Yesterday afternoon The Daily Caller ran an article on the US sailors captured/released by Iran, adding more pieces that do nothing to fill in this puzzle. Before delving into this chapter of the Obama Chronicles, let me toss out another odd bit of news released just this morning, from FOX news, stating Iran is releasing the US prisoners, it has been holding, in a swap. A “swap” where the full terms of what the US swapped seems unclear, but I’ll quote my husband, who responded to my question, asking if he heard anything about who the US is “swapping”, “No, they haven’t released that information yet, but whoever it is, we won’t like it once we find out!” Assuredly true!
Watching these Obama “narratives” unfold follows a familiar pattern – ever-evolving “facts”, shifting story lines, major plot twist, turns, even complete rewrites, where the administration feverishly tries to use mass media propaganda techniques to create mass delusion. By dragging their feet, throwing out numerous false leads, obfuscations to goad a reaction from the Republicans, who always take the bait, the administration successfully casts the Republican reaction as the problem and just more partisan politics or right-wing witch hunts. The original matter in question fades into the background, while the partisan rancor takes center stage as the “real problem”.
The Daily Caller article mentioned above states:
“Congress wants to know if the State Department held any influence on the U.S. Navy sailor who apologized to Iran after he and his nine other sailors were arrested and detained by the regime. The video, which aired on Iranian television, showed all ten sailors kneeling on the decks of their ships with their hands behind their heads.”
John Kerry pompously hurled snide attacks toward the Bush administration’s war-mongering, while bragging about his brilliant diplomacy in this matter. He rambled on about how a few years back a situation like this would have led to a war. Josh Earnest, the puppet-on-a-string, bobbed about, but recited his ludicrous talking points in a serious tone, asserting that the Iranian photos and video of our sailors kneeling before Iranian forces is nothing to be embarrassed about. Really??? Why and how these US sailors were captured remains unclear. The Kerry State Department diplomacy effort also remains unclear. The young US commander’s apology seems quite clear – he apologized to Iran. The Pentagon has remained mum about details, in fact, the Pentagon seems to have abdicated its command of US Forces to John Kerry and the State Department.
An anonymous leak from the Pentagon suggested that the US sailor’s apology came after contact with the US State Department, Was the sailor told to apologize by the Kerry State Department? Why isn’t the Defense Department speaking to an incident involving US sailors?
All the incident specific questions will lead to the usual partisan charges and counter-charges, along with the added fuel being tossed on by 2016 Presidential contenders and their campaign teams. None of this gets to the larger system failure of the US Armed Forces corrupted chain of command, which really is a grave national security risk. In the last three US administrations I believe this occurred, to varying degrees. The politicization and enforced regimen of political correctness within the US military also escalated, where we now have retired generals forming partisan cheerleading squads for the two major political parties in the US. Each political party even has its own set of retired top brass to parade out to sell their political agenda and fight it out in a propaganda war on TV news and in print media.
Just a few short examples to make the general point, during the Clinton administration, bad military decisions were followed by gauging public opinion polls before making a decision and those decisions were subject to change by a dip in the opinion polls – polls guided the Clinton foreign policy, not substance nor long-term US national strategic interests. The Bush administration stuck to a foreign policy in the Mid-East based on two tracks, the “war on terror, no safe havens for terrorists” and a belief that democratization was the magic pill to cure the Islamic malignancy known by many names, radical Jihad, radical Islam, Islamism, Islamic imperialism, Wahabbism, but never acknowledging the “holy war” and religious components to this malignancy. PC often overruled acknowledging and speaking to hard facts in the Bush White House and while they did use military force, they were reluctant to acknowledge serious strategic failings or facts on the ground that differed with their policy. The Obama administration tries to run two separate US foreign policies, of the shabby caliber of tin-pot dictators, where they’ll use one set of talking points for foreign leaders and a completely different set for domestic partisan political consumption. You could liken it to a Wizard of Oz operational system.
Within the Obama administration, all semblance of a clear-cut organizational control structure collapsed and herein lies the serious big picture system failure. In each Obama administration scandal a pattern of obfuscation emerges, which ends up being cast as a partisan witch hunt of Republicans out to get them. Democrat partisans in Congress and the media serve as willing purveyors of the Obama “narratives”. The Republican partisans rant and rave and conduct endless investigations, that lead nowhere. A recent example demonstrating this point is the collusion of Democrats in Congress, who aided in obstructing the 13 hours of Hillary Benghazi testimony. The Democrats on that committee stuck to an organized talking points campaign to obstruct the Republicans. There was obvious collusion between the Clinton camp and Congressional Democrats to orchestrate this. The Republicans threw everything, except the kitchen sink at Hillary Clinton in their questioning, but never honed in on specific wrongdoing.
The release of the Benghazi movie, 13 Hours, revived public interest in the so-called “stand down order”. The Obama administration tried to pin the attack on Benghazi on an obscure filmmaker, but it’s obvious the attack was a pre-planned terrorist attack. Hillary Clinton sent the terrorist explanation to her daughter in an email and to an Egyptian official, while publicly stating the filmmaker caused a spontaneous riot in Benghazi. Then you add in the “stand down order” question and here is my question: “Why on earth would the Secretary of State be considered as a source for a stand down order given to the US military?”
This, who is in charge in the Obama administration and who makes the decisions and calls the shots, remains nebulous. President Obama has not come out and made any statements on the US sailors being taken hostage by Iran. It appears John Kerry speaks for both the State Department and the Defense Department, with an assist from the Vice President, Joe Biden. Often, Valerie Jarrett’s name gets tossed around as the force within the White House or narratives by Ben Rhodes, a political flunkie with no military or foreign policy experience. So, where are the Joint Chiefs of Staff in military matters in this administration and what in the heck is the chain of command if a State Department official instructed an US commander on what to do when held hostage by an American adversary, whose government rants, “Death to America!”? This lack of a clear-cut chain of command puts US troops in grave danger!
With the laxity of operational behavior, our entire executive branch is a very compromised system from how information flows up and how it flows down, from how decisions and orders are made and carried out and from how US servicemembers in harm’s way are forced to operate under vague, conflicting, confused rules of engagement. This administration put a retired military officer flunkie as the State Department spokesman and removed trained military Public Affairs officers at the Pentagon, who were replaced by a civilian political flunkie. Domestic partisan battles subsume national security. This lax operational behavior permeates the Obama administration: John Brennan and Obama reviewing drone target lists in the White House, ISIS bombing targets subject to White House approval serve as two striking examples, but the day-to-day casual and reckless handling of information, decision-making process and relentless back and forth to thwart domestic partisan opponents creates a huge opportunity for foreign intelligence agencies to exploit this operational weakness.
The Republicans want to focus on Hillary Clinton, but with Benghazi and the stand-down order issue – if she gave it, did the President or someone in the White House tell her to, but why would she be giving an order to US commanders? That is what confuses me in this administration – who the hell is in charge??? And then we can talk about Madame Secretary and her private email server, where she ran the State Department on an unsecured server, but the true scope of the unsecured email problem in this administration looms large and as yet unexposed. We have the Lois Lerner and her numerous undisclosed personal email accounts, we have the US embassy in Japan email chaos, run by Caroline Kennedy, but assuredly among this administration, where no one seems to be attuned to sound information and operational security protocols, this information compromise likely goes much deeper and much higher. This lax operational system, compounded by grave polluting of national strategy by domestic partisan political battles, took decades to reach this crisis point. Our national security structure appears to be dangerously compromised. How convoluted the inner-workings of the White House really are, remains unknown, but the glimpses of serous internal hemorrhaging keep leaking out.
Restoring integrity in the system is the only way to prevent a total bleed-out. How we restore that integrity will be a looming question that goes far beyond the 2016 election, it goes to do we the American people want to restore our constitutional Republic?