A Tale Of Two Cities

The first of our cities is the Pentagon.  Its residents comprise the best military in the history of the world, and they planned an executed a beautiful raid into semi-hostile territory to kill and extract the leader of a sworn enemy with which we are at war.  Even after a mechanical failure the operation went off without a major hitch.  One head bad guy and three minions killed, and no Americans hurt.  A job well done.

The second is Washington, D.C..  Its residents are rank amateurs with little real world experience who nonetheless consider themselves to be the finest communications operation ever conceived led by history’s greatest orator.  Their job was to give the order, which President Obama admirably got exactly right — send in the military, kill him, obtain proof of death and any intelligence available, then get out.  Kudos to you for ordering it, sir.

After that, all the Obama Administration had to do was announce the victory.  How’d they do?  Not so well.

FoxNews has the timeline of screw-ups, botched details, and misinformation that has emanated from the White House ever since the operation was completed.  I don’t fault anyone for not having all the details immediately.  War is messy, and this operation took place under cover of darkness a long way away. 

But you don’t commit to a narrative when you don’t have the facts.

You don’t claim police acted stupidly in an encounter with a professor when you don’t know the facts.  But Obama did.  You don’t claim that political discourse caused violence when you don’t have the facts.  But Obama did. 

And you really don’t make claims about a military operation that just took place on the other side of the globe when you don’t have the facts.  But wow, Obama sure did. 

This was not a case where fuzzy intelligence had to be sifted and judgments made as to what’s happening in a place where we can’t go take a look — say Iraq circa 2003.  The facts were available, but Obama and company were so desperate to recast Obama as a war hero — Obama’s entire announcement speech was a paean to himself — that they got ahead of the fats and botched the whole thing up: “From the first moments, a good number of the details about bin Laden’s killing, on points large and small, have been wrong.”

Was bin Laden taken in a firefight?  At first maybe, then yes, then no.

Did he hide behind his wife?  Yes, then no, now who knows?

Was bin Laden captured then killed, or shot immediately on sight?

And then, what about the photographs?  Reasonable people can disagree on what proof of death should be revealed, if any.  Mrs. Hound and I, in fact, sharply disagree.  I say release whatever we have.  She says it’s unnecessary and inappropriate.  Neither position is unreasonable.  So Obama’s ultimate decision is not especially monumental. 

But his dithering and incoherence is.  So too is his dismissal of those who think showing the proof would be helpful to our interests as wanting to “spike the ball” or somehow going against American values.  Maybe when the Obama Administration itself cannot make up its mind, Obama should be less dismissive of those who disagree with the ultimate decision. 

Anyway, this comment from Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) about sums it up so far:

“Every day it seems like somebody is having to straighten out some fact,” he told the AJC. “You’d think that twenty-four hours after the fact, they’d be able to ferret things out a little more.” He told NJ, more sharply: “Twenty-four hours after it happened there should have been more clarification than what I heard coming out of Brennan.”

So does this from former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino:

“I am perplexed how they got so much wrong,” she added. “I don’t think it takes away from their achievement. I think that criticism will be relatively short-lived. However, for those people who might be critics of the administration, or have a little bit of distrust for the stories that are coming out of the White House, this will feed that. And it doesn’t help build credibility.”

I am not perplexed how they got so much wrong.  The President, to his eternal credit, ordered the operation and caused it to be up close and personal instead of lobbing in a few bunker-busters and waking up the whole neighborhood.  The military then did its duty with precision and skill. 

After that, we are simply seeing the overall incompetence of the Obama Administration in action.  As Jim Treacher said the other day, “Obama Administration takes victory lap in clown car.”

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Published in: on May 6, 2011 at 11:51 am  Leave a Comment  

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