HomeJune 2013Triplegate and More?

Triplegate and More?

Several platitudes learned early in life come to mind:  It’s not whether you win or lose but how you play the game.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.  I didn’t act when they came for somebody else, and then they came for me.
During the Watergate hearings, most Americans were amazed by the level of chutzpah to which “all the President’s men” would go to assure victory in an election that seemed completely winnable anyway.  Why break into someone’s campaign headquarters when the outcome is so obviously in your favor?  How far do you have to go to assure victory?
At the time the media had little trouble trying to find chinks in the armor of a President who won by a landslide but could never really be considered popular – especially among the media.  Nobody in the press was trying to cover up the coverup that was traced to the highest echelons of power; in fact, it was quite the opposite.
Vacationing in Toronto that summer, I sensed the polite but pronounced disdain of the Canadians who exchanged my dollar bills or served my dinner.  I wondered what the rest of the world thought about American morality.
Today, with three scandals uncovered among agencies of the federal government and anti-American sentiment running rampant even in our own cities, yet a very popular President in the White House, I wonder what the world is thinking. I also wonder why it took so long to uncover each of these abuses of power, who is behind them and how deep they run.  To quote the senators at the Watergate hearings, “What did the President know and when did he know it?”
First there was the question of the U.S. government’s slow response to the terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, last September, that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans and injured 10 more people.  When it was revealed that the diplomats had asked for more security based on reports of incidents in the region, the government appeared to change its initial response to what happened.
Next, it was revealed that the Cincinnati office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) apparently singled out certain conservative groups for special criteria that delayed their obtaining tax-exempt status.  According to some reports, those criteria existed at other IRS offices, including the one in Laguna Niguel.
Then there was the allegation that the Department of Justice secretly procured two months of telephone records from more than 100 Associated Press journalists.  These records were supposedly obtained as part of an investigation into “sensitive intelligence leaks.”  I have a feeling that the media might not want to let this one go.
Finally, I don’t think Jewish groups want to let these issues go either.  It has been revealed that the same IRS office that over-scrutinized conservative groups did the same to certain Israel-related organizations.  One of them, Z Street, “which has been critical of President Barack Obama for being too cozy with left-leaning groups like J Street and with pro-Palestinian entities,” according to Josh Gerstein of Politico (May 13, 2013), has filed a lawsuit about the matter.
Such abuses of power cannot be tolerated now, just as they could not be tolerated in the 1970s.  This is not about politics; it’s about democracy and accountability. While it is too early to ascribe blame any higher or further than originally reported, it is time for answers.  Americans need to insist that the government come clean about these issues and then find and punish the perpetrators.  This is supposed to be a country where opposing views can be heard and criticism of the government is allowed.
Free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment is the entitlement of the press and the public.  As another platitude says, use it or you’ll lose it.  I just did – just as I did in 1973.


  1. Yes, Virginia, Just as there are Red States indicative of Republican stature, there are also Red Counties existing in Blue States. Beware of their nefarious activities consisting of greed, hypocrisy, and bigotry.


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