“Ace” at Ace of Spades has built one of the more successful political blogs on a balanced combination of snark, community-building (who else can can boast of a community that proudly/ironically calls themselves “morons?”) and very insightful observations that a lot of folks simply miss.
Last night, I read (twice) a post he wrote called Snowden’s Looking a Little Dodgy, which was written in regards to the stories surrounding NSA leaker Edward Snowden that has been dominating the news cycle for the past few days. I’d suggest that you read it all and think over it’s ramifications.
The government must have a good reason for all of this. We don’t know what that reason is, but you’d have to be some kind of wild-eyed Birther type to think that a cover story that makes no sense at all is worth asking a few questions about.
So what I’m worried about here is that this Snowden doesn’t know what he’s talking about and has overhyped his disclosures, and that, in the coming days, we’ll find out that PRISM is less and less than he originally claimed it was. And then, the Institutional Class, having rubbished NSA-gate as also “akin to Birtherism,” will then take the IRS scandal to also be akin to Birtherism, and the EPA’s shellacking conservative groups with hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs for FOIA requests while freely providing them to liberal groups will be taken as akin to Birtherism, and suspicions about the James Rosen matter will be akin to Birtherism, and so on.
I am always fearful about seizing upon weak evidence especially when we have so much strong evidence — because mark my words, if the NSA scandal peters out, this will be the only scandal the Institutional Class will deign to discuss, and will categorize all other scandals as “like the so-called overblown NSA scandal.”
There is a distinct possibility Snowden’s story is being hyped by the Administration itself to divert us away from the real scandals—the joint ATF/EPA/FBI/IRS/OSHA/etc. harassment of Tea Party activists to cripple them organizations and prevent them from affecting the 2012 elections as they did the 2010 elections, for example—that should see the Obama Administration forced out of office.
The NSA scandal may be much ado about policy without criminality, distracting us from the real scandal an Administration that may have criminally abused their power across multiple Executive Branch agencies in order to effectively “steal” an election.
How do we know that the IRS (and I’m using that term as a loose identifier; it is in no way limited to just the IRS) scandal is where the fire is under all the smoke? By the Administration’s dogged determination to completely bury the issue and not give one inch.
Rep. Dave Camp, the Michigan Republican who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, told a legal policy conference on Wednesday that his investigators still don’t know who inside the Obama administration first told IRS agents to aggressively target right-wing groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.
But, he said, he and his Republican colleagues have confirmed the partisan program did not originate in the agency’s Cincinnati, Ohio office – something Democrats have claimed.
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney has described the IRS’s ‘activity in Cincinnati’ as ‘line IRS employees in Cincinnati improperly scrutinizing 501(c)(4) [tax-exempt] organizations.’
‘We know it [the targeting] didn’t originate in Cincinnati,’ Camp said. ‘We still don’t know who did originate this.’
‘We have a lot of work to do,’ he told The Hill. ‘We’re not anywhere near being able to jump to conclusions. And there are a lot more people we have to talk to,’
But recent indications are that officials in Washington, either inside the IRS or higher up in the administration, had a hand in directing the activity of those Cincinnati agents.
We know, for a fact, that Tea Party groups were targets by multiple executive branch agencies for harassment and intimidation, and so we know on a logical level that orders for this coup d’etat camp from within the West Wing of the White House.
Forcing the media and Congress to focus on this scandal at the exclusion of everything else they would rather focus our attention on, is the only chance we have to get to the bottom of what can only be described as a direct assault on the electoral process by a sitting President.
Let me be very clear: Barack Obama would not be the current President of the United States if he had not directed executive branch agencies to criminally abuse their power in a broad conspiracy to target the Tea Party groups which decimated the Democrats in the House in the 2010 mid-term elections.This conspiracy was a frontal assault on the Constitution. Let’s force them to treat this plot as the crime it so clear is, and not just a political “scandal.”