The only differences between Barack Obama and Richard Nixon are that one is a Democrat and the other was a Republican, one is telegenic and the other was not, one is slick and the other was not, and one combines ignorance of world history with incompetence in his dealings with foreign governments while the other was knowledgeable and had the foresight and diplomatic skills to open up relations with China. Other than those differences, both men share a contemptuous disregard for the constitution, the rule of law, the American public, and any ideology other than their own.
A quick bit of background on the late President Nixon: my mother was a lifelong, dyed-in-the-wool, card-carrying Republican who regarded the Kennedy family with horror and contempt, but she was so appalled by Mr. Nixon’s antics that she and some other elderly, educated, politically and socially connected ladies set about trying to get him impeached. Recently widowed, she had the brains and time and Washington savvy to get things done. She and the other ladies were effective enough that they got noticed and the result was telephoned middle of the night death threats, an event I made use of in American Riff. (http://readjamesonparker.com/books-by-jameson-parker/american-riff ) Needless to say, events took another turn, and Mr. Nixon stepped down, thereby avoiding both impeachment and possible criminal charges, and my mother was not murdered.
I am not aware of any death threats made by the Obama administration, but reporters are all very aware of the consequences of any negative reporting on the president and his cronies. When Rahm Emanuel was still in the White House, he would frequently personally make angry telephone calls, complete with screaming and obscenities, calls that were designed to both /C9SZ3J9zXvyfiUO6Ddn zYeThZQpKI discourage and intimidate. Those calls are still being made, and—to be fair—it is my understanding that such calls have been made by many other administrations as well.
But where Mr. Obama and his cohorts differ is that they have taken—and attempted to take—things much further. James Rosen is a case in point. He was threatened with criminal charges by the Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice, with the Attorney General personally signing the search warrants against Rosen. Think about that for a moment: criminal charges against an established and highly regarded and internationally known reporter for doing his job. Fortunately, virtually every news organization, liberal and conservative, saw the danger in this kind of behavior and they all expressed their outrage, causing the DOJ to back off.
But now take a look at investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Ms. Attkisson is the CBS investigative reporter who has been nominated for, and has won, multiple Emmys for her reporting on a variety of topics, including the Department of Justice’s “Fast and Furious” gun-running scandal. It was this last one, coupled with her investigation into the Benghazi disaster, which ultimately led to her resignation from CBS.
Lost in the flurry of stories about Obama’s enacting immigration laws by executive action, and the concern about the grand jury findings in Ferguson, MO, is the recent release of documents that had been personally claimed as protected under executive privilege by Obama himself. The documents are numerous, and have not yet been thoroughly reviewed, but they include emails between White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz and former Department of Justice Spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler. The actual emails themselves may be seen on various sites, notably at Judicial Watch, the organization whose lawsuit forced the release of the documents.
The salient exchange between Schmaler and Schultz contains this from Schmaler:
“I’m also calling Sharryl’s [sic] editor and reaching out to [Bob, Face the Nation] Scheiffer. She’s out of control.”
Now I don’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, or liberal or conservative, or how you feel about the second amendment, or what you may think about President Obama and his administration, or even if you believe Machiavelli was the greatest political genius of all time. This exchange should scare the pants off you. The Department of Justice is supposed to be a completely neutral, non-partisan organization responsible for the enforcement of law and the administration of justice for all American citizens. The FBI, DEA, ATF, the US Marshals Service, and many other agencies are all under the aegis of the DOJ. If the DOJ itself, and specifically its Attorney General, Eric Holder, are corrupt enough to attempt to intimidate and discredit a journalist, you—a citizen of the United States—are at risk, because freedom, as we know it in this country, no longer is a reality. These are precisely the kinds of crimes that caused a bunch of elderly, conservative ladies to go after Richard Nixon and that ultimately forced him to resign.
And more: according to Sharyl Attkisson, both her CBS computer and her personal, home computer—an iMac—were hacked into by someone savvy and sophisticated enough to co-opt it and operate it remotely. She hired her own computer expert and found that someone had installed an extra fibet her knowledge or permission. Among other things, files she was working on would suddenly get deleted in front of her eyes.
Let’s be very clear: both Sharyl Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration and her career were sabotaged as much by CBS—and you have to ask yourself if it was personal ideology on their part or a result of governmental pressuring—as they were by the White House and the DOJ, but the intimidation factor (the DOJ leaning on her bosses at CBS; messing with her computer right in front of her) are the actions of cowardly, amoral, unscrupulous, and power-hungry men. Men who are using your tax dollars to subvert your first amendment rights. Men like Richard Nixon. Men like Eric Holder. Men like Barack Obama.