Paul  Kengor
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The last few weeks have produced many intriguing political moments, but none as shocking as the revelation that President Obama has been absent from the vast majority of his daily intelligence briefings.

According to a study by the Government Accountability Institute, Obama failed to attend a single Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) in the week leading up to the recent anniversary of 9/11 and the chaos that erupted in the Arab world. The mere fact that we were approaching 9/11 was a crucial enough reason to attend not one but all the briefings. President Obama attended none.

Worse, this is apparently nothing new. Obama attended only 43.8 percent of his Daily Briefs in the first 1,225 days of his administration. For this year, he attended a little over a third.

This is stunning, and there’s no excuse for it.

Washington Post columnist, Marc Thiessen, who worked for President George W. Bush, pressed NSC spokesman Tommy Vietor for an explanation. Thiessen reported:

Vietor did not dispute the numbers, but said the fact that the president, during a time of war, does not attend his daily intelligence meeting on a daily basis is “not particularly interesting or useful.” He says that the president reads his PDB every day, and he disagreed with the suggestion that there is any difference whatsoever between simply reading the briefing book and having an interactive discussion of its contents with top national security and intelligence officials where the president can probe assumptions and ask questions. “I actually don’t agree at all,” Vietor told me in an e-mail. “The president gets the information he needs from the intelligence community each day.”

That’s simply the White House covering for the president.

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