Only an outside ‘plumber’ will do (NEW YORK POST OP-ED) By MICHAEL GOODWIN 06/13/12)
NEW YORK POST
NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-Top
It’s clear to pretty much everybody in Washington that the torrent of
national-security leaks is coming from the top levels of the Obama
administration. After all, The New York Times variously identified
its sources as administration “officials” and “members of the
president’s national-security team” and “three dozen of his current
and former advisers.”
The paper cites a specific date and exact quotations from the
president and vice president in a Situation Room meeting with the
head of the CIA. Even President Obama belatedly conceded that the
leaks are probably criminal, which is why two Justice Department
prosecutors were appointed to pursue cases.
But there remains a huge and crucial difference of opinion over the
motives of the leakers. Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham and John
McCain and GOP House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Pete King
charge that the goal was to boost Obama’s warrior credentials for the
campaign. As King puts it, the descriptions of Obama deciding which
terrorists to kill make him look like “George Patton or John Wayne.”
Not coincidentally, the Republicans conclude that having a prosecutor
independent of the Justice Department chain of command is the only
way to ensure an honest probe.
On the other side sits Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of
California. Although furious at the release of classified
information, saying it “puts American lives in jeopardy,” she opposes
a special prosecutor and brushes off any political motive.
Feinstein matters because she is one of her party’s few trusted
voices on national security. Her criticism of the leaks finally
forced Obama to address them. If she flips on the independent
prosecutor, he’ll have to follow her.
That should happen soon, because the motive, like the sources, is
remarkably obvious. Understanding it starts by reversing the
question: Other than to help Obama’s campaign, what possible motive
could there be?
Tick, tock, tick, tock . . . time’s up. There is no other possible
All roads lead to the campaign, all the more so because the Times
puts re-election boss David Axelrod at the “kill list” meetings. He
denies being there, but the paper insists he was. White House
attendance logs could settle it.
Remember, too, Vice President Joe Biden’s pithy summation of the
campaign’s themes: “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
And consider the most likely reason aides revealed to the Times that
Israel and the United States jointly developed the Stuxnet computer
virus to disrupt Iranian nuclear computers. Doubts about whether he
intends to stop Iran from getting nukes is central to Obama’s tension
with Israel and many American Jewish voters. Disclosures that he sped
up and expanded the cyber attacks directly address that vulnerability.
Never mind that many Israelis are said to be shocked at the
disclosure. There isn’t much they can do about it. Even complaining
publicly would be an admission of guilt.
On the kill lists, Times reporters note the irony of the “liberal law
professor who campaigned against the Iraq war” now launching drone
strikes. To offset that whiff of hypocrisy, the leakers go to great
lengths to assure Obama’s left-wing base, which overlaps with Times
readers, that Obama is steeped in the “just war” doctrine
of “Christian philosophers.” An Irish aide is likened to a “priest”
and readers learn the president “is a student on the writings of war
by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas.”
The president is described as agonizing, sharp, decisive
and “comfortable with the use of force on behalf of the United
The only thing missing is a pitch for a campaign contribution.
Two final points. First, neither Obama nor the White House condemned
the leaks. They would have if they saw the articles as damaging or
incorrect. They must have been happy with them.
Second, the Times defended publishing classified info because the
issues are serious. On Stuxnet, the paper’s managing editor issued a
statement saying, “As always with sensitive stories, we described the
piece to the government before publication. No one suggested we not
Case closed. This was an inside job with an obvious purpose. An
independent prosecutor is essential.
Union is full of shhhhh!
Never underestimate the power the unions wield in Albany. The bosses
are like puppeteers, and when they pull the strings and say, “Jump,”
the dummy pols ask, “How high?”
In the case of teacher evaluations, it’s too damn high.
The unions want a law that would allow parents to see teacher
evaluations only by appointment. They would have to sign a
confidentiality agreement, and would not be able to make notes or
take any papers with them.
It sounds crazy because it is. It defies common sense, and the veil
would be shredded in hours as parents swapped information, much of it
inaccurate because they were forced to remember it. Families checking
out a new school would be shut out.
All this because the union wants to protect the very worst teachers.
History shows that 95 percent of teachers have nothing to fear from
evaluations, but it’s the bottom 5 percent driving the bus over the
No matter their public pronouncements about concerns for due process,
union leaders aim to make sure no teacher is ever fired for any
reason. In their warped views, any obstacle to accountability is fair
Peek-a-boo evaluations likely won’t survive, but their mere
consideration serves as a reminder of union greed.
Oops, sorry, my bad, everything they do is for the good of the kids.
What a de‘press’ing thought
Not a few readers were unhappy that I supported Mayor Bloomberg’s
plan to restrict large sugary sodas because taxpayers get stuck with
the health costs. But Steven Becker’s objections cut closest to home.
“I pay a fortune in real-estate taxes, much of which goes to the
local sanitation department, which, among other things, picks up our
discarded newspapers,” Becker wrote. “I think they should decree that
any newspaper larger than 32 pages should be banned.
“If people want more pages, they can just buy another copy of the
paper! Of course, this may reduce your column to only 100 words or
so, but you can understand the need to cut down on the money
taxpayers spend getting rid of the old newspapers, can’t you?”
FDNY judge is ho$ing us
This judge is out of order and off the wall. Not content with
demanding racial quotas in the city’s Fire Department, federal Judge
Nicholas Garaufis refuses to let city lawyers check the massive bills
submitted by a monitor he appointed. Despite a tab of $600,000 for
four months work, Dictator Garaufis twice rejected an audit.
He long ago crossed the bridge into crazy land, but his time could be
short. An appeals court is set to hear the city’s arguments against
him on June 26. Hope for sanity and justice.
High cost of ‘bail’
Here is a fact of life that dooms the bailout parties in Greece and
Spain: “Whoever gives money, never gives it for free,” a European
official tells The Wall Street Journal.
Bank on it. (Copyright 2012 NYP Holdings, Inc. 06/13/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY