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Obama Undercuts Whistle-Blowers, Senator Says


Published: March 16, 2009

WASHINGTON — A leading Republican senator maintains that President Obama is violating a campaign promise with his claim that he can bypass whistle-blower protections for executive branch officials who give certain information to Congress.

The lawmaker, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, sent a letter to Mr. Obama on Friday that condemned a signing statement the president attached to the $410 billion catchall spending bill he signed into law last week.

A signing statement, occasionally issued by presidents upon their signing a bill, is a document that instructs executive branch officials on how to carry out the new law. In this statement, Mr. Obama flagged a provision that protects officials who give information to Congress about their jobs or agencies. He said the statute could not limit his power to control the flow of certain information to lawmakers.

“I do not interpret this provision,” he wrote, “to detract from my authority to direct the heads of executive departments to supervise, control and correct employees’ communications with the Congress in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that is properly privileged or otherwise confidential.”

In his letter, Mr. Grassley called Mr. Obama’s statement “overly broad” and said it would “undoubtedly chill whistle-blowers who might otherwise come forward to report waste, fraud or abuse to Congress.” He asked Mr. Obama to enforce and obey the statute fully.

“This is a shocking statement that acknowledges that you would be willing to give an order preventing employee whistle-blowers from making disclosures to Congress,” he wrote. “I do not see how this statement can be reconciled with your campaign promise to protect whistle-blowers. In fact, it is even more egregious than simply breaking a promise, because it actually restricts current and previously existing whistle-blower protections.”

Tom Devine, legal director of the Government Accountability Project, a group that promotes the defense of whistle-blowers, said Mr. Obama’s statement could mean very different things, depending on how broadly the administration defined the word “confidential.”

“The president has a responsibility to clear up the confusion,” Mr. Devine said.

The White House press office referred questions to an administration official, imposing the condition that he not be identified by name or title.

The official, a lawyer, said Mr. Obama was “committed to whistle-blower protections.” He declined to define every kind of instance in which the president’s power to keep a matter confidential would trump a whistle-blower protection statute, but he did say the administration had no intention of going further than did Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in signing statements concerning similar provisions.

“I don’t think President Obama’s signing statement injects a new level of uncertainty into the law,” he said.

During the presidential campaign, Mr. Obama criticized Mr. Bush’s frequent use of signing statements as an abuse of power and promised to exercise greater restraint when using them. His campaign said he would not issue “signing statements that undermine the legislative intent.”

In the letter Friday, Mr. Grassley told Mr. Obama he had violated that pledge, because “you have gutted the legislative intent of this provision.”

The administration official pointed to a memorandum Mr. Obama issued on March 9 laying out a signing statements policy. The document, which does not mention legislative intent, says he will employ only “legitimate” interpretations of statutes. Mr. Obama’s challenge in this case, the official said, is consistent with that principle.


     Despite the “little” bit of coverage, and the comments from our Congressional leaders that “the courts have heard” the cases, the truth is that not one SINGLE court, state, appellate, federal, even the Supreme Court, have actually herad the case on the merits of the case. Instead, the cases have been dismissed at each level for one reason, and one reason only– the Plaintiffs have lacked standing. If our Courts were to accept the view of standing that our forefathers held, each one of these cases would have been heard on the evidence, on their merits. In the past three to four decades, the Court has narowly defined the standing issue, effctively limiting the access to the Courts by the average citizen to challenge the government.

     Some countries, like Argentina and Nepal, have broadened the concept of standing, using the idea of “intereses difusas”, or in the public interest. What could be more in the public interest than to make sure that Barack Hussein Barry Soetoro Obama is actually constitutionally eligible to be President?

     Obama has endeared himself to the legacy of Lincoln, so how ironic would it be if the federal False Claims Act were used to force the Obama birth certificate citizenship issue into the courts, on its merits. The False Claims Act is also known as the Lincoln Act and is the basis for whistleblower actions in the government.

    The Act establishes liability when any person or entity improperly receives from or avoids payment to the Federal government–(tax fraud excepted). In summary, the Act prohibits:

  1. Knowingly presenting, or causing to be presented to the Government a false claim for payment;
  2. Knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used, a false record or statement to get a false claim paid or approved by the government;
  3. Conspiring to defraud the Government by getting a false claim allowed or paid;
  4. Falsely certifying the type or amount of property to be used by the Government;
  5. Certifying receipt of property on a document without completely knowing that the information is true;
  6. Knowingly buying Government property from an unauthorized officer of the Government, and;
  7. Knowingly making, using, or causing to be made or used a false record to avoid, or decrease an obligation to pay or transmit property to the Government.

      President Obama receives a salary of $400,000 annually from WE THE PEOPLE by and through our tax dollars administered by the federal government. Is it not then safe to say that, allegedly, Barack Obama is receiving from the federal government federal funds under false pretenses? Is it not also safe to say that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has assited in the perpetuation of this alleged fraud by certifying Obama’s nomination as the Democratic candidate without full knowledge of the truth of his citizenship?

     The Lincoln Law seems to provide the very avenue that is necessary to get the Obama Birth certificate issue into the courtroom, and into the public forum!