McCain Outs Obama Iraq Trip! Trying to Get Him Killed!

The Outrage of the Day comes to us from Josh Marshall, a pretty even keeled fellow.   John McCain said this to reporters.

“I believe that either today or tomorrow — and I’m not privy to his schedule — Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators” who make up a congressional delegation, McCain told a campaign fund-raising luncheon.

Says Josh, “[I]f Obama is going to be in Iraq this weekend, this is a major breach on McCain’s part.”  Why?  Because operational security (OPSEC) for VIPs traveling to dangerous areas involves blurring the details of trips so as to make it harder for the bad guys to do them harm.  Josh concedes, “Hypothetically, maybe McCain was just guessing.”  He continues, ” But even so it would still be a serious lapse of judgment on his part.”

Hilary Bok agrees and goes further:

This is not just another screwup from McCain. It is very, very serious. There are things you are just Not Supposed To Talk About. This is one of them. If McCain doesn’t have the common sense, the decency, and the discipline not to talk about them, that’s a very serious problem. Since I’m not willing to assume he did this out of malice, I have to conclude that he just let this slip. But if he were President, we would need to count on him not to let things like this slip. Apparently, we can’t. And that’s a very big deal.

Warren Street agrees:  “Senator John McCain just seriously compromised the safety and security of Senator Barack Obama and everyone traveling with him–plus any military members or private security personnel assigned to protect him.”   Further, “I don’t believe McCain wanted any harm to come to Obama or anyone else–I believe McCain wanted to keep Obama from going to Iraq because the visuals of Obama being greeted by raucous troops and of Obama actually speaking extemporaneously and knowing what the hell he’s talking about would be a devastating comparison to McCain’s Grandpa Simpson routine as of late…“  [Emphasis in original.]

Mark Kleiman and others, meanwhile, are pushing the “McCain is senile” meme.

Oh, please.

The Obama campaign has been touting this trip for weeks.  We’ve all had a pretty good idea of the timeline.   Google and Google News are flooded with thousands of copies of the same wire reports on the above gaffe, making pinpointing older accounts difficult.   But, for example, NRO’s Pete Hegseth, writing on July 14th, criticized Obama’s release of his Iraq plan thusly:  “It strikes me that only someone who is signaling no interest in consulting with commanders on the ground would spell out his ‘plan’ for Iraq just one week before he visits the country for the first time in 918 days.”  We knew that the Iraq and Afghanistan trip would take place in conjunction with a European tour, including a speech originally announced for outside the Brandenburg Gate but moved to the Victory Column in Berlin.   Every story on this written last week said said trip would be “next week.”

This ain’t no state secret, folks.

Obama, by the way, landed in Afghanistan this morning.  I trust it’s kosher to mention that, what with all the news coverage.

FILED UNDER: 2008 Election, Congress, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. RHM says:

    McCain is a tired old man, but to think he wants Obama dead is ridiculous. There are too many conspiracies to keep track of these days.

    Look at the first quote again: “I believe that either today or tomorrow — and I’m not privy to his schedule — Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators”

    Does that mean he wants to “other senators” (his peers) dead too?

    What ever happened to the issues? Stuff like this does nothing but muddy the waters.


  2. rodney dill says:

    Very clever of McCain to mention Iraq when Obama actually headed to Afganistan. Probably saved Obama’s life.

  3. just me says:

    I think this is stupid.

    It must have been a slow news day.

  4. JKB says:

    It appears the London Telegraph wants Obama dead as well.

    Here is a story from July 13 where they out the trip as being as early as, well, today.

    “The senators will be part of a “congressional delegation” to Afghanistan and Iraq likely to travel to the war zones as early as the end of this week.”

    This just in…Sen McCain tells reporters what they already know about Obama’s trip to Iraq using public knowledge about the timing. PSH ensues.

  5. Bithead says:

    I thought Obama was so very popular that none of the people in question would want to kill him. Is this a tacit admission that there are still threats to be dealt with in region that talking won’t solve?

  6. Spoker says:

    If this is the best in subject matter and opinion available today, let’s see if we can expand the distribution of Kool-Aid.

    Please drink up so the lives of billions of electrons can be saved.

  7. Floyd says:

    If Obama is the best candidate this nation can field, then it is not his’ mortality that we need fear, but that of the very nation he may be about to represent.

  8. Al Bee says:

    The same old attempts of the mainstream liberals to bad mouth the opposition. They kite the news to a fever pitch and in the end it means absolutely nothing. Other examples, Chaney’s’ hunting accident, Chaney’s’ trip to a hunting club displaying an inappropriate picture.

    If BS was shoe polish the fools would up to their hips in Shinola.