The Audacity Of Drones: Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 4)

Drone SC The Audacity Of Drones: Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 4)

After four years of the Obama administration’s increasing use of remote-controlled, unmanned drones to kill our enemies, there are suddenly a few more in the media feeling obligated to report on the policy.

A new set of ethical issues is being discussed. The FAA is looking into how to regulate what some call ‘the drone age.’ When liberals say things like ‘Bush would have been impeached if he did what Obama is doing,” rest assured it’s newsworthy and conservatives should jump on the story.

Tina Brown, editor for the Daily Beast/Newsweek basically admitted to media hypocrisy saying:

“He’d be impeached by now for drones if he was George W. Bush… a Republican president; the outcry about drones would be far greater.”

Recently, memos on the president’s drone-use policy were released, perhaps to make Obama look stronger in fighting terror. Ironically, when first elected, Obama used the word “terror” only once in his 2009 inaugural address. Times have changed. The Obama administration has openly carried out more than six times the drone attacks approved by the Bush White House; and the main reason most Americans are unaware is the media looks the other way.

Obama made closing the Guantanamo Bay prison a campaign issue and has been unable to follow up on his promise. Instead, he now seems to favor a policy of killing to avoid prisoner detention. With few exceptions, the media has apparently been fine with openly using drones – that have killed many innocent bystanders – when they feverishly protested the use of enhanced interrogation techniques under Bush. They and Obama considered waterboarding prisoners to be ‘torture’; but they justify this policy of bombing suspects with no judicial review or trial.

The drone controversy has been brewing for months now. Judge Andrew Napolitano recently emphasized that the government’s legal memos on Obama’s policy to kill people overseas includes American citizens. Memos were released after a year of stonewalling federal judges who were seeking legal justification on drone use. What is this administration’s legal basis for claiming the right to kill without due process, thus suspending guaranteed constitutional protections?

The undated and unsigned 16-page document leaked to NBC refers to itself as a Department of Justice white paper. Its logic is flawed, its premises are bereft of any appreciation for the values of the Declaration of Independence and the supremacy of the Constitution, and its rationale could be used to justify any breaking of any law by any “informed, high-level official of the U.S. government.”

Under the Constitution, the president can only order killing using the military when the United States has been attacked, or when an attack is imminent. Obama and his advisers have used the word “surgical” to defend the use of drones as humane and necessary; but the fact is that out of the 2,300 drone-caused deaths, approximately 14 percent have been innocent civilians.

Such gravitas caused PBS’s Bill Moyers to question those who gave Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, implying it has become tarnished. Moyers now feels the president is indifferent to collateral damage and even called Obama’s drone use “cold-blooded.”

Ultra-liberal Columbia University professor Marc Lamont Hill even admitted the media refuses to hold Obama accountable, saying “I think the problem is we [Democrats] have convinced ourselves that Obama’s drones are somehow softer and kinder and gentler than Bush’s drones.”

Eric Holder’s Justice Department provided justification for killing the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, born in New Mexico, in an American drone strike in September 2011. Note that Obama and Holder had the audacity to denounce the legal method of interrogating terrorists by waterboarding, decrying former VP Dick Cheney’s defense of the policy. The double standards are astounding.

For once, I give the ACLU credit for calling the new memo a disturbing document, saying it’s a “stunning overreach of executive authority.” In his confirmation hearing for the CIA, John Brennan defended Obama’s counterterrorism program; and despite evidence, he stated that drone attacks are carried out “as a last resort, to save lives when there is no other alternative.”

Where is the line drawn? It should alarm us that our government also has the authority to use drones against its own people. During the Obama administration, conservatives, Tea Party participants, and even our veterans can be scrutinized by as dangerous or suspicious.

Referring to a 2012 DHS report, retired Army lieutenant colonel Robert Maginnis writes:

Is this a slippery slope whereby the government might turn drone technology on Americans at home it labels “terrorists”? That’s an alarming thought, but so are past statements made by this government…  [The 2012 report advocates] warning police to be suspicious of anyone that feels their way of life is endangered, anyone that is religious, and anyone that might be interested in “personal liberty” and/or firearms.

The domestic drone market is now expected to grow quickly. Congress must debate this controversial policy and set clear boundaries before it gets out of hand. I’m all for defending America, but not at the expense of increased government power and authority over the very citizens they’ve pledged to protect and serve.

Evangelist Ray Comfort produced a documentary (180 movie) in which he gets people thinking about ethical dilemmas involving life. Comfort asks: “It’s 1939, you have a high-powered rifle, and you have Hitler in your sights. Would you pull the trigger?” After most respond “yes,” he then asks: “If it was 30 years earlier, would you have killed Hitler’s pregnant mother knowing what you know now?”

If drone killing isn’t controversial enough for the media to report on, either they don’t value all life – including life in the womb – or they prioritize protecting the president they voted for over telling American citizens the truth. Maybe it’s both.

 

*To catch up on the first three articles in this media malpractice series, click here.

Photo credit: axeman3d (Creative Commons)

Media Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 2: Green Energy Failures)

EPA Green Regulations SC Media Keeping Americans Uninformed (Part 2: Green Energy Failures)

Concerned American citizens who don’t know the facts about how our government uses taxpayer dollars are being misled because the truth is not reported by the media. Before the massive economic stimulus bill passed in 2009, VP Joe Biden insisted “We have to spend more money to keep from going bankrupt.” That was three and a half years ago, and Americans are still paying the bills.

We have a consistently anemic economy and high unemployment as well as increasing energy and healthcare costs. Is the government corrupt, or is it incompetent where handling taxpayer dollars is concerned? That stimulus money was supposed to lead to shovel-ready jobs – immediate economic growth – but as the president himself chuckled, “Shovel ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”

Just last week, Obama shut down the Jobs Council that apparently was created as a photo op used to dupe the public into believing they were trying to get people back to work and recharge the economy.

In the case of the energy market, the government’s decisions have cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Let’s look at some under-reported facts.

Ten months ago, another Obama-backed solar company in California, Solar Trust for America, declared bankruptcy after receiving $2.1 billion in loan guarantees from the Department of Energy (DOE). According to the Wash­ington Examiner, Energy Secretary Steven Chu boasted the deal was “the largest amount ever offered to a solar project.”

Through the massive economic stimulus, the Obama administra­tion basically funneled money to their Democratic allies; and even with all the evidence of failure, the media protects the administration, disregarding American citizens in the process. It sounds good to ‘invest’ in green energy and the future of America, but government typically rewards companies that are loyal to those who make the policies. Crony Capitalism 101.

Reports have noted that $80 billion was set aside in the 2009 Obama stimulus; and instead of creating desperately-needed jobs, the administration funded politically preferred energy projects. The DOE immediately provided over $35 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and conditional commitments to renewable energy companies before the American public knew what was going on. Sadly, many still don’t know.

Money was poured into companies that had poor track records. More than 36 companies have received money from generous U.S. taxpayers and have either gone bankrupt or are in the process of major cuts and layoffs. One spectacular failure is Brightsource Energy, which used $1.6 billion in taxpayer money.

First Solar received $1.46 billion. Next, Solyndra, a solar manufacturer, received a $535 million loan guarantee from the DOE and went bankrupt. Fisker Automotive, the electric vehicle manufacturer, received a $529 million DOE stimulus loan and has gone through layoffs. Evergreen Solar received $527 million.

Abound Solar received $400 million and has declared bankruptcy. Battery maker A123 received a $249 million stimulus grant from the DOE and has had layoffs. Ener1 received a $118.5 million stimulus grant; now, they are bankrupt. (Ener1 was on the White House list of 100 Projects that are Changing America.)

A few other glaring green energy failures include: Johnson Controls ($299 million), A123 Systems ($279 million), Babcock and Brown ($178 million), LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($151 million), ECOtality ($126.2 million), and Mascoma Corp. ($100 million). See Heritage Foundation’s extended list.

THIS ISN’T NEWSWORTHY? Even an AP report showed Solyndra hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars years before the Obama administration signed off on the $535 million loan! The California-based company was the first renewable-energy company to receive a loan guarantee under a stimulus-law program to encourage green energy. Obama looked at the “investment” into Solyndra as a model.

At the time, Michigan Republican Fred Upton, chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, warned:

“In this time of record debt, I question whether the govern­ment is qualified to act as a venture capitalist, picking winners and losers in speculative ventures and shelling out billions of taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat.”

Solyndra announced bankruptcy on August 31st, 2011; and in October, the Media Research Center released a study that exposed ABC, CBS, and NBC because they rarely mentioned it. It was just the opposite of their reporting on Enron, an energy company with Republican ties during the Bush administration:

“In just the first two months of 2002, the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts cranked out 198 stories on the Enron debacle, compared to just eight (at the time of this study) on Obama’s Solyndra, which is a 24-to-1 disparity.”

How about investing in the private economy? There is no substantial proof green jobs are going to be successful in the near future. The green energy loan program was supposed to create 65,000 jobs, but reports could claim only 3,545 jobs.

The Obama White House and DOE stuck with Solyndra because its largest financial backer was George Kaiser, a major financial donor to Obama. Accuracy in Media’s Roger Aronoff stated: “This goes against the media narrative that Obama operates on a higher ethical plane than previous scandal plagued politicians.”

An entire month after Solyndra declared bankruptcy, a Pew survey found 43% of Americans “had never even heard of the scandal.” As for MSNBC, their primetime lineup went months without even acknowledging Solyndra.

Will this administration relent on its agenda? Just three months ago, Obama told an audience in Wisconsin that they’d continue to gamble with taxpayer dollars on green energy projects, confessing that “some of the businesses we encourage” with government loans “will fail” like Solyndra.

Bankruptcies and failures won’t diminish the Obama administration’s drive to keep spending our money as long as the media refuses to hold them accountable.

 

In Part 1 of this series on media malpractice, we noted the lack of truthful reporting on abortion, and an overall abuse of power.

Photo credit: terrellaftermath

Jon Huntsman Refuses to Rule Out Impeachment Over Libya

Ben Johnson, The White House Watch

Here is a measure of both this movement’s effectiveness and Barack Obama’s stark, brazen criminality: Even the RINOs are talking impeachment.

In Rochester, New Hampshire, on Monday morning, former Utah governor and Obama’s one-time ambassador to China Jon Huntsman told a citizen that Obama’s war in Libya may be an impeachable offense. ABC News posted the following transcript of the exchange between Huntsman and the “voter”:

Voter: You mentioned Libya, and you mentioned the Constitution a couple of times. The president has decided to make Congress irrelevant, go around Congress, not — not go to Congress and ask for whether permission to go to war for — with, with Libya. He takes, what he thought, a UN resolution as his mandate to be able to go to war in Libya, do you think that’s unconstitutional in what he’s doing in Libya right now?

Huntsman: Well, last I looked the UN was not our Constitution. We ought to recognize who’s responsible for declaring war and giving the approval for these kinds of things, and get back to the basics of who should be driving these decisions.

Voter: What should Congress be doing in the fact that he went around Congress and he’s, he’s not abiding to the War Powers Act?

Huntsman: I think, I think Congress is, is in a mild uproar about it.

Voter: It’s very mild.

Huntsman: I have a fundamental problem, generally, I mean beyond this decision, just with the decision that has been made to get involved, in Libya, in a tribal country, when we have no definable interest at stake, we have no exit strategy. Look in Afghanistan, you want to get involved in tribal government? How hard it is to extricate yourself once you’ve gotten involved? Let history be your guide. Thank you.

Voter: Do you think it’s impeachable?

Huntsman: I’ll let Congress make that decision.

The mainstream media, flexing its sagging muscles, tried to turn Huntsman’s words into a bigger scandal than the president’s unconstitutional war itself. To his credit, when pushed for a clarification, Huntsman replied, “Congress should do whatever Congress chooses to do.”

As proof of Republican “extremism,” that is pretty weak stuff. Uber-Democrat Jerrold Nadler has compared Obama to a king, a dictator, and “an absolute monarch” precisely over launching an unauthorized war — not in a barbecue pit in someone’s backyard but from the floor of the House. But the media have a love affair with Huntsman, the liberal Republican who supports homosexual civil unions and the debt deal. In their skewed world, Huntsman is John McCain-lite, the “straight-talking” candidate who tells the GOP base what it does not want to hear. To media talking heads, this is a dog whistle that, if “even” Huntsman refuses to “rule out” impeachment, then far-Right Tea Party “insanity” must have infected the entire party.

Thus, the media quoted Democratic operative Ty Matsdorf, who fumed “it’s sad to see Jon Huntsman abandon his convictions for a chance to appease the rabid right-wing base by refusing to rule out impeachment.”

Of course, as a private citizen, Huntsman is not in any position to “rule out” anything. As he properly noted, that is Congress’ job. Yet this tempest-in-a-teapot is a triumph for Matsdorf’s employer, American Bridge 21st Century, which ABC News describes as a “Super PAC,” and which captured the “damning” video. This anonymously funded 501(c)(4) opposition group was founded by Media Matters head David Brock, a major recipient of George Soros’ money. The secretive group has….

Read more.

Cartoon of the Day: Where Compromise Leads

Republicans: Don’t Fall for Elites’ Fear-Mongering

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, FloydReports.com

The playbook of the Washington establishment is getting old and almost boring.

Play No. 1 is this: Pass billions in unfunded new programs. Tell everyone we will take care of them from cradle to grave. Subsidized food, medical care, housing, and if your employer goes broke like General Motors or AIG, we will step in with a safety net to rescue the businesses with government loans and grants. The criterion for help and rescue is: Does your support come our way at election time?

Play No. 2 is this: If the American people rebel and say we don’t want to pay anymore for Congress’ wasteful government spending, tell Americans that if they don’t capitulate, the end of the world is upon us. And give “destruction day” a specific deadline for added fright power. This time the date is Aug. 2, 2011 – the day the world will end unless you support our out-of-control foolish spending.

Then the theatrics begin. The media are mesmerized and cued to play their well-honed part in the playbook. Weeks of reporting commence on all of the terrible….

Read more.