September 28, 2009

I believe it's known as 'chain of command'

"It's right north of Pakistan, Mr. President," scoffs the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's senior military affairs analyst, Patrick McIlheran.

"Our president, it turns out," Mr. McIlheran can now reveal (having typically gotten it someplace on the internets from somebody who saw it on the teevee box), "has talked to his top general in Afghanistan once since the guy got to that country where the real war is happening. Whatever that country is called. Af-something."

Ho ho.

That general, Stanley A. McChrystal, reports to General David Petraeus of U.S. Central Command, who in turn reports to the Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates. But Patrick McIlheran apparently hasn't the slightest idea how often or to what extent the president communicates with either General Petraeus or Secretary Gates.

Furthermore, the interview with 60 Minutes to which McIlheran refers — although broadcast last night — was taped on or about August 24. And McChrystal only assumed his current position on June 15.*

So Patrick "I Possess Skills" McIlheran really doesn't know whether President Obama has talked to General McChrystal "only once" or not.

Yet he just goes ahead and says it anyway.

Concludes McIlheran: "As Dad29 puts it, Obama is voting 'present' on this war." Patrick McIlheran is purported to be a journalist, and "Dad29" is an anonymous suburban wing-nut blogger.**

Mr. McIlheran is also a credentialed expert on the United States Constitution as well as on the atmospheric sciences.

His column is regularly indistinguishable from parody.

* Following a series of procedural delays by Senate Republicans.

** Here, "Dad29" claims former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske asserted that a proposal to collect DNA from State misdemeanor arrestees prior to even a probable cause hearing is "not unconstitutional." Justice Geske most certainly did not say that.

Such is the credibility of Patrick McIlheran's anonymous sources. That the foregoing appears at a respected daily newspaper is pathetic.

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