About three weeks ago I wrote a commentary titled “WHAT IS THE RUSH?” and those words of caution are becoming more and more important in our ever perilous and competitive world.
In this frantic political environment our leadership should show far more caution in its rush to score brownie points. The Obama Administration finds it needs to give its words greater initial consideration because it later sees a need to re-spin statements which have caused a political uproar. An example is President Obama’s initial remarks about not prosecuting people who approved or administered torture, and then backtracking to suggest that the Attorney General may elect to hold individuals now outside of government to task.
With that second remark our President neglected to recognize the fact that the torture policy was approved not only with attorneys, but with both the Senate and House Committee members at the time were briefed and raised no objection to the treatment of high level prisoners, which suggests we now have a double standard in conducting political prosecution. It’s OK now, but the next administration may overturn our legal interpretation and enforcement. Now just a couple of days ago he has realized the danger and gone back to his original position.
Our new Secretary of Homeland Security has inflamed our cherished Veteran community with her recent statement that returning Veterans are susceptible to radical actions. Secretary Napolitano is now in full backtrack mode trying to explain her words that I suspect she never read before she spoke them. In fact she said something like if I could go back, I would have stricken that part of my statement.
Some of the words flowing out of Washington scare the hell out of me, and one is only left to assume they are uttered by total idiots, liberals from the farthest left, or just lazy government officials who have not done their homework. Should you or I commit a similar act at our job, we would probably be terminated or severely reprimanded. The average person never gets the opportunity to spin their misstatements.
A recent blog referred to cautionary words taught us by our parents, teachers and worthy peers. Just this week another politician dropped a good one when he said; “You can’t improve any situation by staying away from it”. My first reaction was that Yogi Berra was at it again, but no it was the President of South Africa Kgalema Mothlanthe.
At first blush this individual’s words really scared me, since they were coming from a person who wants to continue leading his country. Reading further I learned that he was trying to urge people to the polls to vote, but you sure would not understand that by his statement.
Words are magnificent instruments of communication, but they must be used with great caution and compassion. We all would be far better off were we to stop and think about what we are really writing or saying. Your Commander should embrace his own recommendation in his future writings, too.