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Mon May 11, 2015, 10:44 PM

Obama vs Hersh

As a general rule, I prefer non-violence to violence. Yet, I cannot honestly say that I felt bad when US forces killed Usama bin Laden. I wasn’t happy about it, either.

I did think that it was important for President Obama. Not just because if the mission had failed, the general public would have elected President Willard Romney. But that was part of it.

That he would not tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when informing the American people does not offend me. No US President is going to make public all aspects of things that, in one way or another, involve “national security.” Nor, for that matter, are informed US intelligence folks. Despite what I might think about the “risk” that bin Laden posed at the time of his death, I would not expect President Obama to tell 100% accurate information at that time -- any more than I would expect an intelligence officer, active or retired, when speaking to a journalist.

This is especially true in regards to any action that involves relations with one or more other nations. Friends or enemies. More so in a volatile region of the world. That would simply be unrealistic.

The operation to kill Usama bin Laden clearly involved, directly and indirectly, numerous individuals. Both American and foreign people. What most of these knew was limited by the compartmentalization of such operations. Hence, if two dozen of these people were to honestly say what they knew for sure, we would have exactly twenty-four separate stories. There would be areas where their stories overlapped, and areas where they were distinct.

If each of the two dozen people involved were to fabricate, rather than be totally honest, that would result in their stories being far different than the others’. This is the very nature of human communications.

I do not believe that either President Obama or Seymour Hersh, or any of their sources, know everything involved in the planning or execution of the killing of bin Laden. This alone would make it difficult to believe that either was telling the “whole truth.” President Obama could not, even if he really wanted to; Hersh wants to, but can’t -- because he doesn’t know, and can’t know.

I do not believe that the circumstances call for me, or anyone, to identify one as good and honest, and the other a fool or liar.

Peace,
H2O Man

77 replies, 3683 views

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Arrow 77 replies Author Time Post
Reply Obama vs Hersh (Original post)
H2O Man May 2015 OP
scarletwoman May 2015 #1
H2O Man May 2015 #3
panader0 May 2015 #7
KoKo May 2015 #44
Blue_In_AK May 2015 #19
Maedhros May 2015 #51
spanone May 2015 #2
H2O Man May 2015 #4
Luminous Animal May 2015 #5
H2O Man May 2015 #6
OilemFirchen May 2015 #18
Cha May 2015 #21
OilemFirchen May 2015 #41
H2O Man May 2015 #22
Bluenorthwest May 2015 #33
sabrina 1 May 2015 #34
OilemFirchen May 2015 #35
sabrina 1 May 2015 #37
OilemFirchen May 2015 #43
sabrina 1 May 2015 #45
Cha May 2015 #70
jakeXT May 2015 #20
H2O Man May 2015 #23
Major Hogwash May 2015 #72
jaysunb May 2015 #8
H2O Man May 2015 #10
babylonsister May 2015 #9
H2O Man May 2015 #11
sabrina 1 May 2015 #12
OnyxCollie May 2015 #13
KingCharlemagne May 2015 #16
H2O Man May 2015 #24
sabrina 1 May 2015 #46
H2O Man May 2015 #49
sabrina 1 May 2015 #50
H2O Man May 2015 #60
sabrina 1 May 2015 #61
H2O Man May 2015 #62
H2O Man May 2015 #63
sabrina 1 May 2015 #77
H2O Man May 2015 #66
questionseverything May 2015 #53
sabrina 1 May 2015 #55
questionseverything May 2015 #56
mwrguy May 2015 #14
sabrina 1 May 2015 #26
H2O Man May 2015 #30
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin May 2015 #36
sabrina 1 May 2015 #39
H2O Man May 2015 #48
H2O Man May 2015 #29
MBS May 2015 #42
G_j May 2015 #15
H2O Man May 2015 #31
Maedhros May 2015 #52
Spider Jerusalem May 2015 #17
H2O Man May 2015 #32
alarimer May 2015 #25
sabrina 1 May 2015 #27
snooper2 May 2015 #38
sabrina 1 May 2015 #40
H2O Man May 2015 #28
Cha May 2015 #71
MisterP May 2015 #47
Octafish May 2015 #54
H2O Man May 2015 #58
Octafish May 2015 #64
jakeXT May 2015 #59
Octafish May 2015 #65
H2O Man May 2015 #68
Octafish May 2015 #69
PufPuf23 May 2015 #57
H2O Man May 2015 #67
lovemydog May 2015 #73
H2O Man May 2015 #74
lovemydog May 2015 #75
tblue37 May 2015 #76

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 10:49 PM

1. I have always been, and will always be, against trophy hunting.

And that's all the killing of Usama Bin Laden was - a trophy hunt.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #1)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:05 PM

3. You are right.

I remember when I did the last interview with Chief Paul Waterman, that he said that it was inevitable that the US would kill bin Laden. The projection of "god" that many Americans believe in, demands blood sacrifices. Usama bin Laden had rolled the dice -- his projection of "god" convinced him that he could beat the US in conflict. In doing so, he was aware that he would become hunted for that trophy.

I have wondered before what he might have accomplished, if he had not opted for violence? Could he have been a leader who accomplished meaningful things?

In the early 1970s, Yoko Ono told an interviewer that if she could have had Adolf Hitler in the sack for a week, he would have become a happy, non-violent leader.(She later stated that, as a result of knowing John, she had concluded it would likely have taken longer than a week.)

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #1)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:28 PM

7. The idea of Usama as a trophy is interesting.

How did that come to be? He was supported by the US as a member of the Mujaheen, fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan.
His parents are billionaire friends of the Bushes. Usama was the "black sheep" of the family I guess. There is so much
stuff hidden, like our relations with Saddam. The entire Mid-Eastern foreign policy seems to be a gigantic cluster fuck with the vague goal of oil money. But to make Usama the face of the "trophy" seems misguided.
Certainly the killing of Usama has not changed the dynamic of the "war on terrorism".
I agree about trophy hunting--the government/media made this guy the face of evil, a guy we once supplied with weapons as we did Saddam, and then spin the tables. Bush seemed to have let Usama escape at Tora Bora, later to say that he was no big deal.
The entire thing since 9/11 is mind boggling. The killing of Usama seemed to me to be more symbolic than anything else.
A wishful end to the evil that we helped create.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #7)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:27 PM

44. "....a wishful end to the evil we helped create.

Well said:

The entire thing since 9/11 is mind boggling. The killing of Usama seemed to me to be more symbolic than anything else.
A wishful end to the evil that we helped create.


His death was a wishful, symbolic end, but, tragically, the Pandora's Box we opened in the MENA will probably not be closed in the foreseeable future. The death of innocents, destruction of families, jobs, homes, businesses and dislocation of hundreds of thousands will be the future for those caught up in our many interventions with our "allies." And, we still don't know exactly who was responsible for "9/11"--as much is still open for speculation.

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Response to scarletwoman (Reply #1)

Tue May 12, 2015, 02:29 AM

19. I totally agree.

It was merely symbolic.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #19)

Wed May 13, 2015, 03:39 PM

51. Also very pragmatic.

 

If they brought him to justice, and tried him for his crimes, the country may have come perilously close to achieving closure on 9/11.

That would have taken the wind out of the sails of support for many future lucrative military operations.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 10:50 PM

2. k&r...

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Response to spanone (Reply #2)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:06 PM

4. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:11 PM

5. I agree with you on so many things but here? Governments are in the business of lying...

Seymour Hersh is not.

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #5)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:27 PM

6. Right.

Hence, as I noted, Presidents do not tell the truth about issues such as this. Good journalists, on the other hand, do try to.

I find myself thinking back to Watergate. Call me a skeptic, but I believe Nixon lied about it. I think that most journalists attempted to tell the truth about it. Yet, because there was a dependence upon intelligent officials for much of the information, the public never heard the whole truth about Watergate. The Senate Committee brought out a lot of valuable information, but certainly not all of it.

That raises an interesting item to consider: not the "how" of those know collectively as "Deep Throat" communicated their information -- Woodward told a mighty entertaining story --but more importantly, Why? What agenda did they have?

Mr. Hersh is, in my opinion, an honorable man. I'm not questioning why he wrote the article. Rather, I'm talking about his sources. It seems to be interesting timing.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #6)

Tue May 12, 2015, 02:24 AM

18. We do ourselves a great disservice when we excuse yellow journalism of any stripe.

If we are wont to believe journalists, then journalists must continue to adhere to the basic rules of their trade. It matters not one whit how "honorable" a man or woman is, or was, if their work product is the result of crap construction in defiance of journalistic standards. Failing to call out a writer for an unsourced, unresearched and implausible story is a deprivation of one's ethical responsibilities.

It's common, understandable and reasonable to belittle so-called journalists of the conservative persuasion. They are notorious liars who write out of whole cloth. It's common here, as it should be.

It's an abomination to not call out so-called journalists of the liberal persuasion, simply because they, at one time (or even contemporaneously) did good work. To do so is more despicable than to fail to point out the shortcomings of the other side.

For the umpteenth time, I've asked someone, anyone to defend the great Nat Hentoff in his present incarnation. Yet the cowards here are silent on the matter. Why? Perhaps because if one admits that a former liberal giant has become a monster, it casts a pall on the questionable ethics of others. And that, apparently, is unthinkable.

I have no problem declaiming that Sy Hersh is no longer a reputable journalist. None whatsoever - because it's a plain fact. That others continue to lionize him, despite his clear abrogation of the basics of his profession, is shameful.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #18)

Tue May 12, 2015, 05:37 AM

21. Thank you, OilemF. you have the most compelling post on here.

Sy Hersh will always have his fans no matter how CT he gets because he's against the President.. no matter what. Calls Obama a "liar".. how much more popular could you get with that crowd?

snip// from WH Nat Security Spokesman, Ned Price..

"He took aim specifically at journalist Seymour Hersh’s assertion that the administration collaborated with Pakistani officials to kill the al Qaeda leader, saying that “the notion that the operation that killed Usama Bin Ladin was anything but a unilateral U.S. mission is patently false.”

snip//

"Citing an anonymous “major U.S. source,” Hersh writes that the Obama administration cooperated with Pakistani intelligence officials to kill bin Laden, and that the chief of staff of the Pakistani army and director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency knew about the mission, contrary to Obama’s claim that Pakistani officials weren’t aware of the raid in advance."

A U.S. official with detailed knowledge of the outreach to the Pakistanis after the raid tells CNN that based on the reaction it was clear the Pakistanis did not know in advance."[/]

http://ktla.com/2015/05/11/journalist-seymour-hersh-accuses-president-obama-of-lying-about-bin-laden-killing/

Thank you for sticking up for reality in journalism.

What did happen to Nat Hentoff that made him want to join Cato?

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Response to Cha (Reply #21)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:08 PM

41. Perhaps Hentoff was miffed when fired by the Village Voice.

I don't presume to know, but it would seem that his prime directive was earning a living. Picking up a gig at cash-rich Cato would afford him a salary, and adapting his worldview to theirs wasn't necessarily a quantum leap. Of course moving on to World Net Daily might suggest that his transition was ultimately ideological or even spiteful.

But then I'd be engaing in idle speculation. Which, at one time, was frowned upon.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #18)

Tue May 12, 2015, 07:59 AM

22. Interesting.

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

The "title" that I selected -- "Obama vs Hersh" -- does imply that I view it as a contest between the two men. I did so for a reason, perhaps not a good one: I frequently note that all of life imitates the great sport of boxing (and use "Mayweather vs Pacquiao," for example, for essays on the DU sports forum), and this upsets a DUer who likes to shadow my contributions here. He enjoys being upset, and so I thought I'd use a boxing-style title.

But, as the entire essay showed -- and the final sentence noted quite specifically -- the issues being discussed and debated are not rooted in the personality of those two participants. Both what and how a President is able to communicate to the public in regard to anything closely related to "national security" is always limited. This is not to imply that presidents cannot be scoundrels and liars -- surely George W. Bush purposely lied about Iraq to purposely mislead the public. Yet what President Obama originally told us, a story that would be "corrected" by the White House, does not qualify as a "lie," in my humble opinion.

Hersh's personality and even his ethics are not, in this case, an issue for me. I feel no need to honor or dishonor him, for that would only serve to sidetrack the real issues at hand. His sources are far more significant. Their ethics are worth considering. As I noted elsewhere, the fact that they are talking about this isn't surprising. Yet, that they are doing so now is the most significant issue, at least for me. As always, I view "why" as more important than "how."

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #22)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:00 PM

33. Everytime I see violence empoyed in the world, I know you are happy. And here you are goading me

 

You are angry at me because I merely suggest to you that the imagery you dwell upon becomes a blueprint for the world you are building, and that humans are probably better served by not seeing all human interactions as blood sport. You want to demand that I see the world as boxing, I see it as many other things. That pisses you off, seeing a gay man disagree with you.

I think it is very limiting to see all relationships as combative. If all you have is a hammer, all you will see is nails.

It's odd to me that you take this so personally. All I'm saying is that not everyone sees our relationships as fights. That's fine for you. Live war full time. That's pretty much the full total of straight culture as it exists anyway. Can't expect poetry from a porcupine. But why not allow your mind to play with other, less confrontational and absolutely binary modes of thought and imagery? Why does that frighten and bother you so much?

I did not mean to offend you, Pat. You love boxing. So what, really? I love many things I'm sure you don't care for, books, music, theater. I do not go around insisting that others need to go watch PPV Hamlet like Jesus wants me to, as you said to me about the boxing match you were promoting. I mean really man. Attacking me as too emotional and telling me Jesus wants me to order boxing matches on HBO is fairly typical crap out of straight bullies. You can and should do better. Running around DU, looking for to start a fight is not the best use of a person's time.

I promise to never ask you to think, see a play, watch a film or view a dance if you promise not to tell me your Jesus wants me to calm down and watch boxing. Fair enough?

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #18)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:43 PM

34. Well all that would be more than acceptable, if we were talking about yellow journalism.

Even more so, if you had not said that his work on this issue was 'unsourced' because that tells me you have not read it.

Hersh has named names. He has kept some anonymous, which is standard procedure for investigative journalists but others ARE named.

He has also referenced material that is ON THE PUBLIC RECORD so we know that he is not must making stuff up there at least.

And your comment, like all the others that are trashing the messenger would be even more persuasive if you had actually taken some of the points made by Hersh and offered something to counter them.

I never thought of Hersh as a 'Liberal Journalist'. If anything he is way too close to the Military, the CIA and other Government agencies, where he apparently has always had credible sources, to view him as 'liberal' in any sense of the word.

But all you are saying here is your opinion. It's ironic to criticize a journalist claiming he did not supply backup for his 'opinion' with exactly what you are accusing him of doing.

Even more interesting to me is the skepticism of Hersh NOW regarding this, on the 'left', as compared to the sheer adulation he received from the same 'left' back when he merely mentioned that Torture was going on at Abu Ghraib. It was initially airc, a passing remark by him at a gathering where he 'shuddered' according to some who were there after insinuating that CHILDREN were being held and tortured.

That was all it took on the Left to declare him a journalistic hero. It wasn't until later that what he had mentioned at that time, was verified.

So forgive me if I don't take the opinion of anonymous internet commenters of the reputation of a highly regarded, with due cause, investigative journalist, who up to now, has been mostly correct when taking a step such as this, publicly writing about an issue that he knew would produced exactly what we are seeing.

I have heard nothing to say that his mental health has deteriorated, quite the contrary actually, so logic tells me that someone who has earned the credibility he has would not be willing to risk it all, for what?

Why did he report on Mai Lai? Lots of pissed off people back then too I imagine. Because it was the truth.

Same thing with Abu Ghraib, he was fiercely attacked for that also. So why did he do it then? Because it was the truth as we found out.

Why is he writing about this? We'll see, but logically speaking it is safe to assume for the same reason he has always done what he does.

As for your dismissal of the press, all I can say is I believe you could not be more wrong.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #34)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:55 PM

35. I'll thank you not to lecture me about journalism.

I rather like this, though:

I have heard nothing to say that his mental health has deteriorated, quite the contrary actually, so logic tells me that someone who has earned the credibility he has would not be willing to risk it all, for what?

You presume that I've not read Hersh's piece, nor commented on the specifics, and yet you've apparently attributed to me something about which I made no mention.

Perhaps you shoule take your own "advice".

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #35)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:02 PM

37. I refrained from asking YOU not to lecture US about journalism. But back atcha .. and when you do

choose to lecture us on journalism as you did, you should definitely expect some responses. Calling a journalist like Hersh 'yellow journalism' might better be viewed as simply laughable, come to think of it. I gave you the respect of responding seriously to your comment with facts. Next time that now infamous little roly poly laughing guy might suffice.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #37)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:16 PM

43. Using a single unnamed source with no known bonafides...

to form the foundation of an improbable "scandal" is the very definition of Yellow Journalism.

Use roly-polies at your own discretion.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #43)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:44 PM

45. Why do you think Bin Laden was in that house, and what do you think of what

one of Hersh's NAMED sources, Bowden had to say to Hersh?

And no, he did not use a single unnamed source. He actually used two unnamed sources, along with several named sources, and people who were already on the record re their comments, all named.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #43)

Fri May 15, 2015, 04:21 AM

70. "Does Hersh think journalists should use this level of sourcing to, say, start a stupid war?.."

How Solid Is This Sy Hersh Story About the bin Laden Raid?

Isaac Chotiner ‎@IChotiner
Does Hersh think journalists should use this level of sourcing to, say, start a stupid war? Or is it only okay in this case?
8:39 AM - 10 May 2015

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/05/how-solid-is-this-story-on-the-bin-laden-raid.html

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #6)

Tue May 12, 2015, 02:34 AM

20. Ah yes ... Mr Naval Intelligence Bob Woodward

Here’s the deal: Bob, top secret Naval officer, gets sent to work in the Nixon White House while still on military duty. Then, with no journalistic credentials to speak of, and with a boost from White House staffers, he lands a job at the Washington Post. Not long thereafter he starts to take down Richard Nixon. Meanwhile, Woodward’s military bosses are running a spy ring inside the White House that is monitoring Nixon and Kissinger’s secret negotiations with America’s enemies (China, Soviet Union, etc), stealing documents and funneling them back to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They then give what they stole to columnist Jack Anderson and others in the press.

http://whowhatwhy.org/2010/09/30/obamas-wars-the-real-story-bob-woodward-wont-tell/



He received his B.A. degree in 1965, and began a five-year tour of duty in the United States Navy.[citation needed] In his navy career Woodward served in the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he was a part of a group which briefed top intelligence officials; at one time he was close to Admiral Robert O. Welander, being communications officer on the USS Fox under Welander's command.[5][6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Woodward

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #20)

Tue May 12, 2015, 08:02 AM

23. Right.

In the late 1960s, Woodward would meet with ONI's Mark Felt in the basement of the Nixon White House numerous times. Indeed, it was Felt -- who despised the press -- who suggested that Woodward become a journalist upon "leaving" ONI. Small world!

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Response to Luminous Animal (Reply #5)

Fri May 15, 2015, 05:19 AM

72. Conspiracy theories always attract those who are suspicious by nature.

And the best conspiracy theories are started by men who once were known as honest, good men.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Mon May 11, 2015, 11:42 PM

8. Thank you, Sir. Your words sum it up. n/t

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Response to jaysunb (Reply #8)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:28 AM

10. Thank you.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:03 AM

9. You're right. Thanks, my friend. nt

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Response to babylonsister (Reply #9)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:29 AM

11. Thanks, Buddy.

I appreciate it!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:45 AM

12. I guess I'm old fashioned, or maybe a creature of a future where the human race has

evolved somewhat from the clearly primitive, imo, stage of development we are currently living through. But I like the system of DUE PROCESS.

I don't like leaders, or anyone for that matter, telling me 'he's guilty, off with his head' without providing the evidence, without presenting what they claim to know to a jury.

And of course as a Liberal, I am opposed to the DP even with a trial and conviction.

I am also interested in knowing why someone who had everything might have been so angry at the US that they would commit such a terrible act. I have a lot of unanswered questions.

I don't believe a word of what Bush/Cheney told us eg. They lied so I dismiss any of their opinions on just about anything.

In the end I know nothing, I believe nothing much about anything we have been told about this Great War on Terror, especially considering all the original sources, the profiteers etc.

I still don't know if Bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. I never saw the evidence presented anywhere. How he died? I have no clue.

Seymor Hersh has been right more often than not. Is he right this time? Well, given his record, I am guessing we will probably know a few years from now.

One thing that causes me to lean towards Hersh being fairly accurate, is the REACTION to his report, the instant attacking of the messenger. That always makes me wonder 'what are they trying to hide'.

Bin Laden should have been tried in a court of law. At one time, that was what the Left wanted. Then.

Government assassinations of people THEY say are guilty of something or another, is about more than the particular victims of these assassinations, it is about who we are as a nation.

But like I said, I guess I'm old fashioned, I like that 'quaint' document written so long ago based on proven law from long before that. But, that's just me I guess.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:32 AM

13. From Osama bin Laden to Anwar Al-Awlaki (and Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki).

 

So easy it flows...

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:56 AM

16. "Due process" is now almost as quaint and obsoete as those Geneva Conentions. We need to

 

look forward to our Brave New World, not backwards, for heaven's sake!



Osama bin Laden was extra-judicially executed.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Tue May 12, 2015, 08:44 AM

24. Very good.

I do not think it's a matter of "old fashioned" or of "the future." It is rather a matter of the evolution of individual consciousness -- and it be lonely to be at a higher level when the world around you operates from the lower level. But as important as it can be to discuss that -- indeed, the ultimate topic -- this forum isn't fertile soil for it. Not directly, anyhow.

Likewise, serious discussions about bin Laden and the like do not tend to take place here. But what we can safely say is that he chose to be involved at the lower, most violent levels of human behavior, and that he erred in mistaking his actions as part of a holy war. And charismatic leaders of holy wars always tend to die violently.

A charismatic leader in a more evolved society does not face that same fate. A good historical example would be the Peace Maker in the northeast, circa 400 ad. No one thought him dangerous, and felt the need to kill him.

We aren't there. But with enough conscious individuals, we can rise to that higher ground.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #24)

Tue May 12, 2015, 02:19 PM

46. The reason why forums like this are not NOW fertile ground to discuss Bin Laden

might in itself be an interesting topic. Because there was a time, during the Bush years, when Bin Laden was a big topic of conversation on liberal forums.

As far as his choice to choose violence, true, that was his choice, and we used him back in the eighties to help fight the Russians. So while to say he is a creation of the US may not be accurate, he certainly was an ally against a common enemy.

Being such a violent nation ourselves, where force always seems to be the first option, I worry more about our involvement in the lower levels of human behavior, from our use of the military around the world, to the use of torture with no consequences, to our Civilian Police and Prison system, than I do about those who react to that violence.

We seem to have so many enemies. When an individual starts collecting enemies, and/or many of their friends are violent and cruel themselves, those who care about that individual would probably attempt to get some therapy for him/her.

Violence breeds violence. According to Diane Feinstein and her Republican colleague Rep Rogers, both on the Intel committee in Congress and the Senate, we are 'in more danger today than ever'.

So all that violence which was supposed to make us safe, apparently has done the opposite.

You are right to say that people who start holy wars, tend to die violently. I'm not sure who started it, the ME has long been victimized by Western Imperialism, Churchill eg, thought the best way to rid the world of Arabs was to eliminate them completely with chemical weapons. I guess it never occurred to him that people get pretty territorial when they land is invaded. But then, if you don't view people as human, it wouldn't occur to you.

All I know is that if violence and war were the answer, there should have been peace on at least since WW1.

And I still support openness wrt to how our government handles those it accuses of crimes against us, in a court of law, with all the facts laid out. That would end speculation to a great extent.

I don't believe in the 'just trust us' system.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #46)

Wed May 13, 2015, 12:18 PM

49. Interesting.

Okay, here goes my attempt to respond to some of the questions that you pose -- very good questions, by the way -- and not because I have “the” answer …..because at best I might stimulate more questions. At least I hope so.

There is a lot known about Usama bin Laden. There’s plenty that isn’t known. And, most of all, there’s a lot that people think they know, that simply is not accurate. But, in certain environments, a rumor twice repeated often transforms into accepted fact. Those environments include both prisons and Fox News, for but two examples. And the errors in perception are frequently the result of people reaching conclusions that sound realistic, so long as one is seeped in western culture. Yet, as US intelligence agents learn, to begin to understand who bin Laden actually was, and why he did those things he did, one has to step outside of a western culture state of mind.

What facts are known include two very significant issues: first, that his family was wealthy, as the result of being in engineering and their nation’s intelligence agencies -- and as such, were rather friendly with the Bush family; and second, that Usama, after being introduced to western culture, opted to fight a war for the liberation of Afghanistan. While western culture may not view the self-government that followed there as “liberated,” but rather harshly repressive, it is exactly what the Muslims who fought and defeated the USSR’s occupying forces wanted.

It’s also known that, as capable of warriors as the various Muslims fighting in Afghanistan were, many were assisted, in various manners, by foreign intelligence. This assistance included many things, from strategy to information learned by the superior technology of the western culture. And, of course, those intelligence agents -- including some from the CIA -- supplied weapons. Lots of weapons. In fact, so many weapons that some were still there after President George W. Bush temporarily invaded Afghanistan, after 9/11/

What is frequently assumed was that Usama bin Ladin was directly connected to the CIA. Any person can find articles in magazines or on blogs, and books and clips from television, in which people say, without ever questioning it, that bin Laden was coordinating his efforts with the help of the CIA. The one thing that virtually none of these provide is any documentation to prove their claim. In fact, if one asks what proof they have to support their claim, most are surprised. Their responses fall into the general categories of, “Well, everyone knows that” to “He was in Afghanistan, where the CIA was helping the Muslims defeat the USSR.”

Yet, there are virtually no contemporary records to indicate that bin Laden, while in Afghanistan, had any connection with any US intelligence or military operatives. Zero. There are plenty of records of who the US did deal with. These were primarily those who would become the regional leaders in that land after the USSR packed its bags -- the Taliban and Northern Alliance leaders. More, there are records from those who would come to view bin Laden as a holy warrior, that indicate that while he was open to Muslims using US weapons, he had no thoughts of getting rid of one occupying empire (USSR) in order to clear the way for a second occupying empire (USA).

Quite the opposite: those people noted the transformation of a young man who was the child of wealth and privilege, to a inspired leader of his people who engaged in warfare, rather than observing it from the comfort of a distant palace. Here again, in order to understand why he was recognized as a leader -- including why so many moderate Muslims were willing to turn a blind eye to his activities, if not outright fund them -- we really have to step outside of a western civilization frame of reference.

The young man named Usama, who entered Afghanistan for a “holy war” against the Soviet Union, was not the same man who left. Obviously, he was physically the same person. But he had undergone psychological changes. These were tied to the war experience, although not as much from his engagement in specific battles, as his exposure to radical thinkers, and his own thought processes.

He came to understand that prophecy, when it speaks of a future “leader” (for lack of a better word) deals with conditions, and not a specific individual pre-destined to come. This is true in all religious and esoteric writings. An individual, who is at a higher level than the crowd, and thus understands that meaning, must discipline him/herself to harness the ability to ride the waves, so to speak, that created those conditions.

Perhaps his greatest mistake was in interpreting what is known as apocalyptic prophesies. Again, in all religious and esoteric teachings, these are not intended for a pre-ordained time and place. More importantly, they are always a description of the internal, psychological tensions required for spiritual growth. But he externalized it, and believed he could lead a successful war against the USA, much in the manner as the Muslims beat the USSR in Afghanistan.

That is, of course, the mixing of doctrines, and taking higher learning, and attempting to apply it to the lower levels. We can compare it to the experience of Gandhi, who believed that his self-sacrifice would help the masses to reach higher ground. Both men gave up the potential to lead comfortable, even luxury-filled lives. But only one did so in order to assist people in to that higher ground.

The other was convinced that he could use his new status (both internally and externally) to fight violent wars. In doing so, not only did he fail to achieve his goal, but he played a significant role in bringing about great suffering for innocent people. Indeed, his inability to step outside of the culture of war insured his errors in tactics, and eventually led to his bitter end.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #49)

Wed May 13, 2015, 03:24 PM

50. I've read a little about OBL back when he was a topic of conversation. It's true that it's almost

impossible to view someone like him from a Western POV. Same thing with Gadaffi or any other Eastern or African figure who gain prominence in their own areas of the world.

America especially has only the information provided by their media to go on generally when this country decides to go to war.

To truly look at people like him from a non-western pov, one would have to start from the point where people of the ME were intruded upon, as with Africa and other parts of the world, by the West.

One of the more easy examples of Imperial interference for me, would be Ireland, not in the ME or Africa, but definitely impacted by Imperial ambitions and policies towards people they view as 'lesser' then they are. Haiti would be another example.

Regarding the use of violence, I am opposed to it. Violence isn't just the use of weapons, it takes other forms, such as the deliberate attempt to change cultures, to impose western culture on those deemed to be beneath the powerful empires who invade them.

I recognize the fact that once violence is used against a people, some will simply try to adapt, stay beneath the radar and attempt to get on with their lives, hoping for a better future, others, like Gandhi will resist as he did, peacefully and it is inevitable that others will retaliate with violence.

I tend to look at 'who and what started it'. Maybe being a teacher has something to do with that.

Because if you decide to interfere in other countries and nations for whatever reason, for resources, for power, whatever the reason, you must know that there will be all of the reactions I listed above.

Bin Laden stated his reasons for the use of violence, in his interview with Peter Berger before 9/11. To me, he sounded like most resistance fighters, or 'terrorists' throughout history. 'They are destroying my people, I have a right to fight back' was pretty much the gist of what he said.

Of course we said the same thing after 9/11. When asked whether he was aiming at all Americans including civilians, his response again sounded eerily similar to most Western powers when asked that same question. He was not, he said, but could not be responsible for any 'collateral damage'.

Wars always end up harming a whole lot of people, which is why I oppose them except when a country is attacked.

You are correct that his actions, assuming he was responsible for 9/11, which he denied btw, though did admit to other attacks, harmed a lot of people. Those actions provided a reason for some of our own most violent war mongers to do what they did.

I wish he had chosen Gandhi's way. Instead he chose to meet violence with violence.

I wish WE had chosen Gandhi's way. But that was never even a remote possibility considering the leadership we had when 9/11 happened.

If Bin Laden had been as smart as Gandhi he never would have provided that opportunity to the people he viewed as enemies. It seems as if he was not very smart at all. 'All we need is an event as catastrophic as Pearl Harbor'. From the PNAC when they plotted the rearranging of the ME. And Bin Laden, we are told anyhow, obliged them.

In the end you say he harmed untold numbers of people. If we wanted to prevent that from happening, we could have. I would say that it is more accurate to say that his actions gave an excuse to people to harm so many, an excuse they had been waiting for and had it not been his actions, would have found another.

I believe to say only he harmed people, is looking at it from a Western POV.

I do prefer Gandhi's way for many reasons, but understand those who have little faith that when you are dealing with an Empires, see the American Revolution, or the Irish, or any number of examples throughout history, anything can be achieved by peaceful means. Because peace and justice are not the goals of Empires..

If we were African eg, like Mandela and Bishop Tutu, we probably would have called Gadaffi, as they both did 'brother'. As Westerners we simply cannot comprehend how the people whose countries the West has been invading and oppressing for hundreds of years, view those we call 'terrorists'.

If I had known Bin Laden, I would have argued vehemently with him NOT to provide those he viewed as 'enemies' with any excuse to retaliate. I would probably have asked Patrick Pearse the same thing. And Lord Edward Fitzgerald, and maybe even the FFs. We call all of them heroes now because they prevailed. Had they not, we would be calling them traitors.

Would South Africa have ended apartheid without the combination of violence and peaceful methods used to finally to succeed? Would Ireland be free if the rebels, throughout its history, had acted like Gandhi? What will be the future of ME countries? We can't judge yet how OBL's actions will be viewed by future generations of his people.

That is my attempt to view these things NOT from a Western viewpoint. Though I doubt I did so very well.

Thanks for your thoughtful post. I am still torn about what succeeds against violence, though definitely prefer the Gandhi approach.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #50)

Wed May 13, 2015, 05:40 PM

60. Very good.

I do not think that if a violent criminal is attempting to break into one's home, with the intention of doing harm to one's family, that self-defense is in any way "wrong."

I also remember reading, long ago, where a journalist asked Ho Chi Minh about Gandhi. Ho said that had Gandhi been born in Vietnam rather than India, and had struggled against France rather than England, that he would have died a violent death before anyone knew who he was.

Yet I am convinced that non-violence is the best manner for resolving disputes. And that it provides the most effective tactic for those seeking to bring communities to higher ground.

For a Gandhi and/or King to be effective non-violent leaders, they had to reach the point where they knew that they shared a common humanity with the rest of the world's people, including their enemies. Thus, while their struggles were in the limited contexts of social justice for Indians and black Americans, they were also attempting to improve the lives of all others -- again, including their enemies.

We think of Gandhi identifying himself as Hindu, Buddhist, Jew, Christian, and atheist. And of King at the Riverside Church, speaking for not only the peasants in Vietnam, but also the Viet Cong.

Bin Laden was never able to rise above his restricted identity as a Muslim, or to identify the betterment of humanity as a goal. Certainly, as you note, he wasn't responsible for all the suffering that resulted from the violence he unleased -- which he believed was fully justified, based upon the violence inflicted upon his people. But he definitely added to it, no matter if intended to or not.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #60)

Wed May 13, 2015, 11:58 PM

61. Well, the closest comparison to Bin Laden I can make, would be Lord Edward Fitzgerald, from a

non-western pov. I'm sure he caused others to suffer harm in his zeal for the independence of Ireland. I am also aware of the many differing opinions of him stated by his contemporaries. Certainly the British Empire viewed him as a traitor and terrorist. He, like Bin Laden, was privileged due to his birth rights. He too could have lived a very privileged life. Could we say that he did not rise above his identity as an Irishman? Probably. Certainly that has been said of him.

And had I known him at the time, I would have joined others who attempted to dissuade him from the course he chose. In fact I might have been horrified and definitely would have known that his ending would have been violent considering who he had chosen to rise up against.

History has a way of changing the perceptions of the times in which events actually occur.

As Robert Emmet, another who chose the violent way stated before his execution by the British:

I am here ready to die. I am not allowed to vindicate my character; no man shall dare to vindicate my character; and when I am prevented from vindicating myself, let no man dare to calumniate me. Let my character and my motives repose in obscurity and peace, till other times and other men can do them justice. Then shall my character be vindicated; then may my epitaph be written.


And once Ireland was free, his epitaph was finally written. He is now one of Ireland's most revered heroes. He too came from wealth and could have lived a comfortable life. Instead he could not bear the injustices he saw and rather than choose a peaceful path, chose instead to meet violence with violence and as has been said of Bin Laden, he met with the inevitable result of such a choice.

We in the West won't get to writ Bin Laden's epitaph, just as the British have not written Robert Emmet's or Lord Edward Fitzgerald's. All three could have chosen a different path. And certainly during their lifetimes even close friends were abhorred by their chosen paths.

But history has a way of looking at the bigger picture. We who are in the moment, are unable to do that. And we who are part of an Empire are restricted in our views, just as those who were part of the British Empire were, even those who knew the wrongs that were being done, could not comprehend what led some men to put their own lives and the lives of others in danger.

I try to go back to those times, to the American Revolution eg, and I understand those who were reluctant to participate, who thought that there could be a peaceful resolution, but we see them now as cowards, 'loyalists' many of whom fled to England. And I also understand those who believed that violence was the only way.

What I do know is that I would have opposed violence in all those situations and done all I could have done to prevent it.

But it is what it is. So in retrospect, I accept that those with whom I would have disagreed in the moment, are or were, heroes.

And historians will determine whether the West's view of Bin Laden will be his legacy, or whether, like Emmet, his epitaph will be written by ME historians when the region is free of Western influences.

We are all creatures of the times and places in which we are born. It takes a truly evolved person to be able to see things outside of our own narrow existence. Few of us are able to do that. I wish we could. Maybe Gandhi had that gift but it truly is rare.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #61)

Thu May 14, 2015, 08:55 AM

62. Robert Emmet

is one of the fruit of my family tree. I loved his speech, even before I found that we were related.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #61)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:52 AM

63. Because you raise

so many interesting and important points, I'm going to try to respond to various ones individually. For it would be easy for me to get carried away here, and risk losing focus. Old men are prone to doing just that. Yet all of those points deserve responses .....and while the responses are not "the answer," that is because the answer is only found in you. And while I suspect that I have valuable parts of the answer -- for me -- the best I can do is share it with you. For that is what brothers do.

Gandhi often noted "violence before cowardice." In Merton's wonderful book on Gandhi and non-violence, there is a powerful section addressing just this concept. For true non-violence always holds within it the ability to retaliate, and the conscious decision to not fight back.

A mouse, Gandhi noted, never submits nonviolently to the cat. Indeed, the mouse hates the cat. But it is powerless to really fight back. Hence, in cowards, there is always that hatred for not only the violent person(s), but all forms of violence. The truly non-violent person may oppose violence, refuse to watch things for entertainment that are violent, and feel the greatest sympathy for the victims -- willing and unwilling -- of violence .....but not have a drop of that hatred that comes from cowardice.

Non-violence at its highest potential always accepts people and events at exactly the level they are at. For to be truly non-violent, one must understand and accept that everything -- thus, everyone -- is exactly as it is, because this is the reality of human nature. The question becomes one of how do we bring about a cultural shift that produces more individuals who rise to the true non-violent potential, as opposed to our current culture, which is saturated in both violence and cowardice?

Does this make sense?

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #63)

Fri May 15, 2015, 01:16 PM

77. It makes sense to accept that people and events are as they are. We can't really do otherwise.

Once having done that however, what should be done about events that are causing great harm?

One of the most obvious examples from relatively recent history would be Hitler's Germany.

What would Gandhi have done to change what was going on there?

I would say that the time to use non-violent means was BEFORE he had gained so much power that it was too late.

But another reality is that human beings are easily taken in by charismatic leaders who are telling them things they want to hear.

Not to mention that once 'an other' has been successfully created, there is almost no restrictions on how those people may be treated.

Anyone who tries, either simply by verbally voicing their objections or by violent means, will be, were, instantly destroyed.

In the end, Hitler's violence was finally stopped by greater violence.

Was there another way?

I have to say I don't think there was.

I wonder what Gandhi would have thought about that. As you say, there is always the option of violence even among those who choose a non-violent path.

Would Ghandhi have acknowledged that there are some events that are so violent, so evil, that only violence can stop them?

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #61)

Thu May 14, 2015, 11:43 AM

66. Mixing of doctrine:

Frequently, people err in defining what the mixing of doctrine means, hence its potential to do harm. There is a tendency for people today to view the world's religions as a smorgasbord, where they take two helpings of one, a drink from another, etc. That can be fine, and at worst, tends to be a harmless way for a person who has not had the Goodness of Truth take strong root within them. Indeed, in a good analysis, most of the religions have Truth in them. And, once it takes root, one no longer requires "religion" as such.

The potential danger takes place when one attempts to mix higher knowledge with lower situations for personal benefit (comfort, wealth, etc). It is not risky when, for example, a follower of a Gandhi or King trusts their leader, and is non-violent in a demonstration, despite their normal tendency to protect themselves. Now, that might sound like a contradiction, in that they may well get punched, kicked, or even killed by their opposition. But they willingly take that risk, for the greater good.

An example of the opposite is found when Jesus is preparing to enter the city where he will be brutally murdered. And remember Peter says, "No, Master, we will not allow this to happen." Then Jesus turns and says, "Satan, get behind me." This doesn't mean that he thinks Peter is "Satan." Not even close. Rather, he is identifying the confusion from the mixing of doctrine, for the sake of personal safety.

This is what I'm speaking of in terms of the failure of a bin Laden to be a good leader. He mixed doctrine.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #12)

Wed May 13, 2015, 03:59 PM

53. due process is still the law of the land

i wonder if this whole charade wasn't to make sure WE THE PEOPLE never know exactly how 9-11 happened

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Response to questionseverything (Reply #53)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:06 PM

55. Only for the little people! We have a two tiered legal system now.

The Patriot Act comes up for review again, in June. Will they let expire? I remember being told when so many voted for it (Thanks again Barbara Lee for not doing so) that it would only be temporary, until were 'safe' again'.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #55)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:15 PM

56. i agree the system now has two tiers

but the people doing that are the criminals...

my point was the law of the land has not changed, the leaders we have have changed tho

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:50 AM

14. I trust Obama 1000x more than I trust Hersh

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #14)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:00 AM

26. Well, I'm sure people said that about Nixon and many other leaders too. If it were all

about our favorite leaders, maybe we could just trust them. But since we do not live in a monarchy, every power we bestow on a sitting president, will be passed on to the next president who might not trust so much.

I remember when Bush declared himself to be the sole judge and jury, the Unitary Executive, regarding dealing with those HE viewed as enemies, how his supporters applauded that.

And I remember doing what I am now doing again, trying to tell them that they needed to understand that supporting giving their president the powers of a King meant supporting passing along those powers to the next president, who might very well be a 'dreaded liberal'.

There was no convincing them to look beyond their hero. As far as they were concerned, he was going to be there forever, just like a King. Blind partisanship, it's hard to argue with that.

I wonder how they feel now that what they supported for Bush DID pass on to this president.

So no, I trust NO politician in any democracy, no matter how much I may like him/her, with such incredible power.

As Thomas Jefferson warned 'you should not even trust US' meaning the FFs themselves.

Total trust is for cults imo. Presidents come and go, but the powers we choose to give them will live on until maybe it's too late.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #26)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:46 AM

30. Very good!

In my opinion, there is no reason for "trust" to be at issue per the killing of bin Laden.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #26)

Tue May 12, 2015, 12:56 PM

36. Wow

Talk about a false comparison.

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #36)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:03 PM

39. How so?

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Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Reply #36)

Tue May 12, 2015, 03:57 PM

48. Respectfully disagree.

I believe that it is fair to compare any US Presidents. More, the concepts of the growing power of the Executive Branch is well-documented. A great example would be presidential historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.'s classic book, "The Imperial Presidency." In it, Arthur showed how, especially in times of war, almost every US President expanded the power of his office.

Once power has been expanded, it has rarely been restricted. The sole example of restrictions based upon recent expansion was found shortly after Richard Nixon resigned.

The damaging impact of expanded presidential powers, as that dynamic has harmed the intended balance of powers between the three branches, was addressed in an insightful manner by Doris Kearns (Goodwin) in her outstanding biography, "Lyndon Johnson & the American Dream."

These issues are important, regardless of who the current president is. Of course, a crook like Nixon, or cowardly bully such as George W. Bush, will engage in far greater abuses of power than a Bill Clinton or Barack Obama. I suspect that every rational person would agree with that. But this doesn't change the fact that even good and decent people, once in the White House, have often unchecked powers when it comes to "national security" issues. And that should be concerning for all of us.

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #14)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:44 AM

29. Very good.

I have no problem with good people who trust one more than the other. And I can appreciate how that can influence the manner in which they interpret this issue. For me, "trust" of neither man is an issue that influences my perspective on the killing of bin Laden.

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Response to mwrguy (Reply #14)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:15 PM

42. Reinforcing your point is this:

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/05/the-new-yorker-passed-on-seymour-hershs-bin-laden-206933.html
Seymour Hersh's alternative history about the killing of Osama bin Laden was offered to and declined by The New Yorker, where Hersh is a regular contributor, years before its publication in the London Review of Books, the On Media blog has confirmed.
Hersh's 10,000-word article, which was published Sunday, alleges that Pakistani intelligence services captured bin Laden in 2006 and sold him to the U.S. in 2010 for military aid. It also alleges that the Pakistanis insisted on staging the Abbottabad raid that took place in 2011. The article immediately drew criticism from U.S. officials and journalists alike. At Vox, Max Fisher noted that Hersh's allegations "are largely supported only by two sources, neither of whom has direct knowledge of what happened" and says the story "is riven with internal contradictions and inconsistencies."

Sources with knowledge of the matter said Monday that Hersh began pitching the magazine on the story years ago and that The New Yorker declined it on the grounds that it didn't hold up to scrutiny. The New Yorker similarly declined Hersh's 2013 article, also published in the London Review of Books, alleging that the Obama administration "cherry-picked intelligence” from the chemical attack in Syria in order to make the case for attacking President Bashar Assad. The discrepancy between Hersh's landmark reporting -- he is responsible for uncovering the My Lai massacre in Vietnam and the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses in Iraq -- are difficult to square with the tenuous, poorly sourced Syria and bin Laden reports. Hersh is at once a Pulitzer Prize-winning, George Polk-winning, National Magazine Award-winning reporter and, in the words of Vox's Fisher, a man who "has appeared increasingly to have gone off the rails." . .

And this: http://www.vox.com/2015/5/11/8584473/seymour-hersh-osama-bin-laden (worth reading, and worth reading, but already posted and discussed elsewhere on this site. )

And this: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/seymour-hersh-bin-laden-story-117830.html#.VVIzXqa1jkN
Knowing, perhaps, that his critics would denounce his revisionist take on the killing of Osama bin Laden as fantasy, Seymour M. Hersh sought to pre-empt such disparagement in the first paragraph of his piece published yesterday in the London Review of Books. The accepted version of the 2011 operation put forward by the White House, Hersh charged, “might have been written by Lewis Carroll.”
And with that intro, Hersh leads the reader into a Wonderland of his own, thinly sourced retelling of the raid on Bin Laden’s complex in Abbottabad, Pakistan. According to Hersh, who cites American sources, “bin Laden had been a prisoner of the [Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency] at the Abbottabad compound since 2006” and his ISI captors eased the way for the American SEAL team to skip into Pakistan on their helicopters, kill the al Qaeda leader, and then skip out. It’s a messy omelet of a piece that offers little of substance for readers or journalists who may want to verify its many claims. The Hersh piece can’t be refuted because there’s not enough solid material to refute. Like the government officials who spun the original flawed Abbottabad stories, he simply wants the reader to trust him.
. . .

Where was bin Laden shot and how many times? Much disagreement in the first reports. . . Almost immediately after the raid, the government made substantial changes in its telling of the story. “Even I’m getting confused,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney when attempting to sort out fact from fancy. These dueling accounts suggest that if U.S. government officials did attempt to orchestrate the hoax Hersh alleges, they were wildly incompetent in those efforts—unable to keep the press chasing a unified narrative, as I demonstrate above. Or, they were brilliant beyond the greatest Hollywood scenarist—spewing warring plotlines that completely fogged the true story from view until Hersh discovered it for the London Review of Books. What’s more likely is that a combination of U.S. spin, secrecy, diplomacy, politics and the usual confusion keep all the joints from dovetailing perfectly.
Hersh may very well be onto something—what did the Pakistanis know, when did they know it, and how much did they help? And that debate appears to be starting in earnest already, with NBC News quickly building off Hersh’s article. But Hersh’s potentially valid question on that subject is almost lost in the broad sweep of rolling back so many other stories and quibbling with effectively every known detail of one of the most thoroughly leaked secret operations in history. . .




Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/05/seymour-hersh-bin-laden-story-117830.html#ixzz3ZwfDv9xZ

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:50 AM

15. correct

my main problem is that when people sigh.. mission accomplished, they neglect to remember, or maybe even to consider, that a truly successful mission would have been to capture him. There is not much good to see here. We created him, we killed him.

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Response to G_j (Reply #15)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:50 AM

31. Thank you.

I appreciate your comments, and point of view.

I do not believe that the US "created" Usama bin Laden. However, this country's on-going role in the Middle East was a significant factor in creating the environment that brings forth opposition. And the cultural factors made his violent tactics predictable.

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Response to G_j (Reply #15)

Wed May 13, 2015, 03:41 PM

52. The Bin Laden killing definitely has the feel of a clean-up operation. [n/t]

 

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 02:05 AM

17. I personally would have preferred to see Bin laden taken alive, tried, sentenced and imprisoned...

for the rest of his life. And quite honestly the CIA operation using fake vaccination teams was fucking stupid and has done quite a lot of damage to polio eradication efforts; I don't really think "we got Bin Laden, woo" is worth however many hundreds or thousands of excess polio deaths.

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Response to Spider Jerusalem (Reply #17)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:51 AM

32. Absolutely.

I agree 100%. Very well said. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 08:46 AM

25. I just think that no one should ever trust any president, ever.

No government official should be trusted to tell the whole truth. They never do. they lie constantly, often to make something more palatable to the people, or to sell their latest war.

The rah-rah bullshit goes nowhere with me. Of course Obama lied; he's lied about nearly everything, the just-so story about OBL always seemed designed to sell a movie or something. And of course there was one, complete with the participation of the military, which makes it a propaganda piece, not entertainment.

"They sell us the president the same way
They sell us our clothes and our cars
They sell us everything from youth to religion
The same time they sell us our wars" - Jackson Browne, "Lives in the Balance"

Trusting the president no matter what is ideology, not rationality. If these claims were made about the Bush administration, we would elevate Hersh as a hero. But he is attacking "our" guy's official story (actually a carefully-crafted, ready for prime-time tale, complete with good guys and a very bad guy, ready-made for Hollywood), so that makes him a crank.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #25)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:07 AM

27. 'If these claims were made about the Bush administration, we would elevate Hersh

as a hero'! You hit the nail on the head.

And in fact, we DID elevate Hersh as a hero when he revealed the torture and horrors that were going on in Abu Ghraib at the time, including the torture of women and children.

But at that time, it was Repubicans who attacked him, who called him a traitor, a liberal and a liar.

I remember seeing an interview with him on MSNBC around that time, btw, he turned out to be NONE OF the above when thankfully a Whistle Blower provided the evidence in the form of pictures, of what he had said, and we have not seen the worst of those photos yet.

Now the PTBs have the Left doing what the Right did when Hersh was reporting on the other 'team'.

So my tendency is to lean more towards those who have a proven record of giving us the facts over any politician and to avoid becoming what we once despised, so invested in a politician that we become blind to the facts.

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Response to sabrina 1 (Reply #27)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:03 PM

38. So a German metrology institute runs our leaders?

 



Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB)
the National Metrology Institute of Germany

The Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) is the national metrology institute providing scientific and technical services. PTB measures with the highest accuracy and reliability – metrology as the core competence.

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Response to snooper2 (Reply #38)

Tue May 12, 2015, 01:06 PM

40. They do?

If you say so!

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Response to alarimer (Reply #25)

Tue May 12, 2015, 10:25 AM

28. Interesting points.

Thank you.

Minister Malcolm X had a system for basing trust on. He rated everyone (including himself) on a scale of zero to one hundred, with 100 being the highest possible level of trust.

In my opinion, if a person is a politician, that places significant restrictions upon how much I can trust them. I base that on decades of person experience, and a significant amount of studying various politicians. Although I am a Democrat, I recognize that even among the very best of democratic politicians, I would be foolish if I expected complete -- or near-complete -- honesty. For that is the very nature of politics in our society.

The good thing about this situation is that there is absolutely no need to take "trust" into account as a factor in determining what happened leading up to the killing of bin Laden, the actual circumstances that night, or the events in the hours and days that followed.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #25)

Fri May 15, 2015, 04:24 AM

71. I sure as shite don't trust Sy Hersh.. I trust President Obama over that conspiracy theorist with

no sources.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue May 12, 2015, 03:57 PM

47. beyond assassination (apparently of someone unarmed and surrendering, and now perhaps a

government captive), the real issue is that the killing was just a full-blown hostile takeover rather than any "decapitation strike" or whatever; we like AQ in Libya and Syria, remember?

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:04 PM

54. Here's what Hersh wrote that makes the Secret Government very, very angry...

The main theme of the committee’s 499-page executive summary is that the CIA lied systematically about the effectiveness of its torture programme in gaining intelligence that would stop future terrorist attacks in the US. The lies included some vital details about the uncovering of an al-Qaida operative called Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who was said to be the key al-Qaida courier, and the subsequent tracking of him to Abbottabad in early 2011. The agency’s alleged intelligence, patience and skill in finding al-Kuwaiti became legend after it was dramatised in Zero Dark Thirty. -- Seymour Hersh
http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden


And if the People should ever stop believing the nation's torture was for a good cause, the People might get around to noticing the rest of the war crimes actually served to make a relatively few rich people into very, very rich people.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #54)

Wed May 13, 2015, 05:20 PM

58. Very important point.

Thanks for this. It supports what I think is true -- that President Obama wasn't "lying," but rather, had restrictions on what he could share with the public. He did want to inform the public of bin Laden's death, and I think he was sincere in believing it was important for the national mood. This is not to suggest that I believe that the killing of Usama bin Laden was required. But we live in the country as it is, not the country I believe it could and should be.

President Obama's initial version was a bit off what the national security forces wanted. Hence, the rather clumsy "corrections." And that clearly included those who were advocating lying about the benefits of torture, some of whom were worried that they might face legal consequences for their past misdeeds.

Taken as a group, they remind me of the old Groucho Marx quote: "I deny everything I say, because everything I say is a lie. And everything I deny is a lie, too."

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #58)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:56 AM

64. Absolutely.

Then, there's those who actually go over the Take.



Behind the Curtain: Booz Allen Hamilton and its Owner, The Carlyle Group

Written by Bob Adelmann
The New American; June 13, 2013

According to writers Thomas Heath and Marjorie Censer at the Washington Post, The Carlyle Group and its errant child, Booz Allen Hamilton (BAH), have a public relations problem, thanks to NSA leaker and former BAH employee Edward Snowden. By the time top management at BAH learned that one of their top level agents had gone rogue, and terminated his employment, it was too late.

For years Carlyle had, according to the Post, “nurtured a reputation as a financially sophisticated asset manager that buys and sells everything from railroads to oil refineries”; but now the light from the Snowden revelations has revealed nothing more than two companies, parent and child, “bound by the thread of turning government secrets into profits.”

And have they ever. When The Carlyle Group bought BAH back in 2008, it was totally dependent upon government contracts in the fields of information technology (IT) and systems engineering for its bread and butter. But there wasn't much butter: After two years the company’s gross revenues were $5.1 billion but net profits were a minuscule $25 million, close to a rounding error on the company’s financial statement. In 2012, however, BAH grossed $5.8 billion and showed earnings of $219 million, nearly a nine-fold increase in net revenues and a nice gain in value for Carlyle.

Unwittingly, the Post authors exposed the real reason for the jump in profitability: close ties and interconnected relationships between top people at Carlyle and BAH, and the agencies with which they are working. The authors quoted George Price, an equity analyst at BB&T Capital: "[Booz Allen has] got a great brand, they've focused over time on hiring top people, including bringing on people who have a lot of senior government experience." (Emphasis added.)

For instance, James Clapper had a stint at BAH before becoming the current Director of National Intelligence; George Little consulted with BAH before taking a position at the Central Intelligence Agency; John McConnell, now vice chairman at BAH, was director of the National Security Agency (NSA) in the ‘90s before moving up to director of national intelligence in 2007; Todd Park began his career with BAH and now serves as the country's chief technology officer; James Woolsey, currently a senior vice president at BAH, served in the past as director of the Central Intelligence Agency; and so on.

BAH has had more than a little problem with self-dealing and conflicts of interest over the years. For instance in 2006 the European Commission asked the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Privacy International (PI) to investigate BAH’s involvement with President George Bush’s SWIFT surveillance program, which was viewed by that administration as “just another tool” in its so-called “War on Terror.” The only problem is that it was illegal, as it violated U.S., Belgian, and European privacy laws. BAH was right in the middle of it. According to the ACLU/PI report,

Though Booz Allen’s role is to verify that the access to the SWIFT data is not abused, its relationship with the U.S. Government calls its objectivity significantly into question. (Emphasis added.)

Among Booz Allen’s senior consulting staff are several former members of the intelligence community, including a former Director of the CIA and a former director of the NSA.


As noted by Barry Steinhardt, an ACLU director, “It’s bad enough that the [Bush] administration is trying to hold out a private company as a substitute for genuine checks and balances on its surveillance activities. But of all companies to perform audits on a secret surveillance program, it would be difficult to find one less objective and more intertwined with the U.S. government security establishment.” (Emphasis added.)

CONTINUED w Links n Privatized INTEL...

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/crime/item/15696-behind-the-curtain-booz-allen-hamilton-and-its-owner-the-carlyle-group



What good is information if you can't make a buck off it, as well as defend the country from enemies from lower economic strata.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #54)

Wed May 13, 2015, 05:32 PM

59. And just now the CIA has to remind us that Al-Qaeda could bring down a US flight tomorrow

Al-Qaeda could bring down a US flight 'tomorrow' former CIA man Michael Morell warns, outlining threat of attack on US soil

..

Morell told the magazine the two attacks he worried about the most is an “AQAP attack that is significant in that it kills hundreds of people,” with the most likely scenario being a specialised explosive that would bring down an airliner in the US; and a directed attack on US soil by Isis, al Nusra, al Qaeda in Pakistan, AQAP, or al Qaeda in Yemen that would see a terrorist group “get 10 or 15 guys and send them into malls on a Saturday with single weapons and have them kill 10 or 20 or 25 people.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/alqaeda-could-bring-down-a-us-flight-tomorrow-former-cia-man-michael-morell-warns-outlining-threat-of-attack-on-us-soil-10243486.html

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Response to jakeXT (Reply #59)

Thu May 14, 2015, 10:00 AM

65. Inside Information is so valuable in fighting terror and in making a buck it can lead to confusion.

Some of why the Secret Government knows how to turn a buck and fight the bad guys more or less:



The State, the Deep State, and the Wall Street Overworld

By Prof Peter Dale Scott
Global Research, March 10, 2014
The Asia-Pacific Journal, Volume 12, Issue 10, No. 5

EXCERPT...

The Safari Club Milieu: George H.W. Bush, Theodore Shackley, and BCCI

The usual account of this super-agency’s origin is that it was

the brainchild of Count Alexandre de Marenches, the debonair and mustachioed chief of France’s CIA. The SDECE (Service de Documentation Extérieure et de Contre-Espionnage)…. Worried by Soviet and Cuban advances in postcolonial Africa, and by America’s post-Watergate paralysis in the field of undercover activity, the swashbuckling Marenches had come to Turki’s father, King Faisal, with a proposition…. [By 1979] Somali president Siad Barre had been bribed out of Soviet embrace by $75 million worth of Egyptian arms (paid for… by Saudi Arabia)….95

Joseph Trento adds that “The Safari Club needed a network of banks to finance its intelligence operations,… With the official blessing of George Bush as the head of the CIA, Adham transformed… the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), into a worldwide money-laundering machine.”.96

Trento claims also that the Safari Club then was able to work with some of the controversial CIA operators who were then forced out of the CIA by Turner, and that this was coordinated by perhaps the most controversial of them all: Theodore Shackley.

Shackley, who still had ambitions to become DCI, believed that without his many sources and operatives like [Edwin] Wilson, the Safari Club—operating with [former DCI Richard] Helms in charge in Tehran—would be ineffective. … Unless Shackley took direct action to complete the privatization of intelligence operations soon, the Safari Club would not have a conduit to [CIA] resources. The solution: create a totally private intelligence network using CIA assets until President Carter could be replaced.97

Kevin Phillips has suggested that Bush on leaving the CIA had dealings with the bank most closely allied with Safari Club operations: the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). In Phillips’ words,

After leaving the CIA in January 1977, Bush became chairman of the executive committee of First International Bancshares and its British subsidiary, where, according to journalists Peter Truell and Larry Gurwin in their 1992 book ‘False Profits’ [p. 345], Bush ‘traveled on the bank’s behalf and sometimes marketed to international banks in London, including several Middle Eastern institutions.’98

Joseph Trento adds that through the London branch of this bank, which Bush chaired, “Adham’s petrodollars and BCCI money flowed for a variety of intelligence operations”99

It is clear moreover that BCCI operations, like Khashoggi’s before them, were marked by the ability to deal behind the scenes with both the Arab countries and also Israel.100

It is clear that for years the American deep state in Washington was both involved with and protected BCCI. Acting CIA director Richard Kerr acknowledged to a Senate Committee “that the CIA had also used BCCI for certain intelligence-gathering operations.”101

Later, a congressional inquiry showed that for more than ten years preceding the BCCI collapse in the summer of 1991, the FBI, the DEA, the CIA, the Customs Service, and the Department of Justice all failed to act on hundreds of tips about the illegalities of BCCI’s international activities.102

Far less clear is the attitude taken by Wall Street banks towards the miscreant BCCI. The Senate report on BCCI charged however that the Bank of England “had withheld information about BCCI’s frauds from public knowledge for 15 months before closing the bank.”103

CONTINUED...

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-state-the-deep-state-and-the-wall-street-overworld/5372843



Also explains why what We the People don't seem to ever get what we vote for, IMFO.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #65)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:45 PM

68. Very interesting

and valuable information. You are simply the best!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #68)

Thu May 14, 2015, 10:23 PM

69. Reading. Sharing. Discussing. First Amendmenting.

Here's the guy sticking his neck out -- using his real name, where only the bravest and the best dare tread: Seymour Somebody. From when even the New Yorker liked the guy.

The story follows one Richard (PNAC/Another Pearl Harbor) Perle. Just after September 11 and the Washington-Wall Street axis of war profiteering was heating up, Perle hit up Adnan (Iran-Contra/BCCI) Khashoggi for $100 million to make his new "Trireme Partnerships" private disaster investment bank take off.



Khashoggi's money would help launch the Carlyle Group-like investment group Perle founded. The petromoney was not for arms, directly. It was for investing in companies that were going to be making a killing off of homeland security related areas.

Interesting selling point: Perle already had secured financing from in from Boeing and some other bigwigs like Henry Kissinger.

One of the most important articles The New Yorker ever published:



Lunch with the Chairman

by Seymour M. Hersh
17 March 2003

At the peak of his deal-making activities, in the nineteen-seventies, the Saudi-born businessman Adnan Khashoggi brokered billions of dollars in arms and aircraft sales for the Saudi royal family, earning hundreds of millions in commissions and fees. Though never convicted of wrongdoing, he was repeatedly involved in disputes with federal prosecutors and with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and in recent years he has been in litigation in Thailand and Los Angeles, among other places, concerning allegations of stock manipulation and fraud. During the Reagan Administration, Khashoggi was one of the middlemen between Oliver North, in the White House, and the mullahs in Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal. Khashoggi subsequently claimed that he lost ten million dollars that he had put up to obtain embargoed weapons for Iran which were to be bartered (with Presidential approval) for American hostages. The scandals of those times seemed to feed off each other: a congressional investigation revealed that Khashoggi had borrowed much of the money for the weapons from the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (B.C.C.I.), whose collapse, in 1991, defrauded thousands of depositors and led to years of inquiry and litigation.

Khashoggi is still brokering. In January of this year, he arranged a private lunch, in France, to bring together Harb Saleh al-Zuhair, a Saudi industrialist whose family fortune includes extensive holdings in construction, electronics, and engineering companies throughout the Middle East, and Richard N. Perle, the chairman of the Defense Policy Board, who is one of the most outspoken and influential American advocates of war with Iraq.

The Defense Policy Board is a Defense Department advisory group composed primarily of highly respected former government officials, retired military officers, and academics. Its members, who serve without pay, include former national-security advisers, Secretaries of Defense, and heads of the C.I.A. The board meets several times a year at the Pentagon to review and assess the country’s strategic defense policies.

Perle is also a managing partner in a venture-capital company called Trireme Partners L.P., which was registered in November, 2001, in Delaware. Trireme’s main business, according to a two-page letter that one of its representatives sent to Khashoggi last November, is to invest in companies dealing in technology, goods, and services that are of value to homeland security and defense. The letter argued that the fear of terrorism would increase the demand for such products in Europe and in countries like Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

CONTINUED...

http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2003/03/17/030317fa_fact



A bit on the new TRIREME business...



At Hollinger, Big Perks in A Small World

By Steven Pearlstein
Wednesday, November 19, 2003; Page E01

It's amazing the coincidences you find digging into Hollinger International, the publishing empire that includes Chicago's Sun-Times and London's Daily Telegraph and is quickly slipping from Conrad Black's control.

Let's start with the board of directors, which includes Barbara Amiel, Conrad's wife, whose right-wing rants have managed to find an outlet in Hollinger publications.

And there's Washington superhawk Richard Perle, who heads Hollinger Digital, the company's venture capital arm. Seems that Hollinger Digital put $2.5 million in a company called Trireme Partners, which aims to cash in on the big military and homeland security buildup. As luck would have it, Trireme's managing partner is none other than . . . Richard Perle.

Perle, of course, has been pushing hard for just such a military buildup from his other perch at the Pentagon's secretive and influential Defense Policy Board, where there are a number of other Friends of Hollinger.

CONTINUED (archived nowadays)...

http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-309818.html



Where's Justice? Where's Democracy? Who cares!? The to-bomb list grows longer every day. It's why I keep bringing up Dallas. Those who remember the JFK Administration know it wasn't always this way. As for those ignoring the iceberg ahead: When they feel the ship hit, they won't admit it to having seen it coming.

PS: Dear Brother, thank you. Coming from you that means the world. We got to hold a Chautauqua in the Pirsig sense before you head to the other side of the Atlantic.

“What is in mind is a sort of Chautauqua...that's the only name I can think of for it...like the traveling tent-show Chautauquas that used to move across America, this America, the one that we are now in, an old-time series of popular talks intended to edify and entertain, improve the mind and bring culture and enlightenment to the ears and thoughts of the hearer. The Chautauquas were pushed aside by faster-paced radio, movies and TV, and it seems to me the change was not entirely an improvement. Perhaps because of these changes the stream of national consciousness moves faster now, and is broader, but it seems to run less deep. The old channels cannot contain it and in its search for new ones there seems to be growing havoc and destruction along its banks. In this Chautauqua I would like not to cut any new channels of consciousness but simply dig deeper into old ones that have become silted in with the debris of thoughts grown stale and platitudes too often repeated. "What's new?" is an interesting and broadening eternal question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion, the silt of tomorrow. I would like, instead, to be concerned with the question "What is best?," a question which cuts deeply rather than broadly, a question whose answers tend to move the silt downstream. There are eras of human history in which the channels of thought have been too deeply cut and no change was possible, and nothing new ever happened, and "best" was a matter of dogma, but that is not the situation now. Now the stream of our common consciousness seems to be obliterating its own banks, losing its central direction and purpose, flooding the lowlands, disconnecting and isolating the highlands and to no particular purpose other than the wasteful fulfillment of its own internal momentum. Some channel deepening seems called for.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values


We can use the Skype to make it easy on Agent Mike. Ha ha ha. I'm kidding, Vice President Quayl.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Wed May 13, 2015, 04:49 PM

57. One would think that Bin Laden and/or emmbers of family-entourage would have

intelligence value if taken alive.

Scarletwoman chose a good word in that the operation was "trophy hunting".

Have wondered for a decade why Mullah Omar was no longer considered a target for death or capture.

By the nature of war and conflict the "whole truth" destined to be obscured to the public.

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Response to PufPuf23 (Reply #57)

Thu May 14, 2015, 09:43 PM

67. I agree.

This nation demanded a "blood sacrifice." I mean that literally. Add to that the likelihood that some people/agencies did not want a trial, because it would have allowed Usamabin Laden a platform to communicate with the people of the world. No matter what opinion one has about 9/11, giving him such a platform would have posed risks.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2015, 06:33 AM

73. Great points, H20 Man, and well-stated.

There are some Rashomon-type stories that are worth dissecting in great detail. Seymour Hersh's brilliant reporting on how the illegal bombing of Cambodia toward the end of the Vietnam War directly led to the rise of the horrific Khmer Rouge, Michael Lewis analyzing what led to the financial implosion in 2008, and more recently Niomi Klein's analysis of climate change and Thomas Pikkety's research on capitalism come to mind.

In this particular case, concerning all the aspects of the operation, I don't think the full truth will emerge in a stark and easily identifiable manner.

I respect Hersh as a writer but no writer does their best work every time out. This is an example of that. That's why David Remnick (editor of the New Yorker) didn't run the story and Hersh sold it to the London Review of Books. Exact undisputed details of the actual operation are impossible to achieve at this time. I do credit Hersh with bringing this to the public's attention.

I've seen and read some recent interviews with Hersh. He makes some good points, that his sources are known to his editors, and that he knows he can't reconstruct the entire story completely accurately. But the story itself is not that compelling, as journalism or entertainment.

What's of most significance to me is that the President and his team worked with a complex and rapidly changing dangerous situation and followed it through to the end. He did what he promised to do in his inauguration. Protect and defend our country from its sworn enemies. More may be revealed as time goes on, especially in books by key players in national security who may go on record. I think they will show the President and his team's precision, will and fortitude in executing a risky operation.

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Response to lovemydog (Reply #73)

Fri May 15, 2015, 08:09 AM

74. Very good points.

Every important operation is, by design, compartmentalized. Thus, no one person knows "everything" -- and that includes the Commander in Chief. In some cases, this is to create the "plausible deniability" that we associate with Bush the Elder; in this instance, however, President Obama had prepared to take full responsibility, had the mission failed. While the Hersh article suggests that there was a reduced chance of failure, obviously things can go wrong.

Because of the very nature of compartmentalization, no individual -- or journalist -- can ever tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Obviously, when we consider operations such as the Office of the Vice President's attack on Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame, the top dog (in this instance, Dick Cheney) can lie about what he/she actually knew, and did. So long as a "lower" person -- Scooter Libby -- lies and takes some degree of responsibility -- a criminal operation can be difficult, even impossible, to fully prosecute.

"Systems" present fascinating dynamics. I'd venture, with some confidence, that even intelligent, concerned citizens tend to have a limited understanding of how White House/executive branch systems actually operate. Hersh, for all his talents and flaws, does have a clearer picture than most.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #74)

Fri May 15, 2015, 08:22 AM

75. Thank you sir.

And yes, I agree that Hersh, for all his talents and flaws, does have a clearer picture than most. His stuff is always worth reading. I love the New Yorker & love reading Hersh's articles. I think that some of the 'media firestorm' about his most recent article takes place amongst lesser journalists, with lesser curiosity & lesser talent.

Here's the last three paragraphs of his most recent article, along with a link to the full article (my apologies if it's already been posted upthread):

The main theme of the committee’s 499-page executive summary is that the CIA lied systematically about the effectiveness of its torture programme in gaining intelligence that would stop future terrorist attacks in the US. The lies included some vital details about the uncovering of an al-Qaida operative called Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, who was said to be the key al-Qaida courier, and the subsequent tracking of him to Abbottabad in early 2011. The agency’s alleged intelligence, patience and skill in finding al-Kuwaiti became legend after it was dramatised in Zero Dark Thirty.

The Senate report repeatedly raised questions about the quality and reliability of the CIA’s intelligence about al-Kuwaiti. In 2005 an internal CIA report on the hunt for bin Laden noted that ‘detainees provide few actionable leads, and we have to consider the possibility that they are creating fictitious characters to distract us or to absolve themselves of direct knowledge about bin Ladin [sic].’ A CIA cable a year later stated that ‘we have had no success in eliciting actionable intelligence on bin Laden’s location from any detainees.’ The report also highlighted several instances of CIA officers, including Panetta, making false statements to Congress and the public about the value of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ in the search for bin Laden’s couriers.

Obama today is not facing re-election as he was in the spring of 2011. His principled stand on behalf of the proposed nuclear agreement with Iran says much, as does his decision to operate without the support of the conservative Republicans in Congress. High-level lying nevertheless remains the modus operandi of US policy, along with secret prisons, drone attacks, Special Forces night raids, bypassing the chain of command, and cutting out those who might say no.

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v37/n10/seymour-m-hersh/the-killing-of-osama-bin-laden

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Fri May 15, 2015, 09:50 AM

76. K&R. I always appreciate your precise, rational posts. It was a link to one of your posts in June

of 2004 that led me here from smirkingchimp.com--and I have been here ever since.

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