Acting Stupidly

In July, before he knew “all the facts”, President Obama saw fit to opine on the arrest of his good friend, Henry Louis Gates (emphasis mine):

“I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that,” Mr. Obama continued. “But I think it’s fair to say . . . that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home

As it turned out, there was nothing at all stupid in the way the Cambridge Police department acted. Gates wasn’t arrested for being a black man claiming to own a house in a white neighborhood. Though that narrative would have made quite a compelling “Movie of the Week” circa 1965, Gates was arrested for the entirely pedestrian crime of disorderly conduct. Had any white person acted as Gates had, they’d have been arrested too.

So it was in stark contrast to the Gates affair that President Obama spoke today about the murder of 13 people yesterday at Fort Hood by the Muslim Nidal Malik Hasan (emphasis mine):

President Barack Obama said Friday the entire nation is grieving for those slain at Fort Hood, and he urged people not to jump to conclusions while law enforcement officers investigate the shootings.

Obama met Friday morning with FBI Director Robert Mueller and other federal leaders to get an update on what they’ve learned. Thirteen people were killed and 30 others injured in the shooting rampage at the Texas Army post on Thursday. The suspected shooter is an Army psychiatrist; his motive remains unclear.

“We don’t know all the answers yet. And I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts[.]”

“What we do know is that there are families, friends and an entire nation grieving right now for the valiant men and women who came under attack yesterday,” the president said.

First of all, Mr. President, the victims yesterday did not “come under attack”. They were murdered. I know it puts a harder edge on things to put it that way, but what’s wrong with putting a hard edge on this?

And that’s basically what’s wrong with Obama’s response. We’re engaged in a global war (er, contingency operation) against Islamic religious fundamentalists. Yesterday, a Muslim man killed 13 people at a military base while screaming “Allahu Akbar”. It’s entirely reasonable to conclude that Hasan was a religious fundamentalist and that the murders he committed were an act of terror.

It’s startling for Obama to cavalierly shrug off facts when it comes to labeling America as “racist”, and then pretend that it’s somehow imprudent without Congressional hearings to conclude that a Muslim murdering Americans on American soil in 2009 is something other than part of a larger pattern of terror.

Ignorance or Intentional Deception?
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