The latest controversy swirling through the political winds is whether or not President Obama takes the matter of national security seriously or not.
According to a Government Accountability Institute, President Barack Obama has attended less than half of the daily national security briefings since taking office. In the first 1225 days, he attended the daily briefing only 43.8% of the time (536 appearances). From the beginning of 2011 through the first six months of this year, his attendance has dropped even further to a mere 38% of the time.
Conversely, President George W. Bush not only attended intelligence and national security meetings six days a week, but that he regularly held extra briefing sessions with Homeland Security, FBI and other agencies. In attendance at the Bush daily briefings were Vice President Cheney, White House Chief of Staff, director of the National Intelligence agency, CIA and national security advisors.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesperson tried his typical smoke and mirrors routine to mask the issue by stating that Obama gets his briefing report every day, which probably means that he gets a written briefing every day, but whether or not he actually reads it is another matter. Can you imagine showing up for college courses less than half the time and then telling your professors that it’s okay because you get a briefing of what was covered in class? How long do you think you would still be enrolled at that college and if you were, what would your grades be?
Dick Cheney responded to the GAI report saying:
“If President Obama were participating in his intelligence briefings on a regular basis then perhaps he would understand why people are so offended at his efforts to take sole credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden.”
“Those who deserve the credit are the men and women in our military and intelligence communities who worked for many years to track him down. They are the ones who deserve the thanks of a grateful nation.”
“I don’t know how far I want to go here, but I believe if you compare our foreign policy record with the one that preceded this one, we’re comfortable with that comparison.”
Bush strengthened our borders and relationships with our allies. He is the one that took down Saddam Hussein and it was Bush who actually initiated the actions that lead to the death of bin Laden. All Obama has done is throw open our borders, alienate our closest allies and make the U.S. the laughing stock of the Arab world.
No, there is no comparison between foreign policy and national security between Bush and Obama, but if that is the policy that the White House is going to defend, I’m beginning to wonder if I could still do my job from someplace else like New Zealand?