The Obama gang controlling the executive branch, back on its heels over President Obama’s lies about Obamacare, has doubled down on deception. As the destructive effects of Obamacare impact Americans of all political stripes, this Leftist command and control effort is under attack from all fronts.
The political crisis of Obamacare, which began for most with the failure of the Obamacare web portal, has put a focus on the president’s management skills. What did he know and when did he know it? If you believe the White House, the president “didn’t know” about the problems of Obamacare’s implementation.
Yet, when the Government Accountability Institute (GAI) disclosed that public records, including White House visitor logs, showed that HHS Secretary Sebelius was virtually a stranger to the Oval Office, the White House reacted strangely. Rather than letting the GAI report stand as supporting the notion that Obama was clueless about the impending Obamacare debacle, White House spokesman Jay Carney said recently that the White House visitor logs did not necessarily show all the meetings between Sebelius and Obama.
This is the first time that the Obama White House has suggested that there are meetings not documented on White House visitor logs. To bolster its claims of transparency, the White House has pointed to its much-ballyhooed voluntary disclosure of White House visitors.
As far back as January 20, 2009, the day he took office, President Barack Obama promised on the White House website that his would be “the most open and transparent in history.” On September 4, 2009, the Obama White House upped the ante even further, proclaiming to the press: “Today, the President took another important step toward a more open and transparent government by announcing a historic new policy to voluntarily disclose White House visitor access records.”
After that, the Obama façade of transparency quickly began to crumble. The Obama White House soon insisted that it would release visitor information only at its own discretion, the timing and specifics of which was not subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) or court review. And despite White House misinformation to the contrary, tens of thousands of visitor logs were–and still are–being withheld from disclosure by the Obama White House
That is why, in December 2009, Judicial Watch sued the Obama administration and ultimately earned a landmark district court decision affirming the rule of law, despite the self-declared “most transparent administration in history” fighting us tooth-and-nail. An appellate court decision in August 2013 overturned that decision, and we are now preparing an appeal. As I said at the time of the appellate court decision, its legal gymnastics provided Obama and all who are to follow a “roadmap for secrecy” for conducting the publics’ business in the “People’s House.”
And now, we find out just how nefarious that can be. We have learned that not only does the Obama administration believe it has a right not to share its visitor logs with the American people; it also has the prerogative of not keeping the logs at all. Or, worse yet, simply fabricating the facts about who does and does not visit the Oval Office. In short, the Obama administration has doubled down on deception. And someone– either the Secretary of Health and Human services, or, dare I say, the President of the United States–is lying. There is no other way to look at it.
During the first week in December, during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) asked a clearly flustered Sebelius how many one-on-one meetings she had with Obama concerning Obamacare implementation. “A lot,” replied Sebelius. Gingrey then asked whether she could verify her statement. “I, I…,” Sebelius uttered while flailing her hands, at which point the committee chair mercifully announced the congressman’s time had expired.
Yet, according to the explosive Government Accountability Institute study, between the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Affordable Care Act”) on March 23, 2010, through November 30, 2013, (1,348 days), “The Presidential schedule does not document a single one-on-one meeting with Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services.” Ironically, the report indicates that Obama had face-to-face meetings with cabinet secretaries a total of 277 times during that same period, 95% of which were with Defense, State, or Treasury.
Little wonder that, subsequent to the congressional hearing in December 2013, Rep. Gingrey sent a strongly worded letter to Sebelius trying to ferret out the truth. “I have been greatly concerned over the lack of transparency and disregard for straight answers,” Gingrey said in his letter. “The Government Accountability Institute reported this month that according to the White House calendar, you have only met with the President once at the White House since becoming Secretary. Yet the White House has disputed the account and claims that you have been briefing the President regularly.”
In his letter, Gingrey asks Sebelius six direct questions, the first of which could open up a Pandora’s box for both the president and the secretary. Simply put: “How many times have you met in person with the president since the passage of the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA)?” This time, there is no committee chairman to bail out Ms. Sebelius.
The issues at stake are myriad. Is the Obama administration failing to keep records of White House visitors? Is it continuing to hide its visitor logs even after promising full transparency? Did Kathleen Sebelius perjure herself before Congress? Or, is the White House lying about how many times Sebelius and Obama conferred on Obamacare?
As Gingrey said in his letter to Sebelius, the American people deserve to know “how the rollout of the health care law has been botched so badly, who in the administration knew what, and when officials received warnings of problems.” In short, what did the president know and when did he know it? And they also deserve to know who–if the president who falsely told them on 36 separate occasions that “If you like your healthcare, you can keep your healthcare”–is also falsifying his own role in the shabby, shoddy Obamacare implantation.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton is author of the NY Times best-seller “The Corruption Chronicles” and executive producer of the documentary “District of Corruption.”