Overview of Major Scandals During the Obama Presidency
Using the word “scandal” usually means you will be dismissed as a partisan who is baselessly attacking a political opponent you disagree with. We have waited well over four years before dropping the “s” word here and even waited for evidence to pour in. Enough evidence, in fact, that even the reluctant-to-criticize-Obama media has to do some serious questioning.
Each of these scandals are wrapped in a cloak of mistruths, denials, and distortions. None of the people in charge ever know anything, it seems. Or, predictably, it is somehow Bush’s fault. (Note: This is a brief overview of the current Obama administration scandals. New information is breaking regularly on all of these events and it will probably be years before the full truth is known.)
Fast and Furious Gunwalking Program
The first major scandal to break during the Obama administration was Operation Fast and Furious, an ATF operation that placed thousands of high-powered guns into the hands of Mexican cartels. The concept of the program was controversial enough: the government allowed gun dealers to sell weapons to Mexican gun traffickers and had no mechanism for either tracking the guns or arresting the criminals. The Obama administration originally tried to blame the program as a continuation of Bush policies, but under President Bush the gun dealer and Mexican government were involved and the straw purchasers and end-buyers were usually arrested. Under Obama’s DOJ, the guns simply were allowed to cross into Mexico with no ability to trace them. Under scrutiny, the DOJ would initially claim that the guns were not able to be legally apprehended, even though they were during the Bush administration’s previous operations. The Obama DOJ would later backtrack and say they could have apprehended the guns lawfully after all, but did not do so.
The program came to light when the guns purchased during operation fast and Furious started popping up at crime scenes, most notably one involving the murder of US Border Patrol agent Brian Terry. Later, whistleblowers within the ATF would start to come forward with information regarding the operation. The US Inspector General released a report showing that the DOJ had discussed and then leaked information to smear one of the whistle-blowers. Attorney General Eric Holder would later be held in contempt of congress for refusing to release documents regarding the operation, and intentionally refusing to answer questions, despite claims that there was nothing to hide and that the program had been shut down.
IRS Targeting of Conservative Groups
It’s not great news when you release info and start with a lie. Knowing that an Inspector General report was soon about to hit detailing widespread abuse of power by the IRS to target conservatives, the IRS staged a question at an event to downplay the soon-to-be scandal. The IRS initially claimed that the actions were done by rogue staffers at a singular office. That quickly was discovered as a lie as the program was national and there were directives from Washington specifically aimed at targeting conservative and tea party groups.
The targeting of over 500 tea party and conservative groups started in 2010 and continued through at least the 2012 election. And although conservatives had been hammering the issue for years, it didn’t hit the mainstream media until the IG report. That’s when everything hit the fan. The who knew what is changing rapidly. The questions of why nobody attempted to stop it – while obvious – remain unanswered. The questions of whether the targeting was political are hysterically laughed off by IRS officials, who find “no evidence” that the delays and denials were politically motivated. The IRS could give no answer as to how coincidental it must be that no liberal groups were harassed during this time. A time that they were quickly able to operate during a presidential election while their conservative counterparts were dealing with months-long loopholes created by the IRS. Here, both the action and the cover-up are scandals.
Much of they “why” regarding the official administration Benghazi story has still yet to be solved. But the lies built on more lies (and then more lies) of who did what, knew what, changed what continues to grow. The basic lack of truthfulness continues to haunt the Obama administration’s credibility. ( Read the full report on Benghazi)
DOJ Secretly Investigates and Tracks Reporters
At first it was discovered that the Department of Justice had wiretapped, read the emails of, and tracked a handful of AP reporters and staffers. Days later, we learned that Fox News was also being tracked in a separate case, leaving the press nationwide to wonder how widespread this operation was. Here, the question remains why. The administration has maintained that they were attempting to find leaks damaging to national security, but the supposed reasons for the subpoenas don’t quite add up to the level of scrutiny handed down. Is the administration looking to silence critics in ways they have whistleblowers in the Benghazi, IRS, and Fast and Furious scandals? This was one scandal the media – who is now facing intimidation – finally relates to. As of May 2013, the details are quickly emerging.