Monday, October 28, 2019

Sir Story

It would be remiss of me not to note how much of the president's account of the adventure was fictional:
Q    Did you have to make any decisions in the moment, while troops were on the ground?
THE PRESIDENT:  No, they had it just incredible.  We were getting full reports on literally a minute-by-minute basis.  “Sir, we just broke in.”  “Sir, the wall is down.” “Sir,” you know, “we’ve captured.” “Sir, two people are coming out right now.  Hands up.”  Fighters. Then, the 11 children out.  Numerous people were dead within the building that they killed.
Then, it turned out, they gave us a report: “Sir, there’s only one person in the building. We are sure he’s in the tunnel trying to escape.” But it’s a dead-end tunnel.  And it was brutal. But it was over.
It's apparently not the case, as Obama White House photographer Pete Souza was suggesting, that Trump wasn't even in the situation room as the drama unfolded; he left the Sterling golf course around 3:30 in the afternoon, and the raid began around 5:00. So while it's not certain that he watched the whole "movie" {"I don’t want to say how, but we had absolutely perfect — as though you were watching a movie") in real time, there's no reason to believe he missed it (see Snopes for details).
Though Souza was clearly right to point to the difference between the awful picture (by Shealah Craighead, not that it's her fault) of the men in neckties looking Very Serious over a very odd tangle of colorful but unconnected Ethernet cables

and Souza's own justifiably famous photo of the situation room during the killing of Osama Bin Laden

On the other hand, he was certainly there for the "movie"; they didn't let him in until they were safe from him trying to make a decision, as he says. Also, it wasn't the movie he described:

And Trump's main contribution over the long preparation period was getting in the way with his whimsical deal-making:

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