Monday, August 20, 2012

Now They're Trying to Swift Boat Pres Obama

The modern day Regressive republican party, using the tactics employed for several presidential campaigns by Karl Rove, has come down to using three basic tactics to win elections when they cannot do so by popular support of the American people of the concepts they represent.

(a) Suppress the vote,  limiting typically Democratic voters access to sufficient voting machines, sufficient early voting days, or forcing them to suddenly present never-before required government-issued picture ID's.

(c) Spread blatant lies about your opponent.   We've seen this done many times already from the Willard Romney campaign. They have purposely and maliciously edited a tape last year, in which then-Senator Barack Obama quoted the McCain Campaign. Obama stated, "the McCain Campaign actually said, and I'm quoting, if we keep talking about the economy we will lose." They cut the first half of the sentence to pretend that Obama himself was saying "if we keep talking about the economy we will lose."

In another ad, the President said that building a business is not a solo effort. He mentioned inspirational teachers, roads, bridges, and all of the infrastructure that made your business possible. Physically pointing at the "words" he just said, he stated, "if you have a business, you didn't build that," meaning you didn't build all the infrastructure that made it possible. Watch it here.

More recently an ad falsely claims that a bill the President signed would dump the work requirement for welfare, when not only is the requirement still there, but more power was given back to the states to enforce it -- which is what many Regressive republicans, including Willard Romney, requested.

(c) Project your candidate's foibles onto your opponent.   This was done in 2004 when they "Swift boated" Senator John Kerry. You may recall that Senator Kerry was a war hero who actually went to Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star, the Silver Star, and three Purple Hearts.  Despite official US Navy records to the contrary, Senator Kerry was accused of inappropriately being given these high military honors. This was, of course, to counteract the fact that the Regressive presidential candidate, George Dubya Bush, who was gently placed into the Champagne Unit of the Texas National Guard, never completed his training there, but rather got drunk and went AWOL in Alabama, never to return to complete his service.  

Their candidate failed at military service while the Democratic candidate served in Vietnam and was awarded several military honors. The Swiftboating attempted to convince voters to believe the exact opposite -- that Kerry was anti-military and a phony, while George Dubya Bush was somehow a military hero.

Now, a small group of far rightwing Teabagger-supported Obama-haters are trying to Swiftboat him, pretending that the President "leaked" info about Osama bin Laden's death for "political gains."

According to CNN's National Security Analyst and author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden -- From 9/11 to Abbottabad.:

Obama and his national security team made every effort -- successfully -- to keep the intelligence about bin Laden a closely held secret for almost a year, from the time they first identified what they believed might be the al Qaeda leader's hideout in the city of Abbottabad, Pakistan, in August 2010 until May 1, 2011, when the raid was launched to kill him.

The raid itself was conducted as a covert operation under the overall direction of then-CIA Director Leon Panetta.

I have written a book about the hunt for bin Laden during the course of which I was the only journalist granted access by the Pakistanis inside the compound in Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed. I also spoke on the record about the hunt for bin Laden with a variety of current White House, Pentagon and intelligence officials, as well as former Defense Department and CIA officials familiar with aspects of the story.

None of them divulged classified information about the bin Laden operation. Indeed, they went to great pains to avoid doing so.
What precipitated the operation going public was not Obama's announcement of the raid but the crash of one of the Black Hawk choppers used in the raid, which turned what had hitherto been a covert operation into a very public event.

Pakistani journalists started arriving at bin Laden's Abbottabad compound soon after the helicopter crashed and started filing stories about the mysterious helicopter and its oddly shaped tail rotor. An Abbottabad resident even tweeted about the unusual sound of helicopters flying over the city in the middle of the night.

It wasn't much of a leap for reporters to ascertain that these helicopters had particular features that had prevented them from being detected by Pakistani radar.

Soon after the SEALs had raided the Abbottabad command, Pakistani officials on the ground were interrogating bin Laden's wives and children at the compound who told them that bin Laden had just been killed. None of this was going to stay secret for long.

Indeed, it was Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Pakistan's top military officer, who sped up the Obama administration's announcement of the raid. A few hours after the raid, Kayani told his American counterpart, Adm. Mike Mullen, "Our people need to understand what happened here. We're not going to be able to manage the Pakistani media without you confirming this. You can explain it to them. They need to understand that this was bin Laden and not just some ordinary U.S. operation."

Mullen then told Obama and his national security team, "Kayani has asked for us to go public," which swayed Obama to announce the raid sooner than was planned. (Obama wanted to wait for 100% DNA confirmation that it was bin Laden. At the time of the president's announcement about the raid the confirmation was at 95%.)

During his speech to the nation and world, Obama did not divulge the name of SEAL Team Six, saying only that a "small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability."

In addition, you may remember watching President Obama deliver jokes at the 2011 White House Correspondents Dinner, smiling and acting as if nothing important was happening -- at the exact moment the most crucial operation of his presidency was being played out in Pakistan. To read more, click here.   (Thanks Jim, for the link.)

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