No Football Spiking: How About a Victory Lap

Some observations and comments on the death of Osama bin Laden:

President Obama made the correct decision to utilize boots on the ground tactics rather than aerial bombing to conduct the mission against Bin Laden’s compound.
I’m sure this was not an easily arrived at decision for this President on several levels and I commend him for doing so. The many agencies involved in this successful mission all deserve our congrats, especially the Navy Seals and other supporting military personnel, the Central Intelligence Agency and other intel groups, and our armed forces who have been on the front line of this war on terror since 9/11. It has been their continuing diligence that chased this cowardly terrorist into his lair.

Once the mission itself, that lasted less than one hour, was completed by the military and intelligence forces, it is my opinion this White House has mishandled much associated with the aftermath of the sucessful mission. President Obama, in his announcement of the operation, explained how it has been an ongoing project for about 4 years and he became very involved about 8 months ago. In his I, me, my, comments he described how in those months he was deeply involved with his staff in planning for this very operation. My question , Mr. President , is why in all those months did you or someone on your staff not come to a conclusion on how to handle the photographs that you obviously ordered to be taken ? That way we wouldn’t have had various people in your administration providing to us and the world differing accounts on the release/or not, of the photos.

On Sunday evening President Obama said, “after a firefight,” our brave men in uniform “killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.” The next morning, White House Deputy Security Advisor John Brennan made this statement. Bin Laden “was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in. … And whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don’t know. … It was a firefight. He, therefore, was killed in that firefight.” Then on the following day White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that bin Laden “was not armed.” He further stated that “resistance does not require a firearm.”

Bin Laden’s wife died as he used her as a shield. No, his wife didn’t die, wasn’t used as a shield, was shot in the leg, and someone elses’ wife was killed-in another part of the house.

A top secret helicopter experienced mechanical problems and had to make a hard landing during the mission. No, the helicopter clipped a wall at the compound and was destroyed on purpose because of it’s secretive nature.

The photos of a dead bin Laden would be released to the world as proof of his death. This from the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon Panetta. No, the photos will not be released as it could endanger our troops and might inflame muslims around the world.

Obama “spearheaded” the “gutsy” mission. When given the info that bin Laden was most likely in the compound he slept on the decision and waited 16 hours to give the go-ahead. Remember this was after 7 months of planning the operation in which he said he was “fully involved”.

According to Carney, the White House spokesman, VP Biden and others, along with the President watched “minute by minute,” as the mission unfolded. Not according to Panetta who said they, “didn’t know just exactly what was going on,” for about a half an hour. It is being reported the actual mission time in the compound was 40 minutes. The early reporting on this from the WH was carefully worded to imply the President and others were watching the entire mission, as shown in the released photo, when in fact they were not.

Osama was given a full Islamic burial in accordance with their traditions. However, President Obama said bin Laden was not an “Islamic leader” but a terrorist who has killed thousands of muslims. The question that comes to my mind then is, do we give all muslim terrorists this same treatment ?

On Wednesday, White House Spokesman Carney said, “We’ve been as forthcoming with facts as we can be,”.

And isn’t it ironic that this President’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, is at this moment investigating intelligence agents from the Bush administration concerning the “harsh” interrogations of suspected terrorists. I suspect everyone in America is aware of how this mission that finally got Osama was jump started. The odds of this investigation going anywhere just dropped to near zero.

The President also announced in relation to releasing the Osama photos he did not want to “spike the football”. He said this just prior to his beginning to take what appears to be a lengthy “victory lap”.

From the earliest months of this President’s administration I have written many times about it’s ineptness. It certainly contiues.


  1. Fellow American Randy. Your sour comments are certainly not to be used as a poster for the USA or a recruiting slogan for the military. for once be positive and be proud. Pres. Bush declared war and this my friend is war. most important is that the objective has been reached. Lincoln had many failures in war as did every other war time President. my take is that the President’s remarks were and have been scripted by his staff and the military jointly. when Hitler was killed we did not have all these fancy modern news outlets and took the USA leader for their word. there is always a political fallout. we must be together on something once and for all or our dissention within our own ranks as citizens will be for the world to know, if they already do not. “rally around the flag boys”. those of us who served in the military would appreciate that. we ask no more.

  2. Excellent article Randy. A wonderful summary of both the good done by the decisions of the Obama administration as well as the bad in how many aspects of it were handled after the fact.

  3. i would rather have brewers go on a winning streak than have this debate going on. an end to the NFL strike would be great so our super bowl champion GB Packers can win two straight.

    instead there is now a rewrite of history. granted the operation lasted less than one hour, maybe 40 minutes, it went as planned. granted the president made an announcement my guess is that he was not involved in the logistics but in the planning and the foreign relation aspect. granted he knew for some time about the nexus he did well to keep it a secret. a photo of a dead body from an execution style killing is more of a military action and its release is an executive order and is done. the term “firefight” is a military term sometimes used by the military to indicate resistence instead of a slam dunk. the rest of the facts are not more important than the fact he is dead. of course the helicopter had mechanical problems after it clipped the wall. waiting 16 hours is no different then when Gen. Eisenhower waited weeks and days for good weather and better conditions to minimize an aborted attempt on D Day. who watched mission and for how long is a mundane attack. i have no response to the burial as there has been no detailed report yet. it is a fair question to ask about. NEWS FLASH. more and more videos and intelligence are being released.

  4. Randy in Richmond says:

    I appreciate your thoughts and nobody is a more positive person than I am. This post is really not about the mission at all, but the continued incompetency of this administration. It’s mostly about the aftermath and their bungling of it. Ike waited, but Germany wasn’t going anywhere. And it’s not mundane when the office of the President of the United States releases information trying to mislead the public–at least to me it is important. And certaintly the most important aspect of all this is that bin Laden is dead.

    And I believe our TV’s will be without professional football for a while this fall. I’ll be paying even more attention to my alma mater– Virginia Tech.

  5. thanx randy for your comments. however, having lived through ww2 my recollection is that Germany via Hitler fought back to the end killing countless numbers of military on both sides including women and children who were ordered to defend the fatherland to the end. the aftermath of war is never certain and has political fallout. look at Churchill, defeated at the polls while a hero in the war, and DeGaulle, elected at the polls while in protected by the Brits in the war. never look back after victory.

  6. The Lorax says:

    Definitely mishandled – definitely not any evidence of ineptitude.

    My Pet Goat, anyone?

  7. Randy in Richmond says:

    The Pet Goat ploy is a liberal myth. President Bush waited on purpose for those several minutes. If you want to read his explanation it is here:

    I suspect he should know his own motivations.

    If you have another explanation, not spin or guessing, please be sure to link it or don’t bother posting because it will have no validity.

    No evidence ? Months of meeting repeatedly for a mission to kill, with instuctions to take photos, and no-one in the administration plans on how to disseminate the pictures after the event . A 12 year old would know that photos of a dead person, of this notoriety and religion, in this situation, would be controversial and sensitive.

  8. Randy, How’s the golf game?

    Perhaps you would like to expand your horizons a bit and share your thoughts about the Rules of Engagement in Beirut, 1983 and Operation Urgent Fury and the subsequent releases from the White House after those events.

  9. hold on. why is the government which includes the military and the intelligence, most of whom are not politicians, being criticized? do we need to ask why we were not prepared for Pearl Harbor and 9/11 ? the simple answer is that we were not. the blame game gains nothing positive. these examples and the killing of bin laden prove that the element of surprise still works. we also surprised the indian nation and made them bleed. if you want to play war games get a video. if you all have significant military experience in a war and have expert knowledge then speak out and i will honor your opinions. War is Hell. don’t try to dance with the devil.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    I shot a 78 on Saturday at a par 71 course. That’s pretty good for me.

    In Granada the State Department and Military gave conflicting reports of the enemy killed and/or buried–you are correct. I am not aware of any such reports from the Reagan White House.

    I have no idea about Beirut except it was an awful loss for our country. This post is a result of the continuing theme of incompetence of this White House staff and is not a comparison to other administrations. If I wanted to take that route we could discuss the Clinton administration and it’s failure to take action against bin Laden on several occassions and it’s establishment of ‘walls’ in the intelligence community and the dismantling of the CIA’s field agents.

  11. The Lorax says:

    My Pet Goat was still a monumental mishandling, whether or not the president was cogent.

  12. a modest golfer. only 78. your theme is well understood. what is your military background in intellegence. today we are over loaded with so called experts on everything who never list their biography. so in the end we are all well informed amateurs who have different visions.

  13. Randy, Did you ace the hole with the windmill? 🙂 I don’t recall the numbers, but something less than 10% off all golfers break 90 in their lifetime. Well done!

    I’m open to any discussion on the failures in the Oval Office of any administration. But that will have to wait. A small redo of the wood floors in the kitchen-dinning area is up front.

  14. Randy in Richmond says:

    I’m awful at miniature golf. To us ‘regular’ golfers it’s like putting on concrete (which it is, actually).

    Good luck with the floors.

  15. notable president golfers: obamma, bush, clinton, bush, eisenhower, ford.

    the above stats are right. i am in the 90%.

    what is your favorite golf course

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    I will give you 3 catagories.

    My favorite course I can drive to is Kingsmill on the James, in Williamsburg. It is about 45 minutes away, is part of the larger developement Busch Gardens, and now we have to be choicy when we go play to catch a special rate–it has become quite pricy. The PGA and LPGA have each had runs of tournaments there in the past– sponsered by Anheuser-Busch.

    I am not a world traveler but I did get the opportunity to play in Ireland at the Portmarnock Club in County, Wicklow. It was established in the 1890’s and is tucked in along the Irish Sea on the east coast. Several holes are right on the Sea and it was a grand experience to tee it up there and also soak in the local lore.

    And locally I play mostly at The Crossings, a basic course but well kept and challenging. Depending on my fellow golfers we utilize several courses in the area. As a youngster, I heard the Indian saying to not judge someone till you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins. I believe an updated version of that wisdom is you don’t really know someone until you play a round of golf with them–when they play poorly.

    Your list of golfing Presidents is right on. It was Ike and Arnie that brought golf out of the country clubs and to the average American.

  17. Randy & Dick, We just decided to order carry out. So I have a chance to talk about Arnold Palmer. Back when the Milwaukee Open (GMO) was sponsored by Schiltz, I got a pass from my high school golf coach (yes, Randy, I am, or should say, was a “regular golfer”) I followed Arnie for the whole 18. Most of the gallery took positions , but Arnie was my hero. When he finished the round he signed a few programs. I didn’t the money to buy a program and didn’t have a pen. I just stood there. He must have noticed that I follwed him the entire round and he walked toward me. He asked, “son, would like an autograph”? I mumbled some thing about not having anything to write on. He called his caddy over and pulled a glove out his bag and signed it. I remember that day like it was yesterday.

  18. arnie is a class act for sure. today they have security like someone is going to attack a pro golfer. pro golfers used to travel by auto or by rail and sleep where they could. they were gamblers and drinkers, et al. that has changed with tv coverage right on them. the winners are rich and the losers are broke. sponsors changed the game too. good sport to enjoy the scenery and outdoors.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    What a wonderful experience RMS. I never saw Arnie play in person but your experience fulfills every sense of the man I believe him to be. He was the reason and motivation a small kid who loved baseball started hitting golf balls at a local driving range.

    And Dick, maybe you know this, but Bush I was inducted into the Golf Hall of Fame just this past weekend.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bush 1 in the golf hall of fame. i know he was a good athlete (baseball). wonder what his handicap was.