This column was written by Andrew C. McCarthy.
What happens when Democrats get their wires crossed?
What happens when drivel like "Change you can believe in" collides with such malarkey as "our commitment to the Rule of Law"?
Fraud happens. The etymology, by the way, traces to the Latin word fraus - which the Obama campaign might bear in mind if it's planning to whip up any more of those mock presidential seals.
Or, for that matter, mock presidential addresses. Sen.has just bestowed another of these upon us: a two-minute political ad on a Wall Street upheaval so sudden the campaign didn't have time to dust off the seal or the Greek columns.
Explaining "what I believe we need to do," the Anointed One decreed the need for "a responsible end to this war in Iraq so we stop spending billions each month rebuilding their country when we should be rebuilding ours."
Where to begin with such a whopper? Let's start with the felony, since it leads seamlessly to the fraud.
Thanks to reporting from Amir Taheri, the gist of which the Obama campaign has confirmed, we now know that while Obama is telling the American people he wants an end to the war, he has secretly negotiated with the government in Iraq to extend the U.S. military mission there. That is a black-and-white violation of federal criminal law.
Very simply, in our system the president is responsible for conducting foreign policy. President Bush is thus negotiating with the Iraqi government for a "status of forces" agreement that would clarify the rights and responsibilities of U.S. forces in Iraq after the current U.N. mandate expires at the end of this year.
Yet, during Obama's heralded trip to Baghdad in July, he asked Iraqi leaders to ignore Bush and delay resolving the legal status of our forces until next year - by which time the Senator hopes no longer to need a phony presidential seal.
Under the "Logan Act" (now codified at Section 953 of the federal penal code) it has been against the law since the late 18th century for U.S. citizens to carry on "intercourse with any foreign government" that is aimed either "to defeat the measures of the United States" or to influence the foreign government's dealings with the United States. Being a senator is no immunity from this statute - as any Republican senator would find out in a hurry if he dared to pull a stunt like this during an Obama administration.
Naturally, the Waxmans, Conyers, Leahys, law-professor legions, and Democrats everywhere who've harangued us for eight years about "the rule of law" have fallen silent. No one is issuing subpoenas, talking about special prosecutors, or holding top Obama advisers in contempt until they tell us "what did you know and when did you know it."
That's fine. The episode is a welcome reminder of what we learned in the Clinton years: When these folks say "no one is above the law" they really mean "no Republican is above the law." If a Democrat president, or mock president, decides to violate statutes, order national-security searches without warrant, kidnap uncharged suspects for extraordinary rendition to countries that practice torture, detain captives indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay, and launch attacks without congressional or U.N. approval - all and more of which were staples of Democrat governance in the nineties - it's anything goes.
But more to the point, Barack's Baghdad Bonanza surfaces his seamy, Tony Rezko side. If successful, these secret negotiations with the Maliki government would add months to the U.S. military mission in Iraq.
Let's put aside that Obama's tactic makes cynical use of our troops in harm's way, placing them in legal limbo while the resolution of their status is delayed. Obama's sleight of hand further promises to cost American taxpayers untold billions of additional dollars - and for no better reason than allowing him, rather than Bush, to claim credit for success in a war Obama tried his damndest to have us lose.
And all this at a time when Obama's latest audacity consists of looking Americans in the eye and decrying the billions spent each month rebuilding a foreign country. Those billions, he now says, should be kept at home for "rebuilding" our own country.
Nice try. The Candidate of Hope is hoping that while he caterwauls about our lost billions, you won't notice that he has already proposed the most jaw-dropping transfer of wealth in American history: taking nearly a trillion dollars out of the pockets of American taxpayers and doling it out to the world's worst regimes through its most corrupt intermediary, the U.N.
The scam is better known as Obama's Global Poverty Act. Sen., his trusty running-mate, recently tried to slam it through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - the better to address the rarely discussed fact that Obama, having achieved nothing noteworthy as an Illinois state senator, is similarly without accomplishment after three years in the Senate.
The GPA is a monstrosity. Thanks to Obama's praetorian guards in the mainstream media, it is a better kept secret than most covert intelligence programs. But Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid has been digging (see here). If the GPA became law, the United States would be required to fork up for foreign aid 0.7 percent of its gross national product through 2015. That is, Obama would skyrocket U.S. largesse from its current annual level of about $21 billion (the world's most generous) to - you'll want to be sitting down for this - $85 billion per year.
This week's new and improved "let's take care of Americans first" Obama is a fraud. The real Obama is post-sovereign, transnational progressivism personified. His 0.7 percent figure comes straight out of a 1970 U.N. General Assembly resolution, and the 2015 deadline was dreamed up by a gaggle of international community organizers at the U.N.'s "Millennium Summit" in 2000.
Are you worried about the $85 billion AIG bailout? Well just imagine doing it once a year for about a decade … except with no return on your investment and with the U.N. (the people who gave us "Oil for Food") doing what passes for the oversight - i.e., presiding over the transfer of American dollars to the very freedom-hating despots who have kept the third world poor in the first place.
The price tag by 2015 for Obama's international trough is estimated at about $845 billion. And that, you can be sure, is just the start. Harvard's Jeffrey Sachs, who advises the U.N., anticipates that the funds needed "to put real resources in support of our hopes" would be raised by "a global tax on carbon-emitting fossil fuels." With a Democrat Congress at his back, a President Obama would surely repeal the Bush tax cuts for Americans, but does anyone see him repealing the global tax on Americans? Dream on.
Obama is all for taking billions out of our pockets to give it to the world. He is only against taking billions out of our pockets to give it to Iraq. There, after all, it stands to promote American national interests and military success - which Obama and Democrats have worked to undermine in both the halls of Congress and, we now learn, the Green Zone.
Back before he perceived the expedience of costuming himself as sentry of the American pocketbook, a more forthright Obama justified his GPA proposal this way:
[T]his important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world. Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere.
That's the real Obama, the guy who decries corporate profits for Americans and thinks we elect a president to help the workers and small farmers of the globe.
Does he not know that the country he wants to lead is an investor society which thrives on corporate profits? That corporate profits allow Americans, both privately and through their government, to provide more foreign aid than any other people in the world?
Of course he knows it. Obama and his wife have made plenty of money in America. He's not ignorant. He's fraudulent.
By Andrew C. McCarthy
Reprinted with permission from National Review Online