EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 19, 2013

Column: Obama out to pass the blame once again


That shouldn’t change the reality that the president and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton are responsible for the lies blaming a crude, anti-Muslim video for a planned attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stephens.

It doesn’t change the reality that targeting for harassment by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative political groups happened on Obama’s watch – very conveniently during his run for a second term.

Politico reports that among the demands of the IRS to tea party groups were to see donor rolls, printouts of Facebook posts, the names of books people were reading, copies of the groups’ Web pages, blog posts and social media postings – all of which came with “stern warnings about ‘penalties of perjury’ …”

Nothing like tying the hands of groups that might be working for the president’s opponent.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney called the IRS’s behavior “inappropriate,” but as Washington Post columnist George Will noted, “using the salad fork for the entree is inappropriate. Using the IRS for political purposes is a criminal offense.”

And then there is the secret snooping by the Justice Department through two months of telephone records of more than 20 numbers (personal and business) belonging to reporters and editors for the Associated Press, to try to find the source of a leak that produced a story a year ago on the CIA stopping a terrorist plot to plant a bomb on an airplane. The president and his Attorney General, Eric Holder, own that one too.

Obama’s response, in addition to the Sgt. Shultz act, is a combination of sarcasm and pep rally.

On the Benghazi spin, he calls it an old story, puts the blame for massaging the talking points beyond credibility on the “intelligence community,” and contends, “There is no there there.” Sounds a bit like, “It depends on what the meaning of ‘is’ is,” from Slick Willie.

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