I belong to an e-mail list comprised of U.S. and foreign professionals with an interest and expertise in military-strategic matters. Many are retired and active US military.
Of late, I seem to be the only one on the list who expresses skepticism about the much-celebrated killing of Osama bin Laden. Everyone else seems to implicitly accept the Obama administration’s version of events. Last evening, I defended my radical skepticism with two points:
- I questioned Obama’s refusal to release the Osama death photos when both his and the Bush administrations released gruesome prisoner abuse photos from Afghanistan and Iraq.
- My operating premise (a priori) with this administration is that “Obama lies,” of which we have ample evidence.
Thus far, only one member of the e-list, “X,” responded. I give X credit for not dismissing my radical skepticism by calling it “lunacy” and “toxic,” which was what a friend of mine did (he’s no longer a friend). Here’s X’s response to me. It is reasoned, temperate, and deserves a reading:
It is quite true that, during the election campaign, Obama promised an “open” administration, in a radical sense never before witnessed – “transparent” was used at times. It is equally true that his administration has set records for being unwilling to release information about what it did, why it did it, etc. To that extent, Eowyn has a point. Nevertheless, it is possible to overreact to this data; it may be that O was naive and inexperienced and had no clue why government is not entirely open – but he has learned better. He seems to be more of a pragmatist than I feared he might be. I feared he might be too ideological to address any matter in a practical way.
When Z [another member of our e-mail list] was very young – and I only a few years older – Z went undercover in the Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Washington – the primary target of that organization (which was national). It sent the staff of a regiment (30) to Seattle to organize and seed “the revolution” – and as I (and Y on this list) waited outside with a squad of students who also were US military veterans, listening on a CB radio to what Z was witnessing inside, we heard SDS meetings which, among other things,
- planned a series of bombings (two before we got involved, one afterward – which we warned about and caused us to be taken seriously – no other bomb ever went off there because we warned of every one);
- obtained money from Cuban agents who said it came from the Soviet Union;
- listened to inspiring speeches (mainly on tape) by two people who became the sponsors of Barak Obama’s political career (Bill Ayres and his later wife Bernadine Dorn) – in which they claimed the path to success for the radical (communist) left was to (a) radicalize the population; (b) get the government to crack down with security measures to radicalize the population even more; and (c) to elect suitable officials who would corrupt the system from within.
I feared O might be just such an agent – doubly because his first campaign began in their home – and their check was the first (for $5000).
My impression is O is not their creature, and he used them as much as vice versa, or more. He is content to be the “first black President” and has no plans to rule forever. He is a pragmatist enough to do things like keep Robert Gates as SECDEF – and to even stay in wars the hard left opposes – if it gives him a better shot at a second term – and some good comments by historians. Never mind the hard left is entirely opposed to US National Interests – O is willing to give them some consideration – and I am not displeased at all by that.
I do not doubt the SEALS raided OBL’s home, or killed him. I think there is evidence real evidence was obtained there. I think the many officials involved have disclosed enough to make it clear something significant happened – and something unusual for real lefties to have authorized. This is more like Mrs Clinton than Obama style – it is going along with the bureaucracy because it will sound good in the press and in history – never mind the hard core left will hate it.
That O may have less than pure motives – or less than mature grasp of NI – I will stipulate. That does not mean we ought not to be glad for what he authorized. Or believe that, in general, we are being told the broad outline of the truth. In such affairs there will always be things we are not told – and others that are garbled in the telling.
UPDATE: Right after I hit the “publish” button for this post, I received another response to my radical skepticism. This is from Z:
“OK, got it. I don’t trust Obama either, but in this case the scrutiny is so intense I doubt he will lie. Anyway, al Qaeda confirmed today. Doesn’t prove it but one more brick in the wall. -Z”