Last week, President Donald Trump surprisingly sided with this his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the question of Russian meddling in the 2016 election by saying that he didn’t see why it would be Russia who had interfered in the election. This drew a barrage of criticism from both sides of the isle and sent Trump on the back foot. Realizing the damage that was done, Trump quickly retracted his statement. “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia’” instead of “why it would,” Trump said Tuesday of the comments he had made standing alongside Putin on the summit stage in Helsinki.
The US president added: “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. A lot of people out there.”
It doesn’t take a Sherlock to realize that this was a desperate attempt to correct his wrongs and needless to say no one, literally no one is buying his explanation. Many are calling it the most dishonorable thing a US president has ever done.
In the wake of Donald Trump’s disgraceful performance with Putin, former president Barack Obama decided to take an indirect swing at him. Obama was at Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 100th birthday. Obama took the stage there and called out Donald Trump for his tendency to lie continually.
Though he never explicitly mentioned Trump by name, it was clear that his rebuke was directed towards the Trump administration.
“Unfortunately, too much of politics today seems to reject the very concept of objective truth. People just make stuff up,” Obama said. “We see the utter loss of shame among political leaders where they’re caught in a lie and they just double down and lie some more.”
“The denial of facts runs counter to democracy,” he added.
But, is Obama really the right person to lecture someone on lying? The Obama administration has some serious accusations of lying piled up against it. When I saw Obama’s speech on TV I couldn’t but laugh at the irony of what he was saying. How ironic that so many of Obama’s enablers are now projecting these sins onto President Trump, who — to this point, at least – hasn’t actually crossed the line into flouting the Constitution. So here’s a list of some of the biggest scandals the Obama administration is yet to answer for:
The 2012 Benghazi attack was a coordinated and premeditated attack on two United States government facilities in Benghazi, Lybia by the Islamic militant organization Ansar Al-Sharia. Three days after the attack, President Barack Obama, Secretary of state Hillary Clinton and other top US officials met with the families of four victims. At this meeting, Clinton told a story about the attacks that she knew at the time to be false. She told the family of the victims that the attacks were results of a spontaneous protest triggered by a anti-Muslim video, Innocence of the Muslims.
But privately, in a summary of call between Mrs. Clinton and the President of Lybia Mohammed Al Magariaf about three hours earlier there was no mention of any viral video, only terrorism.
Hillary Clinton also emailed her daughter with the truth: “Two of our officers were killed in Benghazi by an Al Qaeda like group.”
She told the Egyptian Prime minister in a private call: “We know that the attack in Libya had nothing to do with the film. It was a planned attack — not a protest. … Based on the information we saw today we believe the group that claimed responsibility for this was affiliated with al Qaeda.”
The Obama administration knew that the attacks were an act of terrorism, but they knowingly changed the narrative to blame an inflammatory video to escape any liability to close to the November elections. Obama repeatedly spoke highly of how Al Qaeda had been decimated under his watch. Any word that Benghazi was actually a terrorist attacks would have undermined his narrative.
2. Operation Fast and Furious:
Under Operation Fast and Furious, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives allowed criminals to buy weapons and smuggle them into Mexico, hoping to track the guns to cartel leaders. No drug lords were prosecuted. An estimated 2,000 firearms went to syndicates, and in several cases were linked to homicides.
Terry, a member of a special Border Patrol unit, was slain in a December 2010 shootout near Rio Rico, Ariz., after his unit confronted a so-called “rip crew” criminals who rob smugglers and immigrants as they cross the border. The AK-47 type weapon used to kill Terry was later traced to a Fast and Furious purchase from an Arizona shop that was monitored by federal agents.
After the incident, whistleblowers exposed Fast and Furious as a fundamentally flawed sting operation. Investigations by Congress, the media and others revealed a cover-up within the Justice Department, leading to the resignation of Dennis Burke as U.S. Attorney for Arizona.
The White House under Obama attempted to withhold thousands of records from House and Senate committees, claiming executive privilege. The Obama Administration and former attorney general Eric Holder in particular lied to the family of the slain border patrol about the type of weapon used in his death in an attempt to cover up their disastrous policy flaw.
3. IRS Scandal :
Beginning in 2011, the IRS conspired to target conservative and pro-Israel groups for discriminatory treatment in acquiring tax exemptions. Recently unearthed documents reveal that the FBI knew the IRS was unfairly targeting groups because of their conservative politics two years before Congress even heard about the agency’s misconduct. Almost 300 pages of documents released and obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act confirm that the IRS subjected conservative groups to increased scrutiny beginning in 2011. Even though the FBI uncovered the scandal in 2011, the documents show, the Department of Justice chose not to act.
Russell George, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General, disclosed during Congressional testimony that Obama administration officials in the Treasury Department knew about inappropriate targeting of conservative groups during the 2012 election.
President Barack Obama has said that he had no knowledge of the IRS’ singling out of conservative groups. But this is the first signal that anyone in his administration had knowledge.
While pitching Obamacare in 2009, President Barack Obama said that “we will keep this promise to the American people: if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. If you like your health care plan, you’ll be able to keep your health care plan, period.”
He knew from the jump Americans couldn’t keep their plans or doctors, and that Obamacare would reduce rather than increase people’s access to care. He knew it wouldn’t reduce premiums by $2,500 for the average family of four. Millions of Americans lost their individual plans and hundreds of employers had to drop their health care options for employees when Obamacare provisions kicked in in 2014.
Many people were even forced to change doctors as insurers and hospitals struggled to reconcile who would bear the burden of increasing Obamacare costs.
5. Iran Nuclear Deal:
The Iran nuclear deal framework was an agreement reached in 2015 between the Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers: the P5+1. According to this deal, Iran would redesign, convert, and reduce its nuclear facilities in order to lift all nuclear-related economic sanctions, freeing up tens of billions of dollars in oil revenue and frozen assets.
“The sanctions lifting will only occur as Iran takes the steps agreed, including addressing possible military dimensions.” – State Department spokesman John Kirby in June 2015, speaking just as negotiations for the Iran nuclear deal were wrapping up. But Tehran did not take the steps agreed and as such the deal was founded on a lie. The deal gave Iran the best of all worlds. It weakened U.N. restrictions on its right to develop, test and field ballistic missiles, a critical component for a nuclear weapons capability that the Iranians haven’t fully mastered. It lifted restrictions on Iran’s oil exports and eased other sanctions, pumping billions of dollars into a previously moribund economy. And it allows Iran to produce all the nuclear fuel it wants. In conclusion, it was “the worst trade deal in the history of trade deals.”
This is just scratching the surface. I could go on forever but you get the picture. All the politicians lie. Trump might make Obama look like an angel, but we must not forget that politicians rarely are.
Ahmed Sidratul Muntaha is a student at Rajuk Uttara Model College, Dhaka.