web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


The Threshold Question

In an editorial last week (“Circling the Wagons”) we noted the efforts by the administration and its supporters to dismiss allegations that the government’s spin on the Benghazi attack was designed to shield the president and that the IRS was improperly used to stifle opposition to Mr. Obama’s reelection.

Since then, yet more charges of improper action have emerged – namely, the Justice Department’s seizure of the records of phone lines of Associated Press reporters in an apparent attempt to identify the source of government leaks. Add to that even newer allegations that a Fox News reporter was also targeted by the DOJ and it becomes difficult not to wonder whether any other disturbing revelations are about to be dropped on the American public.

Moreover, the administration and its supporters have intensified their efforts at downplaying the seriousness of any of the above and turning the Republicans into obstructionist culprits.

It is, of course, impossible at this point to know for sure whether there was any wrongdoing at the highest levels, as is being claimed by many Republicans, or whether the incidents are the products of incompetence rather than criminality, as many Democrats – including President Obama – are essentially claiming. Yet it is clear that there is more than sufficient cause for Congress to assume full investigative mode.

This is hardly a situation where the accusations can be said to have been made out of whole cloth. The question is whether events have crossed a threshold and explanations alone can no longer be accepted as fact without further investigation.

The fact is, administration officials are sounding increasingly Nixonian with their denials, obfuscations and shifting stories. No wonder a CNN poll reports that 53 percent of Americans think the Republicans should push for hearings and probes into all the allegations (roughly the same percentage holds a favorable view of Mr. Obama, making it all the more difficult for Obama partisans to dismiss the sentiments of respondents as being driven by any anti-Obama animus).

Once again we are particularly dismayed by what The New York Times – which, along with administration officials, has taken the lead in pooh-poohing the charges – has had to say. An editorial titled “Scandal Machine,” reminiscent of Hillary Clinton’s memorable charge that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was out to wreck her husband’s presidency, portrayed the brouhaha over the current scandals as the product of a concerted Republican effort to weaken Mr. Obama:

When politicians want to turn scandals into metaphors, actual details of wrongdoing or incompetence no longer matter. In fact, the details of the troubles swirling around the White House this week are bluntly contradicting Republicans who want to combine them into a seamless narrative of tyrannical government on the rampage….

The Times then blithely dismissed the charges against the IRS, which it concedes “singled out conservative groups for special scrutiny in evaluating requests for tax exemption,” with the declaration that the IRS “acted inappropriately because employees couldn’t understand inadequate guidelines.” Maybe, maybe not – which is, after all, the point of investigating further.

“The tragedy in Benghazi, Libya,” The Times continued, “never a scandal to begin with, has devolved into a turf-protection spat between government agencies, and the email messages Republicans long demanded made clear that there was no White House cover-up.”

One wonders, though, what the Times makes of the released e-mails showing the administration knew from the start that the Benghazi attackers were jihadi terrorists rather than ordinary Muslims spontaneously reacting to a film considered insulting to the prophet Muhammad that had been released months before.

Yet the official administration line for days was the video angle. And what about the possibility that there was a readily apparent motive for such dissembling in the midst of the presidential campaign during which President Obama claimed to have cleansed Libya of terrorists? The Times apparently considers such a question not even worth asking.

Predictably, the Times made an exception for the administration’s seizure of the Associated Press’s telephone records (a case of whose ox is being gored?). But even this “government overreach,” in the Times’s Milquetoast terms, was merely “the latest episode in the Obama administration’s Javert-like obsession with leakers in its midst.”

This sort of posturing by the administration and its advocates will not work for the simple reason that it is not logical. They may present plausible scenarios. But others can posit sinister motives. If a threshold has indeed been breached, the claims and counterclaims will need to be sorted out, with tough decisions to follow.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Threshold Question”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israelis visit the former northern Samaria town of Sa-Nur.
Tears From 2 Security Officers, Refusals to Expel Sa-Nur Families
Latest Indepth Stories
Rabbi Yaakov Spivak

Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.

Talks between Iran and the P5+1 were likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy

By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.

The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.

I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.

Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.

Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.

If the Iran deal passes, Obama’s WH becomes world’s leading financier of terrorism against Americans

{Originally posted to the author’s website, FirstOne Through} Some passionate and eloquent liberals have bemoaned the state of inclusiveness among Jews today. Leon Wieseltier, editor of the New Republic penned an angry piece “J Street’s Rejection Is a Scandal” about the exclusion in 2014 of J Street from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. […]

Magnanimity by Moshe Dayan, allowing Muslim control of the Temple Mount, led to today’s situation.

It was modeled upon a similar fund that had been set up by Sephardic Jews in Venice. But Amsterdam’s Dotar was initially more ambitious in scope.

Rav Aharon Margalit is a bestselling author – his book, As Long As I Live, has been translated into four languages – and a standing-room only lecturer. Both religious and non-religious audiences flock to hear him. What makes him so extraordinary? Rav Margalit is a Chasidic Jew who experienced incredible challenges from a very young […]

More Articles from Editorial Board

The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.

Mr. Kerry may or may not be genuinely disturbed and troubled by the Iranian leader’s continued belligerence. With the deal completed, that’s not even a matter of concern anymore.

Mr. Silver’s legislation changed the primary date to April 19, which avoids any conflict. And, we are happy to say, he received the support of Republicans in the legislature for changing the date.

The issue of the Chief Rabbinate’s control over conversions and other life-cycle matters has long been a contentious one.

Can adoption agencies limit the placement of children to heterosexual couples only?

The court’s finding that the president has exclusive jurisdiction in recognizing foreign countries might have been be apt if the issue at hand were a congressional attempt to grant recognition to “Palestine” as a state.

It wasn’t too long ago that Mr. Erdogan, in his determination to burnish Turkey’s credentials as an Islamist state at the cost of the secularism that had brought much economic and political success to Turkey, upended his country’s decades-long cooperative relationship with Israel.

Does the pope really believe that Father Dehon’s destructive anti-Jewish calumnies do not disqualify him from the highest honor of the Catholic Church because in his time everyone did it?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-threshold-question/2013/05/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: