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Belief, trust are different concepts

October 17, 2012

By Daniel Gardner

A high wire walker pushes a wheelbarrow across a two inch steel cable strung between two skyscrapers. When he gets to the other side, he asks onlookers whether they believe he can walk back across without falling. All agree he can. Then he asks for volunteers to ride in the wheelbarrow ... There’s a big difference between belief and trust.

Do you believe the Obama administration is doing everything it can to protect Americans at home and abroad? The day Ambassador Chris Stevens was murdered in Benghazi, Libya, Obama’s State Department had given him two security guards for protection. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said we were depending on unpaid Libyan militias to protect our consulate in Benghazi. Three other men died in the Islamic terrorist attack in Benghazi on the eleventh anniversary of 911:  Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and Tyrone Woods. The Obama administration says we shouldn’t jump to any conclusions. They have set up a committee to investigate what happened.

On Nov. 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hassan murdered 13 American soldiers and wounded 29 more while shouting “Allah Akbar” in another Islamic terrorist attack. After the attack President Obama said, “We don’t know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions until we have all the facts.” The Obama administration is prosecuting this case as workplace violence, not as a terrorist attack. Three years later we’re still waiting for a trial.

In October 2009 the Obama administration began Operation Fast and Furious, a gun-walking program on our southern border with Mexico without consulting or including Mexican law enforcement. The idea was to sell or give guns to runners who would deliver nearly 2,000 assault weapons to Mexican drug cartel members and track them after they were found at crime scenes. The Bush administration had had a similar operation called Wide Receiver that included cooperation between Mexican and U.S. law enforcement. That operation was ended in 2007. In December 2010 Mexican criminals killed Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry with one of the Fast and Furious guns. In a recent interview on Univision, President Obama said Fast and Furious was started under the Bush administration.

President Obama routinely says we’ve killed Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda is on the run, we’re negotiating with the Taliban in Afghanistan for a peaceful exit from that war and our border with Mexico is safer than it’s ever been. In other words, Obama says his foreign policy is strong and successful.

Staff at the consulate in Benghazi reported to the State Department in Washington there was no riot or demonstration on 911. When terrorists began attacking the consulate later that night, staff called Washington and described the attack in detail real-time. For the next two weeks President Obama, Secretary Clinton and administration and campaign aides all repeated the same story that an anti-Muslim Youtube video incited a demonstration in Benghazi that escalated into an attack on the consulate. Now we know none of this story is true.

Voters may believe President Obama is doing a good job, but the question is can they trust him. If you or your loved ones’ lives were at stake, would you trust Obama to do the right thing? Fool me once, fool me twice, fool me multiple times and I know I can’t trust you anymore.

Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville. Contact him at

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