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).