Tag Archives: Iran nuclear negotiations

“If That Was Transparency, Then I’m A Kumquat” And Other Reactions To Josh Earnest’s Multiple Unethical Christmas Quotes

This morning, Obama Administration paid liar Josh Earnest spoiled my Christmas mellow by telling CNN’s alleged news media ethics watchdog Brian Stelter that there’s really “no constituency in American politics for transparency in government beyond journalists,” as he deflected Stelter’s accounts of journalists complaining about administration foot-dragging on Freedom of Information Act requests. Then he really curdled the ethicist’s eggnog by saying,

“If this constituency of journalists are gonna be effective advocates for the issue that they care about, they need to remember that they have a responsibility not just to criticize those who are not living up to their expectations. Any activist will tell you that the way that you get people to support you and to support your cause is to give them credit when the credit is due, to applaud them when they do the thing that you want them to be doing.”

Finally, Earnest molded my mistletoe by claiming,  “President Obama has been the most transparent president in American history.”

Stelter, of course, being an incompetent, biased and unethical news media ethics watchdog, did not interjection with the mandatory, “WHAT??? You’ve got to be kidding! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ACK! ACK! ARRRGH! and drop dead in shock.

That statement is fake news if anything is, rivaling the news media lie that that the Obama years were devoid of major scandals. Before we begin shooting fish in a barrel and deal with that brazen-beyond-belief spin, let’s pause to consider the other stunner in Earnest’s Christmas morning performance:

1. What does Earnest mean that journalists are the only constituency for transparency? Does the Obama administration, and by extension Democrats, really believe that the public doesn’t mind being lied to? If so, that explains a lot, including the nomination of Hillary Clinton.

2. Journalists are not supposed to advocates and activists at all. They are supposed to be devoted to communicating facts and the truth.

3. Is Earnest saying that when a President generally defies a pledge of ethical conduct, he should nonetheless be praised when he doesn’t defy that pledge, and that journalists should highlight the Administration’s rare examples of  transparency while ignoring the overwhelmingly more copious breaches? It sure sounded like it.

That brings us back to the mind-melting quote that this has been a transparent administration by any definition of the word other than “not transparent at all.”

This episode from 2011 nicely encapsulates the issue:

“President Obama was scheduled to receive an award from the organizers of the Freedom of Information Day Conference, to be presented at the White House by “five transparency advocates.” The White House postponed that meeting because of events in Libya and Japan, and it was rescheduled…That meeting did take place – behind closed doors. The press was not invited to the private transparency meeting, and no photos from or transcript of the meeting have been made available. The event was not listed on the president’s calendar…Nor is the award mentioned anywhere on the White House website, including on the page devoted to transparency and good government. Were it not for the testimony of the transparency advocates who met secretly with the president, there wouldn’t seem to be any evidence that the meeting actually took place.”

That’s right: Obama wasn’t transparent about a transparency meeting. That same day, Obama went on TV  and tried to explain why he hadn’t been transparent to the U.S. Congress about his military plans in Libya.  Shortly after that, news leaked that the Fed had secretly sent billions in loans to foreign banks during the financial crisis.

Ah, memories! On his second day on the job, January 21, 2009, that…President Obama famously pledged, in one of his first memos to federal agencies

“We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.”

He may be right about that last part, or maybe he discovered that it was naive and impractical dream. Under no circumstances, however, can it be said that Obama’s administration was transparent. An exhaustive list is impossibly, long, but here is an incomplete  sample just from the posts in Ethics Alarms: Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Science & Technology, War and the Military

The State Department’s Cover-Up Tactics: So This Is Trustworthy, Transparent, Honest Government Under Barack Obama’s Leadership, Is It?

tapper-300x197[Warning: I want to apologize for the snarky and perhaps unprofessional tone of the following post. On second thought, I don’t.]

Barack Obama’s approval ratings have been rising in the wake of the realization that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump are his likely successors.  I can’t blame the public too much for this, as irrational as it is. Place Steve Buscemi next to the Elephant Man, and after a while he’ll seem like George Clooney.

Still, the fact that so many Americans accept/ enable this incompetent, divisive, corrupt and untrustworthy government under Obama is a major reason such unfit candidates as Clinton and Trump have gotten this far. Never before has such incompetent leadership been so extolled, especially by the news media. The standards for what Americans would accept as Presidential leadership have been lowered catastrophically under Obama, and this is one of many horrible results.

Now the State Department—you know, that major Cabinet Department Hillary Clinton ran, the one that looked the other way while its Secretary violated its policies regarding classified material, then tried to cover it up? That one—  has  admitted that a question from Fox News reporter James Rosen about the government’s secret discussions with Iran was deliberately edited out of a video to re-write history and deceive the public. The section related to secret meetings with Iran prior to the nuclear deal—you know, the one that Obama’s foreign policy advisor Ben Rhodes boasted about how it was foisted on the American people by duping the media. That one. When Fox News first flagged the missing exchange, Obama’s government dismissed it as a “glitch.”

You know. Like The IRS said that it couldn’t find Lois Lerner’s e-mails.

But this week, finding that it couldn’t stonewall any more, the State Department  told reporters  that “a staffer” had erased part of the footage from the December 2013 briefing before it was posted on the Internet. This censor reportedly did so, the State Department admitted, after receiving a phone call from an “unknown” department employee ordering him or her to do so. “There was a deliberate request—this wasn’t a technical glitch,” State now says.

Though they first said it was. When it wasn’t. To put everyone off the track. Because this is the most transparent administration ever, and has never had any scandals. None.

Do I seem annoyed? I am. Continue reading

17 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

Facebook Manipulation, Ben Rhodes And Hillary’s Tech Minion’s Missing Emails: Seeking A Path To Objective Analysis (PART 1 of 2)

mind-control2

There are at least three news stories sending off toxic fumes right now, all—coincidentally?—suggesting sinister doings on the Left.

First, we have the Ben Rhodes story, where a key Obama foreign policy aide (with no experience in foreign policy but a degree in creative writing) boasts to a journalist on the record about how the Obama Administration, under his brilliant management, tricked journalists into misleading the public.

Second, we have Facebook employees revealing that Facebook is working hard at indoctrinating its users by pushing news items favorable to the Great Progressive Awakening while suppressing stories that might create sympathy for rightward politicians and causes.

Finally, we have the interesting news that the State Department can’t find Bryan Pagliano’s emails from the time he served as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s senior information technology staffer during her tenure there.

In order for citizens to have any chance of processing these events so as to have an accurate, as opposed to comforting, view of the forces directing their fates, they must banish all biases while simultaneously keeping a firm hold on their accumulated experience. How do we do that? Is it even possible?

The immediate, reflex reactions to stories like these, are, in no particular order,

I don’t believe it.

AHA! I knew it!

So what?

ARGHHHH! We’re doomed!

Good.

So how did the Mets do today?

The last one, sadly, is the most common. It is also arguably the most unethical, for the corruption of democracy thrives on apathy almost as much as it feeds upon, and nourishes, ignorance. Most Americans don’t know or care who Ben Rhodes is. Most don’t understand why Hillary Clinton’s emails are such a big deal, and are happy to accept that false narrative, fanned by Hillary herself, that it’s all a big invention by the right-wing conspiracy. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media

The Ben Rhodes Confession: Apparently The Corruption And Dishonesty Of The Obama Administration Isn’t Even News Any More

I would at least think the revelation that The Simpsons' Nelson Muntz was a White House foreign policy advisor would be news...

I would at least think the revelation that The Simpsons’ Nelson Muntz was a White House foreign policy advisor would be news…

From today’s Washington Post:

“One of President Obama’s top national security advisers led journalists to believe a misleading timeline of U.S. negotiations with Iran over a nuclear-disarmament agreement and relied on inexperienced reporters to create an “echo chamber” that helped sway public opinion to seal the deal, according to a lengthy magazine profile.

Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told the New York Times magazine that he helped promote a “narrative” that the administration started negotiations with Iran after the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013. In fact, the administration’s negotiations actually began earlier, with the country’s powerful Islamic faction, and the framework for an agreement was hammered out before Rouhani’s election.

The distinction is important because of the perception that Rouhani was more favorably disposed toward American interests and more trustworthy than the hard-line faction that holds ultimate power in Iran.”

In other words, the Obama Administration manipulated the news media to deceive the American public. The objective was to make the public less concerned about the trustworthiness of the Iranian government and the motives of the Obama administration regarding an agreement that resulted in Iran receiving billions  of dollars in exchange for a promise to do what it has never done before, adhere to an international nuclear treaty.

Since this information arrived in the form of a boast from Obama’s chief foreign policy advisor, in a tone reminiscent of the revelations of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber, it qualifies as a smoking gun indictment of the President’s integrity, honesty, competence and transparency.

Let me correct that: another smoking gun.

Yet the Post published this in its Style section, with the movie reviews, gossip columns and crossword puzzle. The Rhodes profile itself was published by the New York Times Magazine, not the newspaper itself. In other words, the two major U.S. dailies that were among the news sources duped by Rhodes and Obama, think this is interesting, entertaining even. They don’t perceive it as news and apparently they don’t think it is wrong. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Jumbo, Leadership

Incompetent Elected Official Of The Month: Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.)

What’s the matter with this guy?

Rep. Salmon is apparently obsessed with the coming Congressional showdown over the President’s marvelous “Let’s not let the Iranians get nukes until  15 years from now when I’ll be long gone, assuming they don’t cheat and get them earlier which they almost certainly will” treaty with Iran, a jewel in the crown of his proud legacy.  The Congressman is so obsessed that he couldn’t stop himself from fear-mongering about the dangers of the agreement while doing a civics presentation at the San Tan Charter School. He also apparently was so passionate that he thought he was talking to teeny voters rather than  second and third-graders.
Continue reading

16 Comments

Filed under Childhood and children, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Incompetent Elected Officials

The Washington Post—Finally—Admits The Truth About President Obama

fingers-pointing

I will reprint The Washington Post’s lead editorial here nearly in full. I will have comments after, though I will make this one now: every character trait and leadership deficit the Post points to  was evident to objective observers—like me—from the beginning of Obama’s administration. That one of the most consistent and prominent Democratic Party and liberal policy boosters in the national news media finally mounts the integrity, honesty and integrity to admit it now is not all that satisfying.

Here is, with a few omissions so you will link to the site and read the whole thing (it’s only fair), is the damning and undeniable editorial:

Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) decided he would vote against President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, he explained his reasoning in a 1,700-word essay. On balance, he concluded, “the very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will, instead, use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.” We disagree with that conclusion, but not with serene confidence; we share the senator’s concern that Iran will use the lifting of sanctions to intensify its toxic behavior in the region. We understand and respect Mr. Schumer’s decision; also, it’s generally better to treat policy disagreements in good faith.

That has not been the spirit in which Mr. Obama and his team have met his Iran-deal critics. The president has countered them with certitude and ad hominem attacks, the combined import of which is that there are no alternatives to his policy, that support for the deal is an obvious call and that nearly anyone who suggests otherwise is motivated by politics or ideology. Mr. Obama’s rhetoric reached its low point when he observed that the deal’s opponents value war over diplomacy and that Iranian extremists were “making common cause with the Republican caucus.”

Continue reading

18 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Leadership, War and the Military

A Brief, Depressing Follow-Up On The Iran Deal

mushroom-cloud

I have been reading a lot about the Iran deal, hoping against hope that I just don’t understand it, and that it might be more responsible than it seems, because it seems to be astoundingly irresponsible.

Comes the Washington Post editorial board, reliably supportive of the President—any Democratic President, really–and a good bet to find the silver lining in any cloud. Surely, if this agreement isn’t the crowning, most dangerous incompetence on the mountain of incompetence that is the Obama Presidency, the Washington Post will move that mountain aside to show why.

Here are some direct quotes from this pro Obama, pro-Iran deal editorial by a liberal media standard bearer:

If the transformation of Iranian behavior the president hopes for does not occur, the deal on its nuclear program may ultimately prove to be a poor one — a temporary curb that, when it lapses, will enable a dangerous threshold nuclear state that poses a major threat to the United States and its allies.

In other words, the deal does not ensure this “transformation” will occur, the U.S. has no control overwhwether the “transformation” does occur, and the treaty doesn’t have anything in it that will compel such a transformation. Keep your fingers crossed.

 Its most immediate effect will be to provide Tehran with up to $150 billion in fresh assets from sanctions relief over the next year, funds that its leaders will probably use to revive the domestic economy but also to finance wars and terrorist groups in Iraq, Syria, the Gaza Strip, Yemen and elsewhere.

Gee, what a great deal.

Though Mr. Obama has promised to mitigate that outcome with new support for Israel and U.S. Arab allies, one effect of the deal may be an increase in the sectarian bloodshed wracking the region, as well as the conventional threat to Israel. When embargoes on arms and missile sales to Iran expire in five and eight years, that threat could further escalate, and Tehran could seek missiles capable of striking U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf or reaching the U.S. homeland.

That’s what the treaty allows, mind you.

These strictures, according to the administration’s experts, will keep Iran a year away from producing a weapon during that time — provided that it does not cheat by secretly conducting nuclear work elsewhere.Because Iran twice has been caught in such clandestine work, that is a critical concern — and the provisions for deterring and detecting violations are the areas in which Tehran fought for, and won, some troubling compromises. International inspectors seeking access to a suspected Iranian site could be delayed by a 24-day, multi-step process ultimately requiring five votes on an eight-member committee; at a minimum, the United States and four European representatives would have to concur. While a U.S. president could, in theory, unilaterally determine that Iran was cheating and force the reimposition of U.N. sanctions, it could take 65 days and might prove politically unworkable.

Wow! I see another Peace Prize!

 Mr. Obama settled for terms far short of those he originally aimed for.

This is what happens when you want a deal of any kind, and don’t have the guts to walk away.

Whether he is right in claiming that his successor in 10 or 15 years “will be in a far stronger position” with Iran will depend on whether his hopeful theory about its political future proves correct.

No, we can only judge the competence and reasonableness of an agreement at the time it is made. “We might get lucky” is no defense.

I’m convinced, and by The Washington Post: this was a craven, inept, dangerous agreement made by a foolish, desperate, deluded man and an tragically incompetent leader. The American people have an obligation to the entire world, and their children and grandchildren, to insist that Democrats join Republicans in killing it.

Later they can explain why they would again hand the nation over to a party that placed the fate of civilization in the unqualified hands of a President like this.

84 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Leadership, War and the Military