Brian Birdnow

Now the material point in this emerging story is quite simple. Did the Defense Department bend National Security rules in a bid to assist the Obama re-election effort?

The answer is undoubtedly “Yes”. Contrary to the DOD spokesman’s assertion the department has been quite selective in the past with the help they extend to filmmakers. During the fifth anniversary commemorations of the 9/11 attacks ABC-TV expressed frustration over the non-cooperation they received from the Defense Department when making a movie that expressed mild criticism over the Clinton Administration’s malfeasance in ignoring Bin Laden, and turning a blind eye to his infernal activities in the late 1990s. It is truly unprecedented that moviemakers were given access to highly secure areas at CIA headquarters at Langley Air Force Base. Finally, the military never allows “planners” to discuss operational matters with civilians who lack security clearances.

What is to be done, particularly if SONY pictures moves the release date of the movie forward by two months, or so? Certainly, Congressman King should pursue this issue by issuing subpoenas if necessary. DOD Secretary Leon Panetta can be invited to Capitol Hill to discuss this matter at a mutually convenient time. What, however, will the GOP do in the event of Democratic chicanery on this issue? Unfortunately the answer is probably nothing. The public should expect very little from candidate Romney, now that he has had a taste of the media lynch mob. History also teaches us that the Republicans fumble most issues due to the lack of a unified Party message.

The real story here is that a political Party and a candidate who will compromise national security secrets in an effort to gain partisan advantage will stop at nothing to win. This comes as no surprise to seasoned politicos, but never ceases to shock the ordinary citizen. Welcome to campaign 2012, just in time for Memorial Day.


Brian Birdnow

Brian E. Birdnow is a historian and teaches at a university in the St. Louis area.