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Friday, May 06, 2011

Smoke and mirrors at the White House

I only want to draw your attention to two aspects of the Obama/Osama business. It was pretty clear from the moment this picture was released that that group of people were not watching the events unfolding over in Pakistan. We know that cameras are mounted on pretty much all items of expensive military kit nowadays but in order for those people in the White House situation room to be able to watch anything intelligible from the compound in Abbotabad the special forces group would have had to drop out of the sky with a couple of Winnebagos full of directors and vision mixers. They would probably have needed to find the nearest Starbucks and get the coffees in before any violence began. What those people are probably watching is a link to CIA headquarters where the operation is being controlled from.

The second interesting detail I picked up from the New York Times account was that Obama was keeping an eye on the unfolding operation while "rehearsing" for his appearance at the White House Correspondents Dinner. This annual event, which takes place in front of a room full of gorgeous actresses and not gorgeous hacks, is now one of the biggest occasions of the Washington year. The President shows up and reads a load of self-deprecating jokes about himself from a teleprompter. Obviously this needs preparing for but I don't think Lincoln "rehearsed" the Gettysburg address. Had he "rehearsed" it that would have suggested it was a "performance".