ISIS Leader Is Dead, According to Trump Anyway

We killed Osama bin Laden long after al-Qaeda was no longer a threat, and now we’ve killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after ISIS has ceased to be an active threat. Perfect timing! Still, it could be worse. The Greatest Generation never did track down Hitler in his bunker, did they?¹

Anyway, the New York Times reports that it was a close-run thing. Apparently we learned al-Baghdadi’s general location several months ago and began an intelligence operation to track him down more precisely:

But Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria disrupted the meticulous planning and forced Pentagon officials to press ahead with a risky, night raid before their ability to control troops and spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared, according to military, intelligence and counterterroism officials. Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death, they said, occurred largely in spite of Mr. Trump’s actions.

I also notice with amusement that newspaper headlines are all couching the operation in “Trump says” terms, as if they aren’t quite willing to accept it as unvarnished truth until they have more than just the president’s word.

There’s not much more to say except that Trump treated the whole thing in typically Trumpian fashion: refusing to notify Democrats ahead of time; thanking Russia for help the Russians say they didn’t provide; claiming it was the greatest anti-terrorist operation of all time; and then releasing a staged situation room picture:

This picture was taken a couple of hours after the raid, but the Trumpies were too dumb to hide their tracks by massaging the metadata in the photo to make it look like Trump was following the raid in real time. But I suppose it doesn’t matter. As Reagan taught us, all that matters is that the image itself gets into the news. And it did. A chance to mock Trump certainly got me to post a copy, didn’t it?

¹This is a joke. Take it easy, folks.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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