The Liar President
Dorothy Rabinowitz, one of the best writers of our time, encapsulated the Obama Presidency perfectly in Monday's Wall Street Journal. She wrote:
In the 1967 film "A Guide for the Married Man," a husband, played by a peerless Walter Matthau, is given lessons in ways to cheat on his wife safely: "Deny! Deny! Deny!" -- no matter what. In an instructive scene, he's shown a wife undone by shock, and screaming, with good reason: She has just walked in on her husband making love to a glamorous stranger. "What are you doing," she wails, "who is that woman?" "What woman, where?" the husband serenely counters, as he and the tart in question get out of bed and calmly dress.
So the scene proceeds, with the distraught wife pointing to the woman she clearly sees before her, while her husband, unruffled, continues to look blankly at her, asking, "What woman?" Confused by her spouse's unblinking assurance, she gives up. Two minutes later she's asking him what he'd like for dinner.
That is the Obama White House communications strategy exactly. I don't want to call the President a liar. I have used the term "Calculated Deception" many times before to describe it. But now it has come to the point where history will remember him as "the Liar President." That is not my fault. I am only discussing reality.
Dereliction of Duty
We can see this in the debates. In the second debate, he told the American people with a straight face that he had confessed the very next day in the Rose Garden that the murder of the Libyan ambassador and four other Americans in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Obama told the American people, with his straight Walther Matthau face, "The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people in the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we're going to hunt down those who committed this crime."
But the truth is that the State Department, the CIA, and the White House itself all had access to real time video of exactly what happened. No doubt as word spread as to what was happening, the top levels of the Administration all tuned into the events, watching them all unfold in real time. So why is he telling us in the debate that "we are going to find out exactly what happened?" Intelligence made a full report within 24 hours.
An incredulous Mitt Romney exclaimed, "I think [it's] interesting the President just said something which -- which is that on the day after the attack he went into the Rose Garden and said this was an act of terror." "That's what I said," Obama lied in response. Romney seeing the discrepancy with reality, noted "I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the President 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror." Obama replied, "Get the transcript."
Then, as if in a pre-arranged ambush, the supposed moderator "Candy" Crowley piped up and said to Romney "He did in fact, sir." To further demonstrate his mastery over the Democrat party-controlled media, Obama ordered live in the debate for every American to see, "Can you say that a little louder, Candy?" Crowley stood at attention and reported "He did call it an act of terror."
The reason this was so obviously pre-arranged is that the transcript in fact does not back up what Obama fantasized and Crowley "reported." The transcript shows Obama mentioned terrorism in regard to 9/11, not Benghazi. Talk about calculated deception!
It took Romney alone among the three to correct the record, saying, "The Administration indicated this was a reaction to a video and was a spontaneous reaction…. It took them a long time to say this was a terrorist act by a terrorist group."
Obama interrupted, appealing for a further bailout, by his plant, "Candy?" But Romney cut off his interruption, "Excuse me. The ambassador of the United Nations went on the Sunday television shows and spoke about how this was a spontaneous…" But Obama interrupted again to appeal for help, "Candy, I'm happy to have a longer conversation about foreign policy." Crowley took her cue again, "I know you, absolutely, but I want to move you on…." For the first time honestly, a relieved Obama said, "OK. I'm happy to do that too."
We all saw for 14 days with our own eyes not only Obama but his whole Administration perpetuating the fairy tale that the Benghazi murders were all due to some amateur 14 minute film trailer on YouTube, just as Matthau's wife in the movie saw him in bed with another woman. We saw Obama's UN Ambassador Susan Rice repeat this myth on five Sunday talk shows almost a week after the event. We saw Obama at the UN telling the whole world that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to a previously unknown amateur video.
Obama continued his prevarication on this tragedy in the third debate Monday, saying about the Benghazi murders, "With respect to Libya, as I indicated in the last debate, when we received that phone call, I immediately made sure that, number one, we did everything we could to secure those Americans still in harm's way…." We could use the White House phone logs on that one. Because while the attack that culminated in the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens went on for hours, the U.S. Air Force was just one hour flight time away, in Sicily. But it was apparently too much to rouse them for a rescue, attacking and scattering the terrorist attackers.
Moreover, whatever President Obama did order in response, it was not only way too little, but way too late, because the Administration had been receiving requests from the Ambassador for additional security in an increasingly dangerous environment since February. But the requests were denied. Even on the anniversary of 9/11, when the heightened danger should have been obvious, no additional security was provided. Obama and the liberal softies in his Administration did not want to offend Muslim sensibilities with additional show of force. That is why the American guards were denied even ammunition for their guns, and the Administration was relying on Libyan security, even when Ambassador Stevens had reported that government security forces were outmanned and outgunned by the Islamist extremists.
Ambassador Stevens and the Marines and other American personnel killed with him volunteered to serve their country. They did not volunteer to be abandoned and murdered. President Obama's failure to provide the requested security, or roust available U.S. forces for a rescue, can only be described as dereliction of duty.
In Monday's debate, President Obama says that Governor Romney "wants to spend another $2 trillion on military spending that our military's not asking for." But the leaders of the military he is talking about serve at his pleasure, or may even have been appointed by him.
Romney again corrected the record, saying the under Obama's defense policies our Navy will be "smaller than any time since 1917. The Navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their mission. We're now down to 285. We're headed down to the low 200s if we go through with sequestration." Moreover, under Obama's policies our Air Force will be "older and smaller than any time since it was founded in 1947." In addition, "Since FDR…we've always had the strategy of saying we could fight in two conflicts at once. Now we're changing to one conflict." The problem with only being able to fight in one conflict at a time is that once America is embroiled in a conflict, it is vulnerable to attack on a second front from anyone else. That is why that policy has not been followed since America became a superpower.
But Obama countered:
You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military's changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines. And so the question is not a game of Battleship where we're counting ships. It's what are our capabilities.
Notice that Obama here did not deny that our Navy under his policies is down to the lowest level since 1916. But he fails to see that Navy ships do not hold the status in today's military of horses and bayonets. Under his policies, moreover, we will have fewer aircraft carriers as well.
The military does not want any more ships than we had in 1916? That is not what both of Obama's Secretaries of Defense have said. They both said that Obama's defense cuts would be devastating to our nation's defenses. That goes for an Air Force that is older and smaller than at any time since our Air Force was founded in 1947.
But even more scary is President Obama's plans for unilateral nuclear disarmament. Most people do not know that President Obama has asked the Pentagon for plans to cut America's remaining nuclear deterrent by up to 80%. I say remaining because that is from what is left after President Obama's disastrous nuclear arms treaty with Russia last year.
Obama is the one who is stuck in a Cold War mentality, still negotiating arms deals with the Russians as if we were still in a bipolar world. Under Obama's New Start Treaty with Russia, America's nuclear forces are slashed to 1500 warheads, with essentially no cuts from Russia in return, because after the Soviet Union's collapse and disintegration, it cannot maintain nuclear forces even close to the limits allowed. What was smart about that? Another cut of 80% would reduce total warheads to 300, little more than Great Britain.
But that is in a context where Russia is not the only potential foe that we must deter. China is rapidly developing a more modern nuclear force. Proliferation is spreading from Pakistan to North Korea to Iran. Once Iran gets a nuclear weapon, we can expect Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and probably Egypt will as well. Even Russia is rapidly modernizing a threatening nuclear force.
Moreover, with just 300 warheads left, are we enticing a first strike to remove the remaining nuclear assets? Our nuclear strategy has always been based on the Triad concept, with nuclear forces on land on missiles, at sea on ships, and in the air through aircraft bombers. But just 300 warheads can be deployed on just 30 missiles with modern, multiple warhead technology.
Reagan gave us Peace through Strength. War threatens America with War through Weakness. Indeed, what exactly did Obama mean when he told former Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev to tell Russian strongman Vladimir Putin that he would have more flexibility after the election? Is that why Putin has endorsed Obama for re-election?
You Didn't Build That
In the debates, Obama has repeatedly bragged that under his leadership America has increased production of oil and natural gas to record levels, while "we've cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades." But Romney pointed out that the oil and gas production gains had nothing to do with Obama's energy policies, which had aimed at just the opposite results. Those gains all came on state and local lands, where Obama's policies could not stop them.
Romney charged in the second debate, "In the last four years, you cut permits and licenses on federal lands and waters in half." "Not true Governor Romney. The production is up," Obama replied. Romney responded, "Production on government land of oil is down 14%, and production of gas is down 9%." Romney here was just citing accurately official U.S. government statistics from Obama's own Administration. But that did not stop Obama from saying in response, before the whole nation, "What you're saying is just not true. It's just not true."
What else can be said about this dishonorable display of dishonesty before the American people, other than that Obama is The Liar President. As the Wall Street Journal said on October 18:
The problem for the President is that a government outfit called the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) compiles these statistics. That's where Romney got his accurate figures on oil and gas production on government land and permitting in Obama's first term. The EIA also reports that total fossil fuel production in public areas -- oil, gas and coal -- has plunged to a nine year low, to 18.6 quadrillion BTUs, from 21.2 quadrillion in 2003.
The real problem is not President Obama. It is his supporters and contributors who are willing to blindly support this dishonesty, after four years of accelerating decline and failure, which will only continue in the second term. Obama is Marxist royalty by heritage, born and bred. Check the public record. Under his leadership, the Democrat party has become a Marxist party as well. Is that what a majority of Americans want? Despite the lies, so well supported by the Democrat-controlled media, the American people seem to be waking from their dangerous slumber.
Peter Ferrara is Director of Entitlement and Budget Policy at the Heartland Institute, Senior Fellow for the National Center for Policy Analysis, Senior Policy Advisor on Entitlement Reform and the Budget for the National Tax Limitation Committee, and General Counsel of the American Civil Rights Union. He served in the White House Office of Policy Development for President Reagan, and as Associate Deputy Attorney General of the United States under President George H.W. Bush.