President Obama published a memo to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies on transparency in government. You can read the whole thing here. It says in part:
Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use.
“… consistent with law and policy …” Those should not be weasel words, but they are. What happens when it is the Administration’s policy to deceive the public?
Obamacare happens. Benghazi happens. Fast and Furious happens. The IRS 501(c)3 debacle happens. NSA overreach happens. The unemployment statistics falsification happens.
The expectation that the government is lying happens. That expectation is becoming so pervasive that even the main steam media is having to take notice and challenge White House claims.
It really doesn’t matter whether the screwups are the result of incompetence as Chis Christie suggests (“they’ve never run anything before”) or corruption or some mix of them plus other factors. The result has been increased transparency. Folks are now looking for the gotcha, the weasel words, or the flat-out lie in whatever comes out of the White House, and, with that increased attention, are beginning to see right through the PR.
(H/T, Instapundit) Well, yes, those of us who were working in the news business back in the early ’70s do see certain similarities to Nixon.
I have to tell you that is exactly the approach that the Nixon administration took. They said, “These are all second-rate things. We don’t have time for this. We have to devote our time to the people’s business.” You’re taking exactly the same line they did.
Yes, but what other line is left for them? The White House staff clearly isn’t able to tell the truth. Consider Preiffer’s rant to Chris Wallace about the irrelevance of facts.
What did the President know, and when did he know it? And where was he and what was he doing when he got told?
You know, I’m beginning to look forward to the day when this generation’s Fred Thompson asks the analogous question to “Mr. Butterfield, were you aware of the existence of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the President?”
UPDATE—Stacy McCain offers the Cliffs Notes version of the White House response: “Shut up, Republicans!”
I don’t know, Brain … having the IRS audit the Justice Department’s phone calls about Benghazi … I mean, who would be left to blame for the next scandal?
And then you pay for what you got. Folks elected a Chicago politician, and now they’re surprised by scandals.
And then there was last week, one of those exceptions that proves the rule—especially for the Main Stream Media. Da Tech Guy has some thoughts on conventional wisdom, Benghazi, the IRS, and gun control.
I’m beginning to hear rumblings of “just like Watergate” in discussions of both the Benghazi and IRS v. Tea Party stories.
Really? Watergate, after all, was only a third-rate burglary according the administration in the White House at the time.
I suppose that having a body count has kept the White House from pooh-poohing the attack on the consulate as merely a “third-world mugging,” but the IRS story is already being pitched as overzealous low-level workers exceeding their authority.
Ah, what difference, at this point, does it make?
Not long after the attack on the consulate, the President answered a Denver newsman’s question about Benghazi with these words:
I gave three very clear directives. Number one, make sure we are securing our personnel and that we are doing whatever we need to. Number two, we are going to investigate exactly what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Number three, find out who did this so we can bring them to justice.
We know from Greg Hick’s testimony that special forces were ordered to stand down rather than provide assistance. Why wasn’t the President’s order (number one above) carried out? If it was, in fact, given?
… the Administration is in a heap of trouble. Here’s what Mark Mardell, the Beeb‘s North American Editor says:
The new documents contain two rationales for the changes in language. The first is that it would prejudice the FBI investigation. Perhaps, but I am not at all persuaded.
The other reason given – old-fashioned butt-guarding – is more credible. However you read the motives, the state department and apparently the White House did get the CIA to change its story.
This is now very serious, and I suspect heads will roll. The White House will be on the defensive for a while.
This is, as one former President put it, deep doo-doo.
Stacy McCain has a post up analyzing the Democrats “How Dare You?” defense of the Benghazi fiasco.
It seems to me that the Democrats’ positions is best summed up by the remark made by Rep. Simpson (D-Springfield)—
Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.
UPDATE—Roger L. Simon reflects on Hillary de Medici.
I listened to the Benghazi hearing today via C-Span Radio. Here are some random thoughts—
Someone near the top of the food chain clearly was willing to put diplomats unnecessarily in harm’s way for political and/or personal career purposes.
Gregory Hicks wondered about the what we would be doing placing diplomats in a situation where they needed .50 machine guns for protection. OTOH, Glenn Reynolds’s campaign promise (Reynolds 2016) about flame throwers for embassy guards speaks to a tough resolve that is missing from our conduct of foreign affairs.
The administration was simply lying with the talking points used by Susan Rice and others.
The Democrats on the committee seem more interested in covering for the administration and, especially, Secretary Clinton than uncovering the truth.
Elijah Cummings is an embarrassment to the state of Maryland.
UPDATE—Was Elijah Cummings channeling Dr. Gosnell with his “Death is a part of life” comment?
WaPo, the newspaper that broke the Watergate story wide open, noted that the supposedly average person tweet about #Benghazi was a rich, middle-aged male who liked Chick-fil-A. Most of the other main stream media just took a nothing-to-see-here-move-along approach.
UPDATE 2—The Other McCain notices that the main stream media didn’t give the hearings much emphasis and wonders, “What difference does it make?”
Do you remember the commercial Hillary Clinton ran during the 2008 primaries about who should get that 3 am phone call? The implication was that Barack Obama wasn’t the right person, and that has turned out to be true all too often.
Reading this piece by Paul Mirengoff over at Powerline, it seems that Mrs. Clinton would have been (and still probably is) a poor choice too.
BTW, the first shots were fired in Benghazi around 4 pm Washington time when folks were supposed to be awake.
I can think of one person who might care whether or not the consulate attack was caused by a movie.
“What difference, at this point, does it make?”
That’s an accurate quote of what Secretary Clinton said in response to a question during a Senate hearing today. The left side of the blogosphere has the vapors over the right side’s picking up that quote and running with it. It’s unfair, they say, just like using such underhanded rhetorical tricks as math or facts.
And they want us to believe that they are a reality-based community.
Remember the riff about the Obama Administration being Jimmy Carter’s second term, and how some of us predicted that as a best case scenario?
Does it seem that Barack Obama’s second term is turning into Richard Nixon’s third?
Thomas Pickering, the person Hillary Clinton has named to head the State Department’s “investigation” of what happened in Benghazi, has expressed the opinion that the real problem is Americans being prejudiced against Muslims.
It it Tuesday yet?
… “What did the President know, and when did he know it?” 39 years later.
Of course, checking the data and the transcript shows that Mitt Romney had his facts straight on gas and oil production and that Barack Obama was wrong on Benghazi and what he said he said about it. Expect the MSM to begin to adopt the following wisdom from Homer Simpson:
Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true!
Facts are nasty things when they don’t fit the narrative.
Is it November yet?
UPDATE–Smitty has a good summary of the reaction to how Mitt Romney held his own against the debating team of Obama and Crowley.
UPDATE 2—Ed Morrissey suggests that Candy Crowley was the one who lost the debate. That’s mean. Dead on accurate, but mean.
CBS News reports that Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for the Bungle in Benghazi. (H/T, Michael Totten at Instapudit)
Well, how about that? Neither one of the 2008 Democrats were who we wanted for that 3 am phone call.
Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. As Richard Nixon famously observed after leaving office,
It’s not the crime that kills you, it’s the cover-up.
It appears that Barack Obama is learning this the hard way from his Bungle in Benghazi.
The Chicago politicians in the White House think they’re tough, and they are. What they forget is that Arkansas politics can be tougher, and the Hillary Clinton, who grew up in the Chicago area, learned her lessons well as a political wife in Little Rock.
She’s not going to let the White House throw her under the bus for Benghazi.