The administration erects impenetrable information blockades around its festering scandals.
The White House laments that America hasn't built enough massive government infrastructure projects. Nonsense. At the rate it's growing, the Great Stonewall of Obama may soon be the second largest manmade object visible from outer space.
While many construction workers across the country remain idle, Team Obama's attorneys have been laboring overtime to erect impenetrable information blockades around three festering scandals: Solyndra, LightSquared, and Fast and Furious.
This much is clear: The "most transparent administration ever" is hyper-allergic to sunlight and subpoenas.
During another trademark Friday news dump, the White House revealed that it would fight a GOP House subpoena for internal documents related to the half-trillion-dollar, stimulus-funded, now-bankrupt Solyndra solar energy loan bust. White House counsel Kathryn Ruemmler fumed that the information request placed an "unreasonable burden on the president's ability to meet his constitutional duties." (Said duties, it should be noted, which the president has had no qualms circumventing during his "We Can't Wait" orgy of executive orders.)
Indeed, pestering the White House for a full accounting of how Solyndra and its largest investor — Obama campaign finance bundler and billionaire gambler George Kaiser — left taxpayers holding the bag is a most unwelcome intrusion into Obama's executive privilege. So someone summon a wahmbulance. He's feeling put upon.
Ruemmler further complained that the subpoena represents "a significant intrusion on executive branch interests." Then she uncorked a full-throated whine:
"As written, (the subpoena) encompasses all communications within the White House from the beginning of this Administration to the present that refer or relate to Solyndra, and the subpoena purports to demand a complete response in less than a week. Thus any document that references Solyndra, even in passing, is arguably responsive to the Committee's request, and you reaffirmed this week that you intend for the request to be that broad."
While she paints the request as a last-minute surprise, the White House has been stonewalling on Solyndra all year long. And as Reason magazine's Tim Cavanaugh points out: Compliance would be "the work of a few hours, at a time when the executive branch has 2.8 million employees. The whole thing could be done by staffers, leaving the president to focus on golf and fundraising and long, boring speeches."
Or staving off other scandals, like the troublesome LightSquared wireless Internet network project. This is Obama's dangerous broadband boondoggle involving billionaire hedge-fund managers Philip Falcone and George Soros.
In September, two high-ranking witnesses — Air Force Space Command four-star Gen. William Shelton and National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Director Anthony Russo — exposed how the White House pressured them to alter their congressional testimony and play down concerns about LightSquared's interference threat to military communications.
The Obama administration's National Telecommunications and Information Administration has resisted Freedom of Information Act requests filed by GPS World magazine regarding "the operational and economic impacts of a LightSquared terrestrial signal on GPS services." GOP Sen. Charles Grassley has met similar resistance from the Federal Communications Commission on his efforts to gain information about the panel's curious waiver for the politically connected from regulations over its proposed hybrid satellite and cellular network.
After five months of "radio silence" from the FCC, Grassley is now threatening to block two FCC nominees until the panel coughs up the documents.
Meanwhile, Grassley and other GOP watchdogs are chipping away at another den of obstructionists at the Department of Justice.
At a contentious Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder and his Democratic water-carriers attempted to deflect from Obama's bloody Fast and Furious debacle by playing the Blame Bush game. N.Y. Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer tried to equate the Bush-era Operation Wide Receiver program with Obama's deadly Fast and Furious gunwalking debacle and accused investigators of partisanship. (Never mind that Wide Receiver was a more tightly controlled program, as Townhall.com's Katie Pavlich reports, that was run in conjunction with the Mexican government, while Fast and Furious left Mexico in the dark and hundreds of bodies in its wake.)
More importantly, as Grassley pointed out, DOJ has stymied his efforts to obtain information on all gunwalking briefings for the past nine months. It's Chuckie-come-lately who's playing partisan games, not the GOP.
In closing, Holder shamelessly refused to apologize to the family of murdered Border Patrol agent Brian Terry, whose death has been tied to a Fast and Furious weapon, instead offering "sympathy" and "regret" while skirting direct accountability.
It's time to tear down this stonewall. And tear down Holder's smirk. The November 2012 bulldozer can't come soon enough.
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