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Washington Times Op-Ed: A staggering abuse of power

May 16, 2013 in Politics & Elections

When I filibustered over domestic drone use, critics said that I was being ridiculous. They said that no American had been killed by a drone on American soil and that no one was likely to be anytime soon. President Obama responded that he hadn’t killed anyone yet and didn’t intend to – but he might.That wasn’t the point. The filibuster was about the limits of power. It was about how much authority the president imagined he had. Lincoln wrote that nearly any man can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man, give him power.I think Mr. Obama has failed that test of power. From the cover-up in Benghazi to letting the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) target the Tea Party to First and Fourth Amendment violations in obtaining records from the press, Mr. Obama has shown disregard for the Bill of Rights and his responsibilities as commander in chief.The handling of the tragedy in Benghazi continues to raise more questions than it produces answers. The White House’s original story, that no one was told to ‘stand down’ on the night of the attack, was contradicted last week by Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens‘ deputy, Gregory Hicks. Mr. Hicks testified that he spoke with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on the night of the attack and that a special-forces unit was stopped from deploying.In January, we learned that Mrs. Clinton had not read the cables from Libya, in which Stevens, who feared for his safety, made multiple requests for additional security. The review board tries to shield Mrs. Clinton from blame by saying the decisions to deny security the ambassador requested occurred below her level.That is precisely her culpability. It is inexcusable that she left decisions concerning the security of our Libyan ambassador to underlings. This issue is far from over, but so far, this administration seems more worried about protecting its own than being honest about what really happened.Not to mention, who’s to blame for it.Last week, the Internal Revenue Service admitted it intentionally targeted various Tea Party, conservative and libertarian groups, submitting them to audits or making them wait exceptionally long for tax-exempt status. If Benghazi represents abuse or misuse of power, the IRS stands in direct violation of the First Amendment – targeting American citizens for their political beliefs. The more we learn about this controversy, the clearer it becomes that anyone who dared to talk …read more


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