One of the revelations from the Bob Woodward book “Obama’s Wars” concerns President Obama’s attitude toward the possibility of another 9/11-style terrorist attack. The revelations show an emotional detachment that is bone-chilling.
According to the Washington Post:
“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.'”
President Obama seems to be suggesting that another 9/11 or even worse attack would be somehow “acceptable.” The cold-blooded assessment shows a complete lack of empathy for the thousands of people who would be killed in such an attack, not to mention friends and family members left behind and a nation that would be traumatized and angered.
This attitude contrasts with that of George W. Bush and his administration, which bent every effort to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil-and succeeded. By contrast, there have been a number of near-tragedies on (and above) American soil, and at least one successful terror attack involving an Army Major of Muslim extraction slaughtering fellow soldiers at Fort Hood.
President Obama’s somewhat flippant regard toward another terror attack on American soil neglects to consider one possible outcome. That outcome would be a hardening of American attitudes toward terrorism, those who might support it, those who might excuse it, and even those who are deemed insufficiently opposed to it.
Another 9/11-or perhaps something worse, say the detonation of a dirty bomb or a low yield nuclear device-would likely cause Americans to not only accept, but to demand a “temporary” suspension of civil liberties to ensure that such an attack would never happen again. There have been times in American history when that has happened, such as the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the assaults on civil liberties of anti-war dissidents during World War I.
Another mass terrorist attack against the background of seemingly Presidential non-concern about the prospect would result in something else-the impeachment of said President. The “high crimes and misdemeanors” that caused Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton to be impeached would be nothing compared to the fury against a president who presided over another 9/11 and who was suspected of not doing enough to stop it because “–we absorbed it and we are stronger.”
If the prospect of deaths of thousands of Americans does not sufficiently move President Obama, perhaps the prospect of impeachment, removal from office, and permanent disgrace will.
Sources: Obama’s Wars, Bob Woodward, Simon and Schuster, 2010
Bob Woodward book details Obama battles with advisers over exit plan for Afghan war, Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post, September 22nd, 2010