Demagogues and Pettifogs

Guest Submission by: William L. Garvin

Mark Twain wrote that “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.” Somewhere around 450 BC, Aeschylus supposedly said “The first casualty of war is truth.” Today’s sorry state of affairs seems to combine both truisms.

In the fog of war, it is not uncommon for the first reports to contain some errors. However, when you have the President and all his key personnel watching a live feed of the SEAL operation to capture and/or kill Osama Bin Laden, you don’t expect errors in reporting of the magnitude we experienced. The initial reports of the “forty minute pitched battle” bear no resemblance to the actual undertaking.

Subsequently, political demagoguery commandeered center stage with Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi leading the charge: “The death of Osama bin Laden marks the most significant development in our fight against al-Qaida. . . . I salute President Obama, his national security team, Director Panetta, our men and women in the intelligence community and military, and other nations who supported this effort for their leadership in achieving this major accomplishment. . . . The death of Osama bin Laden is historic. . . .”

A modicum of class or decorum would have dictated at least a faint acknowledgement of President Bush and his administration’s efforts. Undoubtedly she will continue to rail against rendition and enhanced interrogation techniques despite the intelligence they provided. She will still view George Bush as a war criminal. At least she didn’t suggest that the SEALs should have killed him instead of bin Laden as liberal talk show host Mike Malloy did.

She also doesn’t recall her statement in a press conference in September, 2006, when she said: “Even if (Osama bin Laden) is caught tomorrow, it is five years too late. He has done more damage the longer he has been out there. But, in fact, the damage that he has done . . . is done. And even to capture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.” Hypocrisy personified.

There are other loons that don’t believe bin Laden is dead. We can put them in the same category as the 9/11 truthers who think it was an inside job orchestrated by George Bush or the Trig truthers who insist Sarah Palin is not his mother or those who believe the moon landing was an elaborate government hoax. Logic or rational thought will never permeate those concrete craniums. For them black is white; up is down; and fiction is fact.

No defense of this administration is too absurd not to be brayed; no scurrilous and unfounded slur against the opposition is to remain unsounded. For instance, in this paper last week a writer declared: “The highest level of unemployment during the recent recession came in 2007 when George W. Bush was President. The lowest level came in Feb. of 2010 when Obama was in office.” This is either pure insanity or  deliberate lying.

From the records of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate during the Clinton administration was 5.2%. Despite the media histrionics, the average unemployment rate during the eight years of the Bush administration was 5.26% with a LOW of 4.61% in 2006 and 2007! Facts are such stubborn things. The average number of unemployed Americans was 8.25 million during the Bush years. Compare that to the current number of 13.7 million unemployed and a 9.0% unemployment rate.

In an effort to cover up the President’s anti-oil vendetta, the same author says “Many permits were issued before the BP Gulf disaster, and many will likely be issued this year.” The vast majority of “permits” were merely reinstatements of drilling operations that had been arbitrarily suspended by the Obama administration. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar repeatedly appeals his continual losses in court and his cumbersome bureaucratic review process has created a “black hole of administration.”

As a result, the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects a loss in U.S. oil production of 240,000 barrels per day for 2010. The industry is projecting a loss as high as 360,000 barrels per day. That’s why the House passed a bill on May 5th to force this administration to issue the offshore drilling leases it has delayed or canceled. There are billions of dollars in oil revenues that could assist in balancing the budget; there are thousands of oil jobs that could assist in easing unemployment. Unfortunately, the pettifoggers will never find their way out of the forest because they are too busy planting dead trees and telling lies.

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