“Cool clock, Ahmed, want to bring it to the White House?” This was President Obama’s knee-jerk reaction to an incident in which 14 year-old Ahmed Mohamed brought a clock mechanism to school that he claimed to have put together at home, but found himself briefly in trouble with the law because the mechanism looked something like a timing device for a bomb. “We should inspire more kids like you to like science; it’s what makes America great,” our commentator-in-chief added.
Claiming to be victims of anti-Muslim prejudice, Ahmed and his family have already parlayed the clock into (1) that White House invite from Obama, (2) a scholarship fund that quickly raised more than $10,000, and (3) opportunities from various tech companies. Not bad a bad haul.
But now, says Megyn Kelly*, Ahmed’s story is unraveling:
Two people who have investigated the image of Mohamed’s device provided by Irving, Texas police have concluded that Mohamed did not make the clock. Both conclude that Mohamed disassembled a manufactured clock and installed it in a large pencil box without its casing. And both say it is possible it was done to provoke suspicion or to resemble a bomb.
The clock, it appears, is an old-time digital alarm clock sold by Radio Shack. “Nice clock,” indeed. In the 1970s.
Why would Mohamed bring the old device to school? I can think of only two plausible reasons: (1) to get credit from his teacher or (2) to cause a reaction by those who might fear the device posed a potential danger.
The first motive seems unlikely. From all that appears, there was no assignment that called on him to bring in a device.
Mohamed claims that he was encouraged by his father to bring the device to school to show off his skills to his engineering teacher. But taking apart an old clock would involve no engineering skill or inventiveness.
If this is, in fact, all Mohamed did, it’s not likely that his father encouraged him to bring the device to school to show off his skills. It seems more likely that the father, or maybe the son himself, hoped to generate the kind of reaction and publicity that occurred. If the family pursues legal action, and don’t bet against this, it will add to the suspicion.
Now let’s compare the reactions of the school and the police with the reaction of Obama.
The reaction of the school seems entirely reasonable. When the device started beeping in class, Mohamed’s English teacher, no expert in electronics, thought it might be a bomb or a component of an explosive device. Under these circumstances, the teacher was right to confiscate the device and the school was right to call the police.
The police also acted properly when it interrogated the boy. Once it concluded that there was no bomb and no intent to cause alarm (perhaps a mistaken conclusion), that apparently was the end of the matter.
Should the police have handcuffed Mohamed? I don’t know enough about the force’s protocol to say. Perhaps it overreacted, perhaps not.
Obama, on the other hand, appears clearly to have overreacted. Bringing in part of an old time clock doesn’t merit an invitation to the White House. Obama should have had someone fact check this story before proclaiming Mohamed emblematic of what makes America great.
But this is standard operating procedure for Obama. As soon as he hears a story that fits his “America is racist” narrative, he speaks out. Think of his knee-jerk reaction to Skip Gates’ contretemps with the Cambridge police.
Some who initially sympathized with Mohamed have confessed error. Famous scientist Richard Dawkins, a leftist, said he “feels like a fool” for having been taken in by the hoax.
Don’t expect Obama to follow suit. He never feels like a fool, though he frequently behaves like one.
When Obama’s reaction to the Gates incident proved to be unwarranted, he invited Gates and the Cambridge officer to White House for a beer, and had the chatty Joe Biden sit in, presumably to make things less awkward for the president.
If Mohamed visits the White House with a Radio Shack clock, the awkwardness of the situation will, I imagine, be too much even for Biden to deflect.
NOTE: I see now that my link to “Megyn Kelly” is to a site subtitled “The unofficial Megyn Kelly.” I don’t know who wrote the text, but Kelly has been talking about this story on her show, and the text I quoted is entirely consistent with what she is saying.
UPDATE: The text in question comes directly from Gateway Pundit.
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