Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fishy Snitch E-Mail RIP

Conservatives and defenders of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments--congratulate yourselves! The Obama administration has quietly announced that it is shutting down its "fishy snitch" e-mail address. The basic concept was horrendous, but responses overwhelmingly contained some version of Obama's own fishy health care proposals.

Snitchgate has died a painful death. The Obama administration had attempted to scare off opposition and obtain "misinformation" which was allegedly being circulated by right wing "demagogues" who were "lying" about the wonderful cradle-to-grave government-provided health care bills. The original stated purpose was to save the Republic from false information about Obama's benign plan to take over another major facet of American life and provide a British-style National Health Service. "Not true," said the Obamacrats, "and we need you to report anyone who cannot see the great wisdom of our plan to flag@whitehouse.gov so that we can correct the errors and teach Americans how important it is to pass our legislation."

The Obama people once again completely misread the mood of the American people. From hope you can believe in to hope you can't understand or survive in just a few short months. The reaction to the fishy snitch e-mail scam was huge and immediate. I consider myself politically-aware, but I went to bed knowing nothing about it the day it was announced, and the next morning I had no less than six e-mails from friends and relatives telling me about it. None of those people are particularly politically active, and absolutely none have any direct relationship with the Republican Party or any conservative political organization. Yet all of them were totally outraged by this naked attempt to get people to report each other to the government.

Obama's reaction, of course, was to tell the American people that the response to his concerns for the health of the American people was an orchestrated effort by sinister right-wing organizations and the extreme right wing of the Republican Party to mislead the American people. Unfortunately for his theory, two of the indignant e-mails I received that early morning were from moderate Democrats. Even Democrats can smell a rat. And none of them had yet read any of the responses from the vast right-wing conspiracy. They saw it for what it was, and they reacted.

The Washington Times reported late Monday that the White House "shut down its controversial effort to collect information about what opponents of the president's health care overhaul were saying in person and on the Internet, but said it will continue to track 'misinformation' through its Web site." Yes, but it will do it without the assistance of ordinary Americans who object to being asked to inform on their neighbors.

As if the McCarthy-like request from the White House were not bad enough, it appears that there may have been an even more sinister (and quite likely unlawful) plan contained in the Obama assault on free speech. Within a day of the creation of the fishy snitch e-mail address, people with absolutely no prior connection to the White House via e-mail were receiving e-mails from David Axelrod, one of Obama's major advisors, and a well-known disciple of radical style political subterfuge. The question arose in the minds of moderately sophisticated people of exactly how Axelrod got those e-mail addresses. His e-mail was directed at opponents of the Obamacare Plan and to those who had questioned some of the provisions of the plan which didn't seem to add up right. Thousands of those e-mails went out to Republicans and Independents who had never previously contacted the White House until they sent an e-mail to the fishy snitch e-mail hotline.

It became rather obvious that Obama's folks were not only collecting "misinformation," but were also collecting names and e-mail addresses. And then, a Congressman sent a letter to Obama directly addressing the issue. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) specifically asked for details on how Axelrod obtained those e-mail addresses. Issa had sent a previous letter to the President demanding to know why "the White House was using a separate e-mail account designed to track what it called 'fishy' claims about its proposed overhaul." Putting the two things together, Issa is asking the White House to answer whether or not Axelrod was unlawfully compiling a Nixon-style "enemies list." That answer may be a long time in coming.

An indirect response did come out of the White House Information Office. It explained the shutting-down of the fishy snitch e-mail address by claiming it "was changing its e-mail policies to ensure that advocacy groups could not sign people up to White House e-mail lists without the recipients' permission." Huh? The Obamists are once again deflecting the gaze of the public by claiming to protect Americans from the very thing they were caught doing themselves. They had set up an entirely separate White House e-mail address for the sole purpose of releasing partisan political statements to largely unwilling recipients while collecting the names of political "enemies." Axelrod's e-mail purporting to counter misinformation was in actuality nothing more than the Democrat talking-points on Obamacare.

The Axelrod e-mail fulfilled two goals of the Obamacrats. It allowed him to give Democrat supporters the answers they are expected to give to critics of the Plan, and it further allowed him the opportunity to distort the truth to those who voiced opposition in their e-mails to the fishy snitch e-mail address. As a famous general said, "every war plan is perfect, until the shooting starts." The shooting started almost immediately after the original announcement of the fishy snitch e-mail address. Obama's initial assault failed, and then Axelrod's second assault merely enraged the opposition while failing to rally his own troops.

I just want to warn my fellow conservatives. Obama's plan failed to silence the opposition, and resulted in his retreat and ultimately the elimination of his fishy snitch redoubt. These are only battles in the long war to defeat the government takeover of your entire life. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance, and we cannot relax simply because we won one battle. Obama has merely beat a hasty tactical retreat, and will be back with fresh troops before the end of the August recess. The White House has already admitted that it will continue to "monitor" false information through its broader White House website, and will continue to find methods of determining who is providing the American people with "massive misinformation." We must watch the horizon, and be prepared for the next assault.

19 comments:

Joel Farnham said...

AMEN!!! Great post LawHawk.

JG said...

On the head, LawHawk!! It's amazing how many people actually thought this was no big deal or some fabrication of the "right wing machine." (Yes, I heard that.) But no, there's no way this is over, not by a long shot. I would imagine that the "fishy email" plan was just testing the waters, to see how blatant they could be or how much people are really paying attention. So we'll see what they do next.

AndrewPrice said...

Nice article Lawhawk, though it sounds fishy? :-/

Seriously, the idea of asking Americans to snitch on each other is outrageous to me. That smacks of the STASI in East Germany, where everyone was spying on everyone else. Disgusting.

LawHawkSF said...

Joel: Thanks. I would like to think that our humble site played some small part in flooding the fishy snitch e-mail address, letting them know we aren't afraid of them, and we're going to keep fighting.

JG: As I mentioned in the original article, we can't become Charlie Brown believing that Lucy really won't pull the football out from under us at the last second, thereby causing us to land on our butts. The White House hasn't even been shy about admitting it intends to continue to find other ways to find out who's reading what material. But at least it won't have a special line for citizens to turn each other in.

Protein Wisdom had an article yesterday suggesting that the cookies used by most advertisers, as well as Google, could be used to mine information. The rumor is that the Obamacrats are negotiating contracts to pay for utilizing cookies which would give the White House information on its "enemies." Since the information is unconfirmed and unverified at this time, I can only say "it sounds like them" but I'm not prepared yet to accept it as fact.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: So true. Only paranoids and crooked politicians see their opposition as enemies. Dirty tricks have been part of politics since Andrew Jackson's first run at the Presidency, but this was the first time ever that a sitting President opened a White House line devoted solely to getting Americans to inform on each other. It is indeed reminiscent of the STASI of loathsome memory.

CrispyRice said...

I'm personally amazed (but probably shouldn't be) by the lack of total outrage in the MSM about this, though. If Bush had tried it...

But, one other thing - one of the talk radio folks I listen to said yesterday that if you send an e-mail to that flag address now, you get an e-mail back saying basically, hey this is defunct, but if you need to turn someone in, use this other e-mail address. So, the program lives on, just renamed and hopefully quieter.

I haven't tried it. I'm just into rumor-mongering. ;)

LawHawkSF said...

CrispyRice: The other e-mail address is the main White House website. They are not even trying to hide the fact that they have no intention of giving up their attempts to identify their "enemies." And I'm sure it's only the tip of the iceberg. The same people who got hysterical about the Bush administration tracing e-mails which originate in Afghanistan and Pakistani border areas seem to have no problem whatsoever with the Obamacrats tracing EVERY e-mail which originates inside the United States if those e-mails dare to criticize our dear leader's plans to take over every facet of our lives.

StanH said...

Lawhawk: My wife received multiple e-mails from Axelrod, Michelle, and our Barry. She complained about Barry laughing at Wanda Sykes joke, about Rush Limbaugh’s drug addiction and kidney failure, in essence laughing about drug addiction, now she has some new best buddies, she is/was on the spam list. The STASI is a good description of the radical goons that are in power, and by no means, is it time to relax. We’re in the fight of our lives and to use a baseball metaphor, we’re in the bottom of the 2nd inning, lots of baseball yet, it ain’t over till it’s over.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: They are working on getting us all on a list somewhere. So far, it's been slapdash. I receive nearly daily e-mails from every Democrat running for nearly anything in California because they have apparently never gotten around to deleting me from their files after I noisily left the party fifteen years ago. Yet I've sent numerous critical e-mails to the White House, my unholy trinity in California, and several top-echelon Obama advisers without ever receiving a blast e-mail like Axelrod's (I got my copy secondhand from a friend). I guess the enemies list is still a work in progress.

Remember the Galaxy Quest motto: "Never give up! Never surrender!"

Tennessee Jed said...

Thanks, Hawk-

At the risk of sounding partisan, information gathering seemed to kick into high gear with the Clinton's. Bush did even more, ostensibly necessary to stop terrorist attacks. Now Obama. I am probably being naive, but have to say, of the three administrations, I bet Bush came the closest to actually doing something for the stated reasons (e.g. protecting American lives.) With Obama, there is really no excuse. We didn't even touch on the provision in H.R. 320 giving government direct access to your bank account.

Writer X said...

And so much for the transparency that President Obama promised.

I think the administration made a bad situation even worse by trotting out the "blame game" and not taking responsibility for this blunder. In essence, the creation of this email account was our fault for not understanding the wisdom of the Obama Health Plan. I guess these guys really do think we're a bunch of idiots.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: I used to proudly announce to my liberal/left friends that I certainly hoped Bush security people were checking my incoming e-mails from Afghanistan. And I hoped he was checking theirs, too.

But we must remember that conservatives pose a greater threat to national security than jihadists, so we should understand why the Obamacrats and J. Napolitano want us in their cross-hairs.

HR 320 should come as no surprise to anyone. We should never forget that it has been determined by respectable scientists that in the event of global thermonuclear war, only two things will survive: cockroaches and the IRS. HR 320 is a reasonable means to a reasonable end. The IRS will still need to tax cockroaches.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: Obama will never take responsibility for anything significant which goes wrong. Even in the Gates arrest, he made a non-apology apology, then proceeded to turn a meeting with the two sides into a "learning experience" in moral equivalence.

The Obama administration is about as transparent as a block of granite, and has an equal amount of morals.

Writer X said...

LawHawk, and it sets such a fine example for the children who look up to the President: "See, little Johnny? Whenever something doesn't go your way, just blame someone else." Lovely.

patti said...

my prayers in these last months have turned from protecting us from bad legislation, to protecting us from this administration and their shenanigans. we must be ever vigilant...

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: Parents don't seem to be teaching their kids much these days about responsibility, honesty, humility, or any of the other virtues. I hope it's a passing phase.

Patti: I've altered the medieval prayer to "From ghosties, and ghoulies and long-legged beasties and Obama who goes bump in the night, good Lord deliver us."

StanH said...

Hey Lawhawk I saw video of a San Francisco health care protest very nice turnout. I believe it was last Saturday. There was a person there that had a poster that said, “shovel ready jobs,” and a picture of a freshly dug grave and at the bottom said, “Obama Care” it was perfect, I think it was JamesB over at BH that had the link, funny stuff. Maybe there is hope for the world?

CrisD said...

The left wing Media is busy picking up the slack on this one.

Contessa "what's her name" on MSNBC was announcing that the public believed false myths about the great one's health care proposal on her segment. All 3 were, in fact, true problems with the plan. One was that we would cover illegal aliens; another that there would be "death panels (oh, I know they will not be called death panels!!! ha-ha!)

Sickening.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: You might be surprised that Bush regularly visited San Francisco because it was a great source of cash for the Republican Party. So you can figure that the people who showed up at our local town hall meeting included some actual taxpayers.

CrisD: I didn't see that show (I have MSNBC blocked on my cable as being an obscene station). LOL. In fact, I received the Axelrod e-mail from a friend, and all but one of the pieces of information he claimed were untrue were, in fact, completely true. Calling a pig a thoroughbred equine champion doesn't change the basic nature of the pig.

Post a Comment