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 Twitter0Share on Reddit0Share on Facebook0Google+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
bmaz @Pachacutec_ Dude. Seriously? Would very much have liked that.
bmaz @Pachacutec_ Lasorda is an ass. But ya gotta love Da Bums!
bmaz @Pachacutec_ Gibby was the best!
emptywheel Going to bed, but so looking forward to writing abt this Ornstein opinion.
emptywheel Magistrate judges are sexy. No matter what you've been taught.
emptywheel RT @csoghoian: Pro-tip: When seeking an order forcing Apple to subvert its own security, cite as authority part of the Judiciary Act of 178…
emptywheel @jilliancyork EFF has been blocked in past. @united
emptywheel @BuffyBlogs Hopefully I and others can do justice but it's an exuberant flag.
emptywheel Don't think I can finish Ornstein analysis until tomorrow AM but I am smooching him, make no mistake.
emptywheel So basically this Apple story is abt judge shopping magistrates.
emptywheel @marciahofmann If you can say how did this become public (since as far as I can get docket is still sealed)?
emptywheel "Hospital Hero" Jim Comey slinks around asking for things Admin says it won't ask for.
October 2012
« Sep   Nov »