Ah, the plight of all those oh-not-so-smart people inside the Obama White House. The ones in charge of our national security. The ones who write, and then redact, emails and talking points. The types whose qualifications include an MFA in creative writing ( which is in and of itself a sad comment)
Seems the WH felt, in light of the release of the horrific video of James Foley's beheading, that they-had-to-do-something-to-show-that-they-are-in-control-of-events.
So they dragged Obama off the golf course yesterday , gave him a sports jacket, and had him "play through" the press briefing area to mutter a few banal inanities, then sent him off to finish the back nine.
Sensing that wasn't quite enough, they decided late yesterday to leak the news that the US had attempted, earlier this year, to rescue Foley and other kidnapped Americans.
See, we tried...
Releasing this information was obviously a very bad political decision, as it is so wrong in so many ways. Why tell the enemy what we did, and what our capabilities are?
Operationally, the mission was a success. The troops arrived at the targeted location..but the hostages had already been moved. They departed..with no casualties, and the enemy had no idea we'd even attempted a rescue.
Now they know.
And it 's portrayed around the world as the US once again trying, and failing. Which makes us look weak, and emboldens the bad guys.
Obviously the WH has no knowledge of Operation Eagle Claw...Jimmy Carter's last ditch attempt to save the hostages held in Iran, and his presidency. That operation failed, and cost the lives of 8 US soldiers.
There were many reasons for that failure; among them being mechanical problems with some of the aircraft, bad weather, and some rotten luck. But it is now generally been conceded that at the time, the operation was organized on a rush basis, and was almost beyond the then-capabilities of the nascent US Special Forces commands. Everything would have had to work just perfectly..with a big ration of luck added..for "Eagle Claw" to succeed.
So, is Obama determined to "rescue" Jimmy Carter from his position as the worst US president since the end of WW II?
It would appear so.
Personal note: The news of the failure of the rescue attempt in Iran broke late that night, about midnight. I recall that I was in the car, heading home. I'd just gotten off the train after a late night in the office, turned on the radio, to listen to Alison Steele, "the "Nightbird" (and one of the first female DJs in the country at that time, on WNEW. She read the news off the wire, said a brief prayer for our troops, and then, amazingly..astonishingly... for a "progressive rock" station, she played Glen Miller's "American Patrol."
It was just the absolutely perfect thing to do, as they really was nothing more to be be said.
If you're not familiar with the tune...take a listen: