Wednesday, June 3, 2015

President Obama, The Art of Lying, and the Iran Deal

Five years ago, I wrote a blog post here on what I considered to be the unusual level of support the President had from groups of people who had a vested interest in the near certainty that he was lying to them, that the things he was saying in public in no way reflected his private views.  I rerun that post in its entirety here to re-acquaint you with its central points:

"I'm sure I'm not the first to recognize this, but as I sit back and think about our President and his first few months in office, I've come to an important conclusion. Never before in presidential politics have so many people been so invested in a hope, and a dream--and that hope and dream are that the man they voted for is lying to them.

If you are a pro-choice voter, then you hope the President was lying during his speech at Notre Dame where he suggested that the debate over abortion should continue. That's the last thing you want, as you see the pro-life movement gathering steam year after year.

If you are in favor of gay marriage, you have to hope that the President is lying when he says that he believes marriage should be reserved for one man and one woman.

If you are in favor of ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" in the military, then you're hoping that he is lying when he says his administration is not going to tamper with the current policy.

If you believe that the United States has alienated itself from the rest of the world through its ham-fisted pursuit of the war on terror, you're hoping that the President is lying when he signs Executive Orders reinforcing the practice of "extraordinary rendition", or the snatch and grab of suspected terrorists in other countries (started incidentally, but Bill Clinton).

If you believe that the US has trampled upon international law and the rights of those who took up arms against us as unlawful combatants, you are hoping that the President is lying to us when he says that the "newly constituted" military commissions are the best way to try these people.

If you believe that the US government took upon itself too much power and authority in pursuing a worldwide enemy dedicated to the destruction of western civilization, you are hoping that the President is lying when he advocates for sweeping implementation of the State Secrets Act to protect sources and methods of intelligence gathering.

If you believe that the US government has violated the privacy rights of law-abiding Americans by warrant-less wiretapping, and that those corporations who cooperated with the federal government should bear civil or criminal penalty, you are hoping that the President is lying when he says that such corporations should be protected from prosecution.

The list goes on, and on. But what we have is a whole group of voters who just KNOW IN THEIR HEARTS that the President REALLY WANTS to do the opposite of what he is doing and saying, but that the timing simply isn't right. So one thing or another is true. Either he isn't the man they elected, or he is lying to all of us. One or the other must be true.

I repeated the above in order to set up the thoughts I have on the nuclear negotiations ongoing with Iran.  It seems Iran's Supreme Leader has been making a number of public statements that completely and thoroughly undercut major aspects of the deal on the table, none more than the requirement for inspections of military facilities.  Into this morass steps Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama Administration official and now Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security.  In a piece called "THE AYATOLLAH DOTH PROTEST TOO MUCH: KHAMENEI’S POSTURING ON A NUCLEAR DEAL"  In it, Mr. Goldenberg goes out of his way to assure us that irrespective of what it is that the Supreme Leader says, we should ignore him.  Ignore his statements on inspections.  Ignore his statements on eradicating the State of Israel.  Why?  Because we know what he really means.  We know what he really wants.  And of course, what he really means and what he really wants are....exactly what the Obama team wants!  See how this works?  They've taken their entire approach to governing and are now applying it to the dangerous matters of nuclear weapons and international security--where words and deeds MUST align.

With all due respect to the background and experience of Mr. Goldenberg, this dog won't hunt.  I urge members of Congress to continue to demand tough concessions from the Iranians that are both signed for "..on the line which is dotted..." (name the movie) AND that are publicly supported by regime leaders' statements.  We can accept nothing less.

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