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“I Know Nothing”

Bill Neinast


Do not forget to annotate your history journals.  The first two weeks of fall, 2014, were historic.

For the first time in Obama’s six years as President, one of his officials said, in effect, “My agency screwed up and I take full responsibility for the failure.”

The incident in question was the Texan armed with a knife who got well into the White House before being tackled by an off duty guard.  

If that were not bad enough, the intrusion was followed by revelations that less than a week previously someone had fired seven shots into the mansion.  The Secret Service dismissed the shots as cars back firing until a maid found bullet holes in windows of the second floor where the Obamas live.

Then the third shoe dropped.  Several weeks before these incidents, Obama was visiting the CDC in Atlanta.  While there, an armed private security guard with a criminal record of three arrests was allowed on the elevator with the President.

The official who broke protocol and admitted that even the Obama administration is not perfect is Julia Pierson who, was at the time, Director of the Secret Service.  She embarrassed the President by admitting to a Congressional Committee on Wednesday, October 1, that her agency had dropped the ball.  

Thursday morning, notwithstanding this admission that not all Obama administration activities are above perfect, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reported that the President had full confidence in Pierson.  Before the morning was over, however, Earnest was back on the air to announce that Pierson’s resignation had been accepted.

Then, in typical government fashion, the Secret Service took its incompetence out on tourists wanting to take pictures of the White House.  Instead of taking measures from within to protect from intrusions through or over the fence, the SS built barriers outside to keep visitors further back from the fence.  Ah, the government at its finest.

Shortly after the latest lapse of security, Obama was resting his golf clubs in the White House for a few days.  During this brief sojourn, he was at his best imitation of Sergeant Schultz on the “Hogan’s Heroes” TV series.

Just like Schultz, his most frequent utterances are, “I know nothing, NOTHING!”

When anything goes wrong, which seems to be often lately, Obama quickly denies any previous knowledge.  There is, however, never a personal denial.  The blame is always on someone else, as in “They (or he or she) did not keep me informed.”

The most recent example is his laying the blame on the intelligence community for not keeping him informed about the rise and growing threat of ISIS.  As Senator Lindsay Graham observed, however, “Does he never listen to or watch the news on the radio or TV?”

The bad news is always laid on them or they.  The only time he uses the personal pronouns “I” or “we” is when there is a significant achievement.  The best example being, “I took out bin Laden, decimated al Qaeda, and destroyed it as a threat.”  There was no reference in that announcement to the Navy Seals who put their lives on the line.  It was just “I” and “we.”

This practice of taking full credit for the few good things that have happened in foreign relations in the past six years and laying the blame elsewhere for things that go wrong, make the jobs of Josh Earnest, Press Secretary for the White House, and Jen Psaki, Press Secretary for the State Department, the hardest in the country.

Several times a day those two try to explain that “core” al Qaeda is dead.  The organization was decimated and rendered impotent as a threat  by that daring raid by Barak Obama.  The al Qaeda affiliates that are now rampaging over much of the middle East are not of the “core.”  

How does that matter and what does it mean?  A number of the Islamist Jihadists murdering men, women, and children and proclaiming death to America refer to themselves as al Qaeda.  Most intelligence and defense officials regard them as a more serious threat to the world than the al Qaeda that Obama takes credit for destroying.

Now consider a nuclear armed Iran, a bigger threat to the U.S. than al Qaeda.  

Monday of last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu detailed this threat to the U.N.  He noted that Iran cannot be allowed to join the nuclear fraternity and described the international disaster that will follow if the Iranian program for developing such weapons is not stopped.

Sergeant Schultz Obama, of course, was not in the audience and, if the worst happens, will blame someone for not alerting him.  

This pending shift of the blame can be seen in the current suspension of sanctions on Iran that is due to expire at the end of this month.  Obama seems to be on the cusp of extending the suspensions again so that Iran’s run for the nukes will not be impeded. 

So here’s the perspective. 

PM Netanyahu has repeatedly warned Obama about the threat of a nuclear armed Iran.  Obama, however, in his usual hesitant noncommittal attitude is turning a deaf ear.

If Israel does not take out the Iranian nuclear facilities before they produce a bomb and an Iranian supplied nuclear device winds up in this country, Obama’s reaction will be, “They did not keep me sufficiently informed.”

Then Sergeant Schultz Obama will head back for a golf course.