Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Barack Obama Truth Squad

A Missouri television station is reporting that the Obama Campaign is asking Missouri prosecutors and sheriffs who have joined the Missouri's "Barack Obama Truth Squad" to "target anyone who lies" about Senator Obama and "violates Missouri ethics laws." It is hard to believe ethics laws would be exploited to stifle political debate, but look at the KMOVT.V. video.

A Conservative political organization called the American Issues Project (AIP) is publicizing information about Senator Barack Obama's ties to radicals.

The American Issues Project (8-27-08) reports:

The Barack Obama campaign has now sent a second letter to the Department of Justice calling for the prosecution of one of American Issues Project’s donors for his role in funding a political advertisement in full compliance with all election laws. “Having failed in its attempts to get our legal, factual and fully-supported ad off the air, Barack Obama’s campaign now wants to put our donors in prison for exercising their right to free speech," said Ed Martin, American Issues Project’s president. “These over-the-top bullying tactics are reminiscent of the kind of censorship one would see in a Stalinist dictatorship, with the only difference being that those guys generally had to wait until they were in power to throw people who disagreed with them into jail.”

In addition to two letters sent to the Department of Justice asking the government to investigate American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors, the Obama campaign has been contacting stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot.

With no success on either front, the campaign has also begun running its own ad in response. Notably, this ad fails to dispute a single fact in the American Issues Project’s initial ad. The American Issues Project is a 501(c)4 organization, similar in structure to NARAL and the League of Conservation Voters, two liberal organizations that have claimed status as “qualified nonprofit corporations” for two decades. In accordance with federal law, American Issues Project only solicits and accepts contributions from individuals and not from any business corporation. The FEC also sets out specific regulations for the activities of a qualified nonprofit corporation, which American Issues Project follows.

Senator Obama has a site called Fight the Smears and organizations called "Barack Obama Truth Squads" in some states that counter what his campaign feels is misinformation about Senator Obama.

A Missouri television station is reporting that the Obama Campaign is asking Missouri prosecutors and sheriffs who have joined the Missouri's "Barack Obama Truth Squad" to "target anyone who lies" about Senator Obama and "violates Missouri ethics laws." This is hard to believe ethics laws would be exploited to stifle political debate, but look at the KMOVT.V. video.

National Review Online (9-26-08) discusses this development:

Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining "The Barack Obama Truth Squad."

They mention Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis Circuit Attorney and Bob McCullough, prosecutor for St. Louis County in Missouri.

The reporter says, "They will be reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year."

While the report never quite comes out and says that anyone running an ad saying those things would be subject to prosecution, that certainly is the message implied. [Full text]

KMOTV has video that includes the prosecutors speaking. The prosecutors who speak on T.V. don't actually say they will bring criminal charges, but they sure imply this would be the case. KMOTV says the prosecutors and sheriffs on the "Truth Squad" have said they will use Missouri's ethics laws to go after people who lie about Senator Obama.

Is "Truth" going to be determined by prosecutors and sheriffs who support Senator Obama instead of by open debate?

Senator Obama is a public figure whose campaign and supporters can easily counter what they consider misinformation and lies, but they should not get to privatize prosecutors and exploit ethics laws to intimidate people who criticize a Presidential contender. It was the Soviets who used libel laws to silence their critics.

Senator Obama and the Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers channelled educational funds to political radicals such as the Maoist Mike Klonsky.

Terrorists and Communists think they should be the only ones who have free speech. They use slander laws to suppress peaceful criticism of their policies and regimes.

The National Review (9-26-08) cites a Friday statement from the American Issues Project (9-26-08) publicizing the intimidating tactics of the Missouri Truth Squad:

Barack Obama is now using local law enforcement officials to carry out his campaign of legal intimidation by assembling a group of high-ranking Missouri police officials and prosecutors – including St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCullough and City of St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce – to identify and target anyone the campaign determines is producing “misleading” political advertisements.

“This is an outrageous and shocking attempt by the Obama campaign to again employ Stalinist, police state tactics against those who dare to disagree with Barack Obama,” said Ed Martin, American Issues Projects president. “I am frankly stunned to see public officials like McCullough and Joyce abusing their official prosecutorial positions to serve as attack dogs for a national political campaign. I am quite certain Missourians elected these individuals to enforce the laws and arrest criminals, not to throw people in jail for daring to practicing free speech.

"The Obama campaign continues to provide a chilling preview of what would happen to political freedom in an Obama administration.”

This new effort is only the most recent attempt by the Obama campaign to crack down on free speech. Obama’s lawyers twice demanded the Department of Justice investigate and prosecute the American Issues Project, its officers, board of directors, and donors. The campaign also threatened stations running American Issues Project’s ad in an unsuccessful attempt to compel them to pull the spot, and ran its own ad in response.

Notably, this ad failed to dispute a single fact the American Issues Project has put forth.

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