For years now TV shows that focus on criminal investigation have been among the sturdiest view getters in the business. In their effort to be ‘realistic’ these shows reflect what has become the routine application of scientific techniques to crime detection. Ironically, the scientific approach that is now required for realism was first systematically developed in a fictional character, Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes.
His notorious magnifying glass symbolized detection grounded in meticulous examination of every detail of a crime scene. Tobacco ash, hair, soil, the residue in a wine glass, the fraying of a rope (or lack thereof); when piecing together the puzzle of a crime, ordinarily overlooked minutiae become the indispensable materials from which carefully imaginative reasoning can induce the probable nature and sequence of events.
Such clues are best assembled on the assumption that a criminal mastermind is responsible for the mystery. This perpetrator has carefully contrived the situation in order to mislead the investigator, and hide or taint the evidence that would justify a conviction. The key to success, therefore, is to probe for the detail that doesn’t fit with his contrivances, but with the hidden truth.
Given the popularity of crime detection dramas, people these days appreciate the vital importance of anomalous details as clues in unraveling a mystery. It may appear ridiculous to crawl about the floor or sift through the smelly contents of the garbage can, or act as though the crime scene is a hospital operating room. But even an ancient relic like Peter Falk’s Columbo knew that the one most prone to ridicule or explain away the results deserves to be the prime suspect.
Which brings us to the little anomaly of Barack Obama’s social security number; or his truncated birth certificate; or his lack of signed and published Harvard law review articles; or his insistence on hiding records from his days at Occidental University. By itself, none of these facts would warrant a conviction. But given these facts, what credible investigator would stop asking questions?
There’s the rub. The insistent effort to ridicule, discourage, suppress and explain away. So much effort aimed at getting people to stop asking questions; so much effort to prevent a thorough, official, and objective inquiry; and a constitutionally authoritative decision on the merits.
If free speech means anything, it means the right to ask questions, however awkward and irritating they are to those in power. If constitutional government means anything, it means the right to seek answers when the plain provisions of the constitution indisputably require them. Yet Obama’s true background remains a mystery.
And each day the mystery continues one thing becomes more and more evident: that neither the individual rights nor constitutional sovereignty of the American people mean much these days to the arrogant elites bent on destroying our nation’s freedom. Like that of the famous watchdog that didn’t bark in the night, does their silence mean they know and trust the perpetrator?
That leaves one awkward question Americans must ask and answer for themselves: can we trust such silent watchdogs to guard the house of liberty? In November voters will have one more (and this last?) opportunity to give an answer. What will they make of it?