Amateurs in The White HouseBy Luis GonzalezThe Last Wire
President Barack Obama has finally decided it was time to keep the most broken promise of his Presidency.
(The Guardian) The White House blew the cover of the top CIA agent in Afghanistan on Sunday, when the person’s name was included on a list given to reporters during a visit to the country by President Barack Obama.
The name was then emailed by the White House press office to a distribution list of more than 6,000 recipients, mostly members of the US media.
The agent in question, listed as chief of station, would be a top manager of CIA activity in Afghanistan, including intelligence collection and a drone-warfare programme under which unmanned aerial vehicles mount cross-border attacks into Pakistan.
The name appeared on a list of attendees requested by White House officials for the president’s visit to Bagram air base to mark Memorial Day, the national day of tribute to fallen service members. The list of 15 people was drawn up by the military, written into a routine press report and sent to Washington. The Obama press office then sent the list, unredacted, to the larger group.
The mistake did not come to light until the reporter who had filed from Afghanistan, the veteran Washington Post correspondent Scott Wilson, looked more closely at what he had sent and noticed the name and title.
“I drew it to their attention before they had noticed what had happened,” Wilson said on Monday, hours after returning from the 33-hour trip overseas.
Well, it appears as if we finally have transparency from the White House.
I'm half-suspecting that faced with an increasingly hostile White House Pres Corp pressing for answers as to why the President would allow such a thing to happen, Jay Carney will stick to his go-to play, answering that President Obama learned about the issue from the news, and has promised 'not to rest until he gets to the bottom of the issue."
In Obamaspeak that means "don't bother me, I have fund raising to tend to."
There's an emerging image of this administration as being one so completely out of their league on the world stage, that it is reverting to the smaller field of local fund raising, college and late-night TV show speaking gigs, and impersonal social media pushes.
Obama at this stage reminds me of an aging rock band that could once sell out arenas, but are now lucky to fill Civic Auditoriums sharing billing with other aging rockers in "Remember When" festivals.
Bill Clinton, as close to an ultimate political beast as the US has seen in decades called it, according to Edward Klein's "The Amateur", as he urged Hillary to challenge Obama for the 2012 nomination while having cocktails with close friends in their Chappaqua homestead.“I've heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I've heard from Obama,”
my sources quoted Clinton as saying. “I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn't know how to be president. He doesn't know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!”
An amateur in charge of the United States armed forces, led by amateurs and ideologues who have absolutely zero concern over anything other than politics is a frightening thing to ponder.
The Economist on Obama's White House.
BARACK OBAMA has been portrayed as everything from post-racial political saviour to underground socialist. In Ron Suskind's telling, Mr Obama is reduced to a hapless rookie manager presiding over insubordinate, quarrelling aides and aggrieved women. It is not news that Mr Obama and his aides were often at odds on issues ranging from the size of the fiscal stimulus, whether to bail out Chrysler and when to proceed with health-care reform. Mr Suskind, an American writer and journalist, provides a more detailed picture, with the help of lengthy interviews with former officials.
The presence of an amateur in the White House could actually pose a bigger threat to our national security than having a Socialist ideologue there. We can fix things internally in his wake, but the damage done to the U.S. on the international stage will take long to repair, if it can ever be repaired at all.
(Beijing) THERE had been plenty of time to negotiate a deal—more than a decade, in fact. What Russia and China needed was the right amount of pressure to seal it. That came in the form of Western sanctions on Russia over Ukraine. Eager to show America and Europe that he has other friends to turn to, Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, on May 21st in Shanghai, secured a long-term agreement for Gazprom, a state-owned Russian firm, to sell natural gas to CNPC, a state-owned Chinese one. The final details of pricing—the main sticking point—were not released but the deal is thought to be worth about $400 billion over 30 years. It gives Mr Putin a much-needed strategic boost as he confronts those sanctions and suffers increasing isolation from the West.
China had reasons of its own to strike a deal. It needs as many energy sources as it can find, especially clean energy, so that the Communist Party can show its people that it is dealing with air pollution across the country, much of it caused by a reliance on coal. China’s prime minister, Li Keqiang, said earlier this year that the government had “declared war” on air pollution.
So both sides wanted to emerge from Mr Putin’s visit with an agreement, and to put a friendly stamp on their meeting. China’s president, Xi Jinping, praised the partnership between their two countries. Mr Putin told Chinese journalists that the relationship was at “the highest level in all its centuries-long history”. The two countries signed economic agreements, held military exercises offshore, and agreed on a joint statement of “concern” about Ukraine, which by implication might seem to absolve Mr Putin of his role in stirring unrest there.
So, as the Obama administration moves to defend yet one more show of ineptitude, this picture should bring a shiver to anyone who follows the politics of power.
Maybe it's time for the opposition to unite, circle the wagons and agree to disagree on any issue other than getting someone in charge who knows how to run a nation.
Working out our differences while holding the reins of power is far more satisfying than bitterly arguing who on the right would be more right, as we watch the left tear everything down around us.
It's time to get on the bus, and there can be no one hanging on to the door or half out the windows when it leaves the station, if we expect a chance of ever setting things right again.
And that’s the last wire for Monday, May 26th 2014.
What was news before this moment, is now history.