04
May
11

“that’s not who we are”

Philip Gourevitch (New Yorker): ….The astonishing raid – long and secretively planned, stealthily launched, boldly and bravely and absolutely perfectly executed – was evidence of an American capability and purpose that we have longed to feel amid all the disappointments of the past decade of war.

Under Obama’s command, the raid on bin Laden … projected a cool and fearless capability. The perfect secrecy of the operation was part of its inspiring style – the total control, even the pitch-perfect relentlessness of Obama’s speech announcing the kill. Publishing trophy photographs is antithetical to that; it’s what our enemies do.

The main argument for releasing a photograph of the punctured scalp of our enemy is that it will provide proof that bin Laden really is dead. In other words, seeing is believing. But does anyone really believe that any more? Believing is believing. People who want, or need, to believe that bin Laden wasn’t shot dead will have no difficulty believing that a picture of his cadaver is a fake, a simple propaganda trick. The release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate didn’t put an end to birtherism, so why would the release of bin Laden’s autopsy video put an end to deatherism?…

At Abu Ghraib, and in far too many theatres of our post-9/11 wars, we compounded the wound that bin Laden and Al Qaeda inflicted on us ten-years ago, with self-inflicted wounds, time and again abandoning our own best principles in the name of defending them. We stooped to fighting terror with terror, and confronting barbarism with barbarism. The assassination of bin Laden allows us to begin turning the page – but surely not if that page is printed with an official trophy photograph of his blasted head.

Full article here


32 Responses to ““that’s not who we are””


  1. 1 UT Austin Liberal
    May 4, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    I had to leave for classes this morning while the debate to release the pictures or not release the pictures was going on and I hoped that the President would not release them. Even of he did, I trusted his judgement that he had carefully weighed all the pros and cons. But I am glad that he ulitmately erred on the side of caution and releasing the pictures would definitely have put Americans, Our troops and a whole host of people in the world in even more danger. If the wingnuts and loonies still don’t believe that bin laden is dead?….. then there are beds waiting for them in the insane asylum where many tea baggers and birthers reside.

  2. 2 Fred
    May 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    I’m hoping someone makes a video compilation of all the stuff Obama did last week. All the time while this ‘big fucking deal’ was going on in the background. It’s amazing how many balls Obama had in the air and handled it all with class and style and expertise. Oh, and he also found time to go to the correspondents dinner to make fun of his critics and being more funny than the professional comedian!

    This guy is just in a whole other league than everyone else!

  3. 3 margaret cargill
    May 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Thank you Mr. President Sir.

  4. May 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    This actually started before the mid-terms…. think about it . If another administration had the heads up that they were gonna loose 84 seats in congress THE entire military action would have prematurely been executed weeks before elections and milked for the last blood stain…. Because that is who THEY ARE.

    I love my president more and more….

    • 5 Brook
      May 5, 2011 at 10:40 am

      That is a GREAT observation TeamObama! I actually thought about it the opposite way. If the POTUS was just a regular politian he would have waited until September/Octover 2012 to do this for the infamous “October Suprise” to ensure his reelection. He was thinking about the country and what was best when he acted, not what would benefit him.

  5. 6 HZ
    May 4, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    Yes, I thank our President of the United States for all that he does. Thank you Mr. President.

  6. 7 Bobfr
    May 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Indeed, Mr President, that is not who we are. Thank you for reaffirming our core values.

    • 8 Bobfr
      May 4, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      Dear Mr President,

      In your 60 Minutes interview, regarding the release of the OBL images, you reaffirm our core American values by stating “That’s not who we are.”

      Thank you.

      Regarding each of those individuals demanding to see photos and videos of the body of OBL, if they are willing to step forward and commit to being personally liable to the individuals and their families whom might be harmed in any way for our Government revealing the images to them – a la what happened recently to those UN employees in Afghanistan subsequent to the burning of a copy of the Koran – then I would suggest to you, Mr. President, that you have the Library of Congress create a secure place at which they can view the images but have absolutely no way of making any form of copy of them.

      Members of the press could be permitted access as to enable them to state authoritatively that they have seen the images. The only language that they would use in such narrative reporting would have to be subject to review before release.

      Freedom of the press does not confer a right to incite violence against others.

      Warmest regards,
      Bob

      • 9 barb
        May 4, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        Bob, a very smart idea. You know they are not going to destroy they and must be held in a very secure place.

        Mr. President always has the American people in his mind first for their safety.

      • 10 nathkatun7
        May 5, 2011 at 12:59 am

        Bravo Bobfr!I totally agree with your wise comment and join you in thanking the President for refusing to give in to base instincts. There is no doubt that the most popular political thing for the President to do was to bring the bullet riddled body of bin Laden and parade it on T.V. to gloat about his success in killing the most notorious terrorist who authorized the death of thousands of people on 9/11/2001.

        Unfortunately, that would have further incited passions within the muslim world, probably resulting in more violence and hatred against Americans. Moreover, it would never have satisfied the Obama haters, the so called “deathers” who would still accuse him of conspiring to dupe the American people by parading around a false body of bin Laden while the real bin Laden was still alive.

        As always, President Obama action, in this instance, transcended politics; it clearly revealed his courage to do the right thing,for the good of the country, no matter the consequences for his own political future.

        • 11 Bobfr
          May 5, 2011 at 1:14 am

          Thank you so much nathkatun for sharing your always valuable insights.

          Furthermore, additional critical insights into the significance of what President Obama achieved:

          “Although the gruesome descriptions of the pictures of Bin Laden with a bullet in his head would appear to underscore that reputation — and help to explain why President Obama decided Wednesday not to release them — Mr. Greitens called Seal members “creative” commandos who knew “to bring back as much intelligence as they possibly could.”

          The cache the Seal team recovered from the Bin Laden compound included more than 100 storage devices — DVDs, thumb drives and computer discs — as well as 5 computers and 10 computer hard drives.

          Despite the mission’s success, former Seal members acknowledged the precariousness of the raid and the degree of luck involved. “If that thing had gone bad, the conversation you and I would be having would be completely different,” Mr. Shipley said. “There’s only two ways to go in these operations — zero or hero.””

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/world/middleeast/05seals.html

          Far, far beyond terminating OBL was the exceptional precision of our President’s thinking about what could be recovered in the raid – an intelligence trove that almost assuredly has already enabled several directed missions against other terrorist elements within the AQ network.

          Bravo President Obama. Bravo Team 6!

        • 12 Bobfr
          May 5, 2011 at 1:18 am

          So much appreciate your always insightful comments, nathkatun. I had tried to respond earlier but for some reason that post has not arrived, so I’m re-posting.

          Furthermore, critical insights into the significance of what President Obama achieved continue to emerge:

          “Although the gruesome descriptions of the pictures of Bin Laden with a bullet in his head would appear to underscore that reputation — and help to explain why President Obama decided Wednesday not to release them — Mr. Greitens called Seal members “creative” commandos who knew “to bring back as much intelligence as they possibly could.”

          The cache the Seal team recovered from the Bin Laden compound included more than 100 storage devices — DVDs, thumb drives and computer discs — as well as 5 computers and 10 computer hard drives.

          Despite the mission’s success, former Seal members acknowledged the precariousness of the raid and the degree of luck involved. “If that thing had gone bad, the conversation you and I would be having would be completely different,” Mr. Shipley said. “There’s only two ways to go in these operations — zero or hero.””

          http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/world/middleeast/05seals.html

          Far, far beyond terminating OBL was the exceptional precision of our President’s thinking about what could be recovered in the raid – an intelligence trove that almost assuredly has already enabled several directed missions against other terrorist elements within the AQ network.

          Bravo President Obama. Bravo Team 6!

  7. 13 Luci1119
    May 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

    Mr. President Obama, you are a TRUE LEADER, that’s going about the Business, Thank you President Obama, for being who you are.

  8. 14 Suzanne holland
    May 4, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Thank you President Obama..as always the wonderful adult in the room!

  9. 15 collegekay
    May 4, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Yes, Mr. President. Yes.

  10. 16 dotster
    May 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I see the AP has requested all photos and videos concerning this raid and burial through the Freedom of Information Act. The admin. has 20 days to respond. Anyone have any expertise on the likely success of this action? I am firmly in Obama’s corner on this decision for all the reasons he has stated. There will always be skeptics, no matter what, and the likelihood of the photos becoming a propaganda tool and causing harm is undeniable. All reasonable people know bin Laden is dead and “will never walk this earth again.”

    • 17 collegekay
      May 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      Oh Lord. Perhaps the Administration can deny this solely because it jeopardizes our national security.

    • 18 UT Austin Liberal
      May 4, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      Hey dotster based on ammendments and Executive orders to the freedom of information act, the President has the right to deny the AP all photos and videos concerning the raid if he and his administration feel that it would jeopardize people, and national security. The President in 2010 signed a retroactive classification pertaining to the freedom of info act that he reserves the right to not release sensitive info if he feels it would harm the nation and it doesn’t matter if a press outlet demands to see them.

  11. 20 Dia
    May 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    I sure hope Croft shows some respect not seen in his previous interviews with our Beloved President!!
    Glad he decided not to show the pic. May Jehovah continue to BLESS Prez Obama family, his famiy and his administration.

  12. 21 PoliticalJunkessa
    May 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    My President got extra bass in his voice: “Yes.” “It was him.” Gon’ ‘head, Commander in Chief!

    -—-PJ (still boycotting the news media…except for Lawrence O’Donnell…for now :-))

    • 22 Lisa
      May 4, 2011 at 8:43 pm

      Are you watching Lawrence now? Did you hear the OBL clarification? Apparently only one man was armed and he wasn’t in the main house with OBL. They said according to officials,neither OBL or his son fought back. Lawrence’s guest was like: “this is messy, they(PBO) should have just told us the bare minimum and gotten the complete story, then told us……they(PBO) probably got too caught up in their excitement….” can you believe that idiot? As if the so called journalists would have waited 3 days for the story. Either way, no one cares if OBL died with a gun in his hand or not,except for those idiot propogandaists.

      • 23 UT Austin Liberal
        May 4, 2011 at 8:56 pm

        I was watching and had to change the channel. The media is complaining about so called information that isn’t “complete”. They were the ones CLAMOURING for details and more details… instead of waiting. Do they want OBL alive today?… Do they think that the Navy Seals didn’t weigh their options and decide that killing OBL was the right one?… Gosh with the media its one step forward.. 1000 steps backward.

        • 24 lisa
          May 4, 2011 at 9:07 pm

          exactly, they are so stupid. can’t stand them. Guess I’ll be spending tomorrow watching E! and TBS :( Don’t want to hear whatever those fools will be saying tomorrow.

      • 25 Theo67
        May 4, 2011 at 9:50 pm

        The people who got the story wrong are the media and irresponsible members of the Administration (i.e. Panetta). The President and those who get the facts first before speaking – they’ve been saying the same story. It’s not the President’s fault that the media decided to report on gossip, without waiting for the facts to emerge.

  13. 26 barb
    May 4, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    For the number of jerk heads that kept complaining how aloof our President is, he is suddenly becoming very popular. Reasonable people are in awe at what was accomplished last week and as he told the reporters during a briefing regarding the birth certificate. I am busy with important things. You are helping to keep this alive and I don’t have time for it and that means you too carnival barker.

    • 27 collegekay
      May 4, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      The media is all over him now. SMH. Jerks. I’m glad that WE have always had his back.

  14. 28 SUE DUVALL SMITH
    May 4, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    ABSOLUTELY….’AMEN’ MR. PRESIDENT…NO OTHER EXPLANATION IS NEEDED!

  15. 29 anniebella
    May 4, 2011 at 11:16 pm

    I agree with the President. I believe he made the right decision. I agree that Americans over seas could be in danger, our military people could be in danger. I for one don’t want to see the pictures. There have been several Congress people and Senators who said they have seen the pictures and it is bin Liden. Enough said, that settles it for me.

  16. 30 anniebella
    May 5, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Have anyone notice how the media, who are a royal pain, are trying to tear about the story how bin Liden was kill? They are saying how the story seem to change each day. But excuse me, I don’t care if bin Liden had a gun or not, I don’t care if he put up a fight or not, I don’t care if the brave men who carried out this mission were the only one firing bullets.To me there is one thing I do care about, THEY KILL BIN LIDEN! So if bin Liden had no gun when he was killed, neither did the thousands Americans who was murder by him on 9/11. Now they, the media have the nerve to tell us that Pakinstan people( I hope that is spell right) anyway they said that bin Liden 12 year old daughter said her father was held for ten minutes or so, then kill. Excuse me, this is bin Liden’s daughter and I guess we are to believe every word which comes out of her mouth. NOT!!!! And as for Pakinstan, same with them, this killer was holding up right in their back yard and they claim to not know about it. I’m not so sure if I buy that. So why the media try to spin their own little story, I will not forget the main fact! The most important fact. Osama Bin Liden is dead. And I hope this has that nut in Lybia shaking in his boots.

  17. 31 anniebella
    May 5, 2011 at 8:34 am

    There are two reasons the USA continue to deal with Pakinstan, number one they have nucelar weapons, number two, terrorists. If they didn’t have those nucelar weapons, I believe this President would cut ties with them. But who want to take the change that some terrorists could possible get their hand on any of those dangerous weapons.

  18. 32 GeorgiaPat
    May 5, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Producing a picture is not going to stop the people who want to believe it’s a hoax. Some people still don’t believe the birth certificate! Why put ourselves out to the world as insensitive, crude people? I think the picture would have done more harm than good.


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