Arguments against the President “Valerie, may I?” story

July 31, 2012

Yesterday I posted an article about the assertion in a forthcoming book by journalist Richard Miniter that President Obama let himself be talked out of the bin Laden assassination mission three times, before finally okaying it, by long-time close adviser Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum-lord. Now that I’ve had 24 hours to calm down (1), there are reasonable arguments for questioning the story. I’ll present them here and let you decide:

Anonymous sources: Miniter cites “an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.” The trouble with an unnamed source is that you have no way of verifying what the source is saying, because you don’t know who he or she is. You have to take the intermediary’s word (in this case, Miniter’s) that the source is credible, telling the truth.

What if the anonymous source was really in no place to know the things he claims? What if he’s making it all up to inflate his own importance? What if he observed things, but misinterpreted them? What if Miniter’s source and Ulsterman’s are one in the same? Then, instead of Miniter confirming the earlier piece, he’s merely repeating the same uncorroborated gossip. And (candy for the conspiracy buffs out there) what if the whole story is a Republican plant meant to embarrass Obama? It wouldn’t be the first time something like this has happened in American politics, that is, the press being used to bring down an opponent. From the reasonable to the wild, all these doubts show why we should be very careful of “anonymous insiders.”

In the end, it was his call, after all: The story paints a picture of Obama as indecisive, weak. As I put it, he ran to his political nursemaid to ask if launching the raid was a good idea, and she told him “no.”

But there’s another way to look at it. Obama is naturally cautious and diffident when faced with having to make a real decision, and invading the territory of an ally unannounced was darned risky — an act of war, without a doubt. And he is entitled to ask advice of anyone he chooses. Perhaps he felt the intel wasn’t solid enough and Jarrett’s arguments were enough to convince him of “not yet.” In other words, he sought advice, not permission. And he did, in the end, make the final decision to go.

Finally, Jim Geraghty at The Campaign Spot makes the following argument:

Put another way: apparently Valerie Jarrett made enemies like Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs at times. You don’t think guys like that would leak something like that if they knew, in an effort to undermine her influence?

Point taken.

(Geraghty also makes a political observation we should keep in mind: the Obama administration would love to argue about Osama’s death from now until election day, because the discussion always ends with “and then we got him.”)

For what it’s worth, the White House has denied and denounced the report, while Miniter has dared them to prove him wrong:

The author of a new book describing presidential paralysis prior to the May 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout is demanding the White House back up its vehement denials with documentation.

“I call on them to release the full [planning] timeline, starting in October 2010, of each of the major decisions that the president made relating to the bin Laden mission,” author Richard Miniter told The Daily Caller.

TheDC asked Miniter if his inside sources might go public with their accounts of presidential indecision. “Yes, yes,” he replied. “There is a chance.”

(via Nice Deb)

I hope the source does go public, since we, then, will be in a better position to make our own judgement. October surprise, anyone?

So, what do I think? At this point, I think it’s more likely true than not. Not because of Miniter’s or Ulsterman’s source(s), about whom we know nothing, but because it seems to fit with Obama and his long relationship with Jarrett. She has been a close patron and key counselor for Barack and Michelle Obama for many, many years. Close enough that the account in “Leading from Behind” is, I suspect, closer to the truth than not.

We’ll see.

Footnote:
(1) I freely and cheerily admit to having a “hot button” about 9/11, al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and a president’s proper response. Said response being “Hunt them down like rabid dogs and kill every last one of them!” And I get angry at any hint of softness on this issue. I doubt I’ll ever change.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear Senator McCain: you’re dead wrong, it *is* the culture

July 31, 2012

And I write that with all due and genuine respect for a man who suffered much for his country and was a true leader to the men who were prisoners of war with him.

But, this is just utterly wrong:

It’s government, “not cultures” that define the difference between Israelis and Palestinians. That’s according to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who appeared to differ with presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney as he tried to defend him.

“I am sure that Gov. Romney was not talking about difference in cultures, or difference in anybody superior or inferior,” said McCain, a chief Romney foreign policy surrogate, today during a news conference after an event here with Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). “What I’m sure Gov. Romney was talking was that the Israeli economy has grown and prospered in a dramatic fashion. And unfortunately, the Palestinians have not had that same economic development.

“And that goes to the leadership of the Palestinians. Everybody knows that Yasser Arafat was corrupt. And we also know that the Palestinian people have not been blessed with the kind of government that has lower regulations, less taxes, entrepreneurship, which have caused the Israeli economy to be one of the world’s most successful. It has nothing to do with cultures. It has nothing to do with superiority or inferiority. But facts of the booming Israeli economy has to do with the kind of government that the Israeli people have freely and democratically elected which has given them a very prosperous country.”

McCain noted he had not seen or heard Romney’s remarks, but that didn’t stop him from defending what Romney meant.

He has it exactly backwards: culture determines the type of society a nation has and shapes its form of government. Both are a reflection of the values of that society. Western civilization, which includes Israel, echoes the Judeo-Christian/Greco-Roman and, yes, for parts, Anglo-Saxon values that shaped it. It is a culture that values the individual and individual liberty, fosters initiative and wealth-creation, and that recognizes life is precious and not something to be taken carelessly. (1)

Arab Islamic culture on the other hand… What has it given the world lately? Dictatorship? Kleptocracy? Contempt for democracy? The near-enslavement of women? Honor killings? Suicide bombings? “We are going to win, because they love life and we love death“?

You want an example of the difference in cultures, Senator? Here’s just one from among hundreds. Israelis fight to save the life of a mother and child, even though they come from their sworn enemies. Palestinians murder Israeli children in their sleep, and the culture celebrates the killers as heroes.

Those values ripple throughout the respective cultures, and you can bet your bottom dollar they make a difference.

Natan Sharansky wrote a brilliant book called “The Case for Democracy.” In it he discusses the difference between what he calls “free societies” and “fear societies.” The Israelis are an example of the former, the Palestinians the latter, and the differences explain why, as Mitt Romney pointed out, Israel is successful, while “Palestine” is a failure.

You should read it, Senator. You might for once know what you’re talking about.

But I guess that’s a bit much to expect from a man who doesn’t even bother to check what his party’s nominee said before bloviating on it.

via Slublog

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, far from perfect, but also far better than the alternatives.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Shorter Nancy Pelosi: “Republican Jews are just in it for the money.”

July 30, 2012

But you Jews are very smart!

Wow. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), dismissed growing concerns among Jews about President Obama’s lack of support for Israel and a growing number supporting Mitt Romney with the following statement of tolerance:

Pelosi made the comments in response to whether Jewish voters would support President Barack Obama in the presidential election later this year.

“I think [Obama] will” win the Jewish vote, Pelosi said, when pressed on the subject. “I think that he will, because the fact is when the facts get out. You know, as many of the Republicans are using Israel as an excuse, what they really want are tax cuts for the wealthy. So Israel, that can be one reason they put forth.”

The interviewer then added, “That’s why some of the Republican Jewish supporters are really active.” 

Pelosi responded, “Well, that’s how they’re being exploited. And they’re smart people.

In other words, Jews supporting the Republicans this year don’t really give a tinker’s cuss about Israel, they’re just being… greedy. She might as well have added:

“And they’re sharp dressers and good dancers, but I wouldn’t want my sister marrying one.”

Nah. No stereotyping here. Not from a progressive. They’re just too open-minded for that.

The unnamed editor at Twitchy.com is spot-on. This is just one example of the Left’s corporatist, racialist obsession with identity politics:

Ms. Pelosi, like her fellow travelers, believes that everyone should be packaged up into little identity group boxes. And then blindly follow along with whatever their Democrat masters tell them to do, and think. They know best, you see. All “you people” should just think alike! It’s the same thing Senator Boxer (D-Calif.) did when she was flabbergasted that a black man disagreed with the NAACP. And when Harry Reid (D-Utah) sneered, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican.

They are the racists, the sexists and the bigots, because they believe that some people aren’t individuals and cannot think for themselves. In Nancy Pelosi’s case, she also adds vile anti-Semitism to the mix. All “those people” care about is money.

Standard question: Can you imagine the reaction if a Republican had said what Nancy said?

UPDATE: Twitchy.com later corrected their post to show that Harry Reid is from Nevada, not Utah.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama hates missile defense, except when he’s trying to buy votes

July 30, 2012

Mitt Romney is on an overseas trip to Great Britain, Israel, and Poland. Worried about the Jewish vote at home because of his noted lack of support for Israel and wanting to steal a bit of the limelight from Romney, President Obama signed a bill giving Israel $70,000,000 for their (very promising) Iron Dome short-range missile defense system. What’s notable about that, you ask?

It’s all about the pandering, baby.

via Moe Lane

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


“President Gutsy Call” turns out to be President “Valerie, May I?”

July 30, 2012

Wuss-in-Chief

Even Jimmy Carter wasn’t this much of a wimp:

At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.

In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.

Miniter, a two-time New York Times best-selling author, cites an unnamed source with Joint Special Operations Command who had direct knowledge of the operation and its planning.

Obama administration officials also said after the raid that the president had delayed giving the order to kill the arch-terrorist the day before the operation was carried out, in what turned out to be his fourth moment of indecision. At the time, the White House blamed the delay on unfavorable weather conditions near bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

But when Miniter obtained that day’s weather reports from the U.S. Air Force Combat Meteorological Center, he said, they showed ideal conditions for the SEALs to carry out their orders.

Okay, while the usual caveats about unnamed sources apply, this just nauseates me. The man simply does not get his role. Message to “President” Obama: you are the Commander in Chief. You are in charge of the most powerful military the world has ever seen. Osama bin Laden massacred nearly 3,000 of our people in an act of jihad — war. When you have him in the crosshairs, you whack him; you do not go running to your political nursemaid to see if it’s a good idea.

And who the Hell is Valerie Jarrett, a corrupt slum lord, that she should have what appears to be a deciding voice on military operations?

Next time, President Obama Short Pants, just let Jarrett handle the press conferences. She’s clearly the one in charge.

Bah.

PS: And yet CBS and Newsweek can call Mitt Romney a wimp? Yeah, that’ll hold up.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Tales of the Nanny State: Bloomberg commands breastfeeding!

July 29, 2012

Call me crazy, but isn’t the choice whether to breastfeed one’s baby one the mother should make, perhaps in consultation with her doctor?

Not when Mayor Mike is in charge!

The nanny state is going after moms.

Mayor Bloomberg is pushing hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breast-feed.

Starting Sept. 3, the city will keep tabs on the number of bottles that participating hospitals stock and use — the most restrictive pro-breast-milk program in the nation.

Under the city Health Department’s voluntary Latch On NYC initiative, 27 of the city’s 40 hospitals have also agreed to give up swag bags sporting formula-company logos, toss out formula-branded tchotchkes like lanyards and mugs, and document a medical reason for every bottle that a newborn receives.

While breast-feeding activists applaud the move, bottle-feeding moms are bristling at the latest lactation lecture.

“If they put pressure on me, I would get annoyed,” said Lynn Sidnam, a Staten Island mother of two formula-fed girls, ages 4 months and 9 years. “It’s for me to choose.”

Under Latch On NYC, new mothers who want formula won’t be denied it, but hospitals will keep infant formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or in locked boxes like those used to dispense and track medications.

With each bottle a mother requests and receives, she’ll also get a talking-to. Staffers will explain why she should offer the breast instead.

Lovely. So not only will Mike Bloomberg and his merry band of statists play hide-the-bottle to force one to breastfeed, but those who don’t get with the program will be nagged until they do — “We know what’s best for your baby. You don’t. Why do you insist on a bottle? WHY DO YOU HATE YOUR BABY??”

That’s the essence of liberal fascism, of the nanny-state, of arrogant would-be Czars like Mike Bloomberg: there is no limit, no point at which they say they control enough. Every minute aspect of your life –how much salt you use, how much soda you drink, how you feed your baby– is subject to the state’s direction.

Every. Single. Bit.

via David Freddoso

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


The Democrats think Americans are idiots, one in a series

July 28, 2012

Sure, all politicians lie to one degree or another; the need to run for election and reelection, and to build support for policies, encourages it. Most of the time it’s just a bit of spin or shading, or ignoring key contrary facts. Minor stuff. We’re used to it.  We expect it, even.

But when they tell us bald-faced, easily disprovable total lies, that says only one thing: “We think you’re such rubes, you’ll believe anything“:

Daniel Halper has called attention to Nancy Pelosi’s remarkable interview with Al Hunt on the topic of Barack Obama and Israel. I’d note one comment in particular: Pelosi’s claim that President Obama “has been there [Israel] over and over again.”

Wow. I’m involved with the Emergency Committee for Israel. We have an ad up in several states calling attention to the fact that President Obama, who’s been quite the world traveler, has never visited Israel as president. Did we make a terrible mistake? Were we unjust to President Obama? Do we have to pull down the ad?

No, no, and no. Contrary to Pelosi’s apparent claim, President Obama hasn’t been to Israel over and over again. He’s never been as president, which is certainly what Pelosi implied. Well, maybe he visited Israel “over and over” before becoming president, and that’s what Pelosi meant to say? No. When he was senator, Obama went on two trips to Israel, once with several other freshmen members of Congress, and then as a presidential candidate. And he’d never been interested enough in Israel to visit as a private citizen. So much for the notion that Obama’s been “over and over again.” 

But truth doesn’t matter to the Pelosis of the world: it’s the Big Lie told over and over again, in the hope that it snares just enough voters, that really matters.

And these are the leaders of the Democratic Party.

via Power Line

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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