Report: Decade Old “Secret Deal” With Pakistan Authorized Raid Against Bin Laden

Did a deal between the U.S. and Pakistan during the infancy of the war against al Qaeda play a role in the raid against Osama bin Laden?

According to The Guardian, a secret agreement between the United States and Pakistan going back to the early days of the war in Afghanistan authorized the raid that took out Osama bin Laden:

The US and Pakistan struck a secret deal almost a decade ago permitting a US operation against Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil similar to last week’s raid that killed the al-Qaida leader, the Guardian has learned.

The deal was struck between the military leader General Pervez Musharraf and President George Bush after Bin Laden escaped US forces in the mountains of Tora Bora in late 2001, according to serving and retired Pakistani and US officials.

Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qaida No3. Afterwards, both sides agreed, Pakistan would vociferously protest the incursion.

“There was an agreement between Bush and Musharraf that if we knew where Osama was, we were going to come and get him,” said a former senior US official with knowledge of counterterrorism operations. “The Pakistanis would put up a hue and cry, but they wouldn’t stop us.”

The deal puts a new complexion on the political storm triggered by Bin Laden’s death in Abbottabad, 35 miles north of Islamabad, where a team of US navy Seals assaulted his safe house in the early hours of 2 May.

Pakistani officials have insisted they knew nothing of the raid, with military and civilian leaders issuing a strong rebuke to the US. If the US conducts another such assault, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani warned parliament on Monday, “Pakistan reserves the right to retaliate with full force.”

Days earlier, Musharraf, now running an opposition party from exile in London, emerged as one of the most vocal critics of the raid, terming it a “violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan”.

But under the terms of the secret deal, while Pakistanis may not have been informed of the assault, they had agreed to it in principle.

I suppose it makes sense on some level. Ever since the escape from Tora Bora, it was widely believed that Bin Laden was hiding out somewhere in the mountainous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. An agreement like this would allow the U.S., should it learn that Bin Laden was just a few miles across the border, to send in special forces to grab him without Pakistan having to accept the burden of responsibility for authorizing the action. Of course, as it turned out OBL wasn’t in a cave in Waziristan, but in a compound in Abbottabad only a mile or so away from one of Pakistan’s elite military academies. Not exactly the type raid either side anticipated in 2001, I’m sure

If this is true, of course, it puts an entirely new light on the rhetoric coming out of the Pakistani government, which I noted in an earlier post. Of course, it’s entirely possible that reports of this agreement are less than meets the eye. It seems unlikely that either side anticipated that we’d be flying into a city 30 minutes from Islamabad and snatching Bin Laden out of a compound in the middle of a residential area. So, either the current Pakistani response is a smokescreen for the agreement, or the agreement is a smokescreen designed to downplay the Pakistani reaction to the raid and questions regarding complicity in keeping bin Laden’s location secret. You pick which one it is, I guess.

Finally, as Allahpundit notes, there’s the question of what a “deal” with Pakistan really means:

The problem here, as always, is that the phrase “Pakistani government” is essentially meaningless. Almost no one, possibly including the White House, knows for sure how far up the state’s complicity with terrorist outfits like AQ and Lashkar e-Taiba goes. Presumably not all the way up — Pakistan has, in fact, lost thousands of troops to battles with jihadists, including in Waziristan — but it must go awfully high for Osama to spend five years living just a thousand yards from the national military academy with apparently little fear of being caught. Stephen Hayes and Tom Joscelyn speculate that the CIA might have been monitoring conversations between top Pakistani officials in real time while the Bin Laden raid played out to try to get a sense of who knew what. If they’re right, that might end up being the biggest intelligence windfall of the operation, notwithstanding that trove of computer data the SEALs grabbed from the compound.

To say the least. Whatever the truth of this story is, just file it for the moment as another data point in the puzzle inside an enigma inside a riddle that is Pakistan.

 

 

FILED UNDER: Middle East, National Security, Terrorism, US Politics, World 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. Southern Hoosier says:

    If Comrade President acknowledge the “Secret Deal,” then he might have to acknowledge Pres Bush’s role in laying the ground work for the raid.

    Who else knew about this “Secret Deal?” And who signed off on it, just Bush?

  2. Wiley Stoner says:

    Doug, since you were not privvy to the deal when it was made. Why do you think it is fair to add your comments as to what you think they authorized as far as where they imagined Bin Ladin to be. Your spin is very revealing as to your bias. Once again, Bush laid the ground work for this action. Just think, Doug. If Clinton would have acted when he had the chance, that is to capture or kill Bin Ladin, Obama would not have gotten to talke the political risk of slowly authorizing what was probably a decision made by his CIA chief.

  3. Hey Norm says:

    See…if Bush hadn’t let OBL escape at Tora Bora then he wouldn’t have made this agreement and Obama wouldn’t have been able to kill OBL. No matter how you look at Bush deserves all the credit for this operation.
    Kidding.

  4. Southern Hoosier says:

    Hey Norm says:
    Monday, May 9, 2011 at 18:02

    See…if Bush hadn’t let OBL escape….

    If Clinton had not allowed Bin laden to escape, then 911 would never have happened..

  5. Franklin says:

    If this is true, then thanks be to Bush and Musharraf. There, I said it. I feel so dirty.

  6. Hey Norm says:

    Hoosier…check your facts.

  7. john personna says:

    “laying the groundwork” lol

    Did he stay up late at the ranch translating cables?

  8. sam says:

    Let’s see if I understand this. President Bush (retired) forged an agreement with President Musharraf (run out of Pakistan and now “in exile” in London) 10 years ago that said we could go after OBL if we found him in Pakistan. And the current Pakistani government (whatever), because it deeply respects everything President Musharraf did during his tenure in office, knew about and went along with the deal. And, more importantly, without the deal between President Bush and President Musharraf (run out of Pakistan and now living “in exile” in London), President Obama would have said, “Ah, shucks, the raid is off.” Do I have that right?

  9. Hey Norm says:

    Let’s all remember that when Obama said during the campaign he would do this the so-called republicans hammered him for it. Now there’s a secret agreement.

  10. Southern Hoosier says:

    Hey Norm says: Monday, May 9, 2011 at 19:06

    Hoosier…check your facts.

    Fact check 101

    Certainly it could be argued, that based on past experience with the Clinton administration, Osama may have believed that retaliation would be minimal.

    For example, in 1998 when al-Qaeda organized the successful attacks on the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, maiming thousands and killing some 224, the response of the Clinton administration was limited, ineffective, and embarrassing. Clinton authorized the launching of Tomahawk cruise missiles which struck a number of empty tents in the deserts of Afghanistan. He also took out a milk formula factory in Sudan.

    The terrorists laughed.

    Late in 1999, when a plot by al-Qaeda to strike during the U.S. millennium celebrations was discovered, the Clinton administration did nothing.

    Likewise, when al-Qaeda attacked the USS Cole as it was entering the harbor in Yemen, killing seventeen U.S. sailors, the Clinton administration did nothing.

    http://brainmind.com/AmericaBetrayedOsamaBinLaden.pdf

  11. Southern Hoosier says:

    Truth can be ugly, but its still the truth.

    And when the U.S. Military arrived in force, bin Laden made his escape, right under their noses, and right before their eyes.

    And once he escaped, the Bush administration declared that Osama bin Laden, was no longer a major concern:

    “Bin Laden himself isn’t that big a threat .” -Dick Cheney, 1/27/2002

    “I truly am not that concerned about him” -George W Bush 3/13/2002

    “The goal has never been to get bin Laden” -General Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, 4/6/2002.

    http://brainmind.com/AmericaBetrayedOsamaBinLaden.pdf

  12. Hey Norm says:

    I don’t think that word…facts….means what you think it means.

  13. Southern Hoosier says:

    Hey Norm says: Monday, May 9, 2011 at 20:45

    I don’t think that word…facts….means what you think it means.

    None of that really happened on Clinton’s watch, right?

  14. Southern Hoosier says:

    @Hey Norm

    Next thing you will be telling me that Clinton did not have sex with that women, lying under oath is not perjury and you will be telling me the meaning of the word is.

  15. Southern Hoosier says:

    The notion of a “trial” for Osama was an anathema to the Bush team, and soon, the Republican leadership, and even some Democrats picked up the theme. Osama was not to be taken alive.
    There would be no trial and no public disclosures. The Bush administration and thus the United States government would be better off if Osama was never brought to trial

    “I want his head on a platter.”-Vice-President Dick Cheney.

    “If he’s alive, I’d like him to stick his head up and let us get a good look at him. And then I’d take it off.” -Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott.

    “Kill him. Shoot him. I mean it…I don’t want to capture him. I’d shoot him.” Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware, chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee,

    “The best thing is for bin Laden to go down with the cause. He would save us all a lot of trouble.” -Republican Senator Chuck Hagel.

    They wanted him dead, not alive. He should never be given the opportunity to testify in court or tell why he did what he did, to the American public

    http://brainmind.com/AmericaBetrayedOsamaBinLaden.pdf

    Sounds like Comrade President signed off on the Bush doctrine.

  16. An Interested Party says:

    If Clinton had not allowed Bin laden to escape, then 911 would never have happened..

    And yet, the Bush Administration had information about the al-Qaeda threat and did nothing about it…if only officials in the Bush Administration had listened to Richard Clarke, 9/11 might never have happened…

  17. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Monday, May 9, 2011 at 21:17

    If Clinton had not allowed Bin laden to escape, then 911 would never have happened..

    And yet, the Bush Administration had information about the al-Qaeda threat and did nothing about it…if only officials in the Bush Administration had listened to Richard Clarke, 9/11 might never have happened…

    And if frogs had wings they wouldn’t bump their butts when the jump.

  18. Southern Hoosier says:

    sam says: Monday, May 9, 2011 at 19:23

    Do I have that right?

    You’ve got it right. That “Secret Deal” has lasted longer than most treaties we made with the American Indians.

  19. Hey Norm says:

    Hoosier…sure the events happened but don’t mean what you portray them to mean. For instance the tomahawk strikes were roundly criticized by republicans as wagging the dog and so were curtailed. The cole bombing happened 3 months before bushs inauguration and at that time it was not absolutely clear who was responsible. Bush then did nothing.
    Did Clinton do everything he could have? Of course not. Is Clinton solely responsible for 9.11 as you imply? Of course not. Maybe the so-called republicans should have spent more time governing and less time worrying about blow-jobs. Maybe Clinton should have ignored people like Trent Lott and John McCain crying about wagging the dog. But it’s easy to see all that post 9.11.

  20. TG Chicago says:

    It’s a shame that Bush never got bin Laden during all those military strikes he sent in between January and September of 2001.

  21. anjin-san says:

    Next thing you will be telling me that Clinton did not have sex with that women

    I think of all the things that the right hates Clinton for, the fact that women like him so much is probably #1. Do you ever get the feeling guys like SH had very few dates in high school (and probably in the years after as well…)

  22. sam says:

    Hey, SH, that web site where you got that AmericanBetrayedBinLaden thing is interesting. He’s a stone Truther. Hell,he’s more than that. He says the attack on the Twin Towers was a Bush family plot. Here’s a taste of another paper he wrote (The Bush-Laden Terrorist Network):

    In July of 1990, the administration of George H.W. Bush
    called upon a “valuable” CIA “asset” (58), Sheik Omar Abdul
    Rahman—a man who was also linked to the assassin who killed
    Senator Robert Kennedy (59). Sheik Omar, a Saudi- and CIA-
    financed cleric had been in Peshawar, coordinating and attempting
    to unify the various mujahideen groups fighting in Afghanistan.
    He arrived in New York, via Saudi Arabia on “a tourist visa issued
    by an undercover agent of the CIA” (58).

    Initially, “his primary purpose was to set up a U.S. infra-
    structure, a funding mechanism, and an organizational base for
    militant Islamic groups” (58). However, in truth, he had been
    brought here to create terror.

    In 1993, he was arrested in connection with the February,
    1993, World Trade Center bombing, and for conspiring to attack
    several New York landmarks.

    The FBI, acting, apparently, according to plan, initially tried
    to blame the 1993 WTC bombing on Iraq (60).
    Several months after the 1993 bombing, the New York Times
    reported that the FBI had advanced knowledge that the WTC would
    be attacked (61). An FBI informant, acting at the behest of the
    FBI, even offered to build the bomb (61,62). Yet another FBI in-
    formant, even suggested the World Trade Center as a target.

    Unfortunately for Bush and his cronies, they were out of
    power in 1993, and thus could not reap the geo-political and finan-
    cial benefits that would have been theirs following this crime.
    Instead, they would have to wait nearly 10 years before again
    orchestrating yet another terrorist assault on the World Trade Cen-
    ter. And as was the case in 1993, we would learn that a man re-
    cruited by the CIA would be held accountable, and that the FBI
    and CIA, knew of the attack, in advance.

    Don’t you think there’s something a tad tinfoilish about his theories? Myself, I’d be embarrassed to cite this guy in support, but then I’m not nuts.

  23. Southern Hoosier says:

    sam says: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 02:57

    Don’t you think there’s something a tad tinfoilish about his theories?

    I agree, That’s why I didn’t quote his theories, just some of the facts he used to reach his conclusions.

  24. Southern Hoosier says:

    The problem with “racist” they ask questions that are not suppose to be ask. They ask questions that makes people feel uncomfortable. Maybe the world is not as it seems or as they wish it to be.

    Bin Laden’s Death
    Although Presidents Obama and Bush have asserted that the attacks of September 11 united the country, the crowd that gathered outside the White House suggests otherwise. Washington, DC is only about 33.5 percent white. Why did white people—and apparently only white people—gather by the thousands to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden?

    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archives/2011/05/bin_ladens_deat.php

  25. sam says:

    @SH

    sam says: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 02:57

    Don’t you think there’s something a tad tinfoilish about his theories?

    I agree, That’s why I didn’t quote his theories, just some of the facts he used to reach his conclusions.

    You’re being dishonest. You just didn’t recite a list of quotes (facts). You quoted the bookends around the quotes (@ Monday, May 9, 2011 at 21:12). That list of quotes is presented in support of the Bush-family-behind-911 nonsense, which opens and closes the list. And then you end with “Sounds like Comrade President signed off on the Bush doctrine.” And you make it appear that somehow Obama was complicit in the “plot”. Sexier than simply asserting that Obama wanted OBL dead, just as Bush did. But a dishonest conjunction as you have presented it.

  26. sam says:

    BTW, Sh, WTF does your May 10, 2011 at 06:13 have to do with the question at issue? Pure racism from one of the internet founts of racism (yes, Rodney, this is one of those times). You know, SH, you’re kinda cute in your tactics: “I’m not a racist, but look at what this racist is saying. Now, I’m not a racist, but this racist is making sense. Did I mention that I’m not a racist?”

  27. Me says:

    There’s is no way Obama, our faint-of-heart commander in chief, would’ve had the spine to go in and get OBL if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.

    Obama can’t manage to publicly recognize President Bush’s contributions in any way – seems like he’s afraid to share credit because people will then realize how much was done for him years ago.

    Has anyone noticed that President Bush’s only public comment, knowing all the background, was that 5/2 was “a great day for America”? He is a classy and confident man who is comfortable in his own skin.

  28. mantis says:

    The problem with “racist” they ask questions that are not suppose to be ask

    No, the problem is they will not disappear from the face of the Earth. Why don’t you go first?

  29. sam says:

    “There’s is no way Obama, our faint-of-heart commander in chief, would’ve had the spine to go in and get OBL if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.”

    Oh, bullshit.

  30. Me says:

    Hi Sam,

    What an insightful comment you’ve made! You have a quite a gift for advancing intelligent discussion.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    Grand Dragon Southern Hoosier strikes again…but don’t dare call him a racist…

    if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.

    Oh, you mean like getting OBL at Tora Bora?

    He is a classy and confident man who is comfortable in his own skin.

    And you are one of the worst Bush fluffers ever to pass through here…

  32. CB says:

    he’s afraid to share credit because people will then realize how much was done for him years ago.

    if the american public were to earnestly acknowledge what was done ‘for’ obama in the preceeding 16 years, id be willing to bet they would have a far more sympathetic view of the guy.

    as for avancing intelligent debate, i hardly see how reciting boilerplate rhetoric helps.

  33. Me says:

    There’s is no way Obama, our faint-of-heart commander in chief, would’ve had the spine to go in and get OBL if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.

    Obama can’t manage to publicly recognize President Bush’s contributions in any way – seems like he’s afraid to share credit because people will then realize how much was done for him years ago.

    Has anyone noticed that President Bush’s only public comment, knowing all the background, was that 5/2 was “a great day for America”? He is a classy and confident man who is comfortable in his own skin.

    ——-

    Oh, bullshit.

    ——-
    Hi Sam,

    What an insightful comment you’ve made! You have a quite a gift for advancing intelligent discussion.

    ——

    if the american public were to earnestly acknowledge what was done ‘for’ obama in the preceeding 16 years, id be willing to bet they would have a far more sympathetic view of the guy.

    as for avancing intelligent debate, i hardly see how reciting boilerplate rhetoric helps.

    —-

    Let’s try to keep this civil so that we can actually have a discussion. I am not trying to inflame – I am asking a genuine question that I’d like you to think about. Given Obama’s world view, do you really think that he would’ve gone in to Pakistan to get OBL without their approval (or even their knowledge)?

    I just can’t imagine Obama being comfortable enough with the idea that Pakistan and others might think he is a bully. Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism. I don’t think there is room for argument on this – I am basing that on his speeches and policies over the last 3 years. That’s why I really believe the raid would not have gone down the way it did if not for President Bush’s foresight to sign the deal years ago. Obama would’ve at least alerted the Pakistani government and risked a tip-off.

    It’s remarkable to me that Obama continues to pretend like he did this on his own without the help of the former administration or the agreement that significantly beefed up his chance of success. I know that others in the administration have alluded to all of the work that was done over the last 10 years, but Obama can not make himself choke the words out of his own mouth. I think it shows him to be a small, self-centered and unconfident man – not a great leader.

    No one is saying that President Bush deserves all of the credit. But he certainly deserves some.

  34. CB says:

    Given Obama’s world view, do you really think that he would’ve gone in to Pakistan to get OBL without their approval (or even their knowledge)?

    i definitely disagree with your outlook, and think you misunderstand alot about the use and perception of power, but civility is always appreciated, especially given how ridiculous OTB has been lately. but honestly, i think your worldview is just, well, wrong. its just not backed up by any evidence whatsoever. he does not reject american exceptionalism (unfortunately IMO, but thats for another time) and he was never reticent about the use of force. all signs pointed, and generally still do, to obama being a boring, technocratic, centrist democrat. all of your assertions just sound like the standard detached-from-reality boilerplate criticisms of the guy, half truths and distortions gleaned from disingenuous readings of his record and writings.

    hell, he laid out exactly how he would go into pakistan with actionable intel in the deabtes, and was roundly mocked for it!

  35. mantis says:

    Given Obama’s world view

    Is that his actual worldview, or the one wingnuts have invented for him?

    Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism. I don’t think there is room for argument on this

    You’re right, there’s not much room for argument, because your argument is absurd.

    Obama would’ve at least alerted the Pakistani government and risked a tip-off.

    You base this assertion on what, exactly?

  36. sam says:

    @ME

    Hi Sam,

    What an insightful comment you’ve made! You have a quite a gift for advancing intelligent discussion.

    Stop it. I believe in the doctrine of proportional force. You got a reply your comment deserved.

  37. hey norm says:

    CB,
    “…Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism. I don’t think there is room for argument on this – I am basing that on his speeches and policies over the last 3 years…”
    Please link to a speech or statement or policy that provides a basis for this comment. Be sure to include the entire context, and not a quote taken out of context to change it’s meaning.
    Thanks.

  38. CB says:

    youve got the wrong guy!

    moreover, i couldnt find backup for that if i tried, seeing how its, you know, nonsense.

    obama is alot of things, but a weak-kneed candyass pacifist he is not.

  39. hey norm says:

    Sorry, my bad.
    ME…same question.

  40. An Interested Party says:

    Let’s try to keep this civil…

    Yes, we can do that, as long as we throw out the lies you are trying to spread…

  41. sam says:

    ” I am asking a genuine question that I’d like you to think about. Given Obama’s world view, do you really think that he would’ve gone in to Pakistan to get OBL without their approval (or even their knowledge)?”

    Yes he would have, and he said so during the campaign. Now, you are free to think he was lying, but given the recent events, I’d think you’d be on the losing side of the argument.

  42. Me says:

    hey norm says:
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 12:48
    “…Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism. I don’t think there is room for argument on this – I am basing that on his speeches and policies over the last 3 years…”
    Please link to a speech or statement or policy that provides a basis for this comment. Be sure to include the entire context, and not a quote taken out of context to change it’s meaning.
    Thanks.
    ——
    Here is an unaltered quote – I don’t think it gets much clearer than this point blank answer to a point blank question:

    Press Conference transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary
    April 4, 2009

    “Ed Luce, from the Financial Times. Where’s Ed — there he is.

    Q Thank you, Mr. President. In the context of all the multilateral activity that’s been going on this week — the G20, here at NATO — and your evident enthusiasm for multilateral frameworks, to work through multilateral frameworks, could I ask you whether you subscribe, as many of your predecessors have, to the school of American exceptionalism that sees America as uniquely qualified to lead the world, or do you have a slightly different philosophy? And if so, would you be able to elaborate on it?

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don’t think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.
    And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.
    Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.
    And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.”

    Obama does say nice things about America – I have never suggested that he does not like his country. But by saying that there is also British exceptionalism and Greek exceptionalism, he negates the idea of American exceptionalism outright. American exceptionalism does not mean that America is a nice place to live and is filled with swell people. It means that America’s greatness is unmatched. I believe that the President of the United States should believe and proclaim that the US is the greatest country, not simply say we are one nice country in a world of many similarly nice countries.

    Here is the link to the transcript for verification purposes: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/news-conference-president-obama-4042009

    There have been many people writing to contradict me today, but no one has addressed my point about President Obama’s unwillingness to share any of the credit with the Bush administration.
    I welcome useful debate, but I will not respond to name-callers or people who need to blow off steam with derogatory comments and no substance.

  43. Me says:

    sam says:
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 14:34
    ” I am asking a genuine question that I’d like you to think about. Given Obama’s world view, do you really think that he would’ve gone in to Pakistan to get OBL without their approval (or even their knowledge)?”

    Yes he would have, and he said so during the campaign. Now, you are free to think he was lying, but given the recent events, I’d think you’d be on the losing side of the argument.

    He said outright on the campign trail that he would go into a soverign nation without permission or warning to engage in covert military action between the U.S. and a third party?

    I’d like to see some evidence of your argument. If you can produce the evidence, then I am wrong, I’ll admit it and I’ll thank you for educating me about Obama’s embrace of the “peace through strength” philosophy.

  44. mantis says:

    But by saying that there is also British exceptionalism and Greek exceptionalism, he negates the idea of American exceptionalism outright.

    No he doesn’t. He just recognizes that people in those countries may very well believe they are exceptional too. Here’s where your idiotic argument falls apart (shouldn’t be tough for you, it’s about two paragraphs down):

    And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

    So he says, without a doubt, that our Constitution makes us exceptional. How does that square with your assertion? It does not.

    There have been many people writing to contradict me today

    Mostly because you just make things up.

    , but no one has addressed my point about President Obama’s unwillingness to share any of the credit with the Bush administration.

    Considering that Bush abandoned the hunt for bin Laden and blamed Clinton for 9/11, I’d say he’s lucky the president didn’t specifically call him out for his failures. But hey, Obama’s a nice guy. Bush deserves no credit whatsoever.

  45. mantis says:

    He said outright on the campign trail that he would go into a soverign nation without permission or warning to engage in covert military action between the U.S. and a third party?

    Yes, dumbass, he did:

    “What I have said is we’re going encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our non-military aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

    And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden.

    We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”

    Also:

    If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will.”

  46. Me says:

    mantis says:

    No he doesn’t. He just recognizes that people in those countries may very well believe they are exceptional too. Here’s where your idiotic argument falls apart (shouldn’t be tough for you, it’s about two paragraphs down):

    And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

    If everyone is exceptional, then no one is – no matter what other people in other countries think. It’s that simple.

    Thank you so much, Mantis, for calling the views of someone with a different opinion “idiotic”. Very tolerant and liberal of you. Live and let live, right?

  47. CB says:

    regardless of whether or not bush deserves credit, the point remains that obama very much DID express gratitude to the previous administration. what do the critics want? a public fellating? the whole talking point is made up nonsense.

  48. Me says:

    Yes, dumbass, he did:

    “What I have said is we’re going encourage democracy in Pakistan, expand our non-military aid to Pakistan so that they have more of a stake in working with us, but insisting that they go after these militants.

    And if we have Osama bin Laden in our sights and the Pakistani government is unable or unwilling to take them out, then I think that we have to act, and we will take them out. We will kill bin Laden.

    We will crush al-Qaida. That has to be our biggest national security priority.”

    Also:

    If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will.”

    I missed the part of your quote about how Obama was talking about an unauthorized and unannounced operation. Saying that the US will be the one to put the boots on the ground is different than saying we’d do it no matter what, without permission to be there. Once in office, with the knowledge of Bush’s arrangement, he knew it would be a politically safe thing to do, so he did it. There is no way he would’ve done it without Bush’s agreement in place. He does not have the stomach for it.

    If you can’t have a disagreement without calling me a dumbass, I’m not interested. I am done communicating with you, so don’t bother responding.

  49. Me says:

    CB says:
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 15:20
    regardless of whether or not bush deserves credit, the point remains that obama very much DID express gratitude to the previous administration. what do the critics want? a public fellating? the whole talking point is made up nonsense.

    When? I missed it.

  50. mantis says:

    I missed the part of your quote about how Obama was talking about an unauthorized and unannounced operation.

    I missed the part where he said he’d wait for authorization. Oh wai, there is no such part.

    Once in office, with the knowledge of Bush’s arrangement, he knew it would be a politically safe thing to do, so he did it.

    An arrangement we don’t know really existed, and if it did was between a former president of the US and a Pakistani president who was pushed out under threat of impeachment. The idea that such a deal would still be in effect is absurd.

    There is no way he would’ve done it without Bush’s agreement in place. He does not have the stomach for it.

    This is based entirely on the fact that you don’t like him. In other words, it’s bullshit.

    If you can’t have a disagreement without calling me a dumbass, I’m not interested. I am done communicating with you, so don’t bother responding.

    Whatever, dumbass. Go sell your load of shit elsewhere. No one here’s buying.

  51. An Interested Party says:

    …name-callers or people who need to blow off steam with derogatory comments and no substance.

    As opposed to your sophistry? Name-calling and derogatory comments are the least of what you deserve for trying to peddle your lies here…

  52. G.A.Phillips says:

    What happened to civility? More liberal bullshit that was never meant to be anything but a misdirection to hide the evidence of other liberal bullshit!

  53. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:46

    Grand Dragon Southern Hoosier strikes again…but don’t dare call him a racist…

    Me says: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 10:18
    if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.

    I think you got the wrong person.

  54. Southern Hoosier says:

    sam says: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 08:43

    You quoted the bookends around the quotes (@ Monday, May 9, 2011 at 21:12).

    bookends?

    You mean like “Bin Laden himself isn’t that big a threat .” -Dick Cheney, 1/27/2002 ?

  55. An Interested Party says:

    What happened to civility?

    Civility is all well and good, but it needs honesty to precede it…

    I think you got the wrong person.

    Not really, Grand Dragon Southern Hoosier…the first comment was meant all for you, quoting a racist as you did…the second comment was meant for someone else…

  56. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 19:26

    quoting a racist as you did…

    I thought it was an interesting question. Why weren’t Blacks celebrating? Obama did what Bush failed to do. If you don’t agree with Kyle Bristow, then what is your conclusion?

  57. An Interested Party says:

    If you don’t agree with Kyle Bristow, then what is your conclusion?

    Well let’s see…Bristow tells us that, allegedly, only white people cheered for the death of Bin Laden, that only white people think of the United States as their country, and that there is something wrong with whole ethnic groups simply because of the actions of a few people…hmm…

  58. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Tuesday, May 10, 2011 at 20:24

    If you don’t agree with Kyle Bristow, then what is your conclusion?

    Well let’s see…Bristow tells us that, allegedly, only white people cheered for the death of Bin Laden, that only white people think of the United States as their country, and that there is something wrong with whole ethnic groups simply because of the actions of a few people…hmm…

    I know you disagree Bristow, so why do think Blacks weren’t our celebrating? Two thirds of the town is Black,

  59. Southern Hoosier says:

    I meant to say

    I know you disagree with Bristow, so why do think Blacks weren’t out celebrating? Two thirds of the town is Black.

  60. Me says:

    As opposed to your sophistry? Name-calling and derogatory comments are the least of what you deserve for trying to peddle your lies here…

    What is it that I deserve???? A difference of opinion should be tolerated on this website and elsewhere. I have not lied once. I have simply stated my beliefs and backed them up – with quotes from the Office of the Press Secretary – when challenged.

  61. An Interested Party says:

    I know you disagree with Bristow, so why do think Blacks weren’t out celebrating? Two thirds of the town is Black.

    Oh, I see, so based on this “evidence”, Bristow is correct in writing that only white people cheered for the death of Bin Laden, that only white people think of the United States as their country, and that there is something wrong with blacks and Hispanics as a whole simply because of the actions of a few people?

    What is it that I deserve????

    Ridicule, mostly, as the following makes clear…

    There’s is no way Obama, our faint-of-heart commander in chief, would’ve had the spine to go in and get OBL if President Bush hadn’t had the foresight and tenacity to make all of the tough decisions in 2001.

    This is based on what? Your mind-reading abilities, perhaps?

    Given Obama’s world view, do you really think that he would’ve gone in to Pakistan to get OBL without their approval (or even their knowledge)?

    Considering as far back as when he was candidate, he promised to do just that, your notion of his world view is incorrect…

    Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism.

    Another incorrect opinion, as mantis showed you, of course the president thinks that our country is exceptional…

  62. Me says:

    Obama just does not believe in American exceptionalism.

    Another incorrect opinion, as mantis showed you, of course the president thinks that our country is exceptional…

    You are incorrect. Obama believes that every nation can be exceptional, and if everyone nation is exceptional, then no nation is really exceptional.

    Really nice try, though.

  63. An Interested Party says:

    A conversation is usually pointless once it devolves into an argument over semantics…if you truly believe that someone who fought so hard and spent so much time and effort to become president of this country doesn’t think it is exceptional, well…you’re in for some measure of disappointment, as he will probably be your president for the next 5 1/2 years…I notice you didn’t even give a nice try to the other points raised…

  64. Southern Hoosier says:

    I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism. I’m enormously proud of my country and its role and history in the world. If you think about the site of this summit and what it means, I don’t think America should be embarrassed to see evidence of the sacrifices of our troops, the enormous amount of resources that were put into Europe postwar, and our leadership in crafting an Alliance that ultimately led to the unification of Europe. We should take great pride in that.

    And if you think of our current situation, the United States remains the largest economy in the world. We have unmatched military capability. And I think that we have a core set of values that are enshrined in our Constitution, in our body of law, in our democratic practices, in our belief in free speech and equality, that, though imperfect, are exceptional.

    Now, the fact that I am very proud of my country and I think that we’ve got a whole lot to offer the world does not lessen my interest in recognizing the value and wonderful qualities of other countries, or recognizing that we’re not always going to be right, or that other people may have good ideas, or that in order for us to work collectively, all parties have to compromise and that includes us.

    And so I see no contradiction between believing that America has a continued extraordinary role in leading the world towards peace and prosperity and recognizing that that leadership is incumbent, depends on, our ability to create partnerships because we create partnerships because we can’t solve these problems alone.

    Obama
    http://www.theatlantic.com/daily-dish/archive/2010/11/the-big-lie/180117/

  65. An Interested Party says:

    You should have quoted the commentary that went with that link…

    It seems to me that the last year or so in America’s political culture has represented the triumph of untruth. And the untruth was propagated by a deliberate, simple and systemic campaign to kill Obama’s presidency in its crib.

    Every one of these moves could be criticized in many ways. What cannot be done honestly, in my view, is to create a narrative from all of them to describe Obama as an anti-American hyper-leftist, spending the US into oblivion. But since this seems to be the only shred of thinking left on the right (exacerbated by the justified flight of the educated classes from a party that is now openly contemptuous of learning), it became a familiar refrain – pummeled into our heads day and night by talk radio and Fox.

    If a black Republican president had come in, helped turn around the banking and auto industries (at a small profit!), insured millions through the private sector while cutting Medicare, overseen a sharp decline in illegal immigration, ramped up the war in Afghanistan, reinstituted pay-as-you go in the Congress, set up a debt commission to offer hard choices for future debt reduction, and seen private sector job growth outstrip the public sector’s in a slow but dogged recovery, somehow I don’t think that Republican would be regarded as a socialist.

    This is the era of the Big Lie, in other words, and it translates into a lot of little lies – “death panels,” “out-of-control” spending, “apologies for America” etc. – designed to concoct a false narrative so simple and so familiar it actually succeeded in getting into people’s minds in the midst of a brutal recession. And integral to this process have been conservative “intellectuals” who should and do know better, but have long since sacrificed intellectual honesty for the cheap thrills of enabling power-grabs. And few lies represent this intellectual cooptation of talk radio/FNC propaganda better than the lie that Obama has publicly rebutted the idea of American exceptionalism.

    In other words, Obama emphatically doesn’t reduce the idea of American exceptionalism to “benign provincialism.” Quite the contrary: he explicitly asserts that the values enshrined in the Constitution are exceptional, and defends them and the US’s history in front of a foreign audience. It’s worth pointing out this factual error at such length because everyone in the conservative movement has already made it.

  66. Southern Hoosier says:

    An Interested Party says:
    Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 07:14

    You should have quoted the commentary that went with that link…

    I’ll leave that up to you.

  67. An Interested Party says:

    Well of course you will, as it helps to disprove the silly and false meme, among many other silly and false memes about the president, that he doesn’t think our country is exceptional…