The Making of a Raid-The Hunt for UBL

Much has been said about the raid that takes out UBL. Forget UBL and who he is for a little while and focus on the making of a raid. There are those that say Obama deserves the credit. There are some that say it only took 2.5 years to get him since Obama took office. There are some that ask, why did it take so long? Why could he not be found? Why does it take so many? A man on dialysis cannot be that hard to find and that makes Bush incompetent, some pontificate. UBL is dead and Obama did it, yell the lemmings. Nobody focuses on the raid, the preparation of the raid, the support involved in the raid, the exit strategy for the raid, and the people involved in the raid.

The focus mistakenly and intentionally is focused on the political fallout and praise of the raid. It did not take “guts” to make the call as the news media tries to portray… takes common sense. Obama never would have made the call if the political fallout would have been negative. His focus was not on the kill at all….. it was on the 2012 election and how to use the kill to his advantage. Obama would have received positive reaction from me had he actually given credit where it should be focused but “to the victor, the spoils”. So, the raid happened on his watch and that is great but it is the culmination of painstaking research, intelligence gathering, logistical planning, the placement of assets, the entry and exit tactics and security. So, the making of a raid, is necessary to understand the final product and that is the man that is claimed to have been killed. For the purposes of this article, let us make the “assumption” that it is the real UBL and not some government conspiracy.

In order to have a raid, you must have an objective. In this case the objective is UBL and his demise. Someone had to make the initial call and it was George Bush II. He is the individual that ordered the death of UBL. Obama did not order the death of UBL…..he only pulled the trigger. But once the death warrant is issued, several things must take place before “trigger pulling” could take place.

The very first thing that has to be done is intelligence gathering. We are not talking about military intelligence, we are talking about the various intelligence organizations around the world. They MUST be involved. Thousands of people monitoring satellite photos, cell phone conversations, emails, snail mail, and observations on the ground by recruited individuals within the community are all involved. The military intelligence service is ONLY for battlefield conditions. It is not James Bond type stuff and never has been. It must be remembered that the military is a tool that is used by civilian politicians. It can either be a hammer or a scalpel but the military is still a tool and it is more effective as a hammer. However, special forces can be a scalpel as well. Intelligence gathering has to be end sourced. That means that all the information that comes in must be sanitized and rendered useful or non-useful and then verified yet again. It is common that 92% of all intelligence gathered is non-useful. Civilian intelligence resources must be put into place to monitor known traffic routes, safe houses, friends, family, and business contacts. UBL had been spotted many times but getting to him was not that easy. Oh, it would have been easy to take him out with a missile but the collateral damage would have been massive and to ensure a proper kill, the ratio must be a nine to one ratio. Nine missiles…..not one. This has been proven time and again on and off the battlefield. So, a “target” will be monitored for months and years before an actual hit is ordered to avoid massive civilian kills. ( Personally, I would have ordered an early hit regardless of casualties and political fallout ). It is even more difficult if there is a state government involved. Let us use Tora Bora as an excellent example. We involved the Afghan intelligence sources and the Afghan government. UBL was warned as we were coming in the front door. From that point on, he was going to be elusive. After that, UBL stopped using cell phones, land lines, satellite phones, emails and computers and went into hiding and courier usage. In fact, he just plain disappeared from normal intelligence activity……he went “black”. From that point, he had safe houses and protected status in Iran and Pakistan. This man never went back to caves.

In order to do a sanitary hit, there must be ample preparation. A standard operating procedure must be developed for various scenarios. For example, to raid a compound is different than raiding a set of caves which is different from raiding a neighborhood, which is different from raiding a pathway or road which is different from raiding the local grocery store which is different than raiding a fortified compound. So, every contingency must be planned for and developed for each possible scenario. Then, once established, mockups are found and built for practice and practice does not take place in days or months. It takes years to establish training guidelines and command and control structure and communications. As a former member of a special forces unit assigned to DEA for drug lab hits all over the world, we trained incessantly for 18 months to hit just three labs within two miles of each other and the labs were static. We trained for six months to recon one two mile area in Laos in 1970. So, to establish a proper SOP for every contingency would take years. Once established, training will take place. Day and night training, in all kinds of weather and visibility and all kinds of contingencies must be trained for and this raid was no exception. They planned for the loss of equipment and had an SOP in place in the event that there was a loss of one helicopter and/or the loss of two helicopters and so on. To assume that a raid goes off without a hitch is to sign the death warrants of the teams involved. Once Bush II made the decision to hit, Rumsfeld takes over and directs the plan for it.

What assets are necessary? An asset is defined as military units as well as equipment. So, to pull off this hit, what needed to be done? Location had to be considered and SOP established for each one and then code named. Each scenario uses different assets so you can take out of your mind that the same assets are used for every contingency…they are not. In this case, since the distance was so great, how do we get air assets into place and out again without refueling? You cannot. There was NO cooperation from the Pakistani government. We had already established that they were not to be trusted. So, staging grounds had to be established and secured and kept secret. Everyone thinks that SST6 was the only team involved….it was not. Who do you think secured the compound so SST6 could do its job? It takes Army Green Berets….so there were teams trained to secure the area and stop any reinforcement while the hit team moves in. How do you think refueling takes place over a seven hundred mile trip? Air refueling was out due to the need to stay under Pakistani radar. So, refueling sites within enemy territory (Pakistan) had to be established and secured for the raid and the decision made that the refueling points could not be compromised EVEN if innocent civilians wandered into the area. US Army Rangers secure the “gas stations” along the way. While the raiding party is inbound, fuel bladders are air lifted to specific spots for the return trip and secured by the Rangers. Once the fuel starved raiding party was on its way back, they had to stop and be refueled. Once that was accomplished, then the Rangers needed air assets to get out. THERE MUST BE AN SOP FOR EACH PHASE OF THE OPERATION AND FOR EACH UNIT IN THE OPERATION FOR EACH AND EVERY CONTINGENCY. And, each of these must be practiced over and over and over again. In addition, there had to be false landing zones to freeze enemy assets in place. So, several fake missions would be run at the same time to jam the airwaves with pre-warnings so none could figure out what was actually happening. Rescue teams had to be formed if an A/C went down at any phase of the operation. Equipment is mechanical and can fail at any time and must be planned for in case needed. SOPs are made for this and planned and practiced as well.

Now, this is just a snap shot of what takes place. The next thing that has to take place is patience and the right place to fit the SOP and contingencies that were developed. So…it becomes a waiting game. Each contingency, utilizes different units…so when it was decided to hit the compound those specific units were alerted and staged to await the final order of the Potus at the time. This was not an Obama operation. It was a military operation ordered and trained by Bush and executed by Obama. There are thousands that need to be praised, not one. I am sure there will be questions…so ask away. It is ok to pick out specifics, I will answer them within classified bounds.


  1. Common Man says:



    Hope you are well. On a bit of a side note isn’t it interesting that obama would send assistance to Mexico to fight the brush fires down there, but won’t assist Texas even when asked?

    OK, some questions about the raid:
    -What are the chances of UBL’s pictures being released to the public?
    -Do you have elevated concerns of retaliation on US soil
    -Given that Pakistan government new UBL was there, how should we deal with them going forward?
    -Do you think the bad guys will put out a bounty on the team and if so how or will command deal with that?
    -Now that we got the SOB shouldn’t we bring the troops home?


    • God morning, CM. Yes, isn’t it interesting. But it has always been that way in Texas and we are used to it. Gov Perry turned down any assistance that had contingencies to it whereas assistance to other states had no contingencies. But that is because it is Texas. The lie that he perpetuates is a greater lie than looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He (Obama) is so full of shit on the Texas border, it is laughable. He has NO CLUE whatsoever about the border. His joke about the moat and alligators is the most insensitive and ridiculous statement ever.

      NOw to your questions:
      THe chances of his pictures being released during the Obama Presidency….. non existent.

      Yes, there are some elevated concerns about retaiation on US soil but we have procedures in place. However, if such were to happen, they will not be classified as terrorist or Islamic Fundamentalist actions. They will be classified as individual and non related criminal acts. So much bull shit.

      Pakistani government…(cough, cough)..We have created our own problem and are mired in it. Some want to stop all aid but what is the end result? Pakistan is a nuclear power. We made them that way. We created the problem. Honestly, I am at a loss as to how to handle them. The risk that I see, is that a total withdrawal of American support would probably render that country to Islamic fundamentalist factions who would eventualy control a nuke button. But that does not really bother me too much…India will keep them in check.

      I think that there is a bounty on the heads of all Special Ops. I have had bounty placed on mine before and I am still here. The names of the Team will never be compromised or should not be…..I do not trust the Obama administration to kepp it secret, however, but time will tell. Yes, there will be no book deals for years…probably 20 or so by Team members. And remember that team members change all the time. So, increased vigilance even going to the grocery store is needed but we are trained for that. Secrecy is paramount to protect identities. Everytime that I took part in a raid of any sort, we did not carry identification with us. Personal letters, watches, rings, etc. were not carried. In Vietnam, when the serial numbers were changed to SSN numbers and placed on dogtags, it was not unusual for the enemy to take the dogtags and trace ssn numbers and place phone calls to the wives and families of fallen soldiers and harrass them.

      We should not have troops there to start with so taking out UBL is no big deal. His demise will not change any direction of policy. Obama is going to use the troops as cannon fodder and political assets for re-election.

      • Just noted, and how presumptious of me….GOD morning? Sheesh. GOOOOOOOOODDDDD MOOORNINGGGGGG COOOMMMONNNN MAAAAAN.

      • D13,

        “The chances of his pictures being released during the Obama Presidency….. non existent. ”
        Respectfully, I disagree.
        Is there a military reason not to release any photo’s?
        If not, I think like the birth certificate he will release the photo’s sometime before the election to try to boost his chances. And I think that will outweigh any military issues.

        • There is no mlitary reason to not release any photo that I am aware of….

          Of course, if it appears that he is going to get slammed at the polls…..perhaps. I do not think that people see any link with the birth certificate issue and the photos….however, stranger things have happened.

          • Mathius says:

            He’s smarter than that.

            He’s going to wait for the republican convention, for all the candidates to have to stand on stage and put themselves on record that they don’t think he’s dead. He’ll wait for them to build it up like a brand – the way Trump did with the Birther issue.

            Then he’ll release the photos and they’ll all look like conspiracy theorists and fools. AND he’ll get to take another victory lap in a news cycle dominated by the story, once again, of how he ordered the hit on OBL.

            It’s what I would do, anyway..

            • Terry Evans says:

              The only problem with that is that I really don’t hear that much chatter that denies it was UBL. I think he might release it closer to the election as well, but it will be used to deflect some weakness of his. He is a shrewd campaigner, but a dismal president.

      • D13 El Coronel said:

        “Good morning, CM. Yes, isn’t it interesting. But it has always been that way in Texas and we are used to it. Gov Perry turned down any assistance that had contingencies to it whereas assistance to other states had no contingencies. But that is because it is Texas. The lie that he perpetuates is a greater lie than looking for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. He (Obama) is so full of shit on the Texas border, it is laughable. He has NO CLUE whatsoever about the border. His joke about the moat and alligators is the most insensitive and ridiculous statement ever.”

        I couldn’t agree more Colonel. How about some state just ‘hold back’ the money they are supposedto send to the Feds and use it to fix their border problem? And when the Feds complain, tell them to ram it?

        Would that even be feasible? I mean, hey! What can they do? Threaten you? Could it even be done?

        I know that sounds radical, but times seem to be calling for a little radical thought. I am sick to my stomach with the Feds and their high-handed bulldoookey.

  2. Good morning, Colonel! I assume when you write “some” you mean me!

    I’m honored once again.

    Obama said the Seal team practiced for the last two months on the specific model compound … I tend to believe that. I know there was a lot of work behind it, but there’s no way W made it the priority it should’ve been. So long as Bin Laden was out there, W could do what he wanted in the name of finding him (including that dopey war with Iraq that has netted us what exactly?).

    Stay frosty (whatever that means), Colonel …

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Obama said the Seal team practiced for the last two months on the specific model compound.

      HAHA, Obama wouldn’t know a military operation if it punched him in the eye. The man has never utterred a true statement to the public. He is a decrepid liar and that will never change. You need a new hero my eye-talian friend 🙂

    • Now now Charlie, you are doing the Obama shuffle. “Some” was not zeroed to you although it included you. There are several of your ilk that have conspiracy theories and the like. They are also included….so you are not a sole target.

      Hmmmmmm………ok Charlie…..I will stipulate that it is partial truth. Once the courier that he was using made a mistake and they finally identified the location of UBL and satellite photos were taken, a complete mock up of any compound would be built and practiced on. What you fail to recognize, and I do not hold this against you since you do not know nor have participated in anything like this, is that the final two months was the final practice. What you do not recognize, is that they have been trying to connect this courier to location for over 6 years. He finally screwed up with a cell phone call that was actually picked up at Ft Huachaca in Arizona on a program that had been put into place in 2003. This pin pointed actual location and they still watched this compound for over 7 months before he (UBL)could be verified as even being there. Once verified, final practice is completed, and the trigger pulled.

      Charlie surmises: “but there’s no way W made it the priority it should’ve been”

      D13 shrugs: “Ok…if you wish to believe that, ten thousand angels sitting on my shoulder saying I was right is not going to change your opinion. I understand that and accept that.”

      I will, however, try to get you to understand that Iraq and UBL were not common with each other. I do not and did not support the Iraq war. I do not and did not support the Afghan war. I do not and will not support our role in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen…..these are Obama wars and will escalate with troops and aid under this administration. So, I understand your hatred of Bush…cool for you. BUt you should have the same emotion for Obama…he is continuing Bush policies and expanding them to other countries.

      I need to find out what Frosty means….as well.

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Cheers to seeing “Fort Huachuca”! I was a resident of Sierra Vista for a few back in the 70s while Dad worked in “Signal Command”. Have several friends there now.

      • Come on, Colonel … you know I don’t like Obama any more than Bush. I give him credit for ONE THING and one thing only; being the guy in charge when Bin Laden was whacked. He did get it done during his administration; he did give the order to go (with others opting for other measures). It was a gutsy call (politically). I know the Seals were the guys at real risk, but somebody has to give the order and he did.

        As for as everything else he’s done (Obama) … useless as tits on a bull to any progressive that is honest with himself (moi) … Nader in 2012!

        • Displaced Okie says:

          I am always curious as to why people keep calling Obama’s decision “gutsy”, as I think that it is the same decision that would be made by the majority of Americans….it’s kinda like saying a child made a bold artistic decision to use a blue crayon when he colored the sky in his coloring book, lol.

          • Because they were told to believe it was so!!

            Hope all is well with you and yours Okie.

            Tell us how the rapper event at the white house is going over with LE!

            I wonder if White House is now considered a racist term by the MSM?

            • Displaced Okie says:

              Howdy JAC,
              Yesterday was the first time I had heard about Common’s upcoming WH visit. Personally, I am not really surprised that Obama would have somebody like him come to the WH, as the president and his staff seem pretty inept when it comes to not ticking off the LE community, kinda odd considering his authoritarian leanings- you’d think he want to keep us happy, no?
              Hope you are well, amigo

          • Mathius says:

            Because most Americans wouldn’t stop to consider geopolitical complications such as pissing off a nuclear power if we were wrong, or what happens if (as I said above) OBL slipped out the back leaving behind a dozen dead seals.

            Who do you think would get 100% of the credit if either of those occurred?

            • Displaced Okie says:

              I disagree. I think most people would consider those factors(I did), but still come to the same conclusion. This also leads me to believe that the intel was really, really good, as Obama. Doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy that would risk looking like he was W reborn. The way I see it, just because there IS a risk of bad things happening if you make a particular decision still doesn’t make it gutsy. Had he made the same decision if UBL been hiding in China, I would say that was a gutsy decision.

        • Ok Charlie…… Read slowly…..sound each word out…..ready? I have always said and I will say again, Obama made the decision to pull the trigger. It happened on his watch. See? Obama pulled the trigger. The gun was already loaded and aimed but he did make the decision to go/no go and that was his responsibility.

          Now, I firmly believe his decision was 70/30 political. The reason I say this is because he could have pulled the plug but whacking UBL had zero risk politically. It made a rather indecisive POTUS look decisive. But you are totally and completely correct in that he gave the order and it was his to give and he gets the kudos for giving it and not sticking his head back up his ass. So, not to steal Mathius or BF thunder on points…..I award ONE and ONLY ONE D13 Kudo point to POTUS Barrack “mmm mmm mmm” Obama and a pat in the back. See Charlie? I can be fair….I dont like the sob and disagree with most of his policies but he is the POTUS and he did pull the trigger. Cool?

          As to the teats on the Bull….I remember a yankee friend of mine that wanted to milk a cow…did not know the difference between a cow and bull…..sure pissed off the bull.

          • Mathius says:

            Zero risk…

            no, sir

            What if things went south and OBL slipped away leaving behind a dozen dead seals?

            What if OBL wasn’t there and Pakistan raised a big stink about us invading their sovereign territory?

            What if we wound up in a firefight directly with the Pakistani military?

            These would have been politically very bad. Very, very bad.

            And don’t you dare tell me that many of the people who are currently refusing to give the President credit (correctly or incorrectly) wouldn’t be the same people pointing at the mess and blaming Obama for 100% of it.

            • My dear friend Mathius asks: “What if things went south and OBL slipped away leaving behind a dozen dead seals?”

              D13 says: The Obama Team would have said that the decision to go was correct and that the Seal Team was inadequately trained.

              Mathius asks: “What if OBL wasn’t there and Pakistan raised a big stink about us invading their sovereign territory?”

              D13 says: Obama is not stupid. He saw what happened when there were no WMD’s found in Iraq and the political fallout from that. He would NOT have pulled the trigger without assets on the ground a personal identification of UBL. He had a slam dunk from years of intel.

              Mathius correctly asks: “What if we wound up in a firefight directly with the Pakistani military?”

              D13 says with certainty: The orders were to take him out and any interference was to be dealt with utilizing lethal force whether civilian or Pakistani government. The Army Special Forces had that responsibility and woud have performed such expertly and professionally. (Military jargon for… survivors). There would have been a National Security lid slammed on that if it happened and would have been buried deeper than the JFK papers and you would have never known.

              Mathius, bowing his back, says:”And don’t you dare tell me that many of the people who are currently refusing to give the President credit (correctly or incorrectly) wouldn’t be the same people pointing at the mess and blaming Obama for 100% of it.”

              D13 says: Ok. You would not be wrong so I would not tell you that.

              • Mathius says:

                The point is, that Obama picked up a good chuck of the credit, but not all. A large portion (though probably less than it should be) was attributed to the military (let’s say 30%?), and a large segment gives credit to bush instead of Obama (lets say 30%?), another segment believe he was either dead already or that we faked it in some other manner (let’s say 10%?), and some, apparently, think that Obama was too weak to give the go-order and that someone else in the administration did or other assorted conspiracy theories (let’s say 5%).. leaving 25% who credit Obama with the kill.

                If it went south, 90% would blame Obama (because it’s notably bad form to try to blame the military, even if/when they deserve it).

                If he captured/killed OBL, that’s a big bump.

                If things went south, there’s some options: 20% major international international conflict, 50% that he suffers blame for failure of leadership, 30% that he puts a lid on it and nothing happens.

                He has stated that he was 55% sure that OBL was there.

                Ok, math time..

                So, politically, the President has a coin flip of getting 25% of the credit for a major victory, and 90% of the credit for catastrophic failure. Seems to me, he should have refrained politically. And don’t try to tell me that this isn’t how politicians think.

                My personal theory is that he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ruin the finale of The Apprentice.

              • If it went south, 90% would blame Obama (because it’s notably bad form to try to blame the military, even if/when they deserve it).

                I seem to remember a 1980 operation at a place called Desert One in the Iranian desert (Operation Eagle Claw) went seriously south (8 dead US servicemen) and the main heat for that debacle was laid at the door of the military, specifically at Col. Charlie Beckwith’s feet (wrongly).

              • True,

                That Iranian fiasco ended Carter’s Presidency

              • True BF, that fiasco was the final nail in Carter’s re-election coffin. Though he was in serious difficulty prior to that point (which continues my decades long belief he okayed the op on the hope that its success would boost his re-election chances).

            • EXACTAMUNDO …

          • iThe reason I say this is because he could have pulled the plug but whacking UBL had zero risk politically.

            Colonel, colonel, colonel … read very slowly now 🙂

            The risk was HUMONGOUS … first off, there is NO ONE on the other side of the aisle who is a credible candidate (so Obama was safe not doing anything). The risk was the same Carter took (who was in terrible trouble when he took it in Iran). Had anything gone wrong (loss of American lives, capture, etc.), the GOP was FINALLY in the race again. As it stands, now … remember Dandy Don?

            Turn out the lights … the party’s over …

            • Terry Evans says:

              You really do like this guy don’t you?!

            • No sir….you are quite wrong. He had zero risk in the venture. ZERO. He was in a win win situation even if anything had gone wrong which was not going to happen.

              The other issue is…..he ordered the hit, bypassed a sovereign government, invaded another country, and assassinated a political leader..

              Oh..sounds like I am from the left. So, now, Charlie is going to say…..but he was only carrying out a Bush policy so therefore he did not order the hit, the invasion of another country and an assassination.

              You guys kill me….entertaining for sure but holy cow….what a double standard.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                No double standard here — just as Obama takes the blame on this for ordering the hit, invading another country and an assassinate (not to mention all the blame had something gone wrong), Obama also gets the credit for taking Osama out. This does not mean Charlie suddenly loves Obama and supports him; I’m sure that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

                But to say there was zero risk in Obama’s decision!? Come on now!

  3. gmanfortruth says:

    Good stuff Colonel 🙂

    Any intel on the chopper left behind? I haven’t had much time to research lately, but it seems like a cool machine.

  4. It is a cool machine….and the tail rotor that housed the new technology did not get totally destroyed. The Chinese now have it…..courtesy of the Pakistani government.

  5. Murphy's Law says:

    Great article and info, Colonel.

    Anyone who believes that there was only 2 months of practice before that mission is an idiot.


  6. Terry Evans says:

    Are you able to say with absolute certainty that UBL is the one killed. I personally believe he was, but I believe that you even projected a level of uncertainty right after it was announced.

    • Hi Terry….my skepticism was aimed at the conspiracy theorists out there. For the sake of the article, I asked people to set aside their theories and focus on the actual preparations for the raids and why they take so long at times.

      There are several factors that have the theorists going crazy right now. The absence of dialysis machines at the compound. (My answer: Pakistan is complicit. There is a hospital two blocks away). Was it a body double? (My answer: I do not know. I have seen the pics and the pics look right but I am no technological genius on photo shopping. However, there is no tape that has come out to dissuade my thinking that it is not UBL.) The getting rid of the body so quickly. (My answer: This one bothers me.)

      I have only read the DNA report submitted after government sanitizing. Take that for what it is worth.

      There is increased chatter along the border and we know that there are two “Queada” cells operating on the border running guns and the Obama administration knows it but allows it to continue.

      But…….I have no other reason to believe that he is not dead.

      • PS: two 40 cal rounds in the face….messy.

        • pps: One thing that I notied. I have seen many dead hrad shots up close and the blood pattern. It is usually heavily coagulated. The blood pattern in these pictures supported very thin blood….indicative of dialysis or blood thinners.

          • Terry Evans says:

            Thanks D, your information is always appreciated…ducking out now to survey possible flooding…be back later.

        • Displaced Okie says:

          Hey Col. ,
          Out of curiosity what military weapon uses. .40 cal…it is usually a LE caliber?

          • Special forces personal weapons..

            • Displaced Okie says:

              Any particular reason they would be using personal weapons(pistol, I am assuming) over an issued smg or assault rifle…sorry about the random weapons/tactics questions, but the tactical part of my brain is curious.

              • Sure. We often carried personal weapons as we are authorized to do. The Sig P226 side arm is chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W, .357 SIG, and .22LR. All hollow point, teflon coated black talons.

                They carried the new version of the M4 as well….

  7. Ray Hawkins says:

    @D13 – always enjoy reading from you – a few questions:

    (1) What exactly is the role of Diego Garcia in all this?

    (2) So what happened at Son Tay that did not happen here?

    (3) Are the participants in this awarded ribbons/medals specific to this action?

    (4) I was somewhat surprised a dog was used in the raid – is this typical? Can you shed any light on their training?

    (5) Can you comment on Mossad role in this? Heard but not read rumors to that.


    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Mossad rumors was specific to their role in on-the-ground intel in Pakistan.

    • Great questions:

      (1) Ahhh….the Indian Ocean. It is only a strategic airforce base. Operation Desert Fox used it as a staging ground for long range bomber strikes. No particular usage in the raid.

      (2) Son Tay raid was primarily very faulty intelligence. There were no reliable eyes on the ground monitoring. We did not have the technology that we have today. There were no cell phones, microwave relay stations, etc. Only limited satellite photos. In addition, without the eyes on the ground, no one knew of the inceased forces that were on a sort of R&R at the time of the raid. Empty jail cells and an understimation of the enemy strength.

      (3) Yes, in private ceremony and their records locked.

      (4) Dogs are used all the time to find hidden passages and hiding places and explosive residue. I do not know specifics of their training.

      (5) None to my knowledge and nothing mentioned in any briefings thus far.

      How is your minion doing? ( Your son ) .

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        Minion is well – grows so fast I just cannot believe it. His climbing skills have improved exponentially the last few weeks = oh dread!

  8. Colonel,

    God Morning to you as well:-) and God be with us all today as we try to tend to those twisted souls that partake at this site(yes Charlie, I mean you).

    I would like to be clear in giving credit to President Obama, who did pull the trigger. Add to that, reports say the team had authorization to fight the Pakistani police or military. That means he was prepared to start a war. (and he had good intelligence which said that was very unlikely)

    He also has totally tanked releasing the story. White House sources said OBL was armed, hiding behind a woman, now we learn he was unarmed. It’s amazing to watch the liberal media in full spin mode over this. And does anyone doubt Bush having an unarmed OBL killed instead of taken prisoner would have them shouting for his impeachment and charging him with murder?

    • Good morning, LOI…..interesting that you brought out the fact that our troops were authorized to engage any flrce coming to the compound. There were three Army Green Beret teams assigned to security with strict orders that NO ONE was to get in,…….No one.

      • And that does surprise me that Obama made the decision to send in a full team instead of a sniper or missile. I have trouble believing he is willing to stand up to any foreign power with nuc’s. But I may be wrong.

        Any ideal what the status of their nuc’s is? Ten hour or ten day response time. On missiles or conventional bomb type?
        And how many?

        • Actually, their Nuclear program is falling into serious disrepair. It is short range as well….intended for India, actually.

          • D13 is correct (again).

            Pakistan nukes are a Chinese geo-political chess move.
            India and China are in conflict over Kashmir.

            China put a whipping on India over a border incident, where Indian forces shoved a small Chinese contigent out of a valley.

            China responded with a couple of regiments, and brilliant tactics, cunning and bravery.

            China utterly crushed the Indian Army, threatening to break out into the heart of India and seize all of northern India.

            But China -unilaterally- stopped her tanks and went home, but still claiming the small -but strategically vital – valley.

            Then China got a nuke.

            India was petrified.

            India lied, cheated and stole whatever she needed to get a nuke.

            China was petrified.

            China gave Pakistan nuke technology to offset the Indian nukes.

            The first, global, nuclear war may indeed explode here.

            • Mathius says:

              The first, global, nuclear war may indeed explode here. How do you define a global nuclear war? We were at war with Japan (global) and we nuked them (nuclear).. twice. Seems to me the first “global, nuclear war” has already happened.

              Indian / Pakistan are just playing for second.

              And don’t discount Israel for that distinction. So far they’re holding off, but I sense an itchy trigger finger.. especially if a decrease in US foreign aid forces their hand.

              Just thinking aloud here..

              • Terry Evans says:

                I think he was referring to BOTH sides having a Nuke…

              • Mr Thinker…….put this in the hopper and churn it around….pre Red Bull, of course ( may already be too late for that ). Israel loses big time popping a nuke…..UNLESS….it is in a strict self defense of homeland mode. Even then, they lose.

                Come on, Matt….making a cinder out of a couple of cities in Japan is not a GLOBAL nuclear confrontation as it was one sided. With India and Pakistan….it would be more than a couple of isolated cities and the largest glass factory in the world.

              • Mathius

                We were at war with Japan (global) and we nuked them (nuclear).. twice. Seems to me the first “global, nuclear war” has already happened.

                A war of an exchange of nuclear weapons over a broad continent and/or multi-continent geography.

                Japan nuke was neither.

                And don’t discount Israel for that distinction. So far they’re holding off, but I sense an itchy trigger finger.. especially if a decrease in US foreign aid forces their hand.

                An exchange of nukes….with who?

  9. Thank you for your information D13. It’s always good to hear from an insider.

  10. Ray Hawkins says:

    Oh Boy……..

  11. If we were to believe the official story…
    This isn’t how America works; this is how terrorists operate. This was vengeance; not justice.
    My Clovis News Journal column (if the paper publishes it) addresses my thoughts in more detail, and should be online tonight. I’ll post a link.

    • The eccentric Texas libertarian is up to his usual antics, this time speaking out against the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden. According to Politico, the congressman – a contender for the Republican presidential nomination – said the operation “absolutely was not necessary,” and that “respect for the rule of law and world law and international law” should apparently preclude any such operation. Check out more from Politico below the break.

      “I think things could have been done somewhat differently,” Paul said this week. “I would suggest the way they got Khalid [Sheikh] Mohammed. We went and cooperated with Pakistan. They arrested him, actually, and turned him over to us, and he’s been in prison. Why can’t we work with the government?”

      Asked by WHO Radio’s Simon Conway whether he would have given the go-ahead to kill bin Laden if it meant entering another country, Paul shot back that it “absolutely was not necessary.”

      “I don’t think it was necessary, no. It absolutely was not necessary,” Paul said during his Tuesday comments. “I think respect for the rule of law and world law and international law. What if he’d been in a hotel in London? We wanted to keep it secret, so would we have sent the airplane, you know the helicopters into London, because they were afraid the information would get out?”

      Putting aside political questions, is there any validity at all to what Paul is claiming? Was the operation illegal under either US or international law? Do you think killing OBL was, in fact, necessary?

      Read more:

      • I don’t give a rodent’s orifice about “legality”; I think it was wrong to kill Osama the way it is claimed they did it. Pragmatic, yes, but wrong.

        Plus, while OBL probably was a really bad guy, the only things I “know” about him (and his involvement in “9/11”) I got from government sources that were filtered through the mass media- not exactly a formula for truth.

    • Here is the column I wrote for the paper about the bin Laden thing:

  12. D13

    Good article Colonel. And best of mornings to you.

    Bit of a hijack here but I thought you most of all would appreciate this. Please note the comments regarding state territorial controls.

    Oh, how far we have fallen.

    • D13

      P.S. Do you guys need any help digging that moat?

      We got plenty of unemployed loggers with excavators handy.


      • Bring em down…they are salt of the earth types….we don’t mind having a moat complete with Rapto-gators. Raptors not bred with North American Gators…..but the Nile Croc.

        • Mathius says:

          That sounds like a fearsome combination..

          How is it that you seem to be able to breed raptors with any and all species? I’m no geneticist, but that seems odd. Do you have rapto-mosquitoes? How ’bout a rapto-duck-billed-platypus?

          • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

            Velociraptor-based adenovirus library…just incubate with desired species embryo and presto…new species!

            There’s an app for that! 🙂

            • Mathius says:

              But who would be mad enough to cook up something like that…

              ::dawning realization::

              Caribou Unit! What did you do?! Do you realize what you’ve unleashed on the world? Madness! Oppenheimer had nothing on you.

              What if someone makes a Rapto-Barney-Frank!

              • A Rapto – Barney FranK? Even D13 would not stoop to that level….besides….all they would do is bluster and yell and chanse male raptors around.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Bioinformatics is a future looking weapon!


              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Just think…..Rapto-Pelosi!

              • Mathius says:

                Rapto David Hasselhoff..

                Rapto Dick Cheney..

                Rapto Snooki..

                Now, Caribou, here’s the big question.. what if it mutates and become infectious? What if people can contract it and become raptor hybrids, just like that? Can you imagine having to deal with Rapto-Black-Flag?

              • Matt…you are forgetting. I have the only BIO key available. A Rapto-DPM is not out of the question.

              • Mathius says:

                Though DPM is notoriously camera shy, one eye-witness was able to create an artist rendering before he was made to walk the plank.

              • DisposableCarbonUnit says:

                Mathius you can’t infect an AI software program with a biological virus…geez EVERYONE knows that!

    • No hijack, sir.

  13. I smirk by the “officials” wanting to torture, err, integrate the remains of OBL’s family for “information”.

    If Intel wanted info, why did kill the man who knew?

    Little of this story makes sense, notwithstanding D13’s excellent briefing.

    • Ooops….BF and D13 in agreement thrice in the same year.

      BF inquires: “If Intel wanted info, why did kill the man who knew?”

      D13 reflects: CorrectoMundo, My anarchist friend…correcto mundo.

      THank you….my article was to try to impart some understanding of preplanning and execution. It is not spur of the moment.

      • Bama dad says:

        “If Intel wanted info, why did (they) kill the man who knew?”

        Same reason any politician would regardless of what team they played for-poll bounce.

        • They had no way to handle him as a prisoner. Gitmo, that Obama pledged to close? Look at how attempting to hold a trial in NY blew up on them.

          I also think if the mission went south, it would have been blamed on Bush, the plan he had laid out, but they were to short of time to change tactics.

  14. Reasonable Suspicion
    What did Pakistan’s military and intelligence agents know about Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts, and when did they know it?
    May 16, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 33 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES and THOMAS JOSCELYN

    In May 2010, in the aftermath of the attempted bombing of Times Square by a jihadist with ties to the Pakistani Taliban, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave an interview to 60 Minutes and made a startling claim about the government in Pakistan. “I’m not saying that they’re at the highest levels, but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is, and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill, those who attacked
    Why would Clinton say this? Did the U.S. government have intelligence—an inside source, communications intercepts—that Pakistani officials knew where bin Laden was hiding? Or was America’s top diplomat just engaging in idle speculation about a nation often described as a key ally in the war on terror?

    One hint: She had made similar comments before.

    A year later, two days after a team of Navy SEALs had killed bin Laden at his compound in Abbottabad, CIA director Leon Panetta was even more blunt. In an interview with Time magazine’s Massimo Calabresi, Panetta explained why the United States went in on its own: “It was decided that any effort to work with the Pakistanis could jeopardize the mission. They might alert the targets.”

    That is a stunning statement. If Clinton would not accuse officials at the “highest levels” of the Pakistani government of al Qaeda sympathies, Panetta did. The CIA director does not deal with anyone other than officials at the highest levels of partner governments. So Panetta wouldn’t withhold information simply out of concern that there are al Qaeda sympathizers or agents seeded among the midlevel ranks of Pakistan’s military and ISI intelligence agency. He was concerned that the leaders of these institutions might alert the targets.

    It was a reasonable concern for two reasons: the surprising location of bin Laden’s compound and the long history of support for jihadists from within the Pakistani security apparatus.

  15. The Doc agrees with the Colonel on Obama/Osama …

  16. Good afternoon, Col.

    I know better than to ask this question, but will ask it anyway. During the first part of your dissertation, you inferred that this UBL op could possibly be a political fubar all made up to give BHO a political boost and not have actually eliminated UBL. Having known a few (very few) active duty SEALs back in my active duty days, I just do not see how any of them could ever be used to perpetuate a lie of that magnitude (Jesse Ventura would be the lone exception, to me at least). Do you really feel comfortable making a statement like that? I know that you were Army, and that the Army and Navy (as well as my beloved USMC) have an on-going rivalry of sorts . . . However, it has been my experience that once the shit hits the fan, all differences are put aside and the mission takes precedence.

    I do put the credit where the credit is due, and that is to the young men who put themselves in harms way that night, not to mention the one man who automatically did what we trained him to do from the very beginning of his military career – Sight Picture, Sight Alignment, Trigger Squeeze, Breathing.

    Also, I have read that both Al Queda and the Taliban have admitted that UBL no longer is among the living.

    • Oh, an on another note about BHO and his border speech the other day . . . Gov. Brewer has personally invited BHO to come here to AZ for a first hand/up close and personal look at just how bad it is in the border states. He has yet to show his ugly face.

      And have you noticed that New Mexico and California are strangely quiet about their border problems?

      • Mathius says:

        What border problems? I’m from LA, and let me tell you, there is no border problem.

        … of course that could be because, in California, there is no border to speak of, so no border problem …

        • Ahh yes, I do remember escaping “The Peoples Republik of Kalifornia” about six years ago. As I remember the last general election that I voted in it took me over an hour to work my way through all the languages to english (the only language that I speak, read and write) for each and every candidate. Only got two choices here in AZ, English and Mexicanized Spanish(that won’t last long if McCain has his way – It’ll look like CA).

    • Did not mean to infer that UBL is not dead. He is. But, the decision to go/no go is politically based but he did not get the boost that he hped for….

      We conduct joint training all the time with the Seals, Army Green Berets and Rangers, Marine Recon, and Air Force Special ops. All work together for the same purpose until club time then we try to outdrink and out fight each other. Then back to team again the next day.

      • I got assigned to a Recon Battalion for a while back in the late `70s. Got to make a jump with them. Not with a single team, but with a two company sized “quick insertion” as they called it. Decided that I would stick to my weekend recreational sky-diving after that. Those guys are either the bravest men I have ever met, or all were certifiably insane. I haven’t figured it out even as yet. That was quite an experience.

        I have an enormous respect for those who do that sort of thing on a regular basis, be they USMC, Army, Navy, or Air Force. Good men all.

  17. What a great discussion today. As I caught up, I wish I was here following, but therapy and the garden took much time away from that.

    Id have some honest questions. 1. @D13- You’ve seen the pictures I understand, Was it UBL? @’ @ Mathius- Matt, there will be no Raptor/Pelosi’s running around, ever. She’s to dumb to be a raptor and would never survive.

    Great stuff today Colonel! 🙂 Your input is a blast to read and has far more integrity than the MSM. AT least I can believe you 8)

  18. Gman,

    I agree. When the Colonel speaks, we all grab a chair and listen!

    My concluding take:

    When D13 raises an eyebrow about the extra-judicial killing of OBL, the hair on the back of my neck stands up…..

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Flagster, I agree as well! The problem is that we now have a government sponsored assasination on record for the first time I can remember, that was addressed by the Prez. I’m not comfortable with that at all, although I do not hold our troops responsible. Our govt has become to big and out of control. How to change that….?????

      • Hey Gman,

        The problem is that we now have a government sponsored assasination on record for the first time I can remember, that was addressed by the Prez.

        Just remember, it was George Bush II “that ordered the death of UBL” and issued the death warrant… 😉

      • The problem is that we now have a government sponsored assasination on record for the first time I can remember

        Gman, my man, you have a short memory …

        • gmanfortruth says:

          Charlie, My memory is just fine. I have a list of those whacked in South America in just 15 months, they were just not glamorized by a worthless politician with dumbo ears.

  19. Colonel,
    Thanks for the your inside information. It’s very interesting.

    But your “dislike” for Obama shines thru brighter than usual.

    For the purposes of this article, let us make the “assumption” that it is the real UBL and not some government conspiracy.

    Can anyone “read-between-the-lines”?? 😉 Just making this statement leads many to question if UBL was killed.

    In order to have a raid, you must have an objective. In this case the objective is UBL and his demise. Someone had to make the initial call and it was George Bush II. He is the individual that ordered the death of UBL. Obama did not order the death of UBL…..he only pulled the trigger.

    Once Bush II made the decision to hit, Rumsfeld takes over and directs the plan for it.

    This was not an Obama operation. It was a military operation ordered and trained by Bush and executed by Obama.

    There are thousands that need to be praised, not one.

    You go to great lengths to try to give Bush credit and not Obama, but then you point out that thousands are involved and deserve praise. So why Bush and not Obama?

    There is no doubt a mission like this is built on years of intelligence gathering and training. But they did not track the courier to the Abbottabad compound until August 2010. So Bush/Rumsfeld could not have done any planning or training for this specific mission.

    But why do we stop at Bush? Clinton tracked UBL to a training camp in Afghanistan and fired a cruise missile at him. Maybe Clinton should get credit because he was obviously targeting UBL before Bush?

    Clinton tracked UBL thru satellite phones. UBL stopped using satellite phones after the Clinton miss, not after Tora Bora.

    There have been many stories that the US Military had UBL in their sights at Tora Bora, but someone stopped them from acting. Any info on that?

    Maybe we should go further back (you’re gonna LOVE this!!). Jimmy Carter created Seal Team 6, so maybe he should get credit? If he hadn’t created Seal Team 6, the mission could not have happened.

    I know – doesn’t that sound ridiculous???? Hmmmm…

    Bush said publicly many times that UBL was not that big of a deal and they were not pursuing him.

    If that was true, how does Bush get credit?
    If this was not true, why did Bush say it? Was he afraid of setting a goal and then failing?

    Obama said during the campaign he would make UBL a priority, and go into Pakistan if necessary.

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Todd, The good Colonels statement about assuming the UBL was the victim was likely aimed at me, rather than any dislike for Obama. I’ll take the full blame for the statement 🙂 I didn’t sleep for crap, so I’m going turkey hunting.

    • Naten53 says:

      Todd, I agree with Gman, that I thought the “assume UBL is dead” was meant to keep this from going into conspiracy theories.

      But, I would give credit to the founding fathers! It was they that wrote “To raise and support Armies” and “To provide and maintain a Navy.” Without those words there wouldn’t have been a SEAL Team 6 or any support forces!

      • Naten53,
        After Jimmy Carter, my next stop was going to be George Washington! But then I thought who – besides ME – would be crazy enough to think like THAT!!! 😉

    • Good morning, Todd. To answer….I think you misunderstood somethings. First, there is NO love lost on Obama and I will admit that publicly, prviately or any other “ly” there is….I do not like the man and I do not share his vision at all….however, I will give credit where it is due and I gave Obama credit for not stopping the hit and pulling the trigger.

      Todd asks: “You go to great lengths to try to give Bush credit and not Obama, but then you point out that thousands are involved and deserve praise. So why Bush and not Obama?”

      D13 states: I did. ANd I pointed out that the credit goes to the thousands….I did not give credit to ush except he started the hit. Obama finished the hit.

      Todd states: ” But they did not track the courier to the Abbottabad compound until August 2010.”

      D13 agrees: This is completely true. They only knew the couriers stage name, so to speak, but the courier screwed up and used a cell phone that was picked up outside of Abbottabad and he was consequently found and tracked. By the way, that was a Fort Huachaca operation from Arizona.

      Todd goews on: “Clinton tracked UBL thru satellite phones. UBL stopped using satellite phones after the Clinton miss, not after Tora Bora.”

      D13 corrects: One half right and one half wrong. The Tora Bora operation was not an American operation. It was Afghan controlled. The BUsh administration erred in trying to diplomatically solve the situation there and let the Afghan’s do the hit. UBL was warned and he got away. We did have him in sights and were ordered not to hit because the Afghans wanted to do it. Bush was wrong.

      Two years after Tora Bora, UBL and his aides were tracked in Iran through cell phones and satellite phones. The CIA actually had him in sights but were not allowed to hit because of diplomatic bullshit of conducting a hit in Iran. His asctual use of cell phones stopped completely in 2006 when we missed a hit in Afghanistan because we fired only one missile from a Predator. We should have fired 9. He went totally black in 2006.

      As to the Clinton debacle….I do not know why he did not hit him. He should have.

      Todd states: “Maybe we should go further back (you’re gonna LOVE this!!). Jimmy Carter created Seal Team 6, so maybe he should get credit? If he hadn’t created Seal Team 6, the mission could not have happened.”

      D13 corrects: The SEALS were actually created in 1943. (The old UDT teams). The official sanctioning of the Navy Seals came in 1963 under President Kennedy in the Warfare Schools. (Green Berets were also sanctioned then). The sanctioning of the Seal Teams were then and are now the same. Small unit raids with specialized members with a variety of missions….assassination being one of them and this has not changed.

      Todd says: “I know – doesn’t that sound ridiculous???? Hmmmm…”

      D13 understands: Yes…not only does it sound ridiculous that Jimmy Carter startd the Seal Teams and their mission….it is ridiculous.

      Todd has a good question: “Bush said publicly many times that UBL was not that big of a deal and they were not pursuing him.

      If that was true, how does Bush get credit?
      If this was not true, why did Bush say it? Was he afraid of setting a goal and then failing?”

      D13 states: ” Interesting question and remembering that Bush is also a politician, understands that intentional misinformation and innuendo is picked up through the msm and reported. Bush “probably” had two agendas….one was to politically deflect the importance of UBL through the msm because he had not caught him ( I never said Bush was correct) and two, making statements that the msm will pick up and broadcast all over the world the non importance of UBL was actually a try to “smoke him out”. Did not work.

      Remember that we used the msm in Desert Storm very effectively. Knowing the Hussein watched CNN and Fox News relentlessy, we ( I was part of this ) intentionally “leaked” to the news parts of what they thought our operation was going to be. Knowing that CNN would not ever keep anything a secret, they reported it. Unbelievably, Hussein moved troops and equipment on the basis of our leaked information. He got slaughtered and CNN got pissed. But the msm is a very effective weapon for misinformation and we leak crap to them all the time knowing the msm will report it and not confirm it.

      Todd says: ” Obama said during the campaign he would make UBL a priority, and go into Pakistan if necessary.”

      D13 answers: Yep. Great campaigning. Now, why are you not upset that Obama continued the Bush policies and invaded a sovereign nation and carried out an assassination when he decries that we are NOT AT WAR and this is merely criminal activity?

      Finally, I was also trying to diffuse the conspiracy theory for the purpose of the reason for the article. I asked everyone to assume that it was a hit on UBL. I am not inferring anything at all and there is NO in between the lines reading here. I have seen the pics and have no reason a this time to doubt the pics.

  20. Great article D13-was too busy to comment today-and now I am too tired 🙂 Hope you don’t mind this is off topic-just thought this article made some important points and wanted everyone to read it.

    Boeing and the Union Berlin Wall
    Between 2000 and 2008, 4.8 million Americans moved from forced union states to right-to-work states—that’s one person every minute of every day.


    The Obama administration’s National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint last month against Boeing to block production of the company’s 787 Dreamliner at a new assembly plant in South Carolina—a “right to-work” state with a law against compulsory union membership. If the NLRB has its way, Dreamliner assembly will return to Washington, a union-shop state, along with more than 1,000 jobs.

    The NLRB’s action, which Boeing will challenge at a hearing next month, is a big deal. It’s the first time a federal agency has intervened to tell an American company where it can and cannot operate a plant within the U.S. It lays the foundation of a regulatory wall with one express purpose: to prevent the direct competition of right-to-work states with union-shop states. Why, as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley recently asked on these pages, should Washington have any more right to these jobs than South Carolina?

    A recent New York Times editorial justified the NLRB decision by arguing that unions are suffering from “the flight of companies to ‘Right-to-Work’ states where workers cannot be required to join a union.” That’s for sure, and quite an admission. We’ve been observing that migration pattern for years, but liberals have denied it’s actually happening—until now.

    Every year we rank the states on their economic competitiveness in a report called “Rich States, Poor States” for the American Legislative Exchange Council. This ranking uses 15 fiscal, tax and regulatory variables to determine which states have policies that are most conducive to prosperity. Two of these 15 policies have consistently stood out as the most important in predicting where jobs will be created and incomes will rise. First, states with no income tax generally outperform high income tax states. Second, states that have right-to-work laws grow faster than states with forced unionism.

    As of today there are 22 right-to-work states and 28 union-shop states. Over the past decade (2000-09) the right-to-work states grew faster in nearly every respect than their union-shop counterparts: 54.6% versus 41.1% in gross state product, 53.3% versus 40.6% in personal income, 11.9% versus 6.1% in population, and 4.1% versus -0.6% in payrolls.

    For years, unions argued that right-to-work laws were bad for workers and for the states that passed them. But with the NLRB complaint, they’ve essentially thrown in the towel. If forced unionism is better for the economy of a state, why would the NLRB need to intervene to keep Boeing from leaving Washington? Why aren’t businesses and workers moving operations to heavily unionized places like Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania and fleeing states like Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas?

    In reality, the stampede of businesses from forced-union states like Washington has accelerated in recent years. A 2010 study in the Cato Journal by economist Richard Vedder of Ohio University found that between 2000 and 2008 4.8 million Americans moved from forced-union states to right-to-work states. That’s one person every minute of every day.

    Right-to-work states are also getting richer over time. Prof. Vedder found a 23% higher per capita income growth rate in right-to-work states than in forced-union states, which over the period 1977-2007 amounted to a $2,760 larger increase in per-person income in those states. That’s a giant differential.

    So now the unions concede that this migration is indeed happening, but they say that it is unhealthy and undesirable because workers in right-to-work states are paid less and get worse benefits than the workers in union states. Actually, when adjusting for the cost of living in each state and the fact that right-to-work states were poorer to begin with, a 2003 study in the Journal of Labor Research by University of Oklahoma economist Robert Reed found that wages rose faster in states that don’t require union membership.

    Employers that move away from forced-union states mainly do so not to scale back wages and salaries—although sometimes that happens—but to avoid having to deal with intrusive union rules, the threat of costly work stoppages, lawsuits, worker paychecks going to union fat cats, and so on.

    Boeing officials have admitted that their decision to build the new Dreamliner plant in South Carolina was due in part to the fact that the company could not “afford a work stoppage every three years” as had happened in Washington state over that past decade. (By the way, this is the comment the NLRB complaint cites as proof of “retaliation” against union workers.)

    Boeing is merely making a business decision based on economic reality. In fact, the company chose South Carolina for the new plant even though Washington has no income tax and South Carolina does. The two of us are often accused of arguing that income tax rates are the only factors that influence where businesses and capital relocate. Taxes certainly matter. But Boeing’s move shows that taxes are not always the definitive factor in plant location decisions. In the case of Washington the advantage of its no income tax status is outweighed by its forced-union status. Lucky are the six states—Texas, Tennessee, South Dakota, Nevada, Florida and Wyoming—that are both right-to-work states and have no income tax.

    While there are only six right-to-work states that also have a zero earned income tax rate and three zero earned income tax rate states that have forced- union shops, their performance differences over the past decade (2000-09) are revealing. Of the nine zero income tax rate states, those six that are also right-to-work have grown a lot faster than the three with forced-union shops: 64.9% versus 53.8% in gross state product, 59.0% versus 46.8% in personal income, 15.5% versus 10.3% in population and 8.2% versus 6.9% in payrolls.

    The Boeing incident makes it clear that right-to-work states have a competitive advantage over forced-union states. So the question arises: Why doesn’t every state adopt right-to-work laws? Four or five are trying to do so this year, and have faced ferocious opposition from the union movement.

    But that shouldn’t stop state legislators in forced-union states from doing what’s in their workers’ best interests. They need to decide whether they want to continue to see jobs and tax receipts exit their states, or whether they want to adopt laws that afford their workers the right to join a union or not. The only alternative is to build a regulatory Berlin Wall around their borders to keep their businesses from leaving.

    • In the wake of the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) contentious decision to prevent Boeing from opening a plant in South Carolina, three Republican senators have introduced legislation to protect South Carolina’s right-to-work laws.

      Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Jim DeMint of South Carolina introduced the Job Protection Act Thursday. If passed, the legislation would prevent the NLRB from blocking a company from moving jobs to another location, guarantee employers the ability to decide where to conduct business, and protect employers’ ability to discuss the costs associated with unionization without fear of an anti-union discrimination claim. The NLRB’s decision on Boeing stated that unionized companies cannot bring facilities into states with right-to-work laws.

      “This is not just about South Carolina and it’s not just about making airplanes – this is about jobs in every state in the country, and whether or not manufacturers are going to be able to make in the United States what they sell in the United States,” Alexander said. “I can’t think of one single action the federal government would take that would make it harder to create new jobs in Tennessee than this Boeing complaint, if it’s allowed to move forward.”

      DeMint explained that unionization has had a stifling effect on business and that right-to-work states are part of creating a prosperous future for America — where jobs stay in the United States.

      “Right to work states have more business growth, more new jobs, and faster rising incomes than forced-unionism states,” he said. “What the NLRB has done in the Boeing case is a threat to workers and businesses in every state. The NLRB is encouraging companies to take their jobs and investment overseas. This is a reprehensible act and an obvious kickback to union bosses the President is depending on helping his reelection. Unless we pass this bill, every worker and business in this nation is under the threat that if they don’t do what union bosses want, this administration will come after you.”

      Graham charged that the NLRB’s actions have been damaging to South Carolina and explained that his legislation would ensure that bodies like the NLRB are unable to take over the decision making capabilities of private companies.

      “The NLRB is doing the bidding of the unions at a great cost to South Carolina and our nation’s economy. I do not believe unelected bureaucracies should be allowed to go down the road the NLRB is charting,” said Graham. “The foundation of the NLRB complaint against Boeing would destroy the American business community’s ability to negotiate and make rational business decisions. Our legislation prohibits the use of statements made during negotiations – involving legitimate business concerns – to be used as a legal basis for a violation of the National Labor Relations Act. It is time for Congress to speak out in a common-sense way against the outrageous and frivolous complaint by unelected bureaucrats at the NLRB.”

      Read more:


    May 13, 2011
    Hot Christmas gift item: Obama SEAL action figure
    Rick Moran
    This is hysterical. I bet the only people buying this will be conservatives who give it to friends as a joke:

    Navy SEALs have become national heroes since news broke that they took down Osama bin Laden, so it’s fitting that the newest action figure from a Connecticut company is a fierce-looking President Barack Obama as a SEAL.

    The minute Obama said late on the night of May 1 that the U.S. had found and killed bin Laden, Emil Vicale knew which his action figure company’s would make next – Rambama.

    On Wednesday morning, Hero Builders released the Obama SEAL Team 6 action figure – a muscular President in fatigues armed with an M1-A4.

    Vicale, who owns the custom action figure company in Oxford, said the speech was a pivotal moment in the Obama presidency.

    He started the company after hearing George Bush at Ground Zero so I guess we can cut the owner a little slack. Still, the incongruity of Obama with a gun in fatigues is about as ripe as it gets.

    • OMG – I’ll have to order a few of these and post them as security guards around my house. I’ll feel much safer then – you guys wouldn’t stand a chance against a Rambama SEAL Team 6!!

  22. Truthseeker says:

    I have not been able to read all of the comments, so I am not sure if this question was asked.

    If UBL had been in another country, lets say Iran, would this of happened? Should Pakistan and the ME take this at face value and believe that the USA will indeed do whatever it wants regardless of soveriegnity (SP?)? If I was Pakistan, I would take this as an act of war, regarldess that UBL was there.

    • No one asked the question…but Pakistan is pissed that we did the hit and did not inform them….but how pissed are you going to get with 4 billion in aid hanging out there?

      • ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — In an address to Parliament, Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani on Monday defended Pakistan’s spy agency and indirectly criticized the United States for Osama Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan.

        The prime minister’s statement was expected to give an accounting of what Pakistan knew about the Qaeda leader’s presence in Pakistan, but instead centered on how the raid by the United States was a breach of Pakistani sovereignty. He warned that a repeat of such a raid to capture other high profile terrorists could be met with “full force.”

        The head of the spy agency, Lt. Gen. Ahmed Shuja Pasha, and the chief of the army, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, have been described by Pakistani officials as seething over the American raid, and the failure of the Obama administration to inform Pakistan in advance.

        In apparent retaliation, the ISI appeared to have told a conservative daily newspaper, The Nation, the name of the C.I.A. station chief who is posted at the American Embassy in Islamabad. A misspelled version of the station chief’s name appeared in the Saturday edition of The Nation.

        Read more:

      • Twin explosions struck a paramilitary training center in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing at least 80 people, in what the Pakistani Taliban described as its “first revenge” for the death of Usama bin Laden.

        The group threatened bigger attacks to come, in a statement shortly after the explosions. The blasts targeted newly trained recruits about to be bussed home on leave in Pakistan’s Charsadda district, near the Afghan border.

        A suicide bomber detonated at least one of the blasts at the main gate of the facility for the Frontier Constabulary, a poorly equipped but front-line force in Pakistan’s battle against Al Qaeda and allied Islamist groups close to the Afghan border. Like other branches of Pakistan security forces, it has received U.S. funding.

        More than 100 people were wounded, and 66 of the dead were recruits.

        “This was the first revenge for Usama’s martyrdom. Wait for bigger attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan told AFP by telephone from an undisclosed location.

        “Also, the Pakistani army has failed to protect its land,” Ehsan later told The Associated Press.

        Read more:

      • Truthseeker says:

        I am pissed that we give any country aid that is stolen from its own people.

      • I think they are trying to walk that “third Path”, appease both sides. The USA is offering the carrot for them to fight terrorism, terrorists seem to favor the “stick”.

        Have you noticed most of the media is now spelling differently?
        Usama, to make it harder for them to mix up-

  23. One of Osama bin Laden’s sons may have gone missing in the midst of the Navy SEAL raid that took the life of the al Qaeda leader more than a week ago, Pakistani security officials told ABC News today.

    The officials said bin Laden’s three wives, who are all in Pakistani custody, said that one of bin Laden’s sons has not been seen since the raid. The son was not identified, but Pakistani investigators agreed that it appeared someone was missing from the sprawling compound, the officials said.

    Later, however, one U.S. official said there was no evidence anyone was missing from the compound and Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, told CNN that in a recent briefing with the CIA there was no mention of a missing son.

    U.S. officials said that one of bin Laden’s sons, Khalid, was killed in the raid. It is not known if another son, Hamza, was in the compound at the time of the raid, though his mother is reportedly one of the wives in custody. The U.S. has previously denied the SEALs took anyone from the compound other than bin Laden’s body.

    The U.S. initially faced resistance from Pakistani authorities when investigators asked for access to bin Laden’s widows, but a U.S. official said Monday Pakistani official promised to make the meeting happen sometime soon. One senior Pakistani security official told ABC News there is still no timeframe for that meeting, however.

  24. Canine Weapon says:

    Any Floridians here?

    Florida’s Bestiality Law May Have Accidentally Outlawed Sex Entirely

    An act relating to sexual activities involving animals; creating s. 828.126, F.S.; providing definitions; prohibiting knowing sexual conduct or sexual contact with an animal; prohibiting specified related activities; providing penalties; providing that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices; providing an effective date.

    Last time I checked, humans are included in the Animal kingdom.

    So, if having sex with animals is illegal, and humans are animals, then having sex with humans is illegal.

    … Of course I don’t live in Florida, so this is all moot to me …

  25. Mathius says:


    Prime example of a delegitimized election

  26. May 13, 2011
    Pakistan’s army chief refuses to cooperate in rooting out Islamists
    Rick Moran
    Pakistan’s Chief of the armed forces Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has been put on the hot seat by his American benefactors and he doesn’t like it. Kayani, who has spent time in America and has good relations with US military liaison officers nevertheless realizes that Pakistan’s cozying up to Islamists is part of a long standing policy that seeks to use the terrorists to shape events in neighboring countries to its own advantage.

    The New York Times:

    The United States will now push harder than ever for General Kayani to break relations with other militant leaders who American officials believe are hiding in Pakistan, with the support of the military and intelligence service, a senior American official said.

    These leaders include Mullah Muhammad Omar, the spiritual leader of the Afghan Taliban; the allied militant network of Sirajuddin Haqqani; and Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group that the United States holds responsible for the terrorist attack in Mumbai, India, in 2008, the American official said.

    Pakistani officials, meanwhile, are anxiously waiting to see if any new intelligence about Al Qaeda in Pakistan spills from the American raid that could be used to exert more pressure on them, and what form that pressure might take.

    But those who have spoken with General Kayani recently said that demands to break with top militant leaders were likely to be too much for the military chief, who is scheduled to address an unusual, closed-door joint session of Parliament on Friday to salvage his reputation and explain the military’s lapses surrounding the American raid.

    The American wish list is tantamount to an overnight transformation of Pakistan’s long held strategic posture that calls for using the militant groups as proxies against Pakistan’s neighbors, they said. It comes as General Kayani faces mounting anti-American pressure from hard-line generals in his top command, two of the people who met with him said.

    If Kayani takes that attitude, there are going to be more raids without the explicit consent of the Pakistani government in the future. And congress will no doubt take a dim view of this attitude and seriously reconsider the $7 billion in aid we have pledged to Pakistan.

    Kayani will not be able to successfully maneuver through this mine field. He is going to have to make a choice. Given the circumstances, he is much more likely to choose to continue supporting terrorists who kill Americans in Afghanistan and elsewhere. This leaves the next move up to Obama.

    Slowing down aid already in the pipleline is an option, but a total cutoff seems unlikely. Instead, it appears that Americans are going to have to grit their teeth and endure Pakistani duplicity until we have the bulk of our forces out of Afghanistan.

  27. Hmmm, seems a fair percentage of Charlie, Buck and Mathius’ fellow New Yorkers aren’t enamored of staying in a heavy taxed state for the greater good of all. 😉

    Of those preparing to leave, 62% cite economic reasons like cost of living, taxes – and a lack of jobs.

    • Mathius says:

      Cost of living is only really an issue if you are suffering from the “lack of [well paying] jobs”…

      • Some needs to read TIME once in a while. It’s an old story (and it’s nationwide) … the American dream is no longer owning one’s home; new kids on the blocks are renting so when they’re jobs are in-outsourced (to another state), they can pick up and move. No jobs, no pay mortgage (for the vast majority of people). And of course it’s their fault for buying homes they needed two jobs to support so screw them; let them live in the street, the dirtbags (pot stirrer moment).

        Not to worry, oh free marketeers … soon as capitalist globalization wins out, most jobs will leave most states for cheaper costs … and don’t kid yourselves about the best and brightest being Americans only (sorry SUFA theme) … there are plenty of Russian engineers driving limo services in NY … it’s just a matter of time. Fortunately, I’ll be haunting from above (or, mostly likely below) when that happens.

        • The flip side to the above is that New York City proper real estate is skyrotting again. I had a condo in Little Italy in the 90’s we paid $238K for … it jumped to 360K when we sold a few years later … it was worth $1.5 million about five years ago. And guess who’s doing the buying? It ain’t love it or leave it Americans …

          • Why do you think the prices are going up in NY?

            • SK Trynosky Sr says:

              The perception is that Real Estate is always valuable. I would guess that it could be added to the other four essentials, namely, Gold, Silver, Guns, Ammo and now real estate.

              New York consists of more than south of 96th street in Manhattan . Other parts of the city are not doing as well. Multi- family buildings were trading at 11 times rent in 2006-07 (way over valued) . They are now down to about 7 times. Currently prices seem to be on hold or are inching up a bit. The rationale seems to be delusional. At the moment we are doing the “Emperor has No Clothes” bit. Brokers, bankers, investors and touts are all telling each other that everything is just fine while they all jockey for position to cut their own losses. Once people see the reality of what’s happening, Who knows? Not really a lot different than those who claim the Fed printing money will have no effect on inflation.

              Also I guess we have to remember that real estate is a hedge on inflation and that some properties fell too fast and way too far in value and are currently undervalued, not many, but some. My bedroom community, 14 miles out of Manhattan and a quick half hour train ride to Midtown sees houses like mine at slightly more than $ 400,000 when they had been at $ 650,000 in ’06. I see them continuing to fall because the property taxes just eat you alive out here, North of $ 10,000 for me last year. Gov. Christie notwithstanding, our local public union masters and their political hack minion politicians will continue to pile it up.

              By the by Colonel, excellent job! My own personal paranoia tells me that we popped the guy instead of taking him exactly because he might talk! I have wondered who knew what and when they knew it. When did we defund the guy after Afghanistan and when exactly were our last contacts with him? I found it funny that in the Iran- contra hearings Ollie North seemed to understand just who and what this guy was and yet there was NO follow-up by anyone, left, right, or center and the wonderful media seemed less than interested.

              Above I saw a comment on assassination as policy. that seems to be the new Obama standard. To hell with the Church commission and the “War Powers Act”. Full speed ahead, all in the name of truth, justice and the American way of course.

            • SK,

              Though there are a number of reasons why price go up in real estate, in the case of New York it is principled in two words:

              Rent Control

              With rent controls, there is a reduction in property for rent-but people need to live someplace-so they have to buy.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Yes but….Rent Controls disappear when monthly rent goes above $ 2,000. Most people I have worked with in the industry know how to get around them if they are the least bit sophisticated in their chosen profession. A rent controlled unit may go open market on vacancy and while the new rent may be regulated, the allowable lease increases are at least economic if not free market. A rent stabilized unit may increase its rent annually using an economic formula. Rents may also be increased through a variety of building improvements. The only people truly at a disadvantage are new purchasers of rental property where the former owner was lazy or unsophisticated enough NOT to take advantage of guidelines. I recently had to deal with a 97 year old man in a fourth floor walk-up paying roughly $ 98.00 in monthly rent. Had the former owner followed allowable guidelines, he would have had the rent at or above $ 1,000 per month.

                Rent control was a major reason for the destruction of NY real estate in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Landlords walked because the rents could not support increasingly worn out buildings from the 1920’s. Today, it is quite different, landlords are all underwater because the banks went nuts and over mortgaged properties without any relation to historical trends or for that matter reality!

                Always remember though, you get ahead in mortgage banking by putting as much money out there on the street as you can and then not being there when the piper asks to be paid. The poor dumb bastard who took your old job six months before the market collapses is the one who has to answer to the congressional committees.

              • SK Trynosky Sr says:

                Actually, I had answered this earlier but lost it.

                Rent Control, though obnoxious and counterproductive is not the burden it once was. Units above $ 2,000 are exempt. Units coming out of Rent control are one time open market and then regulated through lease increases. Stabilized units, vacant after 1971 may be increased with a vacancy allowance, a lease allowance and a Capital Improvement allowance of 1/40th of the cost of rehabilitating the unit. Halfway smart owners and managers (such as myself) get the rents up to, at the very least, an economic level using these tools.

                It has been realized (though never publically acknowledged because liberal socialists are after all never wrong) ) that the bad old rent control system that reigned from 1943 through 1972 allowing almost NO increases for anything pretty much destroyed the outer boroughs of Brooklyn and the Bronx. They did a pretty nasty number on Harlem too. The changes that were made have gone a long way towards rectifying that mistake while still preserving the political illusion of “Rent Control”.

                There obviously still are problems, almost every building has one old timer paying $ 90.00 per month because the landlord was unsophisticated enough not to see and take advantage of the liberalization of the amended laws. Usually it was the bitching over paperwork that got them. I had a 96 year old man paying $ 96.00 in rent. Had the previous owners used the tools available since ’72 the apartment, a one bedroom fifth floor walk-up, would have been at least $ 1,000 per month.

                There is one other point, realizing that the owner is after all the “laird of the land”, and is taking financial risks merely owning the property, if he makes major mistakes like overmortgaging the property up the kazoo to buy that Carribean Island he wants, should the tenants of his Bronx walk-up have to bail him out?

  28. suffering from the “lack of [well paying] jobs”…

    Which may come as companies find New York more attractive to business should New York restructure the heavy handed taxation and regulation currently present in the Empire State.

    • Mathius says:

      Some folks like to get away
      Take a holiday from the neighborhood
      Hop a flight to Miami Beach
      Or to Hollywood
      But I’m taking a Greyhound
      On the Hudson River Line
      I’m in a New York state of mind

      I’ve seen all the movie stars
      In their fancy cars and their limousines
      Been high in the Rockies under the evergreens
      But I know what I’m needing
      And I don’t want to waste more time
      I’m in a New York state of mind

      It was so easy living day by day
      Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
      But now I need a little give and take
      The New York Times, The Daily News

      It comes down to reality
      And it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide
      Don’t care if it’s Chinatown or on Riverside
      I don’t have any reasons
      I’ve left them all behind
      I’m in a New York state of mind

  29. My post on Sibel’s site:

    Government cannot afford to allow “whistleblowers” an open venue.

    Government must attack all whistleblowers because government secrets – especially the dirty, evil secrets – is a core and vital necessity of government operation and action.

    For government to maintain legitimacy in the eyes of the People, it cannot admit to wrongdoing, nor appear to be doing the evil it must because to hold its monopoly on violence it must use that violence in a manner that would cause it to lose its legitimacy.

    Government`s paradox:
    “If it is seen to be as evil as it must be, it cannot be.”

    Therefore, it must hide its necessary abuses, violence and crimes from men, for it fears a loss of legitimacy.

    Therefore, whistle blowers are a dire and serious threat to government.

    • BF

      So why must it do evil?

      • JAC,

        To hold its monopoly of rule within a geography, it cannot stand competition.

        In other words, it cannot allow competing forms of governing organizations to rise.

        To prevent competition, it must inflict violence on non-violent people who may offer a different governing entity.

        • JAC,

          Dr. Hans Hoppe has numerous essays discussing this, as well is greater detail in his book “Democracy – the God that Failed”.

          This understanding is core to explain why “limited” government can never work – it will always degrade to full-on tyranny eventually.

          • JAC,
            So further;

            Obviously a civil war – created by the Primary Government preventing the rise of another competing government over the same territory is Undesirable – not because it kills people, but because the primary government often loses.

            Thus, the Primary government will undertake black ops – essentially brutal and illegal methods to prevent the rise of the competition before it even rises.

            It will imprison or murder any one merely entertaining such “competition”-even on mere suspicion of any potential rising.

            In doing this, they will obviously imprison or murder totally innocent people who were not even thinking about such a rise.

            But the Primary Government cannot take any chance, so will extend “collateral damage” as far and broad as it feels necessary so to protect its monopoly.

        • For example, US Civil War/Libya and other civil wars and insurrections.

          A group of people unilaterally – and peacefully – which to disassociate from a governing entity, and create another within what was a single Nation or State.

          So the geography that they wish to cede is currently part of the one geography that the government controls. Now, a competing government is rising over some part of that geography – in other words, two governments claim the same geography.

          Typically this will NOT be stood for by the primary government – it will attack the “uprising”, even if the uprising itself was peaceful.

  30. gmanfortruth says:

    Plainlyspoken don’t play, he says it as it needs to be said!

  31. Standard Oil’s Monopoly

    Was it really what most of us were taught?

    For a fresh perspective:

  32. Good movie; capitalism vs. communism …

  33. gmanfortruth says:

    Plainlyspoken is at it again, I think he’s drinking Red Bull and grew wings 🙂

  34. Conservative Party in France finds itself in a bit of a tangle this fine New York morning …

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I don’t know much about politics in France, but his polical party is called the “Socialist”, not sure that equates to conservative much.

  35. When Feminism Kills — Abortion As ‘The Lesser Evil’

    “If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” That statement, published for all the world to see, perfectly distills the inescapable logic of the abortion rights argument. It is based on a willingness to kill — and on the horrifying audacity to call this killing “the lesser evil.”

    Thursday, July 1, 2010

    Moral earthquakes, like earthquakes of the geophysical variety, most often occur suddenly and without warning. At one moment, the moral argument is framed in conventional and familiar ways. Just an instant later, all is changed. An article that appears in the June 30, 2010 edition of The Times [London] represents a moral earthquake that resets an entire issue — and that issue is abortion. This chilling essay is hard to read, but impossible to ignore. To read it is to feel the moral ground shift under your feet.

    In “Yes, Abortion is Killing. But It’s the Lesser Evil,” writer Antonia Senior acknowledges that an unborn child at any stage is a human life. But she then proceeds to assert that feminism is more important than life, and that, when necessary, women must be willing to kill for the feminist cause even as they are willing to die for it.

    Visiting the Tower of London, Senior observed an exhibit “that asks visitors to vote on whether they would die for a cause.” Would she die for any cause? She considers a range of issues and then settles on just one: Feminism and its central doctrine of “reproductive rights.”

    “Standing where religious martyrs were held and tortured in Britain’s turbulent reformation,” she writes, “I could think of one cause I would stake my life on: a woman’s right to be educated, to have a life beyond the home and to be allowed by law and custom to order her own life as she chooses. And that includes complete control over her own fertility.”

    There is a bracing honesty in Antonia Senior’s argument. She admits that this “absolutist position is under siege,” even in her own mind. “Something strange” happened to this belief, so central to the claims of the feminist movement. That “something strange,” we soon learn, is her experience of becoming a mother.

    Once, Senior had argued without reservation or moral qualms that the unborn child is not a baby, but merely a fetus — the standard argument of pro-abortion forces. “Then came a baby, and everything changed,” she relates. “Having a baby paints the world in an entirely different hue,” she explains.

    Indeed, the experience of having a child convinced Senior that the inhabitant of the womb is indeed a human life. Responding to a recent British medical report claiming that fetuses feel no pain before 24 weeks of gestation, she correctly observes that this has nothing to do with the fundamental issue at stake. “Either a fetus is life from conception, or it is not,” she rightly asserts, “ability to feel pain is not, in itself, a defining factor.”

    Her experience of giving birth to a daughter redefined that issue. “What seems increasingly clear to me is that, in the absence of an objective definition, a fetus is a life by any subjective measure,” she writes. “My daughter was formed at conception, and all the barely understood alchemy that turned the happy accident of that particular sperm meeting that particular egg into my darling, personality-packed toddler took place at that moment. She is so unmistakably herself, her own person — forged in my womb, not by my mothering.”

    By any measure, that is a heart-warming expression of moral insight. Antonia Senior now knows and publicly affirms that “a fetus is a life.” With that assertion, she breaks ranks with the pro-abortion activists and apologists who argue vociferously that the unborn child is nothing more than “potential” human life. Senior knows better now, and she is bold to say so.

    She takes the pro-choice side of the argument to task for the moral evasion and dishonesty of arguing against the fact that the fetus is a human life. “Any other conclusion is a convenient lie that we on the pro-choice side of the debate tell ourselves to make us feel better about the action of taking a life.”

    Honesty of that caliber is rare enough. But what follows is nothing less than breathtaking. Just when she seems to be poised to deliver a clear affirmation of the value and dignity of that unborn human life, she veers into an absolutist argument for abortion rights. Yes, that fetus is a human life, she argues, but that life must yield to the inviolable feminist principle of abortion rights.

    You simply cannot “decouple feminism from abortion rights,” she insists, adding, “you cannot separate women’s rights from their right to fertility control.”

    Even as she admits that her position on the moral status of the unborn child has been utterly changed, she insists that her absolutist position on abortion rights has not. When it comes down to the right of the fetus to live versus the right of the mother to abort, the abortion right wins.

    Abortion, which she acknowledges is the killing of a human life, is defined as “a lesser evil” than the curtailing of abortion rights in the name of liberating women.

    “As ever, when an issue we thought was black and white becomes more nuanced, the answer lies in choosing the lesser evil,” she assures. “The nearly 200,000 aborted babies in the UK each year are the lesser evil, no matter how you define life, or death, for that matter. If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.”

    You must be prepared to kill for the sake of defending abortion rights? That is exactly what abortion entails — the killing of an unborn child for the sake of asserting a woman’s so-called “right to choose.”

    In this essay, published in one of the world’s most venerable newspapers, Antonia Senior goes public with the argument that feminists should just admit that abortion is the killing of a human life, and then they should go on to assert that the right to kill an unborn human life is just the price that must be paid if feminism is to be defended.

    “If you are willing to die for a cause, you must be prepared to kill for it, too.” That statement, published for all the world to see, perfectly distills the inescapable logic of the abortion rights argument. It is based on a willingness to kill — and on the horrifying audacity to call this killing “the lesser evil.”

    • SK Trynosky Sr says:

      At last, brutal honesty! Down deep I have known that this was the position for years. Comes down to the self centered selfishness that seemed to take hold of the majority of society or at least of the trend setting intellectual elite of society in the 1960’s. Kind of a “Do your own thing” to the max.

      This overindulged, spoiled current so called “civilization” of ours needs a wake-up call.

    • Wow – I want nothing to do with this feminism of theirs.

  36. Ain’t that a b****…We’re never going to win this one V if this is what it boils down to. 👿

  37. Here’s that slippery slope – JAC- Singer a respected Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University.

    Peter Singer: Architect of the Culture of Death
    The new tradition that Peter Singer welcomes is founded on a “quality-of-life” ethic. It allegedly replaces the outgoing morality that is based on the “sanctity-of-life.”
    Peter Singer

    “After ruling our thoughts and our decisions about life and death for nearly two thousand years, the traditional Western ethic has collapsed.”

    On this triumphant note, Professor Peter Singer begins his milestone book, Rethinking Life and Death. It conveys an attitude of revolutionary confidence that brings to mind another atheistic iconoclast, Derek Humphry, who has said, “We are trying to overturn 2,000 years of Christian tradition.”

    The new tradition that Singer welcomes is founded on a “quality-of-life” ethic. It allegedly replaces the outgoing morality that is based on the “sanctity-of-life.” Wesley J. Smith states that Rethinking Life and Death can fairly be called the Mein Kampf of the euthanasia movement, in that it drops many of the euphemisms common to pro-euthanasia writing and acknowledges euthanasia for what it is: killing.” A disability advocacy group that calls itself “Not Dead Yet” has fiercely objected to Singer’s views on euthanasia. Some refer to him as “Professor Death.” Others have gone as far as to liken him to Josef Mengele. Troy McClure, an advocate for the disabled, calls him “the most dangerous man in the world today.” There is indeed a bluntness to Singer’s pronouncements that gives his thought a certain transparency. This makes his philosophy, comparatively speaking, easy to understand and to evaluate.

    Despite the vehemence of some of his opponents, Professor Singer is regarded, in other circles, as an important and highly respected philosopher and bioethicist. His books are widely read, his articles frequently appear in anthologies, he is very much in demand throughout the world as a speaker, and has lectured at prestigious universities in different countries. He currently holds the Ira W. Decamp chair of Bioethics at Princeton University’s Center for the Study of Human Values. And he has written a major article for Encyclopedia Britannica.

    Singer’s philosophy begins in a broad egalitarianism and culminates in a narrow preferentialism. His egalitarianism has won him many supporters; his preferentialism has earned him his detractors. Hence, he is both strongly admired and soundly vilified. In his widely read article, “All Animals Are Equal,” Singer expresses his disdain for racism and sexism. Here he is on solid ground. From this beachhead, he invites his readers to conquer “the last remaining form of discrimination,” which is discrimination against animals. He refers to this form of discrimination, borrowing the term from Richard Ryder, “speciesism.” This latter form of discrimination rests on the wholly unwarranted assumption, in Singer’s view, that one species is superior to another. “I am urging,” he writes, “that we extend to other species the basic principle of equality that most of us recognize should be extended to all members of our own species.” Here Singer endears himself to animal “rights” activists. In 1992, he devoted an entire book to the subject, Animal Liberation: A New Ethic for Our Treatment of Animals.

    Singer rejects what he regards as non-philosophical ways of understanding human beings and non-human animals. He finds notions of “sanctity-of-life,” “dignity,” “created in the image of God,” and so on to be spurious. “Fine phrases,” he says, “are the last resource of those who have run out of argument.” He also sees no moral or philosophical significance to traditional teens such as “being,” “nature” and “essence.” He takes pride in being a modern philosopher who has cast off such “metaphysical and religious shackles.”

    What is fundamentally relevant, for Singer, is the capacity of humans and non-human animals to suffer. Surely non-human animals, especially mammals, suffer. At this point, Singer adds to his egalitarian followers those who base their ethics on compassion. Singer deplores the fact that we cruelly and unconscionably oppress and misuse non-human animals by eating their flesh and experimenting on them. Thus he advocates a vegetarian diet for everyone and a greatly restricted use of animal experimentation.

    By using a broad egalitarian base that elicits a compassionate response to the capacity of human and non-human animals to suffer, Singer thereby replaces the sanctity-of-life ethic with a quality-of-life ethic that, in his view, has a more solid and realistic foundation. In this way Singer appears to possess a myriad of modern virtues. He is broadminded, fair, non-discriminatory, compassionate, innovative, iconoclastic, and consistent. It is the quality of life that counts, not some abstract and gratuitous notion that cannot be validated or substantiated through rational inquiry.

    Charles Darwin once conjectured that “animals, our fellow brethren in pain, disease, suffering and famine … may partake of our origin in one common ancestor — we may all be melted together.” Singer takes Darwin’s “conjecture” and turns it into a conviction. Thus he adds to his coterie of adherents, Darwinists and assorted evolutionists.

    Humans and non-human animals are fundamentally sufferers. They possess consciousness that gives them the capacity to suffer or to enjoy life, to be miserable or to be happy. This incontrovertible fact gives Singer a basis, ironically, for a new form of discrimination that is more invidious than the ones he roundly condemns. Singer identifies the suffering/enjoying status of all animals with their quality of life. It follows from this precept, then, that those who suffer more than others have less quality-of-life, and those who do not possess an insufficiently developed consciousness fall below the plane of personhood. He argues, for example, that where a baby has Down syndrome, and in other instances of “life that has begun very badly,” parents should be free to kill the child within 28 days after birth. Here he is in fundamental agreement with Michael Tooley, a philosopher he admires, who states that “new-born humans are neither persons nor quasi-persons, and their destruction is in no way intrinsically wrong.” Tooley believes that killing infants becomes wrong when they acquire “morally significant properties,” an event he believes occurs about three months after their birth.

    According to Singer, some humans are non-persons, while some non-human animals are persons. The key is not nature or species membership, but consciousness. A pre-conscious human cannot suffer as much as a conscious horse. In dealing with animals, we care only about their quality of life. We put a horse that has broken its leg out of its misery as quickly as possible. This merciful act spares the animal an untold amount of needless suffering. If we look upon human animals in the same fashion, our opposition to killing those who are suffering will begin to dissolve. The “quality-of-life” ethic has a tangible correlative when it relates to suffering; the “sanctity-of-life” seemingly relates to a mere vapor.

    Here is where Singer picks up his detractors. According to this avant garde thinker, unborn babies or neonates, lacking the requisite consciousness to qualify as persons, have less right to continue to live than an adult gorilla. By the same token, a suffering or disabled child would have a weaker claim not to be killed than a mature pig. Singer writes, in Rethinking Life and Death:

    Human babies are not born self-aware or capable of grasping their lives over time. They are not persons. Hence their lives would seem to be no more worthy of protection that the life of a fetus.

    And writing specifically about Down syndrome babies, he advocates trading a disabled or defective child (one who is apparently doomed to too much suffering) for one who has better prospects for happiness:

    We may not want a child to start on life’s uncertain voyage if the prospects arc clouded. When this can be known at a very early stage in the voyage, we may still have a chance to make a fresh start. This means detaching ourselves from the infant who has been born, cutting ourselves free before the ties that have already begun to bind us to our child have become irresistible. Instead of going forward and putting all our effort into making the best of the situation, we can still say no, and start again from the beginning.

    Needless to say, we all begin our lives on an uncertain voyage. Life is full of surprises. A Helen Keller can enjoy a fulfilling life, despite her limitations; Loeb and Leopold can become hardened killers, despite the fact that they were darlings of fortune. Who can prognosticate? Human beings should not be subject to factory control criteria. Even in starting again, one still does not generate the same individual that was lost. Singer’s concern for quality-of-life causes him to miss the reality and the value of the underlying life.

    Ironically, the man who claimed to be conquering the last domain of discrimination was offending his readers precisely because of his penchant for discrimination (and even in failing to discriminate). A number of statements that appeared in the first edition of his Practical Ethics were expurgated from the second edition. They include his demeaning of persons with Down syndrome, reviling mentally challenged individuals as “vegetables,” rating the mind of a one-year-old human below that of many brute animals, and stating that “not … everything the Nazis did was horrendous; we cannot condemn euthanasia just because the Nazis did it.”

    For Peter Singer a human being is not a subject who suffers, but a sufferer. Singer’s error here is to identify the subject with consciousness. This is an error that dates back to 17th Century Cartesianism — “I think therefore I am” (which is to identify being with thinking). Descartes defined man solely in terms of his consciousness as a thinking thing (res cogitans) rather than as a subject who possesses consciousness.

    At the heart of Pope John Paul II’s personalism (his philosophy of the person) is the recognition that it is the concrete individual person who is the subject of consciousness. The subject comes before consciousness. That subject may exist prior to consciousness (as in the case of the human embryo) or during lapses of consciousness (as in sleep or in a coma). But the existing subject is not to be identified with consciousness itself, which is an operation or activity of the subject. The Holy Father rejects what he calls the “hypostatization of the cogito” (the reification of consciousness) precisely because it ignores the fundamental reality of the subject of consciousness — the person — who is also the object of love. “Consciousness itself’ is to be regarded “neither as an individual subject nor as an independent faculty.”

    John Paul refers to the elevation of consciousness to the equivalent of the person’s being as “the great anthropocentric shift in philosophy.” What he means by this “shift” is a movement away from existence to a kind of absolutization of consciousness. Referring to Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Holy Father reiterates that “it is not thought which determines existence, but existence, “esse,” which determines thought!”

    Singer, by trying to be more broadminded than is reasonable, has created a philosophy that actually dehumanizes people, reducing them to points of consciousness that are indistinguishable from those of many non-human animals. Therefore, what is of primary importance for the Princeton bioethicists is not the existence of the being in question, but its quality of life. But this process of dehumanization leads directly to discrimination against those whose quality of life is not sufficiently developed. Singer has little choice but to divide humanity into those who have a preferred state of life from those who do not. In this way, his broad egalitarianism decays into a narrow preferentialism:

    When we reject belief in God we must give up the idea that life on this planet has some preordained meaning. Life as a whole has no meaning. Life began, as the best available theories tell us, in a chance combination of gasses; it then evolved through random mutation and natural selection. All this just happened; it did not happen to any overall purpose. Now that it has resulted in the existence of beings who prefer some states of affairs to others, however, it may be possible for particular lives to be meaningful. In this sense some atheists can find meaning in life.

    Life can be meaningful for an atheist when he is able to spend his life in a “preferred state.” The atheistic perspective here does not center on people, however, it centers on happiness. This curious preference for happiness over people engenders a rather chilling logic. It is not human life or the existing human being that is good, but the “preferred state.” Human life is not sacrosanct, but a certain kind of life can be “meaningful.” If one baby is disabled, does it not make sense to kill it and replace it with one who is not and “therefore” has a better chance for happiness? “When the death of the disabled infant,” writes Singer, “will lead to the birth of another infant with better prospects of a happy life, the total amount of happiness will be greater if the disabled infant is killed.”

    Singer has a point, though perhaps marginal at best, that all other things being equal, it is better to be more happy than to be less happy. Yet this point hardly forms a basis for ending the life of a person who has less happiness than the hypothetically conceived greater happiness of his possible replacement. Ethics should center on the person, not the quantum of happiness a person may or may not enjoy. It is the subject who exists that has the right to life, and neither Peter Singer nor anyone else who employs a “relative happiness calculator” should expropriate that right.

    Having neglected concrete existence, Singer inevitably wanders into abstractions. He is a humanist, one might say, because he wants people to enjoy better and happier states of life. But the more relevant point is that he is not particularly interested in the actual lives of those who are faced with states that he believes to be less than preferable. On the other hand, Pope John Paul II stresses that each human life is “inviolable, unrepeatable, and irreplaceable.” In stating this, the Pontiff is implying that our first priority should be loving human beings rather than preferring better states.

    In a 1995 article in the London Spectator entitled “Killing Babies Isn’t Always Wrong,” Singer said of the Pope, “I sometimes think that he and I at least share the virtue of seeing clearly what is at stake.” The Culture of Life based on the sanctity-of-life ethic is at stake. The Pope and the Meister Singer are poles apart. “That day had to come,” states Singer, “when Copernicus proved that the earth is not at the center of the universe. It is ridiculous to pretend that the old ethics make sense when plainly they do not. The notion that human life is sacred just because it’s human is medieval.”

    There are a number of things that are “plain.” One is that Copernicus did not “prove” that the earth is not at the center of the universe. He proposed a theory based on the erroneous assumption that planets travel in perfect circles and hypothesized that the sun was at the center, not of the universe, but of what we now refer to as the solar system, Another is that the sacredness of life is a Judaeo-Christian notion, not an arbitrary fabrication of the Middle Ages. Yet another is that it is unethical to kill disabled people just because they are disabled.

    At a Princeton forum Professor Singer remarked that he would have supported the parents of his disabled protesters, if they had sought to kill their disabled offspring in infancy. This is the kind of unkind remark that will ensure that his disabled protesters will continue to protest.

    An additional error in Singer’s thinking is the assumption he makes that the suffering (or happiness) of individuals can somehow be added to each other and thus create “all this suffering in the world.” C. S. Lewis explains that if you have a toothache of intensity x and another person in the room with you also has a toothache of intensity x, “You may, if you choose, say that the total amount of pain in the room is now 2x. But you must remember that no one is suffering 2x.” There is no composite pain in anyone’s consciousness. There is no such thing as the sum of collective human suffering, because no one suffers it.

    Yet another error in Singer’s thinking is that philosophy should be built up solely on the basis of rational thinking, and that feelings and emotions should be distrusted, if not uprooted. Concerning the infant child, he advises us, in Practical Ethics, to “put aside feelings based on its small, helpless and — sometimes — cute appearance,” so we can look at the more ethically relevant aspects, such as its quality of life. This coldly cerebral approach is radically incompatible with our ability to derive any enjoyment whatsoever from life. By “putting feelings aside,” we would be putting enjoyment aside. It is not the mind that becomes filled with joy, but the heart. Thus the man (Peter Singer) who allegedly prizes happiness is eager to de-activate the very faculty that makes happiness possible. Dr. David Gend, who is a general practitioner and secretary of the Queensland, Australia, branch of the World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life, suggests that Singer’s announcement of the collapse of the sanctity-of-life ethic is premature:

    Nevertheless, Herod could not slaughter all the innocents, and Singer will not corrupt the love of innocence in every reader. As long as some hearts are softened by the image of an infant stirring in its sleep, or even by their baby’s movements on ultrasound at sixteen weeks, Singer’s call to “put feelings aside” in killing babies will reek of decay.”

    Reason and emotion are not antagonistic to each other. This is the assumption intrinsic to Cartesian dualism in the integrated person, reason and emotion form an indissoluble unity. For a person to set aside his feelings, therefore, in order to view a situation “ethically” is tantamount to setting aside his humanity. It is precisely this utter detachment from one’s moral feelings, particularly relevant in the case where an individual experiences no emotions whatsoever while holding an infant, that is suggestive of a moral disorder. Singer seems to view practical ethics the way one views practical mathematics. But this is to dehumanize ethics. Perceiving the ethical significance of things is not a specialized activity of reason. There is a “moral sense” (James Q. Wilson) and a “wisdom in disgust” (Leon Kass), a “knowledge through connaturality” (Jacques Maritain), and a “copresence” (Gabriel Marcel), that involves the harmonious integration of reason and emotion.

    “The heart has reasons that reason knows nothing of,” said Pascal. Neurobiologist Antonio Damasio, author of Descartes’ Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, finds scientific evidence that “Absence of emotion appears to be at least as pernicious for rationality as excessive emotion … Emotion may well be the support system without which the edifice of reason cannot function properly and may even collapse.” The ethic that is more likely to “collapse,” therefore is not one that is based on the personal integration of reason and emotion, but the rational approach that is dissociated from emotion and thereby left one-sided, vulnerable, and counterproductive.

    Professor Singer underscores the importance of reason, broadmindedness, and compassion. But his emphasis on reason displaces human feelings. His advocacy of broadmindedness causes him to lose sight of the distinctiveness of the human being (he does not object to sexual “relationships” between humans and non-human animals). And his sensitivity for compassion is exercised at the expense of failing to understand how suffering can have personal meaning. In the end, his philosophy is one-sided and distorted. It plays into the Culture of Death because it distrusts the province of the heart, fails to discern the true dignity of the human person, and elevates the killing of innocent human beings — young and old — to the level of a social therapeutic.

    • What a sick mind.

    • SK Trynosky Sr. says:

      Does the term, “NAZI bastard” fit here?

      A few months ago, I was searching the internet for something and came across something quite different. In the August 10th, 1962 edition of LIFE magazine a story appeared on the children affected by the drug Thalidomide. You may remember, this was supposedly an anti-nausea drug and tranquilizer. The drug was widely available in Europe and Canada but not in the U.S. because the FDA had issues with it. Turned out that the drug caused birth defects which usually involved the absence or severe stunting of arms and legs. Thousands of children were born with these defects in Europe and Canada.

      The LIFE article showed children, and their parents, coping with the effects and also did a profile on the FDA physician who kept it from being marketed here. The most interesting thing in that issue (available free online, wish I knew how to post the link) were two other articles. One was about a US mother who had taken the drug and when made aware of its possible effects on her baby had to choose whether to leave the country and have an abortion or go through with her pregnancy. The second article was about a Belgian mother who delivered a baby without arms and then, several months later, conspired with her doctor to administer a lethal dose of barbiturates to the child.

      The magazine took no position other than to show that many of the children and their parents were adapting and coping. It is an excellent set of bookends, if you will, to the article on Dr. Mengle’s acolyte above. Even more interesting to me is how this well reasoned, well researched, well written article could appear in perhaps the most popular mass circulation magazine of the time. Somehow, I can’t see “People” or “Us” doing anything like that today. Hear that young folks out there?

      As a sop to some of the same young folks, the whole Thalidomide fiasco is an excellent argument for having an FDA.

      • Hi SK,

        I’m not sure I understand what you mean by It’s an excellent set of bookends could you explain a little further. 🙂

        • SK Trynosky Sr says:

          If you Google that issue of Life, you will see that there are several options offered for dealing with the physical birth defects. One was “deal with it” the other, make it go away, in the case of the Texas woman who was considering going overseas for an abortion it was “make it go away even if it may not happen” (remember this is before even sonograms). Those options, I thought bookended it for me. Perhaps a bad choice of words.

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