The 9 Biggest Obama Whoppers From 2013
We all know it's not always the lie that's important, it's the cover-up. Barack Obama's administration would do well to remember this in the final three years at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The first year of the second term is never easy, but twerking around the truth has given Obama the same approval rating as former President Richard Nixon in his fifth year.
1. "The Sequester is not something that I've proposed...it's something that Congress has proposed."
Ok so the list kicks off with a statement from 2012 that set the stage for more than a few lies in 2013. The sequester nibbled around the edges of our federal spending pie, and did nothing to solve our actual addiction to spending. In his unending campaign, Obama tried to pin the sequester on the party of Mitt Romney.
And then Bob Woodward came along and ruined the whole charade! He pointed out that the idea actually came from then-White House Budget Director Jack Lew. The White House apparently never thought the sequester would come to pass. Unfortunately for them, they were bluffing with a bad hand.
2. "No, sir."
The continued revelations about the unconstitutional actions of the National Security Agency (NSA)'s surveillance programs is reminiscent of the Tiger Woods scandal. At first, it was a bit of a shock, but then as the web of scandal continued to unravel, we kept wondering when it would stop.
For the NSA, it all started when Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked, "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?" The question shouldn't have been a shock, as the senator had sent it to the NSA offices the week before.
However, the response from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was about as untrue as any statement can be. After the publication of whistleblower Edward Snowden's intelligence documents, the extent of this lie has only grown exponentially. This lie will most likely color much of 2014's zeitgeist as well, as only 1% of the Snowden trove has been released.
3. "A lot of the health care act was designed by Republicans."
There are plenty of things that people can say about Obamacare, but White House Press Secreatry Jay Carney's claim that it was designed by Republicans is an example of the Obama adminsitration's use of misinformation about the ACA in an effort to paint their opponents as hypocrites.
If Carney claimed the idea for Obamacare came from the Heritage Foundation, a predominately Republican think tank, then he would have been telling the truth. But almost nothing about the ACA, a bill passed on a party-line vote using budget tricks to get around cloture requirements, was designed by Republicans. The Heritage Foundation proposed the ludicrous idea of an individual product purchase mandate in 1989. But that policy idea was nothing like what Republicans in 2009 were advocating for. While the individual mandate-tax-penalty is still a gangrene portion of the law, Carney can't claim that Obamacare was designed by Republicans without earning a spot on this list.
4. Drone strikes only target "specific senior operational leaders of al-Qaida and associated forces."
It seems that these days, drones are everywhere. The Obama administration has utilized its drone program as part of its military strategy quite effectively. Unfortunately, drones' effectiveness is what makes this statement so untrue.
The Obama administration has used drones in ways that have absolutely nothing to do with "al Qaeda and associated forces." In April, intelligence documents leaked that indicated over 90 drone strikes from September 2010 until September 2011. Only half of these were aimed at al Qaeda.
Obama's statement attempts to hide the truth of his extension of American military involvement in the Middle East and Africa. This expansion indiscriminately affects innocent people in countries with a prominent Muslim population, and has deadly and immoral consequences. It sterilizes the killing of non-militant individuals, and violate the constitutional right of due process. Its expansion has been frightening and effective. It just hasn't been focused solely on al Qaeda.
5. "There is no military solution for Syria."
The Syrian civil war has been utterly fraught with tragedy. The 100,000-plusdeaths and gas attacks were not acceptable, but the Obama administration still made a case to bomb a sovereign nation that did not threaten U.S. national security.
Obama, Kerry, and company twisted the number of deaths, claiming that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces had killed over 100,000 individuals. In reality, that number is a total death count, with 40% of those being Assad's forces. While 100,000 deaths is still a human rights disaster, lying about it to convince the world to bomb the Middle East would only ncreased that number.
In October, Kerry stated that there was no military solution. However, that is exactly what he and the Obama administration advocated in the previous months.
6. We don't target journalists.
The Department of Justice has been through its share of scandals, but signing off on a search warrant of a reporter on the other side of the aisle is a thoroughly disturbing use of power. Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the search of James Rosen, a reporter from Fox News who had been given classified information about North Korea from Stephen Kim, a former intelligence analyst.
During his testimony in Congress, Holder stated that prosecuting journalists is "not something I've been involved with ... my view is quite the opposite." The Rosen story broke after the Department of Justice was found wiretapping the Associated Press. It is hard to believe Holder's statements on the topic of surveillance of the press when he has continued to lie to us about it.
7. "The day after Benghazi happened, I acknowledged it was an act of terrorism."
The Benghazi attack will likely be an incident with no agreed-upon resolution. Months after the Susan Rice talking points incident, Obama attempted to qualify his administration's poor handling of the attack. The problem is that this statement simply wasn't true. It earned him four Pinocchios from the Washington Post's Fact Checker blog.
Obama had used the phrase "acts of terror," but not the word "terrorism." Channelling an alternate reality, his administration blamed the attack on a YouTube video when they knew that wasn't the case. Destructive acts inherently wreck terror, but when an administration has a bad habit of blowing up the terrorists (No. 4), and specifically avoids using the word terrorism, they get spot No. 7.
8. "The Capitol Hill janitors just got a pay cut."
The sequester was filled with strawman arguments: The Republicans want poor people to die and the Democrats are hungry for the Russian economy of the 1950s. Like the previous two statements, Obama's remark about Capitol Hill janitors taking a pay cut is also completely untrue.
When the Architect of the Capitol released the sequestration plan, there was absolutely no mention of pay cuts or furloughs. It was specifically stated, "We do not anticipate furloughs for AOC employees as a result of sequestration." While the president's statement was aimed at appealing to the 99%, it makes Obama look completely uninformed about the workers affected by the sequester.
9. The Noble Lie: "If you like your plan, you can keep it!"
What more can be said that hasn't been said already? This statement has been awarded "Lie of the Year" by Politifact, four Pinnochios by Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post, and has not been believed by any non-partisan, non-Democrat since 2009.
Obamacare made it fundamentally impossible to keep your plan by federalizing standards for health insurance plans. It doesn't matter that the Obama administration knew plans would be cancelled while stating otherwise. While it's a noble lie used to pass Obamacare, it was just as false in 2009 as it was in 2013.
Congratulations, President Obama! You make up half this list. Your current approval ratings are an indication of what happens when you pledge to make the most transparent government in history, yet do the exact opposite.