I commented here recently on a startling fact of presidential incompetence, provided courtesy of the investigative work of an excellent new group called the Government Accountability Institute. The group reported a jaw-dropper: President Barack Obama didn’t attend a single daily intelligence briefing in the week leading up to the anniversary of 9/11. In fact, he has attended a minority of daily briefings (44%) since becoming president, and a little better than a third over the last year. While skipping intelligence briefings, the president has enthusiastically campaigned and met with TV personalities. Obama has done so in this dangerous post-9/11 world, and as one who in his re-election speech at the Democratic convention flagrantly mocked his opponent’s foreign-policy credentials.
And then, of course, all hell broke loose in the Middle East — on the eleventh anniversary of September 11, 2001.
Consider the timeline:
The chaos started at the U.S. embassy in Cairo, with scenes looking eerily like a replay outside the U.S. embassy in Tehran 33 years ago under Jimmy Carter. Mere hours later in Libya, we learned of the murder of the first U.S. ambassador killed since the Carter years. By the end of the 9/11 week, the Middle East was in turmoil, with protests against America in over 20 cities, including Iraq, and with Afghanistan suddenly witnessing a surge in violence against U.S. troops, some of which were killed.
In a remarkable display that made those “Osama is Dead” signs at the Democratic convention look haughty and overconfident, Middle East demonstrators hoisted pro-Osama signs and chanted “Obama, we are all Osama!”
Things were looking bad for President Obama. But they got worse.
In one of his campaign interviews amid the Middle East madness, the president stated that Egypt is not a U.S. ally, prompting a public correction by no less than Jimmy Carter. Even worse, Obama and his administration were unwilling to call the Middle East attacks premeditated or even terrorism, and continually (and ludicrously) sought to blame an anti-Mohammed video for the whole sorry mess. On the Sunday talk shows, the president’s U.N. ambassador claimed the action in Libya was “not a premeditated” attack. She was quickly repudiated by the Libyan president, who stated categorically that there was “no doubt that this was pre-planned, determined.” And CNN and others reported that U.S. diplomats in Libya had been warned about the rapidly deteriorating situation three days before it occurred.
Now, we have also learned that al Qaeda appears to have been involved in Libya, as even Mrs. Clinton seems to finally concede, and a released Gitmo detainee was involved as well.
President Obama, bear in mind, did not attend a single daily intelligence briefing leading up to this explosion.
Do you think that this presidential negligence mattered?
Obama’s defenders, naturally, are arguing to the contrary. In moments like this, they know what to do: investigate not Obama, but those who dare to investigate Obama.