(Freedom.news) In this age of unrest, when Americans are increasingly turning to non-traditional candidates for president, hopefully that will also translate into congressional races because it clear that Capitol Hill has completely lost control over the federal bureaucracy.
As reported by the Washington Free Beacon, officials at the Hillary Clinton-run State Department removed files from her office that were related to the Benghazi attack in Libya in 2012, then transferred them to another department after receiving a congressional subpoena for them last spring. That improper transfer delayed the release of those records for another year, giving Clinton a chance to slither out of State and ready her bid for the presidency.
State Department attorneys – who are paid by taxpayers – said the electronic folders, each containing scores of documents related to the attack, were only discovered late in 2015, the WFB reported.
The attorneys said the files were overlooked by State Department officials because the executive secretary’s office moved them to another department, while someone flagged them to be archived in April, no doubt hoping they’d be forever buried, shortly after receiving a pair of subpoenas from the House Select Committee on Benghazi, which was chaired by Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former federal prosecutor.
“The new source of documents includes electronic folders used by senior officials under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,” the WFB reported. “They were originally kept in the executive secretary’s office, which handles communication and coordination between the secretary of state’s office and other department bureaus.”
The House select committee requested those documents in subpoenas that were filed in November 2014 and March 2015. Congressional investigators met with the person in charge of the executive secretary’s office staff to talk about its system of records maintenance, as well as the scope of the subpoenas a year ago this month. Also at the time, State Department officials sent the electronic folders to another bureau for archiving, so they were never searched in response to the subpoena requests.
Some in Congress, like Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have criticized the department’s Freedom of Information Act process, even calling it “broken.” But there is much more at play here.
First of all, anyone who seriously believes these records a) don’t contain any damaging information, and b) they were ‘accidentally’ moved to a bureau that was preparing to bury them in archives, isn’t being serious.
If those files didn’t contain any information that is vital to the select committee’s efforts to try to piece together who was at fault for the attack, they would have been some of the first documents the State Department would have handed over. Instead, someone tried to hide them.
This is the Obama administration’s modus operandi, but more than that, this is the new normal for the federal bureaucracy – mislead, dodge, hide, and obstruct the people’s representatives. What’s more, it is like the bureaucracy has become an entity unto itself, loyal only to the officials who comprise it and not the American people who pay for it.
If there is any prayer of restoring some semblance of constitutional government, Congress has got to step up and implement measures to reign in this out-of-control institution, using the funding mechanisms the Legislative Branch controls. Rather than continue to rail against the machine, it is far better to defund it and allow portions of it to wither away, if lawmakers ever hope to reassert their proper role in the governing process.
Depending on who becomes president, there may be a real chance to get this done. If we’re talking about a President Hillary Clinton, the obfuscation, scandals and bureaucratic unresponsiveness will only get worse. If we’re talking about a President Donald Trump, it may be that a man who has made his fortune running corporations and businesses efficiently and profitably could be persuaded to help reign in the bloated, inefficient and neglectful fourth branch of government.
In the meantime, the most insulting part of this entire sordid episode regarding the Benghazi files is that no one has been arrested and charged with subverting a congressional subpoena and obstruction of justice – another indication of just how much control over governing Congress, through the years, has surrendered to an entity that was never established by the Constitution but wields far more power than those it did establish.
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