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Originally published October 26, 2012 at 4:39 PM | Page modified October 26, 2012 at 4:38 PM

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Op-ed: Young people aren’t turned off by politics, they’re turned off by dishonesty

Young adults aren’t tired about hearing about differing policies, they are just tired of the underhanded approaches to gain votes dishonestly, writes guest columnist Matthew Stone.

Special to The Times

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“I HATE politics” is a common sentiment espoused by many of my fellow high-school students.

Why are so many young adults turned off by politics, I wondered? After watching “Dishonorable Disclosures,” a politically motivated “documentary” that tries to assail President Obama under an objective guise, and then observing how the Obama administration has handled the Libya fiasco, I can see why.

Young adults aren’t tired of hearing about differing policies, they are just tired of the underhanded approaches to gain votes dishonestly.

“Dishonorable Disclosures,” a video which has now gone viral with more than 4 million views, shows us what is wrong with American politics with erroneous logic and a false purpose.

One assertion the video makes is that Obama is completely responsible for all intelligence leaks because he is the commander in chief.

It does not matter who leaked the actual information because as the commander in chief, the buck stops with him. The creators of the video attribute all of the fault to Obama and no one else, with the only justification being that he is the commander in chief.

The next issue they have is that Obama took too much credit for the killing of Osama bin Laden. The creators of the video argue that because Obama didn’t physically take part in the raid of the compound, he is precluded from claiming any credit for bin Laden’s death. They also claim that he leveraged bin Laden’s death for political gain.

Using their previous logic, this is irrelevant. The commander in chief is the top of the military totem pole and he is accountable for all military operations in one way or another. As such, he should be completely responsible for the killing of bin Laden and thus rightly entitled to claim credit for his actions. The paradox of politically motivated logic.

The group of so-called “heroes” assembled in the video is also worthy of inspection. The creators of the video paint the issue as well as the “heroes” as nonpartisan in nature, simply saying that they are looking out for America.

How ironic that Fred Rustmann, a former CIA officer in the video, said in the past that the Valerie Plame incident was not a major breach of national security while he appeared on Fox News.

Although I am sympathetic to the sentiments of the Democratic Party, I would be amiss if I failed to call out the Democrats for some of their recent shortcomings as well.

It recently became apparent that many people within the Obama administration knew far more than they let on when addressing the attack on our consulate in Libya.

Previously, the administration had asserted on multiple occasions that an anti-Muslim video angered the local populace and spontaneously precipitated the attacks. Everyone from Susan Rice, the ambassador to the United Nations, to Obama himself supported this theory of what happened.

It has now been disclosed that the events which led to the death of four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were premeditated terrorist attacks.

I find it extremely hard to believe that the administration had no knowledge of what actually transpired at the consulate within 24 hours, especially after Charlene Lamb, deputy assistant secretary for diplomatic security, testified that she had denied requests for extra security.

Unfortunately, these are just two of the improprieties in a political arena fraught with misconduct on both sides of the aisle. Frankly, this type of behavior needs to be condemned, as it prevents politicians from having any honest debates about policy.

As the election date nears, and the candidates become more desperate to claim the undecided vote, I hope they don’t resort to lowly tactics such as the aforementioned, especially if they want to engage young voters.

Matthew Stone is a senior at Juanita High School in Kirkland.


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