The Obama administration pursuit of the billionaire industrialist Koch brothers is akin to McCarthyism at its worst or Richard Nixon’s enemies list, former Solicitor General Theodore Olson has charged.
And it’s all because Charles and David Koch are an attractive punching bag for the left due to their public stances promoting liberty and free enterprise, Olson said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed article.
Olson – now an attorney with the brothers’ Koch Industries – said the brothers have become “the targets of a campaign of vituperation and assault, choreographed from the very top.”
“How would you feel if aides to the president of the United States singled you out by name for attack, and if you were featured prominently in the president's re-election campaign as an enemy of the people?” Olson asked.
“What would you do if the White House engaged in derogatory speculative innuendo about the integrity of your tax returns? Suppose also that the president's surrogates and allies in the media regularly attacked you, sullied your reputation and questioned your integrity.”
Olson, who served for three years as solicitor general under President George W. Bush, said, “This is precisely what has happened to Charles and David Koch, even though they are private citizens, and neither is a candidate for the president's or anyone else's office.”
He pointed out that Democrats are demanding that the brothers, whose Wichita, Kan.-based firm is the second-largest private company in the country, should answer questions about the Keystone XL Pipeline, even though they “have repeatedly — and accurately — stated that [they] have no involvement.”
Olson said government attacks on private citizens should be resisted by all. “If a journalist, labor-union leader or community organizer on the left can be targeted today, an academic or business person on the right can be the target tomorrow.
“If we fail to stand up against oppression from one direction, we abdicate the moral authority to challenge it when it comes from another.
“The misuse of government power to damage or demean one's political enemies is abhorrent and the very antithesis of a free society and a government of laws, not men. It is time for the public to ask those engaged in these practices, 'Have you no sense of decency?"
TAGS: Olson; Koch; McCarthyism; Nixon
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