Liberals have been doing a lot of handwringing over the idea of Russia interfering in the presidential election. They rightly argue that foreign countries should not be involved in another country’s election. Yet somehow, they don’t mind at all when it’s Obama that does it.
Flash back to last year’s election in Israel. A congressional investigation found that Obama’s State Department paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a campaign dedicated to removing Benjamin Netanyahu from office.
Specifically, $350,000 was donated to OneVoice, a group that claimed to be working on a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. But the group actually used the money to build a voter database and train activists. They even hired a consultant with ties to the Obama campaign. And the goal was to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu.
The Obama administration naturally tried to deny that they knew of these plans — but the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations discovered evidence to the contrary. According to the subcommittee, OneVoice notified the United States’ top diplomant in Jerusalem, Consul General Michael Ratney, of their plans to use the money to overthrow Netanyahu in an e-mail. Ratney claims to have never seen it, saying he usually deletes e-mails with large attachments, a major violation of open-records laws.
“The State Department ignored warnings signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards,” said Sen. Rob Portman, chairman of the investigative subcommittee. “It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed — immediately after the grant ended — against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East. American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them.”
Still, Netanyahu won the election. And ultimately, the Obama administration didn’t even get a slap on the wrist. The interference was declared legal, because there were no conditions placed on the money, and OneVoice didn’t go public with their plans until after the grant period had ended. It was no surprise to anyone, though, considering that OneVoice was politically active in Israel’s 2013 elections. Claire McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee, specifically argued that the Obama administration had done nothing wrong and broken no laws.
So it’s fairly rich for liberals to screech about interfering in foreign elections now, when they didn’t have any problem whatsoever when Obama did it.