Panic is never pretty. When it involves a politician scrambling desperately to stay afloat, it is ugly. When it involves a president of the United States trading national-security secrets for political gain, it is obscene.
Twice last week, The New York Times published insider accounts of Obama-administration decisions. One involved “kill lists” of terrorists targeted by drones. The other described cyberwarfare attacks against Iran.
The articles revealed details of top-level meetings and quoted the president’s comments. They were so gushingly favorable to him that it’s clear they were based on authorized leaks by the White House designed to make Obama look tough against terror. Flattery was part of the bargain.
So we learned the president insists on giving final approval to each target, a “grim debating society” that tests his “principles.” We learned he “is a student of writings on war by Augustine and Thomas Aquinas” and follows the “just war theories of Christian philosophers.” Adviser John Brennan, described as a “grizzled” son of Irish immigrants, is compared “to a priest whose blessing has become indispensable” to Obama.
Naturally, campaign guru David Axelrod attends these “Terror Tuesday” meetings. Not that politics is involved, of course.
This is more than an unseemly spiking of the football. This is reckless politicking that reflects his “anything goes” approach to November: Nothing is sacred except four more years.