May 2, 2011

Larry King asked: "If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?"

It was 2008, and John McCain answered: "Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why: because Pakistan is a sovereign nation."

(I voted for Obama, because John McCain lost me.)

69 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

eh tu Althouse? 2008 is long gone.

Move on.

PaulV said...

Go into Pakistan or to go answer King's question? Some hypothetical question should go unanswered.
WV: ripheat
answer the question and rip heat.

shiloh said...

McCain lost me at hello ...

Phil 3:14, politics is all about rehashing ancient history.

Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it. ~ Edmund Burke

Thomas said...

The "go there" was obviously in reference to answering the hypothetical question about a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.

edutcher said...

You don't call your shots.

Little Zero is still a lousy POTUS.

WV "nomumse" What Chatsworth Osborne, Jr. would say when he wanted his own way.

traditionalguy said...

Good point. Obama appears to be a much more calculated leader who aims for a prize while John McCain showed a Lindsay Graham senatorial style that compromises when an action is needed. Which is why Obama is a real danger to the USA. Obama wants to sabotage the USA's economic and military power, and he refuses to compromise.

Ann Althouse said...

"The "go there" was obviously in reference to answering the hypothetical question about a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty."

I would say that too, and I agree there's an ambiguity to McCain's words. I think the words after "here's why" sound much more as though he's telling us he won't do missions into Pakistan. Did he ever clarify?

MadisonMan said...

It will be hard for Pakistan to argue with a successful mission.

If things had gone bad, well then there'd be a lot of back-seat fifth-quarter quarterbacking going on right now.

McCain was a lousy candidate. So was Obama. I mean really: Two Senators to choose from?

bagoh20 said...

People like you demanded such lies.

Thorley Winston said...

I would say that too, and I agree there's an ambiguity to McCain's words. I think the words after "here's why" sound much more as though he's telling us he won't do missions into Pakistan.


That’s about as credible as the claim that John McCain was going to have us stay in Iraq for the next 100 years.

Fred4Pres said...

Can you stop trying to justify why you voted for Obama. If you prefer Obama just say it and stop blaming it on McCain. We got it, McCain lost you. When did you find Barack Obama?

bagoh20 said...

Obama or any other President had no choice but to take this action. The alternative would be politically fatal, and it would have come out.

Phil 3:14 said...

Prof.;
I think the words after "here's why" sound much more as though he's telling us he won't do missions into Pakistan. Did he ever clarify?

Again I will say, 2008 is over. It makes no difference. If you feel that helps vindicate your vote, great. It has no relevance now.

I did not vote for BO and I won't vote for him in 2012. That being said the pursuit of OBL and his killing was a great accomplishment for his administration. I give him and more important the CIA and the Navy Seals many kudos.

AllenS said...

Mighty thin soup, Professor.

bagoh20 said...

Obama knows the value of this. It's as good as a 3 point drop in unemployment. No way he wasn't going to take it, even if OBL was living Shanghai.

Phil 3:14 said...

Shiloh;
Phil 3:14, politics is all about rehashing ancient history.

Then what shall we call what you do? It is no more than an unfunny, tiresome version of this.

I will never understand the mind of a troll.

Fred4Pres said...

Although maybe Ann you are embracing that little right winger who lives in your head with your dislike of John McCain.

Alex said...

Ann is justifying why she's going to vote for Obama again. Sickening. She never intended NOT to vote for him.

deborah said...

Okay, professor, reach much?

bagoh20 said...

So now we have our host taking credit too. A fine operation, Althouse. Well done!

Almost Ali said...

I can only say that Ann's vote turned out to be... not for naught. Especially given today's outcome.

Kirby Olson said...

This is, in my opinion, the first good thing his administration has achieved.

Now if he would kill stealthcare, I'd think seriously about voting for him.

Oh, and he'd have to do something more intelligent about the Mexican border.

But it's a big day for Obama. I just hope he isn't hurt in the blowback from the Islamic world.

Nice job, Obama!

Sayonara, Osama!

kathleen said...

Still looking for brand new excuses! Instead, why not invest all that energy in formulating a coherent political philosophy?

Seeing Red said...

Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why: because Pakistan is a sovereign nation."


What were we continually beat over the head with about Iraq?

Sovereign nation.


There's no way some in the Pak ruling class didn't know about this. Near their military college?

Oh, that's just night training? Nothing to see, move along? LOLOLOL

If they didn't they'll all be seeing black ops helicopters for a long time.

Which is a good thing.

A poster at the Belmont Club:

Given the size of the compound, which dwarfs everything in the area, and it’s immediate proximity to a Pakistani military college (see satellite photo), it is impossible to conclude that Pakistani intelligence and the military have not known Bin Laden’s whereabouts for the last several years.

So what was the quid pro quo? What did Obama give the Pakis to get the public relations benefit of killing OBL during his watch?

What induced somebody high in the Pakistani food chain to cash in a pretty big chip that can be played only one time? You don’t fly two large helicopters that far into Pakistan and that close to critical military installations without lots of local coordination.

It’s unfortunate that with this POTUS we cannot just assume that America’s interests are on top. We have to look at the man behind the man in the curtain to try to figure out who is supposed to benefit from OBL’s very public demise.

Almost Ali said...

The ONLY way to keep the Annites from reelecting Barack Obama is to put up a credible opponent.

bgates said...

It's fine for Obama to lie to poor Dem rubes about how he's not going to raise their taxes or impose an insurance mandate on them, or for him to lie to Dem Christian suckers about whether he supports gay marriage, or for him to lie to fiscally conservative Dem fools about his plans for a net spending cut.

McCain was lying to the government of a foreign nuclear power. That's just not done.

Alex said...

The ONLY way to keep the Annites from reelecting Barack Obama is to put up a credible opponent.

Code for voting Democrat like a true lemming. Any GOP is worth voting for in 2012 instead of the boy king.

Anita said...

Well, had it been President McCain who made the same decision that Obama did, all hell would have broken loose on the left.

McCain knew that he'd be held to a different standard by the press than Obama would, and, as everyone knows, McCain has a pathological need to be "liked" by the press. It's an illness, really.

Frankly, I do think that a President McCain would have made the same decision Obama did, but it would have been a much more difficult decision to make because of the media criticism he'd endure no matter the success or failure of the attempt to kill Bin Laden.

Obama only had to worry about criticism if the attempt had failed. The fact that this was an extra-judicial killing, that they didn't take Bina Laden alive and bring him back to stand trial, that they snuck into a soverign nation to do this - Obama knew that all this would be rendered moot in the media because Obama's their guy. And he knows it.

A Republican president wouldn't have this luxury. Ever.

dreams said...

Yeah Althouse, just keep trying to validate your vote for Obama. We need to figure out a way to keep the liberal media from having such an influence on the Republican Presidential candidate selection. It seemed like no one I read wanted McCain and I vowed not to vote for him but relented in the end.

Thomas said...

McCain said he'd follow bin Laden to the gates of hell to capture him. I think McCain's critique here was just the same that Clinton, Biden et al offered: you don't go around proclaiming in advance that you intend to violate an ally's sovereignty; whether you do so or not is another question. (The Bush administration was clearly willing to do so--they just didn't make a public spectacle of their willingness to do so. Obama used that ambiguity effectively. He attempted something similar last night.)

edutcher said...

MadisonMan said...

It will be hard for Pakistan to argue with a successful mission.

Only as far as we're concerned.

Wait till the riots start over there. The Pushtuns will not be happy. And the original articles were full of stuff of how there was no Pak participation.

Bet they had a reason to say that.

Mark O said...

I guess it's possible that McCain is that stupid. Obama voted against funding the war against Afghanista­n.

Dark Eden said...

If a Republican sent in Navy Seals to assassinate Bin Laden, the news would be 24/7 "Who Will The Evil Rethuglikkkans assassinate next? Your Grandmother?"

Almost Ali said...

Any GOP is worth voting for in 2012 instead of the boy king.

Okay, see if you can get me out of the house to vote for Huckabee. Or Romney. Or some other go-along to get-along prostitute.

While I certainly won't vote for Obama, I sure as hell ain't gonna waste my time and gas voting for the GOP's equivalent.

As it stands now, I'll only fire up my manly, gas-guzzling Dodge Ram if Trump runs... as an independent.

Rabel said...

The full quote:

"Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself.

But I want to assure you I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes."

Thorley Winston said...

Thanks for the full quote Rabel, I figured the excerpt was douwdified and that confirms it.

murgatroyd666 said...

It doesn't matter what the full quote is. Althouse's explanations sound like excuses to me. She voted for Obama to feel good about herself ... and, a bit more charitably, to feel good about America.

chickelit said...

Right. So the man accused of threatening to bomb Iran wouldn't have acted on the same intel as Obama.

Althouse said: I voted for Obama, because John McCain lost me.

You and Cedarford continue to make strange intellectual bedfellows.

MadisonMan said...

And the original articles were full of stuff of how there was no Pak participation.

I would bet almost all the money I have: If we had sought out Pakistani assistance, or even just cleared it with them, then Osama would have been alerted.

Rodney Graves said...

Ann wrote:

"(I voted for Obama, because John McCain lost me.)"

Repent!

Mikio said...

Althouse said she voted for Obama because she thought it would lead to more conservatism than if McCain became POTUS.

Say it with me... WTF?

Yet she denies she's a conservative.

And for those of you who agree with her that she's not a conservative, explain then why should would say that. Oh, you can't.

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- it's that very denial of reality and absurdly twisted logic that makes her a conservative.

Lionheart said...

Althouse, You never miss a chance to try to bolster your logic in voting for Obama. Give it a rest. You made your choice and many think you a fool. Stop the defensive bleating.

kathleen said...

No, the absurdly twisted logic makes her illogical, NOT conservative.

Almost Ali said...

"McCain" is a perfectly plausible rationale in favor of voting for Obama. Simply because McCain is a proven political dunce, given to pairing off with his intellectual superiors - such as Feingold and Kennedy. In short, McCain is NOT his own man - which works perfectly well in the back-slapping senate, but not in the White House. Alone, he would be a disaster.

I voted for McCain, but only "after" he picked Palin - my hope being that he would suffer a fatal heart heart immediately after his inauguration, and then Palin would take over.

Then there's something a little less tangible to consider: Obama has led a charmed life. If nothing else, he's lucky - and I mean extremely lucky. Which is good for him since he's also a major fuck-up. A man who without thought or effort can turn the most successful country on earth into a third-world banana republic. And with effort, turn us into a smoldering ruin - which I believe is his demonstrated intention.

Cedarford said...

It is important to remind people of why Obama got elected. It was not because people somehow overlooked the suffering super patriot war hero McCain.
The voters, unfortunately for McCain, knew him well.

A stupid man with no idea on the economic crisis going about saying "We are All Georgians and Iranians now" and wanting two new wars to go with the two he wanted to keep going "at all costs" - to help his "Dear friend Karzai and his special friend in Pakistan office."

Obama was the lesser of two evils. That is all.
Palin had little to do with anything but peeling off some prochoice independents that might have gone with a man who suffered...Who said he would use his "unlimited moral authority" to close down Gitmo and only question captured Islamoids by the honor rules of The Army Field Manual.

Yes, Obama somehow got the French to involve us in Libya, but we weren't killing Russians on lands the Nazis last fought the Russians for...no big megawar with Iran McCain and the neocons slavered for, GITMO is still open, and apparantly the CIA ignored McCain's beloved Army Field Manual for treatment of captured prisoners. (with respect to two bin Laden couriers)

KT said...

The full answer to the question:

KING: If you were president and knew that bin Laden was in Pakistan, you know where, would you have U.S. forces go in after him?

MCCAIN: Larry, I'm not going to go there and here's why, because Pakistan is a sovereign nation. I think the Pakistanis would want bin Laden out of their hair and out of their country and it's causing great difficulties in Pakistan itself.

But I want to assure you I will get Osama bin Laden as president of the United States and I will bring him to justice no matter what it takes."

Anyone who thinks McCain wouldn't have taken action on this intelligence is smoking something. Take the quote for what it is, but if you know McCain at all, you know this.

Cedarford said...

Chickenlit - No, McCain would not have acted without ensuring he got a green light from his Dear Friends in the Pakistani military and leadership that have been giving McCain red carpet treatment for 30 years on his visits there.

But McCain putting us in a major war with Iran, Pakistan's longtime enemy, might have won McCain the gratitude of his Dear Friends. Enough for them to have sanctioned a Pakistani-led raid.

Alas, we will never know what the Great War Hero would have done after he released the couriers and others from the "shameful, dishonorable captivity Mccain said Bush put them in" at Bahgram AFB and GITMO.

Republicans had a clear shot at the Obama candidacy. But like the Dems did nominating Kerry, they blew it.

Greybeard said...

I DIDN'T vote for Obama because he said "We've gotta spread the wealth around."
I DIDN'T vote for Obama because he said "Electricity prices will necessarily skyrocket".
I DIDN'T vote for Obama because he said "We're gonna fundamentally change" (the most wonderful country on the face of the earth).

Kudos to him where they're due...
He took a HUGE risk to get Bin Laden.
BUT, tell me Mrs. Meade...
Do you now think McCain was the "lesser of two weasels"?

AllenS said...

I'm not sure where I just got this idea, but maybe the Jews made obama kill bin Laden for campaign contributions.

Mikio said...

kathleen said,
No, the absurdly twisted logic makes her illogical, NOT conservative.

Examples of conservative “logic”:

1) “Tax cuts for the wealthy create jobs!” Meanwhile, Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy and 23 million were created on his watch. Bush cut taxes for the wealthy and only 3 million jobs were created on his. Note, I'm not countering by saying that raising taxes on the rich necessarily creates jobs, my counterargument is that that tenet of theirs is bullshit.
2) “There’s absolutely nothing racist about birthers or the tea party.” Yeah, white racism somehow magically disappeared when Obama got elected POTUS. Riiiight. Or if conservatives admit there is white racism, it’s unthinkable to them that it would manifest itself in the form of any anti-Obama movements such as what birtherism and the tea party are. Unthinkable!
3) “Torture works.” “Waterboarding isn’t torture.” Okay, so then how does it work? Befuddlement/silence/evasion from all conservatives whom I’ve asked this.
4) “The gubmint (the liberal portion of it only, of course) is more to blame for the financial meltdown and subsequent Great Recession than Wall Street!” Blaming Washington more than Wall St. for the financial crisis is like blaming the cops more than the criminals for a crime.
5) “Global warming is a hoax.” I’ve asked conservatives to then name me the source that could turn them around on it tomorrow and convince them it's real. None can answer meaning nothing can convince them they're wrong -- because conservatives are the dogmatists. I can answer the question for myself easily: a reversal of the scientific consensus. There. Easy. No conservatives can do likewise. Because conservatives are inherently illogical.

I could go on, but that’s enough for now.

chickelit said...

@cedarford:

Thanks for backing me on my "strange intellectual bedfellows" point. :)

chickelit said...

None can answer meaning nothing can convince them they're wrong -- because conservatives are the dogmatists. I can answer the question for myself easily: a reversal of the scientific consensus.

This way off topic but you have no fucking clue how policy-driven grant funding works in this country do you?

Iapetus said...

Pakistan is a sovereign nation, but Libya is not? When McCain punted on his presidential campaign, conceding victory to Obama with but a whimper, I developed a strong dislike of him. Now I merely loathe him. Go away, John, please go away. Become the tiny footnote in history you have chosen to be.

Mikio said...

This way off topic but you have no fucking clue how policy-driven grant funding works in this country do you?

Look at you also not answering or even getting the gist of what I said about global warming. Thanks for being exhibit A. Right on cue like a little, trained doggie. Here, have a biscuit. *tosses biscuit to chickenlit*

chickelit said...

@Mikio: You are even dumber and more partisan than I thought.

Also, heads up: you remind me of someone. I think your mask is slipping.

showbiz111 said...

Afghanistan and Libya were sovereign nations, as was Iraq, so I don't see how McCain could justify invasions of three countries but not of limited action in Pakistan. The only benefit I would give to McCain, might be if his worry was about Pakistan's nuclear weapons as an inhibition on US actions, but that was weak tea. Clearly Gov Palin would not have had the qualms that Sen. McCain presented or the strange standards for intervening or not intervening abroad.

Nora said...

"I can answer the question for myself easily: a reversal of the scientific consensus. There. Easy. No conservatives can do likewise. Because conservatives are inherently illogical."

With people like you around I'm really greatful to live in the country like the US in the 21st century. You can only call people that don't join "consensus" names and put labels on them, like "denier", or "inherently illogical", but at least you can't burn them at stake.

Heretic - one who dissents from an accepted belief, or doctrine.

Nora said...

"This way off topic but you have no fucking clue how policy-driven grant funding works in this country do you?"

Not only in this country. Don't forget that most of the data used for climate models around the world was procured and maintained, and greatly compromised at the end, at EAU that is British university.

Synova said...

McCain was right not to answer that question, since the answer was *yes*. Obama was wrong to answer it the way he did since it insulted Pakistan, who also knew that the answer was *yes*.

Why do we let supposed "journalists" ask gawd awful stupid questions?

Synova said...

"I would bet almost all the money I have: If we had sought out Pakistani assistance, or even just cleared it with them, then Osama would have been alerted."

I would bet that if we cleared it with Pakistan or even if they assisted with the intelligence, that they would want deniability over it.

Anyone in the government there has a certain balancing act to do.

It's the same with the government in Afghanistan or any other middle eastern "ally".

That said, in the case of Osama my money is also on absolutely *not* sharing the info with Pakistan. Even if the government didn't let slip on purpose, the result would have been the same.

Mikio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mikio said...

Nora, congratulations, you're also cluelessly missing the point or are intentionally evading it and that makes you exhibit B.

Want to see it again? Sure. More slowly this time...

Name the source that could convince you tomorrow that anthropogenic global warming is real.

Or don’t. I don’t care. My point wasn’t to steer this into a discussion about AGW. It was a metapoint illustrating what makes conservatives illogical -- and in this case (#5 in my post) it was namely their inability to say or even conceive of a way their stance could be wrong. And that’s dogmatism, which is not logical. It’s irrational and illogical.

And it’s not just on AGW, I’m positing, but rather a behavioral divide between conservatives and liberals in general. Conservatives dig their heels in more and cling to their false beliefs harder and longer than liberals do theirs. Studies have shown this.

kathleen said...

Hey Mikio, you really destroyed my one-liner with your lengthy list of items 1-5 inclusive. Ever heard the phrase, "Brevity is the source of wit?"

Mikio said...

kathleen,

"Destroyed" is apt.

chickelit said...

@kathleen: That mikio sure is loquacious huh?

ampersand said...

McCain lost because McCain was supposed to lose. Why would the Republicans put him up otherwise?Rush Limbaugh said at the time if McCain was the nominee he,McCain, would tear the party apart.

Face it the Republicans took a dive, there simply was no positive spin for what Bush was doing that last year in office and they didn't want to be left holding the bag for what was coming.

I imagine there was panic at the RNC when he picked Palin and his numbers went up.

McCain,team captian,Washington Generals.

The Crack Emcee said...

Jesus, Ann, you really should stop it with this approach - you fucked up and should just admit it - this doesn't change that.

You remind me of this more than anything.

I know it's not accurate, but both are dishonest.

dick said...

Disagree with your interpretation. I think what McCain is saying that he would speak to Pakistan, a sovereigh nation, and seek their support and help in going after bin Laden - and that would be the legal way to handle this. Are you now supporting illegality? and trying to use that to justify your vote for a totally unqualified person for president?

Almost Ali said...

I think what McCain is saying...

We shouldn't have to "think" about what should have been a direct answer. Yes, or no.

That's the problem in a nutshell - political hacks like McCain speaking as if they were lawyers defending an axe murderer.

It's the back-slapper's club carried to senate-normal.