The Obama administration’s Nixonian sins
BY DAWUD WALIDPresident Obama is failing miserably on his 2008 campaign pledge to have the most transparent administration ever.
The Benghazi embassy attack remains an issue because the administration initially gave bogus info that the attack took place as the result of a protest related to an anti-Islam trailer made in America. The public now knows that no such protest took place.
Another hot topic is that IRS officials say they were involved in the political targeting of conservative groups. President Obama calls the targeting “outrageous.” But the IRS targeting was known since last year, and yet his administration did not find it outrageous enough to investigate prior to the election.
The latest fiasco was reported yesterday. The Associated Press’s phone records were being monitored by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The White House claims that it had “no knowledge” of the DOJ’s snooping. Moreover, the DOJ has a general defense for its actions, saying that “all applicable laws, federal regulations and Department of Justice policies when issuing subpoenas for records of media organizations” were followed.
Attorney General Eric Holder will face questioning about this misuse of power when he appears tomorrow at a previously-scheduled hearing in front of the House Judiciary Committee. The Senate Judiciary Committee should subpoena him to testify about this misconduct, which flies in the face of the 1st Amendment’s protect of Freedom of the press and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The irony of the IRS targeting conservative groups and DOJ monitoring of the AP is that these are the same behaviors that the Obama administration has accuse the Iranian and Venezuelan governments of doing. His administration has said that those two regimes targeted opposition groups and chilled freedom of the press through monitoring the journalists and bloggers.
Are not conservatives a type of opposition group in a sense? And doesn’t monitoring one of the country’s most prolific news agencies have the possible effect of chilling reporters and editors? You betcha.
The Obama presidency is perhaps the least transparent since President Nixon’s, and Attorney General Holder is acting like J. Edgar Hoover, the former FBI director who spied on journalists during the McCarthyism and Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) eras.
Whether progressives or conservatives, we should jointly demand that the Executive Branch be honest with the people and that it stays far away from politically-motivated targeting of activists and journalists. We must hold the current administration responsible for their violations.