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The Real Side | Commentary by Joe Messina
| Monday, Sep 8, 2014

joemessinamugDepending on the sound clip you find, you will hear President Obama say, “I will have the most transparent administration this country has ever seen,” and “transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstone of this administration.” (Insert cricket sounds here.)

We have heard this line over and over and over again. As President Obama would say, “Let me be Clear.” “Transparency,” as defined in Webster’s dictionary, means: Able to be seen through, easy to notice or understand, not secretive, fine or sheer enough to be seen through, free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, easily understood. Do I need to go on? Come on. Really?

Mr. Obama, I’m not going to call you a liar. I’ll just let your words speak for themselves. Just recently at a press conference, both of these lines were used in the same speech. “Our objective is clear, and that is to degrade and destroy (ISIL) so that it’s no longer a threat not just to Iraq but also the region and to the United States.” That’s pretty clear. And for further clarity, Webster’s says “destroy” means: to cause (something) to end or no longer exist; to cause the destruction of (something); to damage (something) so badly that it cannot be repaired.

Not being an English major, I can guess the president is saying he will make it so ISIL no longer exists and will damage it so badly it cannot be repaired. I’m in. Where do I sign up? But wait. There’s more. He goes on to say: “We can continue to shrink ISIL’s sphere of influence, effectiveness, finance, military capabilities to the point where it is a manageable problem.”

Not being an English scholar and believing the president’s meds are balanced and that he knew of what he spoke, I had to be the one confused. Webster’s definition of “manageable” is: easy to control or deal with. Hmm? If you are going to deal with or control something, doesn’t it have to be in existence? If he wants to “destroy” it in one breath – which means to eliminate it – and then wants to “manage” it in the next sentence – it would have to be in existence to manage – either his teleprompter is messed up or he is confused.

realside090814Which is it? Destroy it or manage it? He must be confused since, in his words, he said: “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstone of this administration.” Is he hiding something from us or not?

He said we had no plan to deal with ISIS(L). When his generals and others on his security council said we have a plan and are waiting on the White House to act, the White House quickly came out and said that what the president really meant was, they were “fine tuning,” “looking at all options,” “hadn’t decided on one.”

Transparency, easy to understand, easy to see through, easily detected, easily understood. I’m sorry, but none of this is “easily detected, understood or seen through,” aka “transparent.” It’s all pretty hazy if you ask me.

Now, people involved in the Benghazi debacle have come forward stating that orders were in fact given to stand down. Four men who were part of the rescue team who were there to protect the embassy all swear that orders were given to stand down.

The White House seems to be in the proverbial cover-thy-butt mode. Why aren’t there any military personnel who can corroborate that the White House gave orders to go early enough to make a difference? One side has all kinds of witnesses. The other side has two. Just Mr. Obama and Mrs. Clinton. Neither has any credibility at this point. Transparency: easy to notice or understand, not secretive, free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, easily understood. Epic fail.

When Obama’s administration started moving illegal immigrants who rushed our borders to various communities, he informed only the Democrats in those areas. That doesn’t sound very transparent to me. And now he refuses to tell Congress where those kids have been located. Hello? This is not a dictatorship, Mr. Obama. This isn’t the mafia, and you don’t get to be Don Obama for a day. You have no right to hide this information from the American people. Transparency: easy to notice or understand, not secretive, free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, easily understood. Fail, again.

By the way, we will be spending more than $160,000 per illegal minor. We don’t spend that much on each American citizen child. “Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstone of this administration.” Is he confused, a liar, or a deceiver?

The White House has received more than 40 letters from major news sources asking the White House to be more transparent by allowing the press into events at the White House again. I say “again” because the press has been removed from many of the events and functions it was always permitted to attend. The press is now given selected pictures and content to print, chosen by the White House. Transparency: easy to understand, easy to see through, easily detected, easily understood. Another Obama fail.

There have been more lawsuits filed under the Freedom of Information Act – not just requests but actual lawsuits, because this administration has responded less than all other administrations combined.

Just a couple of quick ones and the sources:

* Obama administration thwarting release of public data under FOIA, lawsuit charges: “The civic watchdog group Cause of Action on Monday sued the Obama administration, claiming that presidential attorneys have interfered improperly in the release of public documents under the landmark FOIA law in an effort to curb the release of derogatory information about the White House. The lawsuit … names 12 federal agencies that the group says slowed the release of documents so officials could consult with White House attorneys under a review process established in spring 2009. FOIA analysts say this practice never occurred in prior administrations” (The Washington Times).

* Administration won’t reveal records on health website security: “(T)he Obama administration has concluded it will not publicly disclose federal records that could shed light on the security of the government’s health care website because doing so could ‘potentially’ allow hackers to break in. … The AP is asking the government to reconsider. Obama instructed federal agencies in 2009 to not keep information confidential ‘merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed, or because of speculative or abstract fears.’ Yet the government, in its denial of the AP request, speculates that disclosing the records could possibly, but not assuredly or even probably, give hackers the keys they need to intrude” (Associated Press).

* The then there is the New York Times, always known for being such a conservative publication. New York Times’ Risen calls the Obama administration “the greatest enemy of press freedom” in a generation: New York Times reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Risen “said that the administration has actively sought to ‘narrow the field of national security reporting’ and ‘create a path for accepted reporting’ while threatening to punish those who do not yield” (Jonathan Turley).

I believe the president has many issues. One is finding the truth. Another is his ability (and willingness) to lie as if it is the truth. He seems to really believe that as president he has the right to lie, distort the truth, tell falsehoods, leave out facts, break the law and more.

He doesn’t have that right. Yes, George Bush Sr. and Jr., Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon all lied or tried to cover themselves at some point. The difference is, it seems to come so naturally to this man – and that’s frightening.

Transparency: Able to be seen through, easy to notice or understand, not secretive, fine or sheer enough to be seen through, free from pretense or deceit, easily detected or seen through, easily understood.

Not to be found anywhere in the Obama administration.

 

Joe Messina is host of The Real Side (TheRealSide.com), a nationally syndicated talk show that runs on AM-1220 KHTS radio and SCVTV [here]. He is also the current president of the Hart School Board. His commentary publishes Mondays.

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4 Comments

  1. msc545 says:

    You really abuse your access here. You are supposed to be writing about local matters of interest, not your right-wing politics, which nobody cares about.

  2. John says:

    msc545, if you are unable to see how the goings on in DC ARE affecting us locally, I truly feel sorry for you. And, just curious… Are YOU the one paying Mr. Messina? If so, just fire him and shut up. Otherwise, why are you trying to tell this private business their job? Would it be OK with you if it were “Left-wing politics”??? Give me a break!

  3. Yep………………….ughhhh!!!! :(

  4. Wait. A politician lied??? My god, what a development! We as a nation obviously need to put an ultra conservative in the White House. Because they never lie. Ever. Ever. Ever.

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