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Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:22 PM

Exclusive: President Obama Considered Putting Osama bin Laden on Trial if Taken Alive

Source: Vanity Fair

Exclusive: President Obama Considered Putting Osama bin Laden on Trial if Taken Alive


READ
Michael Lewis’s Profile of President Obama from October’s Vanity Fair.
In an adaptation from his new book, The Finish—first reported for Vanity Fair—magazine contributing editor Mark Bowden reveals that President Obama intended to put Osama bin Laden on trial in the federal court system if he had been captured, rather than killed, during the Abbottabad raid. Bowden had access to key players including C.I.A. deputy director Michael Morell and the president himself.

According to Bowden in the story—in November’s Vanity Fair—in the unlikely event that bin Laden surrendered, Obama saw an opportunity to resurrect the idea of a criminal trial, which Attorney General Eric Holder had planned for Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. This time, the president tells Bowden, he was prepared to bring bin Laden back and put him on trial in a federal court. “We worked through the legal and political issues that would have been involved, and Congress and the desire to send him to Guantánamo, and to not try him, and Article III.” Obama continues: “I mean, we had worked through a whole bunch of those scenarios. But, frankly, my belief was if we had captured him, that I would be in a pretty strong position, politically, here, to argue that displaying due process and rule of law would be our best weapon against al-Qaeda, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.”

President Obama tells Bowden that he was aware of the possibility that “The Pacer”—as the team called the figure captured on surveillance video regularly walking around the Abbottabad compound’s vegetable garden—“was some warlord from Afghanistan who had set up shop, the possibility that this was a drug dealer from the Gulf who valued his privacy or had a mistress or a second family.” He also understood that The Pacer might be exactly who they thought he was. Obama had never bought the line that bin Laden “was living an ascetic life somewhere, in some mountain somewhere.

Read more: http://www.vanityfair.com/online/daily/2012/10/obama-put-osama-bin-laden-on-trial

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Reply Exclusive: President Obama Considered Putting Osama bin Laden on Trial if Taken Alive (Original post)
kpete Oct 2012 OP
Flashmann Oct 2012 #1
sofa king Oct 2012 #2
bucolic_frolic Oct 2012 #3
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #4
Ezlivin Oct 2012 #5
OldDem2012 Oct 2012 #6
nolabels Oct 2012 #11
olddad56 Oct 2012 #14
Missycim Oct 2012 #18
Canuckistanian Oct 2012 #13
bamacrat Oct 2012 #7
ladjf Oct 2012 #8
benld74 Oct 2012 #9
olddad56 Oct 2012 #15
Kelvin Mace Oct 2012 #10
olddad56 Oct 2012 #16
Ash_F Oct 2012 #12
Vattel Oct 2012 #17
Marrah_G Oct 2012 #19

Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:38 PM

1. Osama bin Laden on Trial

Wow.....I'm trying to imagine what sorts of things a trial might've made public....Seems HELLA overwhelming,just at face value......

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 12:51 PM

2. Wow, that would have had some powerful results.

In addition to disclosures which would certainly reveal startling things about the Bush Administration, it would have led to wildfires of terrorist events and hostage-takings around the globe, as every mook with a crew realized he could go out and bag an American and then threaten to kill that person if bin Laden were not released.

I'm willing to bet it would also have failed, because the prosecutor would be so hamstrung by document destruction, lack of documentation, and special secrecy levels placed upon pertinent information that a public case would have been nearly impossible to successfully prosecute.

I like that the President at least considered it. It would have been a very difficult decision to make, one which would certainly cost some number of American lives.

If I had bagged him alive, I wouldn't have told anyone.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:11 PM

3. OH! The timing of these releases

We all know who's going to be taken alive tonight!

This is a tangible display of political dominance.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:23 PM

4. Just my opinion, but I think if this option was ever seriously considered...

....it was dropped VERY quickly. I don't think the Seal team was given any options other than killing OBL.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:39 PM

5. OBL was wanted dead

As they say, "Dead men tell no tales."

The last thing the U.S. wants is a former CIA asset talking.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:47 PM

6. Bingo. Not to mention the tight relationship between the...

...Bush Crime Family and the Bin Laden family.

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Response to OldDem2012 (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:31 PM

11. Then how about some evidence how a single plane took down buildings only nearby the crash

Whoever is selling whatever about 9-11 there is no sale here

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Response to nolabels (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:51 PM

14. none here either, I think it was an inisde job

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Response to nolabels (Reply #11)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 07:04 AM

18. Bush has shown incompetence in everything he has done through out his life

 

but in this one instance he pulled off the most brilliant cover up of all times. Come on enough with the CT.

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Response to Ezlivin (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 06:03 PM

13. Yup

I was against his assassination when it happened. He could have been taken alive easily.

But I've come to realize that OBL would have had some inconvenient things to say.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 01:53 PM

7. Doubt it was ever really an option...

Had we captured him and paraded him in front of cameras there would have been unbelievable backlash. You think a Muhammed video pissed people off.

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Response to kpete (Original post)


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 02:21 PM

9. GOP would NEVER allow terrorists to be tried on American soil! They said as much

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Response to benld74 (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:52 PM

15. not even Dick Cheney.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 03:19 PM

10. Call me cynical

but there was no way they ever were going to take him alive. It would have caused WAY too many problems for the U.S.

OBL would have testified about all that CIA money and training he received when he was fighting the Soviets, and the level of U.S. incompetence under Bush in catching him would have been revealed.

Also, from a practical standpoint, a trial would have given him a forum to attack U.S. policy and advocate for continued terror attacks against U.S. forces, while setting himself up for martyrdom. Executing him would have made him a martyr, imprisoning him for life would have painted a perpetual target on every U.S. soldier who would now be captured and tortured, then executed in an ongoing attempt to get bin Laden free.

I believe it was made plain to everyone involved in the operation privately (so there would be no one to corroborate the account) that OBL must NOT survive capture. It was whispered into ears and the men picked for the job were selected with an eye toward keeping that secret. Or, they simply signed a document explaining that if they ever breathed a word of that unofficial order, they would be tried for treason.

All of this talk of trying him is just for show, so that this would be the "official" story that would leak out.

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Response to Kelvin Mace (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 07:53 PM

16. I think that they had to thaw him out before they could 'kill' him.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 04:16 PM

12. It would have been a huge shock for this country when they would not charge him for 9/11

Years ago, I went to the FBI website to look up Bin laden because someone told me he was not wanted for 9/11. I thought it was preposterous. It said he was wanted for some embassy bombing but, amazingly, did not mention 9/11 at all.

"Years later, on October 10, 2001, bin Laden appeared as well on the initial list of the top 22 FBI Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by the President of the United States George W. Bush, in direct response to the September 11 attacks, but which was again based on the indictment for the 1998 embassy attack. Bin Laden was among a group of thirteen fugitive terrorists wanted on that latter list for questioning about the 1998 embassy bombings. Bin Laden remains the only fugitive ever to be listed on both FBI fugitive lists.
Despite the multiple indictments listed above and multiple requests, the Taliban refused to extradite Osama bin Laden. They did however offer to try him before an Islamic court if evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks was provided. It was not until eight days after the bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001 that the Taliban finally did offer to turn over Osama bin Laden to a third-party country for trial in return for the United States ending the bombing. This offer was rejected by President Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable, with Bush responding "there's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty." In June 2006 FBI's chief of investigative publicity, Rex Tomb, saw no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11
"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osama_bin_Laden

He was never officially wanted for 9/11, and yet he was the face of the attack in the eyes of Americans for 10 years. And likely for years to come. Imagine the outrage if he had not been charged for it. Has anything like this ever happened in history?

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 3, 2012, 08:34 PM

17. Hmmm. Not much of an opportunity to surrender when people are shooting at you.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Oct 4, 2012, 01:50 PM

19. I don't think there was alot of serious discussion about taking him alive

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