August 11, 2013

Would I Lie to You?

Hatched by Korso

One of my favorite scenes from the Tim Buton's first Batman film is when the Joker lures the good citizens of Gotham out to the streets with a wild parade and the promise of millions in cash. True to his word, he delivers as promised -- and poses a question to the crowd:

Who do you trust, indeed?

Rather the same can be said of the Obama administration. Not that Barry O is looking to slap a permanent smile on everyone's faces -- at least not the way the Joker would have it -- but his approach to the public has been somewhat simlilar. After throwing trillions of tax dollars at the public with promises of job growth, free health care and security for all, the country does seem to have very little to show for it. To wit, the "stimulus" amounted to little more than a public-sector union payoff. Obamacare, on the other hand, hasn't even implemented its death panels yet but has already proven to be an effective killer of full-time jobs. As for national security -- well, let's just say that Edward Snowden's revelations are the least of Obama's problems, what with Al Qaeda making us flee our embassies in the Middle East faster than businesses getting out of Detroit.

Add to that the ever-expanding IRS brouhaha and the lies about Benghazi, what you have here is a serious breach of trust -- and that presents a real problem for Obama, who has relied on his speechmaking along with a compliant press to maintain the facade that he's a stand-up guy. I think that's why the business with Snowden is so devastating, not to mention dangerous.

How so? Well, coming at the end of a long list of scandals, even Obama acolytes are starting to become less inclined to believe the president when he says that the NSA isn't spying on ordinary Americans. After all, an administration that would sic the IRS on its political enemies hasn't exactly earned the benefit of the doubt -- and it isn't that a big stretch to suggest that perhaps it might use intelligence gathered by the NSA for political purposes.

And here's where the dangerous part comes in. Knowing what I do about the NSA, I happen to believe that what they're doing is vital to the national security interests of the United States. I also happen to believe that Snowden, far from performing a public service, has actually placed this country in great peril with his shenanigans. The problem is that the Obama administration has so abused its powers that nobody has any reason to believe the president when he assures us that this time, everything is on the up and up. The end result, unfortunately, will be a constrained intelligence apparatus that can't do what it needs to do -- and that will, at some point, lead to an increased risk of terrorist attacks.

That's what happens when you lie first, and worry about the consequences later.

Hatched by Korso on this day, August 11, 2013, at the time of 1:00 PM


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