Obama: transparency or obfuscation

Thursday , June 06, 2013 - 12:37 PM

Robert K. Wolthuis

On Sept. 4, 2011, this newspaper was kind enough to publish my guest commentary wherein I stated my deep conviction that Barack Obama was the wrong man, in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On Nov. 6, 2012 the American electorate ignored my premise and re-elected Mr. Obama for a second term. In retrospect, I believe that this nation experienced four significant tragedies on that historic date. First, as free people, the majority chose not to exercise their constitutional right to remove a failed president.

Second, this majority mindlessly bought into Mr. Obama’s campaign rhetoric while ignoring his failed foreign policy, his scandals and a poor economic recovery. Third, the voters failed to elect Mitt Romney, a man much better qualified and suited for the presidency than Mr. Obama.

Finally, the American news media, with the exception of conservative talk radio, Fox News and a few other news organizations, failed in its responsibility as the fourth estate watchdog over the federal government. In my opinion, too many of these people and organizations became Obama’s promoters, advocates and sometimes his apologists.

I would like now to fast forward to the present and note for my readers what these four tragedies are doing to this nation. It is too early to say that Mr. Obama is facing his own Watergate, but the revelations of scandals and deceit are frightening and expanding daily. Nonetheless, a comparison is not entirely unfair. Watergate was initially a petty burglary which Richard Nixon and his top aides tried to hide and control, which of course brought down his presidency. It was exposed primarily by two Washington Post reporters, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Where are you guys? Your country needs you.

Seldom has any American news organization had a finer hour or a better record of being the public watchdog. No one died at Watergate, but in Benghazi four Americans were killed by terrorists because adequate security was denied by Secretary Hillary Clinton’s State Department in Washington. The Obama administration also refused to send any help during the attack. The subsequent cover up and lies surrounding Benghazi by Obama and his administration have become legendary. The video as the phony cause of the attack was foisted onto the American people and the families of the deceased for several days.

The seizure of the Associated Press and Fox News phone records and the malicious accusations against reporter James Rosen by the U.S. Justice Department and its hapless and lying attorney general are direct attacks on the First Amendment rights of the press and reporters. Hopefully this will wake up the left-wing media in America, but don’t hold your breath. It deeply disturbs this writer.

The AP and Rosen attacks, search warrants and false descriptions of Rosen’s status in the case certainly may well be eclipsed by the exploding IRS scandal wherein that agency of the federal government has conducted a selective campaign of delay, legal discrimination and harassment against a growing list of conservative American organizations. Not since FDR’s internment of thousands of Japanese American citizens during World War II has the federal government and its bureaucrats conducted such an outrageous campaign against American citizens and their First Amendment rights of free speech and also their right of equal protection under the law. My 30 years in the federal government taught me that most bureaucrats are dedicated public servants and respect the Constitution and the law. However, there have always been a few who believe they are above those sacred American institutions.

At the center of all these scandals and attacks is an aloof president who claims that he didn’t know about them until he read them in the press, and an attorney general who has lied to Congress on several occasions and who the president has farcically asked to investigate himself and his own department. Asleep at the switch is probably too kind a description for Mr. Obama’s pathetic stewardship of the Constitution.

Despite the sometimes false and limp defenses put out by the Obama White House, especially by the pathetic and deceiving Jay Carney, those most worrisome scandals and abuse of constitutional rights continue to be exposed largely by conservative talk radio people and Fox News, joined by a few other news organizations and Republicans in the House of Representatives.

So the question remains, will this administration come clean in each case and tell the American people the truth, despite how horrible or painful that would be for a president who wants more than anything continued love and adulation?

Will Attorney General Eric Holder, the most inept and deceptive cabinet officer in recent history, be kept in office by a president whose frequent promises of transparency so far are quite fictitious? Oh yes, there still remains a sluggish economic recovery, the ever-growing national debt and the coming debacle of ObamaCare which Montana Democratic Sen Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, recently described as a “coming train wreck.” I believe I was right on Sept. 4 2011. Barack Obama is the wrong man, in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes in America we pay dearly for our mistakes.

Robert K. Wolthuis, PhD, lives in Pleasant View and is a former special assistant to President Ford. He served twice as a deputy assistant Secretary of Defense.

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