Someone very high in Obama’s administration persuaded four European governments to deny air space to the President of Bolivia. This forced the pilot to land in Vienna.
Then the Austrian government sent inspectors to search the plane. The Deputy Chancellor announced to reporters that no one who was not a Bolivian citizen was on board. This meant that the plane had been forced to land in Austria over suspicions that Edward Snowden might have been inside.
So far, five nations have exposed themselves as toadies of the Obama administration: Italy, Portugal, France, Spain, and Austria. Toadying to the USA is always bad for domestic politics. The French government is now in full back-pedaling mode. It has announced that it was all an administrative mistake. It was, indeed: an Obama administrative mistake.
Morales landed in Bolivia to a hero’s welcome. A crowd assembled to cheer him.
Bolivia’s representative to the United Nations said: “We have no doubt that it was an order from the White House. By no means should a diplomatic plane with the president be diverted from its route and forced to land in another country.”
Across Latin America, there is sincere outrage. This was a deliberate slight of a national leader. This is the biggest setback in Latin American relations that any American President has had in over half a century. Let’s see John Kerry put this back together.
The White House has stonewalled. It has declined to comment on the Bolivian allegations. This is a classic sign of total paralysis at the top. When the feckless White House spokesman Jay Carney has nothing to say, we can sure that they are in damage-control mode. As I wrote last week, it is Edward Snowden vs. Jay Carney. Snowden keeps winning.
Simultaneously, the Obama administration announced that Obamacare is not ready. It said that that the employer mandate aspect of the law will not be enforced until 2015. This is five years after he signed it into law. It is also an illegal act. The law mandated January 1, 2014 as the date it was to go into effect.
What is really going on here? The health exchange provision is unenforceable. There is no functioning computer program to implement it. So, the administration is stuck.
The Obama administration is keeping alive the tradition of the Keystone Cops.