Bob Woodward’s new book Obama’s Wars includes a new revelation about the president’s outlook on domestic terrorism — and some aren’t too happy about it.
As the Washington Post reports today, the president sat down with Woodward in July and discussed his views on another terrorist attack in the U.S.:
Woodward’s book portrays Obama and the White House as barraged by warnings about the threat of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil and confronted with the difficulty in preventing them. During an interview with Woodward in July, the president said: “We can absorb a terrorist attack. We’ll do everything we can to prevent it, but even a 9/11, even the biggest attack ever . . . we absorbed it and we are stronger.”
That quote isn’t sitting well with some, including former UN Ambassador John Bolton. Appearing on “Fox and Friends” this morning, Bolton blasted the president for the statement and said the comment proves Obama may not be fit to be commander-in-chief:
First Things blogger Warner Todd Huston is baffled by the statement considering the president’s actions. He says Obama hasn’t done anything to make sure the U.S. can absorb another attack:
In fact Obama has done his level best to make us more vulnerable. From reducing the threat status, to eliminating intelligence programs that were getting results, to simply sending drones to wipe out terrorists (that then take any actionable intelligence to the gave), even to making a mockery of our strength by using childish euphemisms such as “overseas contingency operations,” Obama has taken America off its security footings.
Ace of Spades blogger “Ace” believes that the comment represents an underlying leftist belief that “we’re just going to have to be mature about mass murder.” [Emphasis his] He adds:
But the left is pushing this idea that we can safely “absorb” many new 9/11’s with an eye towards getting us to “accept” the greater bargain they fatuously offer — peace, and a general wind-down of post-9/11 security “overreactions” like the FBI tracking Muslims suspected of terrorist ties. If only we didn’t overreact to the occasional mass-murder, we could go about our business without war, without increased security measures, without “Islamophobia,” without the rest of it. [Emphasis his]*
Meanwhile, the New York Times reports that Woodward’s book also portrays a disjointed, backstabbing, and divided war staff that could not agree on a plan for the war in Afghanistan.
For example, Vice President Joe Biden detested the president’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke, calling him “the most egotistical bastard I’ve ever met.” And new Afghanistan War General David Petraeus abhorred dealing with the president’s senior adviser David Axelrod because he was “a complete spin doctor.”
The Times article may also show that the deadline the president recently set for withdrawal in Afghanistan may have been a political move meant to appease Democrats. While discussing the decision with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, Obama is reported to have said that he has to stick to the deadline because “I can’t let this be a war without end, and I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.”
Scrambling to do damage control, the White House responded this morning by trying to downplay the reports as war-time sausage making:
Obama’s Wars is due out September 27.
*(Editor’s note: this quote and the preceding paragraph were added shortly after publication.)