Obama's casual way with the truth

Thomas Lifson
Barack Obama gave us more than some magnificent photo-ops when he spoke in Berlin yesterday. By trying to look presidential, he revealed more then he intended to about his operating style - long on glossy production values, and painfully inadequate when it comes to getting the facts straight.

Twice in the course of generating the almost poetic images which mark his rhetoric, Senator Obama spoke to the assembled throng and the world's media about matters at variance with reality. This was a prepared speech, read from a teleprompter. The candidate and his staff knew the speech was going to be important, attracting the biggest crowd of his career. Moreover, the candidate boasts that he has 300 foreign policy advisors, who should be capable of fact checking the candidate's most visible oration yet.


Obama, speaking to Berliners, used the familiar cloudy and cold Berlin winter weather to evoke a response of sympathy and unity with America (at least America of the Berlin Airlift era) when he said,

"The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold."

There's nothing like shared sacrifice in the past to generate warm feelings. Even young Berliners who weren't born then experience Berlin's dreary winters. Very artful speechwriting.

But Obama didn't know what he was talking about when it comes to the actual military operation of the Berlin Airlift. He was dead wrong about "many planes ... forced to trun back," as historian D.M. Giangreco pointed out yesterday in American Thinker.

"Obama should have read my book before making his claim about the Berlin Airlift.   Barely a handful of the nearly 28,000 flights "turned back" in the face in the cruel winter of 1948-1949. 

"Obama obviously has limited knowledge of the Airlift, and automatically assumes that the USAF would send up aircraft in prohibitively dangerous weather (it didn't) and that, once up, large numbers of pilots aborted their missions."

A candidate for commander-in-chief hereby parades his deep misunderstanding about the way the United States Air Force regards human life. Is this how he would treat Airmen and Airwomen when he is in command? This should raise alarm bells among those who value the lives of our military men and women.

I find it unnerving that Obama is so out of touch with the realities of military operations and history. But even more unsettling is the habit of mind revealed here: the assumption that he knows everything already, so there is no need to sweat the details. He apparently is ignorant of the existence of what Donald Rumsfeld called the "unknown unknowns."

The second fictional imagery employed by Obama is even more troubling. Neither the man nor his 300 advisors apparently have bothered to learn about the facts on the ground in Northern Ireland.

"Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together;"

David Singh today pointed out for our readers that as recently as May 3, USA Today, a widely-read news source not known as a purveyor of esoteric knowledge, published an article revealing:

"Ten years after peace was declared in Northern Ireland, one might have expected that Belfast's barriers would be torn down by now. But reality, as usual, is far messier. Not one has been dismantled. Instead they've grown in both size and number."

A president of the United States needs to know the basic facts. This is far worse than Gerald Ford's reference to Poland as a free country during the Iron Curtain days. Obama and his advisors share a mentality that assumes an omnipotence unjustified by his abilities.

Senator Obama is on his way to becoming a laughingstock. If he were a Republican, he would be ridiculed mercilessly for these verbal bungles in the world spotlight.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.
Barack Obama gave us more than some magnificent photo-ops when he spoke in Berlin yesterday. By trying to look presidential, he revealed more then he intended to about his operating style - long on glossy production values, and painfully inadequate when it comes to getting the facts straight.

Twice in the course of generating the almost poetic images which mark his rhetoric, Senator Obama spoke to the assembled throng and the world's media about matters at variance with reality. This was a prepared speech, read from a teleprompter. The candidate and his staff knew the speech was going to be important, attracting the biggest crowd of his career. Moreover, the candidate boasts that he has 300 foreign policy advisors, who should be capable of fact checking the candidate's most visible oration yet.


Obama, speaking to Berliners, used the familiar cloudy and cold Berlin winter weather to evoke a response of sympathy and unity with America (at least America of the Berlin Airlift era) when he said,

"The odds were stacked against success. In the winter, a heavy fog filled the sky above, and many planes were forced to turn back without dropping off the needed supplies. The streets where we stand were filled with hungry families who had no comfort from the cold."

There's nothing like shared sacrifice in the past to generate warm feelings. Even young Berliners who weren't born then experience Berlin's dreary winters. Very artful speechwriting.

But Obama didn't know what he was talking about when it comes to the actual military operation of the Berlin Airlift. He was dead wrong about "many planes ... forced to trun back," as historian D.M. Giangreco pointed out yesterday in American Thinker.

"Obama should have read my book before making his claim about the Berlin Airlift.   Barely a handful of the nearly 28,000 flights "turned back" in the face in the cruel winter of 1948-1949. 

"Obama obviously has limited knowledge of the Airlift, and automatically assumes that the USAF would send up aircraft in prohibitively dangerous weather (it didn't) and that, once up, large numbers of pilots aborted their missions."

A candidate for commander-in-chief hereby parades his deep misunderstanding about the way the United States Air Force regards human life. Is this how he would treat Airmen and Airwomen when he is in command? This should raise alarm bells among those who value the lives of our military men and women.

I find it unnerving that Obama is so out of touch with the realities of military operations and history. But even more unsettling is the habit of mind revealed here: the assumption that he knows everything already, so there is no need to sweat the details. He apparently is ignorant of the existence of what Donald Rumsfeld called the "unknown unknowns."

The second fictional imagery employed by Obama is even more troubling. Neither the man nor his 300 advisors apparently have bothered to learn about the facts on the ground in Northern Ireland.

"Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together;"

David Singh today pointed out for our readers that as recently as May 3, USA Today, a widely-read news source not known as a purveyor of esoteric knowledge, published an article revealing:

"Ten years after peace was declared in Northern Ireland, one might have expected that Belfast's barriers would be torn down by now. But reality, as usual, is far messier. Not one has been dismantled. Instead they've grown in both size and number."

A president of the United States needs to know the basic facts. This is far worse than Gerald Ford's reference to Poland as a free country during the Iron Curtain days. Obama and his advisors share a mentality that assumes an omnipotence unjustified by his abilities.

Senator Obama is on his way to becoming a laughingstock. If he were a Republican, he would be ridiculed mercilessly for these verbal bungles in the world spotlight.

Thomas Lifson is editor and publisher of American Thinker.