Yesterday, Gov. Palin rightly criticized Obama for his nuclear strategy and his policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament (while Russia, China, and North Korea are continously modernizing their nuclear arsenals, as are India, Israel, Britain and France). Obama responded by saying this:
“I really have no response to that. The last I checked, Sarah Palin is not much of an expert on nuclear issues…What I would say to them is, is that if the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff are comfortable with it, I’m probably going to take my advice from them and not from Sarah Palin.”
Sadly, Palin did not refute this lie. So I will. UPDATE AT 19:46: Palin just refuted his claim, in her own humorous way, while speaking to the 2010 SRLC.
Palin is not an expert on nuclear issues – but neither is Obama, Secretary Gates or Admiral Mullen. None of them have ever worked on nuclear weapons personally (whether as designers, producers, or servicemen aboard a ballistic missile submarine or a strategic bomber). None of them have ever had ANYTHING to do with nuclear weapons. Heck, Obama has never even served with the military.
Obama lied when he claimed that he “took advice from the SECDEF and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff”. The reality is that the Nuclear Posture Review (Obama’s nuclear strategy, which is the subject of the Palin-Obama dispute) is a political document imposed on the DOD and its leaders by Obama and his civilian political apparatchiks. It was dictated by Obama himself (so that it would suit his liberal fantasy about a world without nukes) and imposed on the DOD, which is, by law, obligated to obey the orders of whatever President Americans elect. The DOD had no choice but to accept it – to say it’s “comfortable with it”, using Obama’s words.
Secretary Gates surely knows what happened to one of his precedessors, James Schlesinger, who opposed the disarmament policies of the Ford Administration. President Ford simply sacked him. Obviously, Robert Gates doesn’t want Obama to sack him and thus humiliate him the way Ford humiliated Ford. Gates would prefer to retire quietly someday.
It’s not true that Obama “took advice” from Bob Gates. Gates actually fought other Administration officials to maintain “the policy of strategic ambiguity” about when America would use nuclear weapons and against whom. He capitulated to Obama and Biden, for the reason stated above. Obama, like Ford, doesn’t tolerate dissenters.
Not that I would really care about what Gates and the Chairman of the JCS, Michael Mullen, say. Both of them are liberals guided by ideology. And neither of them has ever had anything to do with nuclear weapons. Gates was a USAF intel officer for 3 years, and Mullen served only on conventional-armed warships such as cruisers. He’s not a submariner.
Last, but not least: if he’s going to lecture anyone about anything, Obama should first learn English grammar. You don’t say “last I checked”, you say “the last time I checked”.
So, Mr Obama, before you lecture anyone about anything, learn English.