Late yesterday afternoon, the White House finally “remembered” that it was the 10th anniversary of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen. My guess is it was the reminder tweet from Michelle Malkin to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs that did the trick:
Hurry up, @Presssec. Still time to issue WH statement acknowledging Cole bombing 10th anniversary – http://is.gd/fZ2en
So at 4:37pm yesterday, the White House finally put out a statement by the President commemorating briefly discussing the attack of ten years ago. In his four-whole-paragraph communique, the President mentions the following:
“I will never forget meeting with some of the families of the victims of this bombing in February 2009. I am deeply grateful to them for their sacrifice, and their efforts to keep the memory of this tragic event alive in our nation’s conscience.
Wait… what? He met with the families of the victims less than three weeks after being sworn in as President? Why on earth would he do that?
Oh yes, that’s right. It was right after he announced the “closing” of Guantanamo and the dismissal of charges against the accused mastermind of the Cole bombing, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. It was one of Obama’s first acts of damage control after having shot himself in the foot by the dismissal of charges against al-Nashiri which took the families of the Cole victims by surprise.
In that February 6, 2009 meeting, Obama fed the families a bland pablum of the “nation’s conscience,” “tragic events”, “beginnings of dialogue”… According to the White House:
“The President… explained why he believes that closing Guantanamo will make our nation safer and help ensure that those who are guilty receive swift and certain justice within a legal framework that is durable, and that helps America fight terrorism more effectively around the world.” [emphasis mine]
So 19 months after meeting with these families and assuring them that justice would be served, Obama nearly ignored a milestone anniversary, has still not prosecuted the case against the mastermind al-Nashiri, nor has he given the families the closure they rightly deserve. How’s that “swift and certain justice” worked out so far?
And in his haste to get out a belated statement yesterday, Obama forgot one small item. He didn’t actually mention the names of those lost in the attack. So, Mr. President, I’ll do it for you.
Never forget the names of Petty Officer 2nd Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter; Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow; Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis; Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna; Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn; Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels; Petty Officer 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto; Petty Officer 2nd Class Ronald Scott Owens; Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer; Seaman Joshua Langdon Parlett; Seaman Patrick Howard Roy; Petty Officer 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux; Petty Officer 3rd Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago; Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders; Seaman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr.; Ensign Andrew Triplett; and Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley.
All murdered 10 years ago on the U.S.S. Cole. All still waiting for justice.