In a 2008 article that otherwise appeared very defensive of the Obama campaign, ABC News at least provided the following glimpse into Presidential Candidate Obama’s thought process:
“The Missouri Truth Squad, an Obama campaign press release stated last week, would ‘respond quickly, forcefully, and aggressively when John McCain or his allies launch inaccurate claims or character attacks about Barack Obama, or when they distort Barack Obama’s record or plans.’”[i]
Members of this “Truth Squad,” included members with “law enforcement powers, such as St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, and Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer,”[ii] giving a very different tone to the campaign’s promise to respond to so called inaccuracies, “…quickly, forcefully, and aggressively.”
When the NRA-Political Victory Fund called into question, “Sen. Obama’s statements and support for restricting access to firearms,” Obama reportedly “sent ‘cease and desist letters’ to news outlets in the two states, ‘denouncing the ads,” “demanding their removal from the airwaves,’” and “…warning station managers that in order to stay in the Federal Communication commission’s good graces, they should not air the ads.”[iii]
Missouri Governor Matt Blunt weighed in, saying:
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights…”[iv]
[iii] World Net Daily staff, (Sept. 27, 2008) World Net Daily Web-Site, Backlash to Obama Officials Squelching Political Speech: Law Enforcement Threats, intimidation likened to ‘Police-State Tactics,’ by Missouri Governor, retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=76438
[iv] World Net Daily staff, (Sept. 27, 2008) World Net Daily Web-Site, Backlash to Obama Officials Squelching Political Speech: Law Enforcement Threats, intimidation likened to ‘Police-State Tactics,’ by Missouri Governor, retrieved December 23, 2011, from http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=76438
If you’re old enough to remember the early days of Fidel Castro, then you remember when neighbors were urged to inform on neighbors – particularly, against those expressing contrary political opinions. But then, Castro wasn’t the first and he won’t be the last dictator to sponsor this type of nightmarish reality. Most Americans feel an icy chill, just thinking about a government that divisive – that controlling – that paranoid – that dangerous. Welcome to the Obama Administration.
In August, 2009, Linda Douglass, Communications Director for the White House’s Health Reform Office, appeared on national television, sitting at her computer screen, ostensibly tracking misinformation circulating about the new President’s Healthcare Reform plan. Turning towards the TV cameras, Douglass explained:
“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation.Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.”[i](Emphasis Added)
Is this the type of request you anticipated from the office of the President of the United States? It’s an easily explainable request and a case can certainly be made for the paranoia of those who see it as sinister. Yet, it runs along the periphery of very ugly territory – informing on our neighbors’ exercise of free speech. The loss of liberty in minute doses is hardly felt until it is suddenly gone. Arguably, this type of request provides a clear indication of how quickly, how far, by what means and in what areas the American people can be pushed into compliance with new policies.