What a Tangled Web We Weave

By Robert Wallace
America’s Right

I remember a quote from my childhood, but I had to look it up just now to find the author. It was the Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott, and the simple observation he made was:

Oh what a tangled web we weave,
When first we practice to deceive

If you want to understand what happened to the smooth-operating presidential candidate sometime between November of 2008 and January of 2009, look no farther than that simple pearl of wisdom. He promised everything to everyone, and now he’s busy taking fire from Michael Moore and Donald Rumsfeld.

Hey, I guess if he can bring those two together, he really is the Great Uniter!

The article that brought this to mind was from Fox News. It turns out that during his speech Obama played the good old “Bush Made Me Do It” card, and stated:

Throughout this period [since 2003], our troop levels in Afghanistan remained a fraction of what they were in Iraq. Commanders in Afghanistan repeatedly asked for support to deal with the reemergence of the Taliban, but these reinforcements did not arrive.

But the problem is that Obama’s web is hopelessly tanged, and every thing he does – or doesn’t do – is going to anger someone. In this case he managed to provoke Rumsfeld (who, for the record, is not my favorite person) to break his silence. Rumsfeld didn’t mince words:

“The president’s assertion does a disservice to the truth and, in particular, to the thousands of men and women in uniform who have fought, served and sacrificed in Afghanistan,” Rumsfeld said.

He urged Congress to review the claim in the upcoming debate to “determine exactly what requests were made, who made them, and where and why in the chain of command they were denied.”

Gibbs tried to get his boss out of trouble, by pointing out that Obama was referring to 2008 – after Rumsfeld had stepped down. The problem with that assertion is that the Defense Secretary in 2008 was Robert Gates. You know, the guy Obama asked to stay on. So is Obama criticizing his own cabinet now?

See what I mean about a tangled web?

Lies are what got the country into this mess. Only the truth can get us back out again.

Robert Wallace is classical liberal studying economics in graduate school. He and his wife work as business analysis consultants, and they live as undercover conservatives with their two small children in a socialist bastion of a college town. He has been writing for America’s Right since December 2008.



  1. Laurie says:

    Robert….an excellent POST as usual. Your words are so true and nailed it.

  2. whats_up says:


    Adm Mullins yesterday in testimony before Congress confirms what Obama said.

  3. Lilly says:

    Ha Ha, I thought the same exact thing when I heard what Gibbs reply was!
    whats_up – Which part of what Obama said? Maybe he was (in 2008)and that is the point of Robert's post. Go read it before posting again.

  4. Gail B says:

    Great observation, Robert!

    Joe Wilson put it in even plainer words: "You lie!"

    I like Joe Wilson. He shoots from the hip. Jeff can tell you that I do, too.

  5. Robert Wallace says:

    whats up-

    Anon @ 11:08 am hit the nail on the head. The best lies are those that use as much of the truth as possible while giving a misleading impression.

    Obama's clear attempt was to blame the Bush administration for not ramping up troop levels in Afghanistan, but the only time that troops levels weren't answered was when Gates was SecDef. And yet Gates isn't just a Bush appointee, he is also an Obama appointee.

    So the claim itself is technically true, but it's only part of the whole story and gives a misleading impression.

    Of course, it's much worse than just that. While Obama is attempting to roast Bush for a decision that was made by his own SecDef, the fact remains that Obama isn't listening to his commanders either. McChrystal wanted 60,000. He said 40,000 was a minimum.

    Instead he's getting 30,000 *and* a timeline for withdrawal (which I don't think he asked for). So who is Obama to criticize people for not full resourcing the Afghanistan war when he isn't wiling to do so either?

  6. whats_up says:


    With all due respect the President decides on when and where troops will be deployed not the Sec of Defense. It very well could be that Def Sec Gates wanted these as well. But Bush decided not to. Mullins seems to clarify this when he states that President Bush's priority was in Iraq not Afghanistan, please tell me where a "lie" occured in what Obama said?


    Right on Robert! Calling the kettle black comes to mind.

  8. Robert Wallace says:


    I'm not sure that I'm really due any particular respect. ;-) Perhaps you meant respect for the president?

    In any case I think you do have a point: technically Bush would have made the final call. But I stand by my earlier point: if you can state a fact to give a misleading impression you are still lying. I live by that, I expect my children to live by that, and I expect politicians to be held to the same standard.

    Obama's intent was clearly to state that he – unlike Bush – is taking Afghanistan seriously. And yet by "seriously" he means "giving my commanders half what they asked for". Does that strike you as honest?

    He is trying – as always – to have it both ways. To be a tough war president and a peace president at the same time. To send troops and promise a withdrawal at the same time.

    And in the end he creates a tangled web of deceipt. Michael Moore feels betrayed that Obama isn't bringing the troops home now, and Rumsfeld is angry that Obama seemed to be blaming him for not sending troops there earlier. (It should also be noted that at the time Bush/Gates turned down the requests the Surge was ongoing in Iraq, so it's not like they were just ignoring their commanders the way Obama is doing.)

    I absolutely agree with you that – on a strictly technical level – Obama told the truth. And I absolutely and apologetically affirm that he was – and is – lying by speaking only those parts of the truth that are designed to give an impression that is not accurate.

  9. Robert Wallace says:

    LOL, "apolegetically" should be "unapolegetically". Sort of makes a difference.

    My bads.

  10. CHARLATANS WEB says:

    And the spider making this web is a brown recluse (no paper trail on this guys whole life)….. the most painful of spider bites.

  11. YES, THERE IS A GOD says:


    My Democrat congressman has had enough!!!! I no longer will be able to disgrace him in here! My pink slip I slipped in his offices mail slot had an impact!!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    The issue isn't whether what Obama said was true/confirmed (although his original statement was broad and Gibby narrowed it down to 2008 to make it "true"er)–it's that Obama's criticism (clarified by Gibby as 2008) is directed at the very Defense Secretary that Obama chose to KEEP in place from the Bush administration. Hopenchange didn't see fit to CHANGE Gates, the very guy he accuses of being responsible for denying troops.

  13. whats_up says:


    I dont understand what you mean by "giving my commanders half what they asked for". Between the 30,000 troops we are providing and the additional 10,000 troops pledged by NATO, this totals the 40,000 that McChrystal asked for.

  14. Claudia says:

    Obama is trying to employ "revisionist" history to everything from the founding of ouor nation to the part Islam has played in the greatness of the world, so what is different from that in regards to what he said the other day??? Nothing, he is simply trying to COVER HIS A$$. Everything he says or does has someone else taking the blame for his screw-ups (throwing them all under the bus) and boy, they had better like it there…. and please don't try to refute the Communist in his decisions that are all wreaking of "Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive" a phrase by the way that MY mother and grandmother drilled into each one of mine and my brothers heads on a daily (it seemed) basis.

  15. Robert Wallace says:


    As I stated, McChrystal actually asked for 60,000 troops with 40,000 as a bare minimum. It turns out I was wrong. His request was for 80,000 – 40,000.

    It was definitely far north of 30,000.

    I can see why you would want to take Obama's 30k and add in the 10k he is going to request from NATO, but the fact is that he won't get 10k and he knows it. He's asked for troops before. He got zilch. And support for the war in key allied nations like the UK is even lower now then before.

    If he gets a single additional combat soldier from NATO I will be shocked. There's no way he's going to get a full 10,000. He knows that.

    Well, he *should* know that. If he doesn't, then that's even worse.

  16. John Feeny says:

    Like I've said many times in either writing or comments, THESE ARE CHILDREN.


    Taliban and Al Qaeda probably now have a semester on White House State Dinner Crashing in terrorist college.

    Executive privilege for their party invitation staffer…. priceless.

  18. PAUL REVERE says:

    Al Gore,

    Thank You so much for the internet. This rocks! You libs can run, but you can't hide.

  19. Ian Thorpe says:

    Michael Moore?
    The Michael Moore?
    The fat guy who said "The President was elected by a huge majority and so has a mandate to do as he thinks fit?"
    That Michael Moore?

    I don't belieeeeeeeve it!

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