“We should never be afraid of one guy who popped down $35 and bought a web address. … Our foreign policy is stronger than that. We’re a stronger country than that. We’re not scared of one guy, with one keyboard, and a laptop.” — Robert Gibbs, December 1, 2010
So said America’s press secretary regarding the latest batch of American secrets revealed via WikiLeaks — it is hard to know precisely where to begin parsing such an entirely witless statement. WikiLeaks represents only the latest manifestation of the cancer relentlessly eating away America from within. The great Irish poet William Butler Yeats had it right nearly a century ago:
… Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
… The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Yeats was in large part writing about the devastation of the First World War, but his poetic imagery can easily be applied to Obama’s soft America of 2010. To punctuate the point, now comes Julian Assange, blatantly blackmailing not only the United States and every other government he might choose to destroy by threatening to release an enormous package of encrypted, sensitive, even secret American documents should he be held accountable for his crimes, allegedly including multiple rapes in Sweden. Apparently an unknown number of like-minded internet vermin have been given encrypted copies of the package with instructions to release it on command. Despite Assange’s arrest by British authorities and the subsequent denial of bond, his “thermonuclear weapon,” as he termed it, has yet to be released, however this is likely only a matter of time.
The WikiLeaks debacle is one of the most damaging wartime releases of sensitive and secret information in American history. The greatest immediate damage, however, is to American prestige and reliability. What nation will cooperate with America knowing that their cooperation can, likely will, be made public at any moment? Forget that untold numbers of Americans and others in far-flung lands will be tortured and killed as a result of the revelations already made, and those yet to come. Forget that our national security has suffered another serious blow. Forget that our intelligence and diplomatic sources and methods have been yet again exposed to enemies who will be as amazed and delighted at their unexpected good fortune as they will be quick to capitalize on it. As horrific as all of this is, it is secondary to more fundamental concerns — concerns that might be illuminated by the answers to the questions that follow, answers made obvious by commission and omission by successive presidential administrations:
(1) Is America worth defending?
(2) Is freedom of the press more important than the Constitution? Than American sovereignty and security?
(3) Is it any longer possible to commit treason against America?
The Clinton administration was famous for its laxity in handling American secrets, for its transfers of secret missile technology to the Chinese, and for its establishment of the principle that terrorism should be handled as a law enforcement rather than a national security matter. Mr. Clinton, on at least one occasion, even lost “the Biscuit,” the cards he was required to carry 24/7/365 with access codes to America’s nuclear arsenal. Not only did he lose them, he did not tell the military liaison officer assigned to monitor nuclear issues that he lost them. He had to discover it himself. The cards were apparently never found.
What is less widely known is the Clinton emasculation of the CIA, beginning with a near elimination of human field assets in favor of high-tech electronic means of intelligence gathering. Clinton even refused to meet one-on-one with his CIA director. (When a light plane crashed on the White House lawn, the joke making the rounds in Washington was that the pilot was the CIA director trying to get a meeting.) The few agents still working in the field were further hampered by such brilliant Clintonian moral initiatives as forbidding agents from working with anyone, anywhere who had a criminal record. It was this kind of moral reasoning and these policies that also led Mr. Clinton to refuse, at least twice, foreign governments who were willing and able to hand over Osama bin Laden on a platter. Had Mr. Clinton taken the hint, the attacks of 9/11 might have been aborted.
Immediately after 9/11, there was no doubt about George W. Bush’s answers to these questions — but the days of “if you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists” were brief. Still, for a time, the media used to an administration that leaked information and secrets like a leaky faucet were very upset with Mr. Bush. Frequent and bitter were their complaints when they discovered that Mr. Bush hired honorable men and women who took national security and the positions of trust given them by the people seriously, and did not leak.
But in his second term — particularly when the New York Times decided that it, not the president or Congress, would determine which of America’s secrets would remain secret — previously firm answers began to quiver like Jello. The president, present and former CIA directors, and prominent members of Congress pleaded with the NYT not to release information that would permanently harm America’s interests and cost lives around the globe. But transparency and “truth” were in the calculations of the NYT far more important than mere issues of secrecy, security, and the lives of those who supported a president they despised. Knowing that the publication of sensitive information would directly and immediately harm America, the NYT and countless other media outlets chose to be citizens of the world and chose to elevate a non-existent “right to know” over the Constitution, over the survival of America, and over the lives of those fighting for America’s survival.
The rule of law, the sanctity of the Constitution, and future prospects for American survival all fell into doubt. No one doubted Mr. Bush’s belief in America’s uniqueness and indispensability, but so under attack was he by Democrats, the press, the academy, and Congress that he could not do all that he likely wanted or hoped to do to protect American secrets.
With his attorney general constantly under fire defending routine business, Mr. Bush was fighting wars on two fronts, and was the recipient of the most vile and personal barrage of calumny ever heaped upon an American president. Mr. Bush found himself unable to fully protect America and to capture and prosecute her domestic enemies. Americans began to wonder: Is there no such thing as treason anymore? Why haven’t all of the leakers been identified and arrested? Why isn’t everyone at the NYT and other media outlets who knowingly and arrogantly publicized vital American secrets and directly caused the deaths of untold Americans and supporters of America in jail under indictment? If the president doesn’t care about our national secrets and survival, why should we?
This, as well as an economic meltdown ineptly handled and explained to the public, paved the way for a silver-tongued, teleprompter-animated hustler promising hope, change, racial redemption, a fundamental transformation of America, and universal international respect and peace to attain the presidency. At least half of America suspected that Mr. Obama’s answers to the pertinent questions would be opposite those of Mr. Bush, but most were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt — a doubt that he would, through serial apologies and bows and the most inept foreign and domestic policies seen in living memory, quickly squander.
Mr. Obama seemed from his first day in office unable to differentiate between America’s enemies and her friends. His serial insults of the British and the Israelis are the stuff of legend. His reflexive yet enduring support for an attempted Marxist takeover of Honduras is merely a minor case in point. The Hondurans resisted intense administration pressure, maintained a constitutional democracy, and learned that not only would they have to survive without America, but that they could. Mr. Obama’s approach towards North Korea and Iran can only be described as the most fawning, pathetic appeasement. Mr. Obama’s multi-million dollar trip to personally appeal for the Olympics on behalf not of America, but Chicago, was a complete failure, as was a recent similar errand by Attorney General Eric Holder to lobby for the World Cup. Obama’s most recent Asian diplomatic excursion was honestly panned by the Obamedia as a complete failure.
While speaking to Hispanics during the 2010 congressional election, Mr. Obama made it plain that he considered more than 50% of America to be his (and their) enemies, and in a contemporaneous interview, observed that America was strong enough to “absorb another 9/11.” And now we learn that not only has Venezuela already taken delivery of nearly 2,000 advanced shoulder fired anti-aircraft missiles from Russia, missiles that can easily be smuggled across the southern border, but Iran is in the process of installing ICBMs capable of hitting America as soon as nuclear warheads are available — a deficit Iran is currently hard at work to rectify.
And about this, Mr, Obama has said … nothing, and has apparently done the same.
In another instance that would in normal circumstances and times provide comic relief, Michelle Obama, in pushing her anti-childhood obesity initiative, announced on December 13 that childhood obesity is a threat to national security. Her reasoning, such as it is, is that obese people can’t serve in the military, thus by inference making overweening governmental control over what children eat and what schools are allowed to serve an issue of national security. The reality that our armed services are easily attaining all recruiting goals apparently matters not, but then again the Obama administration is not known for its great fondness for the military or for those who serve.
Mr. Obama has also said virtually nothing regarding WikiLeaks, but Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, America’s top diplomat, has demonstrated the degree of seriousness with which the Obama administration takes the matter on several occasions. On December 4 at a State Department reception for recent Kennedy Center honorees such as Oprah Winfrey, Mrs. Clinton addressed the subject: “I am writing a cable about it, which I’m sure you’ll find soon on your closest website.” According to the press, her comments were received with laughter. Several days earlier, Mrs. Clinton made clear the administration’s laser-like focus on the damage done by the security breach when she said: “Let’s be clear: This disclosure is not just an attack on America’s foreign policy interests, it is an attack on the international community.” It is apparently a matter of minor concern that our foreign policy interests have been attacked, but an attack on the international community, well! Such is the “strong foreign policy” about which Mr. Gibbs spoke. Assange chose his enemy wisely, recognizing Mr. Gibbs’ assertion of Obamite strength for what it is: abject weakness, appeasement, and surrender.
We are now treated with the knowledge that Mr. Holder and the Justice Department are hard at work looking into possible charges in the WikiLeaks matter. They have been looking for some weeks. One would imagine that there are prosecutors at the DOJ who actually have some rudimentary familiarity with and experience in prosecuting security breaches. Couldn’t the AG, if he desired, simply call a meeting and learn within a few minutes which federal statutes applied? Or barring that, couldn’t he just read the U.S. Code? It would appear that Mr. Holder has no stomach for direct action, particularly when it involves protecting Americans and disabling her enemies, particularly when pursuing more important matters such as securing a future World Cup are up for grabs.
A reasonable person might find that President Obama would answer the pertinent questions thus:
(1) Is America worth defending? Nah.
(2) Is freedom of the press more important than the Constitution? Than American sovereignty and security? Of course, as long as the media is on my side.
(3) Is it any longer possible to commit treason against America? Not as long as I’m in charge.
The importance of the correct answers to these questions cannot be overstated. The tragedy, and real and present danger, is that no one honestly answering these questions could possibly act as the Obama administration, and every Democrat administration since JFK, have acted.
America has seldom been so desperately in need of strong, adult leadership. Perhaps Mr. Obama will simply turn matters over to Mr. Clinton, as he did this month. What could go wrong?