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January 25, 2015 / 5 Shevat, 5775
 
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Circling The Wagons

The article went on to say along the same lines that

…accusations of I.R.S. abuse are sure to fuel an effort that appears to be uniting dispirited Republicans and their conservative political base: investigating Mr. Obama and his administration. Republicans are pushing a portrayal of an administration overreaching its authority and punishing its enemies.

So for the Times, there is no reason to look further. But there are compelling reasons to do so, even aside from what has most recently come to light about the administration. Not that we’re surprised by any of this. In a series of editorials last year, we explored several instances of dubious actions by the administration.

Thus, we noted the administration’s “scrubbing” of public records of any reference to Jerusalem as being part of Israel. This had come in the course of the Zivotofsky litigation after the Obama Justice Department had assured federal courts that such references, which were key to the government’s case, did not exist.

We also pointed to the administration’s having inserted complimentary references to Mr. Obama in biographical sketches of past presidents – sketches that had been featured on the White House website long before this president took office.

And then there were those leaks of classified information to The New York Times about the inner workings of the U.S. drone war, placing Mr. Obama at its center – fortuitously for the president, since those leaks somehow came during the presidential campaign and could only burnish his foreign policy credentials. An article based on the leaks referred to interviews with three dozen of President Obama’s “current and former advisers” and also said that one quoted official “requested anonymity to speak about what is still a classified program.”

Similarly, the Times ran a story about how President Obama was central to the cyber efforts to destabilize the Iranian nuclear program, citing interviews “with former American, European and Israeli officials involved in the program” who demanded anonymity “because the effort remains highly classified….”

Could such high level access have occurred without the president’s approval?

Further, we spoke of White House cooperation with filmmakers Katherine Bigelow and Mark Boal in a project involving the SEALS’ discovery and killing of Osama bin Laden. At the time, we quoted part of what Times columnist Maureen Dowd, usually a supporter of President Obama, had to say about this:

The White House is counting on the Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal big screen version of the killing of bin Laden to counter Obama’s growing reputation as ineffectual…. The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.

It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently – to the surprise of some military officers – at a CIA ceremony celebrating the hero SEALS.

Given this administration’s penchant for putting politics above policy to an extent rarely seen in recent memory, Congress needs to pursue the questions of a Benghazi cover-up and of possible White House involvement in the targeting of conservative Americans by some IRS officials.

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In this particular case, the issue was whether the Arkansas prison system could prohibit, for security reasons, a devout Muslim’s maintaining a beard of a certain length as a matter of religious practice.

According to Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, France was the largest source of Jewish emigration to Israel last year and he believes as many as 15,000 French Jews may make aliyah in 2015.

Despite the president’s respectable anti-terrorism record, he doubtless has little interest in being identified with anything that might suggest, however tangentially, criticism of Muslims or Islam.

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