Administration’s barricading of memorials compared to Chicago-style politics

Friday, October 4, 2013
Chad Groening (

Judicial Watch is demanding answers related to the barricading of the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC – and the American Family Association is seeking an apology from President Obama to American veterans who have been turned away from the memorial during the government shutdown.

"This is playing politics at its worst. It's one thing to shut down museums; it's another to shut down a memorial that has no staff. It took [taxpayers'] money to put the barricade up. There's no staff [at the WWII Memorial] 24 hours a day. It's open to the public 24/7 - but it costs [taxpayers] money during a shutdown to put [the barricade] up."

Jordan Sekulow
American Center for Law and Justice

The public interest group, which investigates and prosecutes government corruption, wants to know why the Obama administration continues to deny veterans the opportunity to commemorate their comrades at the World War II Memorial. Hoping to obtain an answer, Judicial Watch has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of the Interior, asking for any and all records regarding or relating to the blocking of access to national monuments in Washington, DC, due to the government shutdown.

Despite the fact the WWII Memorial was paid for entirely with private donations and not federal funds, the Office of Management and Budget – with orders from the White House – erected barriers barring the public from access to the open-air, non-gated memorial that anyone can normally see any time of the day and night. And the Obama administration ordered armed guards there, spending more money to close it than keep it open.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, describes the administration’s actions as “just hardcore gamesmanship.”

Fitton, Tom (Judicial Watch)"It's like a Chicago ward operation running our government here in Washington, DC,” he says to OneNewsNow. “They're spending money to try to punish political enemies – and seemingly the administration considers its political enemies to be veterans and tourists trying to come and visit Washington. We saw the shutting down of open-air memorials as an outrage."

Fitton says the American people deserve to know the facts regarding this action by the administration.

"[We want to know] why it is, in an unprecedented fashion, [that] they're preventing the American people from accessing not only the World War II Memorial but it looks like now virtually every other major memorial in Washington,” says Fitton. “And now we're seeing that you can't even honor our war dead in places like Normandy.

“If this doesn't cause outrage and concern about the corrupting of government by this Obama gang, I don't know what will,” concludes the Judicial Watch leader.

The American Family Association, upset as well about the memorial’s closure, says it’s a disgraceful slap in the face of veterans and utterly disrespectful to them.

Bryan Fischer"It certainly raises questions about how much respect our own commander-in-chief has for the members of the military,” says AFA’s director of issues analysis, Bryan Fischer. “Right now President Obama is looking to a lot of people like he's petty, like he's vindictive, like he's mean-spirited."

The AFA spokesman says it appears Obama is politically motivated. "You know, the sad reality is he sent more guards to the Washington Mall to stop these World War II veterans in wheelchairs than he sent to Benghazi to stop the jihadists who were attacking our ambassador,” he points out.

In a letter to the president, AFA has asked President Obama to apologize to American veterans and urged him to provide escorts for the next “Honor Flight” veterans who arrive in Washington to see the memorial that was built in their honor.

Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved.
Pro-family group senses urgency to oppose ENDA, calls for action

A pro-family group is calling on people of faith and those who hold to traditional values to strongly voice their opposition to the latest push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act – and to do it soon.