Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 27, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 18



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 27, 2012 

HOWARD Hays As I See It



This week’s editorial is simple and straight forward. Notwithstanding the lifeline 
that this week’s debate moderator threw to President Obama, the President’s 
handling of the terrorist attack disqualifies him from holding his current 
office or any other public office for that matter. There is absolutely no 
doubt that President Obama and his team screwed this up. Unfortunately, 
there is also little doubt they tried to cover this up, as the following chronology 
and testimony makes painfully clear.

On September 11th, our ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, Foreign 
Service Officer, Sean Smith, and two Navy Seals were killed when our embassy 
was attacked. 

On September 12th, President Obama addressed the nation, made no mention of terrorism*, but 
said “we reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, but there is no justification to this 
type of senseless violence”. He made no mention of terrorism. On September 13th, Secretary of State 
Hillary Clinton blamed a stupid YouTube video with inciting the violence. 

On September 14th, the White House spokesman, Jay Carney, stated “we have no information to suggest 
that it was a pre-planned attack”. On September 16th, UN Ambassador, Susan Rice, stated, “the 
best information and the best assessment we have today is that, in fact, this was not a pre-planned, 
premeditated attack”.

5 days into the investigation and the video is still being blamed by the administration and its representatives. 
This was immediately followed on September 17th by Hilary Clinton’s spokesperson 
who reiterated the company line and informed us that “it was also [the] assessment coming from the 
intelligence community”. 

But then, all Hell broke loose. In testimony before Congress, the former head of the U.S. military 
team in Libya testified before Congress that the administration had been warned by the embassy that 
they needed extra protection. Others in the intelligence community testified that they had informed 
the White House within 48 hours that they believed the attack was premeditated, pre-planned and 
a terrorist attack. Finally, as the story began to grow legs of its own, ABC jumped into the fray and 
reported that it had confirmed there were no protests of any kind outside the embassy when the terrorists 

The evidence at this point is overwhelming and points to one of only two possible conclusions. (a) 
Barak Obama, The President of the United States, was out of touch with the reality on the ground 
and simply did not know what he was talking about, or (b) he was simply lying in hopes of making 
it through the election. Either is terrible, almost unforgivable, and certainly disqualifies him from 
being reelected. 

Sadly, though, there is more to this story. So wedded were the members of Obama’s team – and 
Obama himself – to the “there is no terrorist attack” story line that they were willing to lie to the 
grieving mother of one of these victims. The mother of the murdered Foreign Service Officer was 
interviewed by Anderson Cooper last week. She told Anderson and his national audience that “they 
all told me – they promised me” they would tell her what really happened. In that interview, she 
continued her story. “They haven’t told me anything. The things they are telling me are outright lies. 
That Susan Rice, she talked to me personally and she said it was because of the film.” “Leon Panetta 
actually took my face in his hands like this and he said trust me. I will tell you what happened, and 
so far, he’s told me nothing.” 

There is no question that this was a colossal screw up. The administration had some warning about 
threats to the Ambassador; they had requests by the Ambassador for extra security; they reduced the 
security detail; they then had intelligence reports within 48 hours afterward confirming it as a terrorist 
attack; and then they lied to the American people because they believed the mistake severe enough 
to threaten Obama’s re-election chances. That is simply inexcusable behavior from a man who wishes 
to lead this nation. There are times when politics must be put aside, when duty to country must come 
first. Those of you reading this and disagreeing with me, please be honest with yourself about what 
your reactions would be had President Bush done these things.

Beyond these disqualifications, we have the even more serious and truly troubling manner in which 
this administration handled the mother of one of the victims. It takes fear to B.S. a nation like this. It 
takes a certain pathology to lie to the grieving mother. Out of sheer decency, she’s the one person in 
America you don’t B.S. It would have actually been better to say nothing to her, to let her deal with 
her grief alone, than to mislead her about your desire to get to the bottom of this. The presidency 
is no place for someone this incompetent or this detached, and certainly no place for someone with 
such heartless disregard for the pain and suffering engendered by the loss of a child . A nation, and a 
grieving mother, deserve better. 

*Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the author. However, it is the 
policy of this paper that columnists base their opinions on fact. Mr. Wellborn’s statement that the 
President did not mention terrorism the day after the attack is not true. To set the record straight, 
below is the CNN Fact Check on this matter: Governor Romney and Greg Welborn denied that the 
President spoke of terrorism the day after the attack.

“The facts: On September 12, the day after the attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador 
J. Christopher Stevens, Obama said in comments in the Rose Garden that he had learned about 
the attack on the consulate the night before.

 “Our country is only as strong as the character of our people and the service of those both civilian and 
military who represent us around the globe,” he said. “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this 
great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today we mourn four 
more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our 
commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.” 
Source: CNN

“You know, sometimes, when they say you're ahead of your time, it's just a polite way 
of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.”

- Former Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) 

After last Monday’s debate, Rachel Maddow commented that Romney seemed oblivious 
to the fact we’re in an actual war with 68,000 actual Americans facing actual 
injury and death, with actual families astonished that a candidate for president can 
so blithely reverse his position on Afghanistan (from condemning timelines to embracing 
President Obama’s commitment to withdraw troops by the end of 2014) a 
mere fifteen days before an election. 

There’s President Obama’s commitment to the security of our nation and the well-being of our troops; 
and there’s Romney’s commitment to the latest advice from his pollsters. There’s that disconnect with 
reality, as when Ann Romney on “The View” likened her sons’ serving the Mormon church as missionaries, 
as her husband did during the Vietnam War, to those serving our country in the military: 
“So, you know, we find different ways of serving.”

It brought to mind the Limbaughs and Hannitys and Dick (“I had other priorities”) Cheneys who’d 
gladly see others off to war while avoiding service themselves. 

It also brought to mind a former South Dakota Senator who flew 35 combat missions over Europe 
during WWII, bringing home a Distinguished Flying Cross. Some twenty-five years later, George 
McGovern became an object of derision by those we called “chicken hawks”; those cheerleaders for 
war who had “other priorities” for themselves and managed to score draft deferments for their sons.

(In his book “The Greatest Generation”, Tom Brokaw observed that McGovern’s war record was not 
widely known – it wasn’t the type of thing brought up in campaigns.)

George McGovern was raised by conservative, Republican parents in a conservative, Republican 
community. He won voter approval, though, for his sincerity and commitment to those he served.

This came from first-hand experience; he remembered the Dust Bowl of the Great Plains, with family 
members being paid in potatoes and cabbages. From wartime Europe, he remembered the children 
near starvation in the Italian villages adjacent to his airbase. (After V.E. Day, McGovern flew food 
relief flights to Northern Italy.)

McGovern studied under the G.I. Bill, eventually getting his PhD and raising a family as a college 
professor. He also became involved in politics, realizing he could make more of a difference as a 
politician than as a professor.

In 1956, McGovern became the first Democrat elected to Congress from South Dakota in 22 years. 
His focus was on rural America and hunger, here and abroad. He also argued that developments in 
post-war China and Southeast Asia were indigenous transformations, not evidence of some world-
wide Communist conspiracy – and argued for engagement, not isolation.

President Kennedy chose George McGovern to head the new Food for Peace program, using agricultural 
surpluses to help developing countries throughout the world. 

Elected to the Senate in 1962, McGovern spoke out against our policy of arming third-world countries 
rather than aiding their development, and in particular against our involvement in Viet Nam. 
Gen. Westmoreland and others attempted to mitigate the carnage by arguing life is “cheaper” in such 
countries – but McGovern decried losses suffered by the Vietnamese people as well as mounting 
American casualties.

Supporters of Robert Kennedy turned to McGovern to challenge Richard Nixon following the assassination 
of their own candidate in 1968. The anti-war vote was split between McGovern and Sen. 
Eugene McCarthy (D-MN), and the nomination went to Hubert Humphrey. Unlike McCarthy, McGovern 
endorsed his party’s nominee. Had McCarthy followed suit, one wonders whether the nation 
could’ve been spared the Nixon presidency.

McGovern increasingly argued it was the responsibility of Congress, not street demonstrators, to end 
the nightmare of Vietnam – and didn’t hesitate to tell his comfortable and complacent colleagues how 
he felt: “Every Senator in this chamber is partly responsible for sending 50,000 young Americans to 
an early grave. . . . It does not take any courage at all for a congressman, or a senator, or a president to 
wrap himself in the flag and say we are staying in Vietnam, because it is not our blood that is being 

When a fellow senator complained he’d been personally offended by those remarks, McGovern replied, 
“That’s what I meant to do.”

A change of policy would only come with a change of presidents, so four years later McGovern again 
became a candidate. AFL-CIO President George Meany backed the war in Vietnam, so if McGovern 
were to run with the support of organized labor, he’d have to soften his opposition to the war. He 
didn’t, and so he ran without that support.

The campaign of Richard Nixon had moles in the McGovern operation; when further bugging and 
infiltration became difficult, they switched their target to the Democratic National Committee, headquartered 
at the Watergate Hotel.

 In a radio interview a couple years ago, McGovern was asked why they didn’t use what they knew of 
Nixon’s tactics in their campaign. He replied they considered it, but ultimately the consensus was that 
the American people would refuse to believe their president was capable of such things.

After leaving the Senate, McGovern teamed with another former Senator and presidential candidate, 
Bob Dole (R-KS) in renewed efforts to fight world hunger, efforts continued through the United 

George McGovern stuck to his beliefs, had an underlying faith in the decency of the American people, 
and saw as his major accomplishment work to alleviate hunger not just in the farm towns of South 
Dakota, but throughout the world.

When I discussed his passing last week with my son, I mentioned my first vote for president was for 
George McGovern in 1972. My son’s was for Barack Obama, four years ago. His vote went for a winner; 
mine went for a candidate who lost by one of the largest margins in history. Had McGovern won 
by that margin instead, I still couldn’t be any more proud of that vote.

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