Obama dismissed talk of ‘tyranny’ just days before two textbook examples appear

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Did Obama know they were coming?

By Tom Blumer | Special to Ohio Watchdog

Was President Barack Obama preparing the nation for the recent series of scandals when he spoke May 5 during graduation ceremonies at The Ohio State University?

Included in Obama’s speech was a remark which, in hindsight, seems oddly prescient:

Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems; some of these same voices also doing their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny is always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self-rule is somehow just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

Obama’s admonition to “reject these voices” warning of tyranny directly contradicts a famous statement made by Ronald Reagan several times during his long career as a commentator and politician: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

Many people, perhaps including the president, either forget or haven’t learned that one of the definitions of “tyranny” — in fact, the first one listed atDictionary.com — doesn’t require a pervasively oppressive government as a precondition for its existence. Instead, “tyranny” is defined as “arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority.”

In that sense, it been shown beyond doubt during the past several days that Obama’s own administration has carried out tyrannical activities unprecedented in the 237-year history of the American experiment to which he referred.

The nexus of one of them was just 110 miles down Interstate 71 from where Obama spoke. In CincinnatiInternal Revenue Service employees conducted a concerted campaign to harass and intimidate groups they apparently believed might, referring back to the president’s words at OSU, “gum up the works.”

On Friday, Lois Lerner, director of the IRS’s Exempt Organizations office, speaking at an American Bar Association conference, delivered what was originally thought to be an unprompted apology. She admitted that “our line people in Cincinnati” who processed organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status flagged applications with “names like Tea Party or Patriots” for additional review and scrutiny, a process she called “centralization.”

Lerner further acknowledged that her division had “sent some letters out that were far too broad, asking questions of these organizations that weren’t really necessary for the type of application. In some cases you probably read that they asked for contributor names.”

She concluded by saying that “we at the IRS should apologize … it was not intentional … and I don’t expect that to reoccur.”

It soon became obvious that the director’s limp apology was prompted by an impending report from the Treasury Department’s Inspector General which, based on leaked information reported thus far, shreds her claims that the targeting of specific groups was limited to “line people” and that it was “not intentional.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday that the IG’s probe, when released, would show that the scope of the IRS targeting went far beyond organizations’ names to include “sweeping criteria” such as indications that the groups were “worried about government spending, debt or taxes,” or wished “to make America great again.” Additionally, “a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted.” It has since been reported elsewhere that the IRS also subjected Jewish organizations to overreaching review “to determine whether the organization’s activities contradict the administration’s public policies.”

That overreach was far more extreme than Lerner admitted, and seems to have been designed to tie up as much of applicant organizations’ time and resources as possible to distract them from their core activities. In one instance, according to a top official in Ohio’s tea party movement, the agency, upon learning that one group had a book club, “demanded that they tell them every book their book club read and provide a book report on each book.” The fact that one of the group’s leaders defiantly “sent them the actual books and told them to read them themselves” doesn’t negate the chilling nature of the IRS’s demand. Lawyers representing these groups have said publicly that some of them simply folded rather than wage what promised to be a protracted battle. If the IRS’s goal was to make sure that Obama’s philosophical opponents wouldn’t “gum up the works,” it was at least partially accomplished.

The second example of tyranny involves the media.

The Department of Justice on Friday informed the Associated Press that it had, as described in related AP coverage, “secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors … in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a ‘massive and unprecedented intrusion’ into how news organizations gather the news.”

The Washington Post reported Monday evening that “the scope of the records secretly seized from the AP and its reporters goes beyond the known scale of previous leak probes,” and included “cellular, office and home telephone records of individual reporters and an editor; AP general office numbers in WashingtonNew York and Hartford, Conn.; and the main number for AP reporters covering Congress.”

Obama’s advice to OSU grads to dismiss warnings of tyranny just a few days ahead of the disclosure of two textbook examples of its application is enough to make one wonder if he was trying to conduct a preemptive rhetorical strike ahead of bad news he and his cohorts already saw coming. Given his more recent denials that he knew anything about either situation, one fervently hopes that chastened progressives who were justifiably outraged by Richard Nixon’s far more limited abuse of the IRS during the 1970s, along with journalists who have just seen how their peers’ privacy was violated on a massive scale, will be among those trying to figure that out.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. PETITION URGENTLY REQUESTING THAT CONGRESS LAUNCH AN INDEPENDENT AND COMPREHENSIVE INVESTIGATION INTO UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND IMPEACHABLE OFFENSES ON THE PART OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

    To: All members of the U.S. Congress:

    Whereas, top constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum now agree that Barack Obama has committed certain specific offenses that unquestionably rise to the level of impeachable “high crimes and misdemeanors”;

    Whereas, one of these offenses – that of illegally conducting war against Libya – has been deemed by a bipartisan panel of constitutional experts to be “clearly an impeachable offense” and “gross usurpation of the war power”;

    Whereas, Obama’s policy of targeted assassinations of U.S. citizens without any constitutionally required due process – including the drone assassination of an American-born 16-year-old as he was eating dinner – is unanimously deemed by experts, both liberal and conservative, as “an impeachable offense”;

    Whereas, Obama’s Justice Department has presided over the disastrous “Fast and Furious” operation in which approximately 2,000 firearms were directed from U.S. gun shops across the U.S.-Mexico border and into the hands of members of Mexican drug cartels, resulting in the deaths of as many as 100 people, including U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry – a scandal that constitutional experts agree constitutes, at a minimum, clear grounds for impeaching Attorney General Eric Holder;

    Whereas, Obama has – in clear-cut violation of his oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed” imposed by Article II of the Constitution – refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which was passed into law in 1996 under President Bill Clinton;

    Whereas, Obama usurped the authority of Congress by issuing an executive order in June 2012 declaring that illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. before they turned 16 and who are younger than 30 would not be deported – essentially duplicating the DREAM Act which failed to pass in Congress;

    Whereas, Obama made several recess appointments in January 2012 while the Senate was still officially in session, actions the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently ruled violated the Constitution because they weren’t made when the Senate was in recess;

    Whereas, the Obama administration’s multi-faceted scandal in Benghazi, Libya, which resulted in the murder of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans, is not only proof of what legal experts call tremendous “deceit” on the part of Obama and his top team, but a serious constitutional violation as well;

    Whereas, numerous other constitutional outrages characterize Obama's presidency – from his administration’s abuses of citizens’ civil rights under cover of the PATRIOT Act; to the Obama Justice Department’s refusal to prosecute the worst case of voter intimidation in modern times, perpetrated by club-wielding New Black Panthers; to Obama’s appointment of more than 30 unelected “czars” to positions in federal agencies when the Constitution requires such appointments be vetted by Congress; and other instances of clear contempt for Congress, the Constitution and the American people:

    SIGN THE PETITION

    Therefore, we the undersigned urge Congress to immediately undertake a full and impartial investigation into the many blatantly unconstitutional actions of Barack Obama, with particular focus on the illegal war against Libya and the illegal “kill list” of U.S. citizens – offenses universally condemned by top constitutional experts as both unprecedented and unquestionably impeachable. For members of Congress, who have also sworn solemn oaths to uphold the Constitution, to allow a president to routinely flout the Supreme Law of the Land without being held accountable is equally repugnant to a free country and a free people.

    SIGN THE PETITION URGING CONGRESS TO IMPEACH PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA
    http://www.wnd.com/wnd_petition/petition-urging-c

  2. Also add B.O. ignoring the Chinese spying here too. Remember tjos report?
    "defense contractor with top-secret clearance has been charged with espionage in connection with a mistress from China. He was arrested at U.S. Pacific Command headquarters on Oahu…..

  3. Obama expects everyone to be as stupid and gullible as he would like to believe, however, he has a definite pattern of actions that we recognize as being TYRANNICAL. He is evil, narcissistic (Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and a continual LIAR. He deserves to find out how the government really works when it is working properly and that is when he is in federal prison. Called JUSTICE!

    • that's really well put. I don;t think anybody expected this kind of behaviour from him during his campaign (well of course we didnt – he wouldnt have been elected otherwise). The main issue now is how to find somebody who's better, or not as worse as he is.

    • This has to be the most spot-on comment I've read about Obama. Honestly, I think we're all surprised of how everything turned out, but this doesn't mean we should just stand there in awe and do nothing

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