THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S DEADLY SCANDALS: ARNOLD AHLERT
Of the many scandals associated with the Obama administration, two stand out above the rest: the Fast and Furious gun-running scandal and the current disinformation campaign surrounding the assassination of four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi, Libya. The president and his minions, aided by media that are “all in” with respect to getting Obama re-elected, have managed to tamp down most of the damming information about the Fast and Furious scandal. They also remain committed to putting out enough conflicting information about the Benghazi scandal that Americans become confused about what actually happened and perhaps lose interest as a result. And in light of the seriousness of these debacles, individuals willing to hold the administration to account seem to be in short supply.
It is critical to remember that these are not the garden variety, “they said-we said” types of scandals that have arisen in past administrations. As a result of the attack in Benghazi and the running of guns into Mexico people were murdered. Hundreds of people. With respect to Fast and Furious, Univision, apparently one of the few media organizations with an ounce of integrity, revealed the scope of such carnage. They have identified several of the massacres committed using guns “walked” into Mexico, including the killing of 16 young people attending a party in a residential area of Ciudad Juárez in January of 2010.
Last Friday, the network released a promo of their efforts. “Univision News’ Investigative Unit was also able to identify additional guns that escaped the control of ATF agents and were used in different types of crimes throughout Mexico,” the network revealed. “Furthermore, some of these guns–none of which were reported by congressional investigators–were put in the hands of drug traffickers in Honduras, Puerto Rico, and Colombia. A person familiar with the recent congressional hearings called Univision’s findings ‘the holy grail’ that Congress had been searching for.”
Yet while Congress has been searching, the Obama administration has been stonewalling. Despite more than a year’s worth of Congressional investigations conducted by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Senate Judiciary Committee–both of which were precipitated by the murder of American Border Agent Brian Terry–the essential questions of who knew what and when, and what purpose the program was meant to serve, remain unanswered.
An internal investigation conducted by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG)–essentially the DOJ investigating itself–was trumpeted by the mainstream media as the definitive report on the matter. Yet the facts say otherwise. Kevin O’Reilly, one of the key players the IG sought out, “declined through his personal counsel our request for an interview.” Furthermore, the White House refused to produce internal documents related to the investigation, claiming such documents were “beyond the purview” of the inspector general. CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson, one of the few reporters willing to follow this scandal wherever it leads, reveals just how far the White House was willing to go to avoid congressional threats to subpoena O’Reilly. “Just days after [lead ATF official on the case Special Agent in Charge Bill] Newell testified to Congress on July 26, 2011 that he’d shared information with O’Reilly, whom he described as a long time friend, O’Reilly was transferred to Iraq and not available for questioning,” writes Attkisson.
Add President Obama’s assertion of executive privilege to the mix, which allowed Eric Holder to thumb his nose at congressional investigators’ subpoenas, along with the continuing refusal of the DOJ to cooperate (despite Holder being found in contempt of Congress), and the stunning level of administration callousness is clear. In short, the preservation of bureaucratic careers trumps a genuine investigation into hundreds of murders.
Equally as callous is the mainstream media’s calculated indifference to this scandal. Despite the pile of corpses this utterly misguided program produced, they sought to make moral equivalence to a Bush-era program called Operation Wide Receiver, where no one was killed. Furthermore, the media herd ran with the idea that Eric Holder was exonerated, even as they largely ignored the reality that the report said no such thing, and that the OIG reports directly to the Attorney General.
The administration’s icy indifference was again on display following the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. The Obama team’s ongoing attempts to brazenly lie their way through this scandal have been fairly well-documented. Even some of the president’s more reliable useful idiots have been cowed by the level of utter duplicity demonstrated by this administration’s efforts to obscure the truth.
Yet what remains largely under radar, save for the effort of conservative news outlets, is the documentation of this president’s twisted priorities. One day after American officials in Benghazi were murdered, and their bodies were dragged through the streets, President Obama saw no reason to alter his campaign schedule. He attended a fundraiser in Las Vegas, where he told a crowd of 8,000 adoring fans about the “tough day that we’ve had today.” After a brief tribute to the four slain Americans, it was back to the class warfare rhetoric that is the hallmark of his re-election campaign.
That’s pretty callous. But it was his “60 Minutes” interview with Steve Kroft that should disgust every decent American. Kroft asked Obama if recent developments in the Middle East have given him any pause about his support for the governments that came to power during so-called Arab Spring. “I said even at the time this was going to be a rocky path,” Obama answered. “I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road,” he added. Four dead Americans, including the first ambassador killed since the 1979 murder of Adolph Dubs in Afghanistan — during Carter administration — are considered “bumps in the road”?
It is difficult to imagine such a callous characterization being ignore by the mainstream media, but they remained true to form. In a speech given at an Accuracy in Media (AIM) conference last Thursday, former Democratic Pollster Pat Caddell put the media’s role in perspective. “This press corps serves at the pleasure of this White House and President, led by people like Ezra Klein and JournoList, where they plot the stories together,” said Caddell.
He aimed his most scathing words at the coverage of the Benghazi attack: “First of all we’ve had nine day of lies over what happened because [the Obama administration] can’t dare say it’s a terrorist attack, and the press won’t push this….If a President of either party…had a terrorist incident, and got on an airplane after saying something, and flown off to a fundraiser in Las Vegas, they would have been crucified!” he contended. “It would have been–it should have been the equivalent, for Barack Obama, of George Bush’s ‘flying over Katrina’ moment. But nothing was said at all, and nothing will be said,” he added.
Caddell is somewhat in error. In fact something was said. Mitt Romney was excoriated for “politicizing” the debacle.
As for Obama, even as the ongoing scandals of Fast and Furious and Benghazi continue to deteriorate, it remains almost certain no one will call this administration or its standard-bearer to account for their blood-chilling indifference. They are people who have amply demonstrated that honor, respect and decency can be brushed aside in favor of political expediency as easily as one brushes lint off one’s suit jacket. And the silent media, which both forgive and forget the pile of bodies that have accrued in two major scandals, is equally reprehensible.
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