The bin Laden “Narrative”: Obama Campaign Needs to Get on this Stat!

Taylor Marsh has some very good advice for the Obama Campaign, and I hope they’re paying attention.

The partisan back and forth on the bin Laden raid began a few days ago when the Obama campaign released a video of Bill Clinton praising President Obama for his decision to order a raid on the bin Laden compound in Pakistan one year ago tomorrow.

Romney has been hammering Obama, with the help of the media, with fake outrage over the “politicization” of the raid. That seems like a pretty ridiculous considering the way the Bush administration–and the Republican Party as a whole–politicized 9/11 again and again and again for seven straight years.

But today, there’s a new threat. Michael Hastings, the Rolling Stone Reporter who brought down General Stanley McChrysal, has a piece at Buzzflash headlined “Will the Navy Seals Swift Boat Obama?”

The question arose based on a piece by Toby Harden in the Daily Mail. Harnden claims that “serving and former Seals” are angry that Obama is “using [them] as ammunition” in his reelection campaign.

According to Hastings,

The frustration—or, even anger—within the SEAL community is real, and has been brewing for months, particularly among a politically conservative core of operators. It started immediately after the raid, with questions among the Special Forces and intelligence community of whether the president should have waited to announce the kill to exploit the intelligence cache at Osama’s compound. It simmered after a Chinook helicopter was shot down, killing 30 Americans, 22 of them Navy SEALs from Team Six.

Was it a coincidence, SEALs asked themselves, catastrophe hit Team Six so soon after being named as the team responsible for the killing?

As Taylor Marsh points out, this is a serious issue and one the White House and the Obama Campaign need to get out ahead of unless they want to end up like John Kerry, who didn’t believe that anyone would take attacks on his heroic military record seriously. Marsh writes:

Coming from Hastings, whose reporting has been golden since the career ending interview with Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, continuing in his book, which has been widely lauded, this should send shock waves through Obama reelect, with someone in the “war room” investigating it immediately, if only to be prepared.

John Kerry wasn’t prepared.

May the gods help Obama reelect if the right-wing rabble of Rush and Sean decide to take hold of this one, because they’ll never let go. Jerome Corsi is likely investigating it as you read this column. Having been burned on his birther book, he’s got to be chomping at the bit to find another angle to try to take down Obama….

Everyone’s still writing about the political gamesmanship going on, missing the potential news in Hastings’ Buzzfeed piece.

In addition, Hastings indicates that White House insiders are talking out of school:

But as the stagey outrage over the politicization of foreign policy from Mitt Romney and his Republican allies gained momentum over this past weekend, White House officials started to have their doubts. Was spiking the football, again, and again, and again, in a public such a good idea? Was it necessary? Was the campaign in Chicago, White House officials wondered, going too far?

I agree with Marsh that:

One can only imagine who these unnamed “White House officials” are, but someone at 1600 better get a grip on these leaks, because in a tough election cycle they can be a politician’s undoing, especially when it revolves a story so potentially explosive.


31 Comments on “The bin Laden “Narrative”: Obama Campaign Needs to Get on this Stat!”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    John Soltz of VoteVets.org defends Obama

    http://wp.me/pgqML-aJU

  2. Great post, I was saving this for later but it seems more appropriate to put them here:

    http://www.cagle.com/2012/05/national-security-as-a-political-issue/

    and this:

    Tom In Paine: How Obama’s claims about killing Bin Laden cheapens Sept 11.

    I have sent this TominPaine link to my husband, since he is a survivor of WTC September 11th attacks, I wanted to get his take on it. I will let you know what he thinks when he sees it.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s hard to imagine how anything could cheapen 9/11 anymore than Bush/Cheney already did.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Personally, I thought bin Laden should have been captured alive and brought back to stand trial. I don’t care for the bragging, but I’m really turned off by Romney’s behavior.

        Saying “even Jimmy Carter…” when Carter actually served in the Navy for 10 years and actually did order a risky raid that went disastrously and ruined his presidency, would be bad enough for anyone. But Romney never served in the military and probably has never even been in a fight. He probably has his nails regularly manicured. He’s a namby-pamby. Who is HE to be attacking Obama or Carter?

        • ecocatwoman says:

          I’m with you 200%. I could feel my blood pressure rise when I heard Romney say former President Carter’s name. I am so very tired of the Carter bashing. Of all the presidents in my lifetime he is the only one, I feel, who was & is an honest & good person. I think those qualities are the primary reason his presidency failed. He was an outsider and wouldn’t play the DC games, so both sides did everything they could to prevent him from accomplishing much of anything.

      • bostonboomer says:

        Clinton was an outsider too. I didn’t like Carter at all, and didn’t vote for him. But fair is fair. Romney is a jackass and I have no doubt he’s a coward.

      • bostonboomer says:

        He’s insulting Carter because he doesn’t want Carter’s support? That doesn’t make sense to me.

        • I meant that Carter was on his mind, because of the statement Carter had made a few days ago..that is all. But you are right it doesn’t make sense…my mind has been thinking too much of conspiracy theories lately.

      • Fannie says:

        Romney is trying with all his might to measure up to those crocodile boots he’s been wearing with those jeans. He is not measure for the man that went to Annapolis, US Navy Academy
        and was in command of a submarine. Not to mention he had HANDS on experience as the officer in charge of shutting down the nuclear meltdown in Canada. About the only decision Romney will ever get right is which type of tuxedo to wear to the high rollers party.

        The only reason Carter’s name was brought up, was because of the botched Iran Hostage attempt. And as far as the Navy Seals, I don’t think these people can speak for the Seals, let them come forward with a face and a name. They don’t stoop low as when there is danger to our citizens, our leader.

      • bostonboomer says:

        You’re so right Fannie. I’m sick and tired of draft dodging Republicans attacking Democrat war heroes. JFK was a war hero, McGovern was a war hero, Kerry was, and Carter served. Cheney, Bush II, Romney all declined to serve.

    • ecocatwoman says:

      JJ thanks for the link. Quite a moving post. Although there is no justice whenever a crime involves the death of one or many, imprisoning Bush, Cheney, Rice and many others as war criminals & enablers would go a long way – at least for me. And celebrating the killing of someone as horrible as bin Laden is unconscionable. I agree with bb, bin Laden should have been captured alive and brought back to the US.

  3. ecocatwoman says:

    Question – did you mean Patraeus or McChriystal? McChrystal deserved to be pilloried because of the friendly fire coverup of the killing of Pat Tillman. http://www.mediaite.com/print/tillman-mcchrystal-controversy-jon-stewart-had-it-first/ McChrystal should never have been promoted – period!

    I have to say that from the beginning, with the announcement of bin Laden’s killing, I’ve been uncomfortable with how it was handled. Not that bin Laden wasn’t bad – he was. And naming Navy Seal Team 6 made me nervous. I just thought that detail should not have been released. When the chopper was shot down, my first thought was ” was that chopper targeted specifically because of bin Laden?” Can this story actually be handled? This may end up being The Nail that the Repugs & Romney have been searching for. There is no doubt in my mind that Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly et all will hammer this with everything they’ve got.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    Charlie Pierce:

    In the present case, the president actually gave the order. Osama bin Laden is actually dead. And, having done what he did, the president is well within his rights to wonder out loud if Willard Romney would have made the same call, given what Romney said back in 2007, when he was just starting to run for president. And it’s no more or less “fair” on the merits than is Romney’s constant refrain that the president “doesn’t understand how the economy works” because he’s never been a vulture capitalist.

    (Today in New Hampshire, while travelling around with Senator Kelly Ayotte, his latest vice-presidential beard, and demonstrating the pure class and raw political courage that has marked his entire political career by throwing a cheap shot at someone who wasn’t in the room, Romney said that, “Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.” This from a man whose toughest decision in his life has been which house to sleep in.)

    The reason for all the dust that’s being thrown up is that, every time he talks about foreign policy, Romney is a blindfolded man in a yard full of rakes. He wrote a Washington Post op-ed about arms control that proved Romney didn’t know enough about the subject to feed to his fish. He flirted with advocating a trade war with China, and he and his advisors occasionally slip and call Russia “the Soviet Union.” Of course, he did make the bobsleds run on time, so there’s that.

  5. HT says:

    Marsh is correct – Obama is entering dangerous territory here. I hope his handlers find some way to deflect the attention on this topic into concentrating on Romney’s policies.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I disagree. I think Romney’s complete lack of experience and knowledge about foreign policy is a very legitimate issue.

      As for his policies, what are they? All we really know for sure is that he wants to cut taxes and end “entitlements.”

      • HT says:

        I think that is the point. Romney wants to gut the New Deal. My point is concentrate on what that will mean to the electorate on a personal level. JMHO of course, but Osama Bin Laden is yesterdays news. What happens to health care, pensions, jobs etc are today’s news. I’m not saying that Obama shouldn’t bring up the fact that he okayed the raid to get OBL however I think it is more important to concentrate on what he can offer to stop the erosion of the American way of life going forward. I may be wrong – I have been numerous times in the past,

      • bostonboomer says:

        Absolutely, HT, but Obama has some achievements in foreign policy and not so many on the economy. He has even talked about cutting Social Security and Medicare. They can’t allow the Repubs to get the upper hand on this.

  6. RalphB says:

    Buzzfeed is full of crap. Obama is the first Democrat since Kennedy, with the partial exception of Clinton, whom the Republicans can’t paint as some weak pansy on foreign policy. Let them try it and see who gets hammered.

    Take a look around and note that, for now at least, the attacks on Obama have essentially ceased. They were backfiring.

    • bostonboomer says:

      It’s not Buzzfeed they should be worried about. This isn’t coming from them. It’s Drudge, Limbaugh, and that ex-Navy Seal guy mentioned in the Hastings article. Even Limbaugh was harping about this today. If the Dems don’t stand up and fight, it’s going to be Kerry all over again. It doesn’t look like the media is going to support Obama this time.

  7. RalphB says:

    This seems right on from my wanderings.

    Maddow explains the conservative media model: ‘Everybody else is out to get you’

    “I think the conservative media model involves this one really important step that liberals don’t use,” Maddow continued, “which is, ‘listen to me, I am the light and the truth and the way, you have to believe what I say and everybody else is out to get you and you can’t listen to anybody else, don’t change the channel, they’re trying to kill you.’ Liberals don’t say that. Conservatives tell their audience that.”

  8. quixote says:

    It’s going to be a lo-o-ong election season.

  9. I had hoped Jon Stewart would tackle this: Jon Stewart Goes Off On GOP Hypocrisy For Criticizing Obama’s Bin Laden Ad | Mediaite

    To no one’s surprise, on Tuesday night Jon Stewart took on the chatter surrounding the anniversary of Osama bin Laden‘s death. He shot down the outrage over President Obama‘s Osama bin Laden ad, saying Republicans would have done the same thing — and they’re just mad because they didn’t get the chance.

    Playing some Republicans’ reactions to Obama’s bin Laden ad, Stewart commented, simply and emphatically, “Wah.” He then articulated his argument with a bit more detail:

    So let me get this straight. Republicans, you are annoyed by the arrogance and braggadocio of a wartime president’s political ad? You think he is divisively and unfairly belittling his opponents. I see. Have a question. Are you on crack? Were you alive lo these past ten years? It seems unseemly for the president to spike the football. Bush landed on a fucking aircraft carrier […], he spiked the football before the game had even started!

    He asked, “You are aware that the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex gives us the ability to store and recall past events as they occurred, right?”

    Addressing critics who said the president should be credited all those who made the raid possible, Stewart quipped, “I think he thanked everybody but Harvey Weinstein.”

    Stewart concluded, “Look, Republicans, yeah, the Obama ad, kinda shitty, a little of a cheap shot, but the only reason you are pissed is that you didn’t get to run it.” He then played the ad he said Republicans would have run, had a Republican ordered the raid: an obnoxiously patriotic ad featuring President George W. Bush claiming victory, patting himself on the back, with lines like “death is a dish best served barbecued.”