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Drip, Drip, Drip

Bill Neinast


What an irony.  President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder believe that making a terrorist who wants to kill Americans think he is drowning is an abominable, illegal torture.  

Ironically, now they are being water boarded by some of their own.  The drip, drip, drip of scandals, with each drip getting a little larger has to give an impression of drowning. 

The fear of drowning currently is most pronounced for AG Holder.  The House Judiciary Committee is now investigating whether he committed perjury when he last testified before the committee.

Holder’s testimony that is now under scrutiny was the Sergeant Schultz response that he and Obama give to every suggestion of misconduct, “I know nothing, nothing.  I saw nothing, nothing.” Every bit of wrongdoing, if there is any, was done by some low grade underling way, way down the chain away from Washington.

The discussions now among media pundits are which of the drips is the most serious and damaging to the Obama legacy.  For the general public, the IRS targeting and harassing conservative groups is the preferred answer to that question.  

This is no surprise.  Every tax paying American has to deal with, and probably fears, the IRS.  Seeing and hearing that the agency is not always fair and even handed should be of concern.

The media, however, has a different dog in the hunt.  Most of the pundits are most concerned about the Attorney General trampling on the 1st Amendment rights of a free press.  If reporters are designated potential criminals for printing material leaked from within the administration, the function of the press as a watch dog for governmental misconduct is severely curtailed.

The concern for those two blots on the Obama legacy must be a blessing for Hillary Clinton.  Interest in the IRS and Justice scandals has moved the spot light off the Benghazi tragedy.  Everyone seems to have forgotten about determining the level of responsibility for the lack of security, the failure/refusal of a rescue attempt, and the cover up.

With those issues off the front burner, the Clintons can breathe a short sigh of  relief that questions about Hillary’s qualifications to be the next President are left for another day.

To shove questions about his legacy into the same shadow that Hillary is now enjoying, Obama is saying, “Let’s change the subject.”  Now he wants to talk about ending the “war” on terror and closing what he considers to be a blight on our appearance, the confinement of prisoners of war at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or Gitmo.

He may come to regret that tactic.  His remarks on this subject prompted a lengthy review of his concern about Gitmo by Time magazine.  A lead article in the magazine’s June 10 issue is entitled “Why GITMO Will Never Close,” and contains this:

“At last count, military medical personnel at Gitmo were force-feeding 35 of the more than 100 inmates who refuse to eat.  Twice a day those men are strapped into restraining chairs as tubes that run up their noses and down their throats fill their stomachs with a compound called Ensure, a supplement used by everyone from athletes to dieters.  The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has called force-feeding a violation of international law, and the World Medical Association, of which the U.S. is a member, declared in 1991 that the practice is ‘never ethically acceptable’ unless a prisoner consents or is unable to make a rational choice.  (The WMA calls it ‘ethical’ to allow a determined hunger striker to die.)” 

The accompanying photos of the contraption into which the prisoners are strapped and the implements used to force the Ensure into their bodies are not pleasant to view.

As mentioned previously, Obama and Holder believe that making a prisoner feel like he is drowning is torture.  They apparently believe, however, that keeping a prisoner alive when he wants to die and doing so by strapping him down and forcing instruments into his body is in keeping with the highest standards of international law.

So here’s the perspective.

President Obama’s legacy is being written every day.  The revelations of the last few weeks of misconduct in the Justice and State Departments and the IRS are rapidly tarnishing that legacy.

Nonetheless, recent polls indicate that 45% of the population still believe that he is doing a good job in the office.

That is almost 50% of the population and gives credence to Rush Limbaugh’s coining of the phrase “no-info or lo-info voters.”