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  #1  
Old 05-03-2011, 05:03 PM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)

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  #2  
Old 05-03-2011, 05:49 PM
David Edenden David Edenden is offline
 
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Default The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

The killing of Bin Laden may be a tipping point in stemming the attraction of jihadism for young Muslim men. Bin Laden convinced a large number of alienated youth to die for their religion/country. The "Arab Spring" may convince them to live for their religion/country.

The President of the USA can help the "Arab Spring" .. by stop lying.

Example:

"Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield to protect himself"

I am not young, not an Arab, not a Muslim but I still recognize a lie when it is fed to me by a self-serving politician.

Barack Obama is in possession of a video showing the assault in real time. Release it.

If it showed Bin laden using his wife as a human shield ... great. If it shows his wife desperately trying to shield an unarmed Bin Laden ... assuming no civilized man would shoot a woman ... as he tries to frantically push her away ... yet was still gunned down by Americans, then ... Washington ... we have a problem.

Support the "Arab Spring" ... by stop lying to Muslim Arabs!
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  #3  
Old 05-03-2011, 06:42 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

I do not have a strong opinion on the likelihood of Osama being a coward who tried to use his wife as a shield, but I do share with you a certain skepticality about any narrative being pushed by the US government that contains charges of cowardice. I have this view for two reasons. The first reason is that the US populace has a history of falsely charging cowardice* where it is unlikely (9/11 hijackers). It's almost like we as a populace can't get our heads around the idea that very bad people can be brave. The second being is it doesn't really fit the narrative of Osama. Wasn't Osama a rich kid who went and fought the Soviets in Afghanistan? Not to mention making his face the face of terrorism by his own volition.
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  #4  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:11 PM
tom tom is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Edenden View Post
The President of the USA can help the "Arab Spring" .. by stop lying.

Example:

"Bin Laden used his wife as a human shield to protect himself"

I am not young, not an Arab, not a Muslim but I still recognize a lie when it is fed to me by a self-serving politician.
The incorrect statement made by John Brennan was corrected (within a few hours) by White House officials last night, and the correction was officially reiterated by WH press secretary Jay Carney today. It seems quite likely that Brennan mixed up some facts, as reports indicate that another of the men at the compound was shooting from behind a woman.

All of these corrections occurred with maximal publicity before the timestamp on your post.

Accusing Obama of "lying" based on this is just silly.

Last edited by tom; 05-03-2011 at 08:35 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:32 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

Latest line by CIA Director Panetta is that the woman with bin Laden charged the SOF guys and was shot in the leg and then the unarmed bin Laden was summarily executed. Oh and by the way it seems that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were directly responsible for some of the intelligence used to track Osama down which included water boarding (about 8 min into the video).
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  #6  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:45 PM
tom tom is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
Latest line by [URL="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032619/#42886480"] Oh and by the way it seems that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were directly responsible for some of the intelligence used to track Osama down which included water boarding (about 8 min into the video).
I couldn't get the video to load, so perhaps there's something more definitive than what I've been seeing, but reports are all over the map on this issue.

There seems to be a consensus that the alias of the courier was ascertained in '05, therefore after enhanced interrogation had stopped.

Here's Rumsfeld, today:
“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

And Lindsey Graham:
"This idea we caught bin Laden because of waterboarding I think is a misstatement. This whole concept of how we caught bin Laden is a lot of work over time by different people and putting the puzzle together. I do not believe this is a time to celebrate waterboarding, I believe this is a time to celebrate hard work."

And the NYT on what happened after the courier's alias was ascertained:

“Operation Cannonball, a [2005] bureaucratic reshuffling ... placed more C.I.A. case officers on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. With more agents in the field, the C.I.A. finally got the courier’s family name. With that, they turned to one of their greatest investigative tools — the National Security Agency began intercepting telephone calls and e-mail messages between the man’s family and anyone inside Pakistan. From there they got his full name. Last July, Pakistani agents working for the C.I.A. spotted him driving his vehicle near Peshawar.”

I don't mean to say that any of this is definitive, and again I'll try to get that video to load again later (heading out for a bit now), but I would caution against jumping hastily to a conclusion on this issue.

Update: I got it to load. Your statement that "enhanced interrogation techniques" were "directly" responsible for the information is absolutely unsupported by the portion of the video I saw. I can spell this argument out in greater detail when I have time to do so, if someone else doesnt beat me to the punch.

Last edited by tom; 05-03-2011 at 08:49 PM..
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  #7  
Old 05-03-2011, 08:55 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

I clicked on the link and it worked fine for me. It is a Brian Williams interview with Director Panetta from tonight's nightly news. Since it is direct from the horses mouth, so to speak, and thus the current official position I would discount the pieces, that are as you say all over the place, attributed to anonymous sources.
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  #8  
Old 05-04-2011, 01:06 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: The Coward Narrative of Bin Laden's Death

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom View Post
[...]

There seems to be a consensus that the alias of the courier was ascertained in '05, therefore after enhanced interrogation had stopped.

Here's Rumsfeld, today:
“It is true that some information that came from normal interrogation approaches at Guantanamo did lead to information that was beneficial in this instance. But it was not harsh treatment and it was not waterboarding.”

And Lindsey Graham:
"This idea we caught bin Laden because of waterboarding I think is a misstatement. This whole concept of how we caught bin Laden is a lot of work over time by different people and putting the puzzle together. I do not believe this is a time to celebrate waterboarding, I believe this is a time to celebrate hard work."

And the NYT on what happened after the courier's alias was ascertained:

“Operation Cannonball, a [2005] bureaucratic reshuffling ... placed more C.I.A. case officers on the ground in Pakistan and Afghanistan. With more agents in the field, the C.I.A. finally got the courier’s family name. With that, they turned to one of their greatest investigative tools — the National Security Agency began intercepting telephone calls and e-mail messages between the man’s family and anyone inside Pakistan. From there they got his full name. Last July, Pakistani agents working for the C.I.A. spotted him driving his vehicle near Peshawar.”

[...]
Much more along these lines here.
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  #9  
Old 05-03-2011, 05:57 PM
olmeta olmeta is offline
 
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Default Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)

What is plain to see now is that the Pakistani military class -which is to say that nation's most relevant class- through American funding, while guarding and growing a nuclear weapons program aimed at our allies, knowingly and deliberately hosted and harbored the world's most dangerous terrorist, a mass-murderous religious lunatic (and our number one declared enemy) as their honored next-door neighbor.

We will soon resume referring to these very men as our trusted allies in "the struggle" against extremism.

Special thanks go out to Bill Clinton and the go-go generation of 1990's global "leadership" who (slept?) while these repressive pricks acquired nukes and thus became strategically relevant in a way their society simply and patently does not deserve to be.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2011, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)

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Originally Posted by olmeta View Post
What is plain to see now is that the Pakistani military class -which is to say that nation's most relevant class- through American funding, while guarding and growing a nuclear weapons program aimed at our allies, knowingly and deliberately hosted and harbored the world's most dangerous terrorist, a mass-murderous religious lunatic (and our number one declared enemy) as their honored next-door neighbor.

We will soon resume referring to these very men as our trusted allies in "the struggle" against extremism.

Special thanks go out to Bill Clinton and the go-go generation of 1990's global "leadership" who (slept?) while these repressive pricks acquired nukes and thus became strategically relevant in a way their society simply and patently does not deserve to be.
The biggest winner in it all is India.
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  #11  
Old 05-03-2011, 06:46 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: Osama and Everything After (Heather Hurlburt & Eli Lake)

http://bloggingheads.tv/diavlogs/359...3:08&out=43:23

Measuring what liberals or conservatives do by the actions of a president that shares their party affiliation is sub-optimal. Presidents are constrained by the composition of their paired legislature and past Presidents policies. The Unites States government does not turn on a dime.
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  #12  
Old 05-03-2011, 09:26 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal

The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.
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  #13  
Old 05-03-2011, 09:44 PM
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Default Re: Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.
I don't see the case for this level of alarmism. So far as I can gather, the extent of damages from and rapidity of climate change from carbon emissions is anything but concluded (note that I do not dispute that it has been reasonably established that at a basic level there is some causal relationship between carbon emissions and the surface temperature of the Earth).
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  #14  
Old 05-04-2011, 06:41 AM
Globalcop Globalcop is offline
 
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Default Re: Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
The relationship between terrorism and climate change should be self-evident: if we don't address global warming now, the future will be one of humanitarian catastrophes, failed states and perpetual (asymmetrical at best) war. Global warming is going to be very, very violent unless its effects are mitigated starting yesterday.
That is pure comedy genius.
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  #15  
Old 05-04-2011, 10:17 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Eli doesn't see link of GW to terrorism; Heather misses rebuttal

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Originally Posted by Globalcop View Post
That is pure comedy genius.
It's kinda thrilling to have your very own private set of science facts and "obvious" assumptions, isn't it?
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  #16  
Old 05-03-2011, 09:30 PM
uncle ebeneezer uncle ebeneezer is offline
 
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Default Re: I Don't Celebrate Death

Well...maybe just a little.
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  #17  
Old 05-03-2011, 09:36 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Celebrating the death of evil men

The very start of this diavlog contained a key schism between certain peoples. Are you satisfied when an evil man meets his end? Indifferent?


For the sake of argument, let us say we could be 100% certain that after 911 Osama would not have been involved in any more terrorist attacks, he simply wanted to go into hiding for the rest of his days.

We could choose to spend billions finding him, and expend American and some innocent lives in capturing him, or we could simply let him go free without chase.

If you are simply trying to maximize saving human life, and minimize further suffering and loss of wealth and lives, the rational choice would be to leave off.

But we are not merely rational creatures, we have this wiring that has served us well enough for thousands of years called a sense of justice, a desire to right wrongs for its own sake - independent of any additional benefits. And so we did.

Those who are less moved by that will prefer to call it revenge or retribution, but the result is that some of us find some satisfaction in seeing the perpetrators of murder punished. In my case, the type of murder I am happy to see end in death is wanton, proud, righteous murder, unrepentant murder. That was Bin Laden, and that type of human being is Not the type of being I want to expand the circle of concern over and value their lives.

The husband who leapt in front of his wife to shield her from sprays of bullets at the Giffords shooting is NOT the same man who stabbed Van Gogh to death. Their lives do not hold equal value, they are not equally worthy of having the rest of us respect their right to life. The murderer has less right because of what he does and what he is, a poison to humanity.

I want to see them as the other, something so abhorrent as to prefer it be destroyed than allow to exist. And I guess that bothers many people.




**************Song of Ice and Fire Spoilers ***************

Basically, if you read that series and take no satisfaction in the demise of Joffrey Lannister, that piece of human filth, I don't understand you at all.




Last edit, for now - I am not big on celebrating the death of anyone personally. I am more satisfied with certain deaths and ends than celebratory. But I do see a difference between celebrating the deaths of evil men and good men. And to those who bring up the eye of the beholder card, not all ethical frames are created equal when it comes to human welfare and thriving, some systems are better.

Last edited by JonIrenicus; 05-03-2011 at 09:46 PM..
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  #18  
Old 05-03-2011, 10:00 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

Quote:
In my case, the type of murder I am happy to see end in death is wanton, proud, righteous murder, unrepentant murder. That was Bin Laden, and that type of human beings is Not the type of being I want to expand the circle of concern over for care about their lives.
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

The execution was wrong according to the Geneva Conventions and wrong to all civilized countries (and several religions) that have abolished capital punishment.

A case could have been made that Bin Laden couldn't have been captured without greater casualties (innocent people), but I don't see the US government really making that case.

I also don't buy into your psychology of vengeance. It's true that we all have these malicious impulses, but the notion that they have "served us well" so we should just keep on indulging them seems ridiculous to me.

Saying that some people are outside "the circle of concern," however despicable their deeds may be, also sets a dangerous precedent for future killings, grants an implicit license to other governments in their law enforcement pursuits, and tarnishes our humanitarian values.

We don't allow our police forces to operate on the principle that it's ok to kill very bad people; we hold in contempt other countries (like Israel or Russia) that engage in political assassinations; in the pre-Bush era, we had ruled out executing our "enemies." But suddenly, everyone is not only comfortable with it, but eager to celebrate it.

One of the real dangers of terrorism is how quickly it erodes our values. If the terrorists get us to build Guantánamos, torture prisoners, hold detainees without trial and summarily execute the "masterminds," then we lose our moral grounding and the terrorists win.
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  #19  
Old 05-03-2011, 10:26 PM
JonIrenicus JonIrenicus is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.
Killing most people without trial is illegal and immoral. Fixed that for you. On the legal question that could go either way, the rightness or wrongness of the action has nothing to do with the legality.

Osama being taken out was in no way immoral, especially if reports of him firing on the soldiers is accurate. That is not a summary execution, now granted, to a pacifist any killing is borderline a summary execution because all human life has equal value and is sacred.

This is where we differ. I reject that view, Osamas life does not have equal value in my eyes. This is not a rational statement, neither is yours, it is a preference. Your preference sees all human beings as worthy and deserving of life, mine sees dramatic circumstances where that desert can be forfeited.


The content of a human beings character is irrelevant to you, the only concern is that they are a human being. Decent? Indecent? Who Cares !!!!!

They are human and alive, they deserve to live !!!!! No matter WHAT they do, they deserve to live, no matter how many they murder and slaughter, there is no diminution of worth, their lives are just as sacred and worthy as any others.

I cannot follow you there. To treat the lives of the decent and the indecent with equal worth, is to devalue goodness in my view. But then, you never said you gave a crap about goodness and decency, you care about human life, and think such cares are the same thing.


How perverted and confused one of us is, I guess most think I am? Fine. It is what it is.
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  #20  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:28 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

The execution was wrong according to the Geneva Conventions and wrong to all civilized countries (and several religions) that have abolished capital punishment.

A case could have been made that Bin Laden couldn't have been captured without greater casualties (innocent people), but I don't see the US government really making that case.

I also don't buy into your psychology of vengeance. It's true that we all have these malicious impulses, but the notion that they have "served us well" so we should just keep on indulging them seems ridiculous to me.

Saying that some people are outside "the circle of concern," however despicable their deeds may be, also sets a dangerous precedent for future killings, grants an implicit license to other governments in their law enforcement pursuits, and tarnishes our humanitarian values.

We don't allow our police forces to operate on the principle that it's ok to kill very bad people; we hold in contempt other countries (like Israel or Russia) that engage in political assassinations; in the pre-Bush era, we had ruled out executing our "enemies." But suddenly, everyone is not only comfortable with it, but eager to celebrate it.

One of the real dangers of terrorism is how quickly it erodes our values. If the terrorists get us to build Guantánamos, torture prisoners, hold detainees without trial and summarily execute the "masterminds," then we lose our moral grounding and the terrorists win.
I'm not here to support JI's pov; but, I think it's worth pointing out that in regard to bin Laden it's pretty easy to make a "clear and present danger" case generally for going after him; and likewise you can argue that the risk to the people carrying out the assault might have been greater had they tried to capture him under the circumstances. We don't know those circumstances (and aren't ever likely to have full knowledge of them) so I don't think there's a good counterargument to that, except to imply that the JSOC guys ought to have been saints, and assumed that risk anyway.
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  #21  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:43 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I'm not here to support JI's pov; but, I think it's worth pointing out that in regard to bin Laden it's pretty easy to make a "clear and present danger" case generally for going after him; and likewise you can argue that the risk to the people carrying out the assault might have been greater had they tried to capture him under the circumstances. We don't know those circumstances (and aren't ever likely to have full knowledge of them) so I don't think there's a good counterargument to that, except to imply that the JSOC guys ought to have been saints, and assumed that risk anyway.
If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court would look like, noted that the trial might well be ongoing during the 2012 election, and decided to just simplify the situation
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  #22  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:49 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court, probably shortly before the 2012 election, would look like and decided to just simplify the situation.
That's a kind of cynicism that I'd hate to think they'd entertain. There are also certain risks involved in trying something like that when you plan to make the outcome as public as this has become. Nevertheless, it could have happened that way.
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  #23  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:53 PM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
That's a kind of cynicism that I'd hate to think they'd entertain. There are also certain risks involved in trying something like that when you plan to make the outcome as public as this has become. Nevertheless, it could have happened that way.
Well don't think that would have been the whole story. I suspect that taking him alive would mean complicating an already risky operation, not to mention creating some additional diplomatic headaches for the administration. But it's hard to imagine that this cynical point wasn't at least in the back of Obama's mind when/if he made that call.
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  #24  
Old 05-03-2011, 11:57 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Well don't think that would have been the whole story. I suspect that taking him alive would mean complicating an already risky operation, not to mention creating some additional diplomatic headaches for the administration. But it's hard to imagine that this cynical point wasn't at least in the back of Obama's mind when/if he made that call.
Hell, if they didn't consider it, I'd say they were incompetent. But if they actually planned it that way, then they were something a lot worse than incompetent.
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  #25  
Old 05-04-2011, 01:16 AM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

Quote:
If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive. Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court would look like, noted that the trial might well be ongoing during the 2012 election, and decided to just simplify the situation.

It's not just about The Great Satan and Mastermind, OBL. There's been a lot of chatter about how kills have become US military/CIA policy with regard to "known terrorists" (i.e., suspects on foreign soil.)

I think the theory is that letting the suspect go is too risky, but arresting him is too fraught with the political perils and legal niceties of detention, charging and conviction.

Thus, Obama (and any US president) has an interest in minimizing the number of detained suspects who never go to trial, but an incentive and cleaner path to a favorable outcome by shooting-to-kill in a "fire fight."

Being in this moral quandary is one of the unintended consequences of compromising our values (under Bush/Cheney) in the "war on terror."
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  #26  
Old 05-04-2011, 02:08 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
It's not just about The Great Satan and Mastermind, OBL. There's been a lot of chatter about how kills have become US military/CIA policy with regard to "known terrorists" (i.e., suspects on foreign soil.)

I think the theory is that letting the suspect go is too risky, but arresting him is too fraught with the political perils and legal niceties of detention, charging and conviction.

Thus, Obama (and any US president) has an interest in minimizing the number of detained suspects who never go to trial, but an incentive and cleaner path to a favorable outcome by shooting-to-kill in a "fire fight."

Being in this moral quandary is one of the unintended consequences of compromising our values (under Bush/Cheney) in the "war on terror."
Exactly. I should add, I suppose, that I don't mean to endorse the logic that I'm describing. Once someone has been disarmed and could be captured alive with no more than a minimal increased risk to the lives of our soldiers and the success of their mission, killing that person is wrong.
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  #27  
Old 05-04-2011, 10:03 AM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
If it turns out that he was summarily executed, then I can't help but wonder whether or not the controversy over KSM's trial prompted Obama to make a political decision not to capture him alive.
Well, it looks like Obama is making a political decision to surge the troops in Afg in the hopes of breaking the insurgency before the start of the 2012 campaign season. Deciding to have the American soldiers kill OBL for political reasons is not out of the realm of possiblity. ( Is a soldier obligated to disobey an order to kill someone who can be safely captured? )

You have to cry at the contrast of all the concern for the safety of the SEAL team going in to take out OBL vs the risks the infantry soldiers face every day in Afg walking patrol in Taliban territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Zeko View Post
Given how gleefully the Right has tried to demagogue that much less prominent terrorist's trial, I bet that Obama imagined what an attempt to try OBL in a civilian court would look like, noted that the trial might well be ongoing during the 2012 election, and decided to just simplify the situation
yeah, that all powerful right. The government should send a few drone strikes their way from time to time. The right is simply sensibly suggesting that the trials take place in military court. If found guilty, have the convicted executed at the conclusion of the trial.
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  #28  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:27 AM
Diane1976 Diane1976 is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
You're missing the point that Bin Laden could have been brought to justice without summarily executing him. Killing people without trial is illegal and immoral.

The execution was wrong according to the Geneva Conventions and wrong to all civilized countries (and several religions) that have abolished capital punishment.

A case could have been made that Bin Laden couldn't have been captured without greater casualties (innocent people), but I don't see the US government really making that case.

I also don't buy into your psychology of vengeance. It's true that we all have these malicious impulses, but the notion that they have "served us well" so we should just keep on indulging them seems ridiculous to me.

Saying that some people are outside "the circle of concern," however despicable their deeds may be, also sets a dangerous precedent for future killings, grants an implicit license to other governments in their law enforcement pursuits, and tarnishes our humanitarian values.

We don't allow our police forces to operate on the principle that it's ok to kill very bad people; we hold in contempt other countries (like Israel or Russia) that engage in political assassinations; in the pre-Bush era, we had ruled out executing our "enemies." But suddenly, everyone is not only comfortable with it, but eager to celebrate it.

One of the real dangers of terrorism is how quickly it erodes our values. If the terrorists get us to build Guantánamos, torture prisoners, hold detainees without trial and summarily execute the "masterminds," then we lose our moral grounding and the terrorists win.
I agree with what you're saying. But, can you imagine the endless, agonizing debates over what exactly should be done with OBL? It wouldn't be like the trial of Saddam which could be made into an Iraqi affair. The US would have to do it itself. Should it be in Gtmo, or in NY or, maybe Afghanistan, or somewhere else? How to avoid making him seem like a martyr or a hero? What about security threats? Shouldn't he be interrogated for a few years and how? What about Miranda rights? How to prevent him from having a "platform" from which to preach? A civilian or military trial? How should he be executed? No matter what Obama did critics would pounce from all sides. He would probably settle on a military trial in Gtmo, meaning it would take several years, if not decades, based on all past history. If I were Obama, I couldn't face it. I think he did himself, OBL and everybody else a big favour.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:22 PM
piscivorous piscivorous is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

So preventing President Obama from having to make difficult decisions is reason enough for summary execution.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:32 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by piscivorous View Post
So preventing President Obama from having to make difficult decisions is reason enough for summary execution.
Wrong. Preventing President Obama from having to make a bad decision is reason enough to choose summary execution. It was the best option, as Diane explained, for all concerned.

This is freaking Osama bin Laden, for Christ's sake. I can't believe the hand wringing.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:21 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Wrong. Preventing President Obama from having to make a bad decision is reason enough to choose summary execution. It was the best option, as Diane explained, for all concerned.

This is freaking Osama bin Laden, for Christ's sake. I can't believe the hand wringing.
Well, it's piscivorous, don't forget. He's been applauding torture, rooting for invading other countries, fluffing Teh Surge, etc., for years now, as long as such actions were ordered by a Republican administration. When that last part changes, his apparent convictions go right out the window, and it's all about attempting to score cheap points with smarminess.

Mindless tribalism, in other words.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:45 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Well, it's piscivorous, don't forget. He's been applauding torture, rooting for invading other countries, fluffing Teh Surge, etc., for years now, as long as such actions were ordered by a Republican administration. When that last part changes, his apparent convictions go right out the window, and it's all about attempting to score cheap points with smarminess.

Mindless tribalism, in other words.
how soon before Brennan throws the SEALs under the bus and claims Obama did not want OBL shot dead? It makes much more national security sense to capture and interrogate the trusted couriers and OBL than to kill them. That way we might find out the extent of Pakistan's involvement in the terror attacks against the US.

The SEALs could have thrown stun grenades into the rooms before entering to clear them. It is Obama and the democrats who value PR so much and think it is better to kill the combatants than to interrogate them and try them before a military court.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:41 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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The SEALs could have thrown stun grenades into the rooms before entering to clear them. It is Obama and the democrats who value PR so much and think it is better to kill the combatants than to interrogate them and try them before a military court.
Yeah, and they could have brought a five piece fiddle band, and had old fashioned barn dance. Ever dosey doe with a deadly terrorist? Nothin' beats it steveo.
Ya might wanna check your tin foil hat for small holes.
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Old 05-04-2011, 02:55 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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This is freaking Osama bin Laden, for Christ's sake. I can't believe the hand wringing.
What if an elite team of Iraqi Insurgents took out a hit on President Bush or Secretary of State Powell? Couldn't they have plausibly said to the world, "It's freaking George W. Bush, for Christ's sake. I can't believe the hand wringing."

I'm sure you see where I'm going with this: if you're not hand wringing (objecting on legal and compassionate grounds) to the unnecessary death of one bad guy, you are opening a wide door to not having standing to object in future cases of less clearly bad guys.

The reason we havet international criminal law is for guys like Bin Laden, Kaddafi (and I migh add, Bush). Taking the law into our own hands is defiance of those legal mechanisms.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:38 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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The reason we havet international criminal law is for guys like Bin Laden, Kaddafi (and I migh add, Bush). Taking the law into our own hands is defiance of those legal mechanisms.
It is looking more and more like OBL was executed.
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/shep-smit...laden-capture/

He was unarmed on the 3rd floor of the house in a room with his wives and children when the SEALs entered the room. The wife charged the SEAL guys and was shot in the leg. Shortly after OBL is dead of a shot to the head.

They need to release the contents of the video feed that was being viewed in real time in Wash DC as the raid was being conducted.

Arguably, Pakistan is a bigger threat to the US than al Queda is. We, the citizens, don't know what role Pakistan is playing in events of the last 10 years. If we were able to interrogate OBL and the courier brothers we would better understand the threat we are facing.
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Old 05-04-2011, 06:52 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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It is looking more and more like OBL was executed.
I am glad you're on board for supporting international law, Steve. (It will help keep the peace some day soon on the Idaho border).

Quote:
Arguably, Pakistan is a bigger threat to the US than al Queda is.
Absolutely. Pakistan is a rogue nuclear state, out of compliance with the NPT, like its neighbor India, North Korea and Israel.

Global peace is still about nukes, Steve. Without nuclear weapons we'd worry a lot less about Pakistan, Iran, Israel or the Bin Ladens of the world.

Now that you're an peace activist against the war in Afghanistan, you should also bring your attention to nuclear disarmament. Obama talks a good-enough-to-win-a-Nobel-Peace-Prize game on nuclear abolition, but he won't do be doing any disarming any time soon (in the next 6 yrs. that is).
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:14 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
I am glad you're on board for supporting international law, Steve.
screw IL. Pakistan was providing safe haven to OBL. Pakistan is enabling the Taliban to kill our people in Afg. Osama should have been captured, been made to listen to Lady Gaga music until he told us everything he knew, put on trial in Gitmo and then executed by being thrown from a 1000' building.


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(It will help keep the peace some day soon on the Idaho border).
"Idaho" and "border" sound great together.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Absolutely. Pakistan is a rogue nuclear state, out of compliance with the NPT, like its neighbor India, North Korea and Israel.

Global peace is still about nukes, Steve. Without nuclear weapons we'd worry a lot less about Pakistan, Iran, Israel or the Bin Ladens of the world.
your dreaming, man. Much better to build a great missile defense system and shut ourselves off from the other half of the world. The US is blessed with two oceans that separate it from multiple developing existential problems. Hopefully for their sake, once a few nukes go off on the other side of the planet, the people over there will work out their differences.
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:21 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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your dreaming, man. ...build a great missile defense system ...
:0
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Old 05-04-2011, 07:46 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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screw IL.
How then would you resolve disputes between the (Neo) Confederacy and the (Left and Right Coast) Union?

Have you thought about trying to get the UN to recognize Westcoastistan (with San Francisco as its eternal capital) along with Palestine this fall?
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Old 05-04-2011, 08:01 PM
DenvilleSteve DenvilleSteve is offline
 
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Default Re: Why it was wrong to execute Bin Laden.

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How then would you resolve disputes between the (Neo) Confederacy and the (Left and Right Coast) Union?

Have you thought about trying to get the UN to recognize Westcoastistan (with San Francisco as its eternal capital) along with Palestine this fall?
I think you first have to explain why one side should be constrained by IL while the other side ( Pakistan ) is effectively permitted to ignore it.

South America is peaceful despite it being a smaller land mass than NA and being divided into many more than 3 countries. Arguably it is nukes in the modern world that threaten world peace. If the breakaway republican states dont become nuclear powers, all should be fine.
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