Five thousand, one hundred thirteen. That's the number of nuclear warheads in the U.S. arsenal. President Barack Obama has told the world. I'm reminded of the cynical French foreign minister Talleyrand at the time of the Congress of Vienna. Talleyrand was informed that the Russian minister would not meet him that day. The Russian had collapsed and died in his carriage. "I wonder why he did that," Talleyrand asked suspiciously.
Why did Obama do that? Why did he gratuitously divulge one of America's Top Secrets? His defenders might argue that it bolsters his argument for more nations -- like Iran -- to sign onto the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. If so, how? How could the spreading of this most sensitive information contribute to that purpose? Aren't the Iranians, the North Koreans, the Venezuelans, the Cubans, or whoever just as likely to say, "The Americans have 5,113 nuclear weapons; I want mine!"?
I am personally offended by what Obama has done. Thirty-two years ago, as a junior officer in the Coast Guard, I was a Top Secret Control Officer. Now, it may seem that the U.S. Coast Guard doesn't have a lot of secrets to keep, especially not a lot of Top Secrets. After all, if they had the secret to plugging oil leaks in the Gulf of Mexico, we'd all have heard about it by now. But the Coast Guard operates with the Navy in time of war. And therefore, it's necessary for the Coast Guard to have Top Secret communications codes.
As we operated in the Bering Sea, sailing between Big Diomede and Little Diomede Islands -- the only place on earth where the U.S. had a border with the old Soviet Union -- I was especially concerned about the security of my Top Secret codes. My fellow Coasties and I held regular drills, prepared to fight rather than give up sensitive material should we ever be boarded by the Soviets. We all felt that the defense of our country was linked the security of its secrets. And we were prepared to fight rather than give them up.
Obama is prepared to give them up. He is not the only liberal to display a shocking insouciance about national security. Bill Clinton was only Arkansas' Attorney General back in 1978. He had spent some of his student days hobnobbing with top Communists. According to his biographer, David Maraniss of the Washington Post, young Bill Clinton spent an entire week in the apartment of Bedric and Irina Kopold, members of the Czech Communist Party Central Committee. No one on my warship would have been allowed access to classified materials with a record like that. In fact, if we had known that about Bill Clinton then, we could have kept him from setting foot on our ship.
John Kerry is another careless liberal. He came back from Vietnam and testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He denounced his fellow American soldiers. He accused them of wholesale violations of the Geneva Convention that governs conduct in war. Then, by his own admission, he went to Paris and sat down with the North Vietnamese Communists to negotiate. This action is prohibited by the Logan Act. But he did it anyway. Some of the U.S. POWs being held in the Hanoi Hilton at that time later stated that they were tortured to make them give the kind of propaganda victory to our country's enemies that Kerry provided for nothing. Did young John Kerry demand that the North Vietnamese adhere to the Geneva Convention? If he did, he never provided any contemporary records to show it.
Was it only his own country he wanted to malign, his own country he wanted to criticize?
Maybe that's what defines a liberal view of foreign policy: bowing to despots, apologizing to dictators, gushing secrets faster than oil, neglecting our defenses -- this is the legacy, racked up in little more than a year, of this invertebrate administration.