Written by By Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.)
By Col. Tom Snodgrass (Ret.), Right Side News
On May 10, 2013, the Obama regime attempted to sneak an apology into the public record for IRS’s illegal targeting of Conservative TEA Party groups in advance of the public release of an IRS Inspector General audit finding showing the Obama regime’s criminality. The Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division, Lois Lerner, planted a question at a lawyer’s conference so that she could announce that she was apologetic for the “absolutely inappropriate” actions of lower-level "front line people" in the Cincinnati IRS office. Lerner alleged that these unnamed, lower subordinates had, of their own accord, initiated politically motivated obstruction of Conservative political groups opposed to the Obama agenda in order to delay/deny TEA Party groups from getting the same tax exempt status accorded to Progressive and Liberal political groups.
This clearly partisan political usurpation of the First Amendment to the US Constitution, if it stands unpunished and unrectified, is a body blow by the Democrats to the free speech foundation of the nation’s political structure. Naturally, such an egregious unconstitutional act brought immediate indignation from the general public and Republicans, but, as we come to expect, just another lip service lie from President Barack Obama:
People have to have confidence that they’re [the IRS]… applying the laws in a non-partisan way. So we’ll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are. But I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it.
Yet, instead of intolerance of illegality, the Obama regime immediately went into “stonewalling mode” to protect Mr. Obama’s political operatives and to conceal any trail back to the Oval Office.
In order to deceive the American people, Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Justice Department to begin an investigation, but, in keeping with his demonstrated and undeniable paucity of integrity, Holder put Barbara Bosserman, partisan Democrat and a Obama mega-donor, in charge of the investigation. An Attorney General who was interested in finding truth and obtaining justice would have naturally appointed an independent prosecutor to probe the IRS scandal, given the clear conflict of interest for the Obama regime. However, Holder’s extreme partisanship, betrayed by Bosserman’s appointment, simply confirms his allegiance to the Democrat Party’s cover-up cabal. Up to this point in time, Chairman Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee has been unable to penetrate the Obama-Holder stonewall and expose the Democrat Party’s cover-up cabal. The best they’ve been able to muster thus far is a vote to hold Ms. Lerner in contempt of Congress, just as the House Ways and Means Committee has voted to refer her case to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Subsequent to this referral, it was learned from emails that Ms. Lerner was contacted by Holder’s DoJ Director of Elections Crimes Branch, Richard Pilger, about criminally prosecuting TEA Party groups in conjunction with the IRS. Since it is now undeniable that Holder’s DoJ is implicated in the IRS scandal, refusal by the Obama regime to appoint an independent prosecutor to investigate and indict the guilty should be a formal admission that the Democrat Party is a criminal organization, having no other function than government by criminal conspiracy.
The Democrat Ranking Member on the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, has been an effective obstructionist for the Democrat’s cover-up conspiracy and deserves a large share of opprobrium for his calculated interference. Cummings’ serial, secret e-mailings with Lois Lerner and the IRS encouraging the targeting of the voter fraud prevention group True the Vote, dispel any doubt about Cummings’ active participation in the Democrats’ voter repression and cover-up. But Cummings is far from alone among Democrats in triggering suppression of the opposition vote. Democrat senators Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, and Al Franken all sent correspondence to the IRS demanding that TEA Party groups be targeted, thus making themselves accessories to voter suppression.
The overtly illegal Democrat effort to fundamentally transform the US political system by means of severely restricting grassroots opposition political organizations by the redefining of tax-exempt political activity – and by obstructing of the bureaucratic approval process, is effectively destroying citizen trust in the US government and the functionality of the US Constitution. Trust in the integrity of the political system is essential for the continued functioning of the US Republic as the Founders designed it.
On September 11, 2012, fifty-five days before the 2012 presidential election, Ansar al-Sharia, Islamist jihadists associated with al-Qaeda, staged a terrorist attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. In the course of the eight hour-long-attack, the 125-150 jihadists murdered US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, embassy information management officer Sean Smith, and Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, two former Navy SEALS and CIA contract employees.
The State Department and Department of Defense were totally unprepared for the attack in terms of not having the diplomatic security resources in Benghazi to repel the attack, and in their failure to have US military forces on alert and in position to come to the relief of the US government employees at the Benghazi compound. The US government’s total unpreparedness is mystifying because, for months before the attack, State Department and DoD were provided strategic warning in numerous intelligence reports cautioning that the security situation in eastern Libya was deteriorating and that US facilities and personnel were at risk of jihadist attack.
Immediately after the attack, the Obama regime began a disinformation campaign of lies to cover-up the incompetence of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey, CIA Director David Petraeus, Deputy CIA Director Michael Morell, and their immediate subordinates.
The reasons why Mr. Obama and his accomplices were – and continue to be – determined to deceive the American people was because the Benghazi-al-Qaeda-associated-assault occurred only five days after Mr. Obama proclaimed, at the Democrat Party presidential convention, that the US was on the verge of victory over al-Qaeda! In order to deflect people’s attention from the fact that he had lied regarding al-Qaeda’s demise to further his reelection campaign, the Obama deception apparatus manufactured a preposterous narrative that an obscure YouTube video mocking Mohammad was the genesis of the Benghazi attack. According to the Obama regime’s absurd cover story, the unknown video, produced by an Egyptian Coptic Christian living in the United States, inflamed a spontaneous protest at the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi. The Obama regime’s fictional account further maintained that the protest against the video exploded into an enraged mob that overwhelmed the compound’s security, murdered the four Americans, and torched the structure. The fact that these “protestors” just “happened” to bring mortars and crew-served heavy weapons to their “demonstration against the video” was initially suppressed/left unexplained in the Obama regime’s official version of the attack.
The maligned, enigmatic video gained national infamy on September 16th when US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, made appearances on Sunday morning TV news talk shows on five different networks. Her script during these appearances was comprised of CIA-prepared “Talking Points” that were changed by Deputy CIA Director Morell. The original draft memo accurately portrayed the attack as an al-Qaeda-associated, preplanned terrorist assault, which Morell changed to the Obama regime’s false narrative: a spontaneous anti-video demonstration that spiraled out of control. The purpose of Ms. Rice’s deceitful TV performances was to dupe the American people to protect Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign lie that al-Qaeda was on the brink of defeat and to cover the absolute incompetence of the Obama regime’s potentates, named above, after they ignored the clear warnings of the impending attack.
In the year and a half since the Benghazi attack, the State Department, the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House of Representatives’ Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Permanent Select Intelligence, and Oversight and Government Reform committees have all investigated and reported on the various perspectives of the Benghazi fiasco.
The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee arrived at the undeniable conclusion that the “attacks were preventable based on known security shortfalls at the State Department Mission in Benghazi.” That bipartisan conclusion merely stated the obvious. But that was better than what the State Department produced. The unmistakable purpose of the State Department “investigative report” was to conceal Hillary Clinton’s mismanagement of the department’s disastrous handling of all aspects of the pre-attack, attack, and post-attack phases of the Benghazi debacle. The State Department report completely whitewashed the incompetence that surrounded the Benghazi events by refusing to hold anyone accountable for the innumerable poor decisions and abysmal leadership by Ms. Clinton and subordinates.
The investigations by all four of the different House committees have been effectively thwarted by a combination of obstructive Democrat committee members and willful noncooperation and stonewalling by the Obama regime. The House committee chairman, Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) of Armed Services, Ed Royce (R-CA) of Foreign Affairs, Mike Rogers (R-MI) of Intelligence, and Darrell Issa (R-CA) of Oversight and Government Reform, have all come up with incriminating leads that end at the Obama stonewall. 190 Representatives in the Republican caucus are demanding that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) create a special select committee to investigate Benghazi, combining the resources of the four committees. Speaker Boehner will not explain his decision not to empower a select committee beyond saying that it is not required at this time. Boehner’s timid, lethargic, incomprehensible approach of not vigorously investigating the Democrat Benghazi cover-up is a force-multiplier for the Democrats’ considerable obstructive power.
The Democrat Party’s cover-up of the Obama campaign’s Benghazi lie to the American voters in the 2012 presidential election, like the Democrats’ IRS targeting of the TEA Party, is viciously and tragically destroying the citizenry’s trust in the constitutionally-based American form of government.
On December 14, 2010, Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered in an ambush by illegal alien drug traffickers with a rifle that had been supplied to Mexican drug lords, along with more than 2,000 other assault weapons, by the Obama regime in a stupendously incompetent “gunwalking” scheme codenamed “Operation Fast and Furious.” (My first reaction when I learned these facts was: “Huh?!”) Consequently, it was Agent Terry’s murder that first brought Fast & Furious to national attention in both the US and Mexico.
To begin, what is “gunwalking”? It is a law enforcement concept that involves permitting gun traffickers to “walk” off with guns from lawful outlets for unlawful distribution in the criminal underworld. The idea behind this scheme is to identify the illegal drug cartel underground gun distribution network and the high-level Mexican kingpins involved in moving the weapons. The previous administration, under President George W. Bush, had tried a similar plan codenamed “Operation Wide Receiver” from early 2006 into late 2007, but it was a failure and was cancelled. The Obama regime’s Department of Justice revived the failed gunwalking program in October 2009 as “Fast & Furious”. DoJ agencies taking part in the operation included the Office of the Attorney General, represented by Deputy Attorney General David Ogden and Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, and ranking individuals from Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The incredible ineptitude with which the Obama regime’s law enforcement minions undertook Fast & Furious appeared breathtakingly stupid, but it actually may have been calculatingly cunning. What made Fast & Furious appear such a fiasco was that ATF agents allowed the sale of more than 2,000 guns and then failed to track the contraband firearms! Consequently, the vast majority of the weapons just disappeared without Mr. Obama’s agents having a clue as to their whereabouts! Furthermore, Mexican government authorities were not informed that Mr. Obama’s agents were pushing large stocks of AK-47s, AR-15s, and .50 caliber sniper rifles across the border into Mexico. Soon, these weapons began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico (over 200 at last count) and still more along the border inside the US. Mexican authorities were outraged about the arming of the cartels, unbeknownst to them. Their justified anger grew from the numbers of Mexicans killed by guns from Fast & Furious, estimates of which range from 300 upwards.
The scope of Obama’s Fast & Furious folly became known to the US Congress when several ATF agent whistleblowers contacted Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), who initiated an investigation of the operation in January 2011 with a series of questions to DoJ. In its first response to Senator Grassley's questions about the gunwalking operation, the DoJ sent a letter that contained a lie. The DoJ letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General Ronald Weich, falsely asserted that ATF never "knowingly allowed the sale of assault weapons to a straw purchaser who then transported them into Mexico." Ten months later when the lie was exposed, the DoJ “withdrew” the letter acknowledging that it had misled the Congress.
The other major falsehood that caused immense animosity toward, and distrust of, the DoJ on the part of the Republicans in Congress was because Attorney General Eric Holder consistently denied that he had any knowledge of the gunwalking by the ATF, a division of DoJ, when it was occurring. On May 3, 2011 he told a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast & Furious for the first time over the last few weeks." However, documents showed that at least ten months before the hearing, frequent memos discussing Fast & Furious were addressed to Holder. In fact, there were memos dating back to July 2010 that were sent to Holder from DoJ agencies concerning the operation. In response to being caught in this lie, Holder pleaded the usual Obama regime excuse – incompetence. Holder claimed he hadn’t read the memos. Moreover, after his lie was exposed, he said he had misunderstood the question. Incompetence is the constant refuge of Mr. Obama and the minions of his regime. They don’t read memos, they never learn of failures until after the fact, and they don’t know or can’t remember who was responsible for the regime’s bungled activities.
Naturally Mr. Obama, true to his modus operandi, claimed that he knew absolutely nothing about the gunwalking, in spite of the proven fact that Kevin O’Reilly, White House National Security staffer, communicated by email and telephone, repeatedly, with the ATF Special Agent in charge of Fast & Furious, Bill Newell, about the operation while it was in progress.
The reason why the Obama regime’s seemingly incredible ineptitude in losing control of the guns may have really been calculated cunning is that there are emails acquired by CBS that indicate the 2,000 weapons were permitted to disappear into the criminal underworld so that they would turn up at crime scenes. These crime weapons would then be employed in the Obama regime’s scheme to use the bloodshed to assault the Second Amendment and justify imposition of further gun regulations on the American people.
Each of these cover-ups deserves investigation by an independent prosecutor and, if the evidence indicates, prosecution of the Democrat and Progressive operatives for their crimes against the American people. If it were proven that Mr. Obama was involved in these crimes, as he appears to have been, he should be impeached. Anything less than a complete housecleaning of the Democrat Party mafiosos responsible for the crimes against the US Constitution, committed since the installation of the Obama regime, will mark the beginning of the end the America people’s trust in equality before the law in the US.
Col. Thomas Snodgrass, USAF (retired) served over a year in Peshawar, Pakistan, working with Pakistani military intelligence. During his year in Vietnam he daily scheduled 130 U.S. Army and Air Force intelligence collection aircraft. In his final overseas tour he was the U.S. Air Attaché behind the Iron Curtain in Warsaw, Poland. In total, Col. Snodgrass was variously an Intelligence Officer or an International Politico-Military Affairs Officer serving duty tours in seven foreign countries, as well as teaching military history and strategy at the Air War College, US Air Force Academy, and USAF Special Operations School during a thirty-year military career. Additionally, he was awarded an Air Force scholarship to get a history master’s degree in revolutionary insurgent warfare at the University of Texas, as well as being granted a year's educational sabbatical to teach and to write about international relations on a graduate school level as an Air Force Research Associate at the Center for Advanced International Studies, University of Miami, Florida. Following the Air Force, Col. Snodgrass was an adjunct professor of military history for ten years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Arizona.