Leaders, Lies and Terror
Our worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves, but our most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves about terror.
From Benghazi and Boston to Kabul and Karachi, to Fort Hood, Detroit and New York, Barack Obama and his aides have been lying about terror.
The Obama Administration’s acts surpass even the maneuvers by President Richard Nixon, who used spies against political opponents while covering up for Arab terror.
Nixon and Co. hid the fact that Yasser Arafat ordered the murder of three diplomats at the US embassy in Khartoum Sudan in January, 1974. The US concealed this for years, hoping Arafat would help the US and its intelligence services.
Nixon was forced from office for a different cover-up—the Watergate affair which also involved using the IRS and US spy agencies against Nixon foes. Now the Obama Administration has overseen the use of the IRS against opponents while throwing a huge fishing net over the phone records of the Associated Press. But it gets worse.
President Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delayed and deceived regarding the murder of four Americans in Benghazi Libya—and how they botched the matter. They ignored warnings of impending attack from the murdered ambassador himself, then explained the attack as a reaction to an anti-Muslim video.
Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder tried to close Guantanamo Base where the US got much usable data against Osama Bin-Laden and other terrorists, saving thousands of lives. Obama-Holder blocked or impeded probes at Fort Hood, Detroit and now Boston with politically-tinged directives curtailing investigations.
Obama-Holder stopped serious interrogation, tried probing the very interrogators and commandos who did our best counter-terror work. Obama-Holder tout terror conviction rates, believing that terror is prosecuted, not prevented. They are wrong.
We now know Fort Hood, Benghazi and even Boston could have been prevented if the US agencies had NOT been crippled by bureaucratic and political considerations imposed from above. This happened in 9-11 2001 and on 9-11-2012 in Benghazi.
A US Senate report concluded that Fort Hood could have been prevented, but US Army personnel were ordered NOT to react to the maniacal Islamic terror signs—the precursors of terror—shown by terrorist Nidal Malik Hassan.
Even after the murder of 13 people at Fort Hood, the Obama Administration covered up, classifying the mass murder as work-place violence, even though the Islamic terrorist yelled out “Allah Akbar” in Arabic as he murdered his colleagues.
The FBI and local police did not check threads of inquiry. This happened before—in the 1993 World Trade Center attack, again on 9-11-2001, and now again in Boston. Bureaucratic and political angles once again trumped fighting and preventing terror.
Obama’s image as a strong leader rests on claims that killing Bin-Laden stopped most Al-Qaeda activities and virtually all terror. The president claims his outreach to the Arab-Islamic community has produced good results. He is wrong.
There is an upsurge in attempted terror against US targets in the last four years, because Bin-Laden had already inspired a new generation of terrorists, perhaps because the flow of human intelligence dried up, and also because Obama’s appeasing the worst Arab-Islamic states did not produce results.
Barack Obama began his presidency by engaging Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, the murderous Assad regime in Syria and the Islamist government in Turkey. All have repaid this with unmitigated extremism and even with blood.
Obama was slow on Iran as it sped up its nuclear bomb program, accelerated terror abroad and brutalized dissidents at home. Egypt’s Brotherhood, with a gentle nudge from Obama, pushed out our ally Husni Mubarrak and remilitarized the Sinai.
Turkey has moved to isolate Israel and to block it from counter-terror forums, but Obama even suggested that Turkey mediate the nuclear dispute with Iran. REALLY!
The first step to correct policy is to admit mistakes. Obama could learn from President John Kennedy who took responsibility for the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961.
President Obama has done the opposite, evading responsibility, stifling free thinking and free discussion. Documents are withheld. Witnesses are threatened. Facts are laundered. The president has ordered the US policy community to purge the term “war on terror” and “Islamic terror.” This has real consequences.
“War” suggests a supreme national effort. “Islamic terror” or “radical Islam” are terms signifying a phenomenon or an ideology bigger than one organization. Obama uses “our battle against Al-Qaeda” because he will not fight radical ideologies but only “engage” them. He has trouble naming our enemy and its ideology.
Obama’s counter-terror approach seeks short-term political gain rather than long-term counter-terror results. Its greatest casualty is the truth about terror today.
President Obama prefers to look at the leaves while the forest is beginning to burn as it did before 9-11, 2001. Let’s stop lying to ourselves about terror.
Dr. Michael Widlanski served as Strategic Affairs Advisor in Israel’s Ministry of Public Security, and wrote Battle for Our Minds: Western Elites and the Terror Threat published by Threshold/Simon and Schuster. He teaches at Bar Ilan University and is Schusterman Visiting Professor at the University of California at Irvine, 2013-2014.