Posts Tagged ‘Eikenberry’

‘Transparency’ In Action: Obama Blocks Media To Conceal Failures

July 8, 2010

Let’s see.  Hope?  No freaking way.  Change?  Yes, but it’s really, really BAD change.  Even die hard and hard-core liberals like Robert Reich and Paul Krugman are predicting that Obamanomics are leading us into a double-dip recession IF we’re lucky enough to avoid a depression. Transparency?

Ooh, boy.

Afghan violence is soaring.  Obama’s own handpicked general is saying that the president is overwhelmed and unprepared, and that his civilian leadership team is a bunch of incompetent clowns.  All the evidence indicates that Obama is massively failing in Iraq.

What should he do?

Well, he should do the same thing in Afghanistan that he’s going to do about all his calamitous failures in the Gulf of Mexico.

He’s going to make sure that the media doesn’t have a chance to report the truth about what a failure he is at everything he touches.

Obama is going to clamp down on senior military commanders’ access to the media.  Oh, that directive has NOTHING to do with the McChrystal fiasco, just as my writing this article on Obama banning the media has nothing whatsoever to do with the new media ban policy.

From the Wall Street Journal:

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Friday issued a directive to all senior Pentagon military and civilian officials saying their dealing with the media “has grown lax” in recent months and ordering them to get approval for all engagements with the press through his office.

The directive, a two-page memo signed by Mr. Gates, comes just days after Gen. Stanley McChrystal was fired as commander in Afghanistan for intemperate remarks made to Rolling Stone magazine. The existence of the directive was reported by the New York Times and a copy was obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

Despite the timing, Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, said it had been in the works for months before Gen. McChrystal’s firing. “This memo was written well before that,” Mr. Morrell said. “He thinks the department has been much too cavalier with its handling of the press.”

Now, you’d THINK they’d just admit the obvious and say, “That McChrystal thing was a real disaster, and we need to try to prevent something that disgraceful from happening again.”  But this is the most pathologically dishonest administration in history.  It’s like they have a perfect record on lying, and they’re not going to break it by telling the truth now.

This just goes back to Rahm Emanuel’s “Never let a crisis go to waste” mindset.

This is an administration that is so hostile to actual transparency that it has actually closed workshops on government openness to the public and blocked the press from attending transparency and accountability board meetings.

On front after front, this is the most opaque administration ever.  They block themselves off from media accountability even as they pat themselves on the back for their transparency.

This is the kind of administration that claims that it is advancing the will of the people when they are cynically defying and misrepresenting the will of the people.

It’s a constant pattern.  Just today, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that Obama has utterly failed at transparency regarding the massive porkulus boondoggleWhat a shock.

In Afghanistan, Obama prevents the military from open access to the press, which means that the military can’t tell us how shockingly incompetent Obama is as commander-in-chief.

So it shouldn’t be a surprise that Obama would deal with his failure in the
Gulf of Mexico the same way he’s handled everything else.  He has been so pathetically incompetent that there’s a pretty damn good argument that he is stopping the cleanup efforts on purpose.

White House Enacts Rules Inhibiting Media From Covering Oil Spill
By Noel Sheppard
Created 07/03/2010 – 11:28

The White House Thursday enacted stronger rules to prevent the media from showing what’s happening with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper reported that evening, “The Coast Guard today announced new rules keeping photographers and reporters and anyone else from coming within 65 feet of any response vessel or booms out on the water or on beaches — 65 feet.”

He elaborated, “Now, in order to get closer, you have to get direct permission from the Coast Guard captain of the Port of New Orleans. You have to call up the guy. What this means is that oil-soaked birds on islands surrounded by boom, you can’t get close enough to take that picture.”

You’ve got CNN and Anderson Cooper – both of whom lean reliably to the left – having this to say about Obama’s “transparency”:

“This time, however, we’re not talking about BP. We’re talking about the government, a new a rule announced today backed by the force of law and the threat of fines and felony charges, a rule that will prevent reporters and photographers and anyone else from getting anywhere close to booms and oil-soaked wildlife and just about any place we need to be.”

[…]

We’re not the enemy here. Those of us down here trying to accurately show what’s happening, we are not the enemy. I have not heard about any journalist who has disrupted relief efforts. No journalist wants to be seen as having slowed down the cleanup or made things worse. If a Coast Guard official asked me to move, I would move.

But to create a blanket rule that everyone has to stay 65 feet away boom and boats, that doesn’t sound like transparency. Frankly, it’s a lot like in Katrina when they tried to make it impossible to see recovery efforts of people who died in their homes.

If we can’t show what is happening, warts and all, no one will see what’s happening. And that makes it very easy to hide failure and hide incompetence and makes it very hard to highlight the hard work of cleanup crews and the Coast Guard. We are not the enemy here.

We found out today two public broadcasting journalists reporting on health issues say they have been blocked again and again from visiting a federal mobile medical unit in Venice, a trailer where cleanup workers are being treated. It’s known locally as the BP compound. And these two reporters say everyone they have talked to, from BP to the Coast Guard, to Health and Human Services in Washington has been giving them the runaround.

We’re not talking about a CIA station here. We’re talking about a medical trailer that falls under the authority of, guess who, Thad Allen, the same Thad Allen who promised transparency all those weeks ago.

We are not the enemy here.

Everybody who cares about reality, and everybody who cares about truth, is Obama’s enemy, Anderson.

Obama has a lot to hide.  He’s got a lot to be ashamed of.  He’s failing on so many levels at the same time that no one can even keep track of them all.  The Gulf spill – already the worst in history – could be such a disaster that we might literally be in a “You can’t handle the truth!” moment.  Obama is now the worst president in American history even according to the standards the Democrats used against Bush in 2004.  And all he can do on the economy is keep blaming Bush and keep telling the same failed lie he’s been telling since the American people were stupid enough to hand him the keys to the White House.

All I can do about the Fascist-in-Chief is say those four words: I told you so.

Advertisements

Critical Failure Overload: Which Obama Failure Should We Focus On?

June 30, 2010

There seems to be a genius to Obama’s incompetence.  He is failing on so many levels, in so many ways, all at the same time, that nobody can possibly keep track of them all.

Which means, paradoxically, that the more failures Obama accumulates, the better he looks, as coverage of all the failure is dissipated such that nothing receives the focus it needs to penetrate the American culture of distraction.

A few days ago, the media hailed Obama’s firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal and replacement by Gen. David Petraeus as a magnificent act of presidential leadership and decision-making.  Let’s not mention that the same figures on the left who were hailing Petraeus yesterday were demonizing him when Bush appointed him to take control over the Iraq War and the surge strategy that won that war.

Obama is turning to Bush’s general and Bush’s Secretary of Defense in order to overcome the failure created by utterly failed Democrat Party ideas.

Chief among those utterly failed Democrat ideas is the timetable for cut-and-run.  Democrats wanted to impose this guaranteed-to-fail strategy for Iraq, but Bush prevailed and won the war.  Now they want to make sure we lose in Afghanistan, as Afghans who want to stay alive realize who will still be there a year from now (i.e., the Taliban), and who won’t (i.e., the United States), and that they’d better not ally themselves with their “timetable for withdrawal” all-too-temporary American allies.

We find that the July 2011 timetable for withdrawal was a purely political decision that had no military justification or support whatsoever.

Of course, the failure in Afghanistan comes as a welcome relief to day 72 of the even bigger failure in the Gulf of Mexico.

The leftwing media is essentially shouting, “Hey, take your eye off that total failure over there on the Gulf Coast.  Look over here!!!  Obama fired a guy that pricked his thin-skin and appointed Bush’s general to save his liberal ass.  And he gave a speech!!!  Don’t waste your time thinking about the fact that BP took the cap off the leaking hole so that 104,000 gallons of oil per hour could pour out of the sea floor.  Don’t look at the possibility that as much as 4.2 million gallons of oil are pouring out of that damn hole Obama can’t plug every single day!!!

Come on!  Obama’s got Bush’s general now!!!  The one whom Obama and every other Democrat demonized three years ago while he was winning in Iraq!!!”

Well, go ahead and take a look at how terribly Obama is failing in Afghanistan.  Look at how Obama doubled Bush’s last body count in 2009, and how he is now on pace to double his own doubling of Bush’s body count this year.  Look at how terrible a job Obama is doing mismanaging the various top-level civilian and military personnel who are clearly not on the same page with one another as personal fiefdoms rather than the mission dominate (see also here).  The divisions – which underscore that Obama’s entire Afghanistan plan is in freefall – aren’t pretty.  And don’t forget to look at the fact that “Those divisions are of Obama’s own making, stemming from his lack of leadership and failure to make a firm commitment to victory in Afghanistan.”

While you’re at it, take a look at the fact that, by the standards Democrats used to attack Bush in 2004, Barack Hussein is the worst president in American history bar none.

The Obama-failure in Afghanistan is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico.  And the Obama-failure in the Gulf of Mexico is a distraction for the Obama-failure in the economy.

Look at the fact that a full year and a half later, jobless claims continue to go up “sharply.” Look at the fact that new home sales have plunged to the lowest level ever recorded.   Look at the fact that that disaster followed the news that Obama’s mortgage modification program had officially imploded.  And look at the fact that bank foreclosures have doubled under Obama’s “wreckovery.”

One in four homeowners are underwater in their mortgages, and are increasingly just bailing out and walking away from their responsibilities in Obama’s God-damn-America.  Consumer confidence is down dramatically.    And oil prices are way down for the very bad reason that our economy is in such bad shape no one can afford to go anywhere.  And, of course, our stock market just took a very cold bath yesterday.

Where are we supposed to look to see an area in which Obama HASN’T failed?

Look at everything, if you have time to contemplate all the failure that Obama has brought.  But don’t be distracted from taking time to watch the spill cam footage every day, or following the latest tracking of Obama’s oil spill and its contamination of the Gulf Coast, or following the Obama-regime-caused inability to clean up the mess.

As you watch the daily disaster unfolding, don’t forget to remember that Obama is the guy running the show.  Or that the show looks like a chicken running around after its head has been cut off

Rolling Stone Broke Journalistic Ethics In Publishing McChrystal Remarks

June 27, 2010

It’s ironic.  Barack Obama said that Gen. Stan McChrystal showed “poor judgment” in his comments to Rolling Stone.

I can’t disagree.  But I would hasten to add that he showed even worse judgment in his vote for president.

And now Obama is firing probably the only senior general in the US military who had the terrible judgment to vote for him.

We can breathe easy.  Now that the pro-Obama general is gone, we have Bush’s general running the war to go along with Bush’s Secretary of State running the military.

It appears that we have – in the case of Rolling Stone devouring Gen. McChrystal – yet another case of liberals eating one of their own.

And we have yet another case demonstrating that liberals and legitimate journalism simply do not mix.

That said, let’s see what integrity Rolling Stone threw away in order to have its “gotcha! moment”:

Rolling Stone broke rules over Stanley McChrystal interview
By Toby Harnden World Last updated: June 26th, 2010

So now we know. It is mind-bogglingly inexplicable why this is only emerging now (though I have one theory on that – see below) but it turns out that Rolling Stone did not run all its quotations past McChrystal’s staff as their editor said they did. The general’s staff now say that all the offensive quotations were clearly off the record. So far from this being “terrific journalism” as my colleague Harry Mount put it, the Rolling Stone piece now looks much more like a disgrace to the profession.

I say mind-boggling because if McChrystal’s staff had come out with this in the first few hours of the furore on Tuesday morning then the entire narrative of the week would have changed and the general might very well still be in his job today.

My hunch as to why it didn’t come out earlier? Basically, because McChrystal is an honourable man who thought it would be unseemly to quibble about the details. There could have been a tactical element to that, certainly – perhaps he or his staff calculated that trying to wriggle out of things would not be viewed kindly by Obama and that it could have fuelled a row with Rolling Stone that might have made things worse (if so, how wrong they were).

Politico has a list of the 30 fact-checking questions submitted. The most interesting one is number 30 in which Rolling STone asks whether McChrystal did indeed vote for Obama. The reponse – irony of ironies – was this:

IMPORTANT — PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE THIS — THIS IS PERSONAL AND PRIVATE INFORMATION AND UNREALTED TO HIS JOB. IT WOULD BE INAPPROPRIATE TO SHARE. MY REASON FOR THIS IS IT WOULD PRESENT AN UNDUE COMMAND INFLLUENCE ON JUNIOR OFFICERS OR SOLDIERS WHO SHOULD MAKE THEIR OWN POLITICAL DECISIONS. THERE ARE VERY STRICT RULES IN THE MILITARY ON SEPARATING CHURCH AND STATE ON THIS SORT OF STUFF – HAVE TO KEEP OUT OF POLITICAL PREFERENCE AND PERSONAL CHOICE.

But, of course, they left it in. It’s difficult to escape the conclusion that Rolling Stone did not care a hoot about the agreed journalistic ground rules or about McChrystal. They were out to get him and get him they did.

This is sadly all history now and nothing can change Obama’s decision. But it would be interesting to know if anyone in the White House even inquired into whether the profane and juvenile quotations about civilian officials were really on the record or if they just took Rolling Stone’s word for it.

If they didn’t, think about what this means: the Obama administration accepts the word of a counter-culture magazine and doesn’t even bother to check with the four-star general commanding 100,000 troops in wartime whose career the magazine is seeking to destroy.

We can endlessly speculate whether the Fool-in-Chief was right in canning his record-setting second general.  We can’t know for sure whether Obama canned McChrystal because he is at heart a vain, arrogant, petty, thin-skinned, vindictive man – as I listed as the reasons in predicting that Obama would fire McChrystal – or rather because there truly was some better reason.

What we DO know is that when one actually reads the Rolling Stone article, there really wasn’t a whole lot of “there” there.  The very worse thing McChrystal’s staff did was to reveal that Obama’s civilian leadership team in Afghanistan were in complete chaos.  It does seem that nothing can be worse in the Obama administration than telling the truth.  But that’s where we are.

Liberals in the mainstream media hailed the firing of Stanley McChrystal as though it were the most brilliant and courageous act of presidential leadership in world history.  It wasn’t.  It was a sad and tragic situation – even if Obama did the right thing.

The best thing that will come from this change is likely this: that General David Petraeus will change General McChrystal’s godawful rules of engagement and actually give the soldiers and Marines under his command the ability to carry the fight to the enemy.

Saudi Source Says Obama Willing To Give Afghanistan To Taliban For Quiet

November 23, 2009

Back in May of 2008, I wrote about the danger of appeasement that the election of a liberal Democrat to the presidency posed.

The trend of American casualties had been increasing, without question, but we have NEVER seen the kind of DOUBLING of fatalities (we’re now at 293 American fatalities, versus 155 last year, with more than a month to go) that we are seeing now under Obama’s leadership.  That’s because the Taliban and the terrorists now know that we have a dithering, indecisive, vacillating and appeasing weakling in the White House whom they will be able to push around.

And apparently their piling on is paying off big as “the leader of the free world” cringes before them.

This story is only coming from a single source in Saudi Arabia, but, if true, it means we’re at Neville Chamberlain’s level of disgusting appeasement in exchange for a psuedo “peace in our time” all over again.

Afghan Source: The U.S. Has Offered the Taliban Control in Return for Quiet

An Afghan source in Kabul reports that U.S. Ambassador in Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry is holding secret talks with Taliban elements headed by the movement’s foreign minister, Ahmad Mutawakil, at a secret location in Kabul. According to the source, the U.S. has offered the Taliban control of the Kandahar, Helmand, Oruzgan, Kunar and Nuristan provinces in return for a halt to the Taliban missile attacks on U.S. bases.

Source: Al-Watan (Saudi Arabia), November 22, 2009

Even going back to April of last year, the Democrat presidential debates displayed a frightening ignorance of history, which would invariably lead to appeasement and – following the pattern, more demanding and stubborn enemies who sensed our weakness –  if their policies were ever implemented:

As a student of history, I remember the abject failure of the Western allies to grasp the growing threat of their enemies throughout the 1930s. I remember the refusal of the liberal governments of the Allied powers to comprehend what are now known to have been fundamental realities of naked aggression and looming war. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain abandoned his country’s commitment to Czechoslovakia with a promise from Hitler of peace. The liberal, “anti-war” Chamberlain returned home saying, “I believe it is peace in our time!” Chamberlain saw Britain’s policy as a willingness to compromise and a desire for peace. But Hitler saw only weakness, hesitation, and cowardice, and became emboldened for total war. Again and again, the West had had an opportunity to demonstrate its genuine resolve to Hitler, and again and again the West had failed to stand.

In our present day, the Democratic Party has demonstrated a shocking degree of treachery in regard to Iraq. It is their war as much as it is Republicans’ war – because it should be America’s war.

History repeats itself because we keep putting the same sort of moral cowards in power.

Note that I was referring to Iraq, rather than Afghanistan, in my above warning.  Why?  Because the Democrats were talking tough about Afghanistan, even as they talked about walking away from Iraq.  Who could have known that a Democrat would so violate his own promises and be so shockingly weak in a war that he himself said was a “must win”? I fully believed that Barack Obama would be a weakling and an appeaser in office; but I simply had no idea that he would be as pathetically weak as he has actually revealed himself to be.

Thankfully, George Bush’s surge strategy in Iraq worked – and worked so well that even Obama’s weakness hasn’t been able to turn the success in Iraq around.  Barack Obama opposed that strategy and said it would fail.  And when he was proven wrong, this weakling and coward merely deleted his wrong, deceitful, and malicious prediction from his web site.

Obama’s dithering (and that’s the term Pentagon officials used, rather than merely Dick Cheney, btw), have 1) emboldened the enemy, 2) undermined American troop morale, 3) undermined the confidence of the military that Barack Obama will remain true to his commitment, and 4) weakened the people of Afghanistan’s trust for us all at once.

The last is the worse: the months that Obama has spent cravenly dithering while the resurgent Taliban have spread their control has forced the Afghani people to begin to choose the Taliban – whom will stay the course – over a U.S. under Barack Obama which clearly won’t.  And that means we may have already lost.

And now this?

What do you expect from the president who sold out Poland to Russia on the 70th anniversary of weakling appeasers just like Obama selling out Poland to Russia?

On top of the defeat in Afghanistan, Obama faces a far more significant defeat in Iran.  Obama is desperate to talk; Iran is determined to build nuclear missiles.  Iran will get become a nuclear military power under Obama’s watch, because the only way to prevent them from becoming such a power is to be willing to go to war with them to stop them – and Iran knows that Obama will not take that step.

As the nightmare of a nuclear-armed Iran manifests itself in the form of increased terrorism, sky-high gas prices, and even nuclear war, just remember: we conservatives tried to warn you.

Update, November 23, 2009: Did I say that 293 U.S. soldiers have been killed so far this year?  Make that 297.  Meanwhile, the survivors are hunkering down and beginning to despair that they are in Afghanistan for no apparent reason while their commander-in-chief dithers around for three months more worried about his own political skin than about his soldiers.