Wednesday, May 15, 2013

You Might Be Living Under Tyranny If...

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy makes lists, mostly about being a redneck, but sometimes also about the culture and inside jokes about various locations. I thought we’d do a similar list (less funny) today, about living under tyranny. Because this has been quite a week for news.

We’ll take them individually.

You might be living under tyranny if your government scours the internet to find an American citizen to serve as scapegoat, to cover up its relationship with Islamist terrorists. We covered this in more detail Monday, specifically about that search for a scapegoat and the continued lying about it—with the hint that the purpose must be to cover up something much worse, which we don’t know about yet. I did link speculation by Glenn Beck from last October. Here’s a second, shorter clip (5th one down in this collection) from that same week in October 2012. In addition, Geraldo Rivera let slip that his sources currently corroborate what Beck has been saying (to the sound of crickets) for half a year.
I don’t know what Benghazi was really about. I do know that the tyrannists we are currently subject to went to great lengths to lie about what they were doing, about what happened, and why. They use obfuscation, repeated lies, and eventually claim, “That happened so long ago; what difference does it make now?”—a pattern we can count on. And there’s not much from these tyrants that one can count on. 

IRS Thuggery
You might be living under tyranny if the most powerful collection agency in the world creates an enemies list—and if you love your country, you’re on it.
I’ve been aware of the IRS enemies list for some time. I couldn’t locate the date in my notes, but it seems like within the last year that King Street Patriots let us know, at one of the Monday meetings, what was happening to them, which sounds very much like other stories this week. (King Street Patriots was mentioned on Rush Limbaugh’s Tuesday show; they’re definitely on this list of targets.) The amount of information required by the IRS was impossible to obtain, and ridiculously short-time-limited. They were getting the help of lawyers to help with the effort, in addition to the various other lawsuits they suffer pretty continually.
King Street and other groups were given impossible requirements, including having to provide copies of every email, text, tweet, or post given out or received, since inception of the organization; list of speakers, detailed subjects (including transcripts of what was spoken  in some cases, as if anyone hoping to become qualified for tax exempt status already has transcribing technology at the ready), and lists of participants, and in some cases the affiliations of family members of participants. It was horrendously intrusive, impossible to provide, and intended (I believe, as do many others) to intimidate and extinguish voices at odds with this administration.
What we know is that high level officials in the IRS, which is the collection arm of the executive branch (the Obama administration), sent the directive to flag for extra scrutiny any organization applying for tax exempt status if they had certain characteristics: the words tea party, patriot, or had as a purpose educating about the Constitution, or showing disagreement with the current government. Hmmm.
And that is not all. Oh, no, that is not all. Besides harassment based on patriotism and good citizenship, the IRS also provided the application materials—private documents—to enemy organizations.
The president is shocked, SHOCKED! After leadership in his executive branch has come out and apologized (claiming it was rogue underlings, which they’ve since had to walk back), so the actual deed is known and admitted to, the president says, if the allegations turn out to be true, that would be outrageous. But let’s be cautious and not assume they’re true just because the executive branch has already come out and said so (possibly to do damage control for what would be worse revelations if they waited?)
And Jim Carney, his spokesperson, also claimed the president was unaware and therefore guilt-free. But he was certain, if it turns out to be true, the president will be appropriately outraged. So the president, while cautiously not outraged yet, is preparing to be so if the need arises. And then appropriate action will be taken. Rest assured. (For some reason, I’m not resting well on that assurance.)
If you think targeting political enemies is unconscionable, if might not be comforting to learn your political enemies have a totally different moral take on it: Former NAACP chair, for example.

Media Control
You might be living under tyranny if the government has an unusual number of incestuous relationships with members of the media, but feels the need to place secret wiretaps on wide swaths of major media organizations, in case something is said they don’t like.

These relationships were pointed out as reasons the mediahas hesitated to cover Benghazi:
·         CNN president is married to Hillary Clinton’s deputy secretary.
·         CBS president is the brother of Obama adviser on Benghazi.
·         ABC president is the brother of a top Obama adviser/speech writer.
·         Senior ABC correspondent Claire Shipman is married to WH Press Secretary Jay Carney. (She also happens to substitute anchor on Good Morning America and World News Tonight, and shows up on ABC News’ This Week with Christiane Amanpour, and previous worked as a White House correspondent for NBC News.)
But the administration didn’t think it had enough control, so it claimed, supposedly, that in order to find a leak of some possibly classified information (you know, like the New York Times used to print regularly to endanger our troops during the Bush administration), they needed all correspondence for two months of some 20 AP reporters and editors, not just anyone related to actually leaked material, and not just office phones, but private cell phones, emails, texts—you know, just in case.
Carl Bernstein, who helped take down Nixon, wasn’t moved by Benghazi, or the IRS scandal. But this! This is outrageous!
National Journal’s Ron Fournier, once the AP Washington bureau chief, finally sees the situation with clarity, not that it has hit home:
One common thing with Benghazi and the IRS scandal, is were being misled every day. We were lied to on Benghazi, on the talking points behind Benghazi, for months. We were lied to by the IRS for months. And now they’re sending a clear message to our sources: Don’t embarrass the administration, or we’re coming after you. 

The president’s response is, “Don’t ask me; that’s up to the Department of Justice” (which is particularly ill-named right now).  

The list isn’t complete. Scandals are coming fast and furious (yes, pun intended). The question is, now that we know we’re living under tyranny, is recognition the first step toward changing course? Will the tyrants be held accountable? We’ll see. 

I came across this list of 100 reasons the president could be impeached. I haven’t been through them all, but you might want to take a look for yourself anyway. Personally, I don’t see impeachment as a likely outcome.  

I’m thinking of The Princess Bride, near the end, where Westley decides to leave Prince Humperdinck intact but alone his cowardice (instead of wallowing in freakish misery as previously threatened). Self-disgust with no more power over the people—that would be a just end to the long list of injustices perpetrated against a Constitutionally free people.

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