The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Tommy Flanagan

Many, many years ago, the Saturday Night Live comedian, John Lovitz, played a part that Wikipedia describes in the following manner: "Tommy Flanagan,The Pathological Liar who used the old catchphrase 'Yeah! That's the ticket!' as he, after visible effort, finally finished constructing his latest lie."

This past Sunday, National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, appeared on ABC's This Week to discuss the prisoner swap for Bowe Bergdahl. She said:
"Sergeant Bergdahl wasn't simply a hostage. He was an American prisoner of war captured on the battlefield. We have a sacred obligation we have upheld since the found of our Republic to do our utmost to bring back our men and women who are taken in battle."
I suppose that technically what she said was correct, and I agree with her contention that we do have an obligation to get our prisoners out of enemy hands.  But as facts about Bergdahl actions emerge, parts of her statement are suspect at best. First-person accounts from other soldiers suggest that Bergdahl deserted his base and voluntarily walked into Taliban territory (for reasons unknown). He was "captured" only because of that. There was no "battle" during his walkabout. Okay ... you can argue that this is political spin, I suppose, but since the facts seem to refute her comments (unless you're a lawyer), why did she make comments in that way?

She then went on the say that Bergdahl "served with honor and distinction." Many of his fellow soldiers seem to think otherwise. Why would she make that statement? There was no need for it, given that the administration has been aware of the circumstances of Bergdahl's imprisonment for many years.

It seems that Susan Rice is the functional equivalent of Tommy Flanagan. She seems compelled to lie reflexively—about Benghazi on five Sunday morning shows, and now, about Bowe Bergdahl on (only) one Sunday morning show.

This Tommy Flanagan modus operandi is far too common among members of this administration, up to and including the president ("... if you like your plan, you can keep your plan"). Yesterday, Obama's EPA chief made the outrageous assertion that the president's new environmental regulations wouldn't increase energy costs in the 17 states that rely predominantly on coal-fired power plants and at the same time, would create jobs rather than destroy them! She channeled Tommy Flanaghan—all with a straight face.

This was really quite funny on Saturday Night Live. In real life, it's not funny at all.


The Bergdahl story gets messier by the hour. In this case, the media seems to be doing an aggressive job of reporting (that, in itself, is noteworthy in this presidency). James Rosen (the Fox reporter that was targeted by Obama's DoJ) writes:
A senior official confirms to Fox News that the conduct of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl -- both in his final stretch of active duty in Afghanistan and then, too, during his time when he lived among the Taliban -- has been thoroughly investigated by the U.S. intelligence community and is the subject of "a major classified file."

In conveying as much, the Defense Department source confirmed to Fox News that many within the intelligence community harbor serious outstanding concerns not only that Bergdahl may have been a deserter but that he may have been an active collaborator with the enemy.

The Pentagon official added pointedly that no relevant congressional committee has sought access to the classified file, but that if such a request were made, key committee chairs would, under previous precedent, likely be granted access to it. Separately, the Pentagon confirmed Monday that it is looking into claims Americans died during the search for Bergdahl.
It looks like the geniuses at the White House refused to look at the facts yet again and instead think they can spin a story with impunity. Rosen writes:
Sources told Fox News that many officials in the Executive Branch are "quite baffled" by the White House's decision to allow the president to stand alongside Bergdahl's father this past weekend, given the father's history of controversial statements, emails and online posts.
Tommy Flanagan would be proud of the administration's mendacious attempt to spin this story and create a hero where no hero exists.