President Obama is hardly the first President to be blind-sided by a “tell-all” exposé authored by someone who had an obligation to keep his mouth shut and his keyboard quiet. The unethical practice of a President’s former advisors, cabinet members, secret security agents, servants and others who held his trust cashing in and publishing often bitter, agenda-driven books detailing juicy and uncomplimentary details of what went on behind closed doors began gaining steam during the Reagan years (something else to detest David Stockman for) and has accelerated in every administration since.
The latest sniper shot from a grassy knoll is the work of Vali Nasr, a professor and former senior State Department adviser who worked with Richard Holbrooke, previously Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. In his new book, which, of course, had to be published while Obama was still in office to have a chance of making the former advisor the money he craves, Nasr relates details of what he regards as the incompetent White House foreign policy decision-making apparatus, in which vital calls that should have been left to experts were run through Obama’s political team, whose judgment was based on polls and narrow, short-term political considerations.
No President should have to be subjected to this while he is trying to do his already impossible job; it doesn’t matter if the criticism is accurate or not. I suspect Nasr’s is accurate: at least, his description of Obama as a dithering, risk-averse, control freak who defers to the judgment of a small in-house cabal of Machiavellian hacks pretty much sums up my own observations from afar. Never mind that: Nasr had a duty to keep all of his opinions and experiences confidential until the President’s term was done and the revelations couldn’t possibly undermine his efforts in any way. Nasr was trusted, and supposedly a reliable professional (in contrast to Bradley Manning, for example) who understood that trust means keeping the confidences of those you work with, especially when those you work with include the President of the United States. His book is a First Amendment-protected betrayal, but a betrayal nonetheless.
Source: The Telegraph
Graphic: The Money Banc