Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 8, 2008

MCCAIN'S BIN LADEN VOW.... Presidential candidates are always going to make a lot of promises, some of which will be harder to keep than others. But John McCain's vow last night to get Osama bin Laden continues to sound jarring.

"I'll get Osama bin Laden, my friends. I'll get him. I know how to get him. I'll get him no matter what and I know how to do it."

McCain has been using similar rhetoric for quite a while. In June, he declared at a town-hall forum, "I will look you in the eye and promise you that I will get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice." In January, McCain hinted that he has a secret plan to get the al Qaeda leader.

The same obvious question still needs an answer: If McCain knows how to get OBL, why not share his ideas with, say, the White House and the Pentagon? That way, the plan could be implemented now and the al Qaeda leader could be brought to justice before he could launch additional attacks.

Expanding on this subject in January, McCain added that he has his "own ideas" about capturing bin Laden, but it would "require implementation of certain policies and procedures that only as the president of the United States can be taken."

But if there are "certain policies and procedures" that could lead to bin Laden's capture, and a president could implement those policies and procedures now, why wouldn't McCain stop by the Oval Office for a chat with the Commander in Chief about how best to proceed?

It's probably because McCain doesn't "know how to do it" and there is no secret plan.

Steve Benen 9:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (50)

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Comments

I'd add a comment here, but I don't want to be seen as picking on an old man! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on October 8, 2008 at 9:02 AM | PERMALINK

He can't get Osama *now*, Steve... he's hoping for one of Osama's video's to help him get elected.

Posted by: JC on October 8, 2008 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

I'll follow that whale straight to the gates of hell!

Posted by: Ahab McCain on October 8, 2008 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

I was looking at CNN's annoying real-time reaction meter during this part of McCain's claim that he "knows how to get bin Laden." Both male and female meter people showed a definite lack of enthusiasm for this claim. The lines did not budge.

I guess it shows that making baseless and/or false assertions doesn't always pay off for Republicans.

Posted by: Jack Lindahl on October 8, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

The Awesome and Amazing McCain knows all!! Things that he's assured us he knows:
How to win a war.
How to fix an economy.
How to put people to work.
How to capture bin Laden.

He's so awesome and amazing that he doesn't need to back this up with policy or evidence - further proof that he just knows.

Fortunately for the entire planet, there seems to be one thing he doesn't know - How to run a Presidential campaign.

Posted by: JoeW on October 8, 2008 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

I'll never understand why he keeps repeating this line. It's easily one of the most foolish lines of argument he's put out there.

It's childish really.

Posted by: neilt on October 8, 2008 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

Richard Nixon lives!

Posted by: SBG on October 8, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

"It's probably because McCain doesn't 'know how to do it' and there is no secret plan."

Either that or McCain does have a plan, but is not sharing it with the White House so he can use it as bait to get votes - not really a "country first" mentality.

Posted by: BryanM on October 8, 2008 at 9:12 AM | PERMALINK

would OLB's capture sometime before 11/4 be just the kind of "october surprise" that would almost guarantee a mcsame victory?
just askin'.

Posted by: mellowjohn on October 8, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

He knew how to fix the economy too!

He also knows how to win in Iraq - bomb Iran and stay for 100 years!!

Posted by: Jet on October 8, 2008 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

McCain may have a secret plan that he is unwilling to share with the current occupant of the White House because he's sure the current occupant would f**k it up. After the inauguration I'm sure he'll share it with President Obama.

Posted by: coldhotel on October 8, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

It's probably because McCain doesn't "know how to do it" and there is no secret plan.
=================================
Probably. But it's possible that it's because McCain doesn't care enough about America to tell anyone his secret plan unless he gets to be President in return.

Posted by: on October 8, 2008 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

The end of bin Laden wouldn't do any good any more, the Wall Street Disaster has pushed foreign affairs off the table. Nothing is stopping the markets from crashing, bailouts, decreased interest rates, more bailouts, buyouts, subsidies, nothing is helping. The economy is everything for the rest of the month.

Posted by: freelunch on October 8, 2008 at 9:20 AM | PERMALINK

I must be reading too many wingnut youtube comments. At first glance, I read the title of that post as "McCain's Biden Vow."

Posted by: Nick on October 8, 2008 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

McInsane is laying the groundwork for the October Surprise: bin Laden's dead. He probably has been for several years. I've mentioned this theory a couple of times, and I'll repeat my rationale here, because I think it is important that the Obama camp have a response ready in the event I am right.

Last week, former CIA op Robert Baer was on NPR's Fresh Air to talk about Iran. Somewhere along the way, he mentioned in passing that bin Laden was dead. When host Terry Gross questioned him on it, Baer backtracked, and said it was merely his speculation.

Then we have last Sunday's 60 Minutes, which included a piece about a Delta Force Commander who had written a book about the hunt for bin Laden, including what really happened at Tora Bora. He discussed plans used and rejected for finding UBL in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. He concluded by stating how disappointed he was that he could not find UBL, but added, "I know he's out there somewhere, and I won't rest until I find him".

The timing of these 2 interviews certainly raises some eyebrows, but not nearly as many as the Pentagon's decision to declassify the information that the DF Cmdr used in his book and interview. Given the secreccy of this administration, does anyone really believe that they would allow information about strategies implemented and/or rejected if UBL was still alive and at-large? I don't.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on October 8, 2008 at 9:22 AM | PERMALINK

Does his plann center around building a giant wooden badger?

Posted by: 2Manchu on October 8, 2008 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

I am starting to think that at this point Mccain would have to go capture OLB himeself. I also noticed that stupid meter didn't move when McCain spit out any of his lies, it looks like after 8 years of Bush, lies just don't work anymore.

Posted by: Dayland on October 8, 2008 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

McCain will just re-name one of the Guantanamo saps "Osama Bin Ladin" and viola--he's caught Osama Bin Ladin.

Posted by: dudley on October 8, 2008 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe McCain's secret method is so horrific that he couldn't get elected if he told us.

For example, simply using nuclear weapons on all of the villages in Pakistan's tribal areas.

Posted by: Wapiti on October 8, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

I must be reading too many wingnut youtube comments.

Why would you subject yourself to something like that? Youtube comments are excruciating.

Posted by: Jennifer on October 8, 2008 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

Fools, all of you. Of course he knows how to do "it". Why should he talk about it, show his hand, let binLaden escape once again.

I think the main thrust involves McAce's secret decoder ring that he found in the very first box of Frosted Flakes in that offer of "Free Secret Decoder Ring",inside the box way back in 1952. It's proper (and secret) use caused the downfall of the Berlin wall (much later of course), Ronald Reagan's eight years of successful economic excellence, Bushit's breath taking and hugely successful preemptive wars, North Korea's demise, and the striking success of the duel Palestinian/Israeli State.

He has the secrets my friends. He and he alone, so watch out!

Fast forward five years. McAce is rocking on a chair on the porch of one of his ,now, 21 houses. There's a blanket on his lap and a cat sleeping on the soft furry surface. McAce opens his eyes and stares at the camera and says: "you should have elected me. I would have gotten that bastard and won all the wars. I know how to win all the wars, heh, heh, heh...

He then falls softly back to sleep. What fun...

Posted by: stevio on October 8, 2008 at 9:30 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's OBL plan:
We just send a bunch of Army guys with helicopters and stuff to where bin Laden is hiding, see? Then the Army guys all point their guns at bin Laden and make him surrender.

The economy:
Everyone works really hard and saves their money. The Chinese will make overalls for us so it will be just like the Waltons. Rich people already have plenty of money so we shouldn't tax them at all. That way our average wealth goes up.

etc.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on October 8, 2008 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

The whole thing was a snoozefest. No ideas from either one.

Posted by: Pat on October 8, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Hey, 2Manchu; that was funny! Yesterday my local paper printed some suggestions for how to clean up political campaigning, via a comment in the editorial section. Chief among the suggestion was a modification to election law that allowed an advertiser to speak only about the ideas and plans of the party purchasing the ad. That, the commenter, reasoned, would dispense with the negative advertising that turns the whole process into a colossal poo-fling.

It struck me as a hell of a good idea, and it likely would remove the negative element if it became law. However, I didn't allow for the other element - making wild promises that only stupid people would believe, like this example. He might as well have said, "My friends, the moon really IS made of cheese, and I know how to mine cheese in an environmentally-sound manner that will give everyone on earth a lifetime supply of cheese without the moon ever getting smaller".

Posted by: Mark on October 8, 2008 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's 'secret' plan is to go nuclear on Waziristan. He's the only one nutty enough to do this and if the target zone is wide enough, we'll be sure to kill him.

Posted by: Calvin on October 8, 2008 at 9:34 AM | PERMALINK

Steve: I can clarify this for you, because I was discussing this with Senator McCain at a recent meeting.

He has a 5-step plan that is actually quite simple, and really rather fool-proof, so I'm not sure why he didn't lay it out in the debate for the American people to see.

Here it goes:

1. Assemble a bunch of "troops;"

2. Find out the exact location where Bin Laden is hiding;

3. Send "the troops" there;

4. "Get" Bin Laden;

5. Bring him to justice.

Frankly I don't why Obama can't figure this out. I guess it just goes to show why McCain is the superior choice.

He's thought things out so well.

Posted by: Prof Burgos on October 8, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

So John McCain knows how to get bin Laden, but he won't tell the White House or the Pentagon until or unless he's President. This sounds to me a lot like he's giving aid and comfort to the enemy, and that, my friends, is the textbook definition of 'treason.' At the very least, it's harboring and protecting a fugitive in a murder case, and that makes McCain an accessory after the fact to the murder of nearly 3000 Americans.

Or, maybe he's lying--it wouldn't be the first, or even the ten thousandth, time--and he has no actual clue how to catch bin Laden. He's just using bin Laden, as Rebublicans have since 9-11, to instill fear and, yes, terror, in enough Americans to get whatever they want. In this case, McCain's so utterly desperate to become President that he's stooping to extortion.

No, my friends, the Republicans, from BushCheneyMcCain on down, need bin Laden alive, well, and plotting against Americans. Not only do they have no plan to get bin Laden, they don't even want a plan.

Posted by: azportsider on October 8, 2008 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

bin Laden would love to be killed, then he gets his 72 virgins, but McCain really needs to be asked why he hasn't shared his foolproof secret plan with his buddy George W. Bush.

Posted by: Racer X on October 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

...but it would "require implementation of certain policies and procedures that only as the president of the United States can be taken."

This McCain quote, all by its little lonesome self, is the frightening repetition of history so soon forgotten. I had the opportunity recently to revisit a film I hadn't seen in years: Judgement at Nuremberg. We might even dare the audacity of altering his words ever so slightly to read, "that only by the Chancellor of the German Reich may be taken"---and we have the legitimization of the Nuremberg Laws.

Has the United States actually fallen so low as for one of its major political parties to feel the need for resurrecting such a macabre, vicious visitation on the world as was experienced then---as the means to obtaining power?

Posted by: Steve on October 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's plan for getting OBL is top secret, but I can tell you this much; it involves a bird's tail feathers and salt.

Posted by: overdahill on October 8, 2008 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

What would be a better campaign strategy?

1] Saying "make me president and I'll get OBL because I know how to get OBL."

2] Telling us how to get OBL now, letting the current admin get OBL, and then saying "see, I told you so."

Even if Bush does bag OBL before the election, it will be by following Obama's lead on how to go about it. I see it as a win-win for Obama.

Posted by: chrenson on October 8, 2008 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

I was looking at CNN's annoying real-time reaction meter during this part of McCain's claim that he "knows how to get bin Laden." Both male and female meter people showed a definite lack of enthusiasm for this claim. The lines did not budge.

THAT'S what that line was? Wow. I thought that was tracking McCain's blood sugar levels.

Posted by: Stefan on October 8, 2008 at 9:48 AM | PERMALINK

He can't tell us the plan because it involves invading Pakistan and then he wouldn't have that to throw at Obama every day. McCain is literally down to maybe five talking points so he can't afford to lose any.

Posted by: Capt Kirk on October 8, 2008 at 9:51 AM | PERMALINK

>"why not share his ideas with, say, the White House and the Pentagon? "

Sigh... no reporter has the balls to ask him that question?

Exactly the same as the run-up to the Iraq war... when Colin Powell declared "We know exactly where the WMD's are".

Nobody asked the simple question... "If you know where they are, why don't you tell the weapons inspectors?"

A blindingly simple question, that if asked on national teevee might have changed history.

Posted by: Buford on October 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

Reminds me of Nixon's Secret Plan to End the War in '68:

(1) Wait until just before the '72 election.

(2) Announce that the War is over.

(3) After the election, another round of fighting and bombing, just to prove we're macho.

(4) Take the terms that were available in '68

Posted by: rea on October 8, 2008 at 9:56 AM | PERMALINK

If McCain knows how to catch/kill bin Laden and hasn't cooperated with the Cheney administration to this point, I call that being a Traitor, or perhaps treasonous.

Posted by: rickles on October 8, 2008 at 9:57 AM | PERMALINK

I'd like Obama, at the next debate, to say "because I believe so strongly in getting bin Laden, I'd be very interested in McCain's plan, so I'd like John McCain, tonight, to promise me to share with me his plan for getting Bin Laden if it turns out I'm elected President. After all, it seems kind of petty & small to have a master plan to stop a terrorist mastermind but not share it if you're not elected President. Can you make that promise, John? Tell me how we should go after bin Laden if I become President?" And then watch McCain turn so many different shades of red...

Posted by: slappy magoo on October 8, 2008 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Bin Laden is dead, and these videos and audios that come out are either manufactured by Al Qaeda or the US government, or both; they both have interest in keeping him "alive."

Posted by: Speed on October 8, 2008 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

Why was McCain wandering into the NBC frame when Obama was talking??? Couldn't he just sit still in his chair and listen to what "that one" was saying?

Reminded me of a wedding video, where an old drunk guy kept walking into the background in almost every shot.

Doesn't seem like a guy who knows how to get Bin Laden.

Posted by: Ohioan on October 8, 2008 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

From John McCain for President:

The campaign wishes to clarify a comment made by Sen. McCain at last night's Pressidential debate. Sen. McCain incorrectly said that he knew how to get "Osama." In fact, he ment to say he knew how to get "Obama."

Additionally, Gov. Palin will be making an appearnces in Ohio through the end of the week. She will debut a new speech pledging a McCain/Palin administration's vow to capture and kill Obama.

Posted by: Saint Zak on October 8, 2008 at 10:09 AM | PERMALINK

McCain's plan for getting Bin Laden? He's gonna send Sarah in a Cessna to shoot him while he is hip deep in the snow and can't run away.

Posted by: jcricket on October 8, 2008 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

I think McCain does have a plan to get Bin Laden, and he has already offered it to the current administration. But it's something so crazy that Bush refuses to do it. That sounds like the current McCain warrior dynamic.

Posted by: Remus Shepherd on October 8, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

Unless, of course, that's going to be the October Surprise. Along with gas prices dipping below $3 because the oil companies want their R buddies to win, and they'll make more crude available for refining into gasoline (they've got the crude -- and have been storing it to keep gas prices high).

Posted by: Nanuq on October 8, 2008 at 10:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's probably because McCain doesn't "know how to do it" and there is no secret plan.

Or because the way to do it is exactly what Obama suggested and McCain criticized him for.

Posted by: Gregory on October 8, 2008 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Regarding McCain's secret plan to catch Bin Laden, it is absolutely incorrect to suggest that this could be done without McCain being president. The plan entails McCain sending a personal invite to Bin Laden for some of his awesome BBQ and a ride on the tire swing, and once he shows up, we nab him.

But of course, this only works if he can set up the tire swing at the Whitehouse, as he knows it's quite unlikely that OBL would travel all the way to Arizona just for a Senator's BBQ. But a presidential BBQ, that's got to work.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on October 8, 2008 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

and when Bush actually does pull OBL out of his hat on October 25, he will credit McCain. If not, we can expect a new video from OBL around the 29th of October.

Posted by: bushworstpresidentever on October 8, 2008 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

He'll get Daphne and Velma and Shaggy to got to Pakistan, and when Osama comes out to scare them, Scooby will run him over and then they'll get him in a chair and pull off his mask and reveal that he's really--BILLY CARTER!


Posted by: pbg on October 8, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

If McCain knows how to catch Bin Laden, why is he keeping it to himself? I though he was patriotic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHLTKwshxfs

Posted by: Ex-Republican on October 8, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, but what ever happened to his solemn pledge to get Pancho Villa?

Posted by: Chesire11 on October 8, 2008 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

I can't believe people are actually believing that OBL is still alive. He's been dead for years now...people attended his funeral won't reveal his burial site but he is definitely dead. Bush knows this that is why he commented "To tell you the truth, I just don't spend that much time on him any more". No doubt McCain knows this too. OBL has been kept "active" to be used for fear mongering purposes. There are many accounts of his death that have come out. Just google OBL dead plus DU has many official comments in their archives.

He was on dialysis and had been hospitalized in our hospitals on many an occasion before 9/11. He needed hospital care not cave care. The man has been dead for years, the tapes sent in his name were forgeries and have been proven forgeries. Once and for all...please tell McCain...OBL is already DEAD... so now what goober.

Posted by: on October 9, 2008 at 3:27 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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