Corruption continues to plague Obama administration
Flash back to 2008 when America was optimistic for the coming shift in our nation’s leadership. Many who never have before came out to vote, in confidence that a new face would help to redefine what 21st century America looked like. The hope and change pushed by the Obama camp convinced the United States public that America could pull up its bootstraps and get back to work. This sentiment — fueled in large part by grassroots activism — came in refreshing contrast to typical American political followings.
Obama was a candidate clearly different from the Clinton and McCain camps. His non-established aura, which was coupled with talk of transparency in a post-Bush world, was received well by many Americans. One of the principles championed by then-candidate Obama was a new era of good government. To him and his followers, this meant complete transparency.
Now that the world has seen six years of his rule, most can’t believe how severely Obama has undermined transparency. The current administration has been similar to many of its predecessors, regarding their abuse of executive power. He has done this by using existing bureaucracies to suppress free speech and transparency, including covering up political scandals unseen since the Nixon Administration.
Although polls have illustrated Americans’ distrust in government, there is one thing it has done right: suppressing the truth. The Obama Administration has charged eight Americans with espionage — more than all other presidents combined. From journalist James Risen to whistle blowers John Kiriakou of the CIA, Edward Snowden of the NSA and Chelsea Manning of the U.S. Military, all of these Americans have been prosecuted by the U.S. government. One could argue they have undermined our nation’s national security, but that is an establishment cop-out. These whistleblowing employees are not our enemies but our friends — they are patriots. And to some, they are heroes.
Journalists and their anonymous or whistleblowing sources are freedom fighters in their own right. Operating as the unofficial fourth branch of government, the media enforces essential checks and balances. Sometimes these individuals and their respective outlets face threats from people or even governments. Sometimes these people help to make Americans a more informed populace, guiding them to see beyond our two-party system — a system, may I add, that has agreed only on some of the most anti-liberty policies.
In June 2013, amid the partisan battles in Washington D.C., there was an issue most politicians could agree on: Edward Snowden released classified information and, therefore, should be prosecuted for it. The information he shared with the world has changed the use of technology forever. He revealed that under Bush and Obama, the world has been collectively spied on. The U.S. government targets Muslim Americans because of their religion. Snowden even revealed we were spying on one of our closest allies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel. These revelations serve as evidence that the Obama administration not only failed on its promise of transparency and secured civil liberties, but also extended the very practices candidate Obama campaigned against.
In addition to the leftover Bush mischief, Obama has scandals organic to his own presidency. It was found that the IRS had used its resources to target the tax-exempt status of organizations due to their political affiliation. Much of the evidence of said political aggression is embedded in the emails of former director of Exempt Organizations at the IRS Lois Lerner. Lerner and the White House played political theater, regarding their claims of her deleted emails and continue to do so despite knowledge of their existence. One official, in admission of their existence, even stated the database was simply “too onerous to search.”
In similar character to the lack of knowledge surrounding scandals in this mischievous administration are the Benghazi attacks. Oftentimes discredited as a scandal politically manufactured by Republicans, the Benghazi security mishaps are as real as Bush’s torture, Bill Clinton’s promiscuity and Nixon’s wiretapping. Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who left the media outlet due to apparent bias in favor of the current administration, revealed much of the corruption surrounding the Benghazi attacks. Attkisson even recently came out with a CIA source confirming the administration had hacked into her personal computer in order to monitor her coverage of the scandal. It is such evidence that helps the American public realize they were never delivered the hope and change that they wished for.
Despite all the pressing issues facing America, it is clear that the current administration can’t lead the nation through this time due to their commit to political scandals. Although education, poverty, debt and incarceration rates are plaguing the American people, our nation’s leaders are too busy getting briefed on manufactured lies — and golfing. With a national debt hovering around $18 trillion, I think I could name a few Federal departments worth cutting.
Matthew Boyer is a School of Arts and Science junior majoring in political science. He is the NJ State Chair of Young Americans for Liberty and Rutgers’ chapter president. His column, “Legalizing Life,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.