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The Osama Hit — It Wasn’t a Gutsy Call

The Osama Hit — It Wasn’t a Gutsy  Call

By Ben Shapiro On May 2, 2012 @ 12:54 am In Daily  Mailer,FrontPage

Any reasonably astute observer of politics knew within hours  of Osama Bin Laden’s killing that President Obama would take as much credit for  the hit as humanly possible. What we didn’t know is that he’d turn it into a  full-blown campaign issue – and that in the process, we’d find that he fulfilled  all our worst fears about his weakness in the first place.

This week, President Obama’s campaign put out an ad suggesting  that had Mitt Romney been President of the United States, he wouldn’t have  authorized the mission to “get Bin Laden.” That ad featured Bill Clinton – yes,  the same Bill Clinton who routinely missed opportunities to get Bin Laden – stating that Obama took “the harder and the more honorable path.” Then these  words appear on the screen: “Which path would Mitt Romney have  taken?”

The answer: the same path as every President of the United  States in the history of the country. Even Jimmy Carter (as Romney said)   would have had no problem making this call. The fact that we were all surprised – and face it, we were – when President Obama ordered the hit is evidence that  we didn’t expect him to do the right thing.

In fact, as the evidence shows, Obama did the right  thing  only after safely ensuring that should anything go awry, he’d have  someone to blame. Here’s the memo that then-CIA head Leon Panetta wrote about  the Obama order:

Received phone call from Tom Donilon who stated that the  President made a decision with regard to AC1 [Abbottabad Compound 1]. The  decision is to proceed with the assault.

The timing, operational decision making and control are in  Admiral McRaven’s hands. The approval is provided on the risk profile presented  to the President. Any additional risks are to be brought back to the President  for his consideration. The direction is to go in and get bin Laden and if he is  not there, to get out. Those instructions were conveyed to Admiral McRaven at  approximately 10:45 am.

Notice anything odd here? There are a few elements  that are strange. First, Obama places all operational authority under Admiral  McRaven (who, by the way, received exactly zero credit in  any of this). To ensure that Obama would be able to  throw McRaven under the bus should things go south, he spelled out that the  approval was based only on the “risk profile  presented to the President.” Any additional risks were to be “brought back to the President for his consideration.”

This is strange language. Typically, it is understood that a  president is giving orders based on the risk profile presented – what else would  he give approval for an operation based upon? The extra sentence here spelling  out how Obama might stop the mission if the risk profile changed  is  extraneous. More than that, it’s troubling – military situations are always  fluid, and the risk profile constantly changes. Were the military to update  President Obama with every change in risk profile, the operation would never  take place.

But Obama did want the operation  to take place. He just wanted to be able to cover himself if things went wrong.  He could always say that the risk profile had changed and that he wasn’t  informed. He could blame Panetta or McRaven.

That, of course, has been President Obama’s M.O. throughout  his presidency on foreign policy. When he gave the military fewer  troops  than requested in Afghanistan, he blamed it on his generals. When things go  poorly in Afghanistan, it’s Bush’s fault. Everything is always someone else’s  fault. But when things go right, he takes all the credit. In Obama’s new  opinion, he’s the only man who would have made the call to get Bin  Laden. As he said this week, “I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a  clear shot at him, and I did. If there are others who have said one thing and  now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain  it.”

Even Ariana Huffington finds Obama’s  grandstanding on this issue despicable.  And so, apparently, do a number  of  Navy SEALs, who usually remain anonymous and silent for the most part,  but have spoken out on this occasion.

As Toby Harnden of the UK Daily Mail reported, “Ryan Zinke, a former Commander n the US Navy who  spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision  was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself  on the back for making the right call. I think every  president would have done the same.’” Zinke wasn’t the only SEAL speaking  out. Harnden reports the words of Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper “with 160  confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit,” said“In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama  was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who  really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the  military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his  secret is safe.”

Not safe enough.  The way President Obama has  turned the hit on bin Laden into a political issue has drained away the credit  he deserved for ordering the mission in the first  place.

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Did the  Obama  administration abandon Chen  Guangcheng?

Hotair ^ | 05/02/2012 | Ed Morrissey


The story of Chinese democracy activist Chen Guangcheng took a bizarre  turn  this morning. The dissident escaped house arrest and ended up at the  US embassy  in Beijing, with an injury to his foot in the escape. The US  then announced that  they had negotiated safe passage to a hospital with  the Chinese government,  where Chen could be reunited with his family. However, the AP reported a few minutes agothat the  US  told him that if he didn't leave, the Beijing government would beat his  wife to  death ... and now he fears for his life:

Blind legal activist Chen Guangcheng says a U.S. official told him that   Chinese authorities threatened to beat his wife to death had be not left  the  American Embassy.

Speaking by phone from his hospital room in Beijing on Wednesday night,  a  shaken Chen told The Associated Press that U.S. officials relayed the  threat  from the Chinese side.

Chen, who fled to the embassy six day ago, left under an agreement in  which  he would receive medical care, be reunited with his family and  allowed to attend  university in a safe place. He says he now fears for his  safety and wants to  leave.

Here was the story earlier today, from LifeNews and an earlier report from the AP:

In a new deal between the United States and China, Chen has left to a  local  hospital and is reportedly under American protection, as U.S  officials have  guaranteed his safety. U.S. Ambassador Gary Locke escorted  Chen, according to an  AP report, to the Chaoyang Hospital and, on the way  there, Chen called his  lawyer, Li Jinsong, who said Chen told him: “‘I’m  free. I’ve received clear  assurances.’” …

As part of the agreement that ended the fraught, behind-the-scenes standoff, U.S. officials said China agreed to let Mr. Chen receive a medical checkup and be reunited with his family at the hospital; his wife and two children joined him there Wednesday afternoon. He would then be relocated to a safe place in China where he could study at university — all demands activists said Mr. Chen had raised.

Clinton, in a statement, said Mr. Chen’s exit from the embassy “reflected  his  choices and our values” and said the U.S. would monitor the assurances  Beijing  gave. “Making these commitments a reality is the next crucial  task,” she  said.

It doesn’t sound as though Chen feels particularly “free” at  the  moment. Did the Obama administration sell out Chen to the Beijing  government? If  so, that sends a chilling message to democracy activists  and dissidents around  the world about American commitment to freedom, and  Obama’s own insistence that  he would be on the side of freedom-loving  activists.


Obama Kowtow  to Chinese  Leaders

What a sickening disgrace. How utterly typical  of 0bama. Another kowtow to a communist.

How about telling the ChiComs that Chen and his  wife  and any kids are leaving, that they have US diplomatic immunity and  any  reprisals against Chen's extended family will be will be met with  severe  repercussions for US-China relations?

How much courage would it take to do that?

Apparently more than exists in the Zero WH and the State   Dept.

These people make me sick.


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Young Chinese heroine kidnapped for helping Chen flee: advocate

Life Site News ^ | May 2, 2012 | KATHLEEN GILBERT



He Peirong

BEIJING, May 2, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - He Peirong is a beautiful, petite Chinese woman friends describe as having a “spine of steel” - one that proved an immense benefit to her friend, human rights activist Chen Guangcheng, whose bid for freedom she spearheaded.

But the young woman’s fate is now dangerously unknown, as she disappeared immediately after the last leg of her effort to get the forced-abortion opponent out of the government’s reach and into the U.S. Embassy last week.

Advocates say she has likely been kidnapped by Chinese officials, who are infamous for their brutal torture methods against those who defy the Communist regime.

Telling from Chen’s own treatment - which involved severe beatings, starvation, and imprisonment in his home for the past 19 months despite being officially charged with no crime - the lack of contact from He Peirong is highly alarming to advocates overseas.

Reggie Littlejohn of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers, a U.S.-based advocacy group against forced abortions in China with deep connections to Chen’s community, said that Peirong has already suffered beatings and jailing for her efforts several times. But the success of the Embassy escape is likely to especially anger Chinese officials, as Littlejohn says it came about even while the Communisty Party was “clamp[ing] down on him as hard as it could.”

Somehow, Peirong managed to get Chen past 66 guards working in three shifts - 22 guards every eight hours - outside his house.  The village itself was sealed by another set of guards, and Chen, on top of being blind, seriously sick, and injured from beatings, had his phone, computer and television confiscated, cutting him off from the outside world.

“According to Peirong, Chen spent months on his back, pretending to be near death, so that his guards would relax their vigilance,” Littlejohn said. “Then on April 22, with exquisite timing, he scaled a wall and ran for his life, taking several wrong turns and falling into a river because of his blindness.

“Peirong drove 20 hours to meet Chen and fooled the village guards into letting her in.  She disguised herself as a courier. Then she drove Chen another eight hours - still wet from his fall in the river - to safety in Beijing.

“Their plan was so masterfully executed that the authorities did not realize Chen was gone for four days.”

But as soon as the plan was realized, Littlejohn said the reprisals began: the Communists violently detained Chen’s older brother and nephew, and his wife, children and mother, who have not been heard from, are also considered at risk.

Meanwhile, Littlejohn says as news broke of the escape she contacted Peirong, who said she was worried for her own safety. Hours later, she had vanished.

“At about 5:00 a.m. Dublin time, I skyped Peirong one last time and she did not answer. She had been detained, and no one has heard from her since,” said Littlejohn.

“We don’t know if Peirong is being tortured or whether her detention will last days, months or years.”

Littlejohn urged those concerned for Chen’s fate not to forget his rescuer.

“In pressing for Chen’s freedom, let us also press for the freedom of his rescuer, He Peirong, a hero in her own right,” said Littlejohn.

“She stood up for Chen during his time of greatest need.  The least we can do is stand by her as she pays a terrible price for her courage.”