September 16, 2012
NYC Letter: Trust Team Barry, Part XXIV -- Tested & Unready
Day 1,331 of CHOPE
D-minus 125 Days
It was a fleeting issue in 2008. The two dominant candidates accused each other of the same lack. They were both right.
Here is Campaign Hillary in 2008:
It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep.
But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call, whether it’s someone who already knows the world’s leaders, knows the military — someone tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world.
It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?
Then-candidate Obama responded the same day the above ad aired:
In fact, we have had a red phone moment. It was the decision to invade Iraq. And Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer, George Bush gave the wrong answer, John McCain gave the wrong answer.
Later Campaign Barry -- in a preview of the elliptic thinking that characterizes the Obama presidency -- argued readiness wasn't important, what was important was making the right decision.
Clinton hasn't had to answer the phone at three o'clock in the morning and yet she attacked Barack Obama for not being ready. They’re both not ready to have that 3 a.m. phone call. ... The question is and what Barack Obama raised is, when that phone call is received for each of them for the first time, who's going to make the right judgment? Who is going to make the right decision?
foreign policy adviser to then-candidate Obama,
now United States Ambassador to the United Nations,
in an accident of political candor and
-- as events proved out -- prescience
March 6, 2008 (NYT/MSNBC)
So vote for this amazing guy who -- untested and unready -- can pull the right decision out of his hienie -- Voilà ! -- first time, every time. Mr. Obama didn't waste time after his election* to demonstrate what right decision-making looked like. On the dubious theory of two defects make a competence, Mr. Obama, the unready president-elect, hired HRC, the senator with defective judgement, as the Secretary of State, America's top diplomat. Surely good things were to follow.
Just before Tuesday's assault on the American embassy in Cairo, the embassy staff issued this pre-emptive diplomatic cringe -- oh, wait. That cringe has been deleted. Oh, wait, it has been deleted and disavowed.
September 11, 2012 (Politico) - The Obama administration is disavowing a statement from its own Cairo embassy that seemed to apologize for anti-Muslim activity in the United States.The statement by Embassy Cairo was not cleared by Washington and does not reflect the views of the United States government.
The U.S. embassy in Cairo put out a statement early Tuesday that was pegged to anger over an anti-Muslim film being circulated by an Israeli-American real estate developer. The online embassy statement:The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims – as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.
... The embassy came under widespread criticism for failing to defend free speech in the face of threats of violence. Egyptian protesters rioted anyway, breaching the embassy walls and tearing down the American flag.
You might think, given how Mr. Obama's "Arab Spring" has become the "Islamic Winter" and how Egypt, a strategic lynchpin to regional stability, is in transition to an Islamic state, you might think that the stateside DOS coordinated closely with the embassy, with all its regional diplomatic missions. And you would be wrong. You might think DOS kept a close eye on developments in the region, that it was alert to the influence and doings of radical Islamists. And you would be wrong about that, too.
On the same day as the Cairo protests, the American consulate in Benghazi was attacked and its ambassador Christopher Stevens and three American personnel were murdered. Steven Hayward at Powerline posts:
I spoke with a well-placed journalist last night whose sources describe the situation at the State Department in one word: "Chaos". The working assumption is that several American embassies may have been penetrated, or are vulnerable to attack, because so many of them rely on local residents for staff needs at the embassy, and as such may be in a position to breach security if they have been recruited by Al Qaida.
... The killing of Amb. Stevens was a premeditated hit, planned and carried out as retaliation for the recent drone strike that killed the number two Al Qaida operative in Afghanistan recently. The vulnerability of Stevens at the Benghazi compound was scouted out carefully.
The Independent reported Friday:
According to senior diplomatic sources, the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and "lockdown", under which movement is severely restricted.
This grades from gross incompetence into criminal negligence.
September 14, 2012 (NewsBusters) - As noted yesterday by Washington Post opinion columnist Marc A. Thiessen, "the president was scheduled to hold the intelligence meeting at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday, the day after the attacks, but it was canceled so that he could comfort grieving employees at the State Department — as well he should." However, the president decided to forgo on rescheduling his planned briefing because he needed to "attend a Las Vegas fundraiser for his re-election campaign. One day after a terrorist attack."
As my colleague Ken Shepherd noted yesterday, "By contrast, Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush almost never missed his daily intelligence meeting." In fact, Thiessen wrote on September 10:The former president held his intelligence meeting six days a week, no exceptions — usually with the vice president, the White House chief of staff, the national security adviser, the director of National Intelligence, or their deputies, and CIA briefers in attendance. Once a week, he held an expanded Homeland Security briefing that included the Homeland Security adviser, the FBI director and other homeland security officials. Bush also did more than 100 hour-long "deep dives" in which he invited intelligence analysts into the Oval Office to get their unvarnished and sometimes differing views.
Mr. Obama's performance grades from negligence to abandonment.
Finally we have a clue as to why Mr. Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Early on the Norwegian Nobel Committee chaired by leftist Thorbjørn Jagland correctly pegged Mr. Obama as a small-time politician who would trim American power to fit his small-time political ambitions -- getting re-elected at all costs. Foreign policy victories do not win elections stateside, not even a popular victory in war (and Mr. Obama has already ruled out any victories in war) -- but foreign policy failures can lose elections.
OBAMA TO CAMPAIGN IN VEGAS TODAY;
AFTER ADDRESSING EMBASSY ATTACKS
WASHINGTON September 12, 2012 (WaEx)
Foreign policy brags suddenly disappear from the campaign.
September 14, 2012 (Blaze) - Just one of President Barack Obama’s last 47 tweets from his official campaign account mentioned the crisis unfolding in the Middle East or the four Americans who lost their lives in a fiery attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Tuesday.
Among the tweets sent out by Obama’s Twitter account included a chance to win tickets to an Obama event hosted by Jay-Z and Beyonce, links to Obama merchandise and solicitations for $5 and $10 donations.
The only mention of the consulate assault came in the form of a retweet of the White House Twitter account.
As Mr. Obama made clear on his notorious let-me-apologize tour, he agreed with complaints about a powerful America in a world waiting on the Chinese century or the Caliphate. The leftward world took notice, and the Norske Nobelkomité rushed to affirm the pleasure of the leftward world.
In a world of new threats and new challenges, you can choose leadership that has been tested and proven. ... My opponent and his running mate are new to foreign policy, but from all that we've seen and heard, they want to take us back to an era of blustering and blundering that cost America so dearly.
waving around his foreign policy résumé
DNCC ACCEPTANCE SPEECH
CHARLOTTE September 6, 2012 (ABC News)
Tested and unready.
* He had already made the single best right decision of his campaign -- and early presidency.