Obama’s Shameful Photo-Op
Posted 07:00 PM ET
Leadership: Disrespecting grieving families, the president sneaks a photographer into the ceremony honoring the SEALs who died in Afghanistan. The presidential scrapbook and campaign are more important.
We thought perhaps the White House had received a sufficient dose of condemnation as well as some sensitivity training over a planned Sony film hyping President Obama’s “gutsy call” regarding the successful Navy SEAL mission that killed Osama bin Laden. The film was to be released three weeks before the 2012 vote. We were wrong.
When 30 U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs from SEAL Team 6, the unit that got the world’s most-wanted man, were subsequently shot down in a helicopter, the nation mourned its heroes. The White House, it seems, loaded its cameras.
Nineteen of the families asked for no media coverage of the ceremony at Dover, Del. When President George W. Bush was in office, the anti-war media clamored for photos of flag-draped coffins. The Pentagon honored their request for privacy and said any public depiction of the scene would violate the wishes of the families.
So why and how did a photo of President Obama, in silhouette no less, saluting the return of the remains of these brave men find its way to the White House website as its “Photo of the Day”? Did they not get the memo? For what purpose was the photo taken?
If for historical purposes and posterity, we might understand. This photo by a White House photographer was immediately and widely distributed. The Pentagon said it had no knowledge the picture and others had been taken and noted that it hadn’t rejected media requests to take pictures of officials at the ceremony as long as they depicted no caskets.
That was White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s lame excuse for the photos — that they didn’t show any caskets, only an opportunistic president. The photos, Carney said, were “released in the interests of transparency,” a principle ignored in the drafting of ObamaCare, and “so the American people could have as much insight into this historic and sobering event.”
We don’t know how much “insight” such silhouettes provide except into the narcissistic ambitions of a failed president desperate to find a way to get re-elected. The only thing transparent here are the motives for this photo and the aforementioned Sony campaign infomercial.
We all remember the famous war room photo of the assembled White House multitude, including President Obama, breathlessly watching the raid that killed bin Laden unfold in real time. Authorizing the raid was the right call, but it was hardly “gutsy.” Any president should have made the call in a heartbeat.