One of the marks of a truly lousy leader is publicly placing blame on their subordinates. In most cases the subordinate is being blamed unfairly, and even when the staff is at fault, publicly shifting the blame reflects an unwillingness to shoulder any responsibility. President Obama has this nasty habit of placing the blame solidly on the lap of his subordinates. Then again, one would expect nothing less from someone who during the campaign, threw his Grandma and his spiritual mentor under the bus.
Many Commentators criticize the President’s interactions with Congress, they don’t understand why some of his most important legislation isn’t written by the White House and sent over to Congress for amendment and passage. Democrats in both the house and senate have criticized the Obama over this issue, and his failure to show leadership by presenting his preferences especially during the arduous health care process.
There is one simple reason for the President’s reluctance to get involved, plausible deniability. As long as he publicly keeps controversial decisions at arms length, he can place the blame on others.
Obama’s latest victim is Attorney General Eric Holder.
Like the decision to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA staff involved in enhanced interrorgation techniques, President Obama has stated that the decision to move the 9/11 terror trials to a civilian court in New York City, has been Eric Holder’s and Eric Holder’s alone.
It is very hard to comprehend that a politically explosive decision like that was made without the approval of the President. If that is really how it happened there are serious problems with the way Barack Obama is running the country. This was a HUGE decision, that not only has legal ramifications, but national security and foreign policy ramifications, if the POTUS wasn’t involved, he is way too hands off.
On the other hand if he was involved, well its another example of Barack Obama lying to the American public.
Wapo is reporting that the President says he is “finally” getting involved.
The White House has been taken aback by the intense criticism from political opponents and local officials of Holder’s decision to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a civilian courtroom in New York.
Administration officials acknowledge that Holder and Obama advisers were unable to build political support for the trial. And Holder, in an interview Thursday, left open the possibility that Mohammed’s trial could be switched to a military commission, although he said that is not his personal and legal preference.
“At the end of the day, wherever this case is tried, in whatever forum, what we have to ensure is that it’s done as transparently as possible and with adherence to all the rules,” Holder said. “If we do that, I’m not sure the location or even the forum is as important as what the world sees in that proceeding.”
Apparently the administration feels that world opinion is more important than what is good for American citizens.
Administration officials said the president’s involvement has to do with securing congressional funding for the costly trial before bipartisan efforts to strip financing for the case against Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators gain greater momentum. They said it was a matter of national security, not just politics.
Senior White House officials said that the decision to try Mohammed in New York was Holder’s and that no single person in the administration was responsible for handling the politics of that choice. In an effort to avoid leaks, Holder kept the decision close in the days leading up to his Nov. 13 news conference, calling New York officeholders that day to inform them. Several New York officials said they have dealt exclusively with Holder, first during the rollout of the announcement and more recently as he struggles to find another venue.
So he didn’t even tell the President? Axelrod and Gibbs had no Idea? Or was it that they thought the country would follow him like lemmings.
But several sources questioned why the administration — especially one replete with political veterans — has not done a better job of managing the complex politics of national security.
“How did this happen?” asked Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.). “It was being blind to political realities, and I don’t mean partisan politics. I mean the real, legitimate grass-roots feelings. They misread it.”
..According to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, 55 percent of voters say military tribunals should be used to try suspected terrorists, compared with 39 percent who say the civilian court system should be used. In November, there was an even split on this question.
…Obama gave little clue about how the administration will proceed when he was asked Sunday about the trial. But he made clear that, in a shift from last year, he is now part of the decision-making process, saying in a CBS interview that Manhattan was still an option. “I have not ruled it out,” Obama said.
If the White House is unable to find a civilian court where the Mohammed trial can be held, and if the political pressure continues, the administration may be forced to shift to a military commission.
Officials in the states where a civilian trial could be held have voiced clear opposition to hosting one. Two of the likeliest states with ties to the terrorist attacks — New Jersey and Virginia — recently elected Republican governors. Two other potential states — New York and Pennsylvania — have key 2010 elections. One possible site is the town of Newburgh, N.Y. State officials have said they would fight that move.
When Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate he voted “present” 130 times, showing that he did not want to register an opinion on key issues. As president he is doing the same thing, using “Plausible Deniability” to keep from being pinned down. That may be the mark of a politician, but it is NOT the mark of a leader. Unfortunately a leader is what the United States needs right now.