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Obama makes no dead or alive pledge on Osama

Barack Obama today drew another line of distinction with President Bush, this time over the hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden.

A long while back in the heat of the initial hunt, you may recall, Bush said he wanted to catch Al Qaeda's leader "dead or alive," a Texas kind of phrase that captured the revenge feeling of many, but not his wife, Laura, who gave the 43rd president something of a family scolding that evening for shooting from the lip.

In fact, in a SkyTV interview last weekend, which you can watch here, Bush said he now regretted using the phrase, though not the Al Qaeda's gloval leader Osama bin Laden,s who Barack Obama  and President Bush vow to bring to justice.keen desire to bring the organizer of 9/11 to justice.

Today, according to a Swamp item by Mike Dorning, Obama said he'd try to avoid turning Bin Laden into a martyr who could provide a rallying point for a new generation of Islamic radicals.

Obama said he was not certain that the terrorist leader would be captured alive.

But if Bin Laden were taken into custody, Obama said he'd bring the terrorist to justice "in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he's engaged in and not to make him into a martyr."

Obama added that such a capture would offer a high-profile moment to demonstrate to the world "that the United States government is abiding by the basic conventions that would strengthen our hand in the broader battle against terrorism." Dorning's complete story is available here.

--Andrew Malcolm

 
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Wow, this sounds great. Would he care to be a bit more specific on this magical way he has of prosecuting Osama bin Laden or will he continue to be overly vague while appealing to his blind/deaf supporters?

Great,
now I cannot even vote for Obama.

thats right. just keep him alive. i hope you lose the nomination obama

As a father whose son was murdered on 9/11 I applaud Obama's saying if Bin Laden were taken into custody, Obama said he'd bring the terrorist to justice "in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he's engaged in and not to make him into a martyr."

My wish is justice be done; and not vengeance motivated by hate.

Hate is what murdered my son; and if we return hate rather than seeking justice, we become no better than those who drove those planes into the WTC buildings. And we are better than that…

That sounds more presidential than the cowboy phrase used by the previous president.
People died because of what Obama preached and instructed to his followers, if we just bomb him and let him died in some unknown remote mountain cave, then how can we tell the world that we are better than him? In fact this might just begin the cycle of hate and revenge, and we turn him into a martyr.

There are only two option regarding Osama :

1. Tracking him and killing him

or

2. He is free and alive

The third option (capturing him alive) doesn't exist in reality.

In this issue Obama is disconnected from reality

T. blindly wrote:
"The third option (capturing him alive) doesn't exist in reality.

In this issue Obama is disconnected from reality"

The article stated:
"Obama said he was not certain that the terrorist leader would be captured alive. "

It looks like you're the one who is disconnected from reality. Or you simply need some lessons in reading comprehension.

Wow, it's going to be great to have a thoughtful president for the first time in 8 years. I am so looking forward to it!

To those who think these are just more magical words (see comment #1,) did you ask the same thing when Bush declared he would catch him "Dead or Alive", obviously a task beyond him? Do you declare they are just "magical words" when McCain repeats ad-naseum how he'd follow Osama to the gates of hell? McCain is actually mentioning a "magical" place in his declaration.

McCain/Bush aren't even able to play checkers in this war, Obama is playing Chess.

No question he should be hanged or beheaded like ones before him.

It still amazes me how our most "patriotic" Americans are the one's who are the most willing to sway from our Constitution and the values that make us great. Remember, the men who wrote it were way better men than the idiot we have in office now. We need to honor the thousands of lives our country gave to become a nation with honor. Obama shows the respect and honor to our fore fathers and country by upholding the values we embrace. I am proud to be an American and I show it by having higher standards of my country. We should take Osama alive and prosicute him the way we would any murderer. This way we show the world that we are honorable and gain back the respect we used to have as a moral and great nation. This is what Obama wants! This is why I will vote for him. I am an American and want the world to look at us again as great.

Rush and Hannity and Malkin and the wingnuts are not going to like this! Too bad.

If we're as good a country as we say we are then Osama will be taken into custody and tried. If he's killed under "suspicious" circumstances then his next in line just takes over with more motivated followers. If we act in a way that is congruous with the rhetoric of the terrorists, aren't we just proving their point.
I don't want to be the country that actually aids the recruitment of terrorists like we are now...Thanks W.

Read the comments here and take a look around. We are a nation divided. Abraham Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

Is it any wonder that we are failing in everything for which we are responsible?

Frank Venice puts it best: Returning hate is the fool's solution. We are a bigger and better nation than that. We know better than to stoop to the level of those who have cowardly attacked us.

It's time to get our $#!+ together.

Can you imagine, if after 7 years of the end of WW2 , Hitler will still be alive and continue to make public announcements from some cave in the Alps. It what we have now with Osama. And if our current president or the future one think that it is irrelevant, I disagree.

Actually, this story here is half the cake. Obama comments about Bin Laden were preceded by McCain's who told employees at a munition plant in Northeast that "if he could find Bin Laden, he would kill him with his hands using their ammunition." But there is a third option, between McCain's summary execution, and Obama's long O.J. like circus trial. Whoever is elected president, either Obama or McCain, issues an executive order to be informed if Bin Laden is found before any action is taken. Then McCain, a B-52 pilot during the Vietnam War, flies to Guam U.S. Air Force air base -no matter if he is president or senator at the time- climbs into the cockpit of B-52 and bomb Bin Laden's
hideout thus sending him into martyrdom. Then both Obama nd McCain fill their wishes: McCain to do it in-person, and Obama avoid responsibility for awarding Bin Laden the medal of martyrdom.

Is this far fetched? No. Campaign talk about Bin Laden for votes is so fluffy stuff that belongs in Pandora's Box. People are hurting with high gas and food prices
while speculators become as rich as Bill Gates, IRA and 401 account gains are wiped out for retirees,
airlines are on their knees, and the presidential candidates fiddle on the roof of Bin Laden's martyrdom
dome. I think they both urgently need to take "The welfare of American People 101" course ASAP! Nikos Retsos, retired academic.

Obama is a rule-of-law kind of guy. I happen to think that's a good trait in a president, as it makes him more likely to respect our constitution, our civil liberties and our cultural values. This is key to restoring respect for America abroad. A lesser candidate would have been tempted to go for the tough guy language, just as he might have been tempted to start a war in Iraq a few years earlier.

With the exception of Frank Venice, these may be the dumbest comments I've ever seen.

You idiots do know that Bush's cowboy didn't actually lead to finding Obama, right?

Obama is disconnected from reality? Really? YOU think so? He said Try to capture. Your president Bush and his McClone are the disconnected "Cowheros". Did you see where the the general investigating the DOD suggested ina report that the Commander in Chief was a war criminal? Check out the McLatchy News. Bush is just like OBL in his disdain for life and the American Way.

I have to disagree with the comments that say capturing him alive is a bad idea.

Remember what that mugshot of Hussein did to his credibility. His hair mangled and dirty from hiding in a hole in the ground.

If we could capture Osama and put him in the media with a picture like that, we could easily knock a few pegs out from under the beleif that he is some kind of martar.

If he dies in a cave underground, he dies a martar. That will only persuade more terrorist to rise up and replace the head of the snake.

"T" wrote:

There are only two option regarding Osama :

1. Tracking him and killing him

or

2. He is free and alive

The third option (capturing him alive) doesn't exist in reality.

In this issue Obama is disconnected from reality

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'd like to know why "The third option (capturing him alive) doesn't exist in reality."

Am I alone, or maybe just naive, in thinking that Obama is beginning to sound like just another Chicago-bred politician?

When the race with Hillary started I was drawn to Obama. That was not because of what he said. Instead it was because the U.S. is in such a mess that what I saw as his starry-eyed belief in doing something new - even if that something was not well-defined - was worth a shot.

Over the course of the campaign, I've watched as Obama (and McCain too by the way) have become more guarded in what they have to say. I listen to the speeches and the rhetoric (from Obama) is compelling. But after the speeches are over I have a hard time pinning down just what the heck he is proposing.

Anyway, maybe I'm being naive msyelf - being surprised that politicians are sounding, well, like politicians.

Wow, T, that sure is enlightening.

There are only two options regarding Usama:

1) Finding him

or

2) Not Finding him (Bush's Preference... In 2002 Bush said "I truly am not that concerned about him.")

Why is that his preference? Because the republicans prefer to keep Americans frightened. If Americans are frightened they won't ask hard questions like "what are you doing to improve our schools?" or "Why is the number one cause of bankruptcy related to people not paying their medical bills?" or "How can drilling in anwar have any effect on the price of Oil?" or "How, exactly, is being in IRAQ beneficial to the US?" or "Why did you give no-bid contracts to a company that Dicky C was CEO of in 1999?"

I think Obama's idea is a good one. Bringing justice to Bin Laden rather than bombing the crap out of where ever he MIGHT be would be beneficial for our nation's integrity. It would show that we're not just out to kill everyone, and that the justice system actually works in a way other nations can admire.

It's like when a police officer is chasing a bank robber down the street, and instead of apprehending the guy and putting him through the justice system, he shoots him in the back just because he doesn't feel like chasing him any more. (Only this is on a much much larger scale, I know.)

What is wrong with you people? The US is not a country of thuggish assassins. We're not Colombia, we're not Burma, we are a country of law and due process. Obama isn't saying let's give bin Laden a free ride. He's saying if we catch him, we should bring him to court where he can be judged and punished for all his crimes. Maybe he'll get the death penalty. Maybe not. If Osama is assassinated, he would become a marty for Taliban. The last thing we need is for their leader to become a jihaddist.

Just remember-- they hung Saddam. Fat load of good that did.

Mr. Venice,

I'm glad you posted your opinion. I've been wondering how those people intimately affected by the Sept. 11 attacks feel about Guantanamo Bay and the handling of Osama bin Laden should he be captured.

At this point I come down on the side of "shoot first, ask questions later." However, I have often told my husband that I would swiftly alter my opinion if people who survived the attacks or lost loved ones/co-workers that day overwhelmingly felt the way you do.

In the end how the lawyers and politicians feel about this matter means much less than you and others like you. And, sir, I am deeply, deeply sorry for your loss.

Sincerely,
Angela Rutherford

Once again, the Obama critics are quick to show their abysmal ignorance.
For the first time in a long time, we have a chance to elect a statesman as leader - someone who at least begins to understand the world beyond our borders. Let us not fail.

I think Herbert must mean "Osama", not "Obama" I hope...

So, we capture Osama, he hire's OJ's lawyers, beats the rap and then what?!? McCain is right to be shocked at the Supreme Court decision. Our courts are not the place to try war-related cases.

Im so tired of talking about osama. the evidence is so clear at this point, 9/11 was an inside job.

ever heard of emmanuel goldstein?

To: CCS, JSHlopko, dofl, t.,

Are you sure that you guys are really older than 13? When they say that Americans are stupid, you give them evidence of it.

I live and work in New York City. I think Obama is absolutely correct on this issue. As Americans, our country was founded on the rule of law. It's what makes us who we are and why we think that we have such a good system of justice.

And, by the way, dead or alive, means dead or alive (so isn't that in fact what he's saying by this?)

How do we know that Bin Laden is not dead already?

Fine. Lets load our M-16's with rubber bullets and go after the enemy with handcuffs and a card stating their right to remain silent, give each opposing soldier a fair trial so the world will know and understand the murderous acts the enemy is engaged in and so as to not make them martyrs. Gee, why didn't we think of that during the revolutionary war or the Civil War or the Spanish American War or WWI or WWII or the Korean War or the Vietnamese war or the Iraqi War or the War on Terror?

Obama definitely needs to be brought to justice for the crimes committed on 9/11, but ultimately, if tried will should get the ultimate sentence of death which will only thus, give him martyr status.

The majority of Amerincans, myself included, want to return our country to the rule of law, I beleive that the comment by Obama is right on.
The negatives comments that will come are more a reaction to the frustration of Americans of any way of life to the fact that the man that murdered our brothers and sisters still running relatively free. Get mad at the clowns in the White House for not putting the bulls eye where it belongs, not in Iraq and let the US once again lead be example. Let us show the rest of the world that this piece of you know what is just a thug, murder, lowclass, dirty rat.

I laughed when I read Herbert's comment, "the cowboy phrase used by the previous president"... he must be in his little dream world where Obama has already been elected president.

People are also dieing because he IS alive, continually preaching and instructing his followers. Remember that these guys volunteer to blow themselves up? It would be impossible to capture him alive, T is right, Obama is clearly disconnected from reality here.

Osama should die, and Barrak Hussein Obama should not be our next president.

Barack Hussein Obama's judgment in dealing appropriately with Osama bin Laden and any "Muslim terrorist" has been clouded by his own close personal relationship with his extended Muslim family, as well as his early, devout Muslim education and lifestyle with his two Muslim fathers and atheist mother. This lack of real will to deal with Muslim terrorists wiil not help the United States, but may, instead, have a devastating effect upon this nation.

Accurate story and reporting, but wish I could say the same for the headline?

The headline is pure sensationalism. Shame on the LAT!

The mere fact that Barack Obama is talking about this is a stark indication that the Bush administration has failed at bringing those who committed the 9/11 attacks to justice. It is unconscionable that the Bush administration has not taken meaningful action against the terrorists who actually attacked this country. I don't care whether we kill him or prosecute him, but that Bush is content to allow him to walk the Earth is unbelievable. In this, as in so many other things, we desperately need leadership and competence in the White House.

Why is Bin Laden all the sudden Obama's responsibly after Bush let him run free for the last 8 years?

Nobody has held Bush responsible, so why should the next president be held responsible for OBL.

I guess some commentors "T" didn't read the actual article. I'll copy and paste it for ya:

Obama said he was not certain that the terrorist leader would be captured alive.

But if Bin Laden were taken into custody, Obama said he'd bring the terrorist to justice "in a way that allows the entire world to understand the murderous acts that he's engaged in and not to make him into a martyr."

The Never Ending Obama Mantra: What I meant to saaaay waaaaas.........

I wonder how much of the american tax dollars would be spent to bring Obama Bin Laden and other terrorist to lengthy court trials in america ?

Yes, Obama would force Bin Laden to tour Ivy League colleges lecturing on the evils on terrorism and why America is at fault.

Just remember-- they hung Saddam. Fat load of good that did.

Posted by: Sophia | June 19, 2008 at 05:39 AM

Yeah? Well they imprisoned the blind sheik behind the 1993 WTC bombing - fat load of good that did too.

That sounds more presidential than the cowboy phrase used by the previous president.
People died because of what Obama preached and instructed to his followers, if we just bomb him and let him died in some unknown remote mountain cave, then how can we tell the world that we are better than him? In fact this might just begin the cycle of hate and revenge, and we turn him into a martyr.
Posted by: Herbert | June 18, 2008 at 10:45 PM
----------------------------
Herbert, I have taken the liberty of correcting your post!!
That sounds more presidential than the cowboy phrase used by the previous president.
People died because of what OSAMA preached and instructed to his followers, if we just bomb him and let him died in some unknown remote mountain cave, then how can we tell the world that we are better than him? In fact this might just begin the cycle of hate and revenge, and we turn him into a martyr.
Posted by: Herbert | June 18, 2008 at 10:45 PM

NinaK

McCain is too gong-ho on revenge; he is downright frightening. He voted for the Iraq War, he's threatened to bomb, bomb, bomb Iran, and now he wants to execute Bin Laden without trying him. Perhaps McCain is too angry and vindictive to serve as our President and Commander-in-Chief.....anyone who does not agree with him (as President) will be bombed, and those that survive the bombing will be executed without a trial. This guy is sounding more and more like Sadam Hussein--- he is a tryrant; he'll take no prisoners!! Surely, we, Americans, do NOT want such an individual leading our country!!

Barack Hussein Obama's judgment in dealing appropriately with Osama bin Laden and any "Muslim terrorist" has been clouded by his own close personal relationship with his extended Muslim family, as well as his early, devout Muslim education and lifestyle with his two Muslim fathers and atheist mother. This lack of real will to deal with Muslim terrorists wiil not help the United States, but may, instead, have a devastating effect upon this nation.

Posted by: Angel
---------------------
Angel, you must be an angel of darkness judging by your lies and slander. Keep lying to yourself if you wish, but please refrain from spreading your evilness. You KNOW nothing about Senator Obama, you make up crapola about him which is absolutely NOT true. Trying getting yourself INFORMED!!

EDITED: I have come to the conclusion the Obama haters hate him for the fact he genuinely brings GOOD changes to our country. They have gotten so used to the past 16 years of deceitful Presidents that they just do not see any further than the "BOX" we have been in all these years. For them, change is a frightening thing. It's like the abused child who gets used to being beaten, he/she does not know what the world is like outside her home and is scared of those who want to help him/her. These children have to go through intensive counselling to bring them out of their "box".

Posted by: NinaK | June 23, 2008 at 11:10 PM


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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