The way the story has been told about the mission to take out Osama bin Laden, President Obama was at the forefront of that entire operation. He knew every detail. He was involved in every decision. He was the Commander-In-Chief and he was going to make sure everybody knew about it.
Yet, it seems as though as in every negative instance related to this administration, the President is so detached and so out of the loop that he doesn’t have any qualms with telling the public he learns about that goes on in his administration by watching the news.
Granted, not every chief executive is going to know what’s going on in all areas under their purvey. But the incidents in which the President (or James Carney) has expressed his surprise at some kind of news is pretty disturbing. It shows a level of detachment that is pretty remarkable. These are not small issues and one would think the President was made aware of them. For example:
The DOJ/AP phone records collection. This was not an isolated case of the Department of Justice requesting the records of a particular phone call. It was much wider than that:
In a sweeping and unusual move, the Justice Department secretly obtained two months’ worth of telephone records of journalists working for the Associated Press as part of a year-long investigation into the disclosure of classified information about a failed al-Qaeda plot last year.
The AP’s president said Monday that federal authorities obtained cellular, office and home telephone records of individual reporters and an editor; AP general office numbers in Washington, New York and Hartford, Conn.; and the main number for AP reporters covering Congress. He called the Justice Department’s actions a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into newsgathering activities.
The President? “Huh. I didn’t know.”:
“Other than press reports, we have no knowledge of any attempt by the Justice Department to seek phone records of the AP. We are not involved in decisions made in connection with criminal investigations, as those matters are handled independently by the Justice Department.”
He’s not involved in those decisions but he felt it was necessary to review those procedures.
President Obama, responding to mounting criticism of his Justice Department’s seizure of reporter records, said for the first time Thursday that the administration would be reviewing its guidelines in response to the controversy. Obama said he’s “troubled” by the developments and that journalists should not be “at legal risk” for doing their jobs.
Troubled. Sounds kind of like “angry.”
The IRS targeting conservative groups? More of the same:
“The President believes that the American people expect and deserve to have the very best public servants with the highest levels of integrity working in government agencies on their behalf,” he said. “Based on recent media reports, he is concerned that the conduct of a small number of Internal Revenue Service employees may have fallen short of that standard.
And now, finally, the VA scandal:
President Barack Obama first learned of the scandal involving Department of Veterans Affairs hospital administrators concealing the true wait times vets faced in the press, according to a claim made by White House Press Sec. Jay Carney on Monday.
Maybe it’s just me but I would think the President of the United States would be made aware of a problem so bad, it resulted in patients dying while they waited for care.
There is absolutely no excuse for this. None.
One of my favorite people to follow on Twitter summed it up perfectly:
VA scandal: DIDN'T KNOW Benghazi security: DIDN'T KNOW Fast and Furious: DIDN'T KNOW Lose your doctor: DIDN'T KNOW Bin Laden hit: MASTERMIND
— Razor (@hale_razor) May 19, 2014
The Palace Guard (aka the media) is not even really bothering with what happened at the Veterans Administration. Go to NBC, CBS, CNN and other news websites and it’s mixed in with other news.
As long as that continues, this President will just be able to get away with flippantly telling the public he learned about something from media reports.