Katie Pavlich: The Americans President Obama has left behind

President Obama recently adopted the platform of “no American left behind” in light of his highly controversial decision to greenlight the swap of alleged deserter and Taliban sympathizer Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with five Guantánamo detainees. Despite the rhetoric, however, throughout his tenure Obama hasn’t lived up to that standard. His proclamations of getting Americans out of harm’s way, no matter what the cost, seem to apply only when a far-left politically advantageous moment presents itself.

When Bergdahl was released, the president held a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden with Bergdahl’s parents to celebrate. It’s a shame the families of true patriots don’t receive the same respect or recognition. Where was President Obama when other Americans were in desperate need of rescuing? Has he lived up to promises made to their families after those Americans sacrificed so much, even giving their lives?

When former Marine and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was killed on Dec. 14, 2010, not only did his family lose their son, they also learned that they had been betrayed by their government. For nearly a year and a half, the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had been sanctioning the sale of thousands of weapons to violent Mexican narco-terrorists through “Operation Fast and Furious.” Terry was killed in Arizona’s Peck Canyon by Mexican bandits carrying guns trafficked through the lethal program. As revelations of where the weapons used in his murder surfaced, a government cover-up ensued. On June 20, 2012, Obama concealed the truth by asserting executive privilege over crucial documents in the case. Adding insult to injury, he defended and expressed “full faith and confidence” in Attorney General Eric Holder, who has repeatedly changed sworn congressional testimony about the scandal and is the first sitting Cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in civil and criminal contempt of Congress. The Terry family is still waiting for justice and answers.


Fast-forward two years after Terry’s murder to Sept. 11, 2012, when four Americans were killed by Islamic terrorists at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. When the bodies of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, Information Officer Sean Smith and Navy SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods came home in flag-draped caskets, Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood in front of them at Dover Air Force Base and lied about a YouTube video. To this day we still don’t know exactly what happened that night, and officials at the White House, under Obama’s leadership, have stonewalled congressional investigations, as well as families with questions about the attack. We still don’t know where the president was the night of the attack or what he was doing, and photos of him at least using his infamous telephone have not been released. The families were promised transparency as they wept on the shoulders of the commander in chief, who consciously failed to deliver. After all, Obama thinks Benghazi is a “phony scandal.”

“When I was there at the ceremony of the welcoming of the caskets, both Obama and Hillary and Biden and all of the other ones, all promised me they would get back to me to tell me what happened,” Pat Smith, the mother of Sean Smith, said in an interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto. “You know, not one of them, not one of them ever got back to me in any way, shape or form.”

On April 1, 2014, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, who lives with a severe case of PTSD, accidentally drove into Mexico with personal firearms legal in the United States. After immediately admitting to Mexican soldiers he made a wrong turn and had firearms in his vehicle, he was arrested and thrown in jail. One hundred and fifty-five days later, he’s still there. After spending 25 days chained to a bed, he’s been tortured, threatened with rape and has considered suicide. In conversations with his mother, Tahmooressi described his imprisonment as worse than his two deployments to Afghanistan, where he saved the lives of fellow Americans in combat. Tahmooressi’s mother, Jill, who has been working to get her son released, hasn’t received a single phone call from Obama about her son’s situation.

But Obama’s lack of support, empathy and follow-through isn’t limited to those who serve their country through the military or in diplomatic posts.

When Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terrorists beheaded photojournalist James Foley in August, it took Obama nearly 12 hours to issue an initial response to the barbaric murder of an American citizen. Eight minutes after making a follow-up statement from a podium on Martha’s Vineyard, he was out on the golf course and made no efforts to cut his vacation short. After being criticized by the left and the right for the move, Obama walked things back, but only because he thought “the optics” were bad, not because he truly felt sorry for being so callous. We later learned the government threatened Foley’s family with prosecution for trying to get their son back.

President Obama pretending to care for a brief period of time while having no intention to follow through on promises to families is at best insulting and disrespectful. The president’s actions in all of these cases have certainly spoken louder than any of his words.


Pavlich is the News Editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.