Barack and Hillary Sitting in a Tree. P-U-N-C-H-I-N-G!

| March 31, 2011 | Comments (2)

Have you ever played Pinochle, or some other bidding card game with a bad partner? Every time you toss in a bid, your partner’s bid either undercuts you or they over bid of, God forbid, you find yourself bidding against them. Well, that’s what appears to be happening lately in the Obama administration. consider their statements on Libya the bidding process, not only to win the hearts and minds of the American people but also to convince our friends and enemies around that world that we know what we’re doing there.

Actually, let me up the ante somewhat (Ha!) on that last paragraph. Watching the President and Secretary of State confound each other, and the rest of us, isn’t like watching two poorly-matched partners trying to get on the same page. It’s like watching two insane people who don’t know the rules of the game and who hate each other try to make a pretense of cooperation.

Here is what Secretary Clinton said about the rebels in Libya whom we might (or might not) be trying to arm.

“We do not have any specific information about specific individuals.” She added that the United States is “still getting to know those who are leading the transnational council.”

Okay, so we might be trying to arm these people about whom we don’t know very much at all. That’s a fair reason for why we haven’t armed them already and I don’t think anyone could reasonably criticize them for taking a little time to figure out who the players are. Sure, we should have done all that before we started lobbing missiles into Libya and putting our soldiers at risk with hundreds of air sorties, but at least in this the administration is being reasonable and cautious.

But wait! That’s not the whole story. The President has said something quite different from his Secretary of State. According to him, we know who some of the rebel leaders are and we’ve even met with them!

I think it’s important to note that the people that we’ve met with [in the rebel leadership] have been fully vetted, so we have a clear sense of who they are, and so far they’re saying the right things, and most of them are professionals, lawyers, doctors, people who appear to be credible. That doesn’t mean that all the people, among all the people who opposed Qaddafi there might not be elements that are unfriendly to the United States and our interests.

Well, okay. So could we maybe have asked the folks we’ve already vetted and with whom we’ve already met if they could use a few guns and grenades? More importantly, couldn’t we ask them to help us vet the people we don’t know about? That would seem to me an obvious way of bootstrapping our intelligence into something that resembles a professional and competent product and something that will help us take some decisive and effective action.

Still, I have to ask why the President believes we do have “specific information about specific individuals” while his Secretary of State, who seems to be the administration person most clued in to the goings-on so far, doesn’t. If I didn’t know better (and believe me, my resolve is wavering on this) I’d say that our President and Secretary of State are intentionally trying to make the other look ridiculous, which is an unacceptable waste of time. Both Obama and Clinton are perfectly capable of making themselves look stupid without any help at all.

Of course, that all assumes that we’re actually going to arm the rebels. According to Jamie Dupree, the administration has firmly taken a stance on both sides of the matter. Our Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice has boldly stepped forth and delivered a “maybe we will, maybe we won’t; maybe we’ll nip off for a Ray’s Hell Burger” response that isn’t likely to help our erstwhile allies very much at all. We can only hope that when the decision finally comes down, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have had enough of gut-punching each other to stand behind it in unity.



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Category: No More Tyrants, President Barack Obama

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  1. [...] even if he stays.Then, less than a week ago, she destroyed the President’s contention that we know who some of the leading Libyan rebels are when she said that we had no “specific information about specific individuals” and that [...]

  2. [...] ago, no one in the administration could say for sure that we even knew who the rebel leaders were. The President said we did, Hillary Clinton said we didn’t, and various administration officials wobbled all over the place on the subject like a bunch of [...]

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