The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008


Barack Obama

Obama Accuses McCain of Playing Politics with National Security

By Anne E. Kornblut
DULLES, Va. -- Sen. Barack Obama rejected accusations from the McCain campaign that he is soft on terrorism on Tuesday, saying that Republicans who have failed to capture Osama bin Laden over the last seven years have little ground to criticize him for supporting some habeas corpus rights for suspects.

"Let's think about this: these are the same guys who helped engineer the distraction of the war in Iraq at a time when we could have pinned down the people who actually committed 9-11," Obama told reporters on his campaign plane. He said his statements about Guantanamo were intended to suggest that suspects have a right to be heard, not freed, and accused McCain of playing political games on national security.

"What they're trying to do us what they've done every election cycle, which is to use terrorism as a club to make the American people afraid," Obama said.

Reminded that the Republican playbook worked in the 2004 presidential race, Obama countered: "Well, it's 2008."

"I'm looking forward to having a robust argument about this issue," he said. "I don't shy away from it. The way these issues have been framed have done a great disservice to America. They have not made us safer."

Posted at 4:39 PM ET on Jun 17, 2008  | Category:  Barack Obama
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The most notable thing John McCain did in Vietnam was get shot down, then captured; and all in the cause of an immoral and unjust war. During Vietnam, polls indicated most Americans couldn't even define the Viet Cong correctly. "Aren't they special forces from North Vietnam?" came a typical answer. Many of us were shocked to learn that the Viet Cong were South Vietnamese. "Aren't the South Vietnamese supposed to be on our side?" we'd ask. Not all of them, came the reply. So in Vietnam it wasn't a North vs. South thing as we had initially believed. We were fighting North Vietnam plus a big part of South Vietnam, too. When the general public began to sense that circumstances were unbalanced against us, enthusiasm for our Vietnam efforts waned. After all, if winning there were such a noble effort why didn't Congress declare war as it had in legitimate wars? Isn't a war worth fighting and dying for worth winning? The proud Nazi officers in uniform who went on trial for the exterminating Jews during World War II all said they were just following orders. It was a "my country right or wrong" attitude. My generation of Americans was raised to ask questions when our government tells us to kill other human beings.
Sterling Greenwood
Aspen Free Press

Posted by: Sterling Greenwood | July 3, 2008 12:15 PM

SE....Bush was in charge on 911...and he responded. Unlike the previous decade and previous attacks that went for the most part unanswered. Actually...Bush was in charge and WE responded. I think I recall dang near unanimous support for these wars when they began. I know...old Bushie suckered us into them...dumb ass Bush that can't talk and can't spell...he's a freaking magician. Don't all you anti war people feel so stupid to be suckered by dumbass Bush? Or, were you really in support because it was popular to respond and then were afraid a Republican would have a united legacy of victory....can't have that...gotta protest the war instead. Guess's a success because our men and women are the best. And just because the LIBERAL media in this world and their socialist allies in Europe and around the world are pissed (by the way...I sure am taking what the media says as gospel about what the rest of the world thinks...not) doesn't mean we need to kiss their asses. Last I looked, we were the most generous nation in the world, responsible for more prosperity and more people being brought out of poverty than any other nation. Oh...and we did kick some ass in WWI and WWII.
I have family in Europe...funny they love the US. Funny there's a waiting list to get in this country. I wonder why????

Posted by: NG | June 18, 2008 9:16 PM

Bush, McCain and most Republicans care more about continuing their overseas wars than helping Americans. This is a quote from a current "Post" article about an "agreement" between Bush, Republicans and Democrats in Congress over war funding. "The agreement would require that the Senate would agree to drop most of the more than $10 billion it added last month for programs such as heating subsidies for the poor, wildfire fighting, road and bridge repair and help for the Gulf Coast."

Bush and the warmongers get $165 billion for their wars, but they can not spare an additional ten billion to help poor Americans, protect property, repair our infrastructure and more aid for Katrina victims. Bush and GOP also would not accept a half a percent increase in tax of very wealthy persons to pay for generous GI educational benefits. Protecting the wealthy from the tiniest tax increase and keeping their wars overseas seem to be their highest priorities.

Posted by: Independent | June 18, 2008 7:32 PM

There's nothing patriotic about Obama. Everything he says is to benefit himself. Lies, lies, lies.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 18, 2008 3:25 PM

Campaign slogans are empty words for those who don't read. Obama and Pelosi voted to fund the killing machine three times while espousing slogans to the contrary. They are total bull.

Posted by: hhkeller | June 18, 2008 7:39 AM

NG, who was president on 9/11/01? Which party was in charge of national security? How has justice been achieved for the 9/11 victims?

Posted by: SE | June 17, 2008 11:45 PM

By the way, I was being sarcastic.
Anyone who fell for that last comment is guilty of falling for the same G.O.P. B.S. that has gotten American into this big mess we're in: Just because someone calls himself a Republican doesn't mean he's not out to rob the country blind.

Posted by: richhudson | June 17, 2008 11:43 PM

Bottom line, people: George Bush is a Republican. He loves America. Otherwise he wouldn't *be* a Republican. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: richhudson | June 17, 2008 11:41 PM

LOL! Barry does love to cry about us taking out Saddam HUSSEIN.

The Same Saddam HUSSEIN, he would I guess love to still see in Power.

Getting away with Resolution Violations. Murdering People Trapped in the Country he Stole. Slipping Millions to France, Germany and Russia in illegal Violations of the corrupt supervision of the UN "Oil for Food" SCAM!

Knowing FULL WELL, Millions of Dollars were being thrown to the World Labor Party of George Soros' Support, to ATTACK the US Politically, while spreading Socialism Worldwide.

Truly AMAZING, how so much of all those efforts evaporated immediately AFTER, Saddam was chased out! ;~)

Yep, O'Bomba-Nation is just a World Labor Party kind of guy!

"Soft"? Try, "Charmin Squeezable Soft"! ;~)

Posted by: SAINT---The | June 17, 2008 11:40 PM


Iraq shot at US jets, but in all the thousands of US jets that flew over Iraq, they didn't hit one. Not one. Maybe this should have told us something about the nature of the "threat." He was a 3rd world dictator without much of anything in the way of a military.

Bush suckered us into a war. Boys have died. Their hopes and dreams are gone because of our imperialism. We have lost our standing in the world as a moral nation. We are now isolated -- and seen as a tyrranical thug that doesn't follow her own supposed principles.

Posted by: Eric | June 17, 2008 11:38 PM


There is a fundamental question that you have not asked, or if you have, you have not answered correctly. And that is, "WHY does radical Islam want to blow us off the planet?"

Nobody is saying that they don't want to. But the reason they want to is because our foreign policy of occupying their countries has got them PISSED OFF -- like you would be pissed off if the Iranian Army landed on Venice Beach and camped out for 20 years.

If you would listen to why THEY say they are pissed off, versus the pablum answers the pundits try to spew "They are jealous of our freedoms!" maybe we could all get somewhere.

The United States expects to get to interfere in all nations on earth with impunity, and then acts surprised when the citizens of other nations get angry about what the USA does -- like arming and supporting tyrannical regimes that kill their families....

Nobody is saying terrorists are justified in murdering people. But you might want to know why they do it, just like you would want to know the motive for any other murder.

So are we going to continue this foreign policy that infuriates the world and creates more enemies that want to harm us...? It doesn't seem wise. Or are we going to do what Bush initially campaigned on, and have a humble foreign policy, where we are not the world's brute, and actually have friends that we just visit and trade with...?

Our foreign policy has succeeded in doing what Osama bin Laden could not. Bin Laden could not rally the numbers of radicals he now has to his cause. We have done that -- by invading Iraq. We played right into his hands and he is laughing. The Muslims truly believe they are fighting a defensive war.

Bush and McCain are working very hard to endanger Americans, even though the CIA's experts on Bin Laden have warned and warned them that they have it wrong. But they are both unteachable, so must be defeated.

Posted by: Carol | June 17, 2008 11:28 PM

God love ya' Obama - keep callin' 'em like you see 'em!

Posted by: JDB | June 17, 2008 10:44 PM

The fight against terrorism was in Afghanistan and Bush left there. McCain who supported Bush has taken it on as his own. Stupid pride keeps the Republicans in Iraq. They are avoiding the fight that would count.

A little logic will get us back on course.

McCain was once honorable but that died when he had to join Bush to become the presidential nominee.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 17, 2008 10:13 PM

I love the comments about overblown war on terror, overblown this, overblown that. Ask if those that were friends or family of the deceased on 911 feel that way. Likely not. If you don't want to recognize that radical Islam aims to wipe us off the planet then your head is in the sand. And negotiating with someone who wants you dead is not getting you anywhere except dead.
No attacks since 911 - Thank you Mr. Bush and all our DEDICATED TROOPS, FBI, CIA. All you neysayers...thanks for coming along for the ride.
I really think you anti war-anti Bush people are just pissed he won twice. You can't believe your beloved socialist ways were put on hold.
We're winning in Iraq. Successes every day. How can you say that we're not having success when over 50 million people have more freedom today than ever - in the middle east. Quite an accomplishment. I never thought nation building was in our interest until 911. We ignored all the previous attacks. But after 911, we take the fight to them.
After 911, if Clinton were President, I guarantee we'd have invaded Iraq. After 911, the rules changed. We couldn't have Saddam, who violated umpteen UN resolutions and shot at US jets, as a potential threat. It was logical to remove him and a potential source for weapons for the enemy. If we sit on our hands with Iran, worse could happen. I am sorry you feel our military shouldn't be used this way, but peace is made this way.

Posted by: NG | June 17, 2008 8:24 PM

I would like to express my disgust of the comment by Sterling Greenwood. The war in Vietnam WAS NOT MCCAIN's war. McCain served his country with honor and integrity. The men who served in Vietnam need to be respected and honored; they served their country. And comments like you's show that we have cowards and stupidity in the United States. You are not a blessing to our country but a smart mouth person who does dishonor to every man and woman in the uniform of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard. Shame on you.

Posted by: love234america | June 17, 2008 8:18 PM

Just wait until we get closer to Nov. folks. The Grand Ole' Party will use every dirty tactic they can and try to keep their hands clean.

Just look at Fox news. That'll tell you the big plans ahead. The most obvious is trying to paint Obama as a radical Ni--er!!!

Wink, wink America.

Hopefully, we won't stand for this anymore.

Posted by: William D. | June 17, 2008 7:31 PM

The McCain camp is simply trying to put Barack on the defensive and avoid discussion of domestic issues. McCain offers four to eight more years of essentially Bush-Cheney domestic and foreign policies, with a few token changes.

McCain does not want to discuss the economy because the Republicans lack any ideas on how to improve economic conditions for most Americans.

McCain does not want to discuss health care because he does not offer any ideas on expanding health care coverage for more than a couple million, relatively affluent persons. Actually the GOP doesn't even care about the issue of health care for Americans.

McCain wants to continue Bush policies in Iraq for another four to eight years.

Vote for McCain if you want another four years of Bush policies.

Posted by: Independent | June 17, 2008 7:20 PM

I'd like to thank McCain for his courageous announcement that he intends to carry on the Bush policy of disregarding outdated principles like due process, the presumption of innocence and habeus corpus. We, the people, much prefer to rely on you, the government, to decide for us who is a terrorist and use more modern methods, like tortured confessions and indefinite jail without trial, to protect America's core values.

Posted by: taxpyer | June 17, 2008 7:06 PM

The most notable thing John McCain did as a Navy pilot in Vietnam was get caught, yet he continues to carry on about national security like he's some kind of real war hero like Audie Murphy, which he isn't. Besides the war in which Murphy displayed true military heroism -- World War II -- was a moral one. John McCain's war -- Vietnam -- wasn't.
Sterling Greenwood
Aspen Free Press

Posted by: Sterling Greenwood | June 17, 2008 7:01 PM


Posted by: BRAD | June 17, 2008 6:48 PM

"I'm looking forward to having a robust argument about this issue," he said. "I don't shy away from it."

Really? One debate, on the 4th of July? These kids are in harm's way and Team Obama is haggling over venues and party affiliation of the audience. Debate now! Stand up in the Senate and refuse to fund the Iraq War. Take a stand, impeach Bush. Call out the Democratic leadership who cave every time Bush challenges them to show their stripes. Vote for Ron Paul! To be a Republican and consistently oppose the War - that takes courage.

Posted by: David | June 17, 2008 6:42 PM

I am extremely disturbed that McCain does not support even basic civil rights for those imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism -- not even the right to answer to the charges. Seeing as this is an undeclared war, persons could be locked up indefinitely without a chance to even say whether or not they are the individual in question. This is so un-American as to make me recoil in horror.

What would we think of a country that imprisoned our dad or our daughter and would not even permit them to answer to the charges...? We would we think that country was medieval and tyrannical and corrupt beyond all comprehension. We would be furious. We might even seek revenge.

This is how McCain proposes to keep our nation safe...? By infuriating the rest of the world? By making the friends and family of our hostages crazy with indignation to the point of wanting revenge against us...?

What has become of our country? We are no longer a moral nation if we do things like this. I have been a lifelong Republican, but no, I shan't be supporting McCain in this election. I can't support Obama either, so I will be voting for Bob Barr.

Has this country gone crazy? Do we not remember who we are...?

Posted by: Carol | June 17, 2008 6:23 PM

Not a Pawn to the Obamacon! wrote:

"That's why since 9/11/2001 we have had ZERO ATTACKS on the U.S."

Yes. And I have this magic rock that keeps tigers away. How do I know it's working? Well I don't see any tigers around here, do you?

Shamefully stolen from The Simpsons, I know. This however completely disspells the fallacy of safety which only exists in the minds of individuals who cannot think clearly.

Guess what, we had no foreign attack on our soil for 200 years before 9/11. And we managed to have that without trashing our constitution and apologizing for facists.

Those who think "9/11 changed everything" are either scared (with very little reason - do you know what your chances are of actually dying in a terrorist attack? what about dying in a car accident? I'll give you a hint: stop driving) or are pushing someone's (Haliburton) agenda.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 17, 2008 6:22 PM

I don't get scared any more, I just get mad at the GOP.

Posted by: Ben | June 17, 2008 6:13 PM

"Not a Pawn," we have attacks on U.S. interests *every day*, in Iraq. Now who's responsible for misleading us into Iraq, I wonder?

Posted by: qjjdduoei | June 17, 2008 6:12 PM


I just read that Megabam (Obama) claims the GOP has failed America and that's why Osama Bin Laden is still free!

That's why since 9/11/2001 we have had ZERO ATTACKS on the U.S.

As far as not capturing Bin Laden, maybe Megabam (Obama) in all of his experience in wisdom can enlighten us on how to capture him. Does he have information on the capture of Bin Laden?!?!?! He had better start cooperating with us and tell us what he knows to bring the U.S.A.'s #1 enemy to capture!

Posted by: Not a Pawn to the Obamacon! | June 17, 2008 6:07 PM

Page one of the GOP playbook, if you can't win on the issues, scare the daylights out of the voters. Same playbook they used during the Cold War they are using now. They have just taken their old lines and replaced "Soviets" with "terrorist."

Posted by: bgjd1979 | June 17, 2008 6:06 PM

This needs to be said and restated frequently. Inaccurate assessments to elevate fear and to elevate accomplishments have been the central theme of Iraq policy. A policy that should have been Afghanistan policy at the very start.

This is why McCain's Iraq policy has no credibility. He says the surge has worked but no significant changes in the Iraq political system have been implemented Only that will indicate that the surge has worked. Even if it is finally judged to have worked our chief problem area of Afghanistan hangs by a thread. The Republicans are too emotionally tied to Iraq and do not think of national interest.

A mistake was made by Bush in attacking a place he had no need to go and where we belong, in Afghanistan, we are inadequately committed.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 17, 2008 5:39 PM

Dear American Voters, reporters and political professionals,

Hon. Senator McCain and Obama, besides each having many attributes and characteristics. The critical differences between the two of these presidential presumptive nominees are as under:

1. Presidential "Temperament and Composer".
2. Little Washington "insider Versus outsider" experience.
3. "Vision and mission" for our nation future rather than past.
4. American policies, " first U.S.A Centric" than any other country [ ies ] centric.

In my professional opinion Senator Obama leads in all above qualities.

The need of our next movement and generation is a change. The Change in " past Washington and its Leadership". A change we can believe in and not the seductive, deceptive, and confusing slogan of "leader we can believe in" [? Effexor ?".

Our Greatgrand Nation has to address many present and future challenges and start with new clean "Slate and Senator".

God Bless America. its diverse people, and our Greatgrand Nation.

Our Greatgrand Nation is needs the CHANGE at every level and for long time.

I am sure Senator Obama with the help of Senator Clinton and her supporters, can deliver that CHANGE.

Please stay involved, stay engaged, and stay informed. Please do not allow any seduction, deception, and or confusion by some partisan media and leaders effect your vote [ Psychological Terrorism ]..

Yours truly,

COL. [retd] A.M.Khajawall
Disabled American Veteran
Forensic psychiatrist, Las Vegas

PS: Please talk about the " Presidential Temperament And Caliber " of our presumptive presidential Nominees. Thanks.

Posted by: COL. [retd] A.M.Khajawall | June 17, 2008 5:25 PM

Senator Obama is right on the mark in accusing McCain and his supporters of terror mongering. McCain, every bit as corrupt as Bush, is perfectly willing to lie about the overblown war on terror, claiming progress where little has been achieved and dodging responsibility for the failure to capture Osama Bin Laden. Remember a couple of years back, GWBush was asked where Osama was. He responded, "I don't know, and I don't care." That is still true today. Fortunately, the American people are tired of listening to the warmongers who want to keep us perpetually frightened.

Posted by: David S. Robins | June 17, 2008 5:11 PM

Right on! You tell 'em, Barack. I am sick to death of these phony "patriots" and their sleazy fear-mongering. Now that the Iraq victory cigar has blown up in their faces, maybe the public will be able to recognize them for what they are - first class phonies. Obama has his eye on the real terrorists on the Afgan/Pakistan border. They are going to get some serious attention when he is elected, as opposed to the free pass they've gotten from Bush and his friends. When it comes to our system of laws, he is not willing to betray our country's democratic principles. That is not the American way. He makes me proud to be an American. It is time to stand up to the Bush/McCain bully boys and take our country back.

Posted by: Chuck | June 17, 2008 4:57 PM

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