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Measuring the character of Barak Obama.

Whatever one is in life, be it professionally, socially, religiously or politically, a person must be, first and foremost, a Mensch. This is what we need to see in anyone in a responsible position. So how does our President, Barack Obama, measure up in this regard?

In April of 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico, British Petroleum (BP), an oil drilling company, had an explosion on its oil rig, resulting in what was first estimated by the company to be a thousand of barrels of oil gushing into the ocean per day. With an obvious emergency such as this you would think that urgency would be felt in the White House to oversee the operation that BP was in charge of. The executive of BP was saying that the damage to the ecology was minimal. As it turned out, by May it was known that this was the biggest environmental catastrophe our country had ever had. By June it was revealed that instead of a thousand barrels a day, the well was really gushing 60,000 barrels a day! The White House had relied on the company's estimates the whole time. President Obama's efforts were seen as lackluster and disorganized.

When he gave a speech in June, he quoted his daughter, asking him whether he "plugged the hole yet?". The country was not amused. (It was reminiscent of President Carter during a debate, quoting his daughter, Amy, about some Nuclear weapons advice she had given him.) Also the country was offered much help from other countries and citizens alike with offers of oil sweepers to help with the ongoing clean up but the White House operation was mired in red tape and malaise.

I remember at the time that Democratic strategist and natural ally to the administration, James Carville, was in a fit of rage when he yelled on TV for the President to get more involved in the tragedy on the Louisiana Gulf. "Weah daayon out heah" (we're dying out here), he yelled in his Cajun accent. It wasn't just him - the whole country was just shocked at the paralysis from the white house, in as far as obstructing progress that others were eager to offer. I remember the fishermen being frustrated that their boats were not allowed to help while they were unable to make a living fishing as usual. It seemed by most accounts, strangely enough, that the President's sense of urgency had not been triggered by this catastrophic event.

We saw something similar recently in the Benghazi affair. The administration did nothing to safeguard the consulate after attacks on the consulate had been attempted there before and even after repeated warnings from Ambassador Christopher Stevens expressing his fear of the consulate being vulnerable to an attack from Al-Qaeda. In the last edition of the Queens Jewish Link I discussed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's dereliction of duty to protect our personnel stationed in Benghazi's consulate. So what did the President do before, during and after the attack? Was there any oversight over the State Dept from the White House? After all, wouldn't it be fitting that the President would inquire whether our installation was properly fortified in a newly formed gov't in Libya after the overthrow of Khadafy? There was no such oversight or inquiries. The focus apparently was on campaigning.

Is this again a case, where we see the President with a hands-off approach, as we witnessed in the BP catastrophe? So what did he do during the 7 hour attack on the consulate? He spoke to the Secretary of Defense, Leon Ponetta, for 30 minutes with no direction for action even though the US had an aircraft carrier stationed in Italy, which could have reached the consulate in 2 hours. What did the President do after the attack? Well, less than 16 hours after the attack, an attack which happened on no less somber a day as Sept 11, he flew out to Las Vegas to campaign. The next day he flew to Colorado. On Friday in a non televised event, the President and the Secretary of State went to Andrews AFB to honor the remains in flag draped caskets of Libyan Ambassador, Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Why wasn't there a national mourning ceremony held to honor these fallen US heroes and victims of terrorism? Isn't this why it took all of 10 years to erect an elaborate memorial by the world trade towers, so that we should never forget what happened on that day? What ensued instead was a major cover up, dispatching Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, to 5 Sunday morning talk shows to promulgate falsehoods. She blamed a privately produced and discredited movie that had insulted Muhammed, the Muslim Prophet, to explain what precipitated the attack.

However the White House learned from the CIA and the Libyan government, within hours of the attack, that it was an Al-Qaeda operation. Chief spokesman for the President, David Axelrod, assured us that the President was "100 percent committed " to the safety of our diplomats. As proof of that, he said: “He’s the one who met the coffins when they came home. So, any suggestion that he would not take the necessary steps to protect them, make some decision not to take the steps to protect them, is just nonsense.” What an absurd statement!

A massacre occurred in Ft. Hood, Texas in an Army Post in 2009, where psychiatrist Army Major Nidal Hasan, "allegedly" murdered 13 and wounded 31 U.S. servicemen, while yelling Allah Huachbar. Our President first maintained that this was a "work place violence" incident and apparently has never retracted that statement. The survivors of that shooting, represented by Ms. Kimberly Munley, are petitioning the Defense Dept to reclassify that shooting as a "terrorist" attack as opposed to a "work place violence" incident because the reclassification would entitle them to the proper benefits, as one gets, based on injuries from the battlefield.

Ms. Munley was shot 4 times while exchanging fire with the shooter. Two cops, who took Hasan down, were fired from their jobs!. Hasan has not been tried yet, after nearly 4 years. There is ample evidence according to members of Congress including the Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee that it was a terrorist attack and they are demanding of the Administration and the Army to reclassify this event. It is well known that Nidal Hasan was exchanging emails with the then (now deceased) terrorist leader, Al Awlacky. Kimberly Munley states that the President has neglected the group of survivors including those who prevented even more deaths by fighting off the shooter.

On February 10, I attended a dinner by the Queens Village Republican Club in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday. There, fallen marine Lance Corporal Greg Buckley, Jr. age 21 of Oceanside NY, was honored posthumously with the Ultimate Sacrifice Award accepted by his father Greg Buckley, Sr. The father was distraught with raw grief. He lost his son in August of last year. His son was working out in a gym in a US army base, when a 15 year old aide to the Afghan Police Commander came in and shot Buckley in the chest with an AK-47. Buckley's family considers this an inside job, known as Green on Blue attacks.

There is no way that the 15 yr. old assassin could have done this without the approval of the Afghan Police Commander, Buckley Sr. told us at the dinner. The father maintains that no contact was made with his family from the White House and no investigation is being pursued. Mr. Buckley Sr. has written to the President and asked that we end the war because he feels our efforts there, are futile. Our soldiers "should not be used as pawns, or be executed by people that do not respect any of our values" he wrote to the President. No response from the President.

Whether it be the BP oil spill, Benghazi, Ft. Hood or Green on Blue attacks in Afghanistan - there is a disturbingly familiar pattern of our President being aloof and not plugged in to the urgency of the moment. I do believe that Barack Obama loves his wife and children but this is not why we elect a President. A President must be a Mensch in his role as public servant as well.

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