A cover-up by any other name
At this point in Barack Obama's presidency, it's easy to see that the administration uses a well thought out playbook to address scandal after scandal. Stonewalling Congress and failing to hold people accountable are standard practices. But there's another tactic used by Team Obama that hasn't been getting enough attention — the announcement of an investigation by internal government “watchdogs” into wrongdoing on any particular issue, the outcome of which is never actually completed.
Consider the IRS targeting scandal. Despite news breaking more than a year ago that the most powerful government agency in the country was inappropriately targeting conservative groups, it has taken the FBI more than 14 months to ask the people who received the most scrutiny for an interview.
“I believe in earnest this is the first time they've said they're going to take us seriously and that they're going to investigate,” said True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of Fox News. “This has been such a rat race from the very beginning, and I'm very glad, I'm very glad that we're going to have an opportunity to sit down and get to the truth of this.”
Despite the delay, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a recent interview that investigators were doing a “good and professional job.” Conveniently, the woman in charge of the DOJ investigation into IRS targeting, Barbara Bosserman, has donated thousands of dollars to Democrats and President Barack Obama over the years.
When President Obama made the decision to exchange five Taliban commanders for alleged deserter Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, he expected a political victory. The opposite occurred as members of Bergdahl's platoon came forward to expose him. Two months after a so-called investigation into Bergdahl's disappearance began, not a single member of his platoon has been interviewed by the military about the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.
“Since Gen. (Kenneth) Dahl announced ... he is the leader of the new investigation into why Bergdahl deserted, he has not contacted any of us. Nobody in the platoon,” Army Spc. Cody Full, who served with Bergdahl when he disappeared in 2009, said in an interview with Sean Hannity.
Real and complete investigations might show the president of the United States knew the IRS was targeting conservatives and might show the president knowingly swapped a deserter for five high-level Taliban fighters. Obama can't have that, which is exactly why these investigations have gone nowhere.
When the administration says it's investigating a scandal or wrongdoing, it's actually using the “investigation” as a way to avoid answering questions and to avoid getting to the bottom what actually happened. After all, government officials can't answer questions or talk about details when there's an “ongoing investigation.”
Katie Pavlich is news editor of Townhall.com. Her exclusive Trib columns usually appear on the first and third Fridays of each month.