Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Obama, Bin Laden capture or kill

I saw most of the CBS interview of "Mark Owen" on 60 minutes yesterday. The Navy Seal who actually took part in the raid that killed Bin Laden has written a book about the operation. One thing that struck me in the interview was his insistence that the raid was in fact a capture or kill operation as opposed to an outright assassination. Owen claimed that the seals were under orders and very much prepared to take Bin Laden alive. Assuming he is telling the truth this discredits the claim by many Republicans that Obamas aggressive policy of target assassination of Al Qaeda leaders is a direct result of Obama abandoning the Bush era "enhanced interrogation techniques" and military trials. In other words Obama doesn't want to capture terrorist leaders alive because it's pointless since he won't sanction their torture for information. Similarly the President is avoiding putting them on trial because he wants to close Guantanamo Bay as per his campaign promise and previous attempts at arranging civilian trials for terrorists resulted in a fiasco that created a logistical and legal minefield. However, Mark Owen's account of the raid would appear to rebut this.


GW said...

Your making a huge assumption, Ted. Just because the bin Laden mission was a "capture or kill" - and I personally am glad to hear that - it does not mean that Obama has embraced capture missions in place of targeted assassinations. Drone strikes don't have a "capture" option, and they are Obama's centerpiece. And if you have kept abreast of the the rationale for sending in the special ops rather than dropping a 500 lbs bomb was because of the difficulty of ascertaining afterwards whether in fact they had killed bin Laden.

My own criticism of Obama's moral posturing on the issue of enhanced interrogation is that it is quite likely making our nation less safe. That of course is speculation, since I am not privy at this point to our nation's secrets. But time will tell.

The last major capture that I am aware of predated the Obama administration. Moreover, there was an intelligence trove that was vacuumed up in the bin Laden raid, but one of the many criticisms of Obama is that, rather than give the intel community time to reasonably exploit the intel, Obama immediately grabbed for the closest camera.

Ted Leddy said...


Fair points but I think it was worth putting out there. It is surely not irrelevant that Obama was prepared to capture Bin Laden. A Bin Laden trial would have created ten times the publicity the KSM trial would have and would of forced the Obama administration to finally come up with a format of trying captured terrorists. No doubt the President was relieved Bin Laden's brains got blown all over his porno mags.

I too thought it strange that the administration gloated over the intelligence gathered during the raid. If anything they should have announced that Bin Laden and his pals managed to destroy all files and documents before they were killed.

GW said...


We have a method for trying captured terrorists - it was put in place by Bush and now has been put into use for KSM and others by Obama. I don't think that would have been the burning issue. It would have been who was to interrogate bin Laden, per what rules, and would he be granted the Miranda rights of American citizens.