Are the media airbrushing Obama’s speeches? Update: Wouldn’t ICE qualify?
posted at 9:30 am on July 17, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
World Net Daily does not have a great reputation for accuracy in its reporting, but Bob Unruh has pretty solid evidence for his report on a disappearing section of a speech given by Barack Obama. On July 2nd, Obama spoke in Colorado Springs and hit themes of national service, foreign policy, and national security. In that vein, Obama proposed a rather extraordinary idea — that the US should spend as much money on a civilian national security force as it does on the military. The quote comes from 16:45 in the clip below:
We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.
It’s not quite clear what Obama meant by this. If he meant that the military had taken over too many functions that normally should be handled by the State Department, then that echoes what Defense Secretary Robert Gates said this week. It seems to reference the costs associated with reopening consulates and doubling the Peace Corps, but that wouldn’t come close to matching what we spend at the Pentagon. The phrasing of it — a “civilian national security force” — sounds much more like a quasi-military organization operating within the US under the control of the federal government.
The media needs to ask Obama about it — but they’d have to report it first:
The stunning comments from Democrat Sen. Barack Obama that the United States needs a “civilian national security force” that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar United States Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force have mysteriously disappeared from published transcripts of the speech.
In the comments, Obama confirmed the U.S. “cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set.”
Campaign officials have declined to return any of a series of WND telephone calls over several days requesting a comment on the situation. Nor have they posted a transcript of the speech on their website.
WND points out two newspapers that printed the supposedly complete transcript of the speech, the Wall Street Journal and the Denver Post, as examples. The New York Times didn’t post a transcript, and neither did the Washington Post nor the Los Angeles Times. Most oddly, as Unruh points out, the Obama website doesn’t have that speech available, either.
Obama needs to clarify what he means by “civilian national security force”, and how it would be funded. After all, we have a panoply of federal security agencies already: FBI, BATF, DEA, and more, plus the National Guard on the state level. Where would Obama get the money to fund it at the same level as the Pentagon? What would its mission be, and where would it get its authority? What would be the lines of jurisdiction?
All of these questions need to be answered — but first the media has to find its objectivity and start asking about the speech and report it correctly. Obviously the Obama campaign provided them with an advance copy for the event, and just as obviously Obama deviated from it. Aren’t any journalists curious as to why?
Update: Doesn’t this statement conflict with Obama’s statement about ICE?
When communities are terrorized by ICE immigration raids, when nursing mothers are torn from their babies, when children come home from school to find their parents missing, when people are detained without access to legal counsel, when all that is happening, the system just isn’t working, and we need to change it.
Wouldn’t ICE be part of a civilian national security force? Obama sounds more and more confused by the day. (h/t HA reader Jeff D)
Update II: Note to desperate Obama apologists: the Peace Corps is not a “national security force”.