Clearly, President Obama and a growing number of the members of his administration have forgotten the George Santayana truism, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Had they heeded the lessons that came out of the “Pentagon Papers” scandal of the early 1970s and related scandals also dealing with the leaking of classified materials to the press, the Obama administration would not have acted so cavalierly in telling lies to the American people and Congress regarding the tragic fiasco in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, the unconstitutional seizure of business and personal telephone records of The Associated Press and much more malfeasance.
Had they heeded those lessons, they would have learned that the truth is less damaging to a presidency than a lie followed by a cover-up, that using the classification process to hide the misdeeds and mistakes of the administration often works to the disadvantage of the administration and frequently becomes public knowledge anyway, and that punishing whistleblowers sends the message that the administration is more concerned with face-saving than with correcting its mistakes.
From now on, Mr. Obama’s legacy will be forever compared with the legacies of Presidents Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, legacies of misconduct, lies and cover-ups that brought shame and disgrace to the presidency and this nation.
MAJ. JAMES M. DORN
U.S. Army (retired)
Chino Hills, Calif.