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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Sun. 09/27/09 05:50:24 PM
   
         
         
   

Beldar Fisks WaPo and the Obama White House

One of the best fisks I've come across in a long time, by William Dyer, Friday.

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In the Obama Administration, closing "Guantanamo was everyone's part-time job"

If you need another reason to question the Obama Administration's basic ability to provide the single most important function of the federal government keeping America safe from foreign enemies read this WaPo story.

The Spin

True to form, the WaPo's writers and editors carefully withhold the screamingly obvious judgment that drips from the facts they report, and indeed, they try hard to spin things in a pro-Obama way. Thus, the article starts with a gentle bit of chin-rubbing:

With four months left to meet its self-imposed deadline for closing the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration is working to recover from missteps that have put officials behind schedule and left them struggling to win the cooperation of Congress.

Mere "missteps" does that kind of imply something mild, like an uneven sidewalks problem? Well, back in WW2, the good soldiers of the American military came up with an acronym for the kinds of "missteps" described in the WaPo article: "Let's recover from this situation," our soldiers would say very politely, "because at present, the situation is FUBAR'd." In this exact same sense, the Battle of the Bulge was a "misstep."

The facts reported by the WaPo go on to show that when the White House senior officials acknowledge that they're "behind schedule" on closing down Gitmo, that's actually a nice euphemism for "everything's totally screwed up and there is no actual 'schedule,' just a ridiculous, arbitrary deadline that's going to be missed and that may never be met at all, ever."

And as for the "struggle for cooperation" with Congress wouldn't "struggle" imply something whose outcome was at least close? Readers have to dig down to paragraph 24 to be reminded that "in May, the Senate decided, by an overwhelming vote of 90 to 6, to block funding for shutting Guantanamo Bay Obama's first major legislative setback as president."

The Fall Guy Goes Under the Great Bus of State

The WaPo gamely repeats without comment or the Bronx cheers it actually deserves White House counsel Gregory B. Craig's insistence that

some of his early assumptions were based on miscalculations, in part because Bush administration officials and senior Republicans in Congress had spoken publicly about closing the facility. "I thought there was, in fact, and I may have been wrong, a broad consensus about the importance to our national security objectives to close Guantanamo and how keeping Guantanamo open actually did damage to our national security objectives," he said.

Got that? Dubya is responsible both for creating all problems and for misleading the poor Obamites into thinking that they'd be easy to solve. But nothing nothing is ever the fault of The One and his minions, at least not to hear them tell it.

But despite the fact that this and all other evils are obviously all Dubya's fault, lest someone else like, uh, everyone else in America who's not part of the First Family or the White House staff become interested in assigning responsibility for events subsequent to January 20, 2009, the good angels of the Obama Administration have demonstrated, once again, that they do know very well how to throw one of their own under the wheels of the bus:

Craig oversaw the drafting of the executive order that set Jan. 22, 2010, as the date by which the prison must be closed.

"It seemed like a bold move at the time, to lay out a time frame that to us seemed sufficient to meet the goal," one senior official said. "In retrospect, it invited a fight with the Hill and left us constantly looking at the clock."

"The entire civil service counseled him not to set a deadline" to close Guantanamo, according to one senior government lawyer.

Thus Craig is clearly being set up with or without his consent, and it's quite possible that he's been importuned to fall on his sword and is doing so willingly as the fall guy. And where will he land?

Three administration officials said they expect Craig to leave his current post in the near future, and one said he is on the short list for a seat on the bench or a diplomatic position. Craig has long made clear his desire to be involved in foreign policy, but he declined to comment on his plans.

How likely is it that Roger Craig will be the next Ambassador to, say, China, the United Kingdom, or Bermuda? I'd say only slightly better than the odds that the Obama Administration will meet President Obama's own the outgoing White House counsel's own self-imposed deadline for closing Gitmo:

After the congressional setbacks, Craig orchestrated the release of four of the Uighurs, flying with them and a State Department official from Guantanamo Bay to Bermuda, a self-governing British territory whose international relations are administered by Britain.

The transfer produced a diplomatic rift. British and U.S. officials said the Obama administration gave Britain two hours' notice that the Uighurs were being sent to Bermuda. "They essentially snuck them in, and we were furious," said a senior British official.

The move also caused friction between Britain and China, which seeks the Uighurs for waging an insurgency against the Chinese government.

Still Holding Your Breath for Gitmo to Be Closed?

And so how close, then, did the Obama Administration come to meeting its goal before Mr. Craig became tire fodder for the Great Bus of State?

In coming weeks, officials say, they expect to complete the initial review of all the files of those held at Guantanamo Bay.

(Italics mine.)

The scariest part of all this is that these are facts revealed by the Washington Post. If the pro-Obama WaPo can't put any better face on what's going on inside the Obama Administration's prosecution of the Global War on Terror (whatever they've renamed it to this week), how much chaos must there really be behind the scenes?

My absolute favorite quote could be expanded beyond the Guantanamo Bay closure difficulties to describe the entire Obama Presidency to date:

"Guantanamo was everyone's part-time job," said a senior official, one of several interviewed for this article who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Amateurs. Incompetents. Ideologues. Full-time politicians turned half-wit government officials. Brilliant leftists who, confronted with the real world, are exposed as clueless idiots and children.

It's going to be a long time until January 2013. Will the millions of American voters who should have known better, but who were taken in by Obama's sham, have stopped thinking 'Wow!' by at least November 2012?

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Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Sun. 09/27/09 05:50:24 PM
Categorized as Media & Political.

   
         
         

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