The award for biggest and fakest joke in U.S. politics ever, goes to...

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Jess13, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. Jess13, Mar 15, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016

    Jess13 Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    President Barack Obama!

    Obama promised to have the most transparent administration in U.S. history and to strongly protect whistleblowers. Instead, he’s had the most opaque administration in U.S. history and has maliciously targeted, charged and prosecuted more whistleblowers than all previous presidents COMBINED x2.

    The Most Transparent Administration In History

    Change has come to

    -- President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President's executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

    Transparency and Open Government

    My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.

    Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.

    Agenda | Ethics

    Protect Whistleblowers: Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing government employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out. Such acts of courage and patriotism, which can sometimes save lives and often save taxpayer dollars, should be encouraged rather than stifled. We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance. Barack Obama will strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government. Obama will ensure that federal agencies expedite the process for reviewing whistleblower claims and whistleblowers have full access to courts and due process.

    8 Whistleblowers Charged With Violating the Espionage Act Under Obama

    With the U.S. government having filed charges against Edward Snowden, accusing him of theft of government property and violating the Espionage Act, the NSA whistle-blower now joins a growing list of people who have been charged with leaking or mishandling classified information under the 1917 act during the Obama administration.
    Prior to Obama taking office, only three people in total, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg under Richard Nixon, Navy civilian analyst Samuel Loring Morison under Ronald Reagan, and Defense Department analyst Lawrence A. Franklin under George W. Bush, had been charged with doing so.

    Enacted two months after the U.S. formally entered World War I during an era of trench warfare and the Ottoman Empire, the Espionage Act is hopelessly out of date, and, as Glenn Greenwald writes, the act is “so broad that even the U.S. government has largely refrained from using it.” That is, until Obama came along. Welcome to the club Mr. Snowden.

    Barack Obama: The Least Transparent President in U.S. History

    “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.” So wrote President Barack Obama, back on Jan. 29, 2009, just days into his presidency. “Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” Now, six years into the Obama administration, his promise of “a new era of open Government” seems just another grand promise, cynically broken.

    As the news industry observed its annual “Sunshine Week” in mid-March, The Associated Press reported that “[m]ore often than ever, the administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act [FOIA].” The AP report continued, “The government’s efforts to be more open about its activities last year were their worst since President Barack Obama took office.”

    In 2008, when campaigning, Barack Obama was often touted as a constitutional-law professor. As such, we can assume he studied writings of one of that document’s authors, James Madison, the fourth president of the U.S., considered the “Father of the Bill of Rights.” Madison wrote, in 1822, “A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.” With Edward Snowden’s revelations of massive NSA spying and surveillance, and the administration’s abysmal record on transparency, President Obama has tragically moved well beyond farce.

    The 'Most Transparent Administration Ever' Doctors Its Quotes

    Media outlets send snippets of interviews to White House officials, who tweak them before publication or prohibit their use entirely.

    Here's newly sworn in President Obama, welcoming his senior staff to the White House in January of 2009: “I will also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness .... Let me say it as simply as I can: Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.

    I had no idea this quote doctoring went on. Every media outlet party to it should be chagrined that the
    Times thought to break the story first. As for the Obama White House, it's one more broken promise.

    Obama's muddy transparency record

    President Barack Obama set a high bar for open government, and he set it quickly.

    A minute after he took office, the White House website declared his administration would become “the most open and transparent in history. By the end of his first full day on the job, Obama had issued high-profile orders pledging “a new era” and an unprecedented level of openness across the massive federal government.

    But three years into his presidency, critics say Obama’s administration has failed to deliver the refreshing blast of transparency that the president promised.

    “Obama is the sixth administration that’s been in office since I’ve been doing Freedom of Information Act work. … It’s kind of shocking to me to say this, but of the six, this administration is the worst on FOIA issues. The worst. There’s just no question about it,” said Katherine Meyer, a Washington lawyer who’s been filing FOIA cases since 1978. “This administration is raising one barrier after another. … It’s gotten to the point where I’m stunned — I’m really stunned.

    David Sobel, senior counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said that “despite the positive rhetoric that has come from the White House and the attorney general, that guidance has not been translated into real world results in actual cases. … Basically, the reviews are terrible.

    Open-government advocates say some administration practices are actually undercutting Obama’s goal. Among their complaints:

    Administration lawyers are aggressively fighting FOIA requests at the agency level and in court — sometimes on Obama’s direct orders. They’ve also wielded anti-transparency arguments even bolder than those asserted by the Bush administration.

    The administration has embarked on an unprecedented wave of prosecutions of whistleblowers and alleged leakers — an effort many journalists believe is aimed at blocking national security-related stories. “There just seems to be a disconnect here. You want aggressive journalism abroad; you just don’t want it in the United States,” ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper told White House press secretary Jay Carney at a recent briefing for reporters.

    In one of those cases, the Justice Department is trying to force a New York Times reporter to identify his confidential sources and is arguing that he has no legal protection from doing so.

    Obama claimed to want transparency. His actions suggest the opposite

    The Obama administration has taken a lot of well-deserved criticism over the years for claiming to be the most transparent presidency ever while actually being remarkably opaque, but they’ve now reached a new low: newly released documents show they aggressively lobbied Congress to kill bipartisan transparency reform that was based on the administration’s own policy.

    In a move open government advocates are calling “LUDICROUS”, the administration “strongly opposed” the passage of bipartisan Freedom of Information Act (Foia) reform behind closed doors in 2014. The bill was a modest and uncontroversial piece of legislation which attempted to modernize the law for the internet age and codify President Obama’s 2009 memo directing federal agencies to adopt a “presumption of openness”.

    Open-government advocates in Congress have been trying to pass a law modernizing Foia for over 10 years, and almost did so in 2014: a set of Foia bills had unanimous support in Congress in 2014 – unheard of in today’s political climate – but mysteriously died right before the final vote at the end of the congressional session.

    At the time it was unclear why, given that the bills had been watered down to exclude any “controversial” provisions that would have substantively changed the way the government releases information, and that more robust fixes to the law supported by transparency advocates were removed from the bill. The Obama administration had no public position on the bill during the debate, but now we know it was likely failed due in large part to the Obama administration’s aggressive lobbying efforts to stop it.

    What Happened to Transparency?

    When President Obama took office in 2009, he promised an “unprecedented level of openness in government. In a memo issued the day after his inauguration, he wrote, “The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.”

    In the latest reminder that the Obama administration has failed to live up to that promise, the Justice Department last week won its fight to keep secret a memo that outlines the supposed legal authority for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to collect Americans’ telephone and financial records without a subpoena or court order.

    Obama’s Transparency Promise Became a Big Fat Lie

    The administration that boldly called itself the “most transparent in history” has just changed course: It’s now exempting a key White House office from any record requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    The Office of Administration – which handles human resources, information technology, facilities and recordkeeping for the White House, including the archiving of emails – has been subject to FOIA requests since it was first established in 1977 under President Jimmy Carter.

    Now, though, the office is officially excluded from the law. The Obama administration said it made the change to reflect a 2009 court ruling that held the office is not subject to FOIA.

    This step makes mockery of the administration’s commitment to transparency, especially given that it’s Sunshine Week,” Anne Weisman, executive director of CREW – the same group that brought the suit against the Bush administration – said in a statement. Apparently they have abandoned even the appearance of transparency.

    This year the White House set a record for censoring government files and denying access to requested information, according to an analysis by the Associated Press published Wednesday. The backlog of unanswered FOIA requests grew to more than 200,000 last year – an increase of 55 percent from the previous year. The administration reduced the number of employees tasked with responding to information requests by about 9 percent this year, the AP also noted.

    Obama Administration Hits Another Grim Record on Lack of Government Transparency

    Everybody knows by now that when President Obama promised before taking office in January 2009 that he would lead "the most transparent administration in United States history," he didn't mean it. In fact, you could argue he was planning to do the exact opposite. During Obama's six year long tenure, the administration has become the least transparent in American history and things just got worse.

    According to new analysis from the Associated Press, which is currently suing the State Department for access to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's emails, the Obama administration has set another record in censorship and a lack of response to Freedom of Information Act requests. Emphasis is mine.

    The Obama administration set a record again for censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, according to a new analysis of federal data by The Associated Press.

    The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any,
    said more regularly that it couldn't find documents and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

    It also acknowledged in nearly 1 in 3 cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law - but only when it was challenged.

    Last year the United States fell to 46th in the world for press freedom according to a ranking compiled annually by Reporters Without Borders.

    Editorial: Obama breaks his promise of transparency

    Here’s something else to think about as we continue to observe Sunshine Week, the annual effort to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information.

    One of the most important tools to ensure open government is the Freedom of Information Act. For at least a decade now, Congress has been working to reform the act to give members of the public better access to information possessed by the federal government.

    That’s why we were intrigued to note a news story last week by Vice News, which revealed some of the reasons why previous reform efforts never quite got over the hump: It turns out that the White House itself has aggressively worked behind the scenes to stop the reforms.

    The documents Vice News used for its story were obtained by the Freedom of the Press Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports journalism in the public interest. How did the foundation get the documents? You guessed it: through a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

    The saddest part is that this really isn’t that surprising: Despite a promise from President Barack Obama that his administration would be the most transparent in history, it’s been clear almost from the beginning that the president never intended this to be the case.

    But it would be appropriate for Congress to pass its Freedom of Information bills during Sunshine Week, and send a measure to President Obama. Obama might well veto it, which would at least give him a chance to explain to the American people why his administration has seen fit to betray his promise of a transparent and open federal government.

    Obama Promised Transparency on Drones, But We're Still in the Dark

    Targeted killings have been a central part of U.S. national security strategy for more than a decade, but the American public still knows scandalously little about who the government kills, and why. Today we're filing a new lawsuit in our continuing fight to fix that.

    The CIA and the military use drones to target suspected "militants," "insurgents," and "terrorists" in at least half a dozen countries. American drone strikes have killed thousands of people abroad, many of them children.The program has engendered pervasive and anger against the United States in countries where the attacks frequently occur.

    Our government's deliberative and premeditated killings – and the many more civilian deaths from the strikes – raise profound legal and ethical questions that ought to be the subject of public debate. The Obama administration has made numerous promises of greater transparency and oversight on drones. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to make lethal targeting "more transparent to the American people and the world" because "in our democracy, no one should just take my word for it that we're doing things the right way."

    But the administration has failed to follow through on these commitments to openness, and it is continuing to withhold basic information. When it has released anything – or been compelled to by lawsuits – discussion of crucial aspects of the program have been omitted or redacted. This lack of transparency makes the public reliant on the government's self-serving and sometimes false representations about the targeted-killing program.

    Obama failing to run 'most transparent’ administration

    As a candidate in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to run the “most transparent administration” in U.S. history with an “unprecedented level of openness.” Seven years into his presidency, Obama’s promise rings hollower than ever.

    A year ago, 38 journalism groups assailed the president’s team for “politically driven suppression of the news. Complaints included the inaccessibility of key staffers, delays in interview requests and — most insidiously — the blackballing of reporters who wrote critically of the administration. Photojournalists also objected to the White House’s insistence on issuing official images of the president instead of allowing them access.

    Most transparent administration in history? He appears unlikely to even match the number of news conferences large and small conducted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, who was hardly a champion of transparency.

    This administration has needed that prod. It is falling well short of Obama’s promise to be the most transparent president in U.S. history.

    2008 Obama Would Have Slammed 2014 Obama for This Government Secrecy Case

    The Obama administration uses a Bush-era tactic the president once decried to squelch a lawsuit.

    During the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama hammered George W. Bush for expanding government secrecy. Obama promised that his would be the most transparent and open administration ever. In particular, Obama criticized the Bush administration's use of a legal loophole known as the state secrets privilege. Citing this privilege, government lawyers can keep evidence and testimony from being introduced in court that would reveal government secrets. That means that if someone sues the government for wrongdoing—say, a plaintiff claims that he or she was illegally spied on or tortured at the behest of the US government—the Justice Department can claim key pieces of evidence will expose national security secrets and prevent this material from being used in court. Doing so would hinder or outright squash the person's case.

    In 2008, Obama griped that the Bush administration invoked the state secrets privilege "more than any other previous administration" and used it to getentire lawsuits thrown out of court. Critics noted that deploying the state secrets privilege allowed the Bush administration to shut down cases that might have revealed government misconduct or caused embarrassment, including those regarding constitutionally dubious warrantless wiretapping and the CIA's kidnapping and torture of Khaled el-Masri, a German car salesman the government had mistaken for an alleged Al Qaeda leader with the same name. After Obama took office, his attorney general, Eric Holder, promised to significantly limit the use of this controversial legal doctrine. Holder vowed never to use it to "conceal violations of the law, inefficiency, or administrative error" or "prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency of the United States Government."

    Despite this promise, Obama continued to assert the privilege to squelch cases about Bush-era abuses. In one instance, the Justice Department scuttled a lawsuit brought by a man who claimed he had been kidnapped by the CIA and had his penis and testicles cut with a scalpel in a Moroccan prison. And now Obama is broadening the use of this legal maneuver: In the past 18 months, the Obama administration has twice cited state secrets to prevent federal courts from considering lawsuits challenging its use of the no-fly list.

    The Obama Administration's Abject Failure on Transparency

    Assassinations. Warrantless spying. Bush-era torture. The president is determined to hide certain government actions from its citizens.

    President Obama promised to bring unprecedented transparency to Washington, D.C. As late as 2010, he told an audience, "I won't stop fighting to open up government." Around the same time, his press secretary asserted that the Obama Administration is the most transparent in American history. Though it pushed for lobbying disclosure, urged earmark-request disclosure, and willingly made White House visitor logs available, Obama's first term has in fact been rife with just the sort of opacity that breeds corruption, obscures misdeeds, and undermines public trust in government. Far from being praiseworthy, the prevailing executive-branch attitude toward secrecy is an abomination, as is evident from even a cursory look at its real-world manifestations.


    Killing American citizens with drones is the most extreme action that the Obama Administration takes in secret. President Obama insists that he is empowered to secretly kill anyone whose name appears on a secret list he keeps. The guilt of the people on the list is presumed based on secret evidence assembled by a secret group of government officials who meet in secret. The strikes are subsequently carried out by secret agents in the Central Intelligence Agency. As if that Orwellian spectacle, bereft of checks and balances, weren't invitation enough to abuses, the government won't even reveal the legal reasoning that supposedly justifies its suspension of due process, even for American citizens. That too is deemed a secret.

    On Wednesday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit challenging the status quo. It demands to know how the U.S. government adds names to its kill list; the standards under which Americans may be killed without due process; and the evidence that persuaded the government its protocols had been met in drone killings past. Perhaps most alarming is the possibility that the Obama Administration has killed American citizens and kept mum about it. There's no evidence that they've done so. At the same time, they claim that right, without ever citing legal arguments to justify it.


    During the Bush Administration, the United States government tortured people. It subjected detainees to physical abuse. It arrested and jailed people for years on end without charges or trial. It did this to terrorists, and to innocent people falsely accused of being terrorists too. It operated a network of secret prisons, and sometimes turned detainees over to foreign governments that torture. It broke multiple laws, perpetrated countless injustices, and victimized various innocents.

    The Obama Administration now presides over the government being sued by these detainees, including the innocents that America unlawfully and immorally wronged. Rather than contesting their lawsuits on the merits or offering settlements, however, Team Obama is routinely invoking the state-secrets privilege -- a tactic Senator Obama criticized -- in effect saying that the lawsuits must be dismissed because fighting them on the merits would threaten national security. The Obama Administration is also preventing the release of federal investigations into detainee abuse during the Bush Administration. As the ACLU puts it, "There is no obvious security justification for withholding information about the CIA's use of unlawful and unauthorized interrogation techniques, and we are especially troubled by the CIA's continued practice of keeping secret the names of the prisoners it detained. Even now, a decade after 9/11, we still don't know all of the prisoners held by the CIA, why they were held, for how long, or what happened to those released." Summing up, the abuses spawned by Bush-era secrecy are being kept secret by a new administration that invokes the same problematic secrecy standards.


    President Obama has charged more would-be whistleblowers with violating state secrecy laws than all previous administrations combined. In one case, exhaustively chronicled by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker, the Obama Administration aggressively went after Thomas Drake, a former NSA employee, who blew the whistle on former colleagues who he regarded as harming national security.

    Drake's leak involved no conceivable harm to national security, but did expose serious waste, corruption and possible illegality. When Drake was indicted back in April, 2010, I wrote at the time: "the more I think about this, the more I think this might actually be one of the worst steps the Obama administration has taken yet, if not the single worst step -- and that's obviously saying a lot." The effect of prosecuting Drake with multiple "espionage" counts, threatening him with decades in prison, and financially ruining him is clear: to frighten future whistleblowers into silence, and thus enable the government and the National Security State to do whatever it wants free of one of the only true checks it has. That's what makes Obama's War on Whistleblowing so pernicious.


    Adding to the perniciousness of the Obama's attitude toward state secrets is the self-serving double-standard he employs. It is difficult for members of Congress to even discuss our secret drone program, because its very existence is classified. Federal agencies won't even confirm that it exists.

    Says the ACLU:

    This response is incredible, in the original sense of that word--it simply lacks credibility.

    All this has been made worse by the fact that Obama is committing outright treason against the United States. First, by protecting 9/11 Saudis for their participation and involvement in the 9/11 attacks, after promising 9/11 families to their faces, in 2009 and 2011, that he would declassify the 28 pages (and expose those Saudis). Second, after promising to declassify the 28 pages (and instead withholding, part of his anti-transparency war), Obama has conspired in his own terrorism conspiracy with those very same 9/11 Saudis, to arm al-Qaeda terrorists in Syria to attempt an overthrow of the Syrian government (that has not attacked the United States). Obama Treason x2.

    U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels

    The Saudi efforts were led by the flamboyant Prince Bandar bin Sultan, at the time the intelligence chief, who directed Saudi spies to buy thousands of AK-47s and millions of rounds of ammunition in Eastern Europe for the Syrian rebels. The C.I.A. helped arrange some of the arms purchases for the Saudis, including a large deal in Croatia in 2012.

    Months later, Mr. Obama gave his approval for the C.I.A. to begin directly arming and training the rebels from a base in Jordan, amending the Timber Sycamore program to allow lethal assistance. Under the new arrangement, the C.I.A. took the lead in training, while Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate, provided money and weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles.

    (Note: Prince Bandar bin Sultan has been named by former Sen. Bob Graham in his 2004 book Intelligence Matters, as financing 9/11 hijackers while in the U.S., he has been protected for it by both George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama. Treason!)

    Treason Against the United States.

    “If any person or persons, owing allegiance to the United States of America, shall levy war against them, or shall adhere to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States, or elsewhere (i.e. Saudi Arabia), and shall be thereof convicted on confession in open Court, or on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act of the treason whereof he or they shall stand indicted, such person or persons shall be adjudged guilty of treason against the United States, and SHALL SUFFER DEATH.”

    Make America Transparent Again

  2. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Well, I definitely won't be voting for him this time.
  3. Jess13 thread starter Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    Haha. :)
  4. Jess13 thread starter Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    Will President Obama pardon Chelsea Manning and apologize to her for prosecuting her under the Espionage Act like the other whistleblowers he has maliciously targeted (including black whistleblower Jeffrey Sterling)? Or will Obama continue to let a transgendered whistleblower rot for her 35-year sentence (for exposing war crimes)? Considering that Edward Snowden’s still in Russia, my bet:

    Obama is the biggest and fakest joke in U.S. politics ever, bar none.
  5. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    You must not be old enough to remember Richard Nixon.
  6. Jess13 thread starter Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    Obama is worse than 100 Nixons.
  7. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
    I think you'll find I'm far from alone in disagreeing with you there. Although, Nixon did keep us out of northern Ireland.
  8. Renzatic Suspended


    Aug 3, 2011
    Gramps, what the hell am I paying you for?
    Nixon's kinda interesting, because it seems that those who remember him tend to have a much, much poorer opinion of him than those who can only look at him in retrospect.

    I think it might be the fact that Nixon, pretty solidly center-right in all regards, can be seen as something of a relative liberal progressive in these much more politically extreme times.
  9. Jess13 thread starter Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    That’s fine, you’re free to disagree. But the reality supports my assertion.
  10. AlliFlowers Contributor


    Jan 1, 2011
    L.A. (Lower Alabama)
  11. Jess13 thread starter Suspended


    Nov 3, 2013
    President Obama is among the worst humans alive on the planet today.
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

    Jul 4, 2003
    Terlingua, Texas
    His first election showed how eloquent mouthing of meaningless platitudes and campaign rhetoric could succeed in spite of any useful or successful track record in life. What's sad that is that while the track record of uselessness and harm became evident as it continued during his first term, he was re-elected.

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