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Friday, May 17, 2013

Four Scandals - by Newt Gingrich

Newt Gingrich, as always, presents articulate and analytical verbiage on problems confronting America. The problem this time is that the people elected a corrupt and arrogant President who, in turned, hired a dishonest administration who both are now caught up in scandal after scandal,.... undeniabley so. You can go to Gingrich Productions and sign up for this e-mail newsletter. Read Newt's article below:

When I started writing this it was called "three scandals".

There was the Benghazi Scandal, the IRS Scandal, and the little covered but equally alarming Secretary Sebelius scandal.

Then as I was writing we learned that the Justice Department had secretly obtained two months worth of phone call records for more than 100 Associated Press reporters. This is the largest violation of the First Amendment in modern times and so we now have four scandals in the Obama Administration.

The White House wants Americans to believe the four scandals are all, in one way or another, the rogue acts of insignificant subordinates.

They want us to believe that a few misguided but well-meaning IRS agents in regional offices took the initiative to persecute and harass conservatives in an election year.

They want us to believe that repeated requests for more security at the Benghazi compound were ignored by fourth-tier bureaucrats at the State Department, never making it to the Department’s leadership. That the talking points were altered by unknown analysts at the CIA, rather than senior administration officials as evidence suggests. That the explosive allegations of a senior diplomat are really just the ramblings of a disgruntled employee.

They want us to believe that the White House was completely unaware that the Department of Justice secretly grabbed two months of phone records from Associated Press reporters who cover the administration, in an effort to identify their sources.

And no doubt we will soon discover that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s shakedown of insurance companies for money which Congress refused to appropriate was really the initiative of some unfortunate functionary deep in the bowels of the Department.

But in truth, these scandals are not the random acts of a few bureaucrats who got out of hand.

These scandals are in fact the natural manifestations of Obamaism.

Unaccountable power, untethered from law or the Constitution, and employed for political gain is standard operating procedure in an administration which seeks to make government bigger and bigger. It is the Chicago machine transplanted to the federal government.

And they continue without shame, lying about what they’ve done, then lying about lying, and finally lying about the people who are telling the truth until everyone forgets what they lied about in the first place.

When the President blamed the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on a protest that never happened, anyone who dared challenge the official story was smeared as a crazy extremist or a bitter partisan.

When the Secretary of State vowed to prosecute the creator of an obscure anti-Islam Internet video, those who doubted the explanation were intolerant.

When the U.N. ambassador said on five Sunday talk shows that the violence arose from a spontaneous demonstration against the video, people who questioned the claim were politicizing a tragedy.

It is now obvious to everyone that the Obama Administration was deliberately dishonest. And so the White House tells Americans to forget about it, “Benghazi happened a long time ago.”

The subordinates have been punished. The whistleblowers have been demoted. Move along, nothing to see here.

The administration took the same approach to the IRS scandal. Apparently beginning in 2010, the IRS singled out groups with “tea party” or “patriot" in their name (presumably assuming that groups on the Left don’t describe themselves as “patriotic”), as well as organizations “involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement[s],” or making statements which “criticize how the country is being run.”

The IRS asked many of these groups to provide lists of their donors, the amount of each donation, and lots of details about the organizations’ activities. Here is an example of one appalling letter from the IRS to a Tea Party group which was targeted.

When the IRS confessed to some of this on Friday in advance of an investigation made public yesterday, it tried to blame low level IRS employees in a Cincinnati office. But it is already being widely reported that senior IRS officials in Washington knew for almost two years that the agency was targeting conservative organizations, even though they testified before Congress more than a year ago and claimed the IRS was doing no such thing.

So they lied to Congress, then lied to the press when caught, and now once again they’re lying about lying. This is the agency which is integral to implementing Obamacare.

How would you like the IRS bureaucrats deciding your health treatments?

Chilling isn't it?

Meanwhile, the White House maintains it had no idea the IRS was abusing power to target the administration’s political enemies, although the Presidential spokesman, Jay Carney, has admitted some people in the White House knew something at a recent press briefing.

Carney's comment begins to move toward Senator Howard Baker's famous Watergate question, "What did you know and when did you know it?"

Speaking of abuses of power, the White House also says it was unaware the Department of Justice secretly obtained two months worth of phone records for more than 100 Associated Press reporters, many of whom cover the Obama administration.

The DOJ is trying to discover the source of unauthorized and damaging national security leaks which informed an AP story on al Qaeda last year.

That is in contrast with the damaging national security leaks which supported the President’s reelection last year: they have not shown much interest in discovering who told the New York Times about President Obama’s “kill list” or his administration’s work on the Stuxnet virus that set back Iran’s nuclear program, or who granted Hollywood filmmakers unprecedented access to officials who divulged details of the bin Laden raid.

Of course, two months worth of phone records are likely to reveal communications with AP sources on hundreds of other stories about the administration in that period of time. But the White House says it is not involved.

Finally, we learned this week that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has been shaking down the health care companies for donations to fund implementation of Obamacare. When Congress refused to appropriate more money to set up the health insurance exchanges, Secretary Sebelius began asking these companies to contribute to Enroll America, a nonprofit organization created to promote Obamacare. It is headed by a former White House official.

As Senator Lamar Alexander said, “Such private fundraising circumvents the constitutional requirement that only Congress may appropriate funds. If the secretary or others in her department are closely coordinating the activities of Enroll America...then those actions may be in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act.”

Senator Alexander points out the Secretary’s activities are functionally no different from those which led to the Iran-Contra scandal, in which the executive branch attempted to continue supporting a program Congress had not authorized using private donations. Fourteen officials were indicted in Iran-Contra.

Among all these lies and abuses of power from senior administration officials, how can the White House credibly continue to blame low level subordinates? And if he’s not responsible for the State Department, the Department of Justice, the IRS, or the Department of Health and Human Services (all of which were carrying on activities transparently to his political advantage) is President Obama responsible for anything at all in the executive branch?

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