Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Does Arne Duncan's Dept. Of Education Have Their Own "Enemies List"?

A former Obama administration p.r. guy at Arne Duncan's Department of Education attacked Diane Ravitch in a blog piece that made it to Huffington Post.

It's a piece full of vitriol, ad hominem attacks and unsubstantiated claims against Ravitch, a preemptive strike of education reform propaganda meant to discredit her before her new book on the reform movement is published.

I will leave the pushbacks on the piece to others, like Paul Thomas at @ The Chalk Face, who tears apart the post piece by piece and shows it to be nothing more than "partisan politics being played out in the compliant online media."

But one thing I did want to post about, though Raging Horse got to it before I did, is how the writer of the anti-Ravtich vitriol, former Assistant Secretary for Communications and Outreach in the U.S. Department of Education, Peter Cunningham, described what he did at the DOE:

One of my jobs was to monitor criticism of our policies and develop our responses. One of the people I monitored pretty closely was Diane Ravitch.

The Obama administration was accused of having an "enemies list" when the story broke that the administration may have been using the IRS to punish political opponents and groups.

While much of that scandal turned out to be overblown, I find Cunningham's publicly admitting that part of his job at the USDOE was to monitor opponents to the Obama administration's education policies and "develop" administration "responses" eerily similar to that story of the IRS being used for payback or the NSA "monitoring" the phone calls of hundreds of millions of Americans.

Where does the overreach of this administration end?  Why would the USDOE use taxpayer money to monitor its opponents and develop pushback responses?  How large was this monitoring program and who else was "monitored"?

As Raging Horse noted:

The US Department of Education “monitored ” Diane Ravitch ? And others ? To what end ? Does this mean that the DOE, like the FBI and the CIA and the NSA is building dossiers on those, like Dr. Ravitch, who have the temerity to point out their inconsistencies, absurdities, failure and lies?
I suppose I should not be surprised that an administration that would shred the constitution to preserve the NSA’s ability to have total surveillance over every American citizen would so casually monitor education critics but I am.

It is becoming more and more apparent that Barack Obama, the former Constitutional law professor, has torn the Constitution to shreds since he took power in 2009.

Drone bombings, the kill list, NSA spying, the war on whistleblowers, the torture of Bradley Manning, NCLB waivers that make new mandates (a power the USDOE does not have), mandating those without health insurance buy private insurance - the list of questionable or clearly unconstitutional Obama policies is growing more extensive by the year.

And now we have a former functionary at Arne Duncan's Department of Education admitting they "monitor" and track opponents of Obama education policies at the USDOE like it's no biggie.

As Raging Horse said, who else are they monitoring?  And to what end?

Let me add a couple of questions to his.

Do they have an "enemies list" at Arne Duncan's DOE? 

And if they do, what are they doing with that list other than using it for propaganda push back purposes?

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