Is This Obama's "Waterloo"?Politics / US Politics May 21, 2013 - 12:44 PM GMT
Shah Gilani writes: You're reading it right now.
I'm calling it WII (WHY?), which stands for Washington Insights & Indictments.
It's likely to be a single issue.
While calling out crooks and criminals on Wall Street is dangerous enough, calling out criminal behavior by the highest powers in the United States will get me: 1) audited by the IRS; 2) phone-tapped by the Justice Department; and 3) a trip to Guantanamo (if I don't get "droned"), because obviously anybody questioning the powers-that-be is a threat to national security.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not an Obama-basher. I liked him. Once upon a time...
I believed in "change" and that Obama was a good guy. I was elated when he won the first election. But I was deflated when he won a second term; deflated because my hopes and expectations for positive changes had been sucked dry.
The only real change I've seen in America since Obama took office is a frontal assault on the Constitution. Most politicians use the backdoor method.
Here's why I'm really angry and afraid, for myself and you.
It came out last week that the Justice Department took it upon itself to seize phone records (and faxes) and may have tapped, listened into, and recorded thousands of phone conversations between Associated Press journalists, their editors, their sources (some of whom are definitely confidential sources), and anybody and everybody they spoke to over at least a two-month period.
The Justice Department is run by Eric Holder. Holder authorized the subpoenas to get the phone records, and if phones were tapped, he authorized it. No judge was involved.
Usually a federal judge would have to sign off on the surveillance of journalists and news media people. At least, it works that way in 40 states and should be the law of the land.
But it doesn't work that way at the federal level if the matter involves "national security."
And that's what makes me so angry and what should - and maybe will - be the straw that breaks the back of this President and his administration.
Don't get me wrong. The IRS scandal will be Obama's Watergate. But the AP scandal will be his Waterloo.
Forget the bigger issues that are seeing the light of day here, like "separation of powers" issues. Justice stooges were tapping into conversations that took place between Congressmen and AP reporters. That means the executive branch was spying on the legislative branch.
The issue that really frightens me, because I'm a journalist, is that our First Amendment rights (abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press), which should stand on their own, but are brilliantly backed-up (just in case) by the Fourth Amendment (which guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially sanctioned and supported by probable cause) have just both been trampled - simultaneously.
How? Because it was a matter of "national security."
Here's the thing. Besides being sick and horrified that "national security" is increasingly a trumped-up reason to hack the Constitution to near death, the so-called national security threat that Justice invoked was over, gone, the cat was out of the bag. There was no national security threat.
You see, AP reporters got information about a bomb threat to be carried out on the anniversary of the killing of Osama Bin Laden (May 2). They were asked not to report it until after the threat had been neutralized. They complied. There was a plot, and it was foiled.
Only the President wanted to be the one to come out and announce it before the press beat him to it. Why? He didn't want another Benghazi timing issue to make him look stupid.
But why tap the phone lines, really?
It's the same reason the IRS was targeting parties opposed to the President and his administration.
This Administration, under the President's leadership, is executing a program of intimidation, harassment, and trampling of civil liberties, and they're getting away with it.
I'm frightened, and you should be too.
If I start seeing a new order of freedom-bashing zealots parading the American flag as a banner against all national security threats, I'm going to renew my NRA membership.
Is this what we've become?
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