The Paranoid Style

Tom Bevan of Real Clear Politics writes, "Ask yourself this: what possible motive would President Obama's hand-picked general have for misleading the President about the pace of deployment to Afghanistan? There is none":

Last week you may recall that Richard Wolffe went on Keith Olbermann's show and reported that his sources within the White House were telling him that some in the Obama administration believed that members of the intelligence community had within held vital information about the Christmas Day bomb plot in a deliberate effort to sabotage President Obama. (Video here.)

This revelation was so inflammatory that Wolffe went back on MSNBC just a short time later to effectively recant the claim when asked about it by Rachel Maddow, saying such a charge was "ten steps ahead of where the White House is right now." [I'm surprised the White House didn't simply email in a "correction" -- Ed]

Regardless, Wolffe didn't pull the idea out of thin air. Clearly, Wolffe's sources within the White House were either paranoid enough to believe such a thing or willing to slander the intelligence community to try and shield their boss from political fallout.

The reason I'm rehashing this is because we saw a similar story in the New York Times on Saturday regarding Afghanistan:

WASHINGTON — Senior White House advisers are frustrated by what they say is the Pentagon's slow pace in deploying 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and its inability to live up to an initial promise to have all of the forces in the country by next summer, senior administration officials said Friday. [snip]

One administration official said that the White House believed that top Pentagon and military officials misled them by promising to deploy the 30,000 additional troops by the summer. General McChrystal and some of his top aides have privately expressed anger at that accusation, saying that they are being held responsible for a pace of deployments they never thought was realistic, the official said.

Ask yourself this: what possible motive would President Obama's hand-picked general have for misleading the President about the pace of deployment to Afghanistan? There is none.

Now ask yourself what possible motive would the Obama administration would have for selling the public on a pace of military deployments that was unrealistic?

Yet we find administration sources accusing members of the United States military of lying to them in the pages of the New York Times. It's more than tacky. More than dishnorable. It's downright scary.

Given that it was born in the original sin of Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers and Saul Alinsky, it's safe to say that the Obama administration arrived in DC with paranoia to spare. On the other hand, it's not like the intelligence community hasn't screwed a White House before, though.