Civil Liberties

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A serious concern is the recent targeting of whistleblowers who expose government corruption like Julian Assange, Bradley Manning, and Edward Snowden. In spite of whistleblower protection laws, those who expose government corruption are targeted by corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle working in concert to prevent public knowledge of what they are doing.

Targeting of Whistleblowers[edit]

When the criminals are government officials abusing the public trust, those who expose their corruption should be considered patriots, not criminals. Nonetheless, in spite of whistleblower protection laws, those who expose government corruption are consistently targeted by other corrupt government officials.

Julian Assange and WikiLeaks[edit]

There Was No Russian Collusion, Seth Rich Was the DNC Leak Source[edit]

Edward Snowden[edit]

Bradley Manning[edit]

Jim Taricani[edit]

Award-winning reporter Jim Taricani was sentenced in 2004 to four months home confinement for refusing to disclose the source of an FBI videotape leak showing a Providence, RI official taking a $1,000 bribe. The videotape resulted in prison time for former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci.[1]

Obama's Broken Promises[edit]

Protect Whistleblowers[edit]

On the campaign trail candidate Obama promised to "strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government."[2] In reality, as pointed out by Jake Tapper of CNN, "the Obama administration has used the Espionage Act to go after whistleblowers who leaked to journalists ... more than all previous administrations combined."[3] Even Attorney General Eric Holder has bragged that the administration has brought more leak cases than all previous administrations.[4] Holder's Department of Justice also secretly seized two months of phone records without notification from the Associated Press, one of the largest international organizations of journalists.[5] The White House has even forced changes to press pool reports, altering the news as it pleases.[6]

Diversity in Media Ownership[edit]

On the campaign trail Obama promised to "encourage diversity in the ownership of broadcast media, promote the development of new media outlets for expression of diverse viewpoints, and clarify the public interest obligations of broadcasters who occupy the nation's spectrum." As noted by PolitiFact this promise has been clearly and substantially broken.[7] In fact, Obama has declared war on conservative news outlets, using the power of his administration to try and silence FOX News.[8] The Obama administration even sought to get FOX removed from the White House Press Pool.[9]

Democrat Hacking[edit]

NSA Spying on 35 World Leaders[edit]

The Democrats hacked Russia before Russia hacked them. The Obama administration was caught spying on 35 world leaders and hacking the Google and Yahoo servers to steal hundreds of millions of global emails. I guess it was alright for the Democrats to hack Russia but not the other way around?[10]

Obama Denial of NSA Abuse[edit]

Obama claimed the NSA was not abusing its powers, stating:

NSA Audit Shows Otherwise[edit]

However, a NSA audit has discovered the NSA violated privacy rules or court orders 2,776 times in less than a year's time, from April 2011 to March 2012.[12] Nor was Obama's claim a one-time statement, he made this claim repeatedly to various news organizations, a systematic pattern of deliberate dishonesty. As observed by Salon's David Sirota, "But he's too smart not to understand the truth... I don’t buy that a constitutional lawyer and legal scholar didn’t know that the FISA court is secret — aka the opposite of 'transparent.' I don’t buy that he simply didn’t see any of the news showing that spying is happening in the United States. And I don’t buy that he didn’t know that there is evidence — both public and inside his own administration — of the NSA 'actually abusing' its power."[13]

DNC Email Leak[edit]

Clinton Collusion[edit]

The Wikileaks emails showed very real corruption on Hillary's part. Hillary was colluding with CNN's Donna Brazile, the former DNC head, to steal the debate questions, and with the DNC to keep Bernie Sanders from winning.[14] Maybe if the Obama administration honored our own Whistleblower protection laws, Snowden and Assange wouldn't have been forced to seek asylum in Russia in the first place.

Podesta and the Russians[edit]

Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, John Podesta, was himself involved in corruption with the Russians, as was Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.[15]

Steele Dossier Originated from Foreign Sources[edit]

As has been pointed out by Rush Limbaugh, whereas no evidence has been provided that Trump himself colluded with Russia to produce foreign election interference, the dossier used to accuse him of colluding with Russia was itself produced by Hillary and the Democrats in cooperation with British intelligence agents to affect the elections.[16]

The Steele Dossier used as the basis for the Mueller Investigation itself began from foreign sources. Christopher Steele originally was a British intelligence agent, working for MI6 from 1987 to 2009, who formed Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd. with fellow MI6 agent Chris Burrows, to provide intel on both Russia and Ukraine. The dossier and Christopher Steele were funded in 2016 by Hillary Clinton and the DNC.[17]

No IRS Corruption[edit]

Obama dishonestly denied any corruption whatsoever in the IRS scandal, claiming there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" and admitted the head of the IRS Doug Shulman had been to the White House over 100 times, but said he didn't remember any of the conversations.[18]

However, the IRS a few months later paid $50,000 to the National Organization for Marriage to settle a lawsuit over the IRS leaking a confidential donor list to homosexual activists.[20] Meanwhile, Lois Lerner, the IRS official at the heart of the scandal, has refused to testify unless given immunity, pleading the Fifth Amendment after admitting the IRS subjected groups to additional scrutiny if they had the words "tea party" or "patriots" in their names.[21]

Most Groups Targeted Were Conservative[edit]

While Democrats have attempted to dishonestly claim liberal groups were targeted as well as conservative groups by the IRS, the overwhelming majority were clearly conservative. As noted by John D. McKinnon of the Wall Street Journal, "Of the 298 applications that were collected and put on hold by the Internal Revenue Service between mid-2010 and mid-2012, 248, or 83%, were right-leaning, while 29, or 10%, were left-leaning."[22]

Revise the Patriot Act[edit]

Obama's Broken Promise[edit]

In 2008 Obama campaigned on revising the Patriot Act and restricting warrantless wiretapping.[24] Obama even specifically campaigned against the national security letters used by the Patriot Act, stating,

Obama has extended and defended the wiretapping he once condemned.[26]

Sources[edit]

  1. Smith, M.R. (2019, June 22). "Journalist Who Exposed Corruption, Wouldn't Reveal Source Dies." ABC News.
  2. Maier, L. (2013, November 21). The Obameter: Increase Protections for Whistleblowers. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/426/increase-protections-for-whistleblowers>
  3. Greenberg, J. (2014, January 10). CNN's Tapper: Obama Has Used Espionage Act More Than All Previous Administrations. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jan/10/jake-tapper/cnns-tapper-obama-has-used-espionage-act-more-all->
    Carr, D. (2012, February 26). Blurred Line Between Espionage and Truth. The New York Times. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/27/business/media/white-house-uses-espionage-act-to-pursue-leak-cases-media-equation.html>
  4. Bazelon, E. (2013, May 14). Obama's War on Journalists. Slate. <https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2013/05/obamas-justice-department-holders-leak-investigations-are-outrageous-and-unprecedented.html>
  5. Sherman, M. (2013, May 13). Gov't Obtains Wide AP Phone Records in Probe. The Associated Press. <http://bigstory.ap.org/article/govt-obtains-wide-ap-phone-records-probe>
  6. Farhi, P. (2014, September 23). Reporters Say White House Sometimes Demands Changes to Press-Pool Reports. The Washington Post. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/reporters-say-white-house-sometimes-demands-changes-to-press-pool-reports/2014/09/23/e5e6fec8-42d9-11e4-9a15-137aa0153527_story.html>
  7. Wogan, J.B. (2012, November 19). The Obameter: Encourage Diversity in Media Ownership. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/388/encourage-diversity-in-media-ownership>
  8. (2009, October 12). White House Escalates War of Words With Fox News. FOX News. <http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/12/white-house-escalates-war-words-fox-news>
  9. Greenfield, J. (2009, October 23). President Obama's Feud with FOX News. CBS News. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obamas-feud-with-fox-news>
  10. Ball, J. (2013, October 25). "NSA Monitored Calls of 35 World Leaders After US Official Handed Over Contacts." The Guardian.
    "NSA Secretly Tapped Google, Yahoo Data Centers Worldwide, New Report Claims." FOX News.
  11. Peterson, A. (2013, August 15). Remember When Obama Said the NSA Wasn't 'Actually Abusing' Its Powers? He Was Wrong. The Washington Post. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/08/15/remember-when-obama-said-the-nsa-wasnt-actually-abusing-its-powers-he-was-wrong>
  12. Gellman, B. (2013, August 15). NSA Broke Privacy Rules Thousands of Times Per Year, Audit Finds. The Washington Post. <http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-broke-privacy-rules-thousands-of-times-per-year-audit-finds/2013/08/15/3310e554-05ca-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html>
  13. Sirota, D. (2013, August 16). What if the President Lied to Us? Salon. <http://www.salon.com/2013/08/16/what_if_the_president_lied_to_us>
  14. "Donna Brazile Leaves CNN After Leaks Reveal Campaign Collusion." Snopes.org.
  15. Atkisson, Sheryl (2018, February 11). "Democratic Ties to Russia are Ample, and Often Ethically Dubious." The Hill.
  16. Limbaugh, R. (2019, June 14). "Where's the Outrage? Hillary Obtained Political Dirt From Foreign Sources!" RushLimbaugh.com.
  17. Krieg, G. (2017, October 27). "Clinton, the DNC, and the Making of the 'Trump Dossier'-What We Know." CNN Politics.
  18. (2014, February 3). 'Not Even a Smidgen of Corruption': Obama Downplays IRS, Other Scandals. FOX News. <http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02/03/not-even-smidgen-corruption-obama-downplays-irs-other-scandals>
  19. Cashill, J. (2014, September 13). 5 Lies That Have Shaped the Obama Presidency. The New York Post. <http://nypost.com/2014/09/13/how-falsehoods-and-fibs-have-shaped-the-obama-presidency>
  20. (2014, June 25). Editorial: Another 'Smidgen of Corruption' at the Internal Revenue Service. The Washington Times. <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jun/25/editorial-new-scandal-at-the-irs>
  21. Korte, G. (2014, February 26). Lois Lerner Wants Immunity in Exchange for IRS Testimony. USA Today. <http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/02/26/lois-lerner-wants-immunity-in-exchange-for-irs-testimony/5834321>
  22. McKinnon, J.D. (2013, September 18). New Breakdown of Groups Targeted by IRS. The Wall Street Journal. <http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/09/18/new-breakdown-of-groups-targeted-by-irs>
  23. Contorno, S. (2014, June 22). Donna Brazile: No Conspiracy Here, IRS Targeted Liberals Too. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/jun/22/donna-brazile/donna-brazile-no-conspiracy-here-irs-targeted-libe>
    Sherfinski & Dinan (2013, June 27). IRS Auditor Reaffirms that Conservatives, Not Liberals, Were Targeted. The Washington Times. <http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jun/27/irs-auditor-reaffirms-conservatives-not-liberals-w/?page=all>
  24. Taylor, D.G. (2011, July 21). The Obameter: Revise the Patriot Act to Increase Oversight on Government Surveillance. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/179/revise-the-patriot-act-to-increase-oversight-on-go>
    Taylor, D.G. (2011, October 25). The Obameter: Restrict Warrantless Wiretaps. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/obameter/promise/180/end-warrantless-wiretaps>
  25. Houck, C. (2013, June 13). Barack Obama on Surveillance, Then and Now. PolitiFact. <http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2013/jun/13/barack-obama-surveillance-then-and-now>
  26. Jakes, L. (2013, June 8). Obama Defends Broad Phone, Internet Spy Programs. The Associated Press. <http://news.yahoo.com/obama-defends-broad-phone-internet-spy-programs-081008875.html>
  27. The Associated Press (2013, June 7). Despite Past Campaign Promises, Obama National Security Record Very Similar To George W. Bush. CBS DC. <http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/06/07/despite-past-campaign-promises-obama-national-security-record-very-similar-to-george-w-bush>