The continuing flow of disturbing reports from Washington about high level-security leaks, rampant corruption, a culture of secrecy, cover-ups, and lies, and the persistent unaccountability of the Obama administration should have become a national scandal long ago. But the Teflon President continues to stay above the fray, keeping himself aloof, and insisting on both his administration’s transparency and his ideological ‘vision’ for America.
Throughout his first term, the arrogant misuse of authority by the heads of federal agencies who were chosen by Obama, and the continuing chain of cover-ups and stonewalling by high ranking government officials has been unequaled in American history. Among the list of those most culpable are:
Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the highest law enforcement who should be the very person protecting the laws of the land, has been instead the protector of a long series of corrupt and illegal practices, including:
- arming of Mexican drug cartels through the Justice Department in the DOJ’s “Operation Fast and Furious” gun-running program, that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people in Mexico as well as several in the US. After first denying all knowledge of the massive program operating within his department, he then stonewalled the Congressional committee investigating it, and refused to turn over documents to them, despite a binding order to do so. As a result, he was held in contempt of Congress for his refusal, but, as head of the DOJ, the department which would normally prosecute such a charge, the charges was predictably ignored and he eventually received a waiver from prosecution in the form of an Executive Privelege from President Obama.
- the dismissal of voter-intimidation charges against members of the militant New Black Panthers. Videos showed two thugs, one of whom was carrying a billy club, harassing white voters with racial epithets. The DOJ had already won the case because the defendants had refused to appear, but instead of of getting a default judgment, Holder’s department inexplicably filed for dismissal.
- filing a lawsuit against Florida’s efforts to purge its voter roles of dead and foreign voters, in direct violation of federal law which require that the voter roles be free of ineligible voters.
- suing both Texas and South Carolina for enacting voter photo ID statutes to prove eligibility for voting, despite a 6-3 ruling by the United States Supreme in 2008 which upheld Indiana’s right to require such identification .
- filing lawsuites against Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Utah, which were seeking to enforce US immigration laws, that the DOJ had routinely ignored. Not surprisingly, in this ‘above the law’ environment, no lawsuits have been filed against any of the “sanctuary cities” whose protect illegal immigrants and whose statutes are in clear violation of federal immigration law.
In short, from the beginning of Holder’s tenure as head of the DOJ, his department has been characterized by what the New American calls “cronyism, corruption, and deceit.” The DOJ has targeted legal efforts that conflict with the Obama administration’s liberal agenda, while even flagrant violations of law that follow the administration’s program are largely ignored, and efforts to uncover this malfeasance have been blocked at every turn.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who headed the department that, because of its unwillingness to provide security to its missions in Libya (despite numerous urgent requests), was largely responsible for the deaths of our American Ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi on September 11 2012. They then blamed the attacks on an obscure video that was disrespectful to Islam, even as they had hard intelligence that the attack was a well-planned and executed terrorist attack.
- After the event, Clinton participated with President Obama in taping a television ad and broadcasting it in Pakistan, apologizing for the video, although the US government had nothing to do with it. The cost of the advertising time purchased for this effort was reported to be some $70,000 in taxpayer funds, despite the fact that both Clinton and the President already knew that the video had little to do with the demonstrations that erupted on the anniversary of 9/11 in 2012.
- Clinton then refused to speak to the American people because, as she later claimed in Congressional testimony, “Going on the Sunday shows is not my favorite thing to do”. Susan Rice, then US Ambassador to the UN, who had no responsibility for the Benghazi consulate but appeared on five national television talk shows in Clinton’s place, explained it differently. She said, ‘Secretary Clinton had originally been asked by most of the networks to go on,’ Rice told Williams. ‘She had had an incredibly grueling week . . . [but] she declined to do it. And I was asked by the White House if I would do it as the next senior American diplomat.’ In short, she covered for Clinton.
- Clinton did not return the favor. She claimed to have no knowledge of the requests by Ambassador Stevens for heightened security, or his reports that al Qaeda was very active in Benghazi. By shifting the blame of responsibility to those in lower positions, and avoiding the post-Benghazi appearances on television, Clinton appears to have dodged a major political bullet, but she threw Rice under the political bus in order to save herself. In doing so Clinton showed how far she would go to blame others for her own unwillingness to do her job. In this case, in addition to fooling the American people once again, her negligence cost the lives of four Americans.
- On her watch, US missions abroad have consistently ignored the needs of Americans abroad, and involve themselves in anti-local government activities and international mischief. Two examples are: Ambassador Robert Ford,our last Ambassador to Syria, who openly sided with the opposition to the government that was officially hosting his embassy; and Ambassador Chris Stevens in Libya, who at the time of his death was working to buy weapons from Libyan terrorists, and send them to the Syria opposition through Turkey.
Clinton has refused, throughout her career as Secretary of State, to be accountable for the actions for which her department was responsible. On her watch, the prestige of our embassies and consulates abroad have been reduced to that of chambers of commerce, failing in their roles to help and protect the Americans who live in those countries, and , in some cases, participating actively in local insurgencies.
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano who has:
- systematically refusing to enforce security on our southern borders and instructing law enforcement in states like Arizona (who persist in trying to keep their citizens safe through legal processes protected by federal law), to limit their activities to criminals and not illegal immigrants.
- ordering an unprecedented amount of weaponry and billions or rounds of ammunition, (including millions of hollow-point rounds for agencies which deal with civilians, such as Social Security and NOAA. Among her long list of lethal solicitations, was a June 2012 bid for 7,000 “5.56x45mm NATO, select-fire firearm suitable for personal defense” and magazines that “have a capacity to hold thirty (30) 5.56x45mm NATO rounds.”. These are the very same weapons and magazines that Dianne Feinstein has written a bill to ban, but which Feinstein refers to as “assault weapons” not “personal defense” weapons.
John Brennan, now a candidate for Director of the CIA, and President Obama’s senior counterterrorism adviser in Libya, who ignored the warning signs in Benghazi and was one of those responsible for rejecting pleas for increased security around the American mission. He did, however, support a gun running operation from Libya to Syrian opposition forces (including al Qaeda-linked groups) through Turkey.
President Barack Obama himself, about whom Alex Newman, correspondent for The New American, has written, “Were there a “Hall of Fame” for broken promises, here is one that would get in on the first ballot: “Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.” (President Barack Obama, January 21, 2009).”
Most recently (a few days ago), the newly re-elected President said, “This is the most transparent administration in history”.
But there are more secrets under the rug in the Oval Office than there have ever been. Many of them present a real and present danger to America. Here are just a few of the broken promises and obfuscations of the Obama presidency:
- promising that there will not be any new taxes on the middle class (watch the video here) , Obama was predictably silent when Americans saw their first paychecks in 2013 assessed with steep new taxes, regardless of what they earned. Obama also promised to cut the national deficit in half in his first term (instead it decreased by less than 10%, while our national debt increased by six trillion dollars).
- refusing to take responsibility for the mistakes of his administration. Among them, he was apparently AWOL during the night of the deadly events in our Benghazi mission, and did not re-surface until the following day, after four Americans were brutally murdered. After the fact, it was under Obama’s authority that the fiction of the anti-Muslim video was used as a cover-up for the real causes of the Libyan attacks. This was long after it was known that the attackers were al-Qaeda-connected and that the attacks were well orchestrated, not “spontaneous” as the administration insisted.
The President was content to blame a hapless and obscure video maker in California, rather than take responsibility the systemic failure that led to the Benghazi tragedy. There was no official day of mourning for the murdered Ambassador and the three other Americans. Instead, the President flew off to Las Vegas for a campaign event. His lack of appreciation for his responsibilities and obligations as President was shocking.
- using the power of Executive Privilege to protect Eric Holder. On June 20, 2012, Barack Obama asserted “executive privilege” to protect the Attorney General from being prosecuted for failing to provide Congress with Fast and Furious documents. The President also denied having any knowledge of the infamous gun-running operation, but according to Judge Andrew Napolitano, “If the President was not personally involved, executive privilege does not apply.” The President still refuses to provide any information on the specific documents he is withholding from Congress.
- making unconstitutional recess appointments, when the President unilaterally appointed three people to seats on the National Labor Relations Board and one to head the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (this occurred after the Senate had already blocked his nomination). The President said that these appointments were legal after he unilaterally decided that the Senate was not in session, which was not so (this was supported in a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, which has also been ignored by the President). These appointments were both an unconstitutional end-run around the Senate’s advise-and-consent role, and a violation of the separation of powers, as ensured in the Constitution.
- enacting his own “Dream Act” Decree, after the Senate failed to approve an immigration reform bill. The President unilaterally launched a program, without Congressional approval, through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which allowed undocumented immigrants, brought into the US as children, to remain in the country without threat of deportation. According to this decree, the administration would stop deporting younger illegal immigrants who came to the US as children and begin granting work permits to them.
The President knew he was overriding the law. In March 2012, he said, “There are enough laws on the books by Congress that are very clear in terms of how we have to enforce our immigration system that for me to simply, through executive order, ignore those congressional mandates [that] would not conform with my appropriate role as President.” However, The change was not an executive order. It was instead explained away, as an extension of “prosecutorial discretion” on the part of the DHS. In other words, the President decided, not for the first time, to ‘rule by decree’, a style of governance which enables a head of state to create what is, in fact, unchallenged law. He does not have to wait for the legislature to engage in the frustratingly long process of law creation, but can do so quickly and unilaterally. Historically, this has been used primarily by dictators and absolute monarchs.
The problem is that this process is unconstitutional. It speaks volumes that the President, who claims to be an expert in Constitutional Law (his resume includes 12 years as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School) is willing to blur the lines between the Constitutionally defined branches of government by creating binding legislation in the Executive Branch and ignoring the Constitutionally guaranteed role of Congress.
- creating an environment of unprecedented secrecy and opacity throughout his administration. Despite his protestations that his tenure has been “the most transparent in history”, one organization, Judicial Watch, has found it necessary to file nearly 1,000 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for information that the administration has withheld, as well as “nearly 100 lawsuits against the Obama administration on issues ranging from Obamacare to the continued funding of the criminal ACORN network; from tracking Wall Street bailout money to the unconstitutional use of czars; to White House visitor logs; to the attacks on the integrity of our nation’s elections.” Obama’s self-proclaimed “transparency” in fact supports the abrogation of open records laws through an environment of secrecy, obfuscation, refusal to release documents required under law, cover-ups, lies, and broken promises.
- creating a fleet of special czars who report directly to him, with no other oversight. In a special report issued by the non-partisan Judicial Watch, the President is accused of having appointed “unconfirmed and unaccountable policy advisers or “czars” throughout his administration . . . who have taken on powerful new roles in the government without undergoing the process of Senate confirmation. Unaccountable czars, many working in the White House, are being given unprecedented authority over major aspects of government policy.”
The concept of Presidential appointees as advisers is not new. What is new is the extent of the power which this President has afforded them. This has created a curtain of secrecy that pervades the administration and frustrates the rights of the American people to know what their government is doing.
This is a long article, and could be much longer, if the topic were to be pursued thoroughly. Suffice it to say that the government in Washington if rife with an arrogant and corrupt culture that serves America badly and is leading us down the road to economic, social, political, and international disaster. No government so corrupt, so self serving, and so secret, can continue to maintain a free society.
Regardless of the gravity of the events and although countless Congressional hearings have been held on all of these issues, the Obama administration has failed to deliver on all promises but one: to fundamentally change America. From gunrunning to the coming economic catastrophe; from our failed foreign policy to the increasing threat to our national security; from the arrogance that has let government officials continue to consider themselves above the law to crimes of commission and omission – no one has been held accountable. No legal action has been taken, no one has gone to jail, no one has lost his job, and no retribution has been visited upon anyone who has hurt us. This includes the Mexican drug cartels and gangs who benefited from the guns of Fast and Furious, the terrorists who perpetrated the Benghazi attacks, and the big money moguls who first suckered the American people with bad loans, and then suckered the government out of billions of taxpayer dollars in ‘bailouts’ because they were “too big to fail”.
Whether the issue is the degrading economy, national security, foreign relations, immigration, or ‘gun control’, this administration has much to answer for: its secrecy, its inability to keep its promises to the American people, its lack of accountability, its inability to exercise its Constitutional authority constitutionally, and its arrogance in the face of a growing body of malfeasance.
The hypocrisy that protects those in the government but not the American people who employ them runs counter to everything that America is supposed to stand for. This is what the first Americans fought against when they declared independence from Britain. Americans must begin to hold their government accountable for its hypocrisy, its corruption, its arrogance, and its repeated abrogation of the Constitution. The President must be held accountable for his broken promises, his lies, his unwillingness to abide by the Constitution he is supposed to know so well, and, most important, his broken trust with the American people.