The Independent last night revealed that the U.S. government had been warned about the possibility of violence against U.S embassies in the Middle East a full 48 hours prior to the attacks in Libya (that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens), but did not act. Where could Obama have been instead of receiving (and acting on) intelligence briefings?
According to the White House schedule, both Obama and Vice President Biden’s schedules said “no public schedule”.
As it turns out, he was campaigning in top battleground state, Florida. We checked the media from the days leading up to the attacks on the U.S. embassy in Libya, and according to the Boston Globe, “President Obama spent his weekend touring Florida by bus, hammering Republican nominee Mitt Romney….” Local Florida blog, Alligator.org, adds a little geographic flavor: “The bus tour started in Seminole and Kissimmee on Saturday and continued to Melbourne and West Palm Beach on Sunday.”
An Associated Press caption suggested that Obama made phone calls during his stop at an Obama for America Field Office in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Then, he got a bear hug from Scott Van Duzer, owner of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Italian Restaurant chain. His final stop was at a rally at the West Palm Beach Convention Center.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the President has “checked out” on foreign policy issues. According to Dallas Blog, “Obama was absent at the APEC Summit 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia last week as tensions over territorial disputes in Asia have heightened to dangerous levels.” Then, there was the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu snub.
Washington Post columnist Marc Theissen raises an alarming point: “It turns out that more than half the time, the commander in chief does not attend his daily intelligence meeting.” And, in fact, several outlets have reported that Obama attended more fundraising events than intelligence briefings since launching his re-election campaign.
Maybe Clint Eastwood’s “empty chair” performance was not as far fetched as critics originally thought. Further, this situation calls to mind the commercial from the Democratic primary in 2008 in which now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggests she’d be the best person to answer that 3 a.m. phone call to the White House. At this point, we’d be okay with just about anyone answering that call – as the 3 a.m. phone call has been ringing for days.
Worse, according to today’s White House schedule, Michelle Malkin points out that it doesn’t appear as though anyone is taking this threat seriously. Is anybody home in the West Wing?