Obama’s Ground Zero hypocrisy

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Un­con­scionable. Politi­ciz­ing. A slap in the face. Those were the kinds of phrases the left de­ployed against Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush to sug­gest he was ex­ploit­ing the mem­ory of the ter­ror­ist at­tacks of Sept. 11, 2001. These same voices are now giddy with de­light at the prospect of Pres­i­dent Obama’s “mis­sion ac­com­plished” visit to Ground Zero on May 5. Such hypocrisy is par for the course.

Un­der other cir­cum­stances the planned wreath-lay­ing would in­vite less con­tro­versy. Hon­or­ing those who fell on Sept. 11 days af­ter Osama bin Laden’s demise is fit­ting. Given the care Mr. Obama or­dered be given bin Laden’s re­mains, it would be un­seemly if the killer re­ceived more re­spect than his vic­tims. Yet lib­eral Democrats have poi­soned the well over the past decade, lend­ing Mr. Obama’s ac­tions the ap­pear­ance of op­por­tunis­tic po­lit­i­cal the­ater — par­tic­u­larly given the ap­proach of the 2012 cam­paign sea­son.

When John Kerry ran an ad later in 2004 fea­tur­ing wi­d­ows of men killed in the at­tack, the left was fine with it. “There’s a big dif­fer­ence,” the Kerry cam­paign blus­tered, “be­tween us­ing footage of Ground Zero, which is hal­lowed ground — and politi­ciz­ing it — and some­one com­ing to us want­ing to pur­sue in­tel­li­gence re­form and ad­vance our coun­try’s se­cu­rity.” Sure there is, tell us an­other one.

Dur­ing the 2004 Repub­lic Na­tional Con­ven­tion in New York City, Pres­i­dent Bush was care­ful not to visit the Ground Zero site lest he fuel the charges that he was tak­ing po­lit­i­cal ad­van­tage. That did not stop left­ist demon­stra­tors from ap­pear­ing there on a daily ba­sis, of­ten — and with­out ap­par­ent irony — de­cry­ing those who al­legedly were ex­ploit­ing Sept. 11 to fur­ther their po­lit­i­cal agen­das.

In 2006 House Mi­nor­ity leader Nancy Pelosi, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, said that “the dam­age that [Osama bin Laden] has done is done. And even to cap­ture him now I don’t think makes us any safer.”

Now she pro­claims that “the death of Osama bin Laden is his­toric” and “marks the most sig­nif­i­cant de­velop- ment in our fight against al Qaeda.” No pol­i­tics there, clearly.

Back in March 2009 left­ist gad­fly Keith Ol­ber­mann de­nounced Joint Spe­cial Op­er­a­tions Com­mand (JSOC) as the “ex­ec­u­tive as­sas­si­na­tion wing” of the Bush Ad­min­is­tra­tion. Now he can’t heap enough praise on the spe­cial op­er­a­tions team op­er­at­ing un­der JSOC com­mand that took out bin Laden. Had this taken place in 2008 he would have called it a war crime, but un­der Mr. Obama it is an ex­am­ple of bril­liant lead­er­ship.

Ge­orge W. Bush, who stood on the smok­ing ru­ins of the Twin Tow­ers pledg­ing Amer­i­can re­solve in the war on terrorism, did not have to re­turn there to par­tic­i­pate in the first photo op of Mr. Obama’s re-elec­tion cam­paign.

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