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Historicizing Current Events

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Big Media doesn’t always lie. Despite the transformation from “reporting” to “journalism”, fabricating people and events is still frowned upon. More insidious that outright lies—which can be crushed by genuine reporting and investigation—are lazy half-truths.

Media faces seem to look only as far and as long as needed to satisfy their preconceptions. Hurricane Katrina was a Federal Government (Bush) failure. As long as you focus on the 50,000 safe-but-whining people at the Superdome while quickly skipping past the 7,000 people rescued from imminent death by the Coast Guard.

Last week’s Tea Parties were a handful of crackpots complaining about taxes. Unless you were at one longer than a 2-minute stand-up in for the evening news, and noticed there were actually thousands of folks not just mad about taxes, but about every kind of government arrogance and excess.

Big media followed the piracy of the Maersk Alabama long enough to see the hostage captain was safe. It was worth extra time because this piracy thing is so new. Or not:

Many press reports have claimed that this was the first act of piracy against a U.S. flagged ship in over 200 years, or at least in modern times.  This is far from accurate.  In fact there are more recent incidents of piracy in the historic record: some that are much more recent.

Once it was established that the current President was ultimately responsible for the rescue, there wasn’t much need for any further curiousity. Small things, facts we used to call them, just get in the way:

Having spoken to some SEAL pals yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

  1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.

  2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger

  3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction

  4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.

  5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams

  6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies

Barry hesitated sending in the SEALs. Then he set the rules of engagement (ROE) to maximum caution. The President was not decisive. The matter was settled when the forces on scene realized there was a loophole in the President’s order for caution.

During the event, I thought delaying the pirates was a sound strategy. In hostage situations, the good guys try to out-wait the bad guys. By letting the pirates stew in their own futility, I expected an eventual surrender.

Now, with more information, I am angry that the United States allowed the bad guys three extra days to live. Eventual surrender was still the likely outcome. But the pirates are not bred in our culture. Perhaps every moment of delay was another chance for Captain Phillips to die. That the current President allowed Phillips to be recaptured after his first escape raises my contempt for Obama to a new high.

When will we read about a further investigation to confirm or refute the SEAL perspective of gutless Commander-in-Chief?

H/T: Maggie’s Farm and Theo Spark