By the time you read this blog post, it will be hopelessly out of date. That’s how fast the story of the Obama administration’s appallingly incompetent handling of the aftermath of the Osama bin Laden assassination is moving. In all my years observing American politics I’ve never seen anything even remotely like this. It’s not just a train wreck viewed in slow motion, it’s a midair collision of all the airplanes used in “The Aviator.”
After offering qualified praise for the president earlier this week, I haven’t been keeping notes on every aspect of the saga so I may have some of this wrong but from what I remember it has gone something like this:
Sunday night the story was OBL had been killed by a U.S. cruise missile a week before. Then he was killed by U.S. forces after a vicious firefight. Then he was killed earlier in the day on Sunday after resisting soldiers. Then he offered no resistance and was shot point blank on sight. Then he used his wife as a human shield to save himself. Then she was killed. Then she was merely shot in the leg. Then he used his daughter as a human shield to save himself. Then he didn’t use his daughter but she was present and saw her father dispatched by the U.S. military. Then, curiously, reporters were incurious about what happened to the wife and/or daughter who may have died or been rushed to hospital or perhaps carried off by UFOs. Then we heard OBL was taken alive at first but later killed by soldiers. Then rumors started circulating that he was never killed at all. This made some speculate that he was being held in a secret CIA prison somewhere. Then we heard that somewhere a spokesman for al-Qaeda acknowledged OBL’s death, so it didn’t matter if a death photo could be produced. Then congressmen and senators said we didn’t need to see the photo because they had seen it and it was gross. Then we learned the photo they saw was a fake.
We heard President Obama and key national security personnel watched the whole thing go down on closed circuit television. The White House released an impressive photo of the president, Vice President Joe Biden, and others gathered around a table in the Situation Room. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seemed to be gasping as she held her hand over her mouth. Now we learn they couldn’t see the important parts of the mission at all and the whole thing was just a photo opportunity.
Then CIA director Leon Panetta promised the White House would release a photo of OBL’s lifeless body. This must have gone on for 24 hours or more. Yet no photo surfaced. Then the president decided we couldn’t handle seeing the photo. The White House used a football metaphor to explain why the photo, or photos perhaps, would not be released. Something about not wanting to gloat or inflame people who are constitutionally inclined to be inflamed.
We heard OBL’s body was flown to a ship on the ocean, washed in accordance with Islamic funeral practices, and buried at sea. Then Muslic clerics said Muslims aren’t supposed to be buried at sea. We heard there was a video of the ceremony and that we would get to see it. Now it’s not clear if there is or was ever a video at all.
I could go on and on and on. Has there ever been an administration so eager to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory?
This is exhausting. Liberals are traditionally and correctly viewed as weak on national security issues. Bill Clinton fired some cruise missiles into a cave in order to shake the “wimp” label. It’s almost as if the Obama administration is passive-aggressive, guiltily sabotaging itself after icing OBL because it really doesn’t believe America is a force for good in the world.
What else could explain the Obama administration’s schizophrenia?
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