President Donald Trump has charged that the previous president tapped his phones during the 2016 election campaign. With Democrats and the old-line establishment media in a fury, the people would do well to recall the 44th president’s high-tech harassment of journalists and his legacy of lies.
“If you like your health plan, you can keep it,” he told the nation. As countless Americans verified, they could not keep the health plan they liked, nor the doctor they liked, and they would not save thousands of dollars a year. In California, the president’s Affordable Care Act was responsible for “widespread consumer misery,” a revival of President Jimmy Carter’s misery index.
The president lied because he knew the ACA was groundwork for his designated successor Hillary Clinton to impose the “public option,” or “single payer,” in reality government monopoly health care. But last November the people turned down the designated successor, and that put the former president and his establishment media allies in a foul mood.
The 44th president, whose mentor was the Stalinist Frank Marshall Davis, deployed the powerful IRS against political opponents, blocking their attempt to secure tax-exempt status. The president claimed “not even a smidgeon of corruption” was involved in the IRS scandal. For the most part, the old-line establishment media accepted the lie, and the president always knew he could get away with anything.
In 2009 at Ford Hood, self-described “soldier of Allan” Nidal Hasan gunned down 13 unarmed American soldiers and wounded more than 30 others while screaming “Allahu Akbar.” This was radical Islamic terrorism at its worst, but the administration called the savage attack “workplace violence.” The establishment media did not push back against this absurdity and others.
In 2012, when radical Islamic terrorists killed four Americans in Benghazi, including ambassador Chris Stevens, the president deployed skillful liars to claim it was all about some internet video. The president knew otherwise and so did Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who after the victims’ funerals wondered “what difference, at this point, does it make?”
One of the few journalists who remained focused on this story was Sharyl Attkisson of CBS. The liberal reporter discovered that the administration was not, as the president claimed, the “most transparent” in history. In coverage of “Fast and Furious” and other scandals she found the reverse was true. Attkisson had been around too long to accept the notion that an internet video prompted the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
In her 2014 Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, the author packed four pages with administration claims and countervailing facts. She also deconstructed Hillary Clinton’s Hard Choices, but as the author learned, investigation of the president and his designated successor has its dangers.
Attkisson describes working at her computer when something takes over and starts wiping out material. She has the presence of mind to grab her phone and shoot a video. She finds that her computer has been infiltrated by means of spyware proprietary to government agencies such as the CIA, FBI and NSA. She also finds the intruders planted classified information on her computer. That adds “the possible threat of criminal prosecution” to the author’s investigative efforts.
An administration engaged in such high-tech harassment could easily target a candidate who might defeat the president’s designated successor. For her part, Hillary Clinton set up a home-brew server and proceeded to delete more than 30,000 emails, some of them from the President of the United States. He did not produce any samples for public examination, but he did explain that Clinton had not endangered national security.
For the most part, the old-line establishment media parroted this claim. As Ben Rhodes said, many journalists “literally know nothing.” No surprise that Rhodes was the mouthpiece for the Trump phone-tap denial, and the old-line establishment media showed the usual credulity.
The people would be wise never to believe anything until it has been officially denied.
As Milan Kundera observed, “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” In that spirit, recall perhaps the biggest fabrication of all from the Hawaiian-born Occidental College student formerly known as Barry Soetoro.
“My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya,” the senatorial candidate told the Democratic Convention in 2004. “He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father, my grandfather, was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.”
That’s a great story, as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather, and the old-line establishment media accepted it uncritically. Trouble is, in his writings from 1958 to 1964, including more than 20 letters, the Kenyan foreign student Barack H. Obama makes no mention of an American wife and Hawaiian-born American son.
The 44th president was never exactly who he claimed to be. On the other hand, he was a prodigious liar who deployed government agencies against political opponents. For someone like that, the Trump phone tap would not be a difficult matter. Meanwhile, the struggle of the people against the President Formerly Known as Barry Soetoro (PFKBS) remains the struggle of memory against forgetting.