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More On The WH’s ‘Changing Narrative’

From a mildly curious Associated Press:

In the end, the menacing terrorist had no gun

By Kimberly Dozier And Erica Werner, Associated Press
May 4, 2011

WASHINGTON – A U.S. commando’s curt message to superiors signaled the end had come for the world’s most wanted terrorist: "Geronimo EKIA," meaning enemy killed in action.

Osama bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader who liked to pose with a menacing AK-47 assault rifle in his hand or by his side, was discovered without a gun by the Navy SEALs who barged into his room and shot him dead.

"Barged into his room"? They didn’t knock first?

The White House on Tuesday gave a more complete picture of the assault — and corrected some key details from earlier official accounts — as the team that pulled off the storied raid in Pakistan briefed officials and rested back at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington.

"Storied" is right.

The administration possesses graphic images of bin Laden’s corpse, at least one of which is likely to be released, according to CIA Director Leon Panetta. Officials hope that doing so would quiet any doubts that bin Laden is indeed dead. The worry is that anti-U.S. sentiment would be inflamed as a result.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., among the lawmakers who had the images described to them, played down that concern. "They’re not going to scare people off," he said. "Nothing more than you’d expect with a person with a bullet in his head." …

This has got to be the most hyped release of a picture since ‘Gone With The Wind.’

Codenamed Geronimo after the Apache fighter of the late 1800s who was ultimately captured by the U.S., bin Laden was buried at sea from an American ship scant hours after his death.

We are told that it was necessary to use troops for this mission in order to capture the body and thereby prove that we actually killed Osama Bin Laden. And yet they turn around and throw the body overboard and won’t even release any photos of him. It doesn’t make sense.

White House officials initially suggested bin Laden had been holding a gun and perhaps firing at U.S. forces. The corrected account raised questions about whether the Americans ever planned to take him alive, or simply were out to kill him.

If this has happened on President Bush’s watch, we would be hearing from every ACLU lawyer in the country. But for some odd reason we have not heard one peep out of them or any of the other usual suspects.

Panetta told "PBS NewsHour" that bin Laden "made some threatening moves" that "represented a clear threat to our guys" but was not more specific about what the unarmed terrorist did as the commandos engaged others at the compound in a firefight and burst into their prey’s room.

"I don’t think he had a lot of time to say anything," Panetta said. "It was a firefight going up that compound. … This was all split-second action on the part of the SEALs."

It sounds like they are going to blame the SEALs.

Panetta underscored that Obama had given permission to kill the terrorist leader: "The authority here was to kill bin Laden," he said. "And obviously, under the rules of engagement, if he had in fact thrown up his hands, surrendered and didn’t appear to be representing any kind of threat, then they were to capture him. But they had full authority to kill him."

Apparently, we are never going to hear what kind of "threat" he offered.

After they shot him in the head and chest, the SEAL team in just minutes quickly swept bin Laden’s compound for useful intelligence, making off with a cache of computer equipment and documents. The CIA was hurriedly setting up a task force to review the material from the highest level of al-Qaida’s leadership.

Hasn’t this operation been in the works for months? Why wasn’t the CIA prepared for new material?

The documents provide a rare opportunity for U.S. intelligence. When a midlevel terrorist is captured, his bosses know exactly what information might be compromised and can change plans. When the boss is taken, everything might be compromised but nobody knows for sure.

Having this computer equipment and documents is nice, of course. But having an alive Bin Laden would have been even better, at least in terms of what could be extracted from him under the right circumstances.

The revised account of bin Laden’s final moments was one of many official details that have changed since he was killed in the nighttime raid early Monday morning in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad. The White House misidentified which of bin Laden’s sons was killed — it was Khalid, not Hamza. Officials incorrectly said bin Laden’s wife died in gunfire while serving as his human shield. That actually was the wife of a bin Laden aide, and she was just caught in crossfire, the White House said Tuesday.

Which isn’t any too confidence inspiring.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney attributed those discrepancies to the fog of war, saying the information was coming in bit by bit and was still being reviewed. Nevertheless, the contradictory statements may raise suspicions about the White House’s version of events, given that no independent account from another source is likely to emerge. The only non-U.S. witnesses to survive the raid are in Pakistani custody.

Five people were killed in the raid, officials said: bin Laden; his son; his most trusted courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti; and al-Kuwaiti’s wife and brother. The latest White House account leaves open the question of whether there was any gunfire from bin Laden’s defenders in his room before the commandos shot him

This sounds like the AP is suggesting a handy way out for the administration.

Yet just 24 hours before the White House acknowledged that bin Laden had been unarmed, Obama’s chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, said, "If we had the opportunity to take bin Laden alive, if he didn’t present any threat, the individuals involved were able and prepared to do that."

Again, the White House has yet to decide what kind of threat Bin Laden presented.

Obama and his national security team followed the operation as it unfolded, watching television monitors, the air thick with tension at the White House. Nerves were raw when one of the two Black Hawk helicopters that descended into the bin Laden compound Monday fell heavily to the ground. Officials believe that was due to higher-than-expected air temperature that interfered with the chopper’s ability to hover — an aeronautical condition known as "hot and high."

More new information.

The SEALs all got out of the downed helicopter and proceeded into the compound. As they swept through the property, they handcuffed those they encountered with plastic zip ties and pressed on in pursuit of their target.

Notice the conspicuous absence of any mention of return fire from the compound.

Many SEAL team members carry helmet-mounted cameras, but the video beamed back to Washington did not show the fateful showdown with bin Laden, officials said.

More new information. Buried at the next to last paragraph of this long article.

That word came from the SEALs on the ground: "Geronimo EKIA." The CIA’s makeshift command center erupted in applause as the SEALs helicoptered to safety.

Again, why "makeshift"? Hasn’t this operation been in the works for months?

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

15 Responses to “More On The WH’s ‘Changing Narrative’”

  1. Melly says:

    Such hypocrisy. How do you threaten a “Cheney Executive Assassin?”
    Spin, dither, spin, dither, spin,……they are acting like children handling a grown up situation.

  2. Chase says:

    I suppose rather than threatening the US Navy SEALs with a couple of his wives’ shoes (then again, he probably throws, my apologies to the women, like a girl) they might have been forewarned of the chance that Osama had d a suicide vest at hand to don when hearing the first sounds of the attack….a hollow point to the head would nullify much chance of it going off, thus protecting the advancing SEALs.

  3. bobdog says:

    Didn’t they read him his Miraaaaaaanda Rights?

    Did those army men have to be so mean?

    Couldn’t they just sit down and talk nicely with him like civilized people and explain why we’re so, like, mad at him?

    Uh, no, yes, and no.

    The real question is whether AP is run by 13 year old girls.

  4. TerryAnne says:

    Here’s something that ticked me off this morning.

    I’m watching ABC’s morning program while eating breakfast. On comes a segment about Zero’s tough decision making process this weekend, and how it’s typical of presidents. Apparently only typical of Carter, Clinton and Zero, though. So, it goes on to talk about Mogadishu; fair considering talking about tough decisions. During that talk, they show footage of our live soldiers from Blackhawk Down, being dragged through the streets. You know: the last footage of them seen alive before they were shot in cold blood?

    Then they show footage of our downed aircraft and helos from Carter’s mess-up in Iran (and, of course, added commentary that Iran is what destroyed Carter’s career…).

    That segment ends and leads into the anchors talking about how the OBL photos will likely not be released because they are too gruesome and might incense the “terrorists” (not that they used that word).

    So…showing our guys being dragged through the street – the last footage of them alive – is ok. Showing the purported photo of the guy who assisted in killing 3000 innocent civilans is bad.


    Another point: if showing the photo is a bad thing, why are they talking about how OBL was reportedly unarmed when shot? That’s a huge problem, IMO.

    Also, if they were worried about OBLs burial site becoming a pilgrimage site and, thus, had to dump the body at sea…why did they tell everyone where he was purportedly killed? Hey, guys, guess where you can build an epic mosque?


    • jobeth says:

      Yeah…They were really careful to not insult our sensitivities when they hung our guys from bridges.

      But we are so sure that if we are nice to them, they will say “Golly gee…they were so nice to our hero…we’ll be nice to the yanks.” Of course they will.

      Bleeding heart libs make me laugh and cry in frustration at the same time.

      “why did they tell everyone where he was purportedly killed? Hey, guys, guess where you can build an epic mosque?” Excellent point!

  5. proreason says:

    Gee what an amazing coincidence that there is no video of OBL getting the double tap. Who would have imagined that?

    And who made the decision for some of the Seals to wear helmet cameras and others not? How could anybody have known what any of the individuals would have been doing? I guess this raid wasn’t important enough to be thorough, or maybe helmet cameras are on the Moron’s budget savings list. If 10 had cameras, and 10 didn’t, that would have saved about $1,000, enough for a wagu steak meal for the our royal family.

    I don’t think I’ve heard a single detail yet that hasn’t changed at least once. This story is almost as difficult to pin down as Obamy’s life history or the details of our new death panels.

    • BannedbytheTaliban says:

      It makes you wonder how they could screw up the details so badly since they watched it all ‘live.” We have the picture of our heroes, the smartest man in the world BHO, and the smartest women in the world HRC, in their moment of glory, watching it all unfold, on the edge of their seats, hands tentatively resting on their lips, the drama palpable, featured prominently on most major news sites. How could they get it so wrong? The dumbest, government educated, whiskey tango could recount the last episode of 24 more accurately.

  6. P. Aaron says:

    We have a ‘makeshift’ president.

  7. tranquil.night says:

    Terrible liars, honestly. Such transparent amateurs. I remember reading a quote in article about the treasure trove of intelligence we were getting from OBL’s hard-drive:

    “Oh yeah! We may know where Zawahiri is now! We’re going there next!” He tells the world.

    • proreason says:

      I think they view lying as a major component of their overall strategy, not just for the OBL episode, but for everything that they do. It both covers the trail and provides story variations they can draw from later, when they finalize the narrative. I believe the Moron also lies even when it isn’t necessary in the moment, because at the point of attack, it really isn’t possible to predict how events will play out. In addition, since he lies so frequently and so glibly, his opponents never really know what is true or not.

      When they rewrite history after the events have settled down, they know they can go back and lift out whatever story they want, because multiple threads always exist. It wouldn’t work if the media was even close to objective, but when you contol the message it is better to have more than one message to chose from when you harden the narrative.

    • Right of the People says:


      Lying is what they do. It is so ingrained in the moron’s psyche he can’t help himself. The problem with habitual liars like the Bamster is they sometimes forget the lies they’ve told in the past and have to invent new lies to jibe with the old ones.

      Even when telling the truth would be the best thing, they still lie because they simply can’t help themselves and it is second nature.

  8. GetBackJack says:

    Anyone recall my original comments when this story first broke?

    “Why are any of us believing anything this administration and the media says?”

    Buehler? Buehler?

  9. Kaffeesatz says:

    “That word came from the SEALs on the ground: “Geronimo EKIA.” The CIA’s makeshift command center erupted in applause as the SEALs helicoptered to safety.

    Again, why “makeshift”? Hasn’t this operation been in the works for months?”

    Well, operational security, for one thing.

    If you have a majot operation going and you suddenly change your operating patterns, it tips your hand to the enemy. Do you really trust that the CIA and State Department, nevermind the WHitehouse, does not contain at least one mole that might report unusual activities?

    Suddenly there is a major push to build a command center and assemble an intelligence team? This would not be too hard to get leaked. We did not tell the Paki’s because we KNEW they would tip off OBL. We did not tell the US govt because it might have been leaked out and tipped off OBL.

    No worries there.

  10. Right of the People says:

    “But having an alive Bin Laden would have been even better, at least in terms of what could be extracted from him under the right circumstances.”

    I wonder if they got his Blackberry and who was in his fave five?

    Do you think if they had brought him in, the O’ster might have considered waterboarding?

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