It appears there’s a problem in Washington DC that’s defined in one single word: transparency. You know, that whole thing about being accountable to “we, the people, that concept of Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence termed the “consent of the governed.” Those words seem lost on those who seek to lord over us all, the simple serfs, the electoral fodder.
Take for instance, the letter sent by the Deputy Attorney General, Rob Rosenstein, to the House Intelligence Committee asking not to release a memo relating to the use of FISA surveillance on President-elect Donald Trump. Rosenstein used the lame excuse about exposing sources and procedures, and that is exactly the point.
The American people should know about the means by which their federal government has become an East German Stasi-type force. It’s bad enough that we have federal government officials like Lois Lerner who can just plead a Fifth Amendment protection, and still receive a six-figure, taxpayer-funded retirement. The rule should be that if any federal government official pleads the Fifth, they void their retirement.
The same applies with this fella at the FBI, Andrew McCabe, who’s doing his best to run out the clock for his taxpayer-funded retirement. We know Mr. McCabe, Deputy Director of the FBI, is the center of some very disconcerting actions, some of which, perhaps all, will be revealed in the House Intel memo. The question that’s floating around — which Washington DC doesn’t appear concerned about — is “does the federal government work for the American people, or is it now above the people with its own self determined standard and definition of justice?
Speaking of which, has anyone indicted and charged John Kerry with violation of the Logan Act yet? I think we laid that case out rather simply here last week. This is what is incensing the American people — the arrogance of officialdom, coupled with a lack of transparency.
And speaking of the arrogance of officialdom, I must ask Speaker Paul Ryan a question: why haven’t you released THIS list?
As reported by my cohorts at CNS News, “A coalition of more than 60 conservatives signed a letter Wednesday calling on the House Republican leadership to take action on a bill requiring the disclosure of members of Congress who used taxpayer funds to settle cases of sexual harassment.
H.R. 4494, the Congressional Accountability and Hush Fund Elimination Act, was introduced in November by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.). The bill, which has 100 bipartisan cosponsors, requires “disclosure within 30 calendar days of all settlement payments funded by taxpayers, the reason for the payment and the nature of the allegation, and the member of Congress or congressional staffer implicated in the matter.” It also prohibits “future use of taxpayer dollars to pay sexual harassment and sexual assault claims against members of Congress and staff” and prohibits “members of Congress from using office budgets to camouflage payments.” Furthermore, it requires “members of Congress and staff that have ever been named in a sexual harassment or sexual assault settlement paid for by taxpayers” to pay the money back to the U.S. Treasury “with interest.”
This piece of legislation and question has been brought back to the forefront due to the revelation of Pennsylvania Republican Congressman Pat Meehan’s actions. Rep. Meehan has stated that he will not seek reelection, and probably should resign immediately, since news surfaced just last week that he had used taxpayer funds to pay a settlement to a former staffer…whom he referred to as his “soul mate.” The taxpayer funds were used in a settlement for claims of sexual misconduct, centered on unwanted romantic overtures of a former congressional staffer in his office.
“Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, one of the conservative leaders who signed the letter, told CNSNews.com she loves the bill. “Concerned Women for America has been calling on Congress on Speaker Ryan now for weeks to release that list,” she said. “I mean, really, it doesn’t make sense that the American people are stuck footing the bill for the bad behavior of members of Congress, and it’s our money. We need to know how it was spent.” However, Nance said she’s not interested in the identities of the alleged victims. “I don’t think I need to know the names of the victims, but I need to know what members of Congress I had to pay for, and I think it will happen. It has to happen. It was inappropriate that it happened. We can do better,” she said.”
It all comes down to that one word: transparency. We cannot long survive as a functioning Constitutional Republic with this type of abhorrent behavior emanating from our center of government. And if this is tolerated, then it represents an even more disturbing occurrence: perhaps we’re accepting of this behavior? We don’t expect perfection in human behavior, but what we should demand is accountability and responsibility for those behaviors that are not consistent with a certain level of moral character — no more moving targets.
My good friend, whom I dearly miss, Greta Von Susteren, coined a phrase that is appropriate for Washington DC: “The City of No Consequences.” Since her departure from Fox News, I’ve heard no one else utter the same thought. But, that’s what we’re facing, an aberrant level of arrogance that deems itself unaccountable, even when the American taxpayer is paying for their abjectly despicable actions.
You know, I think the voters should be given an opportunity to vote on the retirement pensions for our elected officials…to include presidents. Just imagine this, how long does it take for a member of our military to qualify for a retirement? And what do many of them have to endure over those 20-plus years in service to our nation, and remember the percentage isn’t that high and the pay rate isn’t either.
So, why are the American taxpayers paying for a president who participated in a sexual act with a young female staffer in the Oval Office?
Speaker Ryan, release the list. Refusing not to do so exemplifies the arrogance of officialdom, and raises more questions.
[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]