Did Barack Obama actually tell intimates that he has betrayed his liberal supporters because he fears assassination?
That's the story we are getting from former-CIA-analyst-turned-Agency-critic Ray McGovern. He claims that a "close friend" attended an intimate dinner party with Barack Obama. On that occasion, the President explained why he reversed his well-known campaign promise to shut down the prison at Gitmo:
And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for? Obama turned sharply and said, "Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?" That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.First question:
Do I trust McGovern? Frankly, yes -- at least in this instance. Your take on the guy may differ from mine, but I've always had a high opinion of him. (Although I did
become concerned when he started palling around with some of the loopier 9/11 wackos.)
Can we trust McGovern's friend? Has this person reported accurately? Impossible to say, because we don't have a name. All we have to go on is the fact that McGovern trusts this source.
Third question (presuming that the source has spoken accurately):
Did Obama reveal his true feelings at that dinner table, or did he say those words simply to force his fellow guests to stop asking hard questions?
Personally, I don't think that any
president would give voice to so astonishing a sentiment unless he truly felt under pressure. I also feel that any president who said such words would probably regret them the moment they left his mouth.
Make no mistake: I have never been among those who consider Obama pure of heart. In my opinion, the Powers-That-Be compromised that man well before he first set foot in Chicago. On the other hand, history has given us a few examples of compromised individuals who, after attaining some measure of power, began to do the right thing -- or who began to show signs that they felt tempted
to do the right thing. On such occasions, the whispered warning may define the limits of any one man's power.
So. How do you
interpret McGovern's unnerving little anecdote?