Was Panetta Just A Pawn In Obama's Bid To Mislead Americans And Slip Out Of The Country Unnoticed?

By Craig Bannister | May 1, 2012 | 3:29pm EDT

Pres. Obama's schedule shows a 4:30PM meeting with the Defense secretary in the Oval Office today, but press reports have placed him in Afghanistan. What's up with that?

An article from earlier today claims Pres. Obama is in Afghanistan. The New York Post reported that, as well – but, that article’s apparently been pulled. And, a Weekly Standard article about the New York Post article has been removed, as well.

The White House even issued a carefully worded misleading "denial," saying that reports that the president was in Kabul were not accurate. Turns out, he was in another part of Afghanistan, or on his way there. Cute. repeatedly contacted the White House, but was told that “no information” is available at this time.

Finally, was able to reach via phone a non-spokeswoman who said her name was “Debbie,” but would not provide her last name. Debbie told that White House National Security Council spokesperson Caitlin Hayden would reply to is still awaiting her response.

Now, reports appear to confirm that Obama is, indeed, in Afghanistan.

But, according to the White House website, Pres. Obama’s schedule for today is:

11:00 am

The President meets with senior advisors

Oval Office

Closed Press

4:30 pm

The President and the Vice President meet with Secretary of Defense Panetta

Oval Office

Closed Press

So, was Sec. Panetta just a pawn used by the Obama administration to throw Americans, and the media, off track and enable the president to slip out of the country unnoticed?

And, what's with all the cloak-and-dagger secrecy, anyway?

I don't know about the rest of you. But, I, for one, resent being duped.

Update: To add insult to injury, a media advisory e-mail at 3:06PM ET from the White House press notified reporters: "There will not be a daily press briefing today."

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