Osama bin Laden shooting. Obama takes the plaudits. Did Panetta take the decision?

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Or –

5th May 2011

These pictures are hoped to “define” President Obama in the run-up to the next US election, November 2012.

Today President Obama laid a wreath at Ground Zero, four days after Osama bin Laden was killed. What took hm so long? I don't mean 'so long' to kill bin Laden. What took him so long to lay a wreath or even TO VISIT Ground Zero!?

FIRST visit of President Barack Obama to Ground Zero. FIRST visit as President. I assume that he visited there prior to his inauguration almost two and a half years ago. Did he? In the eight years prior? Here he poses with officers of the First Precinct police station in lower Manhattan during a visit to the World Trade Center site in New York, May 5, 2011. (Picture from Voice of America)

How come the American President never managed to get around to visiting Ground Zero before today?

Leon Panetta, soon-to-be Secretary of Defense. In his present position, Head of the CIA, it is said HE made the decisions on the attack on bin Laden's compound, with President Obama no more than a spectator.

Who is Leon Panetta?

Outside of the USA few of us will have heard of him. But this may well be the man who should be taking the public and press plaudits. Aged 72  he has extensive background across politics, the secret services and the military. He was Chief of Staff to Bill Clinton between  July 17, 1994 and January 20, 1997. A former soldier he is a lawyer, professor and was a Republican before becoming a Democrat at the age of 33.

You might recall that Leon Panetta said a few days ago that photographic evidence of Osama bin Laden’s body would “soon” be released.  Well, almost immediately, President Obama said it wouldn’t.

According to the article linked below, Panetta may well have “decided” that bin Laden should be killed. (Cynics might suggest that could be useful as an ‘Obama get-out‘ if it had all gone wrong.)

A few weeks ago it was announced that Mr Panetta would replace Robert Gates as the US Secretary of Defense (Wikipedia). Right now he is Director of the CIA. This CIA background is something he shares with the present Secretary of Defense, Gates.

From The New American

Excerpt: ‘President Obama has nominated a new national security team that is has veteran establishment credentials and appear to create an even tighter nexus between intelligence agencies and the military. Obama announced the following appointments April 28: Secretary of Defense: Current CIA Director Leon Panetta (left) will replace Robert Gates, a rare cabinet holdover from the Bush administration. Panetta is a longtime Washington insider, having served as a Chief of Staff and OMB Director under President Bill Clinton and a congressman from California. Panetta will not be the first CIA officer to take over the Department of Defense, as Gates’ official biography notes that “Secretary Gates joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1966 and spent nearly 27 years as an intelligence professional” including serving as CIA director 1991-93.’

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The post below is said to have come from an “insider”.

Cross-post – White House Insider: Obama Hesitated – Panetta Issued Order to Kill Osama Bin Laden

Note:This update comes some 24 hours after our longtime Washington D.C. Insider first outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden.  What follows is further clarification of Insider’s insights surrounding that event.

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Q: You stated that President Obama was “overruled” by military/intelligence officials regarding the decision to send in military specialists into the Osama Bin Laden compound.  Was that accurate?

A: I was told – in these exact terms, “we overruled him.” (Obama)  I have since followed up and received further details on exactly what that meant, as well as the specifics of how Leon Panetta worked around the president’s “persistent hesitation to act.”  There appears NOT to have been an outright overruling of any specific position by President Obama, simply because there was no specific position from the president to do so.  President Obama was, in this case, as in all others, working as an absentee president.

I was correct in stating there had been a push to invade the compound for several weeks if not months, primarily led by Leon Panetta, Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates, David Petraeus, and Jim Clapper.  The primary opposition to this plan originated from Valerie Jarrett, and it was her opposition that was enough to create uncertainty within President Obama.  Obama would meet with various components of the pro-invasion faction, almost always with Jarrett present, and then often fail to indicate his position.  This situation continued for some time, though the division between Jarrett/Obama and the rest intensified more recently, most notably from Hillary Clinton.  She was livid over the president’s failure to act, and her office began a campaign of anonymous leaks to the media indicating such.  As for Jarrett, her concern rested on two primary fronts.  One, that the military action could fail and harm the president’s already weakened standing with both the American public and the world.  Second, that the attack would be viewed as an act of aggression against Muslims, and further destabilize conditions in the Middle East.

Q: What changed the president’s position and enabled the attack against Osama Bin Laden to proceed?

A:  Nothing changed with the president’s opinion – he continued to avoid having one.  Every time military and intelligence officials appeared to make progress in forming a position, Jarrett would intervene and the stalling would begin again.  Hillary started the ball really rolling as far as pressuring Obama began, but it was Panetta and Petraeus who ultimately pushed Obama to finally act – sort of.  Panetta was receiving significant reports from both his direct CIA sources, as well as Petraeus-originating Intel.  Petraeus was threatening to act on his own via a bombing attack.  Panetta reported back to the president that a bombing of the compound would result in successful killing of Osama Bin Laden, and little risk to American lives.  Initially, as he had done before, the president indicated a willingness to act.  But once again, Jarrett intervened, convincing the president that innocent Pakistani lives could be lost in such a bombing attack, and Obama would be left attempting to explain Panetta’s failed policy.  Again Obama hesitated – this time openly delaying further meetings to discuss the issue with Panetta.  A brief meeting was held at this time with other officials, including Secretary Gates and members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but Gates, like Panetta, was unable to push the president to act.  It was at this time that Gates indicated to certain Pentagon officials that he may resign earlier than originally indicated – he was that frustrated.  Both Panetta and Clinton convinced him to stay on and see the operation through.

What happened from there is what was described by me as a “masterful manipulation” by Leon Panetta.

Read more here
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This whole article is packed full of information which, if true, puts Obama back where much of the USA, and many of the rest of us, thought he felt far more comfortable – in the old Democrat mould – undeciding, unwilling to confront.

This is particularly intriguing, concerning the alleged input of both Hillary Clinton and Robert Gates.
Article continues –
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I have been told by more than one source that Leon Panetta was directing the operation with both his own CIA operatives, as well as direct contacts with military – both entities were reporting to Panetta only at this point, and not the President of the United States.  There was not going to be another delay as had happened 24 hour earlier.  The operation was at this time effectively unknown to President Barack Obama or Valerie Jarrett and it remained that way until AFTER it had already been initiated.  President Obama was literally pulled from a golf outing and escorted back to the White House to be informed of the mission.  Upon his arrival there was a briefing held which included Bill Daley, John Brennan, and a high ranking member of the military.  When Obama emerged from the briefing, he was described as looking “very confused and uncertain.”  The president was then placed in the situation room where several of the players in this event had already been watching the operation unfold.  Another interesting tidbit regarding this is that the Vice President was already “up to speed” on the operation.  A source indicated they believe Hillary Clinton had personally made certain the Vice President was made aware of that day’s events before the president was.  The now famous photo released shows the particulars of that of that room and its occupants.  What that photo does not communicate directly is that the military personnel present in that room during the operation unfolding, deferred to either Hillary Clinton or Robert Gates.  The president’s role was minimal, including their acknowledging of his presence in the room.  [Read more]

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RELATED
A timely Congressional report – Iran’s elite Al-Quds force offers support to Al-Qaeda
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4 Responses to “Osama bin Laden shooting. Obama takes the plaudits. Did Panetta take the decision?”

  1. Stan Says:

    Sorry KTBFPM, but I don’t think that these petty, mean-spirited attacks on Obama do much to enhance a blog that does a splendid job in exposing the petty, mean-spirited attacks on Tony Blair.

  2. BlairSupporter Says:

    Just saying what is reported online, Stan. Don’t rate Obama much, as you know and as I have said before. But I’d applaud him for helping rid the world of OBL. If only we saw some evidence. Just a little? A teensy weensy bit? Or are you happy with what another commenter referred to as “hearsay”.

    You know the kind of thing:

    “The woman reported that she saw the man being killed by another man and watched as his body was dumped at sea. The police remain sceptical as no evidence has been found that shows this actually happened.”

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