Obamateurism of the Day

Yesterday, I noted that when it comes to the economy and Barack Obama’s asserting ownership of it last summer, all sales are final. Today, we have to remind him that most refunds are final, too. A month after a diplomatic letter to Scotland from the US came to light showing little interest in demanding extradition of Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi, Barack Obama has suddenly gotten interested in his extradition … from Libya:

The Obama administration asked Friday that the only person convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 be returned to a Scottish prison.

John Brennan, President Barack Obama’s counterterrorism adviser, told reporters accompanying the vacationing leader that the U.S. has “expressed our strong conviction” to Scottish officials that Abdel Baset Al-Megrahi (AHB’-dehl BAH’-seht AH’-lee ahl-meh-GRAH’-hee) should not remain free. The comments came on the first anniversary of Al-Megrahi’s release.

Brennan criticized what he termed the “unfortunate and inappropriate and wrong decision,” and added: “We’ve expressed our strong conviction that Al-Begrahi should serve out the remainder – the entirety – of his sentence in a Scottish prison.”

The original deal with Scotland that led to Megrahi’s trial in Scotland was the promise that any release would result in extradition to the US, where Megrahi could be tried for the murders of almost 200 Americans in that terrorist act. Obama and his State Department decided not to insist on Scotland meeting its obligations, only insisting that a release be based on “compassionate” consideration if contemplated at all, and that Megrahi remain in Scotland. Instead of insisting on extradition with a country that would actually extradite someone to the US, Obama apparently thinks that he can convince the man whose son gave Megrahi a hero’s welcome on his return to Libya to arrest Megrahi and send him back to Scotland or the US.

If there is a way to make the US look even more impotent in this situation, perhaps someone can explain it.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at [email protected] with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!