The Thinker: Rich Galen


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The S.S. Obama is Leaking

Rich Galen

Wednesday June 13, 2012


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  • The holes in the Obama Administration continue to show the greatest inherent problem to the President's re-election: These people are incompetent.

  • At almost every level, in almost every issue the Obama Administration is barely keeping afloat.

  • The recent leaks that Obama himself approves using drones to kill specific targets was first brought light in a New York Times piece:
    "Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding "kill list," poring over terrorist suspects' biographies on what one official calls the macabre "baseball cards" of an unconventional war."

  • Imagine the apoplexy among the studio hosts on MSNBC if George W. Bush had been found riffling "baseball cards" deciding who should live, who should die and in which order.

  • They would be "Leaning Forward" so far they'd be staring at their own backsides - as unpleasant an image as that might be.

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  • In a recent edition of the Washington Post senior columnist Richard Cohen - hardly a house mouthpiece for Conservative causes wrote about the order to kill an American citizen, Anwar al-Awlaqi:
    "The government asked the government if it was legal, and the government said it was."

  • The most recent examples of leakage in the Administration have led Attorney General Eric Holder - already held in (as Winston Churchill might have said) minimum high regard by Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate - to appoint two U.S. Attorneys to investigate who leaked that business about the baseball cards, and who leaked the stories about increased use of drones in Yemen.

  • Republican Senators are not satisfied with the appointment of attorneys who are employees of the Justice Department and are calling for a Special Prosecutor - independent of the political winds in a Presidential election year - to head the investigation.

  • The national security issues aside, the political problem for Obama is what the people who did the leaking will say about how they got the information and whether there were actual, or inferred, instructions to tell favored reporters at the Times, the Post, the Associated Press and elsewhere.

  • Why? To make Obama look strong in the face of a continued terrorist threat - a threat which has made the Administration forget about its early attempt to turn the War on Terror into the Neighborhood Watch on Miscreants when a memo in March, 2009 went out strongly suggesting government officials use the term "Overseas Contingency Operation."

  • Haven't heard that in a while have we?

  • Writing on the website, Michael Hastings quotes a former Bush Administration official as saying:
    "Depending on how these investigations go, they can end up being very time consuming and debilitating for the White House and for other senior officials. These can be extremely time consuming for senior staff around them, and they can amount to a significant distraction."

  • Remember how the Valerie Plame leak investigation took over this town and involved dozens of senior reporters and White House officials among others. And the Special Prosecutor knew who had leaked her name from the earliest days.

  • If you've ever wondered why scandals in Washington, DC are always appended with the word "-gate" it comes from the mother of all scandals: Watergate.

  • That started with the burglary of the Democratic National Committee headquarters which, back in the day, were located in the Watergate Hotel.

  • Jimmy Breslin, in his book about Watergate, began by telling the story of an aide to Speaker Tip O'Neill carrying a document from one location in the Capitol to another. From that piece of paper the entire forest called the Nixon Administration would finally fall.

  • Watergate happened on June 17,1972. This coming Sunday will mark the 40th anniversary although Nixon didn't resign for 26 months, until August 8, 1974.

  • The dismal performance of the Obama Administration has Democrats here publically wringing their hands about the campaign.

  • Karen Tumulty has a front pager in today's Washington Post with which she leads:
    "Is it time for Democrats to panic?"

  • Among those sending up warning flares are James Carville who co-authored a memo that said, in part:
    "We will face an impossible head wind in November if we do not move to a new narrative, one that contextualizes the recovery, but, more importantly, focuses on what we will do to make a better future for the middle class � They know we are in a new normal where life is a struggle - and convincing them that things are good enough for those who have found jobs is a fool's errand."

  • It is a very short distance from "panic" to jumping overboard.

  • The Obama ship is leaking badly and supporters are looking for their life jackets.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: Links to the stories noted above including the Tumulty piece and the Wikipedia entry for Watergate (for those younger readers who put that scandal in the same box as Teapot Dome).

    Also another Mullfoto from my trip to Normandy. This from the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc and a refreshingly sweet Catchy Caption of the Day.

    -- END --

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