Green Room

?? ???y ?????! This is war…let’s treat it as one.

posted at 4:16 am on May 2, 2009 by

?? ???y ?????!

“Not one step backward!!”

A phrase attributed to Stalin during what the Russians call the Great Patriotic War, what we call World War II.

Ben Smith via Politico has a short piece about the White House posting a CIA fax transmittal sheet and attached document on the White House Flickr feed.

Sort of a casual treatment of our National Security information by any standard, ya think?

No, you can’t read anything of substance in the photo, later removed from the White House feed, but the casual treatment of a document marked “CIA” and “Secret” seems indicative of the attitude of this White House about the Threat.

So, you may say,”It was in the White House, what’s the problem?”  Not everyone in the White House is necessarily cleared for this sort of information.  If it were the Kremlin or the Presidential Palace in Tehran, I’d work my tail off to get a minor staffer or even a custodian, to simply lift such a document, seeing as there seems to be no serious effort to protect the same, as evinced in the photo.  “It’s no big deal, coldwarrior, you are merely trying to stir things up.”  It is a big deal…and yes, I am trying to stir things up.

Somewhere, some place, in a government office or in the living room of a foreign official’s home there is one very worried individual,  In this war on Islamist jihad, or a resurrection of the Russian menace, or China’s intrigues,  in our efforts to stem many threats to our Nation from abroad, we rely on individuals who take risks, grave risks, often deadly risks, to provide vital information to Agency officers who in turn pass that information to our National leadership…with the clear understanding that such information will remain secret…and will not be plastered about in a White House publicity photo feed.

I had a foreign official tell me years ago, “I’d be happy to provide that information, but you Americans have no concept of secrecy.”

He was not being flip about it.  He was dead serious.  Accent on the dead part.  He recognized then that allowing information only he and a small handful of others had access to could and would be traced back to him by the vigilant efforts of his own national security services should it become known,or worse, quoted verbatim in the Washington Post.  And, in this, he was entirely correct.

White House spokesman  Bill Burton told Smith, “”Uh oh. Please don’t tell me that the enemy is now going to know what our fax coversheets look like. ”   Pretty casual response to a serious question, and a serious breach of secrecy…and just plain common sense…on the part of the White House.

Here is the original picture.

After careful consideration, I am re-posting the offending photos here.  I checked it over, and there is no identifiable information on the cover sheet.  But this is a graphic image of how at least one White House staff member handles national security information, and how White House spokesman, Bill Burton, is way off base in his response.  President Obama and Press Secretary Robert Gibbs are clearly identifiable in the original photo, so there is no way they should get away with denying this took place.

It is not about a fax cover sheet…it is about the casual treatment of information that could easily result in the death, or at a minimum the imprisonment of, a foreign official who literally staked his life on our being able to keep a secret.

And it is yet another misstep in this Administration’s utter disregard for national security.  These same people were aghast when desk officer at the Mutli-Agency Nonproliferation Center, which included people from over a dozen offices in government,  was “outed,”  yet there is enthusiasm in the same circles about two former military officials who were on contract with the Agency being plastered all over ABC, in an ugly game of “Gotcha!.”  In the first case, they made that desk officer out to be the Nation’s top 007, one of only a handful of CIA officers who could do the  job, it was a grave personal danger to her,  they told us….yada yada, yada.   In the case of ABC recent broadcast of their story…”Aw, it was already in the Congressional Record, what’s the big deal?” was their response, and seemingly sent out by Rahm as talking-points to the Left.

It is a big deal.

We are at war.  We are at war on many fronts.

What is so difficult for people to understand about this simple phrase.

This is not an marathon episode of “24.”  This is real life.  Our life.  Our Nation’s life.

I stated in a response to fellow GreenRoom poster, Tanya, in her piece about Mary Ann Glendon, that we need to push back.

Push back indeed.

So long as we are willing to let little things slide, bigger ones will follow.

Mary Ann Glendon has pushed back, and has publicly refused to accept the most preeminent Roman Catholic award presented to outstanding American Roman Catholics for their work for morality, conscience and good works as they live their Catholic faith.  For Glendon this was no easy decision.  It had to cause her great heartache.  But sharing a podium at Notre Dame with  President Obama as both were to receive awards and recognition from the Catholic Church proved to Glendon that “road to Damascus” moment…as a faithful Catholic, she could make no other choice.

War is like that.   There are tough decisions to make, and heartache is the least of all of it.

Once you start ceding ground to an enemy, allow your defense to be taken apart piecemeal, with no offense planned other than defense…you lose.  Simple as that.

Not one step backward!  I hate to lift a quote from Stalin on May Day weekend, of all times, but this is a “May Day” message.  “May Day!”  I am in imminent danger!”  That is how aviators and sailors get the attention of those on land or sea that they need to respond, immediately, for lives are in peril.

Push back.  Cede no ground.  We have to respond with vigor.  The Sean Connery character, former police officer Jim Malone, in the 1987 classic “The Untouchables” had it right.  “They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That’s* the *Chicago* way!” Chicago way?  How appropriate.  Appropriate indeed.

No, not the wild-eyed childish antics of the Left which  we have witnessed and suffered for far too long.  We have to call them on every misstep or move in directions that are not in the best interests of the Nation.  Not one step backwards.  Not one.  Deliberate.  Sober.  Factual.  Steady.  And in full view of the public.

We have to highlight every statement made by this Administration when it threatens us, the American people, and we have to stop allowing expiration dates on Obama messages to continue.  And, we must demand the assault on our defense and security organizations be stopped…immediately.  Obama can do such with a phone call…or a tweet from his super-secret Blackberry.

Hold Obama and his Administration in toto to standards we’d expect and demand from friends, neighbors, businesses we deal with, or our own  children, ourselves.  You get the picture.

If Obama says there will be transparency in governance and government…OK, Mr, President…where is that transparency?

If Obama and Pelosi and Reid claim their’s is or will be the most ethical ever…hold their feet to the fire.  Not one step backward.  Push back.  Make it clear to the American people where the threats are and who is aiding and enabling those threats to grow.  I am not willing to bet my life, nor that of my children, nor my grandchildren, on the misteps and platitudes of this Administration.  Are you?

Not one step backward!

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As usual CW, you have nailed it with this post. The Obama administration does not seem to agree that “we are at war.” In fact, I can’t think of one Democrat President dating back to JFK, who has shown the fortitude to handle a country at war.

What with the NYT disclosing top secret programs, while putting our allies in harms way… With CBS, NBC, & ABC rushing to expose top secret programs & documents with every opportunity, who can blame anyone for not trusting America’s ability to keep a secret a secret…

Let’s not forget that most of the leaks come from the sacred halls of Congress, and are simply referred to as “unnamed sources.” To think, we have let our media & our politicians get away with this absolute crap for decades.

Keemo on May 2, 2009 at 7:27 AM

More on this subject:

Keemo on May 2, 2009 at 7:55 AM

Look, bambi does not care about America. as for the rest of his inner circle, if they, too, aren’t anti-America, they just like the power.

kelley in virginia on May 2, 2009 at 8:10 AM

The good news is that We know Who the Enemy is.
The Bad News is that it is Our Current Administration.
Oh, and if there was a Jack Bauer, they would have him arrested and prosecuted for War Crimes.

old trooper2 on May 2, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Two words: Sandy Berger

Jimmie Bise, Jr on May 2, 2009 at 10:45 AM

The sad part of this is that if Congress or the Current Administration were held to the same standards as Military Service Members for Security Clearances for handling Classified information, very few could pass.

Leaking Classified information to anyone would get you serious time at Leavenworth. That is the Standard that should apply.

old trooper2 on May 2, 2009 at 11:46 AM


We are at war. We are at war on many fronts.

What is so difficult for people to understand about this simple phrase.

It’s not true, for one thing. It would be more accurate to say that the jihadists are at war with us. If we count the holding actions in Iraq and Afghanistan then that is just two fronts in this war.

What are the other fronts? The Fort Dix plotters came through the Southern border but that is only a front for the jihadists. If a worldwide financial crisis and a flu pandemic aren’t enough for the elites in Washington to close the border then they’ll never close it.

I recommended reading the two blog posts linked below:

Is it possible to be fighting a war, and not know it?

If Mexico is at war with the U.S., what should we do about that?

aengus on May 2, 2009 at 2:41 PM

aengus on May 2, 2009 at 2:41 PM

Is it possible to be fighting a war, and not know it?

Yes. Apparently it is.

Thank you for the links. Other than to hand out a four-foot length of 2×4 to each American voter with a conscience, and a functional brain, and ask them to use them to at least get the attention of their elected officials, absent a major catastrophic event that wipes out the lives of thousands and thousands of Americans, be it jihadis, or Mexican drug armies, or even an engineered H1Ni virus tracebale to a foreign regime or entity…even then, I doubt most Americans will turn off their Wii or get up from the flatscreen long enough to even notice that the sky is full of acrid burnt-flesh smoke….

Even today, I’d bet most Americans could not find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map without assistance…or locate the Somali Coast…but I can also bet you most of these would be able to identify Adam Lambert, or Danny Gokey without much of a problem. [Hint for Americans who have better things to do with their time…these are the top two finalists in American Idol.]

Oversimplification? Not at all. Of all the wars in our last 100 years, in this one fewer soldiers and fewer citizens with any direct involvement in any of it, compared to WWI, WWII, even Korea and Vietnam, with more extreme high stakes involved than at any other time in the past 100 years.

No, most Americans do not realize we are at war…a war that has been being waged on us for decades.

Maybe ignorance is indeed bliss. Seems so from what I’ve seen so far.

coldwarrior on May 2, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Even if we weren’t in a war, I still wouldn’t want anything that said “secret” or ” CIA” being photographed. It’s carelessness. This administration doesn’t care about safety; it cares about fairness.

sammypants on May 2, 2009 at 3:30 PM

Thank you again, coldwarrior. You are doing an invaluable service for us.

INC on May 3, 2009 at 11:05 PM

Thanks for again focusing on our national security threats caused by the Obama administration. In this case, their casual disregard for secrecy. Posting such a picture of Facebook is a disgrace, and act of incredible stupidity. and a dishonor to all those who have dedicated their lives to defending our country.

To paraphrase William Lloyd Garrison, coldwarrior, you are in earnest – you will not equivocate – you will not excuse – you will not retreat a single inch – and you will be heard!

Please continue to speak out. Nesson dorma!

Loxodonta on May 4, 2009 at 1:12 PM

Excellent work, CW.

directorblue on May 4, 2009 at 7:26 PM

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