Waiting for Romney to pounce on security leaks

Because there’s so much to say, and little time left to say it. Jed Babbin writes at American Spectator:

The focus of the leak problem should not only be the questions of who leaked the information and what role the president played in the disclosures. The focus has to be the assessment of how much damage — and what kinds of damage –the leaks did to our national security.

Babbin explains the circus of investigations and which inquiries would lead to x results. We don’t have time for the drawn out mess most would entail. But one thing remains certain: Mitt Romney can choose to make this a campaign issue–a central and necessary one at that–and hasn’t yet. Babbin:

It is up to Mitt Romney, as the leader of the Republican Party, to choose to make the Obama leaks a campaign issue.

So far, Romney has been silent on this and too many other issues. If he chooses to remain silent on the Obama leaks, he will surrender the issue leaving Obama to continue the leaking and gain whatever political advantage within reach. Instead, Romney could and should seize upon the issue. Romney should speak out quickly, joining in the bipartisan call for an investigation and asking the intelligence committees to hold the closed hearings to obtain the assessments of damage.

When — and if — the committees hold those hearings, Romney should use whatever they may disclose to make a major speech on the issue, calling the Obama administration to account for its actions against our nation’s security. It’s all up to Romney: he can be the leader of the Republican Party or sit silent, absorbing the damage to his campaign and ignoring the damage to our national security.

I’m waiting for the leader of the GOP to step up to the plate. Will he? Hell, even McCain is hopping mad over the leaks. Justifiably so.

UPDATE: Linked as a “Recommended Read” by Pundette. Thanks!

We can’t help ourselves: Obama admin celebrates intel success a little too much

To the detriment of future operations. Much like our military successes during this administration. Makes you wonder, no, if the boasting has an ulterior motive? Or if the Obama-infatuated media can’t quite grasp that they arent helping their BFF out by printing the info gleaned? What a tangled web. From the UK Guardian, our friends across the pond have had enough:

Detailed leaks of operational information about the foiled underwear bomb plot are causing growing anger in the US intelligence community, with former agents blaming the Obama administration for undermining national security and compromising the British services,MI6andMI5.

The Guardian has learned from Saudi sources that the agent was not a Saudi national as was widely reported, but a Yemeni. He was born inSaudi Arabia, in the port city of Jeddah, and then studied and worked in the UK, where he acquired a British passport.

Mike Scheur, the former head of theCIA‘s Bin Laden unit, said the leaking about the nuts and bolts of British involvement was despicable and would make a repeat of the operation difficult. “MI6 should be as angry as hell. This is something that the prime minister should raise with the president, if he has the balls. This is really tragic,” Scheur said.

He added: “Any information disclosed is too much information. This does seem to be a tawdry political thing.”

He noted that the leak came on the heels of a series of disclosures over the last 10 days, beginning with a report that the CIA wanted to expand its drone attacks inYemen, Barack Obama making a surprise trip to Afghanistan around the time of the Bin Laden anniversary and “then this inexplicable leak”.

Robert Grenier, former head of the CIA counter-terrorism centre, said: “As for British Intelligence, I suppose, but do not know, that they must be very unhappy. They are often exasperated, quite reasonably, with their American friends, who are far more leak-prone than they.

“In their place, I would think two and three times before sharing with the Americans, and then only do it if I had to. The problem with that dynamic is that you don’t know what you don’t know, and what opportunities you might be missing when you decide not to share. The Americans are doing a very good job of undermining trust, and the problem starts at the top.”

So many of our current woes do.

H/t: memorandum

Friends and Enemies

Of course Obama confuses the two. In case you haven’t heard, Obama was caught inserting his foot in his mouth with an open mic in South Korea. Via ABC news, the gaffe (except it’s more than that) heard round the world:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.
President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…
President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

Pundette rightly quips:

Yes, comrades, he really said that

The media reports this as if it were a gaffe–just like they did the last time Obama’s mic was on and he trashed Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu to French President Nicholas Sarkozy. But it’s not a gaffe. Ed Morrissey:

So far, the tepid coverage from National Journal and the Washington Post suggests that the media doesn’t consider a request to another nation to pipe down so an American President can win a second term and deliver more favorable policy to a potential antagonist more than a “gaffe.”

Selling out our national security and that of our allies isn’t a gaffe. The fallout from this should reverberate until the election. A President who tells an enemy–yes, Virginia, the Russians are not our friends–just hold on a bit, and I’ll keep the favors flowing needs not be President for that reason alone. As if there aren’t myriad others to ditch the O.

Predictably, our friends are now scared to death. Bryan Preston on this “smart” diplomacy we were promised:

This president has sold out Poland once before, to the Russians, on the subject of missile defense. Today’s hot mic comment therefore comes in that context, and is having ripple effects:

Obama’s Republican rivals aren’t the only ones alarmed by his hot mic suggestion that missile defense — implicitly, defending Eastern Europe from Russia — could be softened after his re-election. The headline in the largest Polish tabloid, Fakt: “Were they trading Poland? Puzzling Obama talk with Medvedev about the missile shield.”

Photo of the headline at the link. Poland has no reason to trust this president. Most of our longstanding allies have in fact been treated shabbily by the same man who was caught conspiring with the head of Russians’ corrupt regime.

Beyond the normal implications of Obama’s comments–chiefly that he’s willing to compromise our national security and that of our allies in order to reduce the global nuclear arsenal (ha, as if the Russians would truthfully comply)–the suggestion that he would seek to “accomplish” things in a second term voters would never approve galls me. Preston delves deeper:

And then, there is the anti-democratic aspect to the president’s comments. What plans are he formulating, that make his “last election” relevant? What is he planning to do that, if the American people were aware of it, would make him unelectable? That is what he is suggesting to the Russian leader — that this final election for him creates “flexibility” on policy that he does not have now.

Give him even more flexibility next fall. Kick him out of office.

UPDATE: linked by Pundette AND a “Recommended Read.” Thanks!

White House alters bin Laden account?

 Via Politico, the story changes:

The White House backed away Monday evening from key details in its narrative about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, including claims by senior U.S. officials that the Al Qaeda leader had a weapon and may have fired it during a gun battle with U.S. forces.

Officials also retreated from claims that one of bin Laden’s wives was killed in the raid and that bin Laden was using her as a human shield before she was shot by U.S. forces

At a televised White House briefing Monday afternoon, Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said bin Laden joined in the fight that several residents of the Abbottabad, Pakistan, compound put up against the Navy SEALs during the 40-minute operation.

“He [bin Laden] was engaged in a firefight with those that entered the area of the house he was in. And whether or not he got off any rounds, I quite frankly don’t know,” Brennan said.

At a Pentagon briefing earlier in the day, a senior defense official said bin Laden used a woman as a human shield so he could fire shots. “He was firing behind her,” the official said.

In another background briefing early Monday morning, a senior administration official also said bin Laden put up a fight. “He did resist the assault force. And he was killed in a firefight,” the official said.

Why release details if not true? Did these folks ever hear “The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf” as kids? Seriously. What parts of this am I supposed to believe if the story changes the next day.

Of course it makes sense to nominate someone with no military experience to head the DOD in the middle of two wars and one “kinetic action.”

If your intent is to inflict as much harm to the military as possible.

From The Hill:

Obama two weeks ago said he wanted to find another $400 billion in savings from defense spending over the next 12 years, something Gates was said to be resisting. Now Panetta will be the man charged with pushing those cuts through a reluctant Department of Defense.

Shifting Panetta to DOD “probably means bigger cuts to the defense budget,” said Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute.

“Secretary Gates was strongly committed to maintaining a robust defense posture, but Panetta will be more interested in getting along with the White House, which must find ways of cutting the deficit,” Thompson said.

More:

But aides and defense sources predicted a top charge for Panetta will be to keep alive the internal cost-trimming program Gates initiated last year. That effort uncovered over $100 billion in savings, most of which was redirected into hardware accounts, with some monies going to help pare the deficit.

While the outgoing defense secretary terminated or truncated over 50 hardware programs after Obama took office, he has argued strongly in recent months against going any further.

Gates spent ample political capital to convince White House officials to approve using those savings to beef up hardware accounts, warning against a defense budget-slashing drill that would create a “hollow force.”

How better to leave a lasting liberal impression on the military than by eviscerating it? The Code Pinkers would be pleased. After all, we can’t be the “world’s leading terrorists” if we’re left unable to fight or defend ourselves. Consider this gem from Politico:

Even though Obama is sympathetic to the desire to curb the negative impacts of a global U.S. military posture, he “doesn’t want to lose a war on his watch.”

Emphasis mine. Translation: Obama loathes the military, what it stands for, and its core purpose. Oh, but he doesn’t want to lose a war. Ha. He would have no better liberal bona fides than pulling out of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya to embolden the likes of bin Laden, who, by the way, figured he could win a protracted war against us after watching Clinton abandon the mission in Somalia–a humanitarian mission initially–after the Mogadishu fiasco.
 
Cynical me wonders if this is what Michelle and Jill’s magical military tour is really all about, i.e. “supporting military families” through the transition to civilian life. Won’t it be grand not to have to worry about deployments? Just apply for that unemployment super-hero cape instead!More via Politico:

“Considerable cuts, beyond even the $400 billion-over-12-year target that President Obama announced earlier this month, will require a fundamental rethinking of the military’s role, something that Gates was unwilling to do,” said Christopher Preble, director of foreign policy studies for the libertarian Cato Institute. “It remains to be seen whether Panetta will tackle this challenge, or whether he will defer to others within the administration.”

As if there’s any question whether he will be an Obama hack or not. Pogues.

Bear in mind the military already faces cuts of 47,000 troopies.

 

 
 

3 am phone calls? He just doesn’t answer the phone [update]

I’m reminded of a tale my grandfather used to tell about Vietnam: He ascribed the biggest reason for the failure of the Tet Offensive was the inability of the Armed Forces to act in specific situations without approval from the Commander-in-Chief, Lyndon Johnson. Why no approval? The time difference. Johnson loved his sleep and refused to be summoned from bed until morning. He wouldn’t take the calls. Hands were tied until LBJ crawled out of bed.

I wonder if BO is the same way, so starved for rest with his stressful, stressful job that he just can’t crawl out of bed to you know, act like a president.

There’s no need to offer links to the latest on the bloodshed in Libya. Or that our President doesn’t feel it’s necessary to comment. Check Drudge for the former. Ed’s position  on the latter sounds reasonable, but reason isn’t a word that ever comes to mind when describing actions of this Administration.

If you need a few reminders of what our foreign policy has been like over the last two years, here’s Bill Whittle.

H/t: Instapundit.

So true:

There comes a point where no matter how hard you try to offer the benefit of the doubt, evidence builds up to such a degree that you can no longer deny that the evidence is trying to tell you something. And half-way through his first term, the foreign policy decisions made by Barack Obama and his administration are so appalling, so destructive in the long-term, that they can no longer be credited to inexperience or even incompetence. They’re so consistent that they must be due to ideology.

UPDATE: Oh lookie, The One said something while I was out to dinner: yada yada full range of options yada yada. This jaded after two years of meaningless chatter. Two. More. Years.

Exit question: will nations speak with “one voice” when the rockets start landing in Israel? Oops!

Lazy Sunday Laundry

If you’re under a bigger self-imposed newsless rock than I am this weekend, a tender teenaged jihadi, Mohamed Mohamud, 19, was arrested for trying to blow up a slew of liberals at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland.  Which leads to the headline of the day: Season’s Greetings from the Religion of Peace.  Heh.  I wonder how many politically correct Portlanders no longer fear the G-men who saved the city from a naturalized jihadi.  I guess since they aren’t G-W-men, then it’s all a-ok, right?  Just like rendition makes us safer–when Obama does it!  But I digress.  Pundette has a quiz.  In all seriousness, though, how do you deal with someone who felt this at the tender age of 9:

“Do you remember when 9/11 happened, when those people were jumping from skyscrapers? I thought that was awesome,” said Mohamud, his words later printed in an FBI affidavit. “I want to see that, that’s what I want for these people. … I want whoever is attending that event to leave, to leave either dead or injured.”

Charming. 

Why is it that liberals who threaten folks with whom they disagree are called “activists” while Tea Partiers are smeared as the rabid racist crazies?  Via the Volokh Conspiracy:

“We follow you on campus,” Jentsch recalled the note reading. “One day, when you’re walking by, we’ll come up behind you, and cut your throat.”

Activists claimed the razors were tainted with AIDS, though it hasn’t been confirmed by officials. University officials have said the latest threat, confirmed by UCLA on Tuesday, is under investigation by the FBI and UCLA police.

But the 38-year-old professor has been through this before. Last year, he woke up to an orange flash and a car alarm. He ran outside to find his car had been blown up….

The “activists” in question disagree with the UCLA neuroscientist’s use of monkeys in medical research.  Wesley J. Smith has more. 

On to better news via Instapundit, a “faster, please” stem cell update: Stem cell spray heals burns.  And what a surprise–no embryos were destroyed in the process.  Liberals can thank GW for pointing science in the right direction, not at the expense of life.  From the story:

A spray solution of a patient’s own stem cells is healing their severe burns. So far, early experiments under a University of Utah pilot project are showing some remarkable results.

What was once a serious burn on Kaye Adkins foot is healing nicely now because of a topical spray. With diabetes as a complication, the small but open wound had not healed after weeks of failed treatments.

Dr. Amalia Cochran with the university’s Burn Care Center says, “With a wound that is open for several months, as this patient suffered prior to seeing us in our burn clinic, we worry about a pretty heavy bacterial load there.”

But enter the evolutionary world of regenerative medicine, using almost a bedside stem cell technique that takes only about 15 minutes. With red cells removed, a concentrate of platelets and progenitor cells is combined with calcium and thrombin. The final mixture looks almost like Jello.

Seriously, how cool is that? 

A freebie alert for parents of toddlers: Amazon offers a Veggie Tales Christmas album download for free. 

Finally, a palate cleanser: A beautiful post from Stacy McCain on the truth and beauty of Humanae Vitae.  Stacy isn’t Catholic, yet he “gets it” more than many Catholics I know. 

And myriad thanks to Legal Insurrection for the “Blog of the Day” link which forced me to step away from the tangled mess of Christmas lights.  WOW!  Thank you!

Well, hell, I hope you *feel* safer after being molested or receiving a questionable dose of radiation

Because you aren’t according to a security expert who coined the term “security theater” years ago.  So bend over and enjoy it.  Hey, at least TSA promises not to start cavity searches! Woot! Don’t you want to go book a flight now?

(Except this lady had what I’d call a cavity search.  Inside her undies?! Seriously?!)  We’re supposed to feel better that TSA said “it shouldn’t have happened.”  The same TSA that informs us that we can submit to groping or face $10,000 fines.  What about victims of sex abuse?

Comforting, ain’t it?

Meanwhile, public support for the undie gropes plummets.

Unrelated: please, someone, make her go away.  Oddly enough, the book reviews weren’t enough to make her hide.  Dammit.

Also unrelated: some Hillbuzz fun to cleanse the palate.  A taste:

I have been trying to use the maelstrom of media howling over Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars to force the media to choke on its own hypocrisy.

Everyone from CNN to Entertainment Tonight has been screeching “that’s not fair!” over our efforts to vote early, often, and under various aliases for Bristol Palin in a television show’s voting system that is designed for voting early, often, and under various aliases.

But these people have never had any interest at all in covering the rampant voter fraud and election tampering Democrats have engaged in for years, using ACORN, the SEIU and other unions, the Black Panthers, and Organizing for America.

I wanted to paint the media into a corner over this…and it looks like the Washington Post is the first to acknowledge my point that “voting like a Democrat” is shining a light onto voter fraud in actual elections…which should get the same scrutiny from the media that this TV show is getting.

 Go get ‘em, Kevin!

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