The White House is about to get hit by the biggest tsunami since the Iran-Contra affair, maybe since Watergate. [The President] is trapped, immobilized by his own stay-the-course campaign strategy. Can he escape the massive tidal waves? Maybe. But at this point, it's not clear how.That was how the reporting went for Abu Ghraib. But now we are in a brave new world when the buck stops anywhere but at the President's desk.
If today's investigative shockers are true, it's hard to avoid concluding that responsibility goes straight to the top, both in the [agency involved] and the White House, and that varying degrees of blame can be ascribed to officials up and down the chain of command.
When the story is targeting political opposition with the heavy hand of the IRS, blame it on Bush because it was the guy he appointed that was in charge when the IRS targeted people aligned with Bush (seems like Bush would be praised for appointing such a bipartisan 'company man' who was willing to cross political lines, but who can understand this logic?).
When the story is misleading the American people about Benghazi, it is just a witch hunt by a vast right-wing conspiracy. But when others get information from intelligence agencies and act on it, it is a war crime. Apparently it is no longer fashionable to ask, "What did the President know and when did he know it?" There was a time when Ms. Clinton was very interested in just this sort of question. She also noted that "The goal of such an examination should not be to assign blame, but to find out all of the facts." But what difference does it make now?
When the story is the President's Justice Department doing illegal wire taps, it is justified because of national security. No problems with Patriot Act style intrusions here. Too bad Holder wasn't a Bush appointee; the assignment of blame would be over. (Make that 'undocumented' wire tap since illegal is somewhat out of fashion these days. And maybe we should go with 'domestic contingency operation' instead of wire tapping while we're at it.)
That Bush appointee should have just said, "I don't know." Come to think of it, Donald Rumsfeld might have been well served to use Holder's tactic when pressed about Abu Ghraib:
But it is hard to hold the President accountable for any of this. After all, he only just heard about it in the paper. As Steyn wrote:
...the Internal Revenue Service had spent two years targeting his political enemies until he "learned about it from the same news reports that I think most people learned about this." Like you, all he knows is what he reads in the papers. Which is odd, because his Justice Department is bugging those same papers, so you’d think he’d at least get a bit of a heads-up. But no doubt the fact that he’s wiretapping the Associated Press was also entirely unknown to him until he read about it in the Associated Press.How is it that the most intelligent, smartest, most caring, "articulate, bright, clean, nice-looking" President only finds out about scandals in his administration by reading about them in the paper? One recalls that the former "Presi-dunce" held to account for every bad thing that happened on the planet up to and including hatred of America.
One can only imagine if Obama had been the one reading to school children on morning of 9/11 2001. I wonder how much time would have elapsed until he finally read about that day's events in the evening edition.