HIDDEN FROM VIEW
The Obama Administration may be the most secretive, least transparent in modern time. Its public promises to the contrary have fallen flat and appear Orwellian. The recent revelation by the IRS that it somehow lost a huge quantity of Lois Lerner emails with the White House, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Federal Election Commission, and Democratic members of Congress pre-dating 2011 fails to pass the smell test because it comes from an Administration with a long history of withholding documents, making false statements, and obfuscating in response to investigations of every one of the half dozen prominent Administration scandals.
On June 13, the IRS informed Congress that it could not find emails from Lois Lerner, the former Director of the IRS Tax Exempt Organizations Division, that pre-date 2011 because Lerner’s computer allegedly crashed in the summer of that year. In particular, Lerner’s emails to key Administration officials and from them have vanished. Those emails are critical to congressional efforts to determine the extent to which other high ranking officials of this Administration were aware of, condoned, or encouraged the IRS targeting of conservative groups.
Aside from whether a forensic computer analyst can still retrieve the emails from IRS computers (and whether computers at the White House, Justice Department, Treasury Department, Federal Election Commission and Democratic members of Congress may be investigated to find the “lost” Lerner emails), the latest announcement of this “loss” is highly suspicious, coming as it does over a year after Congress asked the IRS for the very information.
Increasingly the shenanigans of the Obama Administration remind me of those in the Nixon era, but the Obama Administration scandals are far more numerous, extensive and widespread. During the Watergate investigation, President Nixon’s secretary, Rose Mary Woods, became infamous for her statement that she had made a “terrible mistake” while transcribing recordings made secretly in the oval office and Lincoln rooms of the White House. She said that while playing back a tape of recordings made on June 20, 1972, she answered a phone call and contorted her body in such a way as to cause her foot inadvertently to press on the record pedal rather than the stop button. Within the 18 and ½ minutes of deleted content were conversations between President Nixon and his Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman concerning the arrests made at the Watergate Hotel—potentially damning evidence.
The present “loss” of years of Lerner emails germane to the congressional investigation of the IRS targeting scandal likewise raises suspicion because those emails likely include revealing information exchanged by Lerner and officials in the Obama White House and Department of Justice. At some point we will likely discover who was responsible for the obliteration of the data and who is aware of some of the content. No doubt we will not know the complete picture for some time after Obama has left the White House and after the issue has greatly receded in the minds of Americans. Nevertheless, it is clear to all who record history with sincerity that the Obama Administration is the most scandal ridden in American history, and this President has shown the least concern or regard for wrong doing in his Administration than any modern president. He condones the scandals by his choice of inaction which, itself, speaks volumes about his own lack of integrity.
For the moment, the loss of such a massive quantity of Lerner email traffic engenders suspicion even greater than that arising from the infamous Rose Mary Woods 18 and ½ minute gap, because this Administration’s penchant for scandal, false statement, refusal to comply with subpoenas, and lack of transparency surpasses that of the Nixon Administration.
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