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As Long as We Remember...

May 20, 2013

Can I Get a Witness?

Steven R. Berryman

Plumbers and technicians are hard at work all over America today. No, not part of some economic recovery, these tradesmen are the guys who stop the other kinds of leaks; the ones that bring down corrupt administrations.


Witness the very fact that a wing of our government, the Internal Revenue Service, charged with engaging in targeted investigations and inflicting pain on those evading financial and tax laws – Obamacare law, soon – was successfully co-opted to perform political dirty tricks is horrifying. Worse, it sends a message to potential whistle blowers that “we can get to you.” And can do so under the cover of legitimacy.


Surely in some fashion, at the top of the food chain at IRS, someone whispered to someone, who whispered to someone “It’s okay to focus your enforcement on the enemies of the state; by the way, it’s the Tea Party, and conservative organizations in general.”


Do not believe the stories of an agency running amok, lost in bad management practices, rogue IRS departments, etc. This is what “the plumbers,” and technicians, and their friends in the mainstream media have concocted for you.


The great thing about proving a conspiracy – even one so broad as to be conducted against an entire political class – is that one does not always need to find a smoking gun, though finding a tape recorder with actual records would be wonderful, as happened in Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Simply finding a consistent thread of punishment meted out only to select groups would demonstrate a systematic will to disrupt the opposition politically.


And surely between IRS financial pain and obstruction, fake spitting claims in Congress, and mean-spirited campaign coverage aided and abetted by a complaint media in presenting rally strength and composition, Tea Party was successfully decimated as a political force.


Consequently we are within the second term of an Obama agenda…where he dictates with imperial style.


If there were to be a tape recorder system that could be of value in any investigation of IRS, in our digital world, it would take the form of information vacuumed up by National Security Agency/Homeland Security Agency supercomputers. Yes, they “record” as digital files absolutely everything that is transmitted by voice or data lines, including Email and texting traffic. This, in the name of The Patriot Act, and “protecting us from terrorism.”


Now, a special prosecutor, one who would report back to a congressional oversight committee, would fall under the Department of Justice – presumably. Is this the Justice Department of Eric Holder’s Fast and Furious fame? Is this the Justice Department that secretly demanded enormous reams of telephone conversation logs from The Associated Press (AP) wire service reporters?


Surely our new plumbers unit will be reminding potential whistle-blowers, in an attempt to preserve the firewall protection between the White House planners and any culpability that they know where you live; they know who you have been talking to. They know your vulnerabilities.


Initially, the press corps and media alike were incensed by the broad investigation and data vacuuming of phone records, as was evidenced at one amazing White House press conference last week. In five years there has not been one so violent. But alas, that has already calmed down, and the media have returned to compliance. This, certainly because the AP scandal assuredly proved the vulnerability of their exposure.


A real casualty of our perfect storm of scandals, along with a continued loss of public trust in government, will now be any “unnamed sources” that could act as whistle-blowers in the future. They have been viscerally warned at this time! We know who you have been talking to…all in the name of protecting unwanted leaks in the name of national defense against terrorism.


Are the citizens themselves now the enemy within?


What of protection from us ourselves, as our government becomes so large that it takes on a life of self-protection…but for itself. A size that refuses to be scrutinized. A size that is impossible to perform oversight upon…


So, select a special prosecutor, an Archibald Cox or a Leon Jaworski, in the mold of the Watergate Hearings, to demand the digital files to find out the truth, and potentially find “all of the president’s men.”


So, am I on the list now?


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