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Tuesday, June 25, 2024
The Observer

Where has accountability gone?

Over break, we were all given a glimpse of something so rare these days that it could be compared to a solar eclipse. What am I speaking so reverently about? Accountability. I will be the first to admit that New Jersey  Gov. Chris Christie is not my favorite Republican, but I have to commend him on actually doing something about blatant misconduct by his staff.

This rare glimpse into what used to be commonplace should serve as a reminder of how dissimilar the White House has been on this same topic. Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS, NSA, Fast and the Furious, the list goes on, yet no concrete solutions have been fostered by the president. Kathleen Sibelius and Susan Rice still enjoy their jobs, and Susan Rice was even appointed for a promotion. This could easily be the president of scandals. Has the world gone haywire? To contrast with the forgive-and-forget White House, New York City voters held Anthony Weiner accountable for his sexting scandal by burying him in the democratic primary polls, General Petraeus stepped down after an adultery scandal and good old Richard Nixon stepped down as President of the United States after Watergate.

The Democratic White House, on the other hand, has continued its lax standards of accountability from Bill Clinton perjuring himself related to adultery in the Oval Office to President Obama turning a blind eye to the multiple scandals under his control. Who are we to look up to if the leader of the free world can’t lift a fraction of the finger that Donald Trump lifts when he says, “you’re fired.”

Let’s start with Fast and the Furious: a gunrunning scandal that was originally designed to allow illegal straw buyers to buy weapons from licensed dealers in Arizona in the hopes that they would be traced back to the Mexican drug cartels. Instead of Border Patrol being able to make some serious headway into arresting cartel members, the guns turned up at massive crime scenes and bloodbaths both in Mexico and the United States. U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry was even killed by one of the guns involved in the program. Attorney General Eric Holder demanded that Congress begin an investigation, but after hearings leaned towards senior officials being involved, Holder started to refuse his cooperation.

Only after being threatened with contempt of Congress charges did he testify in seven hearings where he denied there had been any knowledge by senior officials. President Obama personally advertised that he would get to the bottom of the scandal and hold someone accountable. Yet now, years after, a few members of the ATF were just transferred to the justice department. If I got expelled for cheating in Mendoza, I don’t think Dean Huang would ensure I was able to study economics in the College of Arts and Letters. It simply is not holding anyone accountable.

The Internal Revenue Service admitted last year they specifically targeted conservative groups through “intensive scrutiny.” If the IRS can’t even be objective than maybe the country has gone haywire. Again, an investigation was ordered, yet no criminal charges were ever brought by the FBI, which investigated. Again, Eric Holder and President Obama denied knowledge of what was going on and failed to hold anyone legally accountable.

Similarly, the NSA spying scandal has seen no concrete, accountable results. Obamacare’s disastrous rollout was chalked up to their best effort and Kathleen Sibelius was never blamed. She even said “whatever” to a member of Congress during a hearing and has retained her employment unscathed. We all know the fate of the millions who lost their plans after the president promised they would be able to keep them.

The monster of all scandals, however, is the Benghazi cover-up. Anyone that denies it is exactly that is suffering from celebrity brainwash. Reports have indicated the president knew within hours that the attack on the United States embassy in Benghazi was not a spontaneous demonstration, but a terrorist attack. Yet after having received this information, President Obama attempted to convince the American public that terrorism was not to blame. He even sent Susan Rice on a morning talk show round to ensure that his propaganda succeeded.

But America can smell BS faster than any country and it wasn’t long until public outcry began. How did the President react? He denied it some more. Then changed his story. Then tried to promote Susan Rice. This is the most outrageous scandal of all. An American ambassador was killed in a terrorist attack after having requested additional security and yet nothing has come of it since. No one has been held accountable, fired, reprimanded — nothing. Where has the accountability gone?

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.