The CIA and FBI knew of the suspicious activity of the Boston bombers, of Major Hasan, and of Anwar al-Awlaki. And they did nothing to preempt their violence. The FBI is said to be carefully avoiding monitoring mosques, although all of the above terrorists were known by many fellow Muslim worshipers to be either disturbed or extremist or both. In contrast, the NSA monitors, we are told, nearly everyone’s communications rather than focusing on Middle Eastern male Muslims, even though Middle Eastern male Muslims have been involved in the vast majority of post-9/11 terrorist plots. The NSA is the electronic version of the TSA, which feels it is noble and liberal to stop an octogenarian in a wheel chair for special frisking as proper compensation for every focused look at a West Bank resident or Pakistani visitor on his way into the United States.
The words “Tea Party” and “patriot” in a non-profit’s name would more likely earn a negative appraisal from the IRS than would “Islam” or “Muslim.” One wonders how Lois Lerner’s IRS division would treat a hypothetical “Sarah Palin Foundation” versus “The Dr. Zawahiri Charity.”
The IRS is not worried at all about 47% of the nation who pay no federal income taxes. The vast majority of those whom it focuses on are instead the 10% who pay over 70% of all taxes. These are the would-be proverbial “fat cats” who did not build their own businesses. They are reluctant to spread their wealth. They certainly did not know either when to stop making money or when the age of profit altogether had passed. Sometime around 2009 success was deemed failure, and failure success — at least if we collate the president fat-cat rhetoric with the vast expansion in the disability, food-stamp, and unemployment-insurance rolls.
Note that the IRS is not interested in leaking to Democrat senators or former administration official rumors about George Soros’s income or the details of the tax returns of Warren Buffett, Steven Spielberg, or Bill Gates. Instead, the Democratic majority leader in the Senate bragged that he knew (falsely as it turned out) that Mitt Romney paid no income taxes. And former high administration official Austan Goolsbee claimed (also falsely as it turned out) that he too knew that the Koch brothers were shorting the IRS.
Note that only liberal groups like ProPublica leak information about the confidential donor lists of conservative activists, apparently given their familiar arrangement with the IRS. So far IRS chiefs are not looking at prominent Democrat politicians for tax violations, although for a time — cf. Tim Geithner, Tom Daschle, Hilda Solis — that might have been a fruitful profile for inquiry. (One encouraging side note: if you are a suspect white, mature, well-off, conservative, heterosexual, Christian male, you can still obtain exemption from federal suspicion by loudly announcing that you also are enthralled by Barack Obama.)
We know who was not an administration suspect in the killing of four Americans in Benghazi — hard-core, al Qaeda-related Islamic terrorists. Instead a supposedly right-wing unhinged video-maker was the object of vitriol from the secretary of state, the UN ambassador, and the president of the United States. He currently sits in jail. The known perpetrators of the murders walk free. In contrast, Lisa Jackson, the former EPA director, just got a fat inside job from Apple, despite creating not just a fictitious name (e.g., “Richard Windsor”) to avoid scrutiny when she communicated official business, but also an entirely made-up alter ego: “Richard Windsor” became an ideal employee lauded by the unethical EPA for his supposedly “ethical behavior.”
We also know who in the media is not a target. Not the CBS or ABC News presidents who have siblings working in the White House. Not ABC’s Good Morning America, given that one of its stalwarts is married to Press Secretary Jay Carney. Instead, there are two sorts of suspicious reporters that are considered hostile to the administration and worthy of having their communications monitored. One group are those journalists who leak information that the administration wished to preempt and leak first or who refuse to only leak favorable classified information — the bin Laden trove, the cyber war against Iran, the drone targeting protocol — that makes the president look as if he were a competent commander in chief.
The other target, of course, is Fox News, whose staff, in a variety of ways and on a number of occasions, the Obama administration has previously attacked as in some way illegitimate.
Again, who fits these profiles that our current, vastly expanding big government does not like? If you are an operator of a coal plant that creates needed energy at a profit, then beware that the EPA is after you. If you are a shady insider who wants tens of millions of government dollars to subsidize a money-losing wind and solar plant, you hit the jackpot. Ditto the suspect people who build guitars, loan money to Chrysler, or wish to locate a jet airliner plant in South Carolina. Profits create suspicion; failures earn subsidies.
Then there are the clingers, whom the president long ago blasted as religious zealots and gun-toting xenophobes. These are the sorts whom the attorney general calls “cowards” (not “my people”) — the “enemies” whom the president advises Latino activists to “punish” at the polls, the sorts that the president apologizes for abroad as guilty of sundry sorts of past class, race, and gender oppression.
In contrast, who is not so worried about government surveillance or audit? The New Black Panthers who turned up at a polling station in Philadelphia to intimidate voters; the “farmers” who, according to the New York Times, filed bogus claims to cash in on the government’s ill-advised and poorly administered Pigford settlement; the Secret Service agents who routinely visited prostitutes while on duty protecting high government officials abroad; and the assistant to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who used her office to enhance her private consulting business.
Americans wonder whom would the immigration services more likely wish to deport: the German Romeike family that was “guilty” of homeschooling their children; Obama’s aunt Zeituni, who lied about her immigration status to illegally obtain state and federal subsidies; or Onyango Obama, who likewise is here illegally (for 21 years) and was recently charged with ramming a police car while driving intoxicated? Is the U.S. so short of DUI offenders and frauds that we must deport homeschoolers to make room for them?
There is currently a climate of fear growing throughout the United States. Millions of Americans are terrified of the IRS, the Department of Justice, the EPA, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and even perhaps the FBI, CIA, and State Department.
These government agencies have never been bigger, more powerful, and more ideologically driven. Citizens fear them for understandable reasons: those who do nothing wrong, whether in filing tax forms or trying to buy a rifle, are considered suspect and deserving to be the target of either federal scrutiny or presidential slurs. But those who do a great deal of wrong, either by illegally entering the country, disrupting polling, trafficking in weapons in Mexico, eavesdropping on American citizens, pulling tax information for partisan purposes, subverting a government agency, or lying to the public about government activity, seem exempt from punishment — and, more chillingly, sense that they are so exempt.
Ask who now is sitting in prison — a shyster video-maker who had nothing to do with the deaths of four Americans, or their five known terrorist killers lounging about in North Africa? Apparently, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, like EPA director Lisa Jackson, was guilty of creating a fake persona. Like Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, he had a lien on his business. Like former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, he had some unpaid taxes. Like Tamerlan Tsarnaev, he had been visited by government investigators. Like Attorney General Eric Holder and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, he lied to federal authorities — although they were not quite as high as those in the U.S. Congress. And unlike all of the above, he was therefore jailed.
Of all the legacies of Barack Obama, the most pernicious will be the creation of a rogue government that has cut off and terrified half the population — and for no other reason than that they seem to represent things that Mr. Obama simply does not seem to understand.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Meet the American people — " the sorts that Barack Obama apologizes for abroad as guilty of sundry sorts of past class, race, and gender oppression"
Victor Davis Hanson has an outstanding must-read article (thanks to Instapundit) on PJMedia.