Obama Shoots Off His Mouth
by Michael Goodwin
June 3, 2012
Panic is never pretty. When it involves a politician scrambling desperately to stay afloat, it is ugly. When it involves a president of the United States trading national-security secrets for political gain, it is obscene.
Twice last week, The New York Times published insider accounts of Obama-administration decisions. One involved “kill lists” of terrorists targeted by drones. The other described cyber-warfare attacks against Iran.
The articles revealed details of top-level meetings and quoted the president’s comments. They were so gushingly favorable to him that it’s clear they were based on authorized leaks by the White House designed to make Obama look tough against terror. Flattery was part of the bargain.
So we learned the president insists on giving final approval to each target, a “grim debating society” that tests his “principles.” We learned he “is a student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas” and follows the “just war theories of Christian philosophers.” Adviser John Brennan, described as a “grizzled” son of Irish immigrants, is compared “to a priest whose blessing has become indispensable” to Obama.
Naturally, campaign guru David Axelrod attends these “Terror Tuesday” meetings. Not that politics is involved, of course.
This is more than an unseemly spiking of the football. This is reckless politicking that reflects an his “anything goes” approach to November: Nothing is sacred except four more years.
The Times also outed Israel as our partner in launching the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear computers. While the United States and Israel were long suspected, the article shredded any deniability.
The Allies broke German military codes in World War II, but it remained secret until the 1970s. Now our president leaks secrets in real time.
The Times says the virus program, code named Olympic Games, started under President George W. Bush and was an effort to stop Iran from getting the bomb. While Bush “had little credibility,” the Times says, Obama “concluded that when it came to stopping Iran, the United States had no other choice.”
See, when Bush does it, it’s bad; when Obama does it, it’s good. Give the Times a gold star for its campaign contribution.
The paper also hinted that one or more Iranian technicians helped introduce the virus into the computers.
I asked Rep. Pete King, the GOP chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, if he saw anything wrong with the leaks. King had plenty to say:
“It’s a pattern that goes back two years, starting with the Times Square bomber, where somebody in the federal government, probably the FBI, leaked his name before he was captured. That’s why he tried to leave the country — he knew they were on to him.
“They did it with the movie about Osama bin Laden, leaking all kinds of operational details that are supposed to remain secret and setting up the producer with a member of the SEALs. They mentioned we had DNA, which is how the Pakistanis focused on the doctor they arrested.
“And now this. It’s like two press releases coming from the Oval Office. It’s unheard of. It puts our people at risk and gives information to the enemy. And it gives our allies a reason not to work with us because what they do might show up on the front page of The New York Times.”
King said it was “amateur hour” in the White House, and it surely is. But this is more than inexperience.
These authorized leaks go to the heart of integrity and presidential character. With the economy stuck in stall and with even leading Democrats bucking their attacks on Mitt Romney, Obama and Axelrod appear ready to abandon all principles in a frenetic quest for victory.
It is shocking, and it is June. One can only imagine the outrages they will unleash in the coming months to preserve their hold on power.
CNN) — President Barack Obama strongly rejected claims Friday that his White House has deliberately leaked state secrets to the media, saying the idea was “offensive” and would put Americans at risk.
Some Republicans, led by veteran Sen. John McCain of Arizona, alleged that the White House must be knowingly involved because of the nature of the leaked information.
But Obama pushed back angrily as he was questioned on the issue at a news conference, saying that he had “zero tolerance” for such leaks and that those responsible would “suffer consequences.”
“The notion that the White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive, it’s wrong, and people, I think, need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me approach this office,” he said.
“We are dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people — our families or our military or our allies — and so we don’t play with that.”
Intelligence leaks are a source of consistent frustration for his administration as they have been for others, he said, and the White House will carry out “thorough investigations.”
In response, McCain said Obama was distancing himself from the controversy.
“What the president did not unequivocally say today is that none of the classified or highly sensitive information recently leaked to the media came from the White House,” McCain said. “I continue to call on the president to immediately appoint a special counsel to fully investigate and, where necessary, prosecute these gravely serious breaches of our national security.”
A report in The New York Times last week that provided classified details of what it described as a U.S cyberattack targeting Iran’s nuclear centrifuge program sparked the bipartisan outrage.
Obama also repeated the statements made by the writers of the articles in question that the White House was not the source of their information.
Other recent possible leaks of classified information included details on the administration’s efforts to expand its drone program and Obama’s involvement in “kill lists” against militants in Yemen and Pakistan.
The public airing of details surrounding a recently disrupted bomb plot in Yemen by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula also angered intelligence and national security officials.
Congressional leaders said earlier Friday that those responsible for endangering national security by leaking classified information to the media should be sent to jail.
Jon Stewart’s take on MainStreamMedia reporting the Wisconsin Recall election: