Is anyone accountable?
Bucks County Courier Times
“Hogan’s Heroes” was a popular television sitcom in the late 60s about American and Allied prisoners of war in a Nazi camp during World War II, who pretended to try to escape while running an intelligence operation. Stereotyped and farcical characters got the laughs.
One of the most farcical was the bumbling German guard, Sgt. Schultz, who when confronted by his superiors with the goings on of the ever industrious prisoners, of which he was very much aware, would reply: “Nothing. I know nothing!”
That defense is very much in vogue in Washington these days. Take for example former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the furor over Benghazi.
It’s pretty clear what happened. The administration wanted to get an embassy up and running ASAP in the “liberated,” post Kaddafi Libya, to show “progress.” A team of diplomats was sent with inadequate security into harm’s way. When the attack came there was no American force in place to help. People died.
The president says he knew nothing. But he must have known an embassy was being set up. After all, they are his ambassadors. But Clinton knew, and I cannot believe she did not know it was a dangerous place. And as secretary of State at the time, “I know nothing” does not wash.
But that’s what the American people got: a “mea culpa” that avoided mea culpa. In contemporary American politics, that passes as an art form and is much admired in Washington.
And now we’ll get a farcical, finger pointing congressional investigation, when all that is required to end the farce is a simple acknowledgment of accountability from Clinton and an apology to the survivors of the deceased and the nation that she was in charge and made a mistake of fatal consequences.
Don’t hold your breath. Presidential wannabes are made of sterner stuff.
As apparently was a senior administrator of the IRS, who told Congress he knew nothing of a politicized targeting of tax exempt non-profit corporations which may have crossed the line into overt politics, when in fact he knew full well.
Or consider the response to the news that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has secretly spied for over two months on more than 100 AP reporters, collecting the work, home and cell phone records of the reporters and their sources.
The Obama administration is obsessed with secrecy, and when the AP pierced that veil to report on the CIA, the Administration secretly spied on the reporters and the Constitution went out the window, along with accountability.
It would make an interesting contest. Put George Bush and Barack Obama on the White House balcony, and see which one can throw a copy of the Constitution the farthest. My guess is it would be a tie.
“Hey, look Barack! I got due process and habeas corpus 200 feet.”
“Not bad, George! Let’s see what I can do with unwarranted search and seizure and freedom of the press.”
Now the scandal over the AP is page one, and nobody knows anything.
The attorney general, who is in charge of the DOJ, says he had no idea, because he “recused” himself when the investigation started. Decisions were left to some underling. But, there are question to be asked.
Did the attorney general give any instructions before he took a powder? Like: “Now look, guys. I know the president wants to get these “leakers,” but I’m warning you: remember the Constitution!” Or, did he bother to check up and see what his subordinates were up to?
And of course, the president says he had no idea because the attorney general had no idea.
“Nothing. I know nothing!”
Very funny, for a sitcom. For a democracy, not so funny.