Major Garrett condemns ‘ham-handed’ way White House told OBL mission story

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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The ever-changing “narrative” from the White House about the U.S. mission to kill Osama bin Laden has shed some doubt on the events that took place that historic day, and that’s not the way the government should have handled such a historic moment argues National Journal’s Major Garrett.

In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday, Garrett explained how the White House went wrong in the days after President Barack Obama’s late Sunday night announcement.

“One quick point about that,” Garrett said. “I believe the administration should be justifiably criticized for the ham-handed nature of telling this story. This is the most serious military operation this administration has engaged in in a decade. It should be told once with precision and clarity for everyone. And they didn’t do that and it’s their fault.”

The former Fox News Channel White House correspondent said if it had taken time to get the story straight for the public, then it should have taken that time and “dispense facts,” not build a narrative.

“That’s not a partisan statement at all,” he said. “This is a responsibility of the government to explain what happened and if it takes time to make that explanation, and if takes time to build a — and not a narrative, I’m sorry. I resent that phrase, entirely. These are facts. Governments dispense facts or should, not narratives. And the time should have been taken to put the facts together and explain them once.”

“Morning Joe” co-host Willie Geist agreed with Garrett’s assessment.

“And it’s not a story that needs embellishing,” Geist said. “That’s the shame of it. Just get the story out there. It’s impressive enough on its own.”