The L.A. Times reports on Barack Obama’s appearance on 60 Minutes:
President-elect Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he was assembling his national security team as quickly as possible because there potentially could be “times of vulnerability” to terrorist attacks during White House transition periods.
In a wide-ranging interview on the CBS News program “60 Minutes,” Obama also said that capturing or killing Osama bin Laden remained a “critical aspect” of the war on terrorism.
“He is not just a symbol,” Obama said. “He’s also the operational leader of an organization that is planning attacks against U.S. targets.”
The L.A. Times does not note — but the blog Mere Rhetoric does — that this assessment is directly contradicted by recent statements by CIA Director Michael Hayden on November 13:
Without directly referring to the CIA’s offensive blitz of unmanned missile attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan, the CIA boss said the US had successfully isolated the al Qaeda leader bin Laden, referring to him in the present tense.
“He appears to be largely isolated from the day-to-day operations of the organization he leads,” Hayden said in a speech delivered to the Atlantic Council in Washington.
Hmmm. So he’s an operational leader who is largely isolated from the day-to-day operations. Got it.
Wouldn’t that have been nice for the L.A. Times to have shared with us?
But you can’t criticize the President-Elect. Doing that might interfere with that vaunted giddy sense of boosterism — you know, the one Big Media feels now, but suppressed in its typically professional fashion during the campaign.
P.S. I teared up a little bit on reading this sad line from the L.A. Times article:
He said he had already felt, like other presidents before him, that “there is a certain loneliness to the job.”
Or, you know, there will be. When he gets the job. In a little over two months.
Wow, if there is a certain loneliness to the Office of the President-Elect, just imagine how lonely the job of actually being the President will be!
If you’re ever feeling lonely, Senator — er, Mr. President-Elect — you can always hang out with the CIA Director. He might be able to fill you in on a few things. Or just shoot the breeze with you.
Because it’s Lonely At The Top.