cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
The recent reports about how often President Obama participates in his ‘daily’ intelligence briefings paint a none-too-flattering picture about his interest in such things. Reports indicated that he actually partakes of those briefings in the range of forty percent of the time. Having seen no pushback by the Administration, one has to assume there was more truth to those reports than we’d like to believe.
Given everything that occurs in this world in a twenty-four hour period, how does he stay in touch? We live in the era of twenty-four hour news cycles. Bulletins pop up on a fairly regular basis for us citizens. There is little that occurs anymore that we’re not watching on our screens in real time. I’d be very surprised if that isn’t the case within our intelligence community, as well.
How can the president not be involving himself daily? Is this apparent disregard for the efforts of our intelligence community part of what seems to have been our unpreparedness for the recent happenings in the Middle East? We are learning now, a few days after the loss of life in Libya and the general unrest throughout a major portion of the Middle East, that Egypt made reports to our intelligence agencies forewarning of this unrest that seemed to take us by surprise. The security officer, now dead, in our Libyan consulate advised that it was under surveillance and had been for several days.
We were, obviously, in that “September 11th” anniversary time period and should’ve been very much aware of everything gathered in our intelligence nets. If the President of the United States ignores even one daily intelligence report, let along several each week, there is a problem. The Middle East time bomb is ticking, and has been ticking for some time, and yet there is no seeming sense of urgency at the highest levels in Washington, D.C.
Even in the president’s dealings with other leaders worldwide, knowledge of the intelligence scene would seem to be paramount. The subtleties and nuances that often shade things would certainly be enhanced from a thorough knowledge, not just a self-perceived knowledge, of what is going on every day.
As this revelation plays out, I find myself wondering how well-informed the president is on the subject of Iran, and whether he might be well-advised to meet with and listen to the leader of Israel who lives that issue 24/7.