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Monday, July 26, 2010

Releasing The Predictability

Both Ed Morrissey and the woman he and Allahpundit affectionately refer to as The Boss are really reaching for something that really isn't there with their latest attempt at smearing the Obama administration.

Michelle's purse-lipped outrage:

Here is what Team Obama’s “smart” and sensitive form of diplomacy has wrought: A hero’s welcome home to Libya for the murderous Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi, who was released last August claiming he had terminal cancer and three months to live. A year later, the jihadist is still alive, senators want an investigation, and The Australian reports that the Obama administration backed “compassionate release.”

And Morrissey's over-reaching narrative:

What the US actually wanted, short of continuing Megrahi’s imprisonment, was a sort of house arrest in Scotland, not Libya. That is what was meant by LeBaron’s suggestion of “compassionate release.” The White House didn’t want Megrahi stepping off of a plane in Tripoli to cheering crowds, the exact scenario that played out in the end. While having Megrahi outside of prison wasn’t the nominal situation, that at least would have kept Megrahi from rubbing his freedom in the noses of the Pan Am 103 victims’ families.

The letter did not give a green light to Megrahi’s parole to Libya. Nevertheless, it shows the kind of ineptitude that has plagued the Obama administration’s diplomacy from the “reset button” with Russia to this day. LeBaron’s note was a clear signal to Scotland that the US had lost most of its interest in Megrahi; recall that the US had insisted originally that any parole must include extradition to the US. The Scottish government must have presumed that we would not strenuously object to their release of Megrahi to the Libyans after LeBaron failed to raise that point and demand Megrahi’s extradition.

Also, it shows that the Obama administration lied about being surprised by Megrahi’s release. They knew it was coming, and while they may have been surprised that he went to Libya, the White House knew Scotland was going to spring Megrahi one way or the other.

But if anyone takes the time to actually read the article in The Australian, they would get a far different picture than what Morrissy and Malkin are painting.

The Obama administration were expressly against the situation that ultimately played out. But if one were to go by Malkin and Morrissey's writings, you would get the picture that the US signed off on the deal to sent Megrahi back to Libya. Michelle and Ed's strategy in framing the story in this fashion is that they are banking on the laziness of conservatives to do any sort of fact checking. Unfortunately, that line of thinking normally works, as conservatives have a desire to believe the worst about anyone from the opposition party. I'm almost certain that if Malkin and Morrissey knew they could get away with it, they would have reported that Obama himself opened the cell door and extended a welcoming hand to Megrahi.

The US government, despite what these two clowns think, doesn't control the Scottish Justice Department, their prison system, or even those that took Megrahi into custody. These two pieces are clearly designed to distort the reality of this situation. And while this could have been handled much differently, what exactly do Malkin and Morrissey think that the Obama administration should have done? Should they have flown to Scotland and barrackaded the prison doors? Maybe send troops there as a show of force? We aren't really meant to understand that, as it's easier to inflate a situation to reflect your agenda rather than report it from an honest perspective.

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