May 1, 2012

The White House issued a statement this morning stating Barack Obama was not in Kabul. Hours later they rescinded this statement and tried to smother their denial in the national media. However, it was too late as multiple national news sources had already published the rumors of his visit. Why didn’t the White House want us to know?

Josh RoginForeign Policy

President Barack Obama has landed in Afghanistan and arrived at the presidential palace in Kabul, where he will sign a Strategic Partnership Agreement with the Afghan government on the one-year anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden.

“President Barack Obama is in Afghanistan for a whirlwind visit that will culminate in a live, televised address to the American people,” a White House pool report said Tuesday.

Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai will sign the agreement shortly and Obama is scheduled to address the nation just after 7:30 EDT Tuesday evening from Bagram Airbase. The agreement commits the United States to a security presence in Afghanistan for years after the 2014 handover of control to the Afghan government, but exact troop numbers won’t be decided until next year. Read full article

This news came today after the White House vehemently denied that Obama was in the region earlier this morning: “That report is not accurate and the president is not in Kabul.” The denial was covered on but then removed when the article from the NY Post they had linked to ‘mysteriously’ vanished.

Here’s an article from Politco‘s Dylan Byers trying to make sense of the flip flopping:

So President Barack Obama is in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he will give a live televised address the American people.

Almost everyone in the U.S. media knew about this six hours ago because local media, including Kabul-based TOLONews, began reporting the President’s visit this morning. The story was soon picked up by international news organizations and by the New York Post, causing the White House to issue stern denials: “That report is not accurate and the president is not in Kabul,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor told NewsCore. (Conveniently, Obama arrived at Bagram). Read full article

No mention was made of Obama’s Afghan visit in his public itinerary:

Buzzfeed‘s Zeke Miller chronicled the events as they unfolded along with screenshots in his article titled How The White House Smothered The News Of Obama’s Trip To Afghanistan:

Shortly before 9:19 a.m. this morning the Afghanistan-based 24-hour broadcast news station TOLONews tweeted that President Barack Obama had landed in Afghanistan.

The surprise trip was a closely guarded secret, kept by White House officials and members of the White House press corps — as is customary with presidential trips to war zones. It coincides with the first anniversary of the killing of Osama bin Laden, and according to the White House pool report, Obama is expected to sign a strategic partnership agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Read full article

It seems the White House can lie to us whenever they see fit, but of course, I didn’t have to tell you that.

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