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A Culture of Intimidation


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A Culture of Intimidation


If Barack Obama didn’t directly order the harassment of his political enemies, he certainly encouraged it.


by Rand Simberg

May 17, 2013 - 3:19 pm


In the wake of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in Iraq during the Bush administration, the default assumption of the media was that it was a direct consequence of White House policies. Those who were particularly Bush/Cheney deranged imagined that the vice president himself probably spent his recreational time personally torturing Iraqi prisoners. But even more thoughtful people accused the administration of creating the environment in which the abuse could occur:


Defenders of the administration have argued, of course, that there is no “smoking gun”–no chain of orders leading directly from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Pfc. Lynndie England and her co-conspirators. But that reasoning–now largely accepted within the Beltway–betrays a deliberate indifference to how large organizations such as the military actually work. In any war, civilian leaders set strategic aims, and it falls to commanders and planners at successively lower levels of command to refine that guidance into executable orders which can be handed down to subordinates. That process works whether the policy in question is a good one or a bad one. President Bush didn’t order the April 2003 “thunder run” into Baghdad; he ordered Tommy Franks to win the war and the Third Infantry Division’s leaders figured out how to make it happen. Scissors-32x32.png

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EDITORIAL: Rotten fish at the IRS


Only Congress is likely to get to the source of the stink



The Washington Times

Friday, May 17, 2013


If you’re a president under fire, it’s convenient to fire someone who’s about to leave anyway. The president on Wednesday threw acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller under the hot dog wagon, or whatever convenient cliche was waiting at the curb.


Mr. Miller doesn’t make a particularly satisfying fall guy, since he wasn’t actually in charge when the crimes were committed, and his tenure as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service was to end early next month.


Given the gravity of the IRS misconduct, it’s going to take a lot more to make amends. In April 2012, the National Organization for Marriage asked the Department of Justice to investigate how the group’s confidential tax returns were leaked to gay activists at the Human Rights Campaign and to the Huffington Post, Scissors-32x32.png


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