The President visited Afghanistan over the Memorial Day weekend to distract voters, and the military, from the growing Veteran Affairs scandal. The official line is otherwise, of course, but the trip was an exercise in political distraction at the expense of our veterans, active duty personnel, and other dedicated government workers.
After a few days of perfunctory expressions of outrage after more serious issues surfaced about the most recent Veteran Affairs (VA) healthcare crisis – not a new issue, the VA has been a disaster for many decades — the President and his advisors must have thought that some time with the troops would do the President good, maybe even boost morale. Yet the White House, DoD, or both, has managed to bungle what could have been an otherwise good trip for troops in the region.
According to several news accounts about the President’s trip to Afghanistan, someone in the Obama Administration by mistake, of course, included the Afghanistan CIA station chief’s name in the White House pool report. This is more than just a simple “mistake” (The Washington Post) or an “embarrassing flub” (NBC). The manner in which the White House press team acknowledged the error says mountains about how incompetent these people are when it comes to national security matters.
Yet this is Washington, DC, you know there has to be a lot more to this incident, even if there is not. Why am I saying that? The spin. If you live in town and follow politics, your bovine detectors should be on overload. For fellow inside the beltway readers, note the Valerie Plame matter has been mentioned in a few of the stories, including in The Washington Post piece that, of course, figured out a way to include the Obama Administration’s perennial blame Bush mantra:
The only other recent case came under significantly different circumstances, when former CIA operative Valerie Plame was exposed as officials of the George W. Bush administration sought to discredit her husband, a former ambassador and fierce critic of the decision to invade Iraq.
This is crazy talk, but that never stops the establishment from spinning a yarn or two. They know that most Americans could care less about any of this. It will be grist for the radio talk show circuit for a few days; we’ll see if Congress even bothers to pay serious attention to it.
As with most things with this White House when it comes to matters other than domestic policy, they simply do not seem to care. There is a spin for every crisis, even when there is collateral damage. Kind of like what they tried to do after four Americans were killed on September 11, 2012 by radical Islamists in Libya, including the U.S. Ambassador, or what they are trying to cover up with the latest VA scandal.
Back in the day when Congress did genuine oversight, no matter the political repercussions to the party in power, and the media focused on hard news, you’d get to the bottom of these issues in rather short order. These days, both political parties engage in government by spin and public opinion. Tough decisions are rarely made by the political class, in both branches of government, because they lack political will to do right.
Politicians these days, and those who advise them, engage in vanity politics, not leadership. The result? You’re seeing it right here in this story, and many other like it that are never reported.
P.S., On the VA story, if you really want to learn what is happening, read the summaries for a few of the more recent VA Inspector General reports. As Dr. Ben Carson said last week, the current VA scandal is an opportunity to not only fix this problem, but focus on larger issues such as ObamaCare. If the government has failed to take care of veterans, a smaller subset of patients compared to the general population, it will also fail if we allow it to manage the healthcare system for the entire nation. ObamaCare must be repealed.