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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Obama's Game

Many commentators think Obama's stance on releasing the Osama death photos is maladroit at best, crazy at worst.
  • Why worry about Muslim response to a photo of an assassination when you were obviously not concerned about Muslim response to the assassination itself?
  • Why put boots on the ground and commandos' lives at risk to obtain a corpse you refuse to show photos of the corpse to anyone?
  • For that matter, why get rid of the corpse if you wanted proof of death?
The game being played with Osama's corpse and his death photos has exactly nothing to do with Muslims.

Watch the timeline.

Barack Obama was getting nearly weekly briefings on how George Bush's intelligence apparatus was closing in on Osama since the middle of March, 2011.

He signed the final order to kill Osama at 8:20 am, April 29th, and the operation was completed a scant 36 hours later.

Now, the SEAL teams who went in were clearly well-prepared - they had spent the last month practicing the assault on a mock-up of the compound.

So, it's not like the signing of the "kill" orders was news to the SEAL teams. This whole thing had been in the works for months.

The Photos Are The Point

And if it was a SEAL operation, it was planned down to the last detail. SEALs don't carry unnecessary equipment, they don't take photos like tourists at the National Mall. They only carry recording equipment if it is part of the mission.

So they were ORDERED to take pictures of Osama's corpse.
They were ORDERED to dump Osama's corpse in the ocean.
They were ORDERED to videotape that burial at sea.

You see, as this whole operation was being planned and carried out, Obama saw a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. As it became obvious over the last few weeks that they were actually going to be able to photograph Osama and Osama's corpse, Obama took the calculated gamble of releasing his version of his birth certificate 48 hours before he gave the green light to kill Osama.

He ordered his birth certificate release set for April 27.
He may well have asked his people to make sure the birth certificate contained obvious artifacts (multiple layers, mis-matched fonts, hi-res scan of numbers clearly overlayed in juxtaposition to low-res scan numbers, etc.) in order to heighten the outcry and assure that it was at national focus for a few days.

Unfortunately for him, the military were ready slightly faster than he expected, so he told them he would "sleep on it" and made them wait another 16 hours, to put a little more distance between his Wednesday decision and the results. Fortunately, heavy cloud cover on Saturday added a bit more delay, and pushed the operation to Sunday.

Uncharacteristically, the Pakistanis weren't allowed in on the game, even though a military operation on the sovereign territory of a foreign country without their permission is traditionally an act of war and is certainly a just reason for a nation to declare war. Obama gets away with it only because no nation is stupid enough to actually declare war on the United States, no matter what the provocation.

The Pakistanis were not allowed in because no one can be allowed to queer this deal. This is not because Obama is all that interested in catching bin Laden, but because Obama has a political situation at home that Osama's corpse will help solve quite handily.

Once the SEALS accomplished their mission and got the photos - and the photos were the real point of the whole mission - Obama then pulled the same trick with the photos that he had just spent several years playing with his birth certificate: "Yes, we had the body, but you can't see that. The fish are eating it. Yes, I have the photos, but you can't see them either. Everyone will say they are doctored. I have all the evidence, you don't get anything, you just have to take my word."

He intends to conflate people who still have legitimate questions about his birth certificate and his status as "natural born citizen" with the Elvis, Hitler and soon-to-be Osama sighters. Anyone who questions his version of the story on either subject is stonewalled. And his version of the story isn't exactly consistent. It's as if they are deliberately trying to confuse the truth.

Osama bin Laden is dead, but he isn't dead because Barack Obama particularly cared about Osama bin Laden.

The whole "kill Osama" operation is a huge political coup for Obama, but it has nothing to do with stopping terrorism or keeping Muslims happy.

He's been sitting on his birth certificate for several years, trying to figure out how to release it without actually releasing anything at all. Now, he's not only got over that ugly question, he's done it by becoming a hero.

Well-played, sir, well-played.


Patrick said...

That post summed up my exact thoughts in the few moments after I heard the announcement. The BBC was the only media that I heard in the hours after the action that even suggested a connection. Now, only the future will tell what real events occurred in that timeframe. No photo proof and bad birth certificate records look exactly alike to me.

Jordanes551 said...

He intends to conflate people who still have legitimate questions about his birth certificate and his status as "natural born citizen" with the Elvis, Hitler and soon-to-be Osama sighters.

There are not and never were any legitimate questions about his birth certificate. All the available evidence says he was born in Hawaii, and no one has been able to find the slightest bit of evidence that he was born anywhere else, or that the evidence of his Hawaiian birth is fraudulent.

A couple things you've left out of your conspiracy theory: we didn't know if Osama was home at the time of our raid, and success of the mission was by no means guaranteed regardless of how well-trained our SEALs are. If the mission failed, Obama would be toast next election -- the GOP could run almost anybody and be assured of victory.

But in your conspiracy theory, Obama was willing to risk his reelection chances, deciding to try to kill Osama for no other reason than preventing diehard birthers from continuing to make fools of themselves and of the GOP. Color me unconvinced. Could Obama really be as diabolically crafty as you believe and yet also be as imprudent as you portray him to be?

You know, the news cycle had already moved on from the birth certificate and instead was obsessing on the royal wedding, and now it's focused on Osama's death. In a few days it'll be focused on something else. It's unlikely that birtherism will once again pose a serious threat to the GOP's chances of unseating Obama next year.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


Perhaps you should read more closely. I pointed out "he took a calculated risk..."

Obama could have given a total pass to the mission and no one would ever have known. After all, there was no guarantee Osama was even IN the compound, so no one could charge Obama with having failed to get bin Laden if he gave the whole op a pass.

But, the SEAL teams were training for at least a month, probably more than a month, for this mission. He knew the intel as well as anyone, and he threw the dice.

Would a failure have guaranteed his defeat? There's no reason to think it would. Carter's defeat was guaranteed by a military catastrophe that failed to rescue American hostages, and he failed April 24th, 1980 - six months before a presidential election.

Carter's problem was a surprise - we didn't expect to have a hostage crisis at all, and his ineptitude was what created the crisis to begin with, so the problem was a lot more his to own.

That isn't true with Obama and Osama. Obama doesn't own this problem the same way Carter owned the hostage crisis.

Even better, this incident is April 2011, 18 months before the presidential election. It doesn't involve American hostages, it just targets a man who everyone agrees is hard to catch.

Here, if soldiers died, all Obama had to do was blame circumstances, or the military for ineptitude, or both and call for some resignations. It's a war, nobody would be surprised by another miss like Tora Bora, and it's a long time until the next election.

The Tora Bora miss didn't hurt GWB, why would this miss hurt Obama? Especially with a compliant media.

Your counter-argument is silly.

When a man spends $2 million to keep his history (such as medical records, grade records, birth certificates and other documents) out of the public eye, that raises
legitimate questions.

If you don't think so, that's because you don't understand the issues.

You have already demonstrated you don't understand the distinction the founders made between "citizen", "naturalized citizen" and "natural born citizen", so it's not surprising to see that you don't understand the issues around the birth certificate.

Your analysis of this simply confirms that you don't understand the differences between Carter's hostage crisis, Clinton's failure to snag bin Laden, GWB's failure to snag bin Laden and Obama's gamble.

scotju said...

Your comments on Obama's game were right on target. The killing of Osama, while a welcome event, is indeed a point scorer for Barry. The "release" of his forged birth certificate and Osama's death gives him a chance to wrap himself in the flag.
It is amazing that Jordanes551 can't see through this. I happen to know he's a journalist, so he should be wise to the ways news can be manipulated. And if he's such a good one, why doesn't he smell cover-up in the supression of Obama's documents and history?

Steve Kellmeyer said...

For reasons of his own, Jordanes is intensely averse to the idea that the truth can be successfully hidden by a small group of determined people.

Because of this, he can't entertain the idea that there are certain situations in which a small group of people actually HAVE successfully hidden the truth for certain amounts of time.

He's a very intelligent guy in all other respects - it's just this aversion to the idea that anyone can really do this that puts blinders on how he interprets facts.

Steve Kellmeyer said...


First, I want to apologize for deleting your comment. I know you just meant to explain Jordanes history to me, but I'm not sure he necessarily wants it aired in public.

I've known Jordanes for many years, and am aware of his history.

I agree with you that this is undoubtedly why he is averse to conspiracy theories. Thanks for taking the time to explain it.

scotju said...

Steve, I understand why you deleted my comment. You wish to be sensitive to other people's feelings is commendable. This is one of the main reasons why I read this blog. Many bloggers, like Mark Shea, turn me off by the way they savage people who dare disagree with them. You do criticize people who disagree with you, but as your reply to Jordanes551 shows, you deal with the issues and ideas of a person, instead of attacking the person himself. Your style reminds me of Matthew Bellisario of the Catholic Champion Blog and Michael Voris of Real Catholic TV. They encourage their readers/listeners to get back to the Fathers and other important documents that explain Catholic teaching and dogma just like you do. And if you comment on any social or political issue, you do so from the classic theology of the Church, not from "the Church started in 1962" mindset. Again, your blog is good. Don't let it become a rag where any opinion, no matter how stupid it is, will be published! LOL!

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, thanks for the kudos, but unfortunately, stupid thoughts can creep in - generally they originate from me...

scotju said...

Stupid thoughts may creep into your blog, some of the others invite them in! LOL!

scotju said...

Oh Steve, I see Mark Shea has been ridiculing this post on the various blogs and websites he blovates on. Since he's foolish enough to provide a link to this post, you will probably pick up some new readers. You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity!

Steve Kellmeyer said...

Well, not to cast aspersions on Mark's political acumen (or maybe the reverse), but wasn't Mark Shea the same man who was thrilled about the overthrow of Mubarak in Egypt?

You remember Mubarak. He's the man whose sons put their own bodies between Coptic Christians and Muslim fanatics. Yep, Mark sure was glad to see Mubarak gone.

But, Mark is an odd duck.

Ever since I told Mark he's free to comment on this blog as long as he doesn't beg for money, he's been unwilling to show his face over here.

I guess he's hoping someone will throw him some nickels if he keeps barking like a seal over at his own place.

But the real question is, can he balance a ball on his nose? And is it right to throw him a fish during the performance, or should you wait until he's finished?