Zip it about the OBL raid already….

From the Weekly Standard:

We are very concerned about the security of our families – of your families and our troops, and also these elite units that are engaged in things like that. And without getting into any details … I would tell you that when I met with the team last Thursday, they expressed a concern about that, and particularly with respect to their families,’ Gates told the audience.
‘Frankly, a week ago Sunday, in the Situation Room, we all agreed that we would not release any operational details from the effort to take out bin Laden. That all fell apart on Monday, the next day.

The above item reminded me of the widely-linked Walter Russell Mead blog essay (which I found via Instapundit):

The leadership class of a country like ours needs to exemplify and to teach smart patriotism: a deep love of country that expresses itself in a concern for the well being of our fellow Americans, a sense of personal dignity and economic restraint, a willingness to set the example of sacrifice for the common good.

I am not making a strictly partisan point. I’m channeling a popular mood. Call it a malaise of sorts. Twitter comes at exactly the wrong time for our Codevilla-elite populist moment. Twittering, “tweeping” glibness and DC chumminess on display for all to see, hand-in-hand with Hollywood celebrities and think tank favorites testifying on Capital Hill, “nerd proms,” and the rest of it. Or maybe it is EXACTLY the right moment because it allows the little people – that’s you and me, folks – to see elements of the sausage making.

A good for society in the long term, but nausea-inducing in the immediate term as we work our way back to some semblance of decent, practical governance.

Update: Hmmm….am I being too “elliptical” in my commentary? It is odd for a blogger – and a blogger that loves to share, at that – to make this point, but make it I will: we have a tendency to overshare these days and use all kinds of tools (Twitter, reporters) to do it. Mr. Personal Memoir President, loose lips in DC, and a culture of blabbing every little thing that enters into our heads. I’m as guilty as the rest. Except, classified information is a bit different than telling people what you had for lunch. So I guess I’m not as guilty as the rest.

Second Update: Thanks for the link, Instapundit! I sort of wish I hadn’t included the President in this particular post because I really did want to make a larger point about American culture as a whole and not just our largely feckless political class. (I’m still impressed that the President gave the “go ahead” for the raid. Somehow, I didn’t think he had it in him but I suppose all Presidents would have done the same).

8 thoughts on “Zip it about the OBL raid already….”

  1. Informing the world of your lunch menu, and then breathlessly expounding on your dinner plans is boring.

    Revealing potentially vital information and jeopardizing the lives of our soldiers and sailors in the pursuit of the next sound bite is something quite different.

    One is silly, one is treason.

  2. ….and all [their] friends were so knocked out…

    The elite think if we’ll believe that a 3 years too late release of a digital image they claim to be a photo of a birth certificate is an example of timely & legitimate presentation of one’s bona fides, that we’ll believe anything.

    But worse is the insatiable craving of the popular to keep impressing their fellow party-goers.

    ….had to have the last word, last night…had to have a white hot spotlight…

    That “situation room photo” should go down in history. They tried to foist a story line on us that would have made a hero out of a guy watching the newest in stage-managed “reality television”.

    … the story of your latest success
    Kept ’em so entertained
    But now you just can’t remember
    All the things you said

    And you’re not sure you want to know….

    PS: Lyrics? Yahoo: Billy Joel. :-)

  3. Sad, but needed post.

    Gates sounds like a very disappointed patriot. He’s really risked his neck, and gotten the short end a few times, for the service of remaining in his job with this administration.

    This is quite an admission, and we can expect a sharp rebuke soon. It may not be directly on this point, but this administration doesn’t let this kind of thing slide.

    Why did Joe Biden slip who conducted this raid? Why did the rest of the admin claw over eachother to give out more and more details? Some of the details weren’t even true (since they contradicted). We have details that paint the SEALs as shooting unarmed women on their quest to kill Bin Laden in cold blood (far from the reality of what they did), and this will haunt us if a nation ever captures a SEAL or other serviceman and uses this as an example of our breaking the Geneva Conventions.

    But that’s just one problem. The handling of the aftermath of this triumph was almost to act ashamed for it.

    The least they could have done if kept their mouths shut. Now we learn they actually gave their word to do just that. Pathetic.

  4. Dustin said:
    “Now we learn they actually gave their word to do just that. Pathetic.”

    Goes to prove (once again) that lying is their stock in trade. No honor in this Administration.

    The fish rots from the head:

    BHO lied in his “memoirs,” he lied that he wrote those memoirs, and he’s lied about his factual past:

    “Bill Ayers is just some guy in the neighborhood.”

    “Although I attended Rev. Wright’s church for twenty years, and he married Michelle and I, and baptized our daughters, I never paid any attention to what he said.”

    If we do not pass this Stimulus Bill now [Jan. 2009], unemployment will go over 8%, and we may not ever recover from a bad economy.”

    Only fools and minions believe anything that this man or his Administration says. He is a serial liar.

    Shame more can’t see it. Denial is a powerful defense mechanism.

  5. Obama’s gleeful blabbing of information that undermines our military and intelligence efforts is grounds for impeachment.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone! I wish I had more time to address each one in detail :)

    (@ Tina – the Billy Joel lyrics are just perfect. Exactly what I was thinking of….)

    – Madhu

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