Does the White House know anything about *anything*?

Obama confused

‘Ummm …’

Great piece from Fox News detailing at least ‘9 times the Obama administration was blindsided’ – or allegedly blindsided, anyway. Here’s a sneak peek:

1. Islamist militants gaining in Iraq

The New Yorker (1/27/2014): “In the 2012 campaign, Obama spoke not only of killing Osama bin Laden; he also said that Al Qaeda had been ‘decimated.’ I pointed out that the flag of Al Qaeda is now flying in Fallujah, in Iraq, and among various rebel factions in Syria; Al Qaeda has asserted a presence in parts of Africa, too.

‘The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn’t make them Kobe Bryant,’ Obama said, resorting to an uncharacteristically flip analogy. ‘I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian.'”

The Wall Street Journal (6/11/2014): Iraq Drama Catches US Off Guard

[…]

8. Fast and Furious scandal

Jay Carney during a White House press briefing (6/27/2012): “The president did not know about this tactic until he heard about it through the media; the attorney general did not know about it.”

Read the whole thing and – not to be a downer this weekend – think about it when you’re out and about today that we’ve got a year and a half more to go of this executive office seeming cluelessness on major hot button issues – most of which have significant impact beyond how it plays out here in the United States. The White House’s dangerous feigned ignorance on these issues and more (including Benghazi and the emerging border crisis involving children) has not just caused PR headaches for them but – in some cases – has cost innocent lives, the deaths of which many were preventable.  If that level of willful HISS (Head In Sand Syndrome) doesn’t chill you to the bone, I don’t know what will.

Rick Perry to Obama: Come visit the Texas/Mexico border, Mr. President

TX Gov. Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Not one to mince words, Texas Governor Rick Perry today issued a written invite to President Obama to come take a look at the Texas/Mexico border himself to see how bad the illegal immigrant influx has become, especially in recent weeks:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is inviting President Obama to visit the U.S.-Mexico border, saying he needs “to see firsthand” the humanitarian crisis from an influx of illegal migrants.

In a letter sent to the White House on Friday, Perry called the president to Texas to survey the areas where tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have illegally crossed the border.

Perry also asked Obama to deploy 1,000 National Guard troops to the border, authorize the use of Predator drones for surveillance flights, and direct the Centers for Disease Control to survey facilities where detained children are being held. 

“There is no doubt that I have disagreed with you and your administration on many policies over the years,” Perry wrote. “This crisis, however, transcends any political differences we may have.

“The safety and security of our border communities is being threatened by this flood of illegal immigration, and the crisis worsens by the day,” he added.

Perry also called on Obama to “modify or rescind policies that serve as a magnet to encourage illegal immigration,” in particular the so-called catch-and-release program. That program releases illegal immigrants into relatives’ care and orders them to appear at a later date for deportation proceedings.

“The complex situation along the border is deteriorating, and it requires a multifaceted approach to resolve, and must begin with border security,” Perry wrote.

Earlier Friday, the White House announced it would send tens of millions of dollars to Central American countries to help them improve security and repatriate immigrants who had attempted to enter the U.S.

How many want to bet that this emerging humanitarian crisis comes as a direct result of the Obama administration’s astonishingly naive and politically motivated executive actions that have relaxed immigration rules and regulations over the last few years? It’s something even they seem to be acknowledging indirectly, if this report from the New York Times is any indication.  

Make sure to read Hot Air’s Noah Rothman for much more on this developing story.  And pray for those children a safe return home, no matter what you think on the issue of illegal immigration. 

.@BarackObama’s political philosophy explained in one tweet – by him

King Obama

Image via Salon.com

I think this rather says it all, don’t you?


Emphasis on “will do whatever I can without Congress” – which he does an awful lot these days. Who needs a stinkin’ Congress anyways? 8-|

(Video) Barack Obama: evil, or stupid?

**Posted by Phineas

Like the old IBM commercial for the NFL said, “You make the call!”

No matter what the scandal, Obama always seems not to know; he finds out about it in the morning news, like the rest of us. Fast and Furious, IRS-gate, the utter screw up of the Obamacare web site launch, you name it. His response is always an un-credible “I didn’t know.”

So, evil? Or stupid?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

New poll finds that Bush is seen as more competent than Obama

obama-clinton-bush

This should start your weekend off on the right note. ;) Via the Washington Post:

A majority of voters say the Obama administration is less competent than Bill Clinton’s and a plurality say it is less competent than George W. Bush’s according to a new Fox News poll released Wednesday.

Sixty-eight percent say the Obama administration is less competent that the Clinton administration. Forty-eight percent say it is less competent than Bush’s, compared to 42 percent who say it is more competent. Seven percent judge Obama’s and Bush’s the same.

Fifty-five percent say that the Obama administration has made the country weaker; 35 percent say his administration has made it stronger.

You have to laugh at this. Liberals will laugh for different reasons – because it’s a Fox poll and therefore will be deemed by them as “not credible”, but they’re in denial about how most Americans view this administration anyway – regardless of comparisons of President Obama to George W. Bush.

Granted, time softens many people on their opinions of the legacies of most former Presidents, and I’m sure some of that is at play here.  But think about the considerable amount of time that the Obama administration spends blaming President Bush for the current ills our country faces – and his inability to “fix” them all, and consider the terrible week Team Obama has had all around over the controversy surrounding the “prisoner swap” of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five high level Taliban terrorists at Gitmo. And then imagine their reaction to this poll. LOL.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall. :))

Brutal: NY Daily News on #Bergdahl deal — “Surrender without honor”

**Posted by Phineas

NYDN cover

Mind you, this is from one of the liberal newspapers in New York City:

President Obama betrayed the highest obligation of his office — safeguarding national security — in trading five hard-core Taliban for the American serviceman who appears to have deserted in Afghanistan.

The five sworn enemies of the United States are now in the Gulf state of Qatar, where they are free to come and go as they like, beyond the watch of American agents. In just one year, they will be free to return to Afghanistan to fight there and stage terror attacks far beyond that country’s borders.

These facts were known to Obama when he made the deal, and yet he went ahead in irresponsible disregard for lives he has endangered. As the facts have emerged — and more surely will — it has become ever clearer that he lost his presidential compass in the Taliban swap.

In retrospect, his Rose Garden announcement that he was bringing home an American POW appears to have been a cynical act of theater.

In other words, a dog and pony show to distract from the VA fiasco. I can believe that.

Then, after dismissing Obama’s assurances about “keeping on eye” on these barbarians while they’re in Qatar, the NYDN delivers the killing blow:

Finally, Obama provided insight into the actual reason for the deal by placing it in the context of his drive to pull out of Afghanistan.

“This is what happens at the end of wars,” Obama said. “That was true for George Washington; that was true for Abraham Lincoln; that was true for FDR; that’s been true of every combat situation — that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back.”

In other words, he wants out so badly that he accepted the Taliban’s terms, regardless of the threat to American security.

He is surrendering without honor.

Remember, this is from a major regional paper that’s generally on The One’s side. Can’t dismiss this one as “Faux News.”

What’s going on here, I think, is that even center-left outlets (1) are having trouble coloring this as anything other than a major “dereliction of duty” on the part of the president. They find themselves nodding in agreement with former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy at center-right PJM:

Is that the end of the matter? Not by a long shot. As I’ve also contended, the president’s failure to comply with a dubious statute is a mere footnote to his truly egregious offense: replenishing enemy forces at a time when the enemy is still conducting offensive terrorist operations against our armed forces. It would be difficult to fathom a more outrageous dereliction of duty by the commander-in-chief.

Moreover, if you want to fret over statutory violations, I would spend less time on the 30-day notice law and more on the federal criminal law that makes material support to terrorists a serious felony. The president has knowingly provided personnel—key, experienced, highly effective jihadists—to terrorist organizations that are still very much at war with the United States. That is material support to terrorism.

What Obama did was the equivalent of Eisenhower capturing senior North Korean and Chinese generals and then returning them while the fighting in Korea was still going on. If Ike were an idiot, that is, which he wasn’t.

In New York City, a metropolis that’s been the victim of catastrophic terrorism, even a paper as reliably liberal as the Daily News can’t help but scream “What in God’s name do you think you’re doing??”

If Team Unicorn expected any kudos for this “deal,” they must be gravely disappointed.

PS: Jim Geraghty, from whom I took the graphic, has an interesting article on impressions confirmed and disproved by the Bergdahl deal. Also via Jim, is Obama so sick of being president that he’s dropping hints he may resign if the Republicans win the Senate in November? Check this out:

Obama tells anxious Democrats that there is only so much he can do beyond fundraising and better implementing the health-care law. But he also has told allies that losing the Senate to Republicans would make his last two years in office unbearable . . .

“I don’t really care to be president without the Senate,” Obama said, according to attendees, signaling that he knew the health care debacle created resentment among Democrats and that he wanted to make amends.

As Allahpundit likes to say, “Hmmm….”

via Bryan Preston

Footnote:
(1) Other than MSNBC, which will be the network of Obama lickspittles until the End of Days.

UPDATE: At The Federalist, Robert Tracinski asks a darned fine question — “Why Are We Releasing Terrorists Who Kill Girls Because They Go To School?”

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

WH apologizes for their “oversight” on Congressional oversight re: prisoner swap

King Obama

Image via Salon.com

Wow:

The White House has apologized to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) for failing to alert her in advance of a decision to release Taliban commanders from Guantanamo Bay.

Feinstein told reporters that she received a call from Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken on Monday evening apologizing for what the administration is calling an “oversight.”

“I had a call from the White House last night, from Tony Blinken, apologizing for it,” she said.

 “He apologized and said it was an oversight,” she added.

Feinstein also said leaders of the House and Senate Intelligence panels were almost unanimously against a prisoner trade when it came up in 2011.

She said the chairmen and ranking Republicans of the “connected committees” spent a lot of time in 2011 reviewing the possibility of a prisoner swap and came out firmly opposed to releasing senior militants from the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay.

“There were very strong views and they were virtually unanimous against the trade,” she said.

“I certainly want to know more about whether this man was a deserter,” she said of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was released to American special forces in return for the freedom of five senior Taliban commanders.

Administration officials have said in public that they did not have time to inform Congress of the prisoner swap because Bergdahl’s life was in danger and they did not know how long the Taliban would be willing to wait to finalize the deal.

But Senator Harry Reid got a notification – not 30 days in advance, but he still got one:

At least one member of the Senate did have advance notice. “We were notified of the plan to secure Sergeant Bergdahl’s release on Friday,” said Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. A spokesman for Republican House Speaker John Boehner, however, told TIME that there was no advance notice given to the leader of the House. Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein was not informed in advance, either, and on Tuesday Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken called her to apologize for the oversight, she told reporters.

Move along here. Nothing to see…

(Hat tip: Memeorandum)

(Video) Hitler and Chamberlain, Putin and Obama

**Posted by Phineas

Obama as Chamberlain

(Photo via Israel Matzav)

I’ve been saying for years, almost since the Jihadi War began, that the state of international relations gives me a “1930s vibe,” a feeling that we may be on a path toward another World War. That feeling has come and gone as the years passed, as I’m sure it did for those living in the 30s, but it’s never quite gone away. In fact, Russia’s predatory moves toward Ukraine have brought that feeling roaring back, the parallels being striking.

Bill Whittle has noticed the same trends and, in this video for Truth Revolt, compares a lion, a bear, and two lambs:

But it’s not Russia that worries me most, unless it’s in combination with other powers. Russia is a dying state, its demographic trends signalling serious future decline. Its military, outside of special elite units, just isn’t all that good, and, while they’ve made steps to rebuild, they’re still  a long way off. (They had trouble mobilizing the limited forces they used to assault Georgia in 2008.) Their economy is far too dependent on natural resources, especially oil, but Russian oil is notoriously expensive to extract. Fracking technology in the West promises to cut the legs out from under Putin and his successors as it drives the price of oil and gas down, making Russia’s less marketable.

China concerns me more: a rising power with a strong hyper-nationalist faction, an aggressive foreign policy, and a strong sense of (as Bill notes about Russia) historical grievance. Some incident in the South or East China Seas could easily be the spark for a major conflagration.

And then there’s Iran: a fascist theocracy that has promised to destroy Israel and is desperately seeking its own nuclear weapons to do just that.

We face a bear, a dragon, and a lion, while we are lead by lambs.

Yep. I have a bad feeling about this.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl: A war hero or a deserter?

Bowe Bergdahl

US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl

In light of the “prisoner exchange” of US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five high-level Taliban Gitmo detainees, CNN”s Jake Tapper reports on claims Bergdahl’s on US soldiers who served with him are making about him (via):

(CNN) — The sense of pride expressed by officials of the Obama administration at the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is not shared by many of those who served with him — veterans and soldiers who call him a deserter whose “selfish act” ended up costing the lives of better men.

“I was pissed off then and I am even more so now with everything going on,” said former Sgt. Matt Vierkant, a member of Bergdahl’s platoon when he went missing on June 30, 2009. “Bowe Bergdahl deserted during a time of war and his fellow Americans lost their lives searching for him.”

Vierkant said Bergdahl needs to not only acknowledge his actions publicly but face a military trial for desertion under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

[…]

Said Bergdahl’s former squad leader, Greg Leatherman: “I’m pleased to see him returned safely. From experience I hope that he receives adequate reintegration counseling. I believe that an investigation should take place as soon as healthcare professionals deem him fit to endure one.”

Another senior Defense official said Bergdahl will not likely face any punishment. “Five years is enough,” he told CNN on condition of anonymity.

Questions surround the circumstances of Bergdahl’s disappearance. Conflicting details have since emerged about how the militants managed to capture Bergdahl. Published accounts have varied widely, from claims he walked off the post to another that he was grabbed from a latrine.

According to first-hand accounts from soldiers in his platoon, Bergdahl, while on guard duty, shed his weapons and walked off the observation post with nothing more than a compass, a knife, water, a digital camera, and a diary.

At least six soldiers were killed in subsequent searches for Bergdahl, and many soldiers in his platoon said attacks seemed to increase against the United States in Paktika Province in the days and weeks following his disappearance.

Many of Bergdahl’s fellow troops — from the seven or so who knew him best in his squad, to the larger group that comprised the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division — told CNN that they signed nondisclosure agreements agreeing to never share any information about Bergdahl’s disappearance and the efforts to recapture him. Some were willing to dismiss that document in hopes that the truth would come out about a soldier who they now fear is being hailed as a hero, while the men who lost their lives looking for him are ignored.

On top of this are disturbing tweets by Bergdahl’s dad Bob who is pressing to get more prisoners released from Gitmo.

On the surface, without digging into any history and just taking the release at face value, Bergdahl’s release would make everyone happy, a proud moment in American military history – but once you read who he was “traded” for, as well as the circumstances behind his alleged “capture” in the first place … and the murders of the US soldiers who searched for him, you get the sense that perhaps he wasn’t a POW at all – and instead a willing participant.

I’ve a lot of military who read this blog, and I’m very interested in reading your thoughts.

Obama’s West Point speech criticized by three major newspaper editorials

Obama arrogance

And you’ll never believe why.  Via The Politico (hat tip):

Editorial boards at three major U.S. newspapers are criticizing President Barack Obama’s foreign policy speech at West Point as incomplete and failing to recognize America’s international standing.

The New York Times editorial board, often supportive of the White House, wrote that his “address did not match the hype, was largely uninspiring, lacked strategic sweep and is unlikely to quiet his detractors, on the right or the left.”

Obama “provided little new insight into how he plans to lead in the next two years,” the Times wrote, “and many still doubt that he fully appreciates the leverage the United States has even in a changing world.”

[…]

The Washington Post editorial said the president’s “binding of U.S. power places Mr. Obama at odds with every U.S. president since World War II.”

“President Obama has retrenched U.S. global engagement in a way that has shaken the confidence of many U.S. allies and encouraged some adversaries,” the board said, attacking the president for resorting to rhetoric instead of adjusting policy.

The Post also said that Obama provided “scant comfort” to those concerned about his policies on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Ukraine.

You read that correctly.  The New York Times and the Washington Post, two of the top news publications in the country – and two of Obama’s biggest supporters and defenders - are criticizing his lack of emphasis on American exceptionalism, a major problem conservatives pointed out about him well before he was elected.  Yes, I do believe hell may have actually frozen over.

The other paper, by the way, was the Wall Street Journal editorial page – frequent critics of the President on both the foreign and domestic front.  You can read the President’s full West Point speech here.