During the first election campaign, there were many misstatements from the Obama campaign which were intentionally misleading. The facts often changed depending on his audience. Obama consistently demonstrated he was untested and unqualified to be the president. Some folks caught on, but we all know how it turned out. His real base was not interested in the facts. His supporters from Wall Street and multinational corporations got what they paid for. He out spent Hillary Clinton up to 5 to one in the primary. He won the election.
Obama was not stupid, but he kept changing the facts (he still does). Senator Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va endorsed Barack Obama and spent a day campaigning with him. ABC reports (March 02, 2008) "During a rally in Westerville, Ohio, Obama argued that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., should have read the National Intelligence Report before making the decision to authorize war with Iraq." He pointed to Jay Rockefeller and said: "Jay Rockefeller read it, but she didn't read it. I don't know where all that experience got her because I have enough experience to know that if you have a national intelligence estimate and the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says, 'you should read this, that's why I voted against the war,' then you should probably read it."
There were several things wrong with Obama's remarks. Jay Rockefeller DID vote for the war. Jay Rockefeller was NOT the chair of the Intelligence Committee at the time. The Obama campaign tried to turn Obama's words around and said he REALLY meant to say it was former Senator Bob Graham (Dem-Florida) who voted against the war authorization. BUT, the damage was done. However, Obama got ANOTHER pass and nobody remembers because the media barely mentioned it.
A spokesman for Clinton responded with, "Sen. Obama is so desperate to divert attention from his limited national security experience that he's not just misleading voters about Sen. Clinton, he's also misleading voters about his own supporters. That is not change you can believe in."
Obama doesn't offer change from the conditions we're in; what he would like to do is change the subject.
A spokesman, Bill Burton, for the Obama campaign, struck back with, "Apparently, the Clinton campaign read Sen. Obama's remarks about as carefully as Sen. Clinton read the National Intelligence Estimate. Because the truth is the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2002 was Bob Graham, and he read the NIE, voted against the war, and counseled other Democrats to read the NIE before they voted -- Sen. Clinton made a different judgment and gave George Bush a blank check for war."
The Obama campaign continued to lie. You would think the Obama campaign got back on message - but they didn't because Obama's chief strategist, David Axelrod's commented on ABC's "This Week," when he told George Stephanopoulos Sunday morning, "Sen. Jay Rockefeller, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who opposed the war in Iraq, who read the intelligence before the war, which Sen. Clinton concedes she did not, and who said that Barack Obama has the judgment and the maturity and the vision to lead."
This is typical of the Obama campaign. It isn't the first time nor the last that Obama or someone in his campaign misspoke. And the beat just went on. The point which has been mentioned numerous times by me and others is Obama was not in the U.S. Senate at the time and we still don't know what he would have done and neither does he. He has said so.
And no one asked Obama if he felt so strongly about those who supported the authorization; those who assumed a President of the United States would be prudent about the use of force, then why didn't he also criticize and denounce Rockefeller's endorsement as much as he tries to fault Hillary Clinton? Yeah, right! Not much chance of that.
This debate about the war was without merit; it was an issue only during the campaign and he lied. It was never the real issue after he was elected.
The assumption was that force would only be used to protect the people of the United States so we would not have to endure another 9/11 - so more importantly, ask yourself. What would you do if you thought, as was the assumption by most that Saddam Hussein was a liar (and he was), that he never told the truth (and he didn't) and he was a warmonger (he gassed 50,000 Kurds and a million Iraqis and Iranians died in the war; not to mention Kuwait) and he was preparing for war (remember the very long rocket launchers - long enough to put missiles in Southern Europe and everywhere in the Middle East) and possibly involved in a plot to destroy America (with nuclear weapons or biochemical warfare) because he certainly would like to - and has spoken his intentions to see Israel destroyed? Coming off of 911, there was the very real concern and fear that another 911 would happen.
Would you expect the president to be prudent and protect America's interests? I think most would, even those among who consider themselves progressive because progressives are not also stupid. If Obama opposed the war authorization without holding a security clearance and therefore not having benefit of top secret information, he would be stupid. Is he stupid? No, he is not stupid, so what is his game? He wanted to be president. But, he was hardly competent or as qualified as Hillary Clinton and he was also a liar and what kind of favors does he owe to his contributors on Wall Street more than the promises he is making to Main Street?
I would argue that given the information that we, as Americans had at the time of the authorization given George Bush, it would have been rational and sound judgment to vote for the war authorization, right, left and the middle. And that is without benefit of a clearance and the NIE. As someone who has been there; I had not only top secret clearances and a presidential clearance and a "need to know" for all information going to the president eyes and later to the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff, that under the circumstances of 911 and the high state of alert which existed then, I would expect to be ready, not sorry. And that is what MOST of the congress did.
That is what Kerry, Edwards and Clinton did and if Obama had been in the congress would he also do what was in the best interest of Americas' safety and defense. I believe it was ingenuous for him to use that as a campaign issue, which he did, when he can't say for sure what he would do.
No one should question the decision to vote for war but it is reasonable as has been done by Clinton not to question the decision for the authorization but to fault the administration for executing the war on soft and manufactured evidence, which was the case and was grounds for impeachment - which Obama opposed.
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Today is Sunday December 21, 2014
G 0 l e m D e s i g n s
Hank Roth (on the Internet since 1982)
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