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Obama Administration's Priority Is Public Relations

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Vote for Endicott Peabody. He’s better than you are. That bumper sticker slogan appeared, mischievously, in South Boston decades ago. Endicott Peabody, grandson of the founder of the elite Groton school, was then the liberal governor of Massachusetts. Some of those Irish-American wags, “Southies,” had had it with Peabody’s insufferable moralizing. They put out that gag bumper sticker, and it had its intended effect. Peabody was dumped unceremoniously in a Democratic primary. His political career never recovered. His prep school nickname, “Chub,” spoke to his aristocratic pedigree. It’s not something you should flaunt in our democratic republic.

Barack Obama is the latest Harvard liberal to give us the “Chub” treatment. His comments about the American people (“they”) show how out-of-touch he is. During the `08 campaign, he dismissed the folks who live in what liberals call “flyover country” by saying they cling to their guns and religion and fear people who are not like themselves.

This is an administration that allowed a known jihadist to roam freely through a major army base in Texas. Nidal Hasan openly defied higher authority. He even gave PowerPoint presentations on why our enemies were right to use violence against us!

When this walking time bomb finally exploded, killing fourteen at Fort Hood, the Obama administration promised us an “investigation.” What they delivered is nothing more than a whitewash of years of bureaucratic coddling of terrorism and winking at treason. It didn’t even mention Islamism or jihad. The murderer had a business card calling himself a “Soldier of Allah.” He cried out “Allahu Akbar” as he murdered his fellow soldiers.

Federal investigators had known about Hasan and his family going back to 2001. The FBI, we learn, was aware that Nidal Hasan had been exchanging emails with Anwar al-Awlaki, the al Qaeda leader holed up in Yemen. But the feds determined that because Nidal Hasan was said to be an Army psychiatrist and because he was asking Awlaki about the mental stresses on Muslims in our army, his emails were okay.

What? Imagine it’s World War II, and we have a German-American soldier whose parents were members of the pro-Nazi Bund in the 1930s. And we learn that our soldier has been exchanging letters with top Nazi brass. Do we think for a minute that the FBI in 1943 would have given him a pass?

What’s the difference? Our top leaders then—from President Roosevelt down to the lowliest private—were determined to win World War II. The Obama administration, as we learned from Bob Woodward’s book, is primarily concerned about public relations. They don’t actually want our enemies to win, but they’re determined not to call the struggle a “war.” It’s an “overseas contingency.” And they want to give enemy combatants all the protections and privileges of domestic criminal defendants. It’s how the ACLU goes to war.

As Woodward makes clear, this administration is deathly afraid of offending its left wing base. They’d prefer not to mention Afghanistan or Guantánamo Bay if they can avoid it.

Here’s the best proof that politics, not principle, is guiding the actions of the Obama administration: Nidal Hasan’s arraignment has been held over for three weeks at Fort Hood—until after the midterm elections.

Why does this matter? Because he is being charged with thirteen deaths, not fourteen. One of Hasan’s victims was pregnant. The Unborn Victims of Violence Act (UVVA) applies wherever the federal government has primary jurisdiction—from the District of Columbia, to national parks, to military installations. It applies to our bases in Afghanistan and to our units and planes operating there. It applies to Fort Hood.

The law is called the Lacy and Conner Peterson Act, even though it would not have applied in the case of that young mother and her unborn son. Their murder was a state criminal matter for California.

The UVVA is also a part of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). So why isn’t Nidal Hasan being charged with the death of an unborn child, too?

Might it be because the Obama administration chooses not to raise this issue in the critical weeks leading up to midterm elections? Could it be because it does not want to further antagonize its liberal base?

Now, remind us, Mr. President: Exactly who is it who behaves irrationally when he is afraid? I think it’s not the American people. Sadly, I think it’s our current leadership.

Stand by for Obama and his party to get a Chubbing next month.

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