So, okay, NOBODY is buying this one…
The Ryan/Romney campaign appears to be in full melt down at the moment. Romney has spent the past two days whining about how mean President Obama and Vice President Biden are to any crowd or reporter that will listen. After spending the past three week telling blatantly made up lies about the President as if they were fact, he’s sniveling that the Obama campaign has “gone to the gutter” because they are telling the truth about the Ryan/Romney budget that will destroy the middle class and transfer massive amounts of their wealth to the super-rich.
It’s laughable and happening way earlier than I predicted it would. Hell, John McCain didn’t lose his shit until after he got the nomination but Romney is already going cuckoo.
But now we get the real evidence that the Republicans have gone around the bend. A group called “OPSEC” has a new 22-minute video out that claims the Obama administration leaked details about the mission that took the life of Osama bin Laden to score political points. I won’t link the video here but you can watch it Think Progress. Here’s what they have to say about it:
A group of former Special Forces operatives is launching a media attack on President Obama over the killing of Osama bin Laden, Reuters reports. In the spirit of the infamous 2004 Swift Boat ads, which turned the military service of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) against him, a new video by the Special Operations OPSEC Education Fund Inc accuses Obama of taking too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. OPSEC claims to be a nonpartisan social welfare group.
In “Dishonorable Disclosures,” its debut 22-minute video, the group accuses the Obama administration of deliberately leaking details of the Osama raid to “Hollywood producers” in order to take credit for the hard work of intelligence operatives and the Navy SEAL Team.
During the video, they show a segment of one a speech President Obama gave on May 1st, 2011, carefully edited to make it look like he’s taking full credit. The only way they could do that, of course, was to use Breitbart-style techniques that simply leave out big chunks of what he actually said. In this case, they left out the bolded bit in the quote below:
Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
Obama for America press secretary Ben LaBolt released this statement:
The Republicans are resorting to Swift Boat tactics because when it comes to foreign policy and national security, Mitt Romney has offered nothing but reckless rhetoric. His two major foreign policy speeches never even mentioned Al Qaeda once, and he hasn’t outlined a plan for America’s relations with a single region of the world. In 2008, the President said he’d end the war in Iraq in a responsible way and refocus on taking out Al Qaeda’s leaders, and few would question that he’s kept his word.
Another Obama campaign official, speaking about OPSEC, said, “No one in this group is in a position to speak with any authority on these issues and on what impact these leaks might have, and it’s clear they’ve resorted to making things up for purely political reasons.”
Hmmm…Making things up for political reasons. Now where have I seen that before? Oh. Right. The Ryan/Romney campaign.
This OPSEC groups claims to be “non-partisan” but is clearly staffed with Republican hacks. The president of Special Operations is former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor, who ran a laughably fail campaign for Congress in Virginia in 2010, getting only 10% of the Republican primary vote. Another OPSEC staffer is spokesperson Chad Kolton. Kolton is a former staffer for House Speaker John Boehner, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Bush administration. The group even shares space in an office building with two Republican consulting firms, The Trailblazer Group, a public affairs firm led by two Republican operatives, and TelOpinion, a Republican polling firm at 901 King Street, Suite 400.
This isn’t going anywhere. These idiots think that using the Rovian strategy of turning candidates’ strengths against them is a winner but the fact is that it’s simply going to wash harmlessly on the shores of the Obama/Biden campaign. The President and Vice President are too savvy and, more importantly, have too much integrity for people to take this garbage seriously. I mean, honestly, what has President Obama done that could even remotely be seen as exploiting the assassination of Osama bin Laden? Mentioning it a stump speech or a political ad? I’ll give him that, as will most Americans, considering the guts and courage it took to make the call.
If you haven’t read former Reagan administration budget guru David Stockman’s piece in the New York Times, I highly commend it to your attention. Although he’s talking primarily about the Ryan budget plan, his closing comments are apropos of this discussion, I think:
[It] is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.
The emptiness inside the shell that is the Ryan/Romney campaign is becoming more obvious with each passing day. These two fabulously wealth white men are hollow. They have an exterior that makes them look like credible candidates with new and good ideas. But, once you scratch beneath the veneer, you realize that they aren’t. And so Republicans are forced to resort to desperate measures like this Swiftboating attempt.
The Obama administration is right on Medicare reform so Republicans are using the Rove Method to try to turn it against them.
The Obama administration is right on expanding voting rights in Ohio so Republicans are using the Rove Method to try to turn it against them.
The Obama administration is right on allowing states flexibility in implementing their welfare programs so Republicans are using the Rove Method to try to turn it against them.
The Obama administration was right when they took out Osama bin Laden so Republicans are using the Rove Method to try to turn it against them.
It’s patently obvious to anyone watching what’s going on here. And the best news? It shows how the Ryan/Romney campaign is already melting down, completely desperate and without a coherent message or plan to run on. It would be hilarious if they weren’t trying to take control of our country.
I’ll finish with President Obama’s words on this matter from June of this year:
The notion that my White House would purposely release classified national security information is offensive. It’s wrong. And people I think need to have a better sense of how I approach this office and how the people around me here approach this office.
We’re dealing with issues that can touch on the safety and security of the American people, our families, or our military personnel, or our allies. And so we don’t play with that. And it is a source of consistent frustration, not just for my administration but for previous administrations, when this stuff happens. And we will continue to let everybody know in government, or after they leave government, that they have certain obligations that they should carry out.
But as I think has been indicated from these articles, whether or not the information they’ve received is true, the writers of these articles have all stated unequivocally that they didn’t come from this White House. And that’s not how we operate.
UPDATE: By the way, if you’ve received an email attributed to a Navy Seal named Benjamin Smith claiming that, among other things, President Obama actually tried to STOP the raid on bin Laden’s compound, it’s been decisively debunked by Snopes.com HERE. I hadn’t seen that email and, now that I have, I am repulsed by it.
[Photo credit: Anne C. Savage, used with permission]