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Thursday, May 30, 2013
Re: “Holder grilled over seized AP records,” Nation & World section, May 16:
Attorney General Eric Holder states, “It’s an ongoing matter in which I know nothing,” with regard to the Justice Department’s unprecedented seizure of business and personal phone records of The Associated Press and its employees, allegedly prompted by a “very serious leak” of information relating to a Yemen bombing plot. This despite the fact that Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan was to release information similar to the leak on national television the weekend after it occurred.
Holder also denied knowing much about Operation Fast and Furious, a Justice Department Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives program that facilitated the shipment of firearms into Mexico and resulted in the death of a U.S. border agent shot by one such weapon. The attorney general eventually invoked executive privilege to avoid revealing facts about this ill-advised program in response to an investigation into the truth and was found in contempt of Congress.
Former secretary of state and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton claims that she also knew nothing about repeated warnings of inadequate security at the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, nor of her department’s reduction of security personnel, despite two previous attacks on that facility and repeated pleas from the late Libyan ambassador that security be increased because of perceived threats and identified vulnerabilities.
She has yet to explain her emphasis on an anti-Islamic video more than a week after intelligence agencies unanimously attributed the attack, in which the ambassador and three other Americans were killed, to al-Qaida-affiliated terrorists.
Recently released emails quote State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland telling the CIA that initial talking points released by that agency shortly after the attack could be used by Republicans against the Obama administration during the ongoing presidential election campaign and that her superiors in the State Department building were not happy with that factual account of the attack, which also included mention of previous attacks and threats and identified al-Qaida-connected entities as the perpetrators of the 9/11 siege.
All references to al-Qaida were subsequently stricken from the final talking points eventually released to the media and touted by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice on five national TV network news outlets, despite objections from then-CIA Director David Petraeus.
Clinton infamously shouted, “What difference does it make at this point [why the attack occurred]?” during a congressional hearing on Benghazi, several months later when she finally testified about the attack. Clinton, President Obama and fellow Democrats continue to decry Republican politicization of this issue, despite increasing evidence of their own efforts to distort facts to avoid political ramifications of their failures and shortcomings.
Obama allegedly knows nothing about any of these particular facts as well, nor about his Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative organizations for review of their tax-exempt status requests.
Not only were applications with “tea party” and “patriot” singled out for scrutiny during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles, but after complaints about unconstitutional practices were voiced by affected groups, criteria for IRS review were actually expanded to include groups with allusions to the Constitution and its amendments in their titles as red flags, while IRS leaders denied the practice of targeting any such groups for review based upon their political persuasion.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney continues to alienate the press corps more, day by day, with his obfuscations and blatant misrepresentations of fact, such as, “The White House made only one cosmetic change to the CIA talking points on Benghazi.”
Does anybody see a pattern here? The mainstream media have ultimately seemed to catch up with “Faux News” and “partisan Republicans” on these issues after months of inattention, most likely due to First Amendment threats to their own existence posed by the AP seizures. Perhaps they’re finally discerning the stench of Chicago politics perpetuated by Obama and his minions since his original 2008 campaign, as well.
Legitimate scrutiny and honest investigative reporting by The Roanoke Times and the MSM, after several years of pro-Obama advocacy, would be welcome. An objective, questioning press would certainly be beneficial from here on out, as Obama and his appointees continue to distort and deny their records, blaming others for their mistakes and lack of accomplishments or “taking full responsibility” only so long as they suffer no negative consequences. If this administration were a private company, it would be time to clean house.
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