Roger L. Simon

Obama Should Be Impeached... for Cluelessness


When I read Sunday evening in the Wall Street Journal that Barack Obama was “unaware” until last summer that the U. S. spied on thirty-five world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, I was frankly stupefied. (Well, maybe not entirely stupefied, but at least semi-stunned.)

No wonder Obamacare and practically everything else from foreign policy to energy policy is an unmitigated mess. This president and his administration have taken hands-off leadership and leading from behind to unprecedented levels.

What exactly does our president do for a living? What’re we paying him for?

Either the administration officials who leaked this information to the WSJ are lying or Barack Obama should be impeached.

Forget “high crimes and misdemeanors.” For those you have to do something and be conscious. Barack Obama should be impeached for cluelessness.

He was in the White House for an entire term and many months more without knowing what his biggest intelligence agency was doing to thirty-five of the most important people on Earth? Chance the Gardener from Jerzy Kosinki’s Being There lives — and he lives on Pennsylvania Avenue at our expense. It’s not fiction anymore. (Well, there is one difference. Chance was kind of sweet and passive while Obama is vindictive.)

From the WSJ:

The National Security Agency ended a program used to spy on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of other world leaders after an internal Obama administration review started this summer revealed to the White House the existence of the operations, U.S. officials said.

Officials said the internal review turned up NSA monitoring of some 35 world leaders, in the U.S. government’s first public acknowledgment that the U.S. government tapped the phones of world leaders. European leaders have joined international outrage over revelations of U.S. surveillance of Ms. Merkel’s phone and of NSA’s monitoring of telephone call data in France.

The White House cut off some monitoring programs after learning of them, including the one tracking Ms. Merkel and some other world leaders, a senior U.S. official said. Other programs have been slated for termination but haven’t been phased out completely yet, officials said.

The account suggests President Barack Obama went nearly five years without knowing his own spies were bugging the phones of world leaders. Officials said the NSA has so many eavesdropping operations under way that it wouldn’t have been practical to brief him on all of them.

[itals mine]

Not practical to brief him on spying on Angela Merkel, et al? Do you believe that? If it’s true, it’s worse. The president is so incurious he might as well be playing golf all the time.

If there is one investigative journalist left in Washington, D.C. who is not a court eunuch for this abysmal administration, he or she should be jumping on that last line immediately. What we will soon have before us is a circular firing squad of historic proportions as the administration attempts to blame a rogue intelligence agency for the decline of America’s world reputation and vice versa.

This isn’t funny. It’s quite horrifying and depressing. What we are witnessing is the disintegration of our country under the governance of an absolutely incompetent president and administration.

Beyond that hopeless administration, however, is the larger question of what to do about the NSA and its mammoth spy capabilities. This is no simple question, considering the reality of murderous Islamic terrorism is still very much with us, perhaps even growing.

It’s no easy task, but all of this will have to be worked out and rationalized so that private citizens can feel as if they are indeed private citizens — and our allies can again feel as if they are our allies.

Toward that end, according to the same WSJ report, a government review in underway. As with most of these reviews, the committee consists of familiar names who can be relied upon not to rock boats and to protect the president:

Its members include Richard Clarke, who was a counterterrorism chief for former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush ; former Central Intelligence Agency Deputy Director Michael Morell ; University of Chicago Law School professor Geoffrey Stone ; former White House regulatory official Cass Sunstein ; and former Clinton and Obama administration economic and privacy official Peter Swire.

Speaking of the president, and also in the WSJ, according to a spokesperson, “a report in the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag reporting Mr. Obama personally authorized the tapping of Ms. Merkel in 2010, and was briefed on it by Gen. Alexander, was false.”

Well then, I say, impeach him for cluelessness.