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Did President Obama Misinterpret History?

Written by | May 9th, 2009

At President Obama’s recent press conference, it was a bit surprising to hear his interpretation of Winston Churchill, and the use of coercive techniques used in England, by their intelligence community.

England, historically, is a country that is very familiar with terrorism on its soil, and they are a country that understood, sometimes, in extreme cases,  you have to do things that may not be the most politically-correct, however, are in the best interest of their nation’s security.

I do not believe that The United States should necessarily allow itself to engage in overly brutal techniques of coercion, however, I do believe that our enemies should definitely fear what could potentially happen to them, the next  time they consider taking out skyscrapers (or worse), in the middle of a populated United States city.

War truly is hell, and if we do not let our troops, and intelligence community, get the information they need, even if enhanced-interrogation techniques are necessary, then I, for one, am very concerned for the future of our nation’s security.

Having said that, please listen to President Obama’s (1:00 in) assessment of Winston Churchill’s stance during World War 2, based on an article that he said, he had read.

Below that, please listen to Bill O’Reilly’s findings of the actual techniques used by England; as well as proposed techniques by Winston Churchill, during and after World War 2. Secrets of The London Cage and World War 2 Please note, Bill also evokes the names of our former presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman who both also had to make very difficult, and controversial, decisions on behalf of our national-security.

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7 thoughts on “Did President Obama Misinterpret History?

  1. KEB

    At first I thought is was interesting how the main stream media had failed to report on such erroneous information until I realized that media instead relies on the person submitting the information to provide accuracy, except when the information is not in line with the ideology of the person providing the report.

    Recently, a worldwide epidemic of incorrect information was printed by hundreds if not thousands of media outlets, even though there was no reliable source of credibility to the information. Most of them have since retracted and issued apologies, however, it is very easy to understand how the “if you repeat it enough” mantra works.

    Perhaps Obama was ignorant of the truth; of course there is always the possibility that he knew the truth and wanted to spin a world renowned hero into an anti-torture supporter. Regardless of the reasoning or facts behind it, President Obama used incorrect information to paint a false picture of Churchill. The administration should follow the lead of the few media outlets that have since retracted erroneous quotes of Maurice Jarre and set the record straight; but then I suspect the cat that got out of the bag is spinning so fast now that the dizzying speed at which it is traveling around the world is faster than any media blitz could ever hope to overcome.

    So much for honesty and integrity in reporting.

    Reply
  2. markross Post author

    At first I thought is was interesting how the main stream media had failed to report on such erroneous information until I realized that media instead relies on the person submitting the information to provide accuracy, except when the information is not in line with the ideology of the person providing the report.

    You’ve asked the right questions…did they take the president at his word, or were they satisfied with the answer, even if it was a false representation of history?

    This is why I rely on sources such as Bill O’, and a “few” others that take getting facts very serious.

    No matter who the president is, I would still call them out, if they are misrepresenting historical facts, especially when using history to try to state their case. 

    Perhaps Obama was ignorant of the truth.

    I would very much be interested to know what article the president used as his source.

    there is always the possibility that he knew the truth and wanted to spin a world renowned hero.

    And that is what really concerns me. Hopefully, when a president, and/or a media organization starts to get called out on things such as this, then they will lose credibility, and hopefully become more responsible in the future.

    No matter what your feelings are on this issue, I would think that most reasonable people want the truth, so that they can make decisions for themselves, and not based on a spin machine.

    Reply
  3. markross Post author

    We could certainly talk about both sides of this issue all day, however, the bottom line, from my point of view, is, Churchill realized that he was dealing with extremists that were hell bent on pursuing their ideologies, and Churchill realized that tough measures were needed to protect the interests of Great Britain, and to stop forces such as The Nazis.

    It is likely that most war time presidents that were successful at keeping their citizens safe, likely made some controversial decisions among their citizens. Again, what is the bottom line? In my opinion, the bottom line is, Great Britain prevailed, and had Hitler conquered Great Britain, today they may be saying…why didn’t Churchill do more?

    I pray that we never have to look back, as a defeated nation, and ask our leaders, why didn’t you do more to protect us?

    Reply
  4. HackneyWarrior

    “England, historically, is a country that is very familiar with terrorism on its soil, and they are a country that understood, sometimes, in extreme cases, you have to do things that may not be the most politically-correct, however, are in the best interest of their nation’s security.”

    You’re talking about a country that existed 70 years ago. England does not condone or commit torture, and sees it as a criminal offence.  If you can find an example of a British citizen torturing in recent times that didn’t get prosecuted, lets hear it now so we can find them and bring them to justice.

    The rule of law is not flexible, we honour our agreements. I find your speculation highly offensive as you’re clearly trying to use our country to justify something we find completely unacceptable, by referencing our past. We’re better now.

    Reply
  5. Ron de Weijze

    One aspect that wasn't fully articulated in the phenomenon we believe we see unfolding before our eyes, is the marketing of policy by state controlled media. The president is not the person in power; the leftist elite is. Cultural pessimism, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, positive discrimination, in that order, emanated from post-war Germany, including the philosophers to conquer the hearts and minds, apparently only of the left and their allies. It is that whole machine, in the hands of the most powerful, that can let their 'chosen one' say what forwards their agenda, securing their position, whatever the cost for the society. The least among us are positively discriminated by the 'most' (opposite of least) among us, or the elite, and not those next in the pecking order, because of the short 'power-distance' (Mulder, 1980) as opposed to the unthreatening distance of those all in the back.

    Reply
  6. Ron de Weijze Post author

    "They are folding like lawn chairs"… if you came up with that expression, you should copyright it :)

    Yes I was referring to those Progressives. It strikes me that so many young people feel they belong there. It is a déjà vu from the 60s, when the hippies were rebelling against their parent, just for the power-boost that gave them, only this time they really seem to believe in the carrot dangling in front of their faces. That worries me, for I really want everybody to have his or her own opinion and feel how that fits in with their culture. But this time we are talking about the same culture (hopefully). So there must be a logical mistake in their (or our?) reasoning somewhere. The duality drives me into the core of my thinking (and I am blogging about it).

    Reply
  7. markross Post author

    I recently came across this May 04, 2009 article by Jake Tapper (ABC White House Correspondent), who asked President Obama the above (video) question regarding The Bush Admin and torture. The article is very informative… it answers a lot of the questions as to what Churchill’s so-called torture policies were.

    Reply

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