Sen. Barack Obama
Democrat Sen. Barack Obama’s stunning assertion in a recent speech that the U.S. needs a “civilian national security force” that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force is not included in published transcripts of his prepared remarks.
In the July 2 speech in Colorado Springs, Obama insisted the U.S. “cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set.”
Campaign officials have declined to return any of a series of WND telephone calls over several days requesting comment. Nor have they posted a transcript of the speech on their website.
According to the transcript, Obama was to have said:
We’ll send more college graduates to teach and mentor our young people. We’ll call on Americans to join an Energy Corps to conduct renewable energy and environmental cleanup projects in their neighborhoods. We’ll enlist veterans to help other vets find jobs and support, and to be there for our military families. And we’ll also grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered, and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy.
But a YouTube video of the speech, at about the 16-minute mark, shows Obama added the following lines:
“We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”
Joseph Farah, founder and editor of WND, used his daily column first to raise the issue, and then to elevate it with a call to all reporters to start asking questions about it.
“If we’re going to create some kind of national police force as big, powerful and well-funded as our combined U.S. military forces, isn’t this rather a big deal?” Farah wrote. “I thought Democrats generally believed the U.S. spent too much on the military. How is it possible their candidate is seeking to create some kind of massive but secret national police force that will be even bigger than the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force put together?
“Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? If not, why did he say it? What did he mean?” Farah wrote.
He added that he wants the help of “every other journalist who still thinks the American people have a right to know the specifics about a presidential candidate’s biggest and boldest initiatives before the election.”
Since Farah reported the statement, it’s been the subject of intense discussions on the Internet.
In a post on FreeRepublic.com, Sean Robins explains why he believes it’s likely one of Obama’s handlers counseled him to remove the two lines from the speech and then the senator decided to put them back in.
“Most of the time, when Obama flubs a line and attempts to recover, you can easily spot it,” Robins writes, but in this case, the lines are “delivered clearly, concisely, and succinctly, without any hint that they emanate from a flub.”
Robins speculates the lines were prepared and rehearsed ahead of time, the handler or handlers counseled him to take them out, and “in the moment of the speech, he decided, ‘they’re back in.'”
Robins says that while this is speculation, it points to the need to “pay closer attention to Obama’s speeches, for what is off the cuff, for what his trainers and handlers might not want him to say, but which he will continue to say anyway. We know he’s really good on a fixed script. And we know that he’s really bad on his own.”
The Blue Collar Muse blog commented, “In 2007, the U.S. Defense budget was $439 billion. Is Obama serious about creating some kind of domestic security force bigger and more expensive than that? The questions are legion and the implications of such an organization are staggering! What would it do? According to the title, it’s a civilian force so how would it go about discharging ‘national security’ issues? What are the Constitutional implications for such a group? How is this to be paid. … The statement was made in the context of youth service. Is this an organization for just the youth or are adults going to participate? How does one get away from the specter of other such ‘youth’ organizations from Nazi Germany and the former Soviet Union when talking about it?”
On the forum page for Blue Collar Muse, one reader said, “I thought we already had the FBI, DEA, BATFE, U.S. Marshals, TSA, postal inspectors, park rangers, Secret Service, state bureaus of investigation, state police, local police, sheriffs and constables, among others, that already did that.”
Added another: “The other, more likely, possibility here is that Obama has absolutely no clue what he’s talking about. That would explain why he hasn’t elaborated on the idea.”
Obama’s Colorado Springs speech was about a “call to service.”
“I am running for president, right now, because of what Dr. King called the fierce urgency of now. This moment is too important to sit on the sidelines.”
And he told the audience he would “ask for your service.”
“We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve. And we will direct that service to our most pressing national challenges. … As president, I will expand AmeriCorps to 250,000 slots, and make that increased service a vehicle to meet national goals like providing health care and education, saving our planet and restoring our standing in the world, so that citizens see their efforts connected to a common purpose. People of all ages, stations, and skills will be asked to serve. Because when it comes to the challenges we face, the American people are not the problem – they are the answer.”
He also talked about additional work for veterans, and a new “Energy Corps” for the two million “young Americans who are out of school and out of work.”