One way in which mankind deals with its fears is to create rituals, even holidays, to keep them controlled. So, on Halloween, we dress as ghosts to face our fear of death, monsters to face our fear of bad people; we carve scary jack-o’-lanterns to keep evil from our door.
I needed an Obama costume to face my fear of Big Government: lying politicians, bureaucrat-run health care, cover-up commissions, enabling Big Media, power-hungry political machines, domestic spying, and trillions in debt passed on to my grandchildren.
Here’s some of the news of the week leading into Halloween.
First we learn, as we prepare to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, that some of the longstanding conspiracy theories might have validity. A forthcoming book, “A Cruel and Shocking Act: the Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination” by New York Times reporter Philip Shenon, is “an account of my discovery of how much of the truth about the Kennedy assassination has still not been told, and how much of the evidence about the president’s murder was covered up or destroyed -- shredded, incinerated, or erased -- before it could reach the commission. Senior officials at both the CIA and the FBI hid information from the panel, apparently in hopes of concealing just how much they had known about Lee Harvey Oswald and the threat that he posed.”
Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward was on CBS “Face the Nation” last weekend talking about both the National Security Agency spying and the disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act. He said that a “secret government” has led to many of the concerns now making headlines.
“We have an incredibly powerful government that gets on automatic pilot,” he said. Referring back to the Watergate cover-up that he had exposed, and before that to the Kennedy assassination, Woodward identified the theme: “the power of this secret world -- CIA, FBI… the assassination plots against Castro… this information really didn’t get to the Warren Commission.”
He noted the NSA wiretapping is “much more extensive than people expected ... connect this with the drone strikes ... our government conducting regular assassinations by air ... you run into the rats nest of concealment and lies time and time again.”
On Sunday evening, “60 Minutes” finally caught up with the Benghazi story: “The events of that night have been overshadowed by misinformation, confusion and intense partisanship.”
An investigative report by Lara Logan confirmed that the Obama administration had been warned, months in advance, about inadequate security at the U.S. facility in Benghazi, and that it knew the story about a YouTube video was untrue.
Breitbart.com reminds us that this “was a reversal for CBS News, which played a key role in the Benghazi cover-up in 2012.
“A year ago, CBS News released a previously unaired clip of an interview for 60 Minutes with President Barack Obama on Sept. 12, the day after the Benghazi attack, in which the president suggests clearly that the attack on the U.S. consulate was premeditated. The interview contradicted Obama’s subsequent claims that the attack had been a response to an anti-Islam YouTube video, repeated to the public for several days.
“CBS News had withheld that portion of the Sept. 12 interview until Oct. 19, choosing instead to release a portion in which Obama criticized rival Mitt Romney’s condemnation of the administration’s response to events -- a repeated theme as the media helped Obama deflect responsibility.”
Obama deflecting responsibility, the Obama administration lying: another ongoing theme. The next major network to wake up was NBC News, reporting on Monday that “millions of Americans are getting or are about to get cancellation letters for their health insurance under Obamacare, say experts, and the Obama administration has known that for at least three years ... One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock’.
“Buried in Obamacare regulations from July 2010 is an estimate that because of normal turnover in the individual insurance market, ‘40 to 67 percent’ of customers will not be able to keep their policy.
“Yet President Obama, who had promised in 2009, ‘if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan,’ was still saying in 2012, ‘If [you] already have health insurance, you will keep your health insurance.’”
Of course he was. And why not? Enough scary low-information voters were going to believe anything Obama told them -- as the media which was supposed to inform them ignored or participated in cover-ups.
Perhaps this week’s news is a sign that the Fourth Estate is finally going to do its job. But don’t blow out the jack-o’-lantern yet. The Daily Caller reports that the home of former Washington Times reporter Audrey Hudson was raided in August by armed agents of the U.S. Coast Guard, Maryland State Police, and Department of Homeland Security, ostensibly looking for unregistered guns. One of the agents asked if she was the same person who had written a series of stories critical of the federal air marshal program in the mid-2000s. Without a warrant for her files, they took documents that related to the air marshal stories, apparently fishing for her sources.
Be afraid, Americans, be very afraid.
Barbara Anderson is president of Citizens for Limited Taxation and a regular contributor to the opinion pages.