It Can Happen Here – Tea Party Nation

It Can Happen Here – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

“How the Jews Defeated Hitler” is the title of a new book by Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg PhD, subtitled “Exploding the Myth of Jewish Passivity in the Face of Nazism.”  The title is counter-intuitive because, as is well known, the Nazis murdered six million Jews in Europe during the course of a deliberate genocide that has since become known as the Holocaust.
The author is a professor of political science and is chair of the Center for Advanced Governmental Studies at Johns Hopkins University and the book is more than just a history of that horrific period of history. It is not that long ago. I was a child at the time so, within the living memory of the survivors, their children and grandchildren, as well as others like myself around the world, it is living history.
The value of the book is the way it explains how many of the Jews of Europe, particularly those herded into ghettos, failed to grasp what was happening. “It was initially difficult for most Jews to believe that the Germans actually intended to kill them all.”
Another major factor was that the Nazis ensured that they were disarmed and unable to defend themselves, as were others who opposed the regime.
Where resistance fighters emerged, Ginsburg notes that “Germany relied, especially in Western Europe, on the help of local police forces to deal with partisans, and, especially in France and Holland, whose local police were quite helpful.” In occupied France, “The French police helpfully compiled a card index of all the Jews of Paris by name, street, occupation, and nationality.”
Therein lies the fears and concerns of Americans as they slowly come to realize that their government not only knows where they live, but a great deal of information about them courtesy of the Internal Revenue Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Security Agency, right on down to their local law enforcement authorities.
If or when Obamacare is fully implemented, anonymous bureaucrats will be able to “target” selected Americans who are seeking medical care for death simply by denying it. No need to set up concentration camps to kill them en mass. Just as the little girl who needed a lung transplant that was initially denied by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, individuals identified as “patriots” or other enemies of the state could simply be allowed to die.
So, yes, it can happen here.
The focus of the present day animus against Jews in general—extremely active throughout the Middle East and a major trend in Europe—is the nation of Israel. Zionism, the political movement that supports Israel, is a handy substitute for anti-Semitism.
Dr. Ginsberg, however, notes that “In actuality, Israel’s founding was very much the result of the West’s postwar unwillingness to accept Jewish refugees. Governments that felt that even one Jewish refugee was one too many had to find someplace to resettle several hundred thousand Jews.” The State of Israel, like the mythical phoenix, literally rose from the ashes of Europe’s murdered Jews.
“To the Americans and eventually even to the British, the State of Israel seemed the least undesirable alternative. Within two decades of Israel’s creation (in 1948) though, the reasons for its existence were forgotten or had become irrelevant, and new configurations of political forces gave rise to a renewed European anti-Semitic discourse taking the form of anti-Zionism…The European Left loudly proclaims its anti-Zionism by denouncing Israel as a racist and apartheid state and calling for boycotts of Israeli products, citizens, and ideas.” The United Nations is a hotbed of anti-Semitism.
During World War II, however, Jews played leading roles in the partisan efforts to disrupt German aggression, often held leadership positions in the allied military forces and served within them, were active throughout the FDR New Deal administrations, supported the U.S. bond drives to finance the war, and were instrumental in breaking the codes of the Nazis and Empire of Japan. Jews were also the core of physicists and engineers who developed the atomic bombs that speeded the end of the war in the Pacific.
The same authoritarian and leftist forces, whether it is the rise of Islamic ambitions to conquer the world or the efforts of the Left to impose a one-world government via the United Nations or just to undermine the former power and position of the United States as a defender of freedom, are at work today.
You need not be a Jew to fear the growing centralization of power in the federal government.
If you are a gun-owner, you know that the Obama administration and some in Congress seek to amend and erode the Second Amendment in an effort to take your arms away from you; a common goal of fascism.
If you are a member of the Tea Party or a patriot movement, you now know that the Internal Revenue Service sought to deny applications for tax-exempt status needed for fund-raising.
If you fear that your Fourth Amendment right to privacy is being eroded then you know that the Constitution is under attack.
If you are concerned about government by executive order, then yes, it can happen here.
© Alan Caruba, 2013


Rangel: ‘Millions of kids’ being shot down by assault rifles – Washington Times

Rangel: ‘Millions of kids’ being shot down by assault rifles – Washington Times.

By Jessica Chasmar – The Washington Times

New York Rep. Charlie Rangel appeared on MSNBC this morning to opine about the assault weapons ban getting dropped from the Senate gun-control bill.

He made a few claims about politics as usual and the power money can have in this type of a case, but his most noteworthy comment was about his knowledge on crime statistics.

“I’m ashamed to admit it but its politics and its money, The NRA has taken this position, there is no reason, there is no foundation. There is no hunter that needs automatic military weapons to enjoy the culture of going hunting,” the Democrat told MSNBC’s Chris Jansing.

A0cohaHCQAAztNM.jpg large“We’re talking about millions of kids dying — being shot down by assault weapons,” he continued. “Were talking about handguns easier in the inner cities, to get these guns in the inner cities, than to get computers. This is not just a political issue, it’s a moral issue…”

The FBI’s 2011 data says only 323 people were killed by rifles, compared to 728 people who were killed by hands, fists, feet etc. Handguns are much more likely to be used in a homicide with 6,220 killed nationwide in 2011.


The Petraeus Debacle – Tea Party Nation

English: Congressman John Hall with General Da...

English: Congressman John Hall with General David Petraeus in Iraq, October 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Petraeus Debacle – Tea Party Nation.

By Alan Caruba

In March 2012, as part of my monthly report on new books,, I recommended “All In: The Education of General David Petraeus”, noting that Paula Broadwell “had considerable access to the man who now is director of the CIA and who had an illustrious military career.” Neither I, nor anyone else realized how much “access” she had. It turns out, as well, that much of the book was ghost-written by Vernon Loeb, who received credit on the cover. Even he was caught unaware.

As the story continues to unfold in the wake of Petraeus’ resignation as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, just a day after the reelection of President Obama, the stench of moral and political corruption continues to rise from everything that led to his resignation.

First there was the general’s affair with the married biographer, Ms. Broadwell. It is not uncommon for men to betray their marriage vows, but we expect men granted power and prestigious positions to maintain a higher degree of morality. As often as not ambitious men do not and one need only consult the Bible for the story of David as evidence of that. Even those around Petraeus may have had their suspicions, but they understandably said nothing. He was, after all, a four-star general and a hero of the Iraq war, the creator of a counter-insurgency program that rescued the U.S. from defeat after the “surge” approved by former President Bush.

What is, to my mind, most disturbing of the facts we have since learned, was that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had stumbled on the affair months prior to the election and the resignation. The key question becomes whether Petraeus’ testimony to a Congressional intelligence committee was influenced by the fact that his indiscretion was known to persons high in the Obama administration?

Was Petraeus under pressure to validate the false cover story that the Benghazi attack was the result of a “flash mob” and triggered by a video no one had seen? That was, in essence, what the general told the committee. It was the same story put forth by the administration’s UN ambassador, Susan Rice, as well as the President.

Scheduled to testify under oath, Petraeus rendered his resignation and one can only think that he did so in order not to perjure himself. The question remains whether he will be subpoenaed to testify.

The Nov 13th Washington Post reported that “some of his closest advisers who served with him during his last command in Iraq said Monday that Petraeus planned to stay in the job even after he acknowledged the affair to the FBI, hoping the episode would never become public. He resigned last week after being told to do so by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. on the day President Obama was reelected.”

Another key question is why the FBI was authorized to pursue the investigation that arose out of a complaint of email harassment by Broadwell of someone unrelated to the Benghazi event, but known to Petraeus. Why would the FBI investigate such a seemingly minor offence? And, knowing well in advance that Petraeus had engaged in an affair with Ms. Broadwell following his CIA appointment, how high up the chain of command did that knowledge go? Did, for example, the Attorney General give his blessing to the investigation? Did he inform White House intelligence officials? Did they, in turn, inform the President?

None of this is trivial. I can well remember the long months it took before the Watergate scandal of the 1970s eventually forced the resignation of Richard Nixon in the face of an impending impeachment.

President Clinton survived an impeachment effort in the wake of his sexual dalliance with a White House intern. He has long since been forgiven for it by many, if not most, Americans, despite the fact that he deliberately and knowingly lied to them at the time.

What did President Obama know? In hindsight, why did he offer the CIA position to Petraeus whose entire background was in military affairs, a consumer of intelligence, but not a producer of it? No doubt his leadership record qualified him to run a huge bureaucracy, but this one is as much a keeper of secrets as one that uncovers them. The agency has received a serious blow to its integrity.

On, Doug Hagmann recently wrote, “The alleged trysts of powerbrokers are a component to the story of Benghazi, but they are not the story. They provide convenient cover for emerging revelations. Like arrows in a quiver of those in positions of power, they exist as leverage to be used to neutralize existing or potential threats at the precise moment they are needed, without the untidiness and inconvenient inquiries that tend to accompany dead bodies. They are also powerful weapons that control the perception of a voyeuristic public, which is dutifully fed the salacious details by a complicit media.”

So, as the public’s attention is diverted to the Petraeus scandal, one is left to wonder if the full story of Benghazi and what now appears to be a major Obama administration failure to respond to the growing threat to our ambassador and his staff in Libya will fully emerge; misjudgments that cost him and three others their lives and was followed by weeks of outright deception by the President and those who answer to him.

In the wake of an election where it is increasingly clear that massive voter fraud contributed to the reelection of President Obama and possibly congressional candidates, one wonders whether there is sufficient voter outrage to have the fraud investigated. It has been reported that 59 districts in Philadelphia did not record one vote for Mitt Romney!

The stench of political corruption hung over the first term of the President in scandals such as the government gun-running scheme to Mexican cartels, “Fast and Furious” that cost a border patrol office his life. There was the long succession of the failures of green energy companies that cost taxpayers billions. There was the slush fund called a “stimulus” that achieved few jobs and no recovery from the recession Obama “inherited.”

Those who voted for a change are now thoroughly dispirited and depressed. Those who voted for Obama expect an extension of unemployment benefits, the food stamp program, and other government handouts. There is, however, a limit on how long such programs can be sustained. As the former British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, once said, “Sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” As the nation continues to hemorrhage lost jobs, that won’t take long.

Is it too much to hope that General Petraeus will testify and tell the truth about what the CIA knew about the Benghazi attack on September 11, 2011, the anniversary of 9/11?

If he does not, a distinguished career of service to America will be ruined by the worst mistake of his life.

© Alan Caruba, 2012

MILLER: Gun ownership up, crime down – Washington Times

MILLER: Gun ownership up, crime down – Washington Times.

FBI violent-crime rates show safer nation with more gun owners

By Emily Miller – The Washington Times

Gun-control advocates are noticeably silent when crime rates decline. Their multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts are designed to manufacture mass anxiety that every gun owner is a potential killer. The statistics show otherwise.

Last week, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced that violent crime decreased 4 percent in 2011. The number of murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults all went down, continuing a pattern.

“This is not a one-year anomaly, but a steady decline in the FBI’s violent-crime rates,” said Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the National Rifle Association. “It would be disingenuous for anyone to not credit increased self-defense laws to account for this decline.”

Mr. Arulanandam pointed out that only a handful of states had concealed-carry programs 25 years ago, when the violent-crime rate peaked. Today, 41 states either allow carrying without a permit or have “shall issue” laws that make it easy for just about any noncriminal to get a permit. Illinois and Washington, D.C., are the only places that refuse to recognize the right to bear arms. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence did not respond to requests for comment.

If the gun grabbers were right, we’d be in the middle of a crime wave, considering how many guns are on the streets. “Firearms sales have increased substantially since right after the 2008 election,” said Bill Brassard, spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), which represents the $4 billion firearms and ammunition industry. “There was a leveling off in 2010, but now we’re seeing a surge again.”

The FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) serves as one of the best indicators of gun sales because it counts each time someone buys a gun. Checks hit an all-time high of 16.5 million last year. In the first five months of this year, the numbers have gone up 10 percent over the same period last year as Americans rush to the gun store in case President Obama decides to exercise “more flexibility” in restricting guns in a second term.

Gun manufacturing is the one private-sector industry “doing fine” on Mr. Obama’s watch. Sturm, Ruger & Co. sold 1 million firearms in the first quarter of 2012 – an amazing 50 percent increase from the first quarter of 2011. The jump was so steep that the company stopped accepting orders from March to May to catch up with demand for its products.

Last month, Smith & Wesson announced a firearm-order backlog of approximately $439 million by the end of April, up 135 percent from the same quarter in 2011. Sales in that period were up 28 percent from 2011 and 14 percent over its own predictions to investors. NSSF estimates the industry is responsible for approximately 180,000 jobs and has an annual impact on the U.S. economy of $28 billion.

Mr. Obama could honestly take credit for this jobs program, economic boost and the reduction in violent crime that has followed the spike in gun ownership on his watch. Instead, he’s silent about his greatest positive accomplishment.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

EDITORIAL: More TSA lies – Washington Times

A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage.

A TSA officer screens a piece of luggage. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

EDITORIAL: More TSA lies – Washington Times.

Obnoxious agency is caught fibbing to Congress again

Frequent flyers are no fans of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The blue-gloved bureaucrats are experts in making trips to the airport as unpleasant as possible. As a joint congressional panel revealed Wednesday, the agency’s biggest failing is its inability to grope the truth.

Earlier this year, the House Oversight & Government Reform and Transportation & Infrastructure committees got wind that the TSA has 5,700 pieces of security equipment worth $184 million gathering dust in a Dallas, Texas, warehouse. For example, a total of 492 explosive trace detectors that cost $30,000 each have been sitting in storage for more than a year. When congressional investigators were dispatched to learn more about what was going on, TSA did everything it could to stall them.

The congressional auditors finally arrived on Feb. 15 to find a warehouse crew had been busy working from 5 a.m. that morning to shove as much of the embarrassing horde as it could out the back door. The TSA had provided the committees with a written inventory that undercounted the equipment on hand that day by 1,300 items. “Congress was misled,” said Rep. Darrell Issa, the Oversight chairman. The California Republican is threatening a criminal inquiry into the incident if the agency fails to come clean about what it has been doing.

The warehouse shenanigans racked up an estimated $23 million in depreciation costs for taxpayers as the pricey equipment lost its value while boxed away on a shelf. A $500,000 cargo scanner has a useful life of only seven years, and some of the higher-tech scanning devices became obsolete before the TSA gets around to deploying them. That’s not a bad thing in every case. Fourteen pornographic “advanced imaging technology” machines were locked away in the Dallas facility. America would be a safer place if every single one of those devices were consigned to the dark corner of an abandoned building.

We are told that these X-rated x-ray scanners are needed because an al Qaeda operative failed in a 2009 attempt to detonate a bomb in his underpants. The scare was renewed May 7 with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s announcement that a sleeker, more comfortable set of combustible undies had been captured in the hands of Islamists overseas. TSA’s ultimate boss, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, insisted her agency’s invasive contraptions would have discovered the dangerous dainties.

Government Accountability Office counterterrorism expert Stephen Lord knows from field testing whether that statement is true or not. He would not say in an unclassified session whether the scanners would have caught the new bomb. “We’ll take that, and I’m going to predict it’s going to be, ‘No, they couldn’t,’ ” said Mr. Issa.

To sum up, TSA is buying millions in equipment that it isn’t using, throwing away taxpayer funds. Some of the equipment it does use invades privacy without identifying any real threats. This mess is the result of the agency’s hasty creation in the wake of the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. After a decade, TSA has proved itself mismanaged and ineffective. It’s time to pull the plug.

The Washington Times

Obama’s Big Green Boondoggles – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative



Obama’s Big Green Boondoggles – Michelle Malkin – Townhall Conservative.

With the scandalous bankruptcy of Solyndra (a shady California solar power company that received $535 million in stimulus funds and is now under investigation by the FBI) hanging overhead, President Obama wisely whitewashed any mention of “green jobs” out of his latest address to Congress.

But buried in the details of his latest government jobs bill released this week — Spawn of the Spendulus, Porky’s II, Night of the Keynesian Dead — are yet more big green boondoggles that will reward cronies, waste taxpayer dollars and make no dent in the jobless rate.

After pouring half a billion bucks into Solyndra, the company filed for Chapter 11 last month and laid off 1,110 employees. Obama administration officials met with Solyndra execs at least 20 times; the green cheerleader-in-chief personally visited and promoted the company in 2009 before his administration fast-tracked approval for the loans.

Solyndra is now the third solar company to go belly-up this year. Yet the Energy Department is doubling down on failure. As the FBI and House GOP investigators launch a probe into Enron-style accounting problems with Solyndra’s books, DOE is doling out more than $850 million in new loan guarantees for another California solar firm sponsored by NextEra Energy, along with nearly $200 million more for separate solar manufacturing facilities on the West Coast.

Obama claims new “investments” in environmentally friendly school construction projects will put thousands of Americans back to work immediately. (Never mind that Big Labor-backed rules and executive orders will raise the cost of the projects, slow their implementation and freeze out the vast majority of non-union contractors.) Among the new green pork initiatives: $25 billion for green roofs, green cleaning, installation of renewable energy generation and heating systems, and “modernization, renovation, or repair activities related to energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

But how are existing green construction spending programs working in practice?

A brand-new report from Texas Watchdog, a nonprofit, nonpartisan investigative group, sheds inconvenient light on Obama’s $5 billion stimulus-funded Weatherization Assistance Program. In Texas alone, the $327 million program has spent more than $226,000 on each of the 1,041 jobs the program is claimed to have created or saved.

Intended to “green” low-income homes, at least three of the original participating organizations have been shut down due to chronic mismanagement, fraud allegations and shoddy workmanship. Baylor University economist Earl Grinols summed up: “First, it is not an appropriate government function to provide weatherization of private homes. Second, even viewed as a stimulus measure, it is not very effective as a stimulus based on cost-per-job, and third, it appears not to be well-managed.”

Nearly 31 months after Porkulus One was signed, the Texas housing agency still hasn’t spent $91.6 million in allocated weatherization/green construction funds. Millions cannot be accounted for by auditors and inspectors.

Now, multiply that by 49 other states. A review of the weatherization boondoggle last year revealed state-trained workers were flubbing insulation jobs in Indiana, according to the Associated Press. In “Alaska, Wyoming and the District of Columbia, the program (had) yet to produce a single job or retrofit one home. And in California, a state with nearly 37 million residents, the program at last count had created 84 jobs.”

The Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney, a vigilant chronicler of green subsidies, notes that time and again, it’s Obama insiders and Democratic operatives pocketing all the green while the unemployment hovers at double-digits. To wit: “Al Gore acolyte Cathy Zoi was Obama’s assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy while her husband was an executive at a company that received direct subsidies from the Obama administration and profited from the Cash-for-Caulkers bill Zoi’s division implemented.” Treasury Department Chief of Staff Mark Patterson lobbied for Goldman Sachs on ethanol subsidies while holding down his job in the administration. And last year, another Obama pet project — Illinois-based FutureGen, a near-zero emissions coal power plant — received a $1 billion stimulus earmark despite having been previously defunded over doubts about the feasibility and efficiency of the project.

An Obama green job trainee with seven certificates, Carlos Arandia, spoke for all non-crony Americans when he asked last fall: “What is the point of giving somebody the tools to do something but to have nowhere to use them?” Perhaps the White House can find a way to weatherize all the Grand Canyon-sized taxpayer sinkholes that “green job” spending has created.

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is

FARAGO: Unload the ATF – Washington Times

FARAGO: Unload the ATF – Washington Times.

By its own admission, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) allowed dozens of gun smugglers to supply Mexican criminal cartels with thousands of firearms. Drug thugs used one of these weapons to assassinate U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The former ATF special agent in charge of the Phoenix Field Division testified to Congress that the White House and at least four other federal agencies had direct knowledge of “Operation Fast and Furious.” Despite – or because of – the Nixonian cover-up following Terry’s murder, the simmering scandal could topple the Obama administration. Regardless of thepresident’s fate, it’s the ATF that needs to go.

The “Gunwalker” scandal brings the ATF’s ideological corruption into sharp focus. The agency’s motive for creating a program that violated Mexican sovereignty and put innocent lives at risk: inflating the number of American firearms recovered at Mexican crime scenes. The more blood-soaked American guns in Mexico the ATF could identify for its congressional paymasters, the more compelling its case for increased federal funding and new agency-enforced gun-control regulations. In short, Operation Fast and Furious was an anti-gun-running gun-running program.

Looking deeper into the ATF-shaped moral abyss, it’s easy to see why the agency became involved with Mexican gun smuggling in the first place. Ironically enough, international arms smuggling falls under the purview of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, whose agent was killed by an ATF-enabled firearm. Not to put too fine a point on it, the federal agency that costs U.S. taxpayers $1.25 billion per year – not including $40 million in “emergency” funding allocated to the ATF’s ill-conceived, ill-fated “southwest border enhancement” activities – doesn’t have anything to do.

With some extremely rare exceptions, the American gun dealers and alcohol, tobacco and explosives companies that the ATF is paid to police are law-abiding corporate citizens. For example, a hugely expensive anti-gun-smuggling sweep of thousands of Southwestern gun dealers turned up – nothing. In fact, some of the gun dealers at the Mexican border called the ATF to alert the agency about shady firearms buyers who looked as if they were heading south. As part of Operation Fast and Furious, the ATF told the dealers to “let the sales go through.”

Be that as it is, nothing the ATF does to justify its bloated bureaucracy and law-unto-themselves agents couldn’t be done by any one of a worryingly large number of local, county, state, tribal and federal agencies – strike that – is already done by other law enforcement agencies. The ATF is always barging in on busts and stepping on someone’s toes. In 2009, an inspector general’s audit said the conflict between the ATF and the FBI “led to confusion at crime sites, arguments in front of state and local investigators, tit-for-tat recrimination, and even a threat from the FBI to arrest an ATF agent.”

Yet the ATF still relies on “joint operations” and “stings” (a generous description of its latest extralegal escapade) to generate positive publicity and plump up its feathers. To that end, the agency has rebranded ATF to stand for “At the Frontline of Violent Crime.” Truth be told, the operation – formerly a division of the Internal Revenue Service – ain’t got game.

But it does have an attitude: anti-gun. Setting aside the horrors of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the ATF has a long, ignoble history of running roughshod over Americans’ Second Amendment rights. In 1982, a Senate subcommittee report called the ATF’s enforcement tactics “constitutionally, legally and practically reprehensible.” In the interim, nothing has changed.

Displaying its ongoing antipathy to the right to keep and bear arms, the ATF has just pushed through an executive order creating an unconstitutional long-gun registry. The agency says the new regulations will help it catch smugglers trying to secrete American weapons into Mexico – the same crime it enabled and encouraged under Operation Fast and Furious.

In light of the ATF’s history, culture and practices, it should come as no surprise that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has worked diligently to cap the ATF’s budget. Clearly, that’s not good enough. In the interests of justice and fiscal responsibility, the ATF must be disbanded. Its budget should be zeroed out, its buildings sold, its employees transferred or fired and its work parceled out to appropriate authorities.

Eliminate an entire federal agency? Yes. The ATF is a prime example that big government is, inherently, bad government. It’s expensive, unnecessary and, as our forefathers knew well enough, dangerous. There is nothing to stop the American people from cutting their government down to size.

Despite what the ATF and its Fast and Furious co-conspirators believe, we live in a country based on democracy and the rule of law. If we have the will, we have the way. Call the NRA and your elected representatives. It’s time to drop the dime on the ATF.

Robert Farago is managing editor of

KUHNER: Obama’s Fox hunt – Washington Times

KUHNER: Obama’s Fox hunt – Washington Times.

Probe of parent company puts conservative media in crosshairs

President Obama is targeting critics in the media. As his poll numbers continue to decline and his re-election chances grow dimmer by the day, he is increasingly resorting to authoritarian tactics. His latest

move: The Justice Department is preparing subpoenas as part of a preliminary investigation into News Corp.

The New York-based company, which is part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, owns Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post. In other words, News Corp.’s key properties are some of the most prominent and outspoken anti-Obama media outlets. Unlike the liberal press corps, these organizations actually seek to hold Mr. Obama accountable – especially for his reckless spending and record deficits. They constantly remind Americans that the administration’s policies have failed and have deepened the economic crisis.

The administration – dominated by Chicago-style political thugs – is cynically striking back. The Justice Department is using the unfolding media scandal in Britain as a smokescreen to attack News Corp. What does a phone-hacking scandal across the Atlantic have to do with the U.S. media? Nothing, unless you’re a liberal ideologue hoping to smear and discredit Fox News and other powerful anti-Obama organs.

News of the World, a now-defunct weekly British tabloid, apparently had journalists who hacked into people’s voice mails in order to get explosive scoops – including that of the family of a murdered 13-year-old girl. Moreover, there are allegations that police officers were bribed to enable this phone-hacking to go on. If true, it is shocking, highly unethical and the guilty should be fully prosecuted. Yet, the Obama administration is now using a scandal that has so far affected only one newspaper in the British division – a tiny fiefdom of Mr. Murdoch’s much-larger empire – to attempt to bully and discredit its domestic media critics.

Senior Justice Department officials are probing whether the bribes to British police violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Moreover, they are also interested in investigating whether News Corp. employees attempted to hack into voice mails of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. In other words, did News Corp.’s U.S. division imitate the illegal practices allegedly prevalent at News of the World?

This investigation is baseless. The FCPA has almost always been used to prosecute companies that bribe foreign officials to get lucrative contracts. Moreover, there is not a scintilla of evidence that News Corp.’s U.S. employees were involved in any bribing. Hence, the Obama administration is deliberately expanding the scope and reach of the FCPA; they are on a fishing expedition. The Justice Department is looking for a convenient excuse – a cheap rationale – to dig into News Corp.’s books. It is not really interested in discovering whether illegal payments were made to crooked British cops; rather, it wants to probe Mr. Murdoch’s intimate accounting details in the hopes of finding some potential financial malfeasance. This is a politicized retaliatory audit masquerading as an FCPA inquiry.

Furthermore, the allegations about the hacking of Sept. 11 victims are even more risible. The basis for the administration’s probe is one – I repeat one – anonymous, unsubstantiated quote in a British tabloid, The Daily Mirror, in which the person only speculated about whether the families’ voice mails were also targeted. From this, the Justice Department wants to examine the actions of nearly 2,000 News Corp. employees.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is on a witch hunt. He is seeking to intimidate and smear some of the administration’s most articulate opponents. Mr. Holder’s investigation represents a direct assault upon basic press freedoms. It aims to expand the government’s involvement in how journalists operate, attempting to probe the practices of media outlets – especially those that refuse to mouth the administration’s radical liberalism.

Fox News has long been a thorn in Mr. Obama’s side. With his re-election in doubt and public discontent growing, he wants to smash his main media rival. This is no longer about a faraway British tabloid scandal; it is about an out-of-control administration obsessed with retaining its grip on power.

Mr. Obama’s impulses are those of an authoritarian socialist. He has publicly demonized Fox News, referring to it as “an illegitimate” media organization. He has called for the Fairness Doctrine to be imposed, which would muzzle conservative talk radio. He wants to create a national civilian police corps answerable to the president. He is waging an illegal and unconstitutional war in Libya. He has appointed countless policy “czars” who possess vast Cabinet-level powers without the Senate’s advice and consent. He has seized and nationalized vast sectors of the economy. He has threatened to raise the country’s debt-ceiling limit without congressional authorization – a reckless, unilateral act that would be clearly grounds for impeachment. And now he is looking to expand the government’s control over the media.

Mr. Obama likes to compare himself to liberal icons such as Franklin D. Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy. Lately, he is even making allusions to Abraham Lincoln – the savior of the nation. But the real parallel is a very different one: President Richard Nixon. Mr. Obama’s approach to the law, to the media and to his opponents is Nixonian – a flagrant and contemptuous disregard for the Constitution. Mr. Obama embodies a perverse mix of Saul Alinsky and Nixon, one a rabid leftist activist and the other a political street thug. News Corp. is simply his next victim unless a public outcry stops him.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of the Edmund Burke Institute