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June 10, 2014

Incompetent or Corrupt? Scandals Pile Up for ‘No Drama’ Obama

Six years into his presidency, Barack “No Drama” Obama has been anything but drama-free. His presidency has been one series of scandals after another, the magnitude of each increasing with each successive revelation. Initially, these scandals centered around partisan bullying, political cronyism, and general corruption, but as his second term unfold, more and more the scandals involve dead Americans.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the scandals surrounding the Obama presidency is that the sheer volume seems to inoculate him from being brought down by any one scandal. No sooner do we start making progress investigating one scandal than another one breaks. It’s like watching a dog chase a ball but suddenly stop and change directions moments before retrieving it when another ball is tossed in the opposite direction.

The current scandal involves Obama’s decision to negotiate with terrorists. In violation of the absolutely clear requirements of the law, the Obama administration revealed last week that it had negotiated the release of Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, who had been held by Taliban forces for five years. In exchange for Bergdahl, Obama released five senior Taliban fighters who are responsible for the deaths of countless Americans.

The outrage surrounding this exchange is multi-faceted. First, there is the fact that Obama broke long-standing U.S. policy of never negotiating with terrorists. Even were that not the policy, Obama’s negotiating skills were exposed as horrendously deficient considering the Taliban gets five hardened fighters in exchange for one relatively low-level American soldier. This is compounded by the fact that Bergdahl was never listed as a POW, and in fact more and more evidence suggests he is a deserter who sympathized with the Taliban and simply walked away from his post, and very possibly fed them information on how to more effectively use IEDs (improvised explosive devices) in order to maximize casualties to U.S. forces.

As a result of Bergdahl’s (alleged) desertion, dozens of U.S. soldiers have been killed or maimed either in the search for him, or due to the increased effectiveness of the IEDs as a result of his tutoring. The administration has been tight-lipped in response to these allegations, and one wonders if we will ever know the complete truth.

This past Thursday, Obama brazenly declared he “absolutely makes no apologies” for making the prisoner exchange, nor for his failure to give Congress a 30-day notice as required by law for the release of Guantanamo detainees. He claims he had to ignore the law because Bergdahl’s health was perilously weak, and they had to move quickly. Yet video of Bergdahl following his release shows him to be moving under his own power and under no discernible distress.

It is not hyperbole to say Obama’s decision to release these five Taliban fighters will very likely result in the deaths of dozens, if not hundreds, more Americans. This knowledge is even more distressing when compounded by the fact that, at the press conference announcing his release, Bergdah’s father made a statement in Arabic praising Allah for his son’s release. He later sent out a tweet on his Twitter account declaring his promise to continue working for the release of all Gitmo prisoners. Coming on the heels of revelations that Bergdahl, prior to walking off his post, wrote that he was ashamed to be an American, it is fair to wonder if America benefitted from this trade at all. Maybe nothing was more revealing to the accuracy of that supposition than the response of the very soldiers that served with Bergdahl in Afghanistan upon hearing, at Bagram AFB, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announce Bergdahl’s release. The announcement was met with silence…complete and utter silence (Hagel’s announcement, and the silent response, starts at the 2:05 mark).

While we can now only speculate at the number of U.S. military deaths will occur as a result of this swap, we know for certain that there have already been dozens of deaths of U.S. veterans due to conscious negligence at VA hospitals across the country. Initial reports found that at least 40 veterans died while awaiting treatment at the VA Hospital in Phoenix, AZ, and subsequent reports seem to indicate that the number of deaths due to negligence may ultimately rise to the hundreds, if not thousands of veterans.

The scandal is made worse by the revelation that hospital administrators established secret wait lists in order to hide the fact that these veterans had an average wait time of three to four months after their initial contact before they began receiving treatment. Many veterans died as a result, yet these same administrators, having falsified their reports and misreported the wait times, received millions in bonuses.

Obama made it a prominent campaign point to criticize the Bush administration for problems with the VA system, promising to modernize the VA and reduce wait times, and to give veterans superior medical treatment. Obama knew of the problems, yet was again warned of their severity in 2010, but made no effort to have his actions match his rhetoric. It’s fair to say “Obama lied, Americans died.”

The VA scandal has been temporarily pushed off the front page by the Bergdahl scandal, and the VA scandal itself took steam away from the IRS targeting scandal. In fact, as noted earlier, it is hard to get one’s arms around the depth and breadth of one scandal before another one hits.

The scandals started almost the moment Obama took office, with AG Holder’s failure to punish members of the New Black Panthers in Philadelphia convicted of voter intimidation. The scandals  just escalated from there: Fast & Furious gunrunning to Mexican drug cartels. $1 BILLION in taxpayer money spent on the disastrous site. The “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” lie. Using the IRS to attack political opponents. The cover-up of the failures that led to the deaths of four Americans in the terrorist attacks on Benghazi.  NSA bulk data collection on the communications of every American. Obama administration spying on the press. Solyndra. High-ranking Obama administration officials using fake or personal email accounts to conduct government business in order to get around FOIA laws, and meeting lobbyists at Starbucks to make sure they do not appear on White House visitor logs.

Even this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Yet more often than not, Obama claims to have known nothing about it beforehand. He claims that he heard about it in the press along with the rest of us. He expresses “outrage” and promises to hold accountable those responsible, and to get “justice” for the victims.

But justice never comes. And Obama’s outrage quietly disappears, until he claims that there was not a “smidgen of corruption.”   So an honest, intelligent American is left with but two choices in their assessment of Barack Obama. He is, despite his own self-aggrandizing proclamations as being a brilliant manager (even smarter than those that advise him), the most utterly incompetent president America has ever elected.

Or he knows exactly what he is doing, and he is the most thoroughly corrupt man to ever hold the office.

Tough choice. Either way, Americans are stuck with the reality that we were naïve to elect him the first time, and suicidal idiots to elect him the second time.

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