POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Republican fear-mongering (about Interpol and other matters) has no regard for the facts or the truth

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 13, 2010

Michael Isikoff posted for Newsweek (1-9-10) …

The chief of Interpol—the international police organization based in Lyon, France—is denouncing as “false and irresponsible” a conspiracy theory spreading through the right-wing blogosphere suggesting that President Obama has given the agency new powers to investigate and arrest U.S. citizens.

The idea that Obama has empowered a “global police force” to operate inside the country has gained new currencythanks to endorsements by several high-profile conservative figures, including Fox News host Glenn Beck and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

To some extent, the Interpol discussion is just the latest chapter in the wacky conspiracy wars that Obama’s presidency has spawned.

It has also been fueled by a misunderstanding about what Interpol does: it serves as a clearinghouse for police agencies around the world to share information, posting “red notices” about criminal suspects and maintaining a master database of stolen passports … with no authority to arrest anyone.

Read the entire post at … http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/archive/2010/01/09/interpol-chief-on-beck-and-gingrich-not-within-the-realm-of-reality.aspx

Then it got worse …

Isikoff posted on 1-12-09 …

The conspiracy theories about President Obama’s executive order on Interpol are getting wilder by the day.

Invoking no less an authority than Glenn Beck, movie tough guy (and political activist) Chuck Norris has taken aim at Obama’s Dec. 17  executive order extending certain “privileges, exemptions, and immunities” to Interpol, otherwise known as the International Police Organization, based in Lyon, France.

Never mind, as we pointed out, that contrary to the fantasies of the blogosphere, Interpol officers actually don’t have the authority to arrest anybody on U.S. soil.

The group is, instead, an international organization of police agencies whose purpose is to share information: it maintains master databases—of stolen passports, for example—and posts “red notices” of criminal suspects, including terrorists, drug traffickers, and child pornographers, who are wanted by law-enforcement officials in its 188 member countries.)

Norris concludes that the real purpose of the executive order was to give Interpol’s small office in New York (with all of five employees) an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act so that the Obama administration can stash secret documents there and hide the paper trail that binds all these suspicious developments.

Now for a little reality check: The Interpol office in New York does indeed get an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act under Obama’s order. But as Ron Noble, Interpol’s secretary-general, told us last week, there is nothing especially sinister about that: the office has files on suspected terrorists provided by the law-enforcement agencies of its member countries—and those agencies would be loath to share them if they thought their internal reports (including the names of informants, the transcripts of wiretaps, and other confidential evidence) might be made public. (If you think that’s unusual, try filing a FOIA request for FBI or DEA files on their current criminal suspects.)

Read this entire post at … http://blog.newsweek.com/blogs/declassified/archive/2010/01/12/chuck-norris-hunts-for-obama-s-secret-vault-as-interpol-conspiracy-theories-get-wilder.aspx

LMW COMMENT …

The point of all this insane Republican fear-mongering is simple – hurt President Obama in any way possible, without regard for the facts or the truth. It is a disgusting tactic, but it forces attention away from the important issues into defense against nonsensical claims. Such is the sad state of democracy in the USA. It would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

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One Response to “* Republican fear-mongering (about Interpol and other matters) has no regard for the facts or the truth”

  1. Chris said

    “Sad state of democracy” is not the opposition to an ideology you don’t agree with. The pitiful and disgraceful ways our leaders have failed to lead is sad. When you generate 2 trillion in taxes but spend 12 trillion is sad. Political parties that try convincing you only they are correct are sad. Politicians who fail to listen to the people are sad. Lying to the people to further you cause is sad. Stealing of liberty and freedom from its people is sad. Telling the people they are too big to fail is sad. The lie that we will not repeat history like everyone before us is a crime.

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