Fast and Furious, IRS show Obama officials above the law?

The ruling class' disregard for the rule of law and accountability breeds further corruption and disdain for the American citizenry Photo: AP

HOUSTON, June 21, 2013 — Tyranny can be described as the ruling class and the citizenry living by and under different sets of laws, with different consequences for breaking those laws.

The American concept of law is that no one is above the law and that the law should be implemented uniformly and evenly. This idea, often referred to as “equality before the law,” is one of the main reasons America is by many measures the most successful country the world has ever seen.

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Thomas Paine, who famously penned “Common Sense,” the widely distributed pamphlet advocating for America’s independence from Britain, said that liberty and freedom will thrive in America because, “In America the law is king.” He rightly understood that, ideally, no one person or group of people should be above the law, and that if countries were to remain free, the law would to be applied uniformly and evenly.

If Paine were alive today, it is unlikely that he would echo that same sentiment with regard to the state of our current society. America’s ruling class plays by a different set of rules than the rest of us. They routinely escape punishment for blatant violations of laws that would put an ordinary citizen’s life and property at immense risk.

From criminal to civil law, the Obama administration commonly and brazenly flouts the law with absolutely no consequences. The follwoing examples embody only the most egregious and blatant violations.

PERJURY: Federal criminal law states that the definition of perjury (18 USC Section 1621) is when an individual knowingly makes a false, material statement, under oath in front of a court, grand jury or similar body. The penalty for violation is a fine of no more than $2,000 or imprisonment not more than five years, or both.

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Eric Holder, Attorney General of the United States, has perjured himself on at least two separate occasions, but luckily for him, he oversees the Department of Justice, which is the entity that would be in charge of prosecuting him. Holder’s first act of perjury was on May 3, 2011, at a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing when he said, “I’m not sure of the exact date, but I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.” Documents later revealed that he was briefed on the Fast and Furious program at least one year earlier, in June of 2010, and he was forced to draft a letter to the Committee explaining that he did in fact misrepresent the truth.

His second act of perjury was with regard to the Department of Justice spying on the phone records and e-mails of the media, and particularly of a Fox News reporter. The scene was again the House Judicary Committee, but this time in March of 2013. In response to a question about the possible criminal prosecution of members of the press for publishing leaked information, Holder said, “In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material, this is not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

But wait; Holder personally approved the subpoena which among other things named Fox News’ James Rosen “a criminal co-conspirator” just for reporting the news. Holder may have also misled the Judge approving the subpoena by characterizing Rosen as a “flight risk” who might “don a disguise.” Not since Richard Nixon has a member of the media been treated as a criminal co-conspirator or prosecuted for publishing leaked information. More importantly, Holder had done exactly the thing that he claimed he had “never been involved in.”

But he will never go to jail.

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James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, jumped on the perjury train in May of this year in front of the Senate Judiciary committee. Clapper was asked by Senator Ron Wyden, “Does the NSA (the National Security Agency) collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?” “No, sir,” Clapper responded. “It does not?” Wyden asked again. “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently, perhaps, collect, but not wittingly.”

That statement was a bald-faced lie. We now know that the NSA has collected all of the phone records and emails of every American who uses a celll phone and email. What is Clapper’s excuse? In a later interview with NBC News, Clapper admitted lying and committing perjury, saying he gave “the most least untruthful” answer he could give. Clapper will never be go to prison or even lose his job for that. Any American who is not a member of the ruling class would certainly be facing perjury charges.

In March, 2012, former IRS commissioner Doug Shulman told a House Ways and Means Committee that, “There’s absolutely no targeting (of political enemies’ of Obama). This is the kind of back and forth that happens to people” who apply for tax-exempt status.” It has now become apparent that the IRS was aware of the targeting of conservative groups as early as March, 2010

IRS ISSUES: The IRS violated many laws in their targeting of conservative groups, inluding civil rights laws, the First Amendment, federal laws regulating how IRS regulations are implemented and the Hatch Act, which disallows any blatantly political activities while participating in the scope of governmental employment.

After it became apparent that the administration could no longer maintain the cover up of the targeting of Obama’s political enemies, Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS division that was involved in the targeting of Obama’s conservative groups told those conservative groups that she “was very sorry.” In dealing with the IRS, any American citizen who told the IRS “sorry, but I have knowingly been lying on my taxes for a year or so” would be facing jail time.

Not if you are part of the ruling class, though. Lerner is now on paid leave (a taxpayer funded vacation) and will return to a raise; she will be the head of the IRS department that oversees the implementation of Obamacare.

Additionally, the IRS commissioner, Steven Miller, told the House Judiciary Committe that he “lost the receipts” for a convention that cost taxpayers over $4 million. If a citizen gets audited and tells the IRS that he lost the receipts for a claimed $4 million purchase, that person will face jail time.

TAXES: On a similar note, Timothy “Turbo Tax” Geithner, Obama’s first Secretary of the Treasury, had to pay $35,000 in back taxes and blamed it on his use and misunderstanding of the program Turbo Tax. The Democrat-controlled Senate confirmed him regardless. It would be extremely comical having the person who oversees taxes in this society be a tax cheat, if it weren’t so tragic and a sign of the ineptitude to come.

In civil law there is a doctrine called “respondeat superior” (Latin for “let the master answer”) and it holds an employer or principal legally responsible for the wrongful acts of an employee or agent, if such acts occur within the scope of the employment or agency. There is also a complementary civil law doctrine referred to as “constructive knowledge.” Black’s law dictionary defines it as, “if by prudent action one should have known a fact they are deemed to have knowledge of that fact.” Therefore, it is an objective standard, impugning knowledge on an individual who “should have known” the fact at issue.

These doctrines exist to guarantee that ignorance cannot be a defense for the leadership of an organization, and to encourage leadership to be involved in and aware of the daily goings-on of the business. These doctrines apply to every employer nationwide, except the largest employer in the country: the Federal Government. For some reason, ignorance is not just an acceptable excuse, but a very common one, especially in the Obama administration.

Obama uses ignorance as his primary excuse each and every time his most recent abuse of power becomes public. He found out about the IRS targeting conervatives when he read news reports. He found out about the Department of Justice targeting reporters also when he read news reports. He had no idea his administration changed the Benghazi talking points 12 times. Obama’s cabinet members are also commonly, conveniently ignorant when it comes to scandals or crimes in their departments. Holder didnt know anything about Fast and Furious, and he “recused” himself from the James Rosen prosecution. Nether of the IRS directors were aware of the targeting of conservatives. Janet Napolitano had no idea what Fast and Furious was.

Not one of these people lost their job, or got punished in any fashion. The administration’s position is that Obama and his cabinet were never personally aware of these scandals and therefore they cannot be held accountable for whatever lawlessness that occurred under their respective watch. This is very convenient for the ruling class, but in the real world, the doctrines of constructive evidence and respondeat superior would preclude the defense of ignorance. That’s not to mention that if the boss’ excuse was that he was so inept as to not have been aware of a huge crisis and scandal going on during his or her watch, at any competent company, that person would be out of a job.

Obama, Holder and the rest of the ruling class know that ignorance is a workable defense, so they can insulate themselves if they tell their inferiors not to inform them of issues that could be troublesome. If Obama and the ruling class cannot be encouraged to actually lead and govern the nation, corruption will undoubtedly continue to expand. All of this lawlessness brings to the forefront the one choice that America faces: accountability and rule of law for all, or tyranny, corruption and the perpetuation of a dual legal system. One system will be for the privileged few members of the ruling class, the other for the rest of America.

Thomas Paine knew that if the law is not king, then the king (or the ruling class in the case of America) is law, as is the case in every failed statist society in the history of the world. The lawlessness, unaccountability, ignorance and general disrespect for the rule of law from the ruling class is only part of the “fundamental transformation” of our society that Obama promised us all he would deliver. It will no doubt continue to lead to further corruption and a greater chasm between the ruling class and the citizenry.

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James Richard Edwards

James R. Edwards is a medical malpractice defense attorney in Houston, Tx. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree from LSU (Geaux Tigers!) in Psychology and subsequently went on to attend the University of Houston Law Center. James became interested in politics in law school because of the consistent and oppressive disgust and revulsion shown by the staff and Professors for the Constitution and for America in general. He is a tireless advocate for federalism and minimizing the impact the federal government has on all of our lives. 

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