Should Congress Subpoena Obama’s “Foreign Policy Guru” Rhodes?

The New American | 21 May 2016

“The people … are the dupes of pretended patriots and are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions by the false reports circulated by designing men.” 

— Elbridge Gerry, May 31, 1787

 

Is President Barack Obama’s foreign policy being guided by a real-life, behind-the-scenes “Svengali” who’s using his leverage to lie to Congress and the American people?

We are referring to Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes (shown), “the aspiring novelist who became Obama’s foreign-policy guru” and who is “channeling the president’s consciousness,” according to a story published earlier this month in the New York Times Magazine.

Included in that (now) notorious exposé, Rhodes ran a metaphorical spit through the foreign policy establishment (calling it “The Blob”) and the White House press corps (Rhodes blasted these reporters as “27-year-olds” who “literally know nothing”), roasting much of the rest of the regular beltway suspects, too.

Not surprisingly, the president separated himself from his advisor’s vitriol. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he believed that if he had it to do over again, Rhodes “would say it differently.”

Rhodes, remarkably, did get a second shot at pulling the punch he took at the media and the foreign policy politburo, but he didn’t pull it: He landed the haymaker he started in the New York Times Magazine, basking in the bellicosity … and the attention.

In an interview with Politico, Rhodes seemed once again off the leash, placing laurels on his own head, identifying himself as someone, according to the author of the Politico piece, whose “foreign policy ideas are truly important.”

Naturally, Obama follows Rhodes. Politico describes Rhodes’ influence over Barack Obama as the result of a “mind meld” between the two men. This cranial connection is so complete, Politico points to it as the reason “why he’s [Rhodes] so influential in the White House despite his remarkably thin foreign policy credentials.”

In other words, it’s psychic bonds not bona fides that open avenues of power in the current presidential administration.

But such seemingly menacing mental mingling is not new to the Obama White House. The history of the early years of the 20th century features a conspicuously similar companionship and both were built on a quest to convince Congress and the people to spend “American treasures on foreign follies.” As described by this reporter in The New American in 2013, Barack Obama and Woodrow Wilson seem to have a lot in common:

While Obama’s mission to extend the federal bureaucratic empire into every home in America is carried out by a devoted committee of White House czars, when it came to ruling in matters of domestic policy, Wilson looked to one man: Colonel Edward Mandell House….

Colonel House was very much the model of the modern corps of White House czars that have been granted expansive powers by the current occupant of the Oval Office.

The international power brokers of the time (namely, the Council on Foreign Relations, founded by House himself) were so impressed by Colonel House’s successful efforts at manipulating Wilson that they established the National Security Council to make his role official. Since 1947, every American president has been subject to the direction and demands of NSC officials.

Back to Obama. Philip Dru: Administrator: Story of Tomorrow is a novel published in 1912, written pseudonymously by Colonel House the previous year. The protagonist, Dru, has so much in common with President Obama, it seems at times that the president reads House’s novel like a playbook for his administration.

In House’s book, Philip Dru hatches a plot to wrest control of the government from those he believes are ruining the Republic. Dru’s ultimate goal is to install himself as “administrator” of the nation (a sort of benevolent dictator). With this title comes the unchecked power to enact his agenda, a roster of programs that includes an income tax, a social security plan, a central banking system, and a global governing body designed to preserve international security through the apparatus of a collective world congress.

Specifically, Dru’s aim was to create a government in the United States that reflected the “socialism as dreamed of by Karl Marx” married with a “spiritual element” that would serve as a delicate velvet glove around the iron fist of absolutism.

Rhodes is playing the role of Edward Mandell House masterfully. Now that he is settled into the West Wing, Rhodes not only strengthened his “mind meld” with the president, but his sense of self-importance swelled too.

So sure was he that he could say what was on his mind (and the president’s?), Rhodes admitted in the New York Times Magazine interview that he conned Congress so that the president’s Iran policy wouldn’t meet with the expected resistance from the people and their elected representatives. Here’s the story of the Iran policy prevarication as told in the New York Times Magazine:

Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false.

Read that closely: the Obama administration purposely “manufactured” details about the deal with Iran, wanting the American public and the politicians to take away “misleading or false” implications of that controversial agreement.

Rhodes is described in the New York Times Magazine as the “quarterback,” guiding the drafting of the deception, including “running the daily video conferences and coming up with lines of attack and parry.”

When questioned by teammates about how to run particular play, Rhodes would respond, “Here is where I think the president is, and here is where I think he will be,” according to an account of the gaming of Congress related by White House insider Rob Malley.

As if all this psychological drama isn’t disturbing enough, in the New York Times piece, the influence of Rhodes is painted with a pretty disconcerting color palette.

Regarding the relationship of Rhodes to the “real” Barack Obama, the Times writes, “The Obama he [Rhodes] talks about in public is, in part, a character that he has helped to create — based on a real person, of course — and is embedded in story lines that he personally constructs and manages.”

Possession of this kind of persuasive power over the president of the United States is sure to swell anyone’s head, but Rhodes may have let the limelight make him too big for his breeches.

In an article published in Reason on May 19, Judge Andrew Napolitano called for Rhodes to be subpoenaed by Congress for his self-professed perjury.

Napolitano makes his case for calling Rhodes to testify. “It is a crime to lie to the government when communicating to it in an official manner. Just ask Martha Stewart. One cannot lawfully lie under oath or when signing a document one is sending to the government or when answering questions from government agents. Just ask Roger Clemens. Stated differently, if Rhodes told the FBI either what he told Congress or what he told The New York Times — whichever version was untrue — he would be exposed to indictment,” he insists.

Should Congress demur, allowing Rhodes to openly and unrepentantly mock not only themselves but the people who put them in their positions of power, it would seem that this Republic has entered into an era where the central government operates completely without accountability to the people — the people who were once the sovereigns, but have become the slaves.

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