Streetwise Professor

June 5, 2014

Get Obama (And No, that Doesn’t Mean What You Might Think)

Filed under: Military,Politics — The Professor @ 1:13 pm

In the 60s sitcom Get Smart, when trying to explain his way out of an embarrassing situation with his boss or a nemesis, protagonist-secret agent Maxwell Smart would tell some outlandish tale. When met with disbelief, he would change his story, and begin with: “Would you believe?”

The administration has reached the “would you believe?” point in the Bergdahl-Taliban mess. The first justification given for not notifying Congress was that time was too pressing given Bergdahl’s allegedly shocking physical decay. But that was based on something filmed in December, and during the six subsequent months in which negotiations continued, the administration said nothing to Congress. Congress was therefore not appeased, but was angry, and did not accept this explanation as plausible: if so pressing, why wait so long?

So according to AP, the administration is now saying: “Would you believe . . . we didn’t notify Congress because the Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if word of the negotiation leaked?” Putting aside why the Taliban would say that, given that negotiations have been an open non-secret for years (being reported on in Rolling Stone and elsewhere), and given that there is no possibility that the Taliban could monitor secret meetings between the White House and Congress, the only way that what the administration told Congress could become public is if Congress leaked it.

So Obama’s new defense is: “We didn’t tell Congress-including the intelligence committees-because we don’t trust Congress not to leak.”

That surely will mollify Congress, won’t it? Sure it will!

Actually, it will just make an already hostile group of lawmakers even more furious. And not just Republicans. Diane Feinstein is already livid, and hates it when an administration-any administration-keeps things from the intel committees.

Well played. Well played. The only question is whether they are that stupid, or whether the truth is so bad that telling a story certain to infuriate Congress is better than coming clean.

There is some sage advice that the administration should take right now, although given it’s belief it can talk its way out of anything, I doubt it will take it.

First, as Twain said, better to remain silent and be thought an idiot, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

Second, if you are in a hole, stop digging.

The Smart Approach-“Would you believe”-is almost never smart. But that’s what Obama and his minions have decided to do.



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    Comment by Ex-regulator on lunch break — June 5, 2014 @ 8:18 pm

  2. Oh, and in case you missed it in all the noise and fury, your President has declared war on carbon dioxide.

    Let me know how that works out for you. It’s gone swimmingly here in Australia – not.

    Comment by Ex-regulator on lunch break — June 5, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

  3. Apparently Obama told Hollande that Putin had “two-three-four weeks” or else [Obama would make another stern warning and set another not-so-dead-line].

    According to a fly on the wall, he said “tell Vladimir, no hurry: I understand he needs time to exfiltrate all those terrorists back to Russia”.

    Comment by Ivan — June 5, 2014 @ 11:56 pm

  4. @Ex-reg. Oh I haven’t missed it. Will probably blog on it soon. Obama gives me too much material and I get behind 😛

    This is another nice gift to Australia, btw. Lower US demand for coal->lower coal prices/more US coal exports->bad news for other coal exporters like Australia.

    The ProfessorComment by The Professor — June 6, 2014 @ 12:41 am

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