When the President Lies

We need to tell the truth about liars no matter who they are.

America has always had a robust tradition of blunt political discourse, dating back to the times of our Founders.  Even so, more often than not, mainstream opinion-makers have generally respected the office even when it was held by someone with whom they disagreed.

In recent years this has degraded somewhat - the media loved to show footage of lefties waving "Bush Lied, Thousands Died" signs - but mostly the anchors didn't themselves repeat that canard.  They left the slanders to "opinion" shows, maintaining at least a fig-leaf of impartiality.

What do the media do when a President whom they adore does actually, demonstrably, lie?  Is that news that can be honestly reported as a lie?

Well, given that our current President is a Democrat, we all know his lies won't be called out.  It's still a worthwhile question, however, because the "Fast and Furious" scandal has led the President into a direct contradiction of himself in the midst of a constitutional crisis in which American law enforcement officers and a fair number of Mexican civilians lost their lives.

Aiding and Abetting Murderers

We've discussed the "Fast and Furious" scandal, so only a brief recap is necessary.  Our Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, under the authority of Attorney General Eric Holder, ordered American gun dealers to sell assault weapons to known Mexican drug dealers and let the Mexican criminals take those weapons across the border into Mexico where American law enforcement officers couldn't follow.

It shouldn't take a genius to know what happened next: well-armed Mexican gangsters started slaughtering fellow gangsters, Mexican cops and soldiers, Mexican civilians caught in the crossfire, and eventually American law enforcement agents.  They used American heavy weapons that the American government knowingly let them have.  At the very least this is criminal stupidity, if not (as we believe) a conspiracy to artificially produce pressure for laws to disarm law-abiding American citizens.

Under Darrell Issa, Congress' Judiciary Committee is performing its Constitutional check-and-balance function by hauling Attorney General Holder in to testify and demanding documents detailing exactly how this murderous policy came to be.  Anybody would be embarrassed by having to 'fess up to such a thing, but Holder's reluctance extends to lying:

New documents obtained by CBS News show Attorney General Eric Holder was sent briefings on the controversial Fast and Furious operation as far back as July 2010. That directly contradicts his statement to Congress.

On May 3, 2011, Holder told a Judiciary Committee hearing, "I'm not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks."

Yet internal Justice Department documents show that at least ten months before that hearing, Holder began receiving frequent memos discussing Fast and Furious.  [emphasis added]

When this news broke, Holder "retracted" his statements and "withdrew" other false documents before he could be charged with perjury.  He's still in contempt of Congress because he is refusing to deliver more documents which have been subpoenaed by Congress as they try to dig out the truth.

Barack Obama Lies

Holder is no longer the only one spouting demonstrable lies.  Back in March 2011, President Obama denied having heard about Fast and Furious before seeing it on the news.  This wasn't utterly implausible.  After all, as he pointed out, it's "a pretty big government" and part of the job of Cabinet officials is to make sure the President doesn't see things that might get him in trouble later.

All well and good, until last week, when President Obama abruptly claimed "executive privilege" so that he could avoid turning over the F&F documents Rep. Issa has been subpoenaing for months now.  This privilege is rooted in the separation of powers and in the commonsense logic that a President can't expect honest, open advice from his advisers if everything they say could be hauled before Congress and paraded in front of the cameras.

The trouble is that it's an executive privilege - i.e. it applies to the President and only to the President.  Barack Obama is claiming a privilege that applies only to documents involving him, when previously he went on TV and said he knew nothing about Fast and Furious and had never seen any documents about it!

Either he does, or he doesn't.  Either he was lying then or he is lying now.

In either case, will the mainstream media come out and say that the President has lied?  Will it help that the Supreme Court itself has abruptly and unexpectedly ruled him a liar - by deciding that Obamacare is a tax when he and every Democrat high and low swore up and down that it wasn't?

Don't hold your breath, but polls seem to indicate that the American people have figured it out for themselves thanks to Rep. Issa's pursuit of the matter.  The real question is, having figured it out, what will they do in November?

Petrarch is a contributing editor for Scragged.  Read other Scragged.com articles by Petrarch or other articles on Partisanship.
Reader Comments

The mainstream media come out and say that obama lied? You gotta be kidding me. They only recently gave the story a snippet and covered that with references to partisan politics by Issa. You can forget the MSM doing their job.

July 2, 2012 5:30 PM

At least the Romney campaign is coming straight out and saying that Obama "doesn't tell the truth", in their TV ads:


July 12, 2012 9:13 AM
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