The time is near at hand which must determine whether Americans are to be free men or slaves. – George Washington
It doesn’t seem to matter to President Barack Obama what the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives do. Whatever they vote for or against, he ignores the will of the people if it does not fit his agenda. If our representatives vote “no” to defeat a bill, Obama and his administration subvert it with an executive order or newly minted federal regulations.
Case in point: last week’s Senate vote to prevent cloture, to advance the debate on the ironically named “Cybersecurity Act” (which effectively ensured its demise). The Cybersecurity Act of 2012, was proposed by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, and was believed to be a “parting retirement gift” to the outgoing Senator from Connecticut.
Longtime Capitol Hill insider and retired Secretary to the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Letchworth stated on my radio program last Wednesday night – 49 minutes into the program – that Democrat Senate leaders were eager to bring the measure to a vote as a kind of “gold watch” gift for Lieberman, even though they suspected there weren’t enough votes to pass, because it gave them and the president cover to say the Republicans were stonewalling and preventing the government from protecting our national cyber security.
Letchworth said, “I can hear [Obama's] press conference now: ‘I had to do it because the Senate refused to address all these vital cyber security issues. I had to do this because the Senate Republicans – naming names maybe, maybe calling out who voted no – refused to protect our nation from cyber security that is such a threat to our nation, to our water supply, to our air supply.”
But not to worry. No doubt Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., knew that tucked inside a drawer in the Oval Office resides an Executive Order drafted last October and awaiting Obama’s signature that will trigger the elements of the Cybersecurity Act, with or without congressional approval, giving several federal agencies untold powers to regulate businesses.
“I’m guessing between now and early spring, we start seeing regulations being spit out by this administration that basically do what the Lieberman bill was supposed to do if they were to have passed it into law,” predicted Letchworth, who spent eight years as the elected secretary to both the minority and majority parties in the Senate.
The Hill similarly reported, “It’s become the norm with this president – if Congress fails to accomplish his objectives, he goes around it with executive orders and federal regulations. He’s doing it again. Congress did not pass the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 before the election, so the president has issued a draft of an executive order to put much of that legislation in place without lawmakers voting.”
“It would work much like Obamacare, which passed with few details but gave agencies like Health and Human Services a blank check to write regulations,” Politico reported. “One of the incentives it may use to keep businesses in line is favoritism in awarding federal contracts – businesses that met the government’s cybersecurity standards could be moved to the head of the line.”
Blogger Freedom Outpost reported, “Rumors of an Obama executive order then came to be fact as White House spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said, ‘An executive order is one of a number of measures we’re considering as we look to implement the president’s direction to do absolutely everything we can to better protect our nation against today’s cyber threats.’”
Within the month, Department of Homeland Security Janet “Big Sis” Napolitano testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs that a cybersecurity executive order was indeed near completion.
And finally, the Heritage Foundation asked, “Do you trust the federal government to keep your personal data safe? What about your business’s records and trade secrets? If you answered ‘no,’ you have good reason – the federal government has had 13 breaches and failures of its own cybersecurity just in the last six months.”
The Heritage Foundation continued, “Yet the president and his allies in the Senate are pushing forward to regulate America’s cyber-doings, without any clues about how much this will cost us or how it will work.”
No matter. It’s not about “cybersecurity.” It’s about Internet control.
Paul Rosenzweig of The Heritage Foundation summed it up, writing: “While the scope of the existing regulatory authority is ambiguous, the administration has signaled its intention to push as far as existing rules allow – and perhaps further. Who, after all, will sue to stop the government from protecting against cyber threats? Backed by the threat of regulation and promises of further incentives and a federal procurement preference, this order will likely be very significant and very costly while not providing important cybersecurity solutions, such as effective information sharing.”
Related: Outgoing Congressman Ron Paul, in his farewell to Congress insisted the Internet remain free, as “it is the alternative to the ‘government media complex’ that controls the news and most political propaganda.”
Related: Here’s how they voted.
Related: An organization that monitors and reports on privacy issues wants to see a copy of a “secret law” announced by Barack Obama regarding the National Security Agency and its reach into private Internet communications.
More “good news”
Petraeus Case reveals more than intimate indiscretions. It also reveals FBI’s authority to read your email.
How many requests did Google make to review user data?
Yikes! Skype hands over personal account info – without warrant!
Did Starbucks, Amazon and Google dodge tax paying?
The latest from the bluebird of Twitterness
Easy Peasy: Sharing tweets via email.
Newbies in 113th Congress trill their thrills.
And finally …
Happy Thanksgiving! And God bless us all.