Saturday comes a day early this week as the Times runs two stories criticizing the Adminstration's phony effort against this or that.
First, from the field of Smart Diplomacy versus Cowboy Diplomacy:
U.S., Rebuffing U.N., Maintains Stance That Rights Treaty Does Not Apply Abroad
By Charlie Savage
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration declared Thursday that a global Bill of Rights-style treaty imposes no human rights obligations on American military and intelligence forces when they operate abroad, rejecting an interpretation by the United Nations and the top State Department lawyer during President Obama’s first term.
The administration affirmed that stance in a meeting in Geneva of the United Nations Human Rights Committee on Thursday. The United States first expressed the stance in 1995 after the Clinton administration was criticized for its policy of intercepting Haitian refugees at sea, and the Bush administration later amplified it to defend its treatment of terrorism suspects in overseas prisons.
The Times emphasizes that this is a Clinton-Bush interpretation. And Obama did close Guantanamo. In his mind, anyway.
And closer to home, and homes, is this:
U.S. Criticized for Lack of Action on Mortgage Fraud
By Matt Apuzzo
Four years after President Obama promised to crack down on mortgage fraud, his administration has quietly made the crime its lowest priority and has closed hundreds of cases after little or no investigation, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog said on Thursday.
The report by the department’s inspector general undercuts the president’s contentions that the government is holding people responsible for the collapse of the financial and housing markets. The administration has been criticized, in particular, for not pursuing large banks and their executives.
“In cities across the country, mortgage fraud crimes have reached crisis proportions,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said at a mortgage fraud summit in Phoenix in 2010. “But we are fighting back.”
The inspector general’s report, however, shows that the F.B.I. considered mortgage fraud to be its lowest-ranked national criminal priority. In several large cities, including New York and Los Angeles, F.B.I. agents either ranked mortgage fraud as a low priority or did not rank it at all.
Eric Holder gets a special whacking:
The inspector general focused much of its report and most of its recommendations on fixing internal systems that produced inaccurate data that wildly overstated the government’s results.
Mr. Holder, for example, announced in 2012 that prosecutors had charged 530 people over the previous year in cases related to mortgage fraud that had cost homeowners more than $1 billion.
Almost immediately, the Justice Department realized it could not back up those statistics, the inspector general said. After months of review, it became clear that only 107 people were charged.
The $1 billion figure, it turned out, had been drastically inflated. It was actually $95 million, the inspector general said. Yet Justice Department officials repeated those claims for months, even after it was obvious the figures were wrong, the inspector general said.
Exaggerating their achievements? Hard to believe.