Trophy Terrorist: Obama Suggests Romney Would Not Have Ordered The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden

We previously discussed the unease that many of us felt with the celebrations that occurred over the killing of Bin Laden and the later use of the killing to bolster the Obama campaign. This discomfort increased recently with an Obama commercial that unfairly suggested that Governor Mitt Romney would not have ordered the operation to go forward. Just in case anyone thought that was a tasteless and baseless campaign pitch by an overzealous Obama aide, the President himself just reaffirmed that message in a press conference with the Prime Minister of Japan this afternoon. It appears that, while the Administration will again bar the release of photos to the media and the public of the operation, they are eager to drag the body of Bin Laden behind the presidential limo to every possible campaign stop.

Recently, Vice President Joe Biden called the President’s ordering the operation as the most audacious plan in 500 years — apparently dwarfing Washington’s crossing of the Delaware and a number of other minor skirmishes. The thrust of these comments is that the President was the brave one to risk the political fallout of an unsuccessful operation.

We previously saw a squabble between Bush and Obama on who can claim part of the scalp of Bin Laden. It is clear that the President has decided to abandon his promise not to engage in excessive celebration or self-aggrandizement over the killing. I suppose there is now regret in the White House that they decide to forgo the taxidermist option in favor of the ocean disposal.

In the press conference, Obama seemed eager to suggest that Romney doesn’t have the guts to kill people, even our most hated enemies.

“I’d just recommend that everybody take a look at people’s previous statements in terms of whether they thought it was appropriate to go into Pakistan and to take out bin Laden. I assume that people meant what they said when they said it. And that’s been at least my practice. I said that I would go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him–and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they would do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.

I suppose that explanation will now trigger a contest on how more willing each man is to order killings like some natural-born killer. With Obama recently claiming the right to kill citizens on his sole authority, that could be a dangerous race to the bottom. Romney is already insisting that he would have ordered the same killing.

Former and current Seal members criticized the President for using the operation in a political ad. Here is the commercial that ran in the last week:

The concerted attack appears to be based on Romney’s statement in 2007 that he believe that it was “not worth moving heaven and earth … just trying to catch one person.” That was a reasonable statement and one that many in the military appeared to agree with.

The use of the killing of Bin Laden as a campaign trophy is as unfair to Romney, unseemly of Obama, and unbecoming to the presidency. The President’s remarks this afternoon should be condemned by every citizen regardless of party affiliation.

Here is the press conference:

161 thoughts on “Trophy Terrorist: Obama Suggests Romney Would Not Have Ordered The Killing Of Osama Bin Laden”

  1. President Obama has already had Osama Bin Laden murdered once.
    President Obama can not have Osama Bin Laden murdered again.
    President Romney can not have Osama Bin Laden murdered again, either.

    Long live Osama Bin Laden! It seems to me that President Obama and Mitt Romney will pretty much make sure of that.

  2. mm: as a minor point, the weak you refer to has managed to cost the US quite a few lives not to mention many many trillions of dollars in direct and indirect costs that we are yet to fully comprehend. a simple reality in our age is there are no small enemies only large targets and we are the biggest. (the technical term is asymetric warfare).

    i suspect anyone who thinks balancing personal liberty and freedom against that reality is easy or cut and dry is probably a liberterian. (and does not understands that reality)

  3. Apropos of Professor Turley’s dead-on imagery, I see herewhere President Obama has hauled bin Laden’s metaphorical corpse onto Ari Force One and smuggled it into Afghanistan where he can display it before our marooned troops while lecturing them on “justice” by assassination.

    I’ve heard of desperate American politicians “waving the bloody shirt” and “hiding behind the troops,” but “waving the missing corpse in front of the troops” has to rank as an all-time low.

    And something seems discordant, to say the least, about the self-styled “leader of the free world” having to sneak unseen into and out of the countries he has freed because the newly free (after 11 years) people might kill him if they knew beforehand of his arrival. Superpower cowards inspire such respect and confidence — or so I have heard them tell me.

  4. gh, small “l”. it is beyond dispute that who jt votes for is a personal matter. some people make their choice known, others do not, but it is beyond reproach the right to cast a secret vote. i could not agree more with your last paragraph.

    there is a proviso, however, in trying to divine jt’s leanings and in the absence of a clear statement from him we must rely on his writings and other comments. the strength of his attacks against Obama and a seeming lack of quite the same intensity on the other side (i’m speaking about the present) does give aid to one side versus the other.

    lets face it, when Powell – a republican – came out in support of Obama it made a big difference for many people. I think if jt were to do the same that would also influence a certain group of people, just as the positions and tones now does. he understands that and obviously he feels keeping a certain amount of appearance of “independence” on paper – but not in fact – serves his interests – agenda, if you will.

    I would refer back to cpl miller and the guns of navarone on this point. and that is a general complain i have with so called liberterians (with a small l)

  5. Watching the unedifying spectacle of President Obama and Mitt Romney publicly comparing their adolescent little erections over which one of them would or would not have ordered a platoon of goons to murder an unarmed man, I keep going back to what military historian Martin Van Creveld wrote about a “superpower” waging “war” against relatively powerless adversaries:

    “… In private life, an adult who keeps beating down on a five year old – even such a one as originally attacked him with a knife – will be perceived as committing a crime; therefore he will lose the support of bystanders and end up by being arrested, tried and convicted. In international life, an armed force that keeps beating down on a weaker opponent will be seen as committing a series of crimes; therefore it will end up by losing the support of its allies, its own people, and its own troops. Depending on the quality of the forces – whether they are draftees or professionals, the effectiveness of the propaganda machine, the nature of the political process, and so on – things may happen quickly or take a long time to mature. However, the outcome is always the same. He (or she) who does not understand this does not understand anything about war; or, indeed, human nature.

    “In other words, he who fights against the weak – and the rag-tag Iraqi [and Afghan] militias are very weak indeed – and loses, loses. He who fights against the weak and wins also loses. To kill an opponent who is much weaker than yourself is unnecessary and therefore cruel; to let that opponent kill you is unnecessary and therefore foolish. As Vietnam and countless other cases prove, no armed force however rich, however powerful, however, advanced, and however well motivated is immune to this dilemma. The end result is always disintegration and defeat.”

    President Obama can lose by “winning” in the Republican gutter or lose by losing in it; but neither outcome will make a cowardly “superpower” look anything but pathetic in its belligerent narcissism and puerile posturing. This coming November, America will get what it deserves because it has demanded nothing better.

  6. 1zb1,

    “but in the broad strokes that i am otherwise forced to deal in; it FEELS like “liberterian” is the strongest thread.”

    Which presents no problems if you mean the small “L” sense of libertarian. The problem arises if you mean the capital “L” partisan term Libertarian. As to JT’s personal leanings? Other than civil libertarian and not being a staunch originalist in his Constitutional analysis (i.e. he clearly believes the Constitution is a living document that exists in the light of precedent)? I really can’t say other than he has posted articles on here saying in effect that because of Obama’s actions in both refusing to prosecute domestic war criminals and in unconstitutionally expanding executive authority (specifically I think of the statements around the “Assassination Without Due Process” issue) that he felt Obama was proving to be a disaster for civil libertarians.

    But could he make his own stances clearer? Yes, he could. But ultimately that is his decision. Just as how one votes is a private matter and a discussion left to the individual to decide how much to reveal publicly is appropriate, so are the details of one’s political principles. However, to assume what they are in absence of evidence is nothing more than than speculation.

  7. idealist707,

    I excerpted the Orwell quote from 1984 primarily because it illustrated how tribal party morale encourages and requires the schizophrenia embodied in the Newspeak terms blackwhite,duckspeak, crimestop and doublethink>. I especially liked Orwell’s point that “It is precisely in the Inner Party that war hysteria and hatred of the enemy are strongest.” I immediately thought of this truism when I saw the released photo of President Obama and his advisers sitting around all warm and comfy in the White House watching a live video feed of 25 Navy Seals murdering an unarmed man in front of his family half a world away. “Heroism,” as only American chickenhawks can conceive of it.

    Upon reading Professor Turley’s article and noting some of the reactions to it, I saw three basic lines of objection emerge:

    (1) The Professor had used some vivid metaphors which offended the delicate sensibilities of those who like war at a distance but not up close and personal enough to get any real sight or smell of it.

    (2) Since one cannot honestly deny that President Obama seeks to make political hay out of Osama bin Laden’s claimed-but-not-proven demise, his partisan defenders resort to the “others do it too” fallacy as a dialectical dodge. Certainly, Deputy Dubya Bush did all of that political milking of the maimed — and more besides. But such comparisons only make President Obama look like a rank acolyte attempting to emulate his midget master.

    (3) In any event and however distasteful, since the Republican party has historically made industrial scale political profit from labeling Democrats “weak,” then Democrats have every right to do the same to them. So the race-to-the-bottom has hit bottom, just where the Republicans like things. But as President Harry Truman said: “If you give the American people a choice between a Republican and someone who looks and talks like a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time.” Brilliant 11-dimensional strategy, Democrats. Look and speak as much like Republicans as you can. That will surely give the American people a reason to choose a fake Republican instead of a real one.

    Nonetheless, all of these objections beg the question of why the United States of America, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, has chosen the define the “heroism” and “greatness” of its leaders in terms of furtive assassinations, draconian repression of dissent at home, and war against the world’s weakest — only to predictably lose whatever of value the country once possessed

  8. 1zb1,

    Since turn about it fair play, let me answer your question before I call it quits. As far as I’m concerned you and Obama can say whatever you want, and I can criticize that however I want. There’s a world of difference between “shouldn’t” and “is forbidden”

    I don’t think either of us is going to be able to communicate effectively with the other at this point. So I’m still calling it a day.

  9. GH, Well here’s the problem, and I’m sure you can appreciate it, trying to meaningfully define people by political labels is near impossible, and i think that is extra difficult with people as smart as jt. what might be “liberterian” in one context might be considered “civil liberterian”, democrat, republican, and some isms i’d rather not mention in another context. even when people self identify – as in how they register or vote – is not always helpful. For example “Regan Democrat” seems like an oxymoron. In most situations people might be, for example 60% of the time one way on certain issue; 20% another way on other issues, and so on down the line.

    isn’t it a bit like religion, whose a real christian and whose not; one sect of islam verse another; what makes for a real jew?. Not conservative enough, not liberal enough; too liberal; or too conservative, and so on.

    so if we go way back to the founders they had the feds and anti-feds, a battle still being fought, and i might say pretty mindlessly argued to no end over at some other threads.

    I think its up to jt to say what he is and what that means in as unambiguous terms as he can. who does he think best represents his views; who is he pulling the lever on when he walks in the box? if he has made that clear somewhere by all means point me in that direction.

    but in the broad strokes that i am otherwise forced to deal in; it FEELS like “liberterian” is the strongest thread.

  10. Bron,

    Or maybe you need to learn what “non-responsive” means. In the incident you are referring to, you never did address your self-contradiction other than to say “maybe I’m contradicting myself or maybe I’m just not making myself clear” or words to that effect which was a non-answer worthy of a politician.

    Whether or not this current misunderstanding between Gyges and 1zb1 rises to that level remains to be seen.

    Also it is my understanding that a foo foo head is indeed similar to a doo doo butt, but regional usage varies.



    If you wish to conflate civil libertarian with Libertarian, you might be in for a surprise because that broad brush you admit to using is larger than you think.

  11. From The Rude Pundit: Mitt Romney on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox “news,” September 12, 2007: “Well, thank heavens Barack Obama was not president over the last year, because, had Barack Obama been president over the last year, Osama bin Laden would have been declaring victory in Iraq.”

  12. mm, your laugh chip is burned out… time for a replacement. might want to check the reality chip while they are working under the hood. i understand the tparty has a special for folks on medicare who want to the government to stay out of their healthcare.

  13. 1zb,

    For me to miss a point, you would first have to make one.

    As Albert Einstein said: “Keep things as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

    For example, you say:

    i can personally assure you and jill that not everything the government does is a conspiracy …”

    No you can’t. You do not know “everything” that the government does, so you cannot possibly assure anyone of anything regarding its activities, motives, methods, etc. Furthermore, since you don’t know the full extent of what the government does, you can not claim to know what half of that unknown quantity does. The same goes for any other percentage of government operations about which you claim authoritative knowledge. In fact, you have not established precisely how much you really do know of what the government does, so you have no way of demonstrating even that you know what little you claim you know about government. As Senator and career bureaucrat Daniel Patric Moynihan used to put it: “Everyone has a right to his own opinion, but no one has a right to his own facts.”

    As well, I do not remember calling the government a “conspiracy,” although if two or more people conspire in secret to defraud and otherwise mislead the public, then that term could very well apply. For my part, I thought I called our government a pack of professional pathological liars. I. F. Stone said simply” “Governments lie,” and spent his entire journalistic career proving it. Personally, I eschew the tepid euphemism “spin” and prefer my own terms for professional prevarication: Manufactured Mendacity and Managed Mystification. In my youth, the systematic official military and political lying got so bad that the entire society started coming apart at the seams over it. So don’t even try to get started with the “conspiracy theory” misnomers. Not only does our government tell us the same baldfaced lies it told us forty years ago, it can’t even tell them as well, and so has resorted to mumbling that it can “neither confirm nor deny” anything it says one day and claims it didn’t say the next. What utter bullshit.

    And once again — after repeatedly explaining to you the TuQuoQue (i.e., “you do it too”) fallacy — the fact that private corporations may lie just like the public government does (and vice versa) does not disprove any criticism of lying. “Misery loves company,” yes, but I prefer that the official and corporate liars commiserate behind bars.

  14. 1zb1:

    Gyges threatens to take his marbles and go home a good deal of the time. In fact, I think he has said the same exact thing to me that he has to you on numerous occasions. I also thought I had answered his questions.

    Now it crosses political philosophies and generations. I had thought it was my political philosophy that prevented my communication with him or the fact that I am older than he is. But you are of similar political philosophy to Gyges and you are older than me.

    Maybe Gyges needs to reevaluate his marbles so he is not in danger of losing them?

  15. OT OT

    Michael Murry,

    “with Oceania the undisputed master of the entire world.” — George Orwell, 1984”

    A brilliant surmise, as it did not yet exist. Orwell is a giant. Thanks.

    Try a taste of reality, how only 17 years after the Bolshevik October Revolution the people had changed, and their perceptions were out of touch with everything. Change was not possible now that the New Era had begun, they felt. People stopped talking to each other. Even parents dared not in front of their children.

    Let Nadezdha Mandelstam, wife of Osip, the poet; tell the story.
    “Hope against Hope”. Fear, she writes, is only possible as long as hope exists. When hope departs, fear also follows it. What is left is not worth living.

  16. BettyKath,
    I like your suspicion. If UBL (not proper arabic with O) was on dialysis, ie no kidney transplant courtesy CIA, then it was not him in that house. You can’t have them at home, and certainly not in that house.
    As for the convenient disappearance of the Seal team members, bingo again.
    I have contended that UBL was a CIA resource since he was given the choice by the Royal family: Your life or your families, ie all Ladens. So, he did what he was told to do. Create an enemy. But Bush would have his war, and he got it. UBL was the poster terrorist he needed.

    But Obama needed cred after the financial collapse after Wall Street. So the OBL death legend was created. Is it surprising Obama uses it. But it’s use is carefully gauge on when and where and if it is needed, as others have pointed out.

  17. Gyges i guess what i thought was answering your question was not as far as you are concerned. How about this, you give me yours and jt’s list of what i (and Obama) are allowed to talk about and I’ll give you another shot at your question after you do (its important I get your list first since I would not want to use any words or ideas that are not on your list)

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