April 26 2013
Matthew Continetti’s column today bears the headline “Mugged by Reality” and is summarized this way:
After Boston, Obama can no longer ignore the global jihad.
To which I say, “Wanna bet?”
I wish I could agree with Matt, but I don’t think President Obama is the kind of person who lets reality get in the way of his faculty lounge core beliefs. If he were, we’d be changing economic policy round about now. Of course, the Boston Marathon bombing does call into question much that the president has been telling us, as Matt makes clear:
The tide of war is receding, Obama says. But that is the old narrative, the narrative of the last four years, the narrative of peace and comity, the narrative being pulled apart by events. We know now that you cannot control the tide.
A more humble man might know this. But President Obama is not a humble man. The decision, likely made at a very high level, to read Dzhokhar Tsarnaev his Miranda Rights, before it was necessary, and thereby shut him up, possibly depriving the nation of valuable intelligence, shows that reality has not hit. That this story (and many others like it) about another man with explosives doesn’t explore motive or immigration status. It is yet another indication that reality hasn’t hit.
Here’s a quote from an administration member who’s certainly not sounding as if he’s been mugged by reality:
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said during an appearance at a conference in Washington on Thursday that he has seen no evidence that U.S. agencies failed[to follow up on tips about Tamarlan Tsarnaev] . “The dots were connected,” he said. He also called on the public “not to hyperventilate for a while before we get all the facts.”
The dots were connected and nearly two hundred people have been maimed with three killed. Please, no hyperventilating!
Andrew McCarthy, the prosecutor in the Blind Sheik case involving the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, also has a piece that indicates to me that the Obama administration is impervious to reality. McCarthy points out that Mirandizing Tsarnaev, which was guaranteed to stop him from talking, was legally required to follow swiftly upon the filing of a criminal charge:
From a national security standpoint, there was no good reason to file a criminal charge so soon and thus trigger procedures that, as everyone involved in the decision well knew, would stop the interrogation. The only reason to do it is political: The Obama administration is philosophically hostile to the law-of-war counterterrorism paradigm. It is determined to regard every terrorist as a criminal defendant rather than an enemy combatant – even if there may be evidence connecting the detained terrorist to our wartime enemies and thus justifying, at least temporarily, an enemy-combatant designation that would allow interrogation to continue for intelligence purposes….
Therefore, in a palpable effort to end any public debate over Tsarnaev’s treatment, and to divert public attention away from what appear to be appalling lapses by the relevant agencies in the months since Tamerlan Tsarnaev got on their radar screen over a year before last week’s terror spree, the administration ran into court.
Mugged by reality? I think not.
Of course, the Obama administration isn’t alone.