Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Rudy Giuliani Loves America. Here’s Why.

Giuliani at a campaign event in Derry, New Ham...
Rudy Giuliani at a campaign event in Derry, New Hampshire, on January 7, 2008, the day before the New Hampshire primary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“I know this is a horrible thing to say,” former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani told a gathering of Republican business leaders and media flacks on February 18, “but I do not believe that the president loves America.”

When taken to task for the assertion, Giuliani doubled, then tripled, down.  First he bungled his response to claims of a racial angle (responding that since Obama was raised by a white mother, racism couldn’t possibly have anything to do with it). Then he segued into red-baiting: “Logically, think about his background … The ideas that are troubling me and are leading to this come from communists with whom he associated when he was 9 years old.”

Now, we know that even if Barack Obama doesn’t love America,  Rudy Giuliani definitely loves America. Why? Because he tells us so, of course. But which America does Rudy Giuliani love, and why?

On the evidence, he cares little for the America of Thomas Paine or Thomas Jefferson. He’s a veritable poster boy for the “love for big government” mindset often attributed to Obama (and to communism). To put it bluntly, Rudy Giuliani’s entire adult life has been spent 1) living off the taxpayer, 2) trying to live off the taxpayer, and 3) demanding that Americans give up their freedoms because they get in the way of  whatever Rudy Giuliani might happen to want.

“Freedom is about authority,” he said in a 1994 speech. “Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.” Ceding lawful authority to whom? Why, Rudy Giuliani, of course.

Upon graduation from law school, Giuliani clerked for a federal judge. From there, he joined the US Attorney’s office for the southern district of New York, then ran through a quick change of party affiliations (from Democrat to Independent to Republican) so he could collect government paychecks from the Ford and Reagan administrations.

Starting in 1989, Giuliani went to work for putatively “private” law firms while running for mayor of New York, finally winning election in 1993, shortly after the first terror attack on the World Trade Center.

Over the next eight years he so mismanaged New York’s preparations for another attack that on 9/11 (while Giuliani and his staff cowered in a command center he had inexplicably sited smack in the middle of the city’s most likely terror target, the WTC complex) first responders still lacked a unified radio frequency, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 cops and firefighters who went unwarned of the towers’ impending collapse.

He’s spent his post-mayoral career (when not running for office) representing corporate clients before government agencies, lobbying for Venezuela’s communist oil monopoly, and promoting himself as an “expert” on national security issues.

Yes, Rudy Giuliani loves America — the America whose taxpayers have given him lifelong money and power with a complete absence of anything resembling accountability. He and Obama are peas in a pod.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Immigration: “Deferred Action” is not “Executive Overreach”

RGBStock.com PassportsLast November, president Barack Obama announced an executive order allowing nearly five million undocumented immigrants to “request temporarily relief from deportation” provided they meet certain requirements: Register with the government, pass a criminal background check, pay a fee and submit to taxation.

Immigration opponents seized the moment, but in an odd way. Instead of trotting out their usual unsound arguments against immigration freedom as such, they advanced the claim that Obama’s order constitutes “executive overreach” and “unconstitutional amnesty.”

On February 16, a federal judge in Texas — one of 26 states suing over the order — issued an injunction temporarily blocking implementation of the plan, the first stages of which were scheduled to roll out on February 18.

There’s a lot to consider here, from the years-long standoff over “immigration reform” in Congress leading up to Obama’s order, to the question of whether or not the US Constitution allows Congress to regulate immigration at all (it doesn’t; that power was dreamed up by an activist Supreme Court in 1875).

But sticking to the terms of the suit itself, its “unconstitutional” and “overreach” arguments are unsound on their face.

Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution is clear and unequivocal: “The President … shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.”

Per the 1913 edition of Webster’s, to reprieve is “[t]o delay the punishment of; to suspend the execution of sentence on …”

Obama would be well within his constitutional powers to outright pardon every “illegal alien” residing in the United States. But he stopped well short of that, merely allowing a subset of immigrants to request postponement — reprieve — of deportation under specific conditions. The states’ suit is without merit and deserves immediate dismissal.

But the larger issue remains: What to do about immigration?

The interests of the US would be best served by returning to the older, wiser, more American policies of its first century, during which Congress understood that it had no power whatsoever to regulate immigration. Failing that, we might at least retrench to the relatively relaxed policies of the early 20th century. The US didn’t even issue or require passports until after World War II. Somehow we survived. In fact we thrived.

We know that freedom works. Time to demand that our politicians let it work on immigration. It’s the American way.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.


Cybersecurity: Beware Untrustworthy Partners

RGBStock.com LockBefore the ink had time to dry on his February 12 executive order “promoting private sector cybersecurity information sharing,” US president Barack Obama launched a campaign to re-write history and make the case for trusting government to bolster network security and data privacy.

“The Snowden disclosures,” Obama told Re / code’s Kara Swisher in an interview the next day, “were really harmful in terms of the trust between the government and many of these companies.”

Well, no. It was the government — Obama’s administration and its predecessors — which betrayed the trust of American enterprise, the American people and the world. Edward Snowden is mere heroic messenger, telling us what we should have already known: That any such trust was misplaced.

The executive order itself raises two key questions: Does Obama not understand network security and data privacy issues? Or is he insincere in his claims to want improved network security and data privacy?

The obvious answer, based on decades of experience, is yes to both questions. Obama’s assurances, “with almost complete confidence, that there haven’t been abuses on US soil,” don’t pass the laugh test.

The US intelligence community has a long history of doing its best to hobble communications security, going back at least as far as 1977’s “Federal Information Processing Standard,” adopted only after the National Security Agency talked IBM into hobbling its Data Encryption Algorithm to make it more vulnerable to the kinds of brute force attacks that NSA could bring to bear.

As the 20th century drew to a close, NSA fought losing rear-guard actions to prevent widespread access to and adoption of strong cryptography. Among the Snowden revelations was that coming out of that period, NSA took its efforts to a stealthier level, spending billions to subvert the crypto they couldn’t stop.  For example, we learned that a leading encryption company (RSA) worked at NSA’s behest to “[i]nsert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems, IT systems, networks, and endpoint communications devices used by targets.”

Anyone who believes that these efforts stopped at any point,  don’t continue to this very day, or won’t continue into the foreseeable future  is living in a fantasy world. The US government always has been, and remains, the single worst global  and domestic threat to network security and data privacy. Those two laudable goals are inherently incompatible with trust in Barack Obama or the organization he represents.

If American politicians want real privacy/cybersecurity reforms, here are some suggestions:

First, dismantle the Department of Homeland Security, drastically cut the budgets of US intelligence agencies, and levy draconian penalties for rogue operations targeting Americans for any reason or foreign “cyber warfare” operations absent a congressional declaration of war.

Secondly, repeal the US PATRIOT Act, “Know Your Customer” rules, and other laws putting personal  and business information at risk by requiring its transmission to government.

Finally, forbid government interference or “consultation” in development of private sector encryption standards or algorithms.

That would be a start. Anything less is mere theater.

Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.