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Haven't seen it yet, but I lean 'pub and actually wanted to see some of this stuff. I think it's one of the fascinating elements of it. All in all I didn't think much of Obama's role in getting bin laden (I'm on the intelligence community and military bandwagon). But the backroom considerations and tense moments of what are the odds it's OBL, what if Pakistan picks us up on radar, do we instruct the Seals to hole up or fight their way out, on and on...I kinda wanted to see that stuff. I think there was even one seriously considered option (and I think it was runner-up and even surpassed the bombing option) where we'd recalibrate a drone to basically fire a bullet at "the pacer". All the thinking and various scenarios would've been fun.
I love the League but that was the one part which was tough. I just couldn't picture him in the serious role. Same thing with Andy Dwyer as part of the Navy Seals. (although his calling out for Osama did slay me).
He was arrested in like 2002 or 2003. Not sure why Obama would have had any role in promoting or preventing EIT of him.
I think maybe he meant the underwear bomber.
This was my understanding as well. I thought that there were several detainees who were basically asked about "the Kuwaiti" and thought the answers were basically across the board. One said he was important, another said he was a nobody, another said he left AQ years ago, etc . . . I don't know the specifics of what testimonies came under enhanced interorgation and I don't even know how guys like Bergen (from Sohlman's link) define it for his article (just slapping/waterboarding or abusive sounds and embarassing treatment?). But the overall takeway I had was that experienced interrogators sensed his importance through the various answers --- rather than having been told it outright. I don't know what those non-linear things do to reports trying to quantify enhanced interrogation = effectiveness in tracing the courier . . . but I'm just skeptical of reports being unintentionally (or intentionally) formed on either side to fit a desired outcome. It seems kinda complex and also immeasurable when you're talking, to some extent, about the skills and instincts of the interrogators.
But I'm also dumb, so there's that.
That's what I was guessing, but I haven't heard any criticism of us missing some sort of critical intel from interrogating him that we could have gotten if we'd used EIT. He was a low level lackey, so it's not like he really knew anything. The only thing he might have helped with is some sort of information on Awlaki...and he's dead now anyway.
you're right I meant underwear bomber. This NYT article does a good job of explaining the difference between Obama and Bush/Romney's position on the issue. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/28/us/politics/election-will-decide-future-of-interrogation-methods-for-terrorism-suspects.html?_r=0
His role was important because the raid option was the best bet for 1. Definitively knowing if he was actually there and 2. Being able to kill/capture him and allowing us and the world to know with certainty he was dead (tin foil hats being the obvious exception). Many of his most senior advisers, including the VP and the Sec of Defense, advised him against the raid. For him to approve the raid given the counsel he was getting and the circumstantial nature of the evidence was a seriously calculated risk, I'm not sure what other presidents would've done in his shoes.
Aside from the decision to go with the raid, his change in policy away from Iraq and an increased focus on al-Qaeda through intelligence work and drone strikes in Pakistan was instrumental in demolishing the remaining leadership. Obviously his decision to focus on al-Qaeda in Afghanistan/Pakistan and draw down things in Iraq was significantly easier given how unpopular the war there was and how much of the regime change had already been accomplished, but he still made it very clear to the IC that al-Qaeda and finding UBL were the priority.
This was not a good movie to watch when your wife is traveling to the embassy Islamabad in a couple weeks.
Yeah I knew all that its just perspective. I'm glad he made the decisions he did and hoped it would be included, but for me it's always been way behind the execution of the courses of action decided on. I'm just a politician eye roller in general.
Not sure how the movies done but Bowden's "The Finish" seemed to say that most of obama's senior advisors favored the raid by the end. Biden dissented along with another senior advisor who wanted to recalibrate a drone to basically target obl (rather than level an urban area through bombing). There's was another dissenter whose name I can't remember but he basically had his staff turn him around to back the raid as well.
I think Terps99 mentioned reading that Bowden book. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong.
I haven't read the Bowden book yet, just No Easy Day and Manhunt by Peter Bergen. I thought Manhunt was outstanding, exhaustive level of detail.
It wasn't just the decision to engage in the raid. Making Bin Ladin a renewed priority was also an area where Obama gets huge credit.
Obama took significant steps in this area, including making the mission to capture/kill him a top priority and demanding regular briefings from his national security team on how/where the search was going. (And as Bowden pointed out, there is no quicker way for a boss to guarantee that he gets movement on particular action items than demanding regular updates from those under him...no one wants to just keep repeating that they have nothing new). Obama's approach led to a significant renewal of efforts within the intelligence community to find OBL.
And further, this was a multi-year effort, and by all accounts, Obama was far more interested and involved than Bush in the search for OBL (which was somewhat surprising to me given that Bush obviously had a much more personal connection to (a) the harm caused by OBL, and (b) the initiation of military operations in Afghanistan).
Lastly, Obama gets credit because although by the end everyone came around to his point of view, it sure doesn't seem like it started that way. Obama gets credit for doing what is one of the tougher things for Presidents to do...challenging the wisdom of their top military advisers.
Saw it Sunday. Thought it was fine. Suspensful, yeah. Nothing historically earth shattering or anything. Preferred Argo. Think Chastain's performance was massively overrated - not that it was bad by any stretch just that it was nothing special IMO though she is hot and had a few sweet moments, I think her performance is being overrated by some because she's a woman in a role that typically is male.
^^^^^ Exactly my thoughts as well
and the fact that people like to overrate most things.
Greatest point ever.
"It's just so hard," Greivis said. "It's my heart, my love. Maryland made me who I am."
Saw this yesterday and thought it was very good. Not sure whether I liked it better than Argo but I preferred both to Lincoln, which was well done with Day-Lewis fantastic as always but really felt more like something that should've been on the History Channel than a true movie. I seem to be in the minority on that though. I liked Chastain's performance but would put her behind Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings. Definitely a bit of a surprise to see Pete Eckhart and Andy Dwyer pop up, let alone Tony Soprano and Coach Taylor.
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