From an interview with former Secretary of the Navy John Lehman in the National Review:
Lehman: Clueless Obama [Robert Costa]
After watching President Obama’s remarks on national security this afternoon, John Lehman, the secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration and a member of the 9/11 Commission, tells National Review Online that, “frankly, I’m pissed off.”
“President Obama just doesn’t get it,” says Lehman. “I don’t think he has a clue. It’s all pure spin. He’s ignoring key issues and taking respectable professionals like John Brennan and turning them into hacks and shills. It’s beyond contempt.”
“The president has ignored the 9/11 Commission’s report,” says Lehman. “This whole idea that we can fix things by jumping higher and faster is ridiculous. The fact is that the system worked just like we said it would work if the president failed to give the Director of National Intelligence the tools he needs: it’s bloated, bureaucratic, layered, and stultified.”
“President Obama continues to totally ignore one of the important thrusts of our 9/11 recommendations, which is that you have to approach counterterrorism as a multiagency intelligence issue, and not as a law-enforcement issue. He’s made a lot of commission’s members angry for dismissing our report and ignoring key recommendations.” Obama, he adds, has taken a “lawyer-like, politically-correct approach” to national security issues like terrorist watchlists and no-fly lists. “You got to blame the president for enforcing the politically-correct and legalistic policies that led to these failures.”
I myself didn’t bother to watch the latest Obama press conference. I have long-since come to the realization that Obama may not like waterboarding very much, but he doesn’t mind torturing truth. But I did look over a couple of articles reporting on it. I didn’t see anything new, other than that Obama is saying his old garbage in a slightly different way. A good leader has to pay attention to what his spin doctors draw from focus group studies, after all.
Charles Krauthammer has done an excellent job describing how “Obama just doesn’t get it.”
From an article he wrote that came out January 2nd:
The reason the country is uneasy about the Obama administration’s response to this attack is a distinct sense of not just incompetence but incomprehension. From the very beginning, President Obama has relentlessly tried to downplay and deny the nature of the terrorist threat we continue to face. Napolitano renames terrorism “man-caused disasters.” Obama goes abroad and pledges to cleanse America of its post-9/11 counterterrorist sins. Hence, Guantanamo will close, CIA interrogators will face a special prosecutor, and Khalid Sheik Mohammed will bask in a civilian trial in New York — a trifecta of political correctness and image management.
And just to make sure even the dimmest understand, Obama banishes the term “war on terror.” It’s over — that is, if it ever existed.
Obama may have declared the war over. Unfortunately al-Qaeda has not. Which gives new meaning to the term “asymmetric warfare.”
And one of the chief ways Obama just doesn’t get it is Gitmo. Rather than re-declaring war on terror (which his administration early on abandoned), Obama has made his central front the war on Gitmo. Why? Because he believed that it was our actions, rather than the hatred of the terrorists, that was causing the war. And by allowing our enemy to dictate what we do or don’t do, Obama thought that we could pacify the enemy.
Charles Krauthammer stated how utterly asinine that thesis truly is while on the Fox News Special Report Panel:
CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: When you hear Gibbs talk about Guantanamo as a recruiting tool, this is what we hear over and over again. I mean, it’s as if he knows no history at all. The list of grievances that Al Qaeda has is endless and replenishing.
When Usama bin Laden declared war on the United States officially in a fatwa 1996 and 1998, the two top reasons were, a, the occupation of the holy places, Mecca and Medina, and, second, the suffering of the Iraqi people under anti-Saddam sanctions.
Well, there are no soldiers, American soldiers in Saudi Arabia anymore, and there are no sanctions obviously on Iraq. But the war continues. These excuses are endless.
Bin Laden sometimes starts the speech by saying in the name of Andalusia. Andalusia is Spain and Portugal, which was Muslim until it fell to Ferdinand and Isabel in 1492. Guantanamo Bay isn’t going to undo that.
The idea that we ought to send people when we have a rate of recidivism of 20 percent over all, but probably extremely high, much higher than that, for Yemen and Saudi Arabia who will rejoin the fight as a way to eliminate excuses, which are all that these are, these are not — these are excuses and not at all grievances, is absurd.
The reason the way is on is because Al Qaeda hates our way of life, our independence, our tolerance, our respect of women, and the threat it poses to the fanatical kind of Islam that they are advocating.
That’s right. The Pentagon says that 1 in 5 released Gitmo detainees is returning to rejoin the militants. But Obama is still fixated on emptying the place that keeps them from hurting anyone.
A few minutes later Krauthammer finished his thought:
In the end the issue isn’t Guantanamo. That’s a question of location. You can ultimately have it in the U.S., an abandoned air base in Alaska — who cares? It’s the question of defending the idea of detention without trial.
You do that in all wars, all countries do. You hold an enemy combatant until the war is over. And you have to argue that that is legitimate.
When Obama denies that this is a War on Terror, he takes away the legitimacy of that stand, and thus he has to end up releasing people.
Obama should be focused on trying to fill Gitmo to overflowing. But he just wants to close it down out of an uncomprehending philosophy.
Gitmo didn’t even EXIST when the Jihadists launched the massive 9/11 attack against us. The war in Iraq didn’t exist. The war in Afghanistan didn’t exist.
To use any of these things as somehow causing the terrorists to hate us is beyond self-delusion. But that has been precisely what Obama has done.
Regarding security, Obama again perpetuates the fundamental flaw of the left: focusing on protecting terrorists’ rights rather than focusing on protecting Americans’ lives. Focusing on high-tech gadgets and budgets rather than on focusing on proven solutions that have worked for decades. Focusing on your fingernail clippers and shampoo rather than focusing on the terrorists through profiling.
Obama is using Predator drones to massacre “alleged” terrorists in foreign countries without reading them their rights or filing charges against them in court. Which I’m all in favor of. Because we’re at war, and that’s what a country that is at war does. The people attacking us are committing acts of war against the United States. But then Obama irrationally and hypocritically files criminal charges against terrorists caught in the act of committing terrorism.
Obama is reading terrorists captured on foreign soil their Miranda rights. Which is the quintessence of not having a clue.