We now know — even the Associated Press, better described as the Administration's Press, has now acknowledged it — that President Barack Obama, in AP's words, "did not participate" in a White House meeting of his national security team Saturday morning "to get updates on the situation and discuss policy options" in reaction to Russia's invasion and takeover of Crimea and threatened military intervention in the rest of Ukraine. Those who need help getting past AP's whitewashing need to understand that "did not participate" means "did not attend."
Last time I checked, the president of the United States was the nation's commander in chief, the person who is supposed to be primarily responsible for the nation's security and well-being in its relations with the rest of the world. He happens to live in the same White House where the national security meeting was held. PJ Media's Bridget Johnson has noted that Obama "had no public events on his schedule."
What Obama apparently chose to miss was not a "3 a.m. phone call." It was a daytime meeting at his own residence. It concerned a country whose guarantee of security, embodied in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, was confirmed by Obama himself in December 2009.
Congress and the American people should demand to know exactly what could possibly have been more important than Obama's attendance at that meeting. We all know that if a President Romney or George W. Bush had acted similarly, the press would already be demanding an answer for us, and quite properly so. Instead, we get the AP's aforementioned indifference.
It gets worse. Obama was briefed after the fact by a "national security team" led by none other than Susan Rice.
Five days after the September 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, which took the lives of U.S. Libyan Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Rice went on the Sunday talk shows to claim that an anti-Muslim video inspired the "spontaneous - not premeditated" attack. Just last week, in the face of overwhelming, irrefutable evidence to the contrary, she contended that "the notion that somehow I or anybody else in the administration misled the American people is patently false."
Six months after it became obvious that the Senate would not confirm her as the country's next secretary of State, Obama rewarded Rice by elevating her to her current perch as national security adviser. So the president's chief informant has every reason to tell Obama things which would further his agenda, which may or may not coincide with an agenda consistent with the country's security.
Is Obama's real agenda different? There's ample justification for believing that's the case. In March 2012, he was caught on an open mic telling then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have "more flexibility" to deal with contentious U.S.-Russian issues after that year's presidential election. Perhaps part of that "flexibility" includes pretending to have a problem with a Russian return to de facto control of Ukraine while doing nothing about it. If so, no wonder Obama was a no-show on Saturday morning. Why bother coming downstairs to sit in on a meeting about something when the result is already a foregone conclusion? Maybe his 90-minute Saturday afternoon phone call with Russian President Vladimir was really a plea: "Slow down, guy, you're going so fast that it's making me look bad."