Photo Of His Presidency: Obama In The Situation Room 5/1/2011

From the White House Flickr page:

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Please note: a classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Dave Weigel draws attention to the look on President Obama’s face:

This is probably how you want the commander-in-chief to look at that moment.

Indeed

FILED UNDER: Barack Obama, National Security, Politicians, Quick Takes, Terrorism, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Earlg says:

    Look at those sharks.

  2. PJ says:

    Great point from a reader over at the Daily Dish; they tracked the courier to the compound in August last year, by September the CIA thought that it was a strong possibility that Osama was there.

    Instead of acting on it in October, creating an October suprise, that most likely would have helped the democrats in last year’s election, they waited and collected more information.

    Now compare that to the releases of terror alerts before the election in 2004.

    They aren’t even playing in the same ballpark.

  3. mattb says:

    Ok, so I realize that the issue of race is still very raw here, but a couple things just kinda jump out:

    Beyond the general “whiteness” of the people we can see in the room (11/12 identifiable people), the fact that there’s at least one more woman (2) in there than an outwardly identifiable person of color.

    In fact, If the president wasn’t black, then there would be no people of color in the picture. This isn’t so much a critique on race or a call for affirmative action. But I do think that it’s a reminder that perhaps the footings in the US are not quite as “equal” as some would like to believe.

    Also, I forget how, generally speaking “light-skinned” President Obama is — I can’t imagine how much louder his… umm… critics might have been if he was (how do they say?) “Wesley Snipes” black (or even “Dennis Haysbert”/”Charles Palmer” black).

    Last, man, I think my “home theatre” room looks more high tech than that “Situation Room.” Seriously that looks like the peon conference room at the Corporation I worked at or one of the student conference rooms at the Undergrad Library… check that, the student conference room is more high tech.

  4. sam says:

    “Last, man, I think my “home theatre” room looks more high tech than that “Situation Room.”

    Yeah. Years ago I read that the real situation room bore zero resemblance to the war (situation) room in Dr. Strangelove. More like a network green room is how it was described.

  5. mattb says:

    That’s the problem with reality — it never matches up to how great the imagination is. I’ve gotten the chance to see the servers rooms that power some major websites. And while they might be a little cool for geeks, for most people it would be a total “eh — where are the bunny suits?”

  6. John Malkovich says:

    Sorry, I was looking for KOS. My bad

  7. jwest says:

    You can almost feel the warm piss running down his leg when they said a helicopter is going down.

  8. mattb says:

    Yeah… the soiling of the pants thing wasn’t particularly funny with “My Pet Goat” and it isn’t particularly funny now.

  9. anjin-san says:

    You can almost feel the warm piss running down his leg when they said a helicopter is going down

    It’s a small man indeed that can’t give credit where credit is due. jwest comes up dwarf every time.

    That aside, this is kind of a disturbing statement coming from one man (I guess jwest is a man, at least sort of) talking about another. You might want to keep these kinds of thoughts to yourself going forward.

  10. Yeah. Years ago I read that the real situation room bore zero resemblance to the war (situation) room in Dr. Strangelove. More like a network green room is how it was described.

    Supposedly after the movie Wargames came out, the control room at NORAD was completely redone because what they actually had looked pathetic compared to the movie version.

  11. mattb says:

    Stormy,

    Beyond the amazing urban legendness of that story, do you have a source on that? — it would be perfect for something I’m writing.

    – Matt

  12. Here’s a Wired article quoting Lt. General William Lord to that effect:

    WarGames: A Look Back at the Film That Turned Geeks and Phreaks Into Stars:

    It was a great movie! A few years later, I was an executive officer with the Air Force Space Command stationed at Norad near Cheyenne Mountain. And I’m wondering, “Gee, where can we get such cool-looking displays?” It was a good forcing function. It required us to all of a sudden say, “If it really can look like this, why doesn’t it?”

  13. An Interested Party says:

    You can almost feel the warm piss running down his leg when they said a helicopter is going down.

    Indeed, it will be very similar to the warm piss that will run down your leg next year when the president wins reelection and you lose your bet to mattb…

  14. Hey Norm says:

    The situation room in the White House is not where the action is. Where the action is, is pretty cool.

  15. Restless says:

    You can almost feel the warm piss running down his leg when they said a helicopter is going down.

    What the hell is wrong with you and how did it happen? Was it a sudden thing because of an accident or was it gradual?

  16. Jwest,

    You know, it’s really pretty sad. I disagree with a lot of the President’s polices, I didn’t vote for him in 2008 and I’m not likely to vote for him in 2012. Nonetheless I give him credit for helping to devise and authorizing one of the most incredibly risky military operations the United States has undertaken in a long time.

    Had it failed, we’d be talking now about his “damaged Presidency.” But, it succeeded and it succeeded masterfully thanks to our men in uniform. I’m willing to give the President credit for that and to recognize the look on his face as concern for the men he’d sent into battle.

    I’m sorry for you that you don’t feel the same way.

  17. mattb says:

    The sad part about this, is that JWest’s initial commentary about the helicopter going down was rather insightful and I think did tease something out of value.

    And then we get this. Which I’m sure will be justified by referencing how liberals beat up Bush and “My Pet Goat.”

    This, btw, does point out one of the reasons why Limbaugh makes the big bucks and JWest is a board jockey. Rush is willing to do whatever it takes to maintain his market dominance (“The only way to make millions is for half the nation to hate you.”). At the end of the day, I don’t think he [Limbaugh] is concerned with being right; just maintaining his audience.

    On some level, beyond a specific type of trolling, I do think that J want’s us to appreciate his insight. And he’s had some good insight (when he drops the troll act).

    But doing that and being a successful board “pundit” (agent provocateur) are two things that eventually are in complete conflict.

  18. mattb says:

    To be fair, that also seems to be a bit of Mark Levin’s problem as well. He wants to be considered a serious conservative thinker, but won’t give up the radio gig (despite the fact he has a face made for radio and a voice made for print — sorry, low blow — and he’s a complete ass on the air).

  19. michael reynolds says:

    Right on, Doug.

    I’ve said before that I didn’t vote for George W. Bush but when 9-11 came and he spoke to Congress I wept and would have sent the man my life savings.

    It can’t always be about partisanship. Sometimes we just have to be Americans.

  20. michael reynolds says:

    mattb:

    I think you’re being too kind. I think J sees skin. And not much else.

  21. sam says:

    Saw this photo on the Maddow show. She zoomed in on the faces. The photo doesn’t do justice to the president. Up close it’s obvious the pres. has no “warm piss running down his leg.” It’s pure, fierce determination. I’m glad the CiC made the call. Risky, but there’s a twofold payoff. No faceless bombing from a drone killing the bastard in his sleep. OBL faced those SEALS and knew exactly who had come for him. And there’s a chance we can get some good intel from the hard and thumb drives hauled out of the compound. Bin Laden should have been dead years ago. I have no idea why the previous administration disbanded the OBL team at the CIA in 2005. But kudos to the president. I read his April 2009 memo to Leon Panetta telling him that getting Bin Laden was to become a priority. And let’s give some credit to Panetta, one of the best public servants of his generation. From Army intellegece, to Congress, OMB, WH Chief of Staff and now CIA, he has been stellar.

  22. jwest says:

    Doug,

    Perhaps you missed my first comment of the day after the Bin Laden news broke:
    https://www.outsidethebeltway.com/osama-bin-laden-dead/#comment-1402235

    However, the celebratory mood degenerated as the day progressed due to the sycophantic adulation for Obama and cheap shots at Bush. It’s physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

    In that same light, I hope you recognize the style and tenor of the comments I make about Obama. They all stem from a template that assumes Obama is an unqualified, indecisive, arrogant, classless poser who is credentialed but not accomplished. If he makes a comment that he doesn’t speak Austrian, it’s because he’s too ignorant to know there is no such language. Every statement he makes is interpreted in worst light, every action he takes is seen as a bumbling mistake that will quickly be reversed – then reversed again – as reactions come in.

    Does this type of writing remind you of anyone else who chooses to attribute the worst motives and lowest opinion to certain political figures?

    I didn’t think so.

  23. mattb says:

    Jwest –

    Ok, so I just read that word salad a few times and — this is probably going to sound like an intervention — it doesn’t make sense.

    That’s my point about the Limbaugh thing. Look, as I said, I think you’re smart. And I do think a lot of what you do is an act.

    The problem is, it isn’t a particularly good act. Like objectively speaking.

    Seriously.

    You’re smart, but you don’t have the right talent or commitment to pull off what you are trying to do.

    And I don’t think it even works particularly well in a medium (discussion boards) where you don’t control the flow of discourse.

    If you’re serious about representing a conservative point of view you don’t think is heard on OTB, PLEASE, PLEASE just write as yourself and write seriously.

    Because you’re not a remotely insightful as a troll. And you’re not doing any form of conservatism any real good. Basically this persona just comes off as an insecure a-hole who isn’t prepared to commit and desperately wants us to acknoweldge how smart and right he is (while at the same time making arguments that he? doesn’t completely agree with).

    BTW… trying to cite “Cindy Sheehan” as a major liberal voice would be like me bringing up “Tony Perkins” or even “Dick Morris” as particular forces or respected viewpoints for conservatives. It’s using the laziest sort of strawman.

  24. sam says:

    Jwest –

    Ok, so I just read that word salad a few times and — this is probably going to sound like an intervention — it doesn’t make sense.

    Too kind.

  25. […] reference, here’s the original photo Tweet FILED UNDER: Doug Mataconis, Media, Quick Picks, US […]