An Administration Mistreating Americans in Uniform and Diplomatic Service

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Once again, the timing was almost poetic.  There I was fuming last week over the veiled threats being directed toward the author, a Navy Seal, of the new book on the death of Osama bin Laden, No Easy Day.  Defense secretary Leon Panetta (still can’t stomach coupling that name with that title) subsequently made the rounds, whining that though this book divulges nothing that had not already been released/leaked previously by an administration claiming exclusive dibs on the story for its own re-election purposes, such insubordination simply cannot be tolerated.  We may just have no choice, whimpered Panetta.  We may just have to prosecute this Seal, American hero or not, who actually participated in the pulling of the trigger and made Obama’s fondest election dream come true.  So once again the Obama gang promotes a policy — the prosecution of a Navy Seal who took out bin Laden — they assume will naturally resonate with the American people.

Days later we find a second chain of events fueled by yet another policy point this administration assumed would resonate with the rabble.  The 11th anniversary of 9/11….what better time to reach out and disavow those hateful Americans who would dare to “hurt the feelings” of followers of Islam?  And we’ll prove our commitment to this policy, claimed the state department (via both press release and social network), by leaving our embassies in one of the most dangerous regions of the world under-protected or, even better, unprotected altogether.  See, we trust you guys, they pled.  We will even make you responsible for protecting our embassies and our diplomats.  You can like us now!

And so this adminstration overtly invited the anti-American violence that has since errupted and escalated in said dangerous region and beyond for days now, resulting so sadly in senseless American casualties.  We watch daily now as our flag is burned and desecrated throughout the world, we hear daily of the Israel/Iran fuse growing shorter and shorter, and we witness daily a president who could not be farther in over his head as he, a latter-day Nero, grins and struts and campaigns while his nation and its global outposts burn.  And that illustrious president’s adminstration continues to lay the blame on an internet video and coincidence, denying premeditation, coordination or any notion that this could possibly be the result of its own pathetic, weak and wobbly policies.  Once again, under the Obama administration, Americans die, and the resulting cover-ups fly at a dizzying pace.

The day after the brutal death of the four Americans in Libya — September 12, by “coincidence,” — the mother of ambassador Chris Stevens stated that at least her son died doing something he loved.  Hmm.  My response would have been quite different.  Her son should never have been doing that work he loved without proper American fire power protecting him, his staff, and yes, the lives of those doing the protecting, as well.  Details trickling out of the war zone have  stunned us Americans who believe in peace through strength, Americans who condemn appeasement in all forms, Americans who want our forces armed to the teeth, especially when guarding with their lives the highest-risk corners of the globe.  By the same token, we the people do not care to see members of our armed forces prosecuted for risking their lives to protect us either.  Got that, Mr. Panetta?  Four years in, and this adminstration once again reveals to us who they really are, and I do not happen to believe that theirs is a message that resonates.  I guess we’ll know in a couple of weeks.


Inconvenient Timing for Barack Obama’s “Surprise” Visit to Afghanistan

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As we know, Barack Obama is all about the show (think white-coated doctors in the Rose Garden and a memorial/pep-rally in Tucson), so there was no way he would pass up the chance on this first anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death to make a “surprise” trip to Afghanistan to take credit for both Bin Laden’s demise and what he has called the end of the war on terror.  (How better, too, for Obama to deflect attention away from this May Day and the Occupy movement he has so publicly and unpopularly embraced?)

Indeed the president probably thought the timing perfect for such a dramatic commemoration of his only true success as president: giving the Navy Seals the go-ahead to take out Bin Laden.  But upon closer examination, it would appear the timing is proving rather inconvenient.  How inconvenient for Obama, for example, that Jose Rodgriguez, head of the post-9/11 enhanced interrogation of the vicious souls responsible for that terrible day, has chosen this same moment in time to broadcast how critical those enhanced techniques were for locating Bin Laden and for the ongoing safety of our nation.  With a fearlessness Obama can only imagine, Mr. Rodgriquez has made it clear that these techniques have been repeatedly denounced by this president and his followers, yet they have saved thousands of American lives in our post-9/11 world.  Mr. Rodgriguez has made clear who the true heroes of this story are, and a gloating, showboating president is not one of them.

How inconvenient for Obama, as well, to have his most recent desperate campaign tactic against Mitt Romney fly back in his face.  You know the one: his campaign ad starring himself and Bill Clinton, claiming that probable republican candidate Romney would not have given the order to take out Bin Laden.  And how inconvenient for the president that Governor Romney would so easily dismiss the charge as ridiculous, claiming that “even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.”

And finally, how inconvenient for Obama’s theatrics to be overshadowed by Navy Seals, retired and current, who have chosen this same moment in time to denounce the president’s opportunistic boasting of his own success in this mission, a mission, they remind us, that was carried out, not by Obama, but by their Seal brethren.  The Seals have gone on to suggest that perhaps the president is fudging a bit when detailing his role in the mission, knowing he can because those active in the armed forces are not allowed to speak out against their commander-in-chief.  But as retired Seal Sniper Chris Kyle has said, someday the truth will come out, as the truth always does, and it’s not likely to match what the president has told us for the past year from various podiums, various stages, both foreign and domestic.  When that truth does make its appearance, I have a feeling most of us will find it just as “surprising” as we found the president’s carefully orchestrated “surprise” visit to Afghanistan today.

While We Were Sleeping

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November 10, 2009 | Comments

On September 11, 2001, we were sleeping. And on September 11, 2001, we were attacked. As never before.

When we emerged from the fog, we entered our new world. We were changed. For a while. Some forever. We spoke of good and evil. We embraced our flag. And we were changed. For a while. Or forever.

But so were we told to relax. To close our eyes. To sleep. Like toddlers at bedtime. It will be okay, they said. We’ll take care of it. We will embrace them. Accept them. Be civilized. And they will forgive us. Just watch.

So we were. Civilized. And our country, she closed her eyes. Civilized. Yes, we were at war. Yes, some meant us harm – 3,000 souls attest to that. But they aren’t all that way, we were told. Still, those that aren’t didn’t speak up. Yet we knew, we were told, they aren’t all that way. So we weren’t to speak up either. Civilized, remember? Tolerant. Be that. Close your eyes. Sleep.

And while we were sleeping, they took hold. Eight years. They knew we were sleeping and they used it. More attacks came. Even more were thwarted. We weren’t told of those, but we found out anyway. And still we heard time and again: lone gunman, no affiliations, no suspicions. We said very little. We remained civilized. Quiet. Sleeping. They aren’t all that way. Close your eyes. Sleep. Many did.

But even more of us didn’t.

Like toddlers at bedtime, we watched, as though spying down the stairs, listening to mom and dad at the kitchen table. We heard a truth we knew already. In our hearts, we knew the truth, which always finds its way.

Some of us spoke of what we knew. What we saw. What we believed. They called us names. But still we would not sleep.

And now it happens again. Eight years later. And our soldiers took the bullet. On our own sacred ground. And again, those who are civilized tell us we are wrong. They tell us to relax. To sleep. Like toddlers at bedtime. It will be okay, they say. They aren’t all that way. And they won’t say the words. They hide behind “stress.” They hide behind “trauma.” They won’t say the words, even when honoring the dead. Again they tell us to tolerate. To sleep. To trust.

But we say no. We will not listen. We have seen our people die. Then.  And now. Many of us said no then. Even more of us say it now.

And again they call us names. But our pledge is to the truth, which always finds its way. And now, this time, even more stand with us. We will not sleep. We will listen to what is true, as it always finds its way. And we will trust those who live with honor, who love our country and our children. Those who took the bullet. And those who will. For us and for our children. Those who will say the words. Those who will not sleep.

They know we do not sleep either. Not this time. For as we have learned, far too much can harm us and our children, far too much can harm our country, while we are sleeping.

Betsy Siino | Comments