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.

Tweet about this on Twitter2Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook5Google+0Email to someone

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

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel @OKnox Look. I learned today I'm younger than Keanu Reeves. I'm not THAT old.
12mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade Also bc they've moved that to EO 12333 so it doesn't have any control.
13mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel I'm so old remember when we decided it only fed terrorists to make their beheading videos readily accessible. Apparently CNN is not that old
14mreplyretweetfavorite
JimWhiteGNV RT @joshuafoust: Famous principled conservative Trent Lott just got hired by Gazprombank to lobby against Russian sanctions #classy http://…
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @onekade CLICK OUR LINK TO SEE DEATH AND KILLING but the terrorists are the only problem. @shawncarrie @CNN
19mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel RT @mlcalderone: Politico CEO-turned-WaPo CEO Fred Ryan stresses winning the morning in meeting with staff: https://t.co/b2gbJLtVwv
25mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage Isn't McRaven's shuffling of OBL photos to CIA to get them classified akin to that? @Krhawkins5
31mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @youbsanctioned So even more cynical than it appears on first glance?
38mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @charlie_savage Which means Hellerstein's SOL?
39mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @youbsanctioned Interesting. Thanks.
44mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @youbsanctioned So why do they ask Treasury and not State for permission?
54mreplyretweetfavorite
October 2012
S M T W T F S
« Sep   Nov »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031