up on prescription drugs.

allengreen's avatar

Cheeb…where is the link? Are we supposed to have “faith” in you?

osullivanbr's avatar

I reckon blind faith in cheeb is every bit as good as some of the other options America is facing in this election.

Cheeb for president!!!

webmasterwilliam's avatar

I just hope that we catch him. October is fine with me!

allengreen's avatar

I take back my earlier comments about Cheeb—According to present day standards Cheeb is totally qualified to be Republican VP, and in 20 minutes when McCain tips over, Cheeb will be the leader of the Free World.

cheebdragon's avatar

“John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow bin Laden to the gates of hell – but he won’t even go to the cave where he lives.”

dalepetrie's avatar

My thoughts would be that it’s all nonsense. I’m perhaps more liberal than many on here, and I don’t automatically dismiss conspiracy theories…I prefer to check them out. This one doesn’t even fall under the category of worth checking out…why? Well, because it’s mere speculation…there is no credible piece of evidence leading to the suggestion that this might happen, hence there is no reason or even way to check something like this out.

But for one moment, let me play Devil’s Advocate here. Let’s say that you’re of the bent that believes 9/11 itself was orchestrated by Bush. I don’t buy into that, the farthest I go, and this is based not on pure speculation but on things such as the Aug 6 briefing and the Downing Street Memo, that perhaps Bush didn’t take the threat of Bin Laden quite seriously enough. Heck, one could even go as far as to say that though he didn’t “orchestrate” it, he let it happen…to be honest, I just don’t buy even that…I think it was negligence and not intentional sabbotage on the part of Bush and Co., that’s it. But let’s go with the assumption that Bush WOULD do something of this nature, even if he did not, in other words, let’s assume that he really WOULD manipulate something like this, it would stand to reason that he WOULD manipulate the capture of Bin Laden. You see, now right there, you have to believe the former, unfounded conspiracy theory to even buy into that argument.

But to stretch it to say it’s going to be an October surprise in ‘08….why? Wouldn’t they have used this in ‘04 if they really could have caught Bin Laden whenever they wanted and held back his capture until it was politically expedient? Or wouldn’t they have held onto Saddam Hussein until now? Or even if they announced his capture, surely there will be a trial…wouldn’t it make more sense to roll out his capture say in time for the ‘06 elections so they didn’t get their asses handed to them, and schedule the hanging for Halloween?

And remember, Bush is not running again, it’s McCain. And McCain is trying very hard to distance himself to Bush. If McCain was aware that Bush was going to go out with a bang, would he WANT to distance himself this much? And also, wouldn’t that be a potentially risky move as well? You roll this out in the heat of the moment, just days before the election, it does beg the question, why this long? That message could be counterproductive…it would make a LOT more sense to have announced this capture a while before so they’d have time to control the message and spin it.

Sorry, doesn’t pass the sniff test. I’ll tell you how they ARE going to TRY to win this one, it has a lot to do with Sarah Palin. You see, Republicans win elections not because they are on the same side of the issues as the majority of Americans, Democrats are and have always been. They win elections because they are EXPERTS at making elections about anything BUT issues. On issues, they know that as long as they have an answer…doesn’t even have to be good (or true for that matter), it just has to satisfy the most basic sniff test, they can turn that answer into a talking point and make sure every single Republican up and down the ticket, present, former and future knows that talking point by heart and recites it whenever the question comes up. That talking point doesn’t even have to be consistent with the candidate’s past rhetoric, it just has to represent the fact that they have a strong, confident answer….that’s all the American public demands.

They also know that the highly partisan base will not betray them. Only problem Republicans have with the base is that if they don’t excite their base, their base doesn’t knock on doors, make phone calls, talk about them in churches, and donate money to the 527s to help defeat the opponent. Essentially, they also know that if you say something with enough confidence and repeat it enough times, people will believe it, no matter how many others tell you it’s bullshit. They know that elections are won or lost not based on who best represents their values, but based on who the rank and file voter gets the best gut feeling about.

The selling of McCain required two things…it required lock step commitment from the base, and a soft sell to the independents. So they play up personality issues, talk about him being a “war hero™”, or a “maverick™”. The base is partisan, they don’t care what the hell McCain says, they just want to know he’s one of them….so whereas he could repeat his “maverick” stance over and over, they know that independents aren’t going to care that 99% of this maverick image is a lie, considering that he now votes with Bush 95–100% of the time. They don’t care that what he says on the issues isn’t “maverick” at all, they care about the personality.

In comes Palin. The base KNOWS she’s one of them…she’s got all the far right crazy bona fides. Drill, baby drill, and don’t let the damn polar bears get in our way. Abstinence only sex ed, no abortions for ANYONE no matter what, the surge is working™, etc. And she’s attractive, has a great smile, and has a great, all-american story, has a son who is deploying to Iraq (with a departure ceremony on 9/11 nothetheless). She’s one of them, that’s all they need to do or say whatever they have to do, even if it conflicts with their rhetoric from 2 days before….she must be elected…she’s the true blue social conservative that excites these people. Yet, she can also claim some maverick™ bona fides, even if they’re not true. She says every single day that she told Congress “thanks but no thanks on that bridge to nowhere™”, but every single news outlet has said she’s full of shit. People don’t care…the base doesn’t care and the independents don’t pay attention to what the media says. In fact the Republicans have convinced most people that the mainstream media is just a liberal noise machine, when in fact it far more often serves a right wing agenda (follow the money to who owns the 4 corporations that control all of our news…all part of the Republican base).

What McCain has to do is make sure that Palin doesn’t screw up and say something that the independents will shrink back from…that’s it, that’s his strategy. He knows know that the evangelicals are going to turn up every single abortion foe in this country to go to the polls, what he needs is a marginal return from the center, and it doesn’t matter what the press says or what Obama says about anything he or Palin say. They just have to keep from looking like imbeciles. If they can do that, they’ve got a good shot at this thing. But one slip up in any of the 4 debates, and they are toast.

So yes, maybe…and that’s a BIG maybe…if they completely screw up in the debates and Obama has a 10 point lead, then quite possibly some sort of October surprise could be rigged. But if they are willing to go as far as to hide Bin Laden’s capture, they’re certainly willing to go far enough to engineer a small scale terrorist attack, and since McCain’s advantage among those who say terrorism is the #1 concern (albeit only about 10 or 11% of the population) is something like 2 to 1, if something happens to make terrorism the biggest issue for 60% of the population, (i.e. something that would look inconsequential next to 9/11, like simultaneously bombing 4 US embassies, but only killing maybe half a dozen people), that would be all it would take.

I look at 2004. Democrats were looking for that October surprise, but they were looking for something big, like capturing Bin Laden. Instead, what really happened was that last minute push to bring evangelicals to the polls in record numbers. From what I’ve seen about how Republicans win elections, you have to think covert, not overt. Anything too overt arouses suspicion, keep your tactics under the radar (like hiring a company to provide you with voter purge lists that will knock 157,000 Democrats off the voter rolls in Florida in a year when Florida decides the election and is decided by 537 votes).

allengreen's avatar

dale dale dale, please try bullet points just once :0)?

dalepetrie's avatar

that would require me to organize my thoughts…I’m more a stream of consciousness kinda guy.

allengreen's avatar

The voting machines are rigged, and we will get a McCain

dalepetrie's avatar

That only works when we’re at a 51/49 race, I suspect this is going to be a 53/47 race once Obama’s ground organizing turns out millions of people who never voted before…even if they do cheat, it won’t work this time.

allengreen's avatar

I so hope you are right

cheebdragon's avatar

If only McCain had picked “change” to be his campaign slogan…..

dalepetrie's avatar

He did, he just picked it after someone else. Just like his economic policies.

Judi's avatar

If what Woodward says in the youtube video is true, they didn’t have the technology or ability to capture Bin Laden in 04. Woodward compared this new technique to the Manhattan project and gave it credit for their decrease in violence, not the surge. Here is a better youtube video about it.

dalepetrie's avatar

I heard about Woodward’s theory, but Woodward is good at what he does…being in Washington, talking to Washington pundits. Top military commanders here say that though there are effective ways of dealing with insurgencies that we DIDN’T have in 2004, the problem with Woodward’s newest book is that he discusses all this other stuff throughout the book, and drops in this assertion briefly near the end with nothing to support it. They won’t talk about particular tactics, but they will say it’s a mistake to think we have this magic bullet now or that the reason things are turning around is not related to all that we learned about this type of warfare over the first 3 years of the war. So, I think it’s speculative at best, and I really don’t think OBL has been captured, even if such a technique does exist.

From what I can gather, the real reason the surge is working™ is because our military was geared to fight traditional wars, you know where everyone wears a uniform. For thousands of years, the convention was that you wear a uniform in war, because it allows you to distinguish between civilians and military and most societies have very harsh penalties for conducting combat missions out of uniform. But we’re not up against a nation or a military, we’re up against street clothed people who can come from anywhere and everywhere, kind of like a war where every soldier is an undercover operative. New techniques we’ve developed have been in the realm of how to fight this type of enemy, and yes, they are effective. But the’d be no more effective at helping catch a high profile target, because we already know what that target looks like.

Just not buyin’ it.

jvgr's avatar

No, the October surprise is different.

Bush’s recent talks with Iran are really to provide secret financial support to Iran for the purpose of an attack on Israel. The Bush hope is that Russia will get involved and support Iran (either arms, troops, or money). This will provide the opening for a US invasion of Russia in order to bring democracy to Russian oilfields.

McCains dilemma, though, is his need to quickly reassess his relationship with Bush.

cheebdragon's avatar

Since you know the presidents secrets, I’m sure~

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