Tuesday, May 17, 2011
On Sunday, May 2011 our Special Forces team took on the dangerous mission of entering in to the darkness and risking their lives to ensure that one of the most dangerous terrorist living would finally be taken down. After 9.5 years of searching and in a bi-partisan search by both a Republican President and Democrat, Osama Bin Laden was shot in the head. Blood stained photos of the raided compound spread on all the news channels, as quickly as the news that was announced first on Fox news and then caught on to other news stations in lightning speed. It seems as if our military, members of the intelligence community that risked their lives and all the sacrifice was glazed over by people wanting proof of Osama Bin Laden's death?
White House press secretary Jay Carney did a solid job communicating President Obama and those specifically concerned with national security- unanimous decision to not release photos confirming the death of Osama Bin Laden. White House press secretary Jay Carney remained calm, answering detailed questions that continued to sound rather repetitive. Retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, stated on CNN that President Obama's decision to not parade the photos of a dead Bin Laden is the best decision. Being that there is capability of having these photos spread out viral on the internet, it is possible that it could create more security risks with the middle east. Pakistan is already a high threat having steadily expanded its nuclear arsenal.
Back in February of this year, the New York Times and news sources reporting from the UK (The Daily Mail) stated that Pakistan could have as much as 110 nuclear weapons overtaking Britain as the fifth world's largest nuclear power. With the threat of extremists still not completely dissolved, even after the death of Bin Laden, retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt echoed what President Obama and the administration stated. Due to the sensitivity of our relationship with Pakistan, the threat that extremists could get their hands on a photo that could float around, and that a floating picture of a dead Osama Bin Laden could lead to more negative consequences. There are already conspiracy theorists starting to spread stories disbelieving the existence of Bin Laden let alone the death of him; they want proof of the infamous and now deceased terrorist.
I know there are many who believe that 9/11 was an "inside" job and that there was never a real terrorist threat. I know from personal knowledge, having close ties to our military that these terrorist do exist and they are still a threat. Pakistan has access to nuclear weapons and currently poses a threat. This is a fact. There were facts about 9/11 and actual proof of these terrorists, their plot and attack on U.S. soil still is questioned today. Personally, I am open minded but I do not believe in these conspiracy theories. I think they stand to divide this country even more and cloud the truth. I know by personal military sources and those that have fought against these terrorists and saw with their own eyes just how dangerous these extremists can be, what most conspiracy theorist wouldn't understand unless they have actually been in battle with them. I challenge the lawyers and conspiracy theorists challenging the President's very smart decision to not parade these photos around, to speak to our military.
Those that have served in our country and have been bombed, attacked, and killed by extremists. Ask them if these terrorists really pose a threat. It is interesting how, no matter how great or a historical moment we witness that there are still people out there that will never be satisfied. Every situation and every President can be scrutinized and people who are not in the situation can easily say what should have happened or what they would have done. The fact that since 9/11 the Iraq and Afghanistan wars cost the U.S. over $2.5 trillion causes lots of justified anger and frustration. This is not a right or left issue. Regardless of your politics and moral views, we should focus on the reality that we did not choose war. Regardless of what conspiracy theorists believe about 9/11, most conspiracy theorists are not military experts nor are they experts of intelligence, international affairs, or national security.
Perhaps some have valid knowledge that would somehow prove that their theory is correct. There is much more proof however, that on 9/11 we indeed were attacked, that the war happened to US. Since, the way we fly and our airport security have changed the way they do things. Since, 9/11 we were in Iraq and Afghanistan. We can argue why we were in Iraq. We can blame Bush and continue to debate why we were sent in to Iraq verses taking another course of action. We can get angry at Obama and theorize that this was all a "political stunt." But, if 110 nuclear weapons in Pakistan doesn't cause you to worry, then you need to speak to the families that lost loved ones on 9/11. You should ask yourself how you would feel if we were attacked today and if you lost your loved ones. Now, is not time to be arrogant and start spouting out the view that you are safe and the United States is fine.
There are too many people that are protesting and arguing about war and questioning whether or not we need to remain in Afghanistan, many of those that protest or speak up are not at all military experts, logisticians, or war strategists. I am more apt to listen to someone like retired Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt who over Skype today on CNN stated that President Obama did the absolute right thing to not spread pictures around because of the security threat of such an act. When asked if we should get out of Afghanistan retired General Mark Kimmitt stated that time is not the issue nor should time be the concern with regards to when the United States ought to extract from Afghanistan.
The reality is- we are there now and now that we are, so as long as there is a threat to our national security we should remain there and leave under the right conditions. Since 9/11, yes the war cost 2.5 trillion dollars, however, because of our military forces protecting our country- we have not been attacked since. I am sure that the extremists would and could attack us if they had the opportunity, with 110 nuclear weapons in Pakistan and the fact that our relationship with them is currently rocky. Another attack on U.S. soil is NOT impossible. Those of our military forces that have witnessed and seen with their own eyes the real danger and the real cruel and ruthless acts done by these extremists, would never question or doubt whether or not terrorist exist or pose a threat. Most of our military forces who lost their lives and those that have witnessed the danger of such terrorist acts, would laugh at all of these crazy conspiracy theories or those that presume that the United States is invincible.
We are not invincible, we can still be attacked again and without tact, the United States national security team, intelligence and military- we could. So, unless you are a military strategist, an expert on national security- one shouldn't just assume we just pull out of Afghanistan tomorrow without understanding the ramifications of such talk. This is not a partisan issue, such as this pressure to release the photos. This is not necessary, as President Obama said that the death of Osama Bin Laden is not something we need to use as a trophy. Even if the pictures are not used as a means to boast or parade around, the release of such photos are still a huge security risk. We are stepping carefully with regards to Pakistan, after killing Bin Laden.
Now is not the time to test our relationship with Pakistan or create more security risks on any level. President Obama is concerned with national security, as we all should be. We can not afford another 9/11.