Progressives Return To Their Roots
The Virgin Islands’ Attorney General issued a subpoena against ExxonMobil and a free-market think tank in Washington, branding, blacklisting, and besmirching hundreds from coast to coast as participants in a long-running criminal conspiracy. The think tank’s lawyer reviled the subpoena as “offensive,” “unlawful,” a violation of “civil rights,” and “un-American.” It is all that but one: “un-American.” It has its roots in progressives’ earliest and proudest days.
On May 29, 2015, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D – RI), writing in the Washington Post, asserted, “Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution[,]” compared those purported “activities” to “Big Tobacco denying the health dangers of smoking[,]” and concluded, “[t]he parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.” After appearing to urge use of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) against the fossil fuel industry, as it was against the tobacco industry, he reneged, “We don’t have enough information….”
Others, however, harbored no such doubts. On September 1, 2015, led by George Mason University’s Jagadish Shukla, twenty academics wrote President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and Obama’s science advisor, John P. Holdren calling for a RICO investigation. The RICO-20’s letter, posted on the site of a nonprofit group run by the lavishly recompensed Shukla, soon disappeared, but not before the scientific community launched its own broadside against Shukla and his colleagues for their lack of scientific integrity.
None of that skullduggery bothered Attorney General Lynch who testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee on March 9, 2016, that taking action against what one senator called “the climate denial scheme” had been “discussed.” Then, in an apparent reference to the RICO-20 letter, she added, “We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI….” Twenty days later, after a secret briefing by two environmental group leaders, four Democratic attorneys general and one independent, joined by former Vice President Al Gore, announced they were teaming up with 15 States, the District of Columbia, and the Virgin Islands to support Obama’s Clean Power Plan and joining in or launching climate denier investigations of their own.
Then, on April 4, the Virgin Islands’ Attorney General, in concert with the New York Attorney General served asubpoena duces tecum (document demand) on the Competitive Enterprise Institute; two weeks earlier he served ExxonMobil. Ordered produced are all “written material or information”—related to over 100 academics (named individually), public interest legal foundations, and think tanks, a list cobbled together, according to Pacific Legal Foundation’s Jim Burling from an “unverified screed” on Greenpeace’s website. Thus, the top law enforcement officer in States across the country has targeted people, groups, and leaders for having the temerity to say, “Maybe there isn’t global warming; maybe it’s not caused by man; and maybe your solution is too expensive and will drive us into poverty.” Progressives, however, cannot abide dissent from their plan to use
global warming, global cooling, climate change as the “moral equivalent of war” that will cause us to surrender our liberties to government so its experts can save us.
We have not seen such unconstitutional abuse of government power since President Wilson, an academic, only president with a PhD, and leader of the Progressive Movement. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in the Christian Science Monitor, Wilson’s use of a real war was a “dark chapter” in which Wilson, a self-described “true leader” saw “[m]en as clay in [his] hands….” In shaping that clay, Wilson “shut down newspapers and magazines at an astounding pace. Indeed, any criticism of the government …could earn you a prison sentence. One man was brought to trial for explaining in his own home why he didn’t want to buy Liberty Bonds.”
As those named in the subpoena fight back against modern day progressives, Americans should be afraid.
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