A Laughable 'Case For Impeachment'
WorldNetDaily and the Western Journalism Center team up to publish an error-ridden, lie-filled anti-Obama screed.
By Terry Krepel
Floyd Brown, head of the Western Journalism Center, has been agitating for President Obama's impeachment for nearly a year, and WorldNetDaily has helped him agitate.
Brown's arguments for impeachment at the time were, as ConWebWatch noted, largely based on misleading, out-of-context, or just plain false claims. Brown repeated many of the same bogus arguments in an Oct. 25, 2009, WND column.
(Further, neither Brown nor Unruh saw fit to disclose that WND editor Joseph Farah founded the WJC.)
Now, WND and WJC have teamed up again on a book, "The Case for Impeachment: Why Barack Hussein Obama Should Be Impeached to Save America." It's written by Steven Baldwin -- not the actor, but a "Senior Research Fellow" at WJC, but it's credited as "A joint project of WorldNetDaily and the Western Journalism Center" -- which an Aug. 23 article by Unruh promoting the book curiously does not mention.
That seems to put the lie to Farah's recent decoupling efforts. In a Dec. 2, 2009, column detailing his response to the United Nations in a failed attempt to get U.N.-hater Jerome Corsi press credentials for a climate change conference, Farah wrote, "I, like my company, WorldNetDaily, have no connection to the Western Journalism Center today." (As ConWebWatch has previously noted, Farah seemed not to understand why the U.N. would not be eager to give press credentials to a "news" organization whose editor and CEO called it "a global criminal enterprise determined to shift power away from individuals and sovereign nation-states to a small band of unaccountable international elites" and declared, "Death to the U.N.!")
The book contains no footnotes or any other substantiation for the claims it makes. That's a clear sign that Baldwin and his WND-WJC team are not interested in the truth. It's little more than an expansion of Brown's original list, and the errors, misrepresentations, and falsehoods have exponentially increased.
A a bona fide Obama-hater, Baldwin is perfect for this smear job, having penned an article on the WJC website accusing Obama of being "stupid and lazy" and that "a network of liberal professors, law firms, and others, gave him a pass on performance while he pursued his political agenda." In one section, titled "Obama’s Stupidity is Reflected by the Most Naive Cabinet Ever," Baldwin repeats a claim that "only 8%" of Obama cabinet members "hail from the private sector." But PolitiFact.org declared this claim to be false, stating that the private-sector experience of several Obama cabinet members was ignored.
That's the approach Baldwin takes in his book -- parrot every right-wing anti-Obama talking point, no matter how specious. It's also a sloppy parroting job; Baldwin misspells the names of Sen. Jon Kyl and activist Mikey Weinstein, among others.
Here is an incomplete list of the falsehoods, misrepresentations, and unsubstantiated attacks Baldwin makes, with excerpts from the book in blue.
The Obama administration has offered jobs in exchange for political favors. It is illegal to offer government jobs in exchange for political favors, yet Democrat Congressman Joe Sestak has publicly detailed how the Obama administration offered him a high ranking government job if he would not run against Senator Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate Democrat [sic] primary. ... This is clearly a form of bribery, a crime specifically enumerated in the Constitution as an impeachable offense. [p. 4]
Contrary to his claim, Obama attempted to influence the selection of the U.S. senator for Illinois. Court papers filed by the scandal-plagued former governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, reveal Obama, using an intermediary, tried to persuade the governor to fill the vacated Senate seat with his longtime advisor Valerie Jarrett. ... Moreover, John Harris, Blagojevich's former chief of staff, has testified in court that Obama knew Blagojevich wanted to be named to a cabinet position. Such a swap is illegal and, although it never happened, Obama probably committed a federal crime. [p. 5]
In fact, Harris testified that Blagojevich said "he felt confident Obama knew he wanted to swap perks" -- not that Obama knew about it. Also, testimony in Blagojevich's trial by union official Tom Balanoff quoted Obama as saying that he "would much prefer she [serve in the White House] but she does want to be Senator and she does meet those criteria," which was relayed to Blagojevich. A report by Obama's transition team states that Obama "would neither stand in her way if she wanted to pursue the Senate seat nor actively seek to have her or any other particular candidate appointed to the vacancy"; Harris also testified that a Blagojevich fundraiser that the Obama camp would be "thankful and and appreciative" if he appointed Jarrett. Blagojevich's reply, captured by the FBI wiretap: "They're not willing to give me anything but appreciation? F--- them."
Obama's campaign knowingly registered to vote thousands of illegal aliens. As district attorneys in a least [sic] a dozen states have revealed, ACORN -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- engaged in widespread election fraud during the election, much of it focused on registering illegal aliens. ... There is little doubt Obama and his campaign officials knew of -- and perhaps encouraged -- ACORN's illegal voter registration tactics since that's what this group specializes in. [p. 5]
Baldwin is speculating. He offers no evidence the Obama campaign "knowingly" registered illegal immigrants.
Obama rewarded big donors with government jobs and contracts. ... For example, Checchi & Company owned by Obama donor Vincent Checchi, was awarded a $25 million no-bid contract for work in Afghanistan. Such actions are unethical, if not a form of bribery. [p. 6]
In fact, as Fox News reported, the Checchi & Company contract was a renewal of an existing contract, awarded in 2004 by the Bush administration after a competitive bid process.
Obama has granted Constitutional "rights" to terrorists. ... Already this administration has lost valuable intelligence when it gave Miranda rights to the Christmas bomber, resulting in his discussions with U.S. authorities being cut short. [p. 8]
In fact, Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair stated that the "Christmas bomber," Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, has provided valuable intelligence, and FBI director Robert Mueller testified that "Abdulmutallab has provided valuable information" and that "the interrogation continues despite the fact he has been Mirandized."
The Obama administration refuses to interrogate terrorists. ... It now appears the Obama administration has decided to stop altogether questioning captured terrorists, a policy that will clearly endanger not only our military, but the American homeland. [p. 7]
In fact, Attorney General Eric Holder has proposed changes to federal law that would make it easier for the feds to extract as much information as possible from captured terrorism suspects and prosecute them as well.
Obama's Department of Homeland Security described veterans and other law-abiding Americans as "right-wing extremists." Rather than focusing on fighting real terrorists, Obama's DHS issued a ten-page memo warning that military veterans, pro-life activists, and those opposed to illegal immigration may be attracted to terrorism. This is an unprecedented attack on American citizens who peacefully exercise their Constitutional rights. One must ask why the administration would want to shift the focus away from real terrorists. [p. 8]
Despite attacking the report, Baldwin doesn't disprove it. The DHS intelligence assessment -- commissioned under the Bush administration, though released by Obama's DHS -- stated that "rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment." The report's claim about veterans comes in part from a 2008 FBI report authored during the Bush administration stating that "some returning military veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have joined extremist groups."
Obama invited Muslim Brotherhood members to his speech. Middle Eastern media sources reported Obama staff members insisted ten members of the pro-terrorist Muslim Brotherhood be allowed to attend Obama's Cairo speech. [p. 9]
The Obama administration has required the military to carry out rules of engagement in Afghanistan that imperil our troops. The anti-miliary attitude of the Obama administration as resulted in the creation of engagement rules that are asinine and place our military personnel in jeopardy. [p. 10]
In fact, Gen. David Petraeus has stated that rules of engagement designed to minimize civilian casualties are needed because civilian deaths were "threatening to undermine the very strategy, the very policy that we were endeavoring to carry out in Afghanistan." Petraeus has also described the rules of engagement as "living our values."
Obama blames terrorism on poverty. In Obama's 2008 Berlin speech, he refused to blame Islamic jihadists for terrorism and instead blamed "poverty," a belief that only gives cover to those who commit terrorist acts and will lead to more terrorism. [p. 11]
Baldwin plucked a single word out of context. In the speech, Obama cited as an example of how globalization has created "new dangers ... that cannot be contained within the borders of a country or by the distance of an ocean" that "The poverty and violence in Somalia breeds the terror of tomorrow." But Obama also said, "This is the moment when we must defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it. This threat is real and we cannot shrink from our responsibility to combat it."
Obama appointed Susan Rice -- who bungled the capture of Osama bin Ladin -- as U.N. ambassador. Before 9/11 Osama bin Ladin was based in the Sudan training terrorists. The Sudanese government offered to capture and deliver him to American intelligence services. However, the offer was rejected by Susan Rice, who, sources say, didn't consider bin Ladin a serious threat. [p. 11]
In fact, the 9/11 Commission found "no credible evidence" that Sudan ever made such an offer to the U.S.
Obama has devastated our relationship with our closest ally, the United Kingdom. ... Obama also insulted the U.K. when a bust of Winston Churchill loaned to the White House after 9/11 was returned. Reportedly, Obama told White House aides to "Get rid of the f***ing thing." Apparently, Obama detests one of the great heroes of Western civilization. [p. 17]
In fact, as ConWebWatch detailed when Newsmax columnist James Humes made a similar claim, there is no evidence whatsoever that Obama ever said such a thing. Further, the bust was already scheduled to be returned before Obama took office.
Obama is not committed to modernizing our military. Obama gave a speech during the campaign promising to "slow our development of future combat systems." If a president refuses to modernize our defense capabilities, our enemies will surpass us militarily. [p. 17]
In fact, Obama was referring to a specific Army modernization program known as Future Combat Systems. Obama's 2008 Republican opponent, John McCain, agreed with Obama that the program should be ended; the program was far over budget and designed to fight large armies, not terrorists and insurgents such as the military has encountered in Iraq and Afghanistan. In June 2009, Future Combat Systems was replaced by a separate Brigade Combat Team program.
Obama ordered all U.S. flags removed in Haiti. Whent he United States rushed in $179 million in humanitarian assistance to Haiti, the Obama administration ordered all U.S. buildings to take down their American flags. This illustrates how Obama's worldview causes him to be ashamed of our flag and think of America in negative terms. [p. 18]
In fact, the flags were taken down to avoid being seen as an occupying force -- not an irrational view given the U.S.' long history of intervention in Haiti, and U.S. troops continued to wear the American flag on their uniforms. Such an action is not unprecedented, even under Republican presidents; during the Gulf War in 1991, U.S. forces briefly flew the American flag over the main airport in Kuwait, but took it down to avoid an impression that U.S. forces were conquerors.
Obama has appointed "czars" to initiate and carry out policy. These czars were never confirmed by the U.S. Senate and, yet, many have the authority to initiate and carry out policy. [p. 20]
In fact, one-third of the "czars" tallied by Fox News were confirmed by the Senate or are in positions created by statute, and many of those positions had counterparts in the Bush administration.
Obama has announced plans to create a domestic para-military force. Obama's proposal to create a "Civilian National Security Force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded" as the U.S. military, was listed as a $439 billion item in the 2009 budget. This is a quasi-military force that would report directly to the Executive Branch and operate within the boundaries of the United States. This is clearly unconstitutional. [p. 20]
In fact, as FactCheck.org details, this is a badly distorted version of Obama's call for doubling the Peace Corps, creating volunteer networks and increasing the size of the Foreign Service. And the "Civilian National Security Force" was not "listed as a $439 billion item in the 2009 budget"; that was the amount of the U.S. defense budget in 2007, according to WorldNetDaily's Joseph Farah, a leading promoter of this bogus conspiracy theory.
Obama is not eligible to serve as president. Despite the controversy surrounding the so-called "birther" issue, Obama has yet to show anyone a legal, long-form birth certificate demonstrating he was born in the United States. The only document he has shown is a semi-legal document called a "Certification of Live Birth" that is not accepted by most courts as legal, since it does not list important details such as the attending physician or the birth hospital. ... Moreover, Hawaiian law at the time of Obama's birth essentially allowed Hawaiian citizens to request a "Certification of Live Birth" without having to prove the baby was actually born there. ... Moreover, a former senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu -- where Obama was allegedly born -- has declared there is no long-form birth certificate on record for Obama and maintains that he was therefore not born there. ... Indeed, Obama's legal team has spent close to $2 million fighting numerous eligibility lawsuits rather than simply producing the legal long-form birth certificate and ending the controversy. [pp. 21-22]
This is largely a rehash of many of WND's birther arguments:
Obama's successful nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court threatens our Constitutional principles. ... During her confirmation hearing she claimed she supported the Second Amendment, but just a few months later voted against it as if this right could arbitrarily be dismissed. [p. 23]
In fact, the dissent Sotomayor joined from the Supreme Court's majority ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller -- the case that found that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to bear arms -- was not against the Second Amendment; rather, the opinion stated that the individual right to bear arms should not be applied to state and local laws.
Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court reveals his hostility to the constitution. ... For example, Kagan is hostile to the Second Amendment and, as dean of Harvard Law School, illegally banned military recruiters from the campus because the military doesn't allow open homosexuals to serve. Moreover, Kagan accepted $20 million from the Saudi royal family to establish at Harvard the Center for Islamic Studies, a group that promotes Islamic law, or "Sharia law," a body of law which undermines basic Constitutional principles such as freedom of speech, separation of powers, and due process. [p. 23]
Obama's fanatical obsession with "animal rights" is endangering America's economy. The Obama administration is promoting animal rights at the expense of America's economic needs. Fishing industry spokesman report Obama's environmental bureaucrats are planning a total ban on all recreational and commercial fishing along America's coasts, and even within America's lakes, all to appease Obama's radical environmental friends. Such a ban will cause the loss of at least a million jobs. [p. 27]
PolitiFact called this claim "Pants on Fire" false. An Obama administration task force is looking at ways to improve stewardship and effective coastal and marine spatial planning of America's oceans and coasts and the Great Lakes, but no ban on fishing has been approved, let alone proposed.
Obama's negligence is responsible for the Gulf oil disaster. ... During his time in the Senate and while running for president, Obama received $71,000 in campaign donations from BP, making him the top recipient of BP PAC money over the past 20 years. [p. 29]
In fact, the $71,000 Obama received during the 2008 campaign -- which did not accept PAC contributions -- came entirely from BP employees, not from BP's PAC. Further, BP's PAC made only one contribution to an Obama campaign: $1,000 in 2004, an amount less than 21 other Senate candidates that year.
Obama supported banning all handguns. On a Second Amendment questionnaire, Obama indicated he desires to ban all handguns, but once this position became controversial during his campaign, Obama claimed a rogue aide filled out the questionnaire. However, upon careful examination, it is clear that it was Obama's own handwriting on the questionnaire. [p. 31]
According to FactCheck.org, this is in reference to a disputed 1996 questionnaire. Baldwin does not mention that in a 2003 questionnaire, Obama stated that he did not support a blanket handgun ban: "While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety."
Obama has given the green light to Secretary of State Clinton to negotiate a U.N. treaty to ban guns in America and worldwide. The Bush administration would not even participate in these negotiations, but the Obama administration is. Called the "Small Arms Treaty," it would create an international gun registry, ban the trade, sale, and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons, and lead to the confiscation of all "unauthorized" civilian firearms. [p. 31]
Baldwin is spouting a conspiracy theory. According to Snopes.com. no such treaty has been drafted, let alone negotiated or signed. The U.N. is discussing a treaty that would tighten regulation of, and set international standards for, the import, export and transfer of conventional weapons, with the goal of preventing weapons from passing onto the illicit market.
Obama is illegally using the Department of Education to promote homosexuality to children. Obama has appointed Kevin Jennings to be Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education. Jennings is the founder of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and has dedicated his life to promoting the homosexual lifestyle in America's public schools. ... Jennings once related a story of how a young boy came to him as a teacher to confess that he was having sex with an older man. Jennings advice to "use a condom," but did not advise the student to terminate the relationship. ... This person should be arrested for endangering youth, but instead Obama has placed him in a position where he can promote his perversions on a nationwide scale. [p. 33]
In fact, Jennings' job is not to "promote his perversions on a nationwide scale"; he heads the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools. Further, Baldwin gets the counseling story wrong; the "young boy" was actually 16, and the student has said that it was not a sexual relationship.
Ramadan, but not Christmas, is celebrated at the Obama White House. ... Obama also told People Magazine his family does not give Christmas because they "want to teach limits." One can only wonder if Obama really understands the meaning of Christmas and how Christianity is intimately intertwined with American history and culture. [p. 36]
False. In fact, Michelle Obama told People that she and her husband don't give birthday presidents because they host large birthday parties instead. And Michelle Obama went on to day, "Malia believes there is still a Santa Claus even though she's a little wary because some of her friends are non-believers. But Malia says, 'Ma, I know there is a Santa because there's no way you'd buy me all that stuff.'"
Obama sides with Muslims. In his book, The Audacity of Hope, Obama wrote of Muslims and Arabic immigrants: "... "I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." [p. 36]
That's taken out of context. Obama actually wrote that "my meetings with Arab and Pakistani Americans" have shown him that "they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."
Obama informed the Egyptian foreign minister he is a Muslim. Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheir announced, "The American president told me in confidence that he is a Muslim." This reportedly occurred at a private one-on-one meeting with Obama in January 2010. [p. 37]
Obama has appointed a legal counsel who believes in applying Sharia Law. Obama appointed Harold Koh, a State Department counsel. Koh is a radical attorney who believes Muslim law, called "Sharia law," should be applied in some disputes in U.S. Courts, a view clearly in violation of the Constitution. [p. 37]
That claim comes from former Bush administration speechwriter Meghan Clyne, citing attorney Steven Stein allegedly quoting a statement Koh made in a 2007 speech. But the organizer of the dinner where Koh spoke stated that "the account given by Steve Stein of Dean Koh's comments is totally fictitious and inaccurate" and that she, her husband, "and several fellow alumni ... are all adamant that Koh never said or suggested that sharia law could be used to govern cases in US courts."
Obama did not attend the first National Day of Prayer. Obama is the only modern-day president to skip the National Day of Prayer events during his first year in office. [p. 37]
Baldwin's definition of "modern-day president" apparently extends only to George W. Bush. As Snopes detailed, President Clinton hosted no National Day of Prayer events in the White House during his presidency, and President Reagan hosted only one, in 1982. Unmentioned by Baldwin is the fact that Obama issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
Obama covered up Jesus. When Obama spoke at Georgetown University, the White House insisted that a monogram symbolizing Jesus' name be covered up. Georgetown complied. [p. 37]
There is no evidence that the Obama administration specifically "insisted" that the monogram be covered. The White House has stated, "The President appreciated the gracious hosts at Georgetown University where he delivered his speech on the state of the economy. Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events. Any suggestions to the contrary are simply false."
Obama believes we are no longer a Christian nation. In 2006, he said, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation." [p. 37]
That's taken out of context; Obama said, "Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
Obama opposes the use of the Bible for Congressional swearing in ceremonies. Obama wrote, "The First Amendment to the Constitution precludes us from requiring or prohibiting the use of any single religious text in government swearing-in ceremonies. This is a stunning misunderstanding of our Constitutional principles. [p. 38]
ConWebWatch could find no independent evidence that Obama ever said or wrote such a thing, and since supplies no supplementary evidence, it's unclear where he unearthed this statement. But even if Obama did write this, it doesn't support Baldwin's claim; the statement appears to support the use of other religious texts in addition to the Bible, not an opposition to it.
Obama supported sex education for kindergarten students. Throughout his short legislative career, Obama exhibited a casual attitude toward child porn and seemed unbothered by the sexualizing of children at very young ages. Indeed, he voted for a sex-education program that targeted kindergarten students. [p. 38]
Far from Baldwin's slimy suggestion that Obama supported teaching explicit sex acts to kindergarten, Obama has stated he supported "age-appropriate" sex education, which in the case of kindergarteners would involve teaching about "the possibility of somebody touching them inappropriately, and what that might mean."
Obama supports amnesty and voting rights for illegal aliens. Three years ago, Sen. Obama supported amnesty for America's 12 million illegal aliens and is planning legislation to push amnesty once again. These 12 million new citizens would not only receive free health care -- adding billions to our deficit -- but the Obama forces will surely utilize groups such as ACORN to register them as Democrats in an effort to lock Democrats into a permanent power structure. [p. 41]
Obama supports comprehensive immigration reform, as described on his campaign website: "Undocumented workers who are in good standing must admit that they broke the law, pay taxes and a penalty, learn English, and get right with the law before they can get in line to earn their citizenship." That is not "amnesty," which implies no preconditions. Baldwin's suggestion that legal citizens be denied voting rights because they might vote Democratic is absurd, not to mention unconstitutional.
Senator Jon Kyle [sic] was informed by Obama in a private meeting the federal government will not enforce our borders until a "comprehensive" immigration bill -- which includes amnesty -- is passed. Sen. Kyle [sic] is a long-standing senator from Arizona and expert on immigration. Obama denies this conversation, but Kyle [sic] stands by it. [p. 43]
In fact, Kyl has walked back the claim, telling the conservative National Review that "the comments were 'taken a bit out of context,' and that the 'they' he was referring to was the Left, 'the president's base,' and not the administration."
Obama's FCC proposed the takeover of much of the radio spectrum used by Television. The FCC's "National Broadband Plan" proposes that the FCC recapture nearly half the radio spectrum used by the 1,600 broadcast TV stations. That would put the government in control of much of America's broadcast industry. [p. 45]
No, it wouldn't. The broadband plan would reallocate 120Mhz of the 300Mhz of spectrum allotted to broadcast television, but as Computerworld notes, only about half that spectrum is being used, with some TV stations using only 36Mhz.
Obama claimed he wouldn't take PAC money during his campaign. He took lots of PAC money. [p. 47]
According to OpenSecrets.org, of the $656 million Obama raised for his 2008 presidential campaign, only $1,830 came from PACs. That is clearly not "lots."
Obama lied about the authorship of his own biography. Obama claims to have written Dreams from my Father, but former Marxist terrorist Bill Ayers ghostwrote the book,according to Obama biographer Christopher Anderson [sic]. [p. 48]
Christopher Andersen never claimed Ayers "ghostwrote" Obama's book. Citing in part WorldNetDaily conspiracy-monger Jack Cashill, Andersen wrote in his book "Barack and Michelle: Portrait of an American Marriage" that Ayers' "contribution" to Obama's book was "significant," but he walked back the claim in an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources," saying that while "there was a group of writers in Hyde Park, Chicago at the time who had input on each others' writings" and that Ayers "help[ed] a little bit, gave his opinions" to Obama, "I definitely do not say [Ayers] wrote Barack Obama's book."
* * *
This is a screed, not a "case for impeachment" that anyone should take seriously. But un-serious screeds are what WorldNetDaily and the Western Journalism Center specialize in.