Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

July 30, 2013

Obama criticizes Republican ‘phony scandals,’ ‘short-term thinking’

By JAMES H."SMOKEY" SHOTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— When questions arise about why four American foreign service personnel died at the hands of Libyan terrorists, or why a Border Patrol agent was murdered by Mexican drug cartel thugs possessing U.S.-provided guns, or why the Internal Revenue Service improperly delayed action on some religious and conservative applicants for non-profit status, or any of the numerous other irregularities under this administration, Democrats and the agenda-driven media say, “That’s old news. Move on,” as if relevance depends upon the calendar, not the substance of the events.

And that is a pretty convenient modus operandi: They avoid coming clean with the American people on legitimate questions of competence for months on end, virtually never hold guilty parties accountable, and then complain that those asking the questions are living in the past and the answers they seek no longer matter. And they do so knowing that millions of people won’t care.

All the while President Barack Obama blames every problem in the country on someone or something else, and calls the government’s disgraceful handling of the aforementioned boondoggles a bunch of “phony scandals” manufactured by Republicans. It’s a great game of beat the clock.

But honest Americans realize that their government failed miserably to do its job as dictated by the U.S. Constitution and want to know who screwed up and what penalty they will pay for their gross incompetence and/or illegal behavior. So far, only lip service has been paid to accountability, and some of the most likely culprits have escaped reaping their just reward, while others have been promoted to higher positions.

Several months after Mr. Obama took office the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) gun running operation known as Fast and Furious began. Intended to track gun sales to Mexican drug cartels, it backfired and Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was murdered in 2010 by people possessing two of those guns provided by the DOJ. The Obama administration’s response was something like: “Ooops! Gawrsh, we didn’t expect any o’ them guns to be used against us. Sorry ’bout that. Nothing to see here; keep moving.”

On Sept. 11, 2012, after multiple requests to beef up security at the American diplomatic sites in Libya had been denied or ignored, terrorists attacked the facilities in Benghazi, resulting in the deaths of Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith, and former Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty.

Politics demanded that two months before a presidential election no screw-ups be under investigation or terrorist activity be fresh in voters’ memories, since President Obama had declared the War on Terror over, so the administration concocted a lame excuse that a video that hardly anyone in the entire world had seen, let alone in Libya, caused a spontaneous demonstration at the U.S. consulate. That idiotic story was repeated for weeks by administration spokespersons, including President Obama himself.

Barack Obama, the “news” media and millions of liberals showed little interest in the inconveniently-timed deaths of these brave Americans.

Unanswered questions persist, but instead of keeping these important events in front of the American people, the media most recently have focused on the shooting of a black high school student by a “white Hispanic” in Florida and the birth of a future monarch in Great Britain. Perhaps if the five murdered government employees looked like Trayvon, Mr. Obama and the media would give a hoot.

Not everyone is as cavalier about these tragic government failures as the administration, Congressional Democrats and the agenda-driven media. A group called Special Operations Veterans, the mission of which is to uncover the truths about the Benghazi terror attack, took its demands to Capitol Hill last week in the form of a 60-foot-long petition, which was unfurled near the steps of the Capitol. It demanded that the government “End the cover-up” of the attack. The petition was signed by more than 1,000 people and called for a special congressional committee to investigate the incident.

Each of us either believes that the deaths of the five government workers are important, or we don’t. Apparently, most people don’t, or are too-easily satisfied with the partial information provided that doesn’t explain what went wrong.

The Internal Revenue Service targeted scores of conservative religious and political organizations seeking non-profit status with improper questions, and denied action on their applications for up to two years, then tried to blame it on a couple of rogue agents in Cincinnati, Ohio. It turns out there were 12 different IRS offices involved. Now the administration tells us that the targeting was actually non-partisan. That’s a low threshold; even one liberal organization makes that technically true. But the reality is that 292 were conservative; six were liberal.

Each of us either believes that our government must operate honorably and follow the rules set forth for it in the U.S. Constitution, or we don’t. There is a shockingly large faction of Americans that apparently don’t, because they are not demanding answers to these questions, or that people responsible for these events be disciplined, or that such dishonorable and un-American activities be stopped and government restored to functioning constitutionally.

Which side are you on: Honorable government or the status quo?

James H. “Smokey” Shott, a resident of Bluefield, Va., is a Daily Telegraph columnist.