Douglas Brinkley should have his own special corner in the Hall of Shame.
Given the opportunity to question President Obama, Brinkley, a professor, a writer and a supposedly serious intellectual lobbed the softest of softball questions.
Unfortunately, American intellectuals are so corrupted that Brinkley’s reputation will not suffer from his dereliction.
Interviewing Obama for Rolling Stone, Brinkley asked:
1. Let's start with how the campaign has been going. Ever since the first debate, Romney has abruptly shifted his position on a whole host of issues, from his tax plan to financial regulation.
2. Many observers have commented on how Romney has misrepresented or even changed his positions in this last leg of the campaign – that he's been like a chameleon on plaid. Do you feel that he has lied to the American people?
3. Where were you when you first saw Romney's speech in Boca Raton about the 47 percent? What was your first reaction?
4. What has surprised you the most about the Republican campaign this year?
5. Do you have any fear that Roe v. Wade could be overturned if the Republicans win the presidency and appoint another Supreme Court justice?
Compare those to the questions a local Colorado reporter, Kyle Clark asked:
1. Were the Americans under attack at the consulate in Benghazi Libya denied requests for help during that attack? And is it fair to tell Americans that what happened is under investigation and we'll all find out after the election?
2. Were they denied requests for help during the attack?
3. In a national address, you touted the stimulus money going to Abound Solar - a Colorado company connected to one of your billionaire fundraisers. Now, as you may know, Abound Solar is out of business and under criminal investigation. The jobs are gone and taxpayers are out about 60 million dollars. How do you answer critics who see Abound Solar as Colorado's Solyndra - a politically connected clean energy company that went under and took our money with it?
4. Mr. President, you've called for more civility in our nation's political conversation - and much has obviously been made about the tone of this race. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, you called Governor Romney a "bullshitter." What did you mean and why did you choose that word?
Hat tip to Mollie Hemingway.
Of course, as Jake Tapper reported, Obama did not answer the questions. To use a basketball term, he is playing out the clock on Benghazi, hoping that nothing more damaging will be revealed before the election.
Other members of the administration are forming a firewall to protect the president.
Secretary of Defense Panetta, a life-long partisan Democrat denounced critics as Monday-morning quarterbacks and stated that the senior military commanders had recommended against an assault.
To my knowledge Panetta said nothing about the possibility of sending air support.
Obama himself has stated that he was not aware of what was going on while it was going on.
In the world of prevarication that one deserves a special reward.
Hundreds of members of the Obama administration were watching an attack on an American ambassador on American territory over a period of hours in real time and no one thought to inform POTUS.
Either the Obama administration is more incompetent that even I think they are or the president is lying to run out the clock.
Yesterday, Jennifer Griffin of Fox News revealed that CIA operatives had been crying out for help during the assault and had been told to stand down.
In her words:
Fox News has learned from sources who were on the ground in Benghazi that three urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up during the attack on the U.S. Consulate and subsequent attack nearly seven hours later were denied by officials in the CIA chain of command — who also told the CIA operators to “stand down” rather than help the ambassador’s team when shots were heard at approximately 9:40 p.m. in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Former Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty were part of a small team who were at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When they heard the shots fired, they radioed to inform their higher-ups to tell them what they were hearing. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. An hour later, they called again to headquarters and were again told to “stand down.”
We do not know who told them to stand down? In fact, it doesn’t matter whether Obama did or did not give the order. He is the commander-in-chief and he is the officer ultimately responsible.
William Kristol states that the Secretary of Defense would not have made the decision on his own. I concur.
David Petraeus, however, is not going to do the president’s political bidding on this one.
His spokeswoman issued this statement yesterday:
We can say with confidence that the Agency reacted quickly to aid our colleagues during that terrible evening in Benghazi. Moreover, no one at any level in the CIA told anybody not to help those in need; claims to the contrary are simply inaccurate.