Category Archives: Syria

Freedom’s Last Stand…by AFVet

10177299_647274155366687_5824664780780572287_n~ Commentary by AFVet from the Samiam60 Report ~

So now the Patriots and the men and women that have served this Country and currently may have their children serving in the Armed Forces are probably worried about their future.

We are manning the gates and the watchtowers.

The enemy within is obvious to US.

It appears that it resides in the White House.

What a shame!

The commander in chief is supposed to be the one that eliminates the threats to our Country, not the one who exacerbates the chaos that is being forced upon US.

The congress is supposed to restrict the president from becoming a dictator.

Has the congress failed in their duty to the American People ?

Has the president failed in his duty to the American People ?

Has the Supreme Court failed in interpreting the Constitution of the United States ?

Barack Obama is a dictator, prove me wrong, I am open for discussion on that subject.

How did we get here ?

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What happened to the

American Spirit ?

Is the ignorance that exists in this Country as far as government control a reflection of where we are or where we are going ?

The elegance of the American Spirit is still intact, and it will always be what we will depend on to restore our Country back from the devious entities that are determined to take Her down.

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Men and Women are on the Watchtowers.

They are informed as to what is happening.

They see the destruction of this Country unfolding before their eyes.

Courage in the face of evil is what we are all about.

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God Bless America

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AFVet is an Air Force Vietnam Veteran

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The American Spring is here and November is coming

1932395_687410601314428_638716584_nIn a few days America will celebrate the long awaited Spring after a most brutal Winter has left us all but exhausted. 

There is another American Spring coming and Patriots across this country are gathering to once and for all put an end to the Brutal Oppression of the Obama Winter we have had to endure these past five years.

1452532_665797856797598_1767920483_nThe American people have had enough and the poll numbers are the proof in the pudding. 

Obama and his cohorts are back peddling on Obamacare and running scared as the November Elections loom on the horizon.

1925329_664035887007384_3335739_nMr. President, the American people are Fed-Up and even those moderates you count on are starting to lean Right!

Make no mistake about it Mr. President, your Lame Duck Days will begin with the November Mid-Term Elections and We the People will finally begin to take back Our Country.

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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Mr. President, its…

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Have the lies caught up with Obama?

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Yep, Obama said that…
It appears so as the media finally begins to take him to task on the many issues he has lied about.  Could this be the beginning of the end for the Obama Administration and the Democrats come the Mid Term Elections next November?  One can only hope as more and more Americans begin to see the deceitfulness of the President.

Samiam60

4bc29294fc7acb1fffe4fdc06ed1a5e5AFVet offers up this excellent commentary

Promises are only as good as the people that make them.
The integrity of the individual making the promise is essential as to whether they are trustworthy or not.
This president has proven that he is not.
He is a liar, a fraud, a charlatan.
The American People have erred in allowing this administration to continue in the destruction of this Country and it will continue until enough Americans realize that we have made a mistake.
The admission of a mistake made may be hard for some people to admit.
Too bad,…time to suck it up and fix the problem before it gets out of control.
This president has to survive for another 3 years.
That’s an eternity considering the power of the internet.
There will be a full court press prior to the 2014 elections orchestrated by the administration in order to divert attention away from the egregious offenses that are occurring on a day to day basis against the dictates of the Constitution of the United States of America.

2014 is a critical year for our Nation.
It will be a sad day when this Nation does not stand up against the ensuing tyranny on the horizon and speak as one saying,… we have had enough.
This is not what we are.
We are above a tin pot tyrant.
We have proved it before, and we will prove it again.

AFVet

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White House Vowing to Make Good on Transparency Pledge, Critics Aren’t Buying It

In the middle of showdowns with the press and open government groups, the White House on Friday issued a report praising the administration’s efforts to promote more transparency.

White House Vowing to Make Good on Transparency Pledge, Critics Arent Buying It

President Barack Obama is introduced by senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, right, as he arrives to speak about the new health care law during a White House Youth Summit, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

The White House released its second U.S. Open Government National Action Plan, a 14-page report with 23 new and expanded open government proposals, inclduing changes to the White House online petition, modernizing compliance to the Freedom of Information Act and pushing an international agreement to promote transparency abroad.

However critics, such as Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, have cited that the administration has been resistant to producing information to the public.

“This administration has been less transparent than the Bush administration and they are getting more secretive as time goes on,” Fitton, the chief of the conservative government watchdog group, told TheBlaze. “There are entire categories of information walled off from the public that George W. Bush would never dream of blocking because he would have never gotten away with it.”

A report completed by former Washington Post editor Leonard Downie for the non-partisan Committee to Protect Journalists in October said the Obama administration is the most secretive since the Nixon administration, and has chilled journalists coverage by retaliation against government leakers.

Still the White House is “setting a series of ambitious goals to create a more open government. The United States has continued to implement and improve upon the open-government commitments set forth in the first plan, along with many more efforts underway across government, including implementing individual Federal agency Open Government Plans,” said a White House blog post by Nick Sinai, the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer, and Gayle Smith, White House senior director for development and democracy.

The report said the “We the People” petition website will be improved to make it easier to collect and submit signatures, the White House report states.

The U.S. is also a part of the Global Initiatives on Fiscal Transparency (GIFT), which is an international network of governments and non-government organizations that aims at increasing financial transparency for taxpayers and shareholders. The administration also plans to improve the Data.gov website to make government documents more available to the public.

The report calls for “modernization” of FOIA by “launching a consolidated online FOIA service to improve customers’ experience, creating and making training resources available to FOIA professionals and other federal employees, and developing common FOIA standards for agencies across government.”

But the administration has not complied to FOIA requests from Judicial Watch, pushing the organization to sue the government more than 120 times during the Obama administration, more than twice as many lawsuits as it filed during the Bush and Clinton years, Fitton told TheBlaze. The shielded information has included things such as information on the Benghazi terrorist attack, and the government assistance to mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“They have politicized FOIA as they have everything else,” Fitton said.

Fitton compared this to Obama’s promises on policy.

“The idea that transparency would be the cornerstone of his presidency is the same as saying if you like your health insurance you can keep it,” Fitton said. “A lying president necessarily isn’t a transparent president.”

The Obama Justice Department has been criticized since May for labeling Fox News reporter James Rosen a “co-conspirator” in a leak investigation and for obtaining phone records from Associated Press journalists.

More recently, the White House Correspondents Association protested the White House blocking news photographers from the type of events that previous administrations have allowed the photojournalists to cover.

The White House has also been criticized for scheduling meetings with lobbyists off White House grounds to avoid having the lobbyists’ names on the visitor logs.

Additionally, former Environmental Protection Agency Lisa Jackson used an e-mail under a different name, for what some have said charged was to avoid releasing communications through FOIA.

Nevertheless, the White House asserts that the public’s right to know what there government is doing is a priority.

“Since his first full day in office, President Obama has prioritized making government more open and accountable and has taken substantial steps to increase citizen participation, collaboration, and transparency in government,” said Sinai and Smith on the White House blog.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/12/06/white-house-vowing-to-make-good-on-transparency-pledge-critics-arent-buying-it/

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The Sorry President

1463607_10151866054252740_1375418339_nHat tip to Fox News for this poll

President Obama says he was unaware U.S. intelligence agencies were listening to the cell phone calls of world leaders, including allies such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He also said he found out the same time as the rest of us about the IRS targeting of conservative groups. Same thing on the health care exchange website failing — the president insisted he was unaware the site for his signature legislative achievement wouldn’t work. 

Many voters don’t believe President Obama is really that far out of the loop. 

The latest Fox News poll finds that while 45 percent believe the president when he pleads ignorance in these controversies, 47 percent think he did in fact know and he’s ducking responsibility by denying it.

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One has to wonder how any rational thinking American can believe anything this President tells us?

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The 45 percent who believe Obama was unaware breakdown further: 27 percent think he still “should have known” about these things, while 18 percent say it’s “understandable” that he didn’t know.

A majority of Republicans (71 percent), nearly half of independents (46 percent) and almost a quarter of Democrats (22 percent) think, contrary to his statements, the president knew about these situations ahead of time. 

Groups most likely to disbelieve Obama’s denials include those who are part of the tea party movement (80 percent), men (55 percent), those under age 30 (55 percent) and whites (53 percent).

The poll also finds 45 percent feel Obama is “good at taking personal responsibility for his statements and actions,” while just over half — 51 percent — believe he “spends too much time blaming others.”

By a 64 percentage-point margin Republicans are more likely to say Obama blames others, as do independents by 14 points. 

Democrats are more likely to believe Obama takes responsibility by a 55-point spread. 

Men think Obama blames others (58 percent), while women say he takes responsibility (51 percent).

Poll Pourri

As reported Wednesday, by a 50-40 percent margin voters think Obama “knowingly lied” when he assured Americans they could keep their plans under Obamacare. And a 59-percent majority believes the White House knew beforehand that people would be kicked off their insurance because of the law. 

Meanwhile, a majority views Obama’s apology to those losing their insurance as “political” (58 percent) rather than “sincere” (38 percent).

The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,006 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from November 10-12, 2013. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/14/fox-news-poll-is-president-obama-that-far-out-loop/?intcmp=latestnews

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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By the way, has anyone seen

Joe Biden lately?

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An American Disgrace and Embarrassment: Barack Obama

If George W. Bush had doubled the national debt, which had taken more than two centuries to accumulate, in one year, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had then proposed to double the debt again within 10 years, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had criticized a state law that he admitted he never even read would you think that he is just an ignorant hot head?

If George W. Bush joined the country of Mexico and sued a state in the United States to force that state to continue to allow illegal immigration, would you question his patriotism and wonder whose side he was on?

If George W. Bush had put 87000 workers out of work by arbitrarily placing a moratorium on offshore oil drilling on companies that have one of the best safety records of any industry because one company had an accident would you have agreed?

If George W. Bush had used a forged document as the basis of the moratorium that would render 87000 American workers unemployed would you support him?

If George W. Bush had been the first President to need a TelePrompter installed to be able to get through a press conference, would you have laughed and said this is more proof of how inept he is on his own and is really controlled by smarter men behind the scenes?

If George W. Bush had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to take Laura Bush to a play in NYC, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had reduced your retirement plan’s holdings of GM stock by 90% and given the unions a majority stake in GM, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had made a joke at the expense of the Special Olympics, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given Gordon Brown a set of inexpensive and incorrectly formatted DVDs, when Gordon Brown had given him a thoughtful and historically significant gift, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had given the Queen of England an iPod containing videos of his speeches, would you have thought this embarrassingly narcissistic and tacky?

If George W. Bush had bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia , would you have approved?


If George W. Bush had visited Austria and made reference to the nonexistent “Austrian language,” would you have brushed it off as a minor slip?

If George W. Bush had filled his cabinet and circle of advisers with people who cannot seem to keep current in their income taxes, would you have approved?

If George W. Bush had stated that there were 57 states in the United States , would you have said that he is clueless.

If George W. Bush would have flown all the way to Denmark to make a five minute speech about how the Olympics would benefit him walking out his front door in Texas , would you have thought he was a self important, conceited, egotistical jerk?

If George W. Bush had been so Spanish illiterate as to refer to “Cinco de Cuatro” in front of the Mexican ambassador when it was the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo), and continued to flub it when he tried again, would you have winced in embarrassment?

If George W. Bush had misspelled the word “advice” would you have hammered him for it for years like Dan Quayle and potatoes as proof of what a dunce he is?

If George W. Bush had burned 9,000 gallons of jet fuel to go plant a single tree on Earth Day, would you have concluded he’s a hypocrite?

If George W. Bush’s administration had OK’d Air Force One flying low over millions of people followed by a jet fighter in downtown Manhattan causing widespread panic, would you have wondered whether they actually get what happened on 9-11?

If George W. Bush had failed to send relief aid to flood victims throughout the Midwest with more people killed or made homeless than in New Orleans, would you want it made into a major ongoing political issue with claims of racism and incompetence?

If George W. Bush had created the position of 32 Czars who report directly to him, bypassing the House and Senate on much of what is happening in America, would you have approved.

If George W. Bush had ordered the firing of the CEO of a major corporation, even though he had no constitutional authority to do so, would you have approved?

So, tell me again, what is it about Obama that makes him so brilliant and impressive? Can’t think of anything? Don’t worry. He’s done all this in three years so you’ll have another year to come up with an answer.

Why Don’t You Just Resign Barry?

 

Glenn Beck got it right and Barack Obama got it wrong !

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Well Mr. President, a fine mess you’ve gotten us in to this time.  Will you ever learn or is that beyond the ability of a community organizer?

America has gone from bad to worse under your feeble socialistic agenda and now the world has become a cup of trembling because of your narrow view of what is happening in the Middle East.

You seem to think the world is wrong and you are right in spite of the glaring facts in front of you.

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Perhaps you would have been better off had you listened to Glenn Beck’s warnings on the Middle East instead of trying to make him out to be a right wing loon. 

He has been proven so very right and you have proven yourself to be so very wrong time and again.

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In 2008, Joe Biden said it best in the debates when he said: 

Barack Obama is not qualified to be president.

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It appears you have proven Joe Biden to be correct as America slides deeper into decline under your leadership.

You Mr. President have been proven wrong about Egypt, Libya, Iran, Syria  and the Muslim Brotherhood whom you seem to support. 

You are also wrong about the direction of this Country and the Spirit of the American People.

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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Obama’s Elusive Red Line

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Barack Obama’s elusive Red Line in the sand is just that, elusive.  Yeah, he said it but then he didn’t.  You see the U.N. and 98% of the worlds countries said it according to Barack.  So once again we see this weak feeble president passing the buck to cover his own butt instead of manning up to his own ultimatum.

Mr. President, do you remember saying this?:

A red line for us is  we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being  utilized.

That would change my calculus. That would change my  equation.

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Well, Mr. President, at least now we know where Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction ended up.

Perhaps that is what you are really trying to Cover Up?

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ANY QUESTIONS?

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Glenn Beck Predicted Obama’s Foreign Policy Disaster

6077_427670680602317_612790271_n2Hat tip to CNN for this Opinion page

Obama’s foreign policy in a tailspin

By Frida Ghitis, Special to CNN

(CNN) — America’s foreign policy has gone into a tailspin. Almost every major initiative from the Obama administration has run into sharp, sometimes embarrassing, reverses. The U.S. looks weak and confused on the global stage.

This might come as happy news to some opponents of the administration who enjoy seeing Barack Obama fail, but it shouldn’t.

America’s failure in international strategy is a disaster-in-the-making for its allies and for the people who see the U.S. model of liberal democracy as one worth emulating in their own nations.
Frida Ghitis

There is no question that Obama was dealt a difficult hand.

He came to office after America’s international standing was battered by the unpopular Iraq war launched by George W. Bush. Since then, countless events outside of Washington’s control have presented the White House with options ranging in many cases from bad to worse, and problems that had no good solution.

Still, trying to count the ways in which foreign policy has gone badly for Obama makes for a stunningly long list.

Relations with Russia have fallen off a cliff, making the theatrical “reset” of 2009 look, frankly, cringe-worthy. No, it’s not all Obama’s fault. Putin has sought to belittle the U.S. and humiliate Obama personally, a man he reportedly despises, as part of his campaign to build up his authoritarian rule at home. Obama just canceled a summit meeting after Putin — incredibly, posing as the great defender of freedom — granted asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden despite the very public pleas from Washington, which only made the U.S. look more powerless.

You might confuse the times with the old Cold War days, but back then the U.S. looked mighty — one of two awe-inspiring superpowers. The U.S. doesn’t exactly inspire awe anymore.

Obama dramatically warned Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, as he slaughtered his people by the thousands, that if he used chemical or biological weapons, he would cross a “red line.” The line was crossed and not much happened. Syria is crumbling, self-destructing in a civil war that I, for one, believe could have turned out quite differently if Washington had offered material and diplomatic support for moderates in the opposition. Fears that the opposition would be dominated by extremists became a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Schumer: Putin doesn’t deserve respect
Struggling to survive in Syria

Syria’s war has sucked in Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah militia, taking Lebanon to the edge of disaster and making Iran a major player in a war for the survival of the anti-American Shiite axis — Iran-Syria-Hezbollah — while the U.S., to all appearances, stands helplessly on the sidelines.

But it is Egypt where America’s foreign policy fiasco is most visible.

It was in Cairo in 2009, where the newly elected Obama, still reflecting the glow of sky-high expectations, launched his campaign to repair relations with the so-called “Muslim World.”

His landmark “New Beginning” speech in Egypt was cited by the committee that awarded Obama the Nobel Peace prize.

Nobody knew what would happen in Cairo’s Tahrir Square a few years later. But today, the same people who yearned for democracy despise Washington. When Egyptians elected a Muslim Brotherhood president, Washington tried to act respectfully, but it showed a degree of deference to the Muslim Brotherhood that ignored the ways in which the group violated not only Egyptians’ but America’s own standards of decency and rule of law.

As tensions in Egypt grow between Islamists on one side and the military and anti-Islamists on the other, there is one sentiment shared by all: Both sides feel betrayed by Washington.

Egypt’s most powerful man, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, said, “You [the U.S.] left the Egyptians; you turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that.”

The awkward dance around whether to call Egypt’s overthrow of President Mohamed Morsy a coup made Washington look dishonest and incompetent, especially when Secretary of State John Kerry accidentally went off script during an interview in Pakistan, saying the military was “restoring democracy.”

Just as the Arab uprisings were unfolding, the U.S. announced a major new policy, the “pivot” to Asia, with new attention to China’s rising power. But the pivot proved premature. The Middle East demanded American attention with increasing urgency.

Then there’s al Qaeda, all but given up for dead, now apparently resurrected. More than a dozen U.S. embassies stand shuttered across the Middle East and Africa, the world’s last remaining superpower symbolically cowering behind locked gates.

The scare came from what could be counted as a victory for U.S. intelligence, reportedly the result of communications surveillance. And yet, one wonders whether telling the world that the U.S. successfully listened in on al Qaeda’s leaders isn’t an absurd mistake. But Washington is on the defensive, trying to explain to the world that the surveillance is still necessary.

Everyone, it seems, is angry at the U.S. after Snowden’s revelations of NSA spying. Even Germany, one of America’s closest friends, cannot hide its irritation. Bolivia is furious after the presidential plane was forced to land on suspicions that Snowden was aboard.

America’s diplomatic disaster is the result of ham-handed efforts to please all sides, compounded by a failure to explain America’s position in a coherent way. In fact, there is no driving idea behind the country’s foreign policy. What does America stand for in the world today, can anyone answer that question?

The problem, ironically, is tailor-made for none other than President Obama. Although there is no denying that he bears the brunt of the responsibility for the problem, he is someone who has shown a talent for distilling overarching ideas from competing narratives.

It is time for a real reset, for a pivot.

It is time for Obama to spend some time thinking about what America stands for, what its goals are and then explain it in a clear and credible way. Even if we disagree with his conclusions, at least there will be a North Star guiding his policies.

Obama’s supporters and his critics should hope he can pull America forward.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/09/opinion/ghitis-obama-mideast/index.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fcnn_topstories+%28RSS%3A+Top+Stories%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

obama holder hillary in charge of everything and yet responsible for nothing

America in Retreat

FLAG-IN-DISTRESS

Obama puts America in Dire Distress

President Obama’s Forward 2012 Campaign has led this Country back to the days of a pre World War 2  economy and Depression.

His Middle East Policies have led us into a retreat world wide unlike anything we have ever seen before.  One has to wonder if the stage is being set for World War 3.

-From Fox News we get this report-

State Department urges American citizens to leave Yemen amid terror threat

The State Department on Tuesday ordered all non-essential personnel to leave the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and urged all American citizens currently in that country to depart following the threat by Al Qaeda that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

The department said in a travel warning that it had ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Yemen “due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks” and said U.S. citizens in Yemen should leave immediately because of an “extremely high” security threat level.

“As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation,” the travel warning said. The U.S. Embassy is located in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/08/06/state-department-urges-american-citizens-to-leave-yemen-urges-non-essential/#ixzz2bBUVlCYY

Look around you my friends.

Is this the America you remember?

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Mr. President, these Colors don’t Run

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Those Phony Scandals and Obama’s Diversion Tactics

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HEADLINES

Obama: Washington Distracted by Phony Scandals

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Obama tries to refocus message on economy amid summer setbacks

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Time to change the subject?

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Don’t be Deceived America

Here are the Real Issues we face today

Secret courts. Secret emails. Phone surveillance. Drones. The list of cloak-and-dagger tactics employed by the Obama administration — and those that preceded it — keeps growing, as NSA leaker Ed Snowden feeds classified materials to the media and other reports show the extent of the U.S. government’s more opaque dealings.

The latest was a report by The Associated Press that said the administration had military files about the Navy SEAL raid on Usama bin Laden’s hideout transferred to the CIA, where they would be harder to uncover by the press and public.

If this were any other administration, perhaps the fallout would be minimal. But President Obama ran on a message of open government. When he was sworn into office in 2009, he declared his presidency would be “the most open and transparent in history.”

Now in his second term, those claims have been challenged by a host of revelations — from controversies over secret mails to the steady drip of information about NSA surveillance. FoxNews.com takes a look at six controversies that have clouded the transparency message.

  • 1Secret Emails

    AP

    Arizona Sen. John McCain is still trying to get answers out of the Obama administration on why several of the president’s political appointees were caught using supposedly secret government email accounts to conduct official business.

    “Four years ago you pledged to usher in a new era of government transparency,” McCain wrote in a June 17 letter to Obama. “Since then, however, your administration has habitually circumvented congressional oversight.”

    McCain’s letter follows an investigation by The Associated Press that showed several of Obama’s high-level political appointees have been using private emails to do business.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, are just two of the federal officials who maintained private email accounts.

    When asked about the account, Sebelius denied it was “secret.”

    “There’s a public email and a private email,” she said, adding that anyone could formally request to have access to the information.

    Sebelius said she needed a second account to deal with the influx of messages which sometimes reached 28,000. Administration officials defended the use of secondary accounts and said they are needed to keep their primary inboxes from overflowing. But others remain concerned that top-level government officials could hide sensitive information in the accounts that might go unchecked in FOIA requests.

  • 2Surveillance Nation

    AP

    When former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden told The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers that the NSA could use its online data-mining system to monitor people without a warrant, several lawmakers spoke out on the practice that to many crossed a privacy line.

    President Obama went on PBS and said he encouraged public debate on the balance between privacy and national security but critics say his words, and his administration’s actions just don’t jibe.

    During a rare appearance on Capitol Hill in June, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander said the two programs disclosed by Snowden — one that gathers U.S. phone records and another designed to track Internet servers – were crucial in the fight against terrorism.

    Alexander, also head of U.S. Cyber Command, said the government’s sweeping surveillance programs have helped thwart dozens of terrorist plots, including one on New York City’s subway system. Alexander’s testimony marked the first time an NSA official answered to Congress following the news that the agency was collecting phone records and Internet content.

  • 3Fuzzy on FOIA?

    AP

    It hasn’t been so sunny in the Obama White House for journalists and members of the public looking for information. Cause of Action – a conservative group that rates the transparency of government – gave the administration a C- for failing to provide requests for documents made under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The group found that nearly three quarters of government agencies were unable to respond to their request for information within a 30-day window which is required by law.

    A report released earlier this year by The Associated Press found the Obama administration frequently cited national security and internal deliberations as reasons why they could not comply with FOIA requests. The administration fully rejected more than one-third of requests, a slight increase over 2011, including cases when it couldn’t find records, a person refused to pay for copies or the request was determined to be improper.

  • 4What Happened at IRS?

    AP

    It’s been a rough few months for the Internal Revenue Service. In May, Americans were rocked by revelations that the tax collecting agency had unfairly targeted conservative groups for extra scrutiny when they applied for tax-exempt status.

    Both parties and President Obama strongly condemned the tax agency’s actions, which led to the ousting of acting IRS Director Steven Miller. When asked if he supported the appointment of a special prosecutor, though, Obama said he thought working with Congress to investigate the case would be sufficient. That didn’t sit well with some lawmakers.

    “The unifying themes of this town are an arrogance and view of the machinery of government to be a tool of partisanship,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said. Republicans, who have held a series of hearings, remain concerned that the full story behind the scandal has not yet been told.

    A top official implicated, Lois Lerner, recently refused to testify by citing her Fifth Amendment rights, though lawmakers are trying to compel her to return.

    In July, acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel told workers the agency would be canceling employee bonuses for managers and is working to cancel bonuses for union workers too.

  • 5Fast and Furious

    AP

    Republicans, despite extracting reams of documents and hours of testimony out of the Obama administration on the matter, are still fighting for more details about the Operation Fast and Furious debacle.

    The gunwalking program was the largest in U.S. history and was run out of an Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in Arizona. The plan was to sell guns to buyers and trace them in the black market as they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, with the expectation they would lead federal officials to drug cartel leaders. The plan failed, and congressional inquiries followed.

    As part of the fallout, Attorney General Eric Holder became the first Obama administration official to be held in contempt by the House for failing to cooperate with an official inquiry and hand over documents related to the 2009 plan. Republicans continue to fight in court for those documents — which Obama locked down by claiming executive privilege.

    When pressed by lawmakers for information on the program, Holder advised the president that releasing documents related to Fast and Furious “would raise substantial separation of powers concerns” and potentially create an imbalance in the relationship” between Congress and the White House.

    In July, Justice Department records linked two more deaths, including the fatal shooting of a police chief in Mexico, to the operation. According to Mexican officials, 210 people have either been killed or wounded as a result of Fast and Furious.

  • 6ObamaCare: Behind Closed Doors?

    AP

    When President Obama was on the campaign trail, he talked a good game about making the government more transparent. Specifically, he said he’d open up negotiations on what would come to be known as the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as ObamaCare, to the public. He was quoted in the press several times saying negotiations would be open to C-SPAN cameras.

    “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table,” he said during a 2008 campaign event. “We’ll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies – they’ll get a seat at the table, they just won’t be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is we’ll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN.”

    That did not happen.

    More questions were being raised this week about the law, after the administration announced ahead of the July 4th holiday that it was delaying a key insurance mandate in the law. Lawmakers want to know what led to that decision, and what the fiscal consequences will be.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/13/obama-administration-transparency/

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