Osama bin Laden
On the eve of Sunday's Academy Awards presentation, former George W. Bush CIA Director Michael Hayden has made a strong statement about the hunt for Osama bin Laden film "Zero Dark Thirty."
In an interview to be aired on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday, Hayden said, "If you look at the movie, it was artistically true, not factually true. Artistically, it portrayed the CIA interrogation program, but factually it was overwrought and inaccurate" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
In a careless attempt to get a rise out of their readers, mainstream media outlets like the Washington Post and Esquire Magazine erroneously reported that the Navy SEAL credited with the assassination of Osama bin Laden had been unceremoniously stripped of health insurance following his retirement last September.
The story immediately went viral, thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of Ezra Klein and Sarah Kliff from the Post and their massive followings on Twitter. Former editor of the San Francisco Chronicle Phil Bronstein originally posted an 'exhaustively researched' article about it on Esquire's site. Upon its publication and online distribution however, some readers noticed just how rife with inaccuracies the story was. Former public affairs officer of the Department of Veteran Affairs Brandon Friedman was among them. (H/T - Twitchy)
In today's "Can Someone Help Me Get My Foot Out of My Mouth" segment, the astonishingly pompous and self-righteous MSNBC regular Julian Epstein made an absolutely delicious faux pas Monday while excoriating the character and accomplishments of former Vice President Dick Cheney.
In an appearance on the Martin Bashir Show, Epstein derisively described Cheney as "a guy who failed to get Osama bin Laden in Bora Bora" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Outgoing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made news last Sunday when he once again claimed that enhanced interrogation techniques aka torture led to the United States assassinating Osama bin Laden.
During his confirmation hearing Thursday, CIA Director nominee John Brennan appeared to dodge a question from Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about this claiming he didn’t have enough information to comment on whether Panetta was right or wrong.
Liberals always think humor has a liberal bias. That wasn't certainly true when The Washington Post magazine published "Dave Barry's Year in Review" on Sunday. Barry mocks Obama for his victories: "President Obama, in the State of the Union address, boldly rebuts critics who charge that his economic policies have been a failure by displaying the scalp of Osama bin Laden, which a White House aide carries in a special briefcase."
Mitt Romney has all the "easygoing natural human warmth of a parking meter," and Newt Gingrich needs to be tranquilized with darts:
New York Times intelligence reporter Scott Shane made Thursday's front-page with a quasi-movie review of "Zero Dark Thirty," the critically acclaimed new release about the Bin Laden raid that suggests "enhanced interrogation" like waterboarding aided in finding him. The headline, "Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate," shows the Times comfortable using the loaded word "torture" to describe interrogation methods like water-boarding that inflict temporary physical panic.
Previously Shane has fiercely resisted the idea that waterboarding contributed to finding Osama bin Laden, ignoring CIA director Leon Panetta's admission that it had. Shane wrote on May 4, 2011: "But a closer look at prisoner interrogations suggests that the harsh techniques played a small role at most in identifying Bin Laden's trusted courier and exposing his hide-out."
In other words, it may have helped, but don't make me write it.
National Geographic's cable television channel is defending its decision to air a new live-action movie entitled "Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden," which focuses on the May 2011 operation that led to the death of the world's most wanted terrorist right before the November election. And if you miss the first showing, you'll be able to catch it on Netflix starting on Monday, still with plenty of time to vote the following day.
"This is a story people have been waiting to witness for themselves, and we feel the combined force of the National Geographic Channel and Netflix will ensure that everyone has the chance at a glimpse inside the heroic efforts of that courageous team of SEALs," according to a press release from the network.
A book that's going to cause a lot of controversy is "No Easy Day," a first-hand account by one of the Navy SEALs who was part of the team that killed Osama bin Laden.
The Associated Press got an early copy of the book and reported that the author, Matt Bissonnette, says that the terrorist leader was killed when he looked out the window and was already dead when they entered the compound bin Laden was living in at the time. This is in direct contradiction to Obama Administration accounts of his death.
Barack Obama’s name barely came up as The New York Times summarized the hard-left Netroots Nation conference in Providence, Rhode Island. Sarah Wheaton reported “Last year’s conference was marked by the left’s frustration with the president. But this year, his name simply did not come up much — and when it did, it was invariably paired with a favorable comparison to Mr. Romney.”
But Obama did not appear, nor did any Obama surrogate. The president did send a video message vowing to “double down on green energy” (as if that’s been a winning gamble) and fight “gutting” education, blah blah blah. Strangely, he touted killing Osama bin Laden, which the Netroots surely saw as a massive human rights violation.
Since last Thursday, when Democratic members of Congress joined Republicans in denouncing the leaking of classified information which is suspected to have been divulged by members of the Obama administration, CBS has been dragging its feet compared to ABC and NBC in filling in viewers on the developments.
Appearing as a panel member during the "Roundtable" segment of Sunday's This Week on ABC, conservative commentator Ann Coulter reminded panel members that President Obama had received criticism that he divulged too much information about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan when it was announced a year ago, as the group discussed accusations that White House members have divulged classified information to benefit President Obama politically.
The conservative commentator also called out liberals for criticizing President Bush as being too harsh in his detention of terror suspects while being more restrained in criticizing President Obama's methods in conducting the war on terrorism:
CBS This Morning stood out as the only Big Three network morning show on Thursday to cover a conservative group's allegation that the Obama administration gave a movie director and writer "special access to government officials involved in the commando operation that killed Osama bin Laden," as reported by Reuters on Wednesday. ABC's Good Morning America and NBC's Today ignored the story.
Correspondent Chip Reid outlined that "the documents...obtained by Judicial Watch, a conservative government watchdog group...reveal that director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal...met with top national security officials; gained access to Seal Team 6; and visited the CIA."