Barack Obama (and the Three Musketeers of Selective Leaking) Says Barack Obama Wanted an OBL Trial

The AP made some news yesterday with this Barack Obama quote from Mark Bowden’s new book, The Finish.

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-Qaida, in preventing him from appearing as a martyr.

It’s a quote repeated and expanded in this exclusive piece from Vanity Fair, which will have an excerpt of the book in its next edition.

Now, both of these excerpts make it clear: This is a direct quote of an Obama claim, made after the fact. But if that didn’t already make you suspect the political efficacy of telling this story just weeks before the election, check out Bowden’s acknowledgements, above.

Not only does Bowden thank the Three Musketeers of Obama’s selective leaking, John Brennan, Tom Donilon, and Denis McDonough.

But it also thanks Obama personally.

(It also thanks CIA Director David Petraeus, a man who never met press coverage he didn’t like.)

Look, I’d love to imagine that Obama would have made the political effort to give Osama bin Laden a trial had he been captured alive. I’ve even rationalized how much easier that would be, given that we presumably would avoid the whole torture phase that has made trying Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

There are both political and legal reasons why it serves Obama’s interests to say he considered the possibilities of a live capture followed by a trial. And given how closely Bowden worked with those trying to make the most of Obama’s OBL killing, I don’t see any reason to treat the claim as credible.

And this book–with Obama’s top aides identified as sources so clearly–is yet another reason why I think Mark Bissonnette won’t experience any legal troubles for publishing a book covering the same topic.

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6 Responses to Barack Obama (and the Three Musketeers of Selective Leaking) Says Barack Obama Wanted an OBL Trial

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JimWhiteGNV RT @YousefMunayyer: Only sad thing about @BarackObama calling on all women at presser today is Helen Thomas didnt live to see it. She's sur…
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emptywheel @astepanovich Until (after 3 days of getting my French back) I managed to start getting VERY CROSS in French. Bags showed up voila! Try it!
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emptywheel @astepanovich That happened to me once when I was in Paris (I was last on the list bc I was staying at private dwelling). 1/2
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emptywheel @JimWhiteGNV It is simply not possible for FL to have the potholes we do. Not scientifically possible. Thou shalt not covet!
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JimWhiteGNV @emptywheel If it makes you feel any better, we still have potholes.
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emptywheel @astepanovich Did you tell @united they're in a contest for shittiest airline of a shitty airline week?
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emptywheel Hey MI! Remember in 2008 when we were just as dysfunctional as FL? They've got marriage quality. We don't.
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emptywheel RT @SatterthwaiteML: The Horrific Stories of CIA-Sponsored Torture That Aren’t in the Senate Report: extraordinary rendition http://t.co/Cu
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emptywheel @ProfessorNRK The same week Tenet shut down torture, Cheney testified that Tenet had told him abt Plame's ID.
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emptywheel @LauraClawson Also prolly all made in China.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @SuzanneTwoTon: BREAKING: SCOTUS Declines to Stop Florida Marriages | The Bilerico Project http://t.co/qGPuNG9uyJ via @bilericoproject
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JimWhiteGNV @imraansiddiqi @KidFury @errrfzflwr Shouldn't those shirts say "I Can't Stop Eating"?
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