At a State Department briefing last week, Team Biden spokesman Ned Price chided an Associated Press reporter who wanted some evidence for his claims on Russia: “I’m sorry that you’re doubting the information that is in the possession of the US government.”
This epitomizes the administration’s attitude towards the press and the public. President Joe Biden and his appointees talk as if Americans are obliged to trust him solely because he won the November 2020 election.
In his inaugural address last year, Biden proclaimed, “Each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens, as Americans and especially as leaders . . . to defend the truth and defeat the lies.” In his April speech to Congress, Biden declared, “America is rising anew, choosing . . . truth over lies.” But the effusions of Biden’s speechwriters have zilch effect on his administration’s conduct.
On his first full day in office, Biden released his National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness. “Goal 1” was to “rebuild the trust of the American people” by promising transparency in federal health and scientific policy. That pledge was quickly discarded like a forgotten campaign promise.
Though a Biden memo promised to end “improper political interference in the work of federal scientists,” the Food and Drug Administration’s top vaccine experts resigned in protest last fall over White House pressure to rubber-stamp COVID booster shots for all adults. The FDA is seeking to delay fully disclosing Pfizer’s application for COVID vaccine approval for 75 years.
The Centers for Disease Control covered up the vast majority of so-called “breakthrough” infections among fully vaccinated individuals, thereby enabling Biden to falsely claim last July that people who got vaxxed would not get COVID. The prez promised in September that “every American . . . can access free and convenient tests,” but New Yorkers in recent months faced hellish challenges and long delays to find COVID tests.
In December, Biden issued an executive order to “rebuild trust in government” by “transforming federal customer experience and service delivery” from the Social Security Administration and other agencies. But Biden is failing as badly as Mussolini did when he promised to make the trains run on time.
The Washington Post recently reported that SSA local offices have been shut for more than 600 days, as its staffers stay at home, “imposing hardships on millions of people who need to apply for benefits, apply for a card, or otherwise” and wounding “many of those in greatest need of its services.” Disability advocates and congressional Republicans “contend that the Biden administration is kowtowing to its unions in allowing the closures,” the paper noted, and offices will “remain closed until at least mid-April.” Even Senate Democrats such as Ron Wyden are raising hell about it.
Biden and his appointees are saber-rattling against Russia, claiming that any incursion into Ukraine would violate that nation’s territorial rights. For the Biden team, borders are sacrosanct except for those in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, where the administration continues to permit vast numbers of illegal aliens to enter this nation. Biden’s Ukraine policy has been draped in even more secrecy than Hunter Biden’s e-mails to the US government — which The New York Times is suing the State Department to disclose under the Freedom of Information Act.
Biden’s transparency pledges have not deterred his Justice Department from invoking the “state secrets” doctrine to cover up CIA torture and FBI entrapment schemes including covert bedroom recordings of seduced Muslim women. The state-secrets doctrine presumes government knows best and no one else is entitled to know. Biden’s former boss, President Barack Obama, pioneered a vast expansion of state secrets — a Nixonian abuse that did not deter the media from sainting Obama.
Even Biden’s director of national intelligence, Avril Haines, lamented to Congress last month that the current excessive secrecy of federal documents “erodes the basic trust that our citizens have in their government.” But under Biden, federal agencies continue creating trillions of pages of new secrets each year. Secrecy and lying are two sides of the same political coin.
It is folly to presume that a Biden statement on any policy is more honest than his lie about being arrested at a civil-rights demonstration, his lies about “Jim Crow” election laws and his lies about the Second Amendment. Even a recent CNN poll found that only 34% of Americans believe Biden “is a leader you can trust.”
The Biden administration won’t come clean on the facts without far more pressure from the public, the media, Congress and the courts. Citizens cannot defer to Biden’s unsubstantiated assertions without forfeiting more of their rights, liberties and prosperity. Happily, more Americans have become too savvy to bow to federal officials commanding them to “trust us.”
James Bovard is the author of 10 books and a member of the USA Today Board of Contributors.