Barack Obama is having his “emperor has no clothes” moment in Presidential politics, being savaged for saying out loud yesterday what is obvious about Pakistan: "If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will."
Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post, in an editorial, shrieks, “Naive? Sen. Clinton was too kind. If he's serious, he's dangerous.”
Democratic Presidential rival Chris Dodd calls the statement “dangerous and irresponsible,” while Joe Biden merely labels it “disingenuous” for sounding like a “bold new initiative.”
Tony Snow responds with a platitude about respecting the sovereignty of Pakistan, but the hollowness of that answer has been exposed by White House homeland security adviser Frances Townsend.
Last week friendly Fox News summarized an interview with her reporting that “the U.S. was committed first and foremost to working with Pakistan's president...But she indicated the U.S. was ready to take additional measures.
"’Just because we don't speak about things publicly doesn't mean we're not doing things you talk about,’" Townsend said, when asked in a broadcast interview why the U.S. does not conduct special operations and other measures to cripple Al Qaeda.
"’Job No. 1 is to protect the American people. There are no options off the table,’" she said. Townsend also said, "'No question that we will use any instrument at our disposal' to deal with Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden.’”
The bottom line is that Obama is attacked and ridiculed from all sides for the heinous political gaffe of telling a simple truth that even the Bush Administration acknowledges and is prepared to act on.