'Obama’s Wars' Brings Obama Into Focus

Thursday, 23 Sep 2010 02:32 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama’s slogan was, “Yes we can.” But when it comes to protecting America, his approach is defeatist and callous.

That’s what comes across in excerpts of Bob Woodward’s new book, “Obama’s Wars.” During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said, “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it, and we are stronger.”

Imagine George W. Bush saying, “We can absorb a terrorist attack.”

Imagine FBI Director Robert Mueller telling his agents that we “absorbed it, and we are stronger.” Imagine a football captain telling his team, “We can lose a game or two.”

Of course it is likely we will have another successful attack at some point. But a leader sworn to protect the United States does not signal impotence and defeat by saying we can absorb it.

Obama’s words bring into sharp focus his mindset and why he has been implementing policies that undermine the war on terror:

  • Obama decided to close the military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay without having any idea then where the prisoners would go.
  • Obama let Attorney General Eric Holder announce that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed would be tried in federal court in New York. The administration made the decision without consulting the FBI or the New York City Police Department on the obvious security implications.
  • Obama let Holder open possible prosecutions of former CIA officers who carried out interrogations that had been approved by the president, the Justice Department, and key members of Congress.
  • Obama can’t bring himself to utter the phrase “war on terror.” Instead, his administration uses euphemisms like “man-caused disasters” to refer to terrorism and avoids the terms “Islamists” or “jihadists,” who are the enemies we face.
If one takes the attitude that the loss of another 3,000 lives or more is something the country can absorb, the rest of Obama’s policies dealing with national defense make perfect sense.

Thus, in setting a deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan next July, Obama was not motivated by a belief that that country would no longer be a safe haven for terrorists who would launch more attacks on us. Rather, Obama was motivated by his concern that if he doesn’t set such a deadline, he would “lose the whole Democratic Party,” according to Woodward’s book, which comes out Monday.

Already, the timetable set by Obama, even if it becomes more flexible, has been devastating.

The Taliban have been spreading the word that Afghans will be on their own after the deadline.

Our military personnel are privately saying that means Obama is sending them into battle with both hands tied behind their backs.

Some will question the credibility of Woodward’s reporting, as they did when he wrote in his book “Veil” that Director of Central Intelligence William Casey spoke to him while hospitalized.

When the book came out in 1987, CIA officials and Casey’s widow Sophia denied that Woodward could have gotten past CIA security at the hospital or that Casey could speak after having undergone surgery for a malignant brain tumor.

But as related in my book “The CIA at War: Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror,” William Donnelly, who was in charge of CIA administration, including supervision of CIA security officers, admitted, "Woodward probably found a way to sneak in."

Gates, then Casey’s deputy, told me Casey could indeed speak.
"When I saw him in the hospital, his speech was even more slurred than usual, but if you knew him well, you could make out a few words, enough to get a sense of what he was saying,” Gates said.

Obama’s comment to Woodward that we can absorb another attack should be a pivotal moment in the unraveling of the Obama presidency.

When Mitt Romney’s father George Romney told a radio show in 1967, “When I came back from Vietnam, I had just had the greatest brainwashing [by military officials] that anybody can get when you go over to Vietnam,” it brought his presidential bid to an end.

In similar fashion, because it projects weakness and a cavalier attitude about protecting America, Obama’s comment to Woodward should help put an end to his aspirations for a second term.

Ronald Kessler is chief Washington correspondent of Newsmax.com. View his previous reports and get his dispatches sent to you free via e-mail. Go here now.

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