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Posts tagged “Benghazi

Two Uncommon Scandals, One Common Theme


After 18 months of foot dragging, hemming, hawing and general evasiveness, the Obama administration finds itself being dogged by the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and 4 security personnel in Benghazi, Libya.

After years of foot dragging, hemming, hawing and general evasiveness, the Obama administration finds itself being dogged by the avoidable deaths hundreds, perhaps thousands, of veterans at the hands of the Veteran’s Administration.

Two terrible scandals resulting from the tragic and untimely deaths of people who dedicated their lives to protecting the American people and advancing American principles worldwide. Two examples of a presidential administration shamefully allowing American heroes to needlessly die. Two crimes that have at their heart, one singular thought process.

The scandal in both instances is not the cover-up. These crimes are heinous in their own right. These crimes are nothing short of murder, and directly attributable to inaction when direct action would have prevented those deaths. The cover-ups began shortly afterwards, when the President and his underlings realized they screwed up. Covering up a crime is bad, but understandable in these cases. Either instance would certainly be an impeachable offense. Either instance would result in multiple life sentences in a federal penitentiary for everyone involved. The cover-our-asses mentality spawning the cover-ups is almost justifiable. Anyone thinking the attempts at covering up is the real scandal needs a reality check.

The real scandal is that real people died simply because the President didn’t want to dedicate the resources needed to prevent those deaths. In the case of Benghazi, the President had made a major policy speech just weeks before – a speech in which he announced to the world that al-Queada was “on the run.” Having to send in a real security team because we knew al-Queada planned to assault our consulate, in celebration of the September 11, 2001 attacks, would have blown the lid off that lie. Ordering a rescue mission would have likewise told the truth to the lie. It was politically expedient to let a few diplomats and a retired SEAL or two die than risk re-election. In the case of the VA, we now know team Obama was told of the delays in receiving care before they even assumed office. After 5 years, the wait times haven’t improved. The backlog of cases awaiting determination hasn’t decreased. Both have grown exponentially, while VA administrators dummied records to try and make it look like they were doing their jobs. This, despite hundreds of VA activists (including yours truly) pointing out the VA’s systemic failures over the years.

Most damning, though, is the attitude that this administration has demonstrated throughout. It as an attitude that permeates the liberal mind, never really acknowledged but evident for decades. That attitude is one of general callousness towards those Americans whose preference is to serve their nation, to risk their lives and their futures so that the country’s civilian population might prosper and grow at home. Whether towards the military or the diplomatic corps, the attitude is, “Why?” It is the same attitude that led the Flower Children to spit on returning veterans of Vietnam and their children to protest military funerals a generation later. It is the same attitude that led John Kerry to toss away his medals in a pique of fit. It is evident in Hillary Clinton’s virulent attacks on the men who fought in Vietnam. Perhaps most obviously, it is exemplified by Barack Obama’s snide remarks about people “bitterly clinging to guns and religion.” and announcing that the era of “American Exceptionalism” is over – the last comment leaving unsaid, but understood, that he never thought Americanism was an exceptional ideal to begin with.

In that context, the callous disregard for the lives of the men and women who believe in their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution is understandable. Reprehensible, but understandable – in much the same way we strive to understand how the great mass killers of history justified their murders. The narcissistic, me first at all costs attitudes that allow people of above average intellect to justify the deaths of others as merely inconvenient casualties of a great political game goes far beyond high crimes and misdemeanors, though. It should lead to hundreds of counts of first degree murder, and for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Eric Shinseki, Eric Holder et al to be charged with anything less would be the greatest of all travesties.

Due us a favor, Mr. Obama and resign now. If you have any faith to your office and this nation (and not Indonesia, or Kenya, or some other God-foresaken rat hole), you’ll understand your inactions are tantamount to treason. As bad as Richard Nixon was, even he understood it was time to go.

It’s time to GO!

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Trust Me – I’m from the Government!


“Trust me government asks that we concentrate our hopes and dreams on one man; that we trust him to do what’s best for us. My view of government places trust not in one person or one party, but in those values that transcend persons and parties. The trust is where it belongs–in the people. The responsibility to live up to that trust is where it belongs, in their elected leaders. That kind of relationship, between the people and their elected leaders, is a special kind of compact. Three hundred and sixty years ago, in 1620, a group of families dared to cross a mighty ocean to build a future for themselves in a new world. When they arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, they formed what they called a “compact”; an agreement among themselves to build a community and abide by its laws. The single act–the voluntary binding together of free people to live under the law–set the pattern for what was to come. A century and a half later, the descendants of those people pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to found this nation. Some forfeited their fortunes and their lives; none sacrificed honor. Four score and seven years later, Abraham Lincoln called upon the people of all America to renew their dedication and their commitment to a government of, for and by the people. Isn’t it once again time to renew our compact of freedom; to pledge to each other all that is best in our lives; all that gives meaning to them–for the sake of this, our beloved and blessed land?”

The words above were spoken by Ronald Reagan, during his acceptance of the Republican nomination for President in 1980. He was not prescient regarding today’s headlines – he was very much speaking about how the triple whammy of Vietnam, Watergate and Carter had ruined American trust in government.

You have to wonder what he would say about events 9 years after his death.

The scandals rolling out of the White House over the past month seem to cascade, gaining in severity as each new revelation makes the headlines. First there was the attempted cover-up over what happened at the Benghazi consulate on September 11, 2012. That quickly was pushed aside by the revelations that the Department of Justice was wiretapping reporters, going so far as to name one a criminal co-conspirator, and using the secret FISA courts to obtain the warrants. A few days after that came news the IRS was targeting conservative, religious and civil libertarian groups – which despite repeated administration attempts to at turns sweep the investigations away or stonewall them, continue to amaze in their revelations of government run amok. Then last week, we learned that the National Security Agency (perhaps better called the National Paranoia Agency) is actively spying on, well, on EVERYONE.

Of course, to hear the usual suspects, the spying is neither intrusive (hey, it’s only every piece of communication you’ve taken part in over the past 6 years) nor targeted at people who’ve done nothing wrong. But for that argument to have any merit, you need to believe that the government can be trusted. And since late April, the only thing the government has successfully demonstrated is that it cannot be trusted to make a ham sandwich, much less not abuse power.

As I wrote about earlier, there is a common thread that binds all of these revealed actions together: the belief that government knows best. While I welcome that traditional liberals have joined with conservatives in decrying over all of this (you can read some excellent opinion articles here, here and here), the fact is that those traditional liberals are primarily responsible for the way this administration continues to circumvent the Constitution. They have spent 70 years pushing an agenda that calls for greater and farther reaching government “solutions.” It is the progressive tradition that claims the Constitution is an outdated document. It is their current tribune and the man currently occupying the Oval Office, who has publicly lamented that the supreme law of the land fails to define what the “government can do for you” and that he is “constrained by the system the Founders put in place.”

The abuses of power we’re now witness to, are the direct results of that philosophy. After all, were the government limited in authority and power as originally planned by the Founding Fathers, then such things could not have come to pass. Hopefully, America is starting to awaken to this reality. If Barack Obama is the last President to wield such immense power, if this is the last Congress to pass sweeping laws that (at best) skirt Constitutional limitations, then this period of our history will serve to have forever discredited liberalism as a political theory.

We can only hope.


A Government of People


One constant with the Obama administration has been the taint of scandal. Of course, the news media has been particularly exercised over the past ten days or so. Beginning with Benghazi, continuing through the IRS mess and right into the Justice Department’s spying on the AP, the folks at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue have been deluged by the media feeding frenzy. But the reality is this: Team Obama has faced a seemingly endless run of scandals throughout this Presidency. There was the lack of “shovel-ready” jobs, the “green energy” debacles of Solyndra and Fiskar, the notoriously inept “Fast and Furious” gun running operation, the “recess appointments” of NRLB directors, the Corporation for National and Community Center misuse of funds. This is also the administration that sees no problem with killing Americans overseas, has pushed for expanding the Patriot Act to allow warrantless spying on virtually anyone (the root of the AP scandal), pushed hard for the authority to indefinitely detain anyone, appointed committed communist Van Jones to a federal post, created the “czar” positions and has overseen the overwhelming ammunition purchases by the Department of Homeland Security. There are plenty more, of course, but you get the idea – this is an administration that kicks up dirt with every step.

The current narrative is that all of this proves that the Obama administration has a bunch of rotten eggs, some who are outwardly corrupt and that the lack of managerial skill in the White House is the primary culprit for all this nonsense. Well, yes – but don’t get sucked into that storyline. The real scandal is not malfeasance by government officials, nor is it the nature of Washington politics. It is not the politicization of every detail (sorry, Mrs. Pelosi) or Republican complicity with a dastardly administration (sorry, Mr. Limbaugh).

The real scandal is that everything that has happened was going to happen under this President, regardless of Congressional oversight or public outcry. No matter how many times the administration stubs its big toe, it will continue on the path they set upon in January, 2009. This is not because the President or his chief lieutenants are corrupt by nature. Instead, it is because of the overriding belief that government can solve all problems, tackle every issue and bring peace and harmony throughout the land.

On its face, this isn’t a terrible idea. It would be wonderful if there were an entity that could wave a magic wand and make every problem disappear. It is the basic thought behind every liberal policy position. But it is scandalous, if only because it is an idea that has been tried many times before and never with any success. In some cases, the result of attempts at government interventions are humorous (such as the toilet paper shortage in Venezuela). But far more often, the results are disastrous. If you’re at a loss for why this is, all you need to do is look at the people around you.

The preamble to our Constitution established a “Government of the People, by the People and for the People.” What the Founding Fathers failed to verbalize is that as with all governments, it would also be a government OF people. That is to say, at all levels of government, there are people making decisions daily; decisions which affect their fellow citizens’ daily lives. What liberals (or progressives) fail, time and again to recognize is that people are not infallible.  Quite the contrary, people make mistakes. And a person who believes in the infallibility of government is going to be far less vigilant in looking for the fallibilities in government employees than one who knows better. The Founders understood that bureaucrats generally lack common sense, which is why they spent more time writing into the Constitution the things government is not allowed to do than conferring powers to the bureaucracy. Not so sure on this point? Stop to ask yourself how many of those people around you would you trust with intimate details of your life. Then realize that one out of every ten Americans is currently receiving a paycheck from your taxes – and you’ll begin to understand why government is not the beneficent giant liberals want you to believe in.

This is not to say government is inherently evil. However, when the people employed by the government are in charge of the government, bad things tend to happen. It isn’t a lesson that Barack Obama seems to have learned – and it’s why he is not fit (and never was) to be the Chief Executive of the United States.


What a difference 48 hours can make


ImageSo, despite an economy that’s in the toilet and a solid 40% of the nation never buying your policies, you’ve managed to ride your personal popularity to a slight lead in the polls. Just to make matters more scintillating, the opposition seems intent on NOT winning the upcoming election. After all, how else do you explain their choice for nominee, a man who epitomizes many of the things most Americans personally despise? On top of that, the nominee has all the personality of flat white paint and switches positions so often even he doesn’t know which side of the fence to sit on.

If you didn’t know better, though, you would swear that Barack Obama has looked aver these gifts and decided he just doesn’t want to be President next year. It’s the only thing that makes any sense at this point. Otherwise, why would he be doing his best Jimmy Carter routine with less than six weeks until election day?

I’ve been traveling quite a bit over the past 48 hours. In a way, it’s probably a good thing – otherwise this blog would’ve blown up form all the posts. But to recap the events (in case you were hiding under a rock)

  • On the anniversary of the September 11 attacks, mobs attacked the US Embassy in Cairo and the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. As it turns out, the attacks now look like the work of al-Quaeda (what a surprise) and it also looks like the CIA and Homeland Security tried to alert the administration and the State Department of the threat 48 hours in advance. The response? The administration ordered the Marine guards in Cairo disarmed and State relied on local security forces in Benghazi. The Embassy in Cairo was stormed and the American flag burned. In Benghazi, the US  ambassador and three of his employees were murdered.
  • It’s also come to light that President Obama hasn’t sat in on any of his security briefings since September 5th. I guess between campaigning, raising money, golfing and shooting hoops, he doesn’t have any time left for mundane things like, oh – doing his job?
  • Yesterday, the Federal Reserve announced that the economy is booming along so well that it’s now launching QE3. Unlike QE1 and 2, this time it’s open ended. The Federal Reserve will print upwards of $85 billion a month (that’s roughly 6% of the total economy) until unemployment reaches some magical number, now assumed to be 7.5%. Of course, Ben Bernanke could change his mind and decide on some different number later. Regardless of how you feel about this latest round of quantitative easing (I’ll probably write more on it later), it’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the President’s fiscal policies.
  • Yesterday, before the ink was even dry on the court opinion that the NDAA is unconstitutional, the Justice Department had already filed an appeal. Apparently, although holding foreign nationals and countries accountable for their actions isn’t part of this administrations repertoire, detaining American citizens indefinitely without a writ of habeus corpus is perfectly acceptable.
  • Since the original attacks in Cairo and Benghazi, US Embassies in Yemen, Morocco, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Pakistan and even London have been scenes of mob violence, while riot police and demonstrators have had a running battle in Cairo.
  • And today, the President’s spokesman said (I kid you not), “This is not a case of protests directed at the United States.”

That last bit was the final straw. The Obama administration is obviously intent on throwing in the towel (and to Hell if he throws in the American people along with it). The question is, is Mitt Romney enough of a candidate to pick it up and run with it? I’m still not convinced he is. Until then, I’ll continue to support the only candidate on the ballot I see supporting American principles, values and commitments: Gary Johnson