Should we have brought Bin Laden out alive? [Reader Post]

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Apparently, the team going after OBL was instructed not to bring him out alive. I have already read several posts saying that it is a good thing OBL was killed, rather than captured alive. Donald Rumsfeld just said the same thing on the Greta Van Susteren show. The usual rationale is that it avoids the chaos and confusion that would necessarily have been the outcome of a trial.

I’m not so sure.

First, and possibly most important, consider the intelligence we might have gotten from him. The amount of crucial information he had must have been staggering. He was obviously not hiding away in a cave, as some of us suspected, so he was probably in close daily contact with whatever is left of the Al Qaida network. It’s not clear how much he would have talked, particularly under Obama’s interrogation rules, but interrogators have said in the past that sometimes arrogant prisoners will talk about anything, just to demonstrate how important they are. And, skilled interrogators have ways of getting information, even without waterboarding.

Also, don’t discount the symbolic benefit of having OBL in custody. OBL is now a martyr, even without a grave to visit. And he will be considered to have died a hero. If he had been captured, and pictured in chains, it would have been an enormous psychological blow to a society that puts great emphasis on symbolism.

And I don’t buy the argument that it would have been too difficult to keep him in custody, and conduct whatever kind of trial was deemed appropriate. Are people really suggesting that the United States is not capable of conducting a fair trial of someone like OBL, in a reasonable manner? Yes, it would have required special security measures, and would have been a media circus in some ways. But, OBL was clearly a war criminal, and not entitled to a civilian trial. A war crimes trial, along the lines of the Nuremburg trials, would certainly have been easily possible, if we cared to pursue it. This would have been well within our capabilities.

So, why not at least try to keep him alive? Well, I suspect the reason is very simple: Obama has no place to go with him. He has already promised to close down Guantanamo, and it would make him look very bad to have to admit that was a bad idea. Furthermore, he learned what a bad idea it would be to try someone like this in a civilian court, when he proposed the trial of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in New York City.

In short, Obama painted himself into a corner. He had nowhere else to go, except to order OBL killed. And we will never know how much that cost us.

Uncle Bill is a retired engineer, happily living in Almost Heaven, West Virginia. He grew up in Pittsburgh, and is (sadly) a life-long Pirates fan. Like many people, he was fairly liberal as a youth, but with age came wisdom, and he gradually became a staunch conservative.

70 Responses to “Should we have brought Bin Laden out alive? [Reader Post]”

  1. 27

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    Glad you like the handle, Uncle Bill. You have probably guessed the tongue in cheek reference/association, I’d guess… LOL

    Yes, I did answer my own question. I actually posted the link to the Reuter’s one liner above. But now I’m wondering about the intelligence of the WH in releasing their predetermined mission… i.e., the entry of the legality of conducting an assassination mission on foreign soil without participating and approval of that nation.

    You should also find the links I posted above… McChrystal vs AG Holder… quite interesting as well. The military, under McChrystal, did indeed desire to have Bin Laden alive. Apparently the Obama WH felt that the political controversy of “legal justice” was too inconvenient and costly.

    Frankly, with the NATO ROE’s these days, plus the PC nanny attitudes of this admin, we’re not left with much choice but to kill the suckers on the battle field, or spend lots of US taxpayer money giving them the spa treatment in a jail/resort, only to have them show up on US soil and claim Constitutional habeus corpus the moment they do. Given that choice, no excess baggage from the battle field is my first choice… unless we are allowed to use the enhanced interrogation techniques at holding facilities on foreign soil for enemy combatants.

    This clusterf*#k is of the lib/progs making. Working under their rules, shooting over detaining is preferable.

    As far as the intel, I’ve mentioned in other threads, and for quite some time, that UBL’s close knit AQ is somewhat low on the terrorist food chain these days. UBL was a legendary figurehead, but somewhat useless as an active conspirator. The net cast over him was so restrictive that he couldn’t poke his head up to breathe. Therefore this is a feel good moment for the US to get the bad guy. In the scheme of the war against the global Islamic jihad movements, t’ain’t nothing. He was a has been, replaced by younger, more active and hep, terrorist leaders of multiple independent cells that share the same quest.

    Did he deserve to die? Yes. Wordsmith, myself, and I think Nan G all agreed that his death affords some pleasure. But certainly not rejoicing. You will not find me in the streets celebrating anyone’s death. ’tisn’t my nature. On the other hand, were I alone, and found myself armed, and face to face with UBL, I would have pulled the trigger myself with no regrets or hesitation. He was a cockroach. A cockroach that’s been castrated in the past years, yes. But a cockroach none the less.

    There was never a moment’s question that the death of UBL would place him in martyr status… whether five years ago, days ago, or five years from now. However best for that martyrdom to be shortlived than dragged out over the lifetime of a kangeroo trial, where it could escalate and fester into something worse.

    On the other hand, the global Islamic jihadis will always find *some* reason to use against the west. UBL is as good as any.

  2. 29

    cml in Maine

    Dead or Alive, nutbags in the middle east are still plotting to do something to America. I not only would have shot Osama, I would have placed some C4 in his mouth and lit him up like a Christmas tree.

    But only after I snapped a pic of his body for my facebook profile.

  3. 30

    blogforce one

    OBL had to be terminated upon contact. Last thing we need is a Beslan school mass hostage situation, (362 kids raped and murdered in Beslan, Russia during a hostage/martyrdom operation run by Chechen Islamists using explosives ) with our kids being shot, one by one live on the internet in order to obtain the release of OBL. Screw OBL and the camel he rode in on.

  4. 31

    Nan G

    The threats are coming in already.

    One was that America, its people visiting other countries and its interests would all be targets.

    The latest is from the main imam of the al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
    He threatens to hang Obama for the crime.
    Video here.
    So much for Obama being able to talk the world into peace.

    Oddly, however, along with these threats are many in total disbelief……

    In Muslim world, many doubters say bin Laden still lives…

    TALIBAN: U.S. ‘has shown no proof‘ of bin Laden’s death…

    Doubters abound…

  5. 32

    James Raider

    @ Uncle Bill,

    Your point on the intel potential is valid, however, the Military did the right thing. No body, no shrine over it.

    It matters little that many will not believe it took place and that Osama Bin Laden is gone, but given the incompetence we have witnessed from this Administration on Guantanamo and the seesaw over prisoner trials, it is very evident that Obama and Holder would have turned the whole affair into an epitome of SNAFU.

    I’m also confident that the story is very far from over on this one, particularly on the role played by this W.H., . . . the W.H. that is so quick to take so much credit, while there was so much potential to recognize the amazing skills and rare dedication of the American Military “boots on the ground.”

  6. 33

    magnetrak

    Saddam Hussein looked so pathetic in captivity. I would like to have seen OBL that way. I agree that it would be worth it to show him the prisoner instead of the martyr. On the other hand, we can count on the military, but the BHO administration would find a way to bungle it…

  7. 34

    Lone Ranger

    They didn’t send in representatives of the US Marshals Service to serve an arrest warrant. They sent in elite shooters. They did what shooters do.

    Technically, this was a combat patrol – of a particular type – that type being “a raid”. A raid can be launched as a “prisoner snatch” mission – or it can be launched as a “rescue” mission – or it can be a “search and destroy” mission – among other choices.

    Too bad for OBL, this operation apparently wasn’t launched as a “prisoner snatch” or “rescue” mission.

  8. 35

    Greg

    @magnetrak, #33:

    On the other hand, we can count on the military, but the BHO administration would find a way to bungle it…

    The Obama administration got the job done, to whatever extent any presidential administration can ever be said to be responsible for getting such a job done.

  9. 37

    johngalt

    @Greg:

    The Obama administration got the job done, to whatever extent any presidential administration can ever be said to be responsible for getting such a job done.

    Yes, Greg, they did, and many of us conservatives have given him and his admin the credit they deserve. No more, and no less. For liberals to push outlandish themes regarding the result is playing politics, and the fact that they must revise their own history on the War on Terrorism shows that very well.

  10. 40

    MataHarley

    premium_subscriber

    ace, it’s an interesting read… but my gut says it’s a fiction at worst, or seriously liberal embellishment at best. One particular sentence caught my eye which threw a pall over it’s authenticity. Pg two:

    Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again. Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of. Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel. Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack.

    I’m sorry, but everything I have seen, and have learned, about Gen. David Petraeus indicates he has great respect for the chain of command – even if he disagrees. So when I see this “interview” with a “anonymous insider”, saying this General threatened to “act on his own” against a sitting POTUS, tells me this is some manufactured piece of conspiracy bullshit.. and likely for a political agenda.

    That’s not all… another statement not much further down..

    It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated – he was that frustrated.

    Gates announced his retirement coming up in just a month *last year*. I’m doubting he was planning on leaving any sooner. But wait.. there’s more. Last page says the Zero was literally pulled off a golf course, hauled back into the WH to be informed of a mission proceeding that was not of his order. None of that squares with the overtly on display ego of this POTUS.

    And if you notice, the way this is written, it seems to emanate from the bolster-Hillary-camp.

    Perhaps OT can weigh in with his own personal insight, but my gut says this doesn’t even come close to passing the smell test to me.

  11. 41

    aceofwands

    @MataHarley:

    Yes Marta it is an interesting read…the same way Watergate started out and never knowing who Deep-throat was.

    This administration must have bought all the popcorn companies on inauguration day…they sure are selling a bunch with this crew.

  12. 42

    minuteman26

    If the article in ace’s post is correct, appears Jarrett might be Soros’ puppet master in the WH. Also gives credence that Obama can’t think for himself or is not allowed to.

  13. 43

    Esdraelon

    bin Laden is now a martyr. He will be given sainthood or whatever those Islamics do. They will carry his banner into battle.

    If the opportunity had presented itself, bring him in, show the world that the champion was a killer of the innocent and strip him of all assumption, and pass the appropriate judgment and stick the needle. Obama strapped top a table would be neat to see, just like Sadaam on the gallows.

    They could not because of the associated terrorist attacks on our own soil while the proceedings were going on.

    Likely we will see those attacks now. It’s very surprising we have not over the years, and I suspect al Qaida, or whoever is in charge, will stop shooting for the stars trying to bring down more World Trade Centers and hitting small, but highly impactive targets that do not take as much planning and luck.

  14. 44

    Hard Right

    I have read that OBL was unarmed, but was shot after he went for a weapon. So “technically” he was “unarmed,” but that is a justifiable use of force.

  15. 45

    Nan G

    The more that ”details” emerge from various sources, the more the ”official” story has to change.
    It isn’t proper to expose all of the practices of special ops teams, so it makes sense that our first version was an ”official approved version,” true or not.
    Then we had 2nd guessers and witnesses, like the 12-year old daughter of Osama and other survivors.
    Sure, she was raised on the ”al Qaeda Manual,” so her first inclination is to lie (practice taqiyya and kitman) to make her dad look good.
    But sure enough, our ”official story” keeps changing, making her ”story” seem more credible.
    We’d have been better off either with video and no commentary (like Israel 1st did with that flotilla ship they had to board) or with nothing said at all.

  16. 46

    James Raider

    . . . . And therein lies the problem with politicizing and “spinning” such an operation. The display of braggadocio from Obama on this operation will bite him in the ass.

    He should have been much more humble on this instead of insinuating himself into the “hit,” in order to appear like Mr. Decisive.

    The hypocrisy of the liberal left on this is also going to mushroom into a noxious cloud.

    Before long, the CiC is going to distance himself from the very Navy Seals whose generous valour delivered the exact right outcome.

  17. 47

    Wordsmith

    editor

    @MataHarley #27:

    The military, under McChrystal, did indeed desire to have Bin Laden alive. Apparently the Obama WH felt that the political controversy of “legal justice” was too inconvenient and costly.

    Frankly, with the NATO ROE’s these days, plus the PC nanny attitudes of this admin, we’re not left with much choice but to kill the suckers on the battle field, or spend lots of US taxpayer money giving them the spa treatment in a jail/resort, only to have them show up on US soil and claim Constitutional habeus corpus the moment they do. Given that choice, no excess baggage from the battle field is my first choice… unless we are allowed to use the enhanced interrogation techniques at holding facilities on foreign soil for enemy combatants.

    This recalls to mind Thiessen’s criticism, claiming that we were killing more of the enemy at the expense of gathering intell by capturing and interrogating.

  18. 48

    jerseyflash

    I have been where the seals have been-many years ago but with the same mission and mind set. Every man on my team had a camera-pictures were always taken and as many as possible. Barry doesn’t want to show any photo’s of bin death ???? then show me all or some of the photo’s that Barry has of bin the day before and all of his movements before the raid (PRE-RAID photo’s) THIS IS A “HOW DO I STOP THE SLIDE MOVE” Barry asked the 3 bitch’s for advice again (First: manufacture a BAD COLB and bitch slap TRUMP with it Second: Go kill bin-but do not show AMERICA the kill shots or cam film) WAKE_UP AMERICA you are being had !!!!! Listen to the news today-they are covering up LIE”S after LIE”S ????????

  19. 49

    Gary G. Swenchonis

    Hell no. Nada! Neyt! Nien! It would have been a nightmare. He would have stayed locked up for the rest of his life. While we the tax payers paid for his comfort. Millions would have been spent in long drawn out court battles, more tax payer monies. The liberals would donate their money and their time for the best lawyers available to advise him, and to fight the military lawyers. We were scared that he would be taken alive. Thats what is happening with al-Buhulu even as I write this. He was sentenced to life at Gitmo back in November 08 during the presidential election. We testified against him. After the verdict my first question was “can it be overturned”. I was told it could. Maybe. He now has a whole team of liberal lawyers trying to do just that. All of the victims families would have to live with that frustration and fear everyday just like we do now. And the work entailed on our part to make sure he does not get out. I would not wish that on anyone. Bin laden would have had liberal lawyers lined up across the country to help him. He would have become a living martyr! An even bigger propaganda tool for his fanatical followers. And the New and Improved Military Tribunals are nothing like the old Tribunals after WWII.
    Obama and Holder did their best to weaken the Tribunals. I just wish that when the terrorists(know) are captured that they would do all of us a favor and shoot them on the spot.

  20. 50

    Greg

    @James Raider, #46:

    The display of braggadocio from Obama on this operation will bite him in the ass.

    What display of braggadocio was that? I’ve seen none. Because there has been none.

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