The Obama Scandals by Nancy Thorner and Jane Keill
June 26, 2013
President Barack Obama’s administration currently has 15 Cabinet Departments (State, Treasury, Defense, Justice, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Energy, Education, Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security) and 7 additional positions which have Cabinet-level rank (White House Chief of Staff, EPA, Office of Management & Budget, US Trade Representative, US Ambassador to United Nations, Council of Economic Advisers, Small Business Administration) plus the National Security Administration, NSA, which is really a part of the Department of Defense.
Out of the 15 Cabinet Departments, there are currently 7 which have on-going scandals of which the American people may, or may not, be aware. In addition, there are 2 actions going on within the Cabinet-level ranks, which are of questionable nature. While some of these activities were begun under the Bush administration, they have exploded exponentially under Obama’s direction. Bush has unfortunately been blamed for everything bad that has happened during Obama’s administration. Isn’t it ironic that suddenly because Bush did it (NSA scandal), it’s acceptable for the current administration to do likewise? (The same excuse is claimed with the drone program which has also grown enormously with extended range under Obama.)
With multiple scandals filling the news, and accusations, denials and investigations flying from all directions on a daily basis, it seemed necessary to take a step backwards to enable a broader view and better understanding of this scandal-ridden administration to prevent issue fatigue from setting in. With the existence of so many scandals, there could be a tendency to disengage from the gross infractions of the Obama administration, throwing up our hands in despair, which would indicate passivity and disinterest, both dangerous in a democracy.
Realizing that scandals have legs of their own makes it difficult to ascertain their duration and lasting impact, delay was considered in releasing our expose but speedily rejected on the premise that sharing what was known at this point made more sense than delaying the report. Nevertheless, our comments still provide a fairly wide scope of the still percolating scandals, enough to realize how corrupt the Obama administration truly is, with future updates a definite possibility.
Now the question remains, will the scandal information outlined in this easy-to-understand format be heeded, or will individuals willingly blind themselves to the disturbing facts and simply dismiss them as not relative to their lives? The act of burying heads in the sand creates a government which, having no opposition from its citizens, can run rough-shod over the populous. Even elected Republican legislators seem to lack the fortitude to deal with the multiple scandals where justice is demanded and begs to be served.
It would be a blow to the rule of law, which forms the basis of our Democracy, if the many scandals in the Obama administration become relics of a forgotten past, allowing the administration to skirt the justice that it so deserves. It is often said that success begets success. It can also be said that corruption allowed to flourish will only breed more corruption when those guilty of misdeeds and worse determine that the arm of justice has no hold over them.
The Department of State
All US embassies and consulates are under the control and responsibility of the Department of State. Under then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, the true story behind the attacks and deaths at the Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, is still unanswered. We have still not had answers to many questions by Secretary Clinton, and we have still never heard a word from any of the 20-30 Consular staff who were rescued from Benghazi, the night of September 11, 2012.
In recent weeks, another scandal has been exposed by the news media which relates to security personnel traveling with Secretary Clinton overseas who have been caught hiring and/or soliciting prostitutes. In addition, the Belgian Ambassador has been accused of soliciting prostitutes and minors for sexual activity. The Department of State has been accused of white-washing or quashing investigations into these activities.
The Department of the Treasury
The current and ever-expanding scandal of the IRS singling out and deliberately delaying applications of Conservative, religious and Tea Party groups on a political basis seems to grow worse by the day. It’s also been suggested that, not only did the IRS deliberately limit the free speech and political rights of these groups, but the IRS may have passed group and personal information from these applications to liberal political groups to be used against the Republicans during the 2012 elections. It has now been discovered that enormous amounts of money have been wasted on parties, hotels, travel and utter nonsense up to $50 million – so far.
On 6/13/13, the Treasury Inspector General has indicated there is evidence that up to 1,000 IRS employees were misusing their government-issued travel and credit cards in 2010-2011.
This last week, it has also come out that the IRS sent more than $46 million in tax refunds to 23,994 “unauthorized” alien workers who all listed the same address in Atlanta, Ga., in 2011, according to an audit report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
They also sent:
- 11,284 refunds worth a combined $2,l64,976 at a second Atlanta address;
- 3,608 refunds worth $2,691,448 to a third;
- 2,386 refunds worth $1,232,943 to a fourth.
Other locations on the IG’s Top Ten list included:
- an address in Oxnard, Calif., where the IRS sent 2,507 refunds worth $10,395,847;
- an address in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the IRS sent 2,408 refunds worth $7,284,212;
- an address in Phoenix, Ariz., where the IRS sent 2,047 refunds worth $5,558,608;
- an address in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., where the IRS sent 1,972 refunds worth $2,256,302;
- an address in San Jose, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,942 refunds worth $5,091,027;
- and address in Arvin, Calif., where the IRS sent 1,846 refunds worth $3,298,87
In May, 2013, it was announced that the IRS allegedly stole medical records from more than 10,000,000 Americans during a raid on a Southern California health care facility. More than 60 million medical records were ‘lifted’ from this facility. This was as a result of one warrant for one person’s records, but the IRS took the other records, too.
Remember, the IRS is going to be in charge of administering the insurance side of Obamacare. Your medical records will now be accessible to them.
The Department of Defense
Under Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, there have still been no clear answers as to why no aid was sent to Benghazi on September 11, 2012, when four Americans died in Islamic Jihadist attacks. No one has been made to say who gave the order to ‘stand down’ or to send no support to these Americans. Nor, do we have any good explanation why the consulate wasn’t better protected before the attacks, especially during the September 11 anniversary time.
The additional scandal of sexual assaults throughout the military has recently been brought to the forefront of the news because military authorities have not been responsive to this issue.
The Department of Justice
Attorney General, Eric Holder, has failed in major responsibilities going all the way back to refusing to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in Philadelphia in the national elections of 2008. He has also slipped through the loopholes of responsibility for the Fast and Furious gunrunning program to Mexico, even though an American border guard and many dozens of Mexican citizens were killed using those very guns. And, currently, Holder has admitted to monitoring 20 phones lines of over 100 reporters of the Associated Press and had signed a subpoena that accused reporter James Rosen of Fox News as a possible co-conspirator for leaking classified information about North Korea. The DOJ had to go to three federal judges before they found one who would sign this subpoena.
The Department of Health and Human Services
Throughout this current series of scandals, and little mentioned by the media, is the question of whether or not Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of HHS, has been arm-twisting insurance companies and other health related industries for money to support and pay for the implementation of Obamacare. Congress has withheld much of the funding for the health care program and it appears Sebelius is finding other ways to raise money. The problem is that these agencies which she is reportedly strong-arming will be under her direction and administration as Obamacare is installed by 2014, a blatant conflict of interest, or more commonly known as extortion.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
Under former General Erik Shenseki, now Director of the VA, there is a current backlog of 600,000 disability claims filed by our veterans. The average wait for attention to these claims has been running up to 300 days. Depending on the city and office locations, some veterans may wait 800-900 days to receive determinations on their claims.
And, just recently, Secretary Shinseki has gutted the independent board which researched Gulf War illnesses and has cut its budget. The Research Advisory Committee, which used to oversee the VA staff in this area has now been replaced by VA people it used to review. In 2012, a no-confidence vote against the VA and a whistle-blower testified that the VA misled the public about research that would lead to expensive benefits for veterans. Good timing, Secretary Shinseki.
The Department of Homeland Security
The massive problems produced by illegal immigrants in the country and what to do about them has been aggravated by Secretary Janet Napolitano, who chooses whom to deport and whom to put on hold, regardless of what the federal law on immigration says. She also declares the southern border with Mexico under control and the safest in years, even though it has been shown again and again, it is not secure. A vast swath of the procedural vote on the so-called “border surge” deal brokered by Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) paving the ways for passage of the entire comprehensive immigration reform bill, comes down to nothing more than giving the unelected current DHS Secretary, Janet Napolitano, the kind of discretionary power that one would expect to be granted to the officials of a banana republic. She has the discretion to ignore the border fencing and any other of the so-called border triggers.
Now, let us look at the Cabinet-level agencies which are having questionable activities and scandals of their own.
The National Security Administration (NSA) (technically a part of the Department of Defense)
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” (Italics are added.)
Recently exposed by The Guardian newspaper in England, the NSA, under the Patriot Act, has for approximately 7 years been trolling billions and billions of phone calls made by American citizens in an effort to relate any suspicious calls to terrorist links. It appears that FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) courts just can’t say “No” to requests to pursue potential terrorist connections and have approved thousands of warrants submitted to them. What billions and billions of phone calls made by everyday Americans have to do with foreign agents is highly questionable. In addition, reports have been out recently that the NSA has also been requesting information from the internet, e-mails, pictures and other computer-related sources in a program called Prism. The major internet companies (Google, AOL, Yahoo, etc.) claim the government has no ‘direct’ access to their internet customers’ information. If the Feds don’t have ‘direct’ access, do they have some other kind of access? All of this has been done under great secrecy with the support of certain Congressional members and committees who claim they are doing this to keep us ‘safe’ and that we should ‘trust them’.
In addition, it has also been exposed that the NSA is building a Data Center in Utah where they will store these billions of accumulated records for an indefinite period of time. They can then go back years later and search them if they think there is a questionable person or action they want to check.
The Environmental Protection Agency
Under former EPA Director, Lisa Jackson, it was discovered that she kept and maintained a secret e-mail account under the name of a Richard Windsor, so that she could communicate with others in the government without having her messages known. Secretary of HHS, Kathleen Sebelius, also admitted that she had a separate e-mail address beyond the agency account so she could deal with her daily work. Supposedly, these accounts are all available under a Freedom of Information Account (FOIA) request– if – you happen to know about the account and the e-mail address and request it in the FOIA. From additional information in the news reports, it appears there are many, many secret e-mail accounts throughout departments in the Obama administration.
It has also recently been reported that in April 2013, the EPA illegally released the names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mails of approximately 80,000 farmers across the US to environmental groups. The apparent intent was to allow these groups to protest, picket or otherwise attack the farmers. Further details are being developed about this issue.
As Benjamin Franklin said in 1775, “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
There are those of you who will exclaim that we must do everything to fight the terrorists. We see no good reason to pull billions and billions of records of millions and millions of American citizens for whom there have been no suspicions or warrants or probable cause and keeping them for years to be checked later. Security programs were supposedly set up to monitor for foreign or suspicious terror connections. Let them run the program that way.
As for the political Washington class who say, “Trust us to do the right thing,” may we suggest you read the above commentary over again.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 01:45 PM | Permalink