As Matthew Continetti wrote in June, “The Obama post-presidency has already begun.” So why shouldn’t the former president expect numerous tell-all books from former cabinet officials and aides? Which answers the question posited by Dana Milbank of the Washington Post. As paraphrased by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, the Democrat operative with a byline wonders “Why are Obama’s former officials so disloyal?” In response, Ed writes:
Twitter had a lot of fun with this question last night, mostly at Dana Milbank’s expense, but the emergence of several tell-all accounts while Barack Obama is still in office does seem a little … remarkable. At least three books in the past year or two have opened the ledger on Obama’s policies and decisions as President, an effort that usually — but not always — begins after a President leaves office. Leon Panetta is the third Cabinet official, and more importantly the third major member of Obama’s national-security team, to write memoirs that criticize him in highly detailed accounts.
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It appears that Obama wasn’t listening to the people who held authority and expertise in these national-security issues, and now with things going as badly as they are, the three of them (and especially Gates and Panetta) want to make sure the record remains straight on whose decisions led to the debacle. On a broader level, the two men may have their loyalties focused less on Obama than on the nation as a whole. That’s not to say that personal loyalty to the President who appoints one to those positions should be of no account, but it shouldn’t trump the broader commitment to American national security, either.
In other words, the question and focus on these memoirs should be less about what they do to Obama, but what Obama himself is doing.
By the way, Panetta may have inflicted damage on both of his former bosses — at least one of whom, presumably, he’s hoping to work for again: As Bryan Preston writes at the PJ Tatler, Panetta told Andrea Mitchell this morning that “he knew, from the beginning, that the attack on the U.S. facility in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, was a terrorist attack. President Obama did not see it that way, and his actions that night remain a mystery.”
As do Hillary’s lies later that week, in which she attempted to blame the attack on a YouTube video, while standing in front of its victims’ caskets.