Archive for the ‘CIA’ Category
If there was ever a doubt about whether Senate Democrats would be obstructionists, this article should shout ‘Democratic obstructionism’. President Trump announced today that he’ll announce his SCOTUS nominee next week sometime. Democrats are feeling bitter that Republicans give Merrick Garland, President Obama’s pick to replace Antonin Scalia, a committee hearing.
It isn’t surprising to hear that “Democrats and their allies remain furious that Senate Republicans refused to even consider Judge Garland, President Barack Obama’s nominee to the high court, with 10 months remaining in Mr. Obama’s second term. That deep resentment is certain to color their handling of Mr. Trump’s choice just as it has contributed to their resistance to moving quickly on Mr. Trump’s cabinet selections.”
I respectfully disagree with that last statement. Democrats aren’t just upset with the fact that Republicans didn’t hold a hearing on Judge Garland. They’re also upset that Hillary lost. They’re upset that they didn’t retake the majority in the Senate, too. They’re upset that their coalition was demolished by ‘blue collar billionaire’ Donald Trump.
That’s their fault. Democrats hitched their wagon to Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s stars. The DNC leadership team was corrupt to the point that they, not voters, picked Hillary Clinton to be their presidential nominee. Mrs. Clinton ran the worst campaign in the last half-century.
All indications are that they see the forthcoming nomination as a chance to take a strong stand against the new president, since they still have the power to filibuster a Supreme Court choice — at least for now.
Democrats now think that resisting the newly-sworn-in president is their path back to power. What they’re really doing is paving the way for his re-election.
People won’t agree with Senate Republicans not granting Garland a hearing but they definitely won’t agree with Democrats acting like spoiled brats, either. That’s what the Democrats’ ‘resistance’ looks like to apolitical people.
Top Democrats say they don’t intend to play “tit for tat” with the nomination. But they say they will insist on what they consider to be a mainstream candidate capable of securing at least the 60 votes needed to thwart any filibuster. Otherwise, they promise to do whatever they can to block the nominee.
The Democrats are being stupid. If President Trump nominates Judge Gorsuch, he’ll be nominating a solid judge whose opinions are well-written. Do Democrats really want to put up a big fight against an articulate judge? It’s their option but I wouldn’t advise them to do that. That’s wasting tons of political capital on a lost cause. If Democrats filibuster President Trump’s SCOTUS nominee, they’ll put the Supreme Court off-limits for a generation. This is the face of Democratic senators:
This is rich:
“We are not going to do what the Republicans did,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, “but if the candidate’s out of the mainstream, I can tell you I will fight and my caucus will fight tooth and nail against them.”
That’s coming from the liar who sabotaged Mike Pompeo’s confirmation vote.
When I wrote this post, I hadn’t read Stephen Hayes’ devastating article about Sen. Chuck Schumer’s dishonesty. In the post, I wrote that Democrats put a higher priority on their PR stunt, aka “the Resistance”, than they put on protecting national security.
I wasn’t as cynical as I should’ve been. According to Hayes’ article, according “to six sources familiar with the negotiations over Pompeo’s confirmation, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told Republican leaders that he would allow Pompeo to be confirmed by voice vote on Inauguration Day, along with two other Trump nominees who have national security responsibilities. But Schumer broke his promise, these sources say, and offered an insulting excuse for having done so.”
Later in the article, Hayes wrote “McConnell consulted Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, Intel committee member Tom Cotton, and the incoming Trump administration. Republicans agreed to delay Pompeo, whose team was happy to have an extra day to prepare. But the Republicans had a condition. If we agree to push back Pompeo’s hearing for a day, they told Schumer, you must agree to include him in the group of national security officials who will be confirmed by a voice vote on Inauguration Day, January 20. According to these sources, Schumer agreed, with alacrity, having secured the delay he’d sought.”
That didn’t happen:
But on January 19, one day before Trump’s inauguration, Ron Wyden said he’d seek to delay Pompeo’s confirmation when the Senate convened late Friday afternoon. That evening Cotton, who is close to Pompeo from their time together in the House of Representatives, began calling his colleagues on the Senate Intelligence Committee, including Wyden, seeking to avoid the delay. Some of the calls were cordial. Others were testy.
The Senate reconvened after the inaugural ceremonies on Friday, with Pompeo’s nomination set to come up at 4:50pm. Cotton angrily confronted Schumer about his broken promise. According to witnesses, Schumer told Cotton to lower his voice and asked him move off of the Senate floor to an adjacent hallway for a private discussion. “We need to take this out into the hallway,” Schumer said. Cotton walked with Schumer but loudly rejected his first request. “Don’t tell me to lower my voice!” he shouted, with an additional salty admonition tacked on for emphasis. Burr and Cornyn were present, as was Senator Mark Warner, ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and several aides.
Schumer told Cotton that the Senate had never previously confirmed a CIA director on Inauguration Day and if Cotton had been around eight years earlier, he’d know that Republicans didn’t extend that courtesy for incoming president Barack Obama. “Eight years ago, I was getting my ass shot at in Afghanistan,” Cotton snapped. “So don’t talk to me about where I was 8 years ago.“
Sen. Schumer shouldn’t be trusted. He’s always been a snake whose word was worthless. Sen. McConnell should try to work with trustworthy Democrats while avoiding dealing with Sen. Schumer as often as possible.
Sen. Schumer is a liar. I don’t trust him whatsoever. If he tries filibustering President Trump’s SCOTUS nominees, I’d blow up the filibuster, then name it the Schumer Option. I’d explain that name by saying Sen. Schumer’s dishonesty forced the rule change.
Later today, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report on terrorist interrogations. It’s already being called the “Torture Report.” Retired CIA officer Jose Rodriguez wrote this op-ed to expose Dianne Feinstein’s and Nancy Pelosi’s dishonesty. Let’s start with this:
According to news accounts of the report, Feinstein and her supporters will say that the CIA violated American principles and hid the ugly truth from Congress, the White House and the public. When the report comes out, I expect that few of the critics who will echo Feinstein’s charges will have read it and far fewer will read or understand the minority response and the CIA’s rebuttal.
The interrogation program was authorized by the highest levels of the U.S. government, judged legal by the Justice Department and proved effective by any reasonable standard. The leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and of both parties in Congress were briefed on the program more than 40 times between 2002 and 2009. But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to deny that she was told in 2002 that detainees had been waterboarded. That is simply not true. I was among those who briefed her.
Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Pelosi should be tarred and feathered for their dishonesty. That Ms. Pelosi would say that she hadn’t been briefed by Mr. Rodriguez is proof of Ms. Pelosi’s utter dishonesty. She should be criticized mercilessly for being a liar. After that, Democrats should be tarred and feathered for deserting a program that saved American lives for purely partisan reasons.
Initially, Democrats insisted that the CIA do all that it could to prevent another terrorist attack:
In one ear they hear the public, the media and members of Congress raising alarms about the terrorist threat from the Islamic State: Do something! Do it now! Why didn’t you do something sooner?
The Democrats’ dishonesty is easily explained. In the days after 9/11, Democrats put the needs of the nation first. By 2006, the Democrats noticed how animated the anti-war left had become. Seeking to capitalize on the anti-war left’s enthusiasm, Democrats like Sen. Feinstein, Ms. Pelosi and candidates like Amy Klobuchar ran as anti-war lefties. The same anti-war lefties then powered Barack Obama’s presidential election victory in 2008.
Members of Congress and the administration were nearly unanimous in their desire that the CIA do all that it could to debilitate and destroy al-Qaeda. The CIA got the necessary approvals to do so and kept Congress briefed throughout.
Democrats say that waterboarding violates American principles. That’s BS. Since when does saving hundreds of American lives violate American principles? I’d love seeing a Democrat explain how saving American lives violates American principles, especially since the Constitution requires the president to protect and defend the United States.
This morning’s op-ed isn’t Mr. Rodriguez’s first op-ed. Here’s what he wrote in his April, 2014 op-ed:
On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIA’s program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.
Here’s Mr. Rodriguez’s opinion of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report:
The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.
The thought that this report would be praised by Democrats as the definitive report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques is insulting to thoughtful, honest people. The Feinstein Report is a political hatchet job. It isn’t a serious review of the CIA’s interrogation techniques.
If a CIA expert said that EITs “saved American lives”, I’ll trust him, not partisan Democrat hacks like Sen. Feinstein or Ms. Pelosi.
Technorati: Jose Rodriguez, CIA, Congressional Briefings, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Anti-War Left, Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Torture Report, Democrats, Amy Klobuchar, Election 2006, Barack Obama, Election 2008
According to top US intelligence officials, al-Qa’ida is morphing so it can fight other fights:
“Is al Qaeda on the run and on the path to defeat?” Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-OK, asked in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper responded, “No, it is morphing and and franchising itself and not only here but other areas of the world.” Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, added, “They are not.”
Former President George W. Bush asserted that that al Qaeda network was “on the run” as early as October 2001. President Obama adopted the phrase and used it repeatedly on the campaign trail in 2012. Touting his foreign policy record, Mr. Obama often said, “al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.”
What’s troubling about this testimony is that it indicates this administration’s policies are flawed. While President Obama loves talking about taking out core al-Qa’ida, it doesn’t say what it’s doing to gather intelligence that’s capable of rolling up entire networks.
The Obama administration has trumpeted its successes in killing terrorists with drone strikes. They certainly trumpeted the killing of bin Laden. What they didn’t do is keep these victories quiet, giving terrorists information that helped them quickly adjust.
Further, this isn’t doing anything to adjust to al-Qa’ida’s changing identity, which is needed to thwart future attacks. Most importantly, though, is that this administration has stopped hunting al-Qa’ida where it lives. It’s frustrating knowing that America’s withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan is turning territory once taken from al-Qa’ida is now being given back to al-Qa’ida and the Taliban.
If al-Qa’ida sees that the US is exiting the Middle East and north Africa, they’ll know that they’ll soon be controlling large chunks of real estate that can quickly be turned into terrorist training camps. In short, President Obama is giving back the victories President Bush won.
President Obama won’t admit this but al-Qa’ida isn’t on the run. It’s growing its control of large parts of the developing world. Simply put, they’re achieving their goals. We’re failing at achieving our goals.
In a shocking statement after the House hearing, Rep. Peter King confirmed that Gen. Petraeus testified that the CIA’s original talk points were edited:
Here’s a partial transcript of Rep. King’s statement:
REP. KING: How did the final talking points emerge? He said it went through a long process involving many agencies, including the Department of Justice and the State Department. No one knows yet who came up with the final version of talking points other than to say that the talking points that the CIA had put together were different than the talking points that finally emerged.
Later, Rep. King said “The original talking points were much more specific about al-Qa’ida involvement.”
That’s explosive testimony. Gen. Petraeus essentially said that the CIA, the people that gather the intelligence, originally identified al-Qa’ida as being involved in the attack. Equally explosive is the fact that the original CIA talking points were changed by people outside the intelligence community.
That means what’s been known up till now as “the CIA’s talking points” weren’t put together by the CIA. It includes the possibility that the talking points that Susan Rice referenced were political in nature.
The minute Rice’s talking points don’t have the heft and credibility of being from the CIA is the minute these talking points lose their credibility. It’s also the minute Ambassador Rice’s story loses credibility.
During tonight’s roundtable, Sen. Saxby Chambliss told Chris Wallace that he had seen video during today’s closed door hearing that “clearly showed” the terrorist attack on the Benghazi Consulate was a terrorist attack.
Later, the panel discussed what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s what Juan Williams said:
WILLIAMS: Well, he said clearly that, you know what, events in Egypt were triggered by the video and it could mean that some of the things that happened in Benghazi could have been in response but it could have been used as a pretext for people who wanted to engage in a terrorist attack. The second thing he talked about was throwing Susan Rice under the bus and then he said it was a political statement and then he defended his comrades in the Senate, Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham. But clearly, he didn’t respond to the notion that there was intelligence as you pointed out earlier in the show, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who said that that’s the intelligence that Susan Rice had. There’s no question about that. There’s nothing political about that. She said that she was responding to the intelligence community’s assessment that said, and by the way, the fragmentary stuff that they may pick up, the guy in Tripoli sent in this report, that’s not what the community based their assessment on. That was fragmentary stuff at the time.
Unfortunately for Juan, Steve Hayes actually paid attention to what Sen. Chambliss said. Here’s Steve’s response:
HAYES: It’s not at all fragmentary. The takeaway from what Saxby Chambliss said is that, after reviewing this information all afternoon, “It was clear from Day One that this was a terrorist attack.” Now we’re two months out. We’ve seen all of this intelligence and that’s his assessment. It’s also the assessment of everyone who’s looked at the intelligence. Even the State Department has acknowledged that there was no protest. You had Democrats coming out on Sept. 13 saying, in effect, that this was a terrorist attack. It was pre-planned. It was sophisticated. The question is why did we know all of this information the first three days and why did David Petraeus say on Sept. 14 that all of this was possibly triggered by the video?
It’s impossible to say with intellectual integrity that a video that might or might not have triggered the Cairo riots might also have triggered the terrorist attack in Benghazi. After all, the distance between Cairo and Benghazi is 800+ miles.
Unfortunately, Juan Williams is letting party loyalty, not facts and logic, shape his opinions. An attack can’t both be a sophisticated, pre-planned attack and something that developed out of a spontaneous protest. The fact that the attack was pre-planned necessarily eliminates the terrorist-attack-grew-out-of-a-spontaneous-protest meme.
There’s another question that’s left hanging there, namely, why didn’t Susan Rice take into consideration the footage that was livestreaming from the overhead drone? It’s a scary thought to think that she totally relies on James Clappers’ briefings for her information.
Let’s remember who James Clapper is and what he’s ‘famous’ for, then explain why anyone would trust his briefings.
Finally, here’s the video of the SR Roundtable discussion:
During Wednesday’s presidential press conference, President Obama made a statement that hasn’t gotten the scrutiny it deserves. Here’s what President Obama said that’s got me curious:
QUESTION: Thank you Mr. President. Senator John McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham both said today that they want to have Watergate-style hearings on the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, and said that if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of State, they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. Senator Graham said, he simply doesn’t trust Ambassador Rice after what she said about Benghazi. I’d like your reaction to that? And would those threats deter you from making a nomination like that?
OBAMA: Well first of all I’m not going to comment on various nominations that I’ll put forward to fill out my cabinet for the second term. Those are things that are still being discussed. But let me say specifically about Susan Rice, she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interests in the United Nations with skill, and professionalism, and toughness, and grace. As I’ve said before, she made an appearance at the request of the White House in which she gave her best understanding of the intelligence that had been provided to her.
If Senator McCain and Senator Graham, and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi? And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received? And to besmirch her reputation is outrageous. And, you know, we’re after an election now.
It’s interesting that President Obama said that the purpose behind Susan Rice’s appearances on the Sunday morning talk shows on Sept. 16, 2012 was to “make a presentation” based on the intelligence briefing she’d received from the CIA. Making a presentation to the nation seems rather one-sided. Then again, President Obama has made it clear that he isn’t interested in getting all the facts out to the public, his statements about making everything available notwithstanding.
The last thing he wants is to face difficult questions like why the military, of which he’s the commander-in-chief, failed to respond to Christopher Stevens’ desparate pleas for help during the pre-planned and well-executed terrorist attack on Benghazi. It’s a safe bet that President Obama doesn’t want to talk about why he sent Ambassador Rice to the Sunday morning shows.
After all, by his admission, Ambassador Rice “had nothing to do with Benghazi.” If she didn’t know anything about the Benghazi terrorist attack prior to her CIA briefing, why didn’t President Obama send someone from the CIA to the Sept. 16 talk shows? If not someone from the CIA, why not send someone from the DoD? Those people wouldn’t have needed a CIA briefing because they were watching the terrorist attack live on their video screens.
The only explanation that fits President Obama’s purpose is to have a black woman go on the talk shows so she wouldn’t be questioned by the hosts and who could plausibly say ‘I’m only repeating what the CIA told me’.
This established without doubt that President Obama a) didn’t want an expert talking about what really happened that night in Benghazi and b) doesn’t want to answer any questions about Benghazi.
Let’s be straightforward about this: President Obama’s political priorities got 4 American patriots killed. He knows that. What’s worse is that he’s hiding behind the oldest dodge in the book, aka the I-can’t-talk-because-there’s-an-investigation-underway line.
The other difficult question that President Obama doesn’t want to answer is why there’s such a huge discrepancy between the DoD’s timeline of events and the CIA’s and State Department’s timeline. He would’ve gotten pressed on those if we’d had real White House reporters instead of off the books Democrat stenographers.
The bright side for those of us who genuinely care about the truth is that President Obama’s biggest admissions happen when he’s off prompter.
Tags: Susan Rice, Plausible Deniability, CIA Briefing, Talk Shows, Benghazi, Terrorist Attack, President Obama, Christopher Stevens, DOD, Special Forces, Leon Panetta, State Department, Hillary Clinton, National Security, Democrats
It’s time for President Obama, Secretary Clinton, CIA Director Petraeus and Defense Secretary Panetta to be grilled extensively on their decisions, or lack thereof, during the terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2012. I don’t want this hearing to be about a ton of peripheral topics. Citizen journalists will sort through Susan Rice’s and Jay Carney’s spin.
This shouldn’t even be about President Obama attending a Vegas fundraiser the day after the terrorist attacks. Again, that’s something citizen journalists can sort through. Here are the things this hearing must be about:
- Who was the first senior administration official to get real time reports from the consulate the day of the terrorist attack? Did this senior administration official report this immediately to President Obama? If not, why not?
- When did President Obama’s national security team first tell him about the terrorist attack? Was this during his afternoon meeting with Defense Secretary Panetta the day of the terrorist attack?
- During his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order Panetta to send troops to protect the diplomatic staff in Benghazi? If he didn’t order protection for these American patriots during his meeting with Secretary Panetta, did President Obama order military support later in the day? If not, why not?
- Secretary Panetta said that he didn’t send troops in because they didn’t know what they’d be jumping into. Mike Baker dispelled that myth by saying the CIA and military are receiving a “glut of information” in real time from the CIA, specifically the Global Response Staff. Did Secretary Panetta recommend to President Obama that the military jump into the firefight/terrorist attack? If he did, what was President Obama’s response? If he didn’t, why didn’t he make that recommendation?
- When did Charlene Lamb first tell Hillary Clinton about the terrorist attack? When she was told about the terrorist attack, did Ms. Clinton immediately contact President Obama? If not, why not? If she did, what time was it that she contacted him?
- President Obama was the only person with the constitutional authority to order troop deployments during an act of war. Terrorist attacks on American consulates are without question acts of war. Did he order spec-ops troops to be deployed to Benghazi to protect the diplomats from the terrorist attack? If he didn’t, why didn’t he?
These hearings need to start with focusing in on a single subject so the American people get a detailed understanding of President Obama’s national security team operations and his decisions to protect or not protect Christopher Stevens and his diplomatic staff.
Once that base of information is established and the American people understand President Obama’s failings, then the hearings can expand into other areas. Until then, they must stay focused.
Tags: Benghazi Terrorist Attacks, President Obama, Hillary Clinton, Leon Panetta, Democrat Politicians, David Petraeus, Delta Force, CIA, Charlene Lamb, State Department, Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith, Glenn Doherty, Patriots, Jay Carney, Susan Rice, Spinmeisters
Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin is reporting that CIA officials ordered “CIA operators” to stand down during the firefight in Benghazi:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”
Woods, Doherty and at least two others ignored those orders and made their way to the Consulate which at that point was on fire. Shots were exchanged. The quick reaction force from the CIA annex evacuated those who remained at the Consulate and Sean Smith, who had been killed in the initial attack. They could not find the ambassador and returned to the CIA annex at about midnight.
If Jennifer Griffin’s reporting is accurate, and I’m certain it is, then it’s just further proof of the disfunction of President Obama’s national security team. It’s apparent that they put a higher priority on political considerations than they put on saving Americans’ lives.
The team was in constant radio contact with their headquarters. In fact, at least one member of the team was on the roof of the annex manning a heavy machine gun when mortars were fired at the CIA compound. The security officer had a laser on the target that was firing and repeatedly requested back-up support from a Specter gunship, which is commonly used by U.S. Special Operations forces to provide support to Special Operations teams on the ground involved in intense firefights.
This is a stunning report from a reliable reporter. Jennifer Griffin is one of the best Pentagon correspondents in the business. If she’s reporting it, then she’s sourced and cross-sourced this report.
Far too often, President Obama’s national security decisions were done through the lens of domestic politics. His semi-surge of troops to Afghanistan was tepid compared with what the generals were requesting. He cut short the mission, too, to meet an artificial, self-imposed, deadline on the mission.
There’s always a political component to national security decisions. It’s important that those considerations are ignored when lives are on the line.
Conservatives have their long knives out hoping to score political points against a suddenly vulnerable Obama administration. Check out this column written by Obama critic Bill Kristol:
â€œI hope the terrorists donâ€™t think this is a good time to attack,â€ I said, looking protectively at the White House, which always looks smaller and more vulnerable and beautiful than you expect, no matter how often you see it up close.
I thought our guard might be down because of the holiday; now I realize our guard is down every day.
OUCH!!! That’s a shot at the Obama administration’s less-than-stellar performance in preventing terrorist attacks if ever I’ve heard one.
If we canâ€™t catch a Nigerian with a powerful explosive powder in his oddly feminine-looking underpants and a syringe full of acid, a man whose own father had alerted the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria, a traveler whose ticket was paid for in cash and who didnâ€™t check bags, whose visa renewal had been denied by the British, who had studied Arabic in Al Qaeda sanctuary Yemen, whose name was on a counterterrorism watch list, who can we catch?
I’ll give Mr. Kristol credit for this much: when he unloads both barrels, there’s alot of damaged landscape.
The bad news for the Obama administration is that Bill Kristol didn’t write this stunning rebuke of the Obama administration’s homeland security apparatus. It wasn’t Charles Krauthammer, either.
This scathing review was written by Maureen Dowd.
Yes, that Maureen Dowd. The crazed liberal NYTimes columnist Maureen Dowd. Ms. Dowd’s attack should unsettle an already wobbly administration. Last night, Charles Krauthammer ridiculed President Obama during the Roundtable. Even A.B. Stoddard was disgusted when she learned from Chris Wallace that the CIA had been tracking Abdulmutallab.
This is one of those moments when a president’s fiercest defenders understand that they can’t defend or spin something, that it’s a time when he’ll just have to take his lumps.
Before he left for vacation, Obama tried to shed his Spock mien and juice up the empathy quotient on jobs. But in his usual inspiring/listless cycle, he once more appeared chilly in his response to the chilling episode on Flight 253, issuing bulletins through his press secretary and hitting the links. At least you have to seem concerned.
President Obama hasn’t stepped into the role of commander-in-chief. Instead, he’s stepped into shoes that more closely resemble those of the pontificator-in-chief or professor-in-chief. That isn’t what America needs right now. What we need is someone who is competent on national security issues. What we need is someone who will persistently engage our terrorist enemies in mortal battle.
President Obama hasn’t shown the grittiness and persistence that’s needed to destroy al-Qa’ida. His personna is almost detached. For all his faults on domestic policy, one thing that Americans knew about President Bush, it’s that they understood that he was taking the fight to the terrorists day-after-day-after-day. President Bush’s relentlessness was reassuring. Looking back, objective people understand that he protected us from another terrorist attack.
By contrast, we’ve seen three terrorist attacks this year under President Obama’s watch. Thoughtful people esentially agree that each was preventable.
It’s time for President Obama to review his administration’s policies and his administration’s personnel. Starting today would be a good start. Personnel-wise, a good start would be firing Janet Napolitano. Policywise, it’d be wise if he stopped his ‘open arms to tyrants’ policy. Tyrants should be punished, not coddled. Incompetents should be terminated, not kept on.
Thanks to Maureen Dowd’s criticism, that possibility seems a bit more likely.
Cross-posted at California Conservative