A few weeks ago, he claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency was using drones to spy on Montana farmers and ranchers. Today, Rehberg used a press flack to admit that he was wrong—and then blamed President Obama for his own lie.
According to Rehberg’s personal reporter in the Billings Gazette, Rehberg’s spokesman claimed that Mr. Rehberg merely asked about the program:
“In this case, Denny heard from concerned Montanans, saw reports in the media and took the responsible first step — asking the EPA about it.”
Unfortunately, that’s not what Rehberg’s own Congressional site says. He didn’t “ask” about the program; he demanded that it be shut down:
I am writing out of concern regarding the use of drones by the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor farmers and ranchers. Many of my constituents are rightly upset about this abuse of power and I urge the EPA to abandon this practice immediately.
In simpler terms, Rehberg’s office lied when they had to cover up his earlier lie.
Just where did Rehberg get his hot news tip? Well, his mouthpiece wouldn’t tell the press which specific right wing news site Rehberg used to do his “research,” but the story initiated with rightwing nutjob Alex Jones, who has accused the U.S. government of being responsible for the Oklahoma City bombing and the 9/11 attacks.
One would hope that a member of Congress would, before accusing the President of the United States of using drones to spy on farmers, actually research the issue, perhaps call the President, or even just assume that something on fringe right-wing media probably just isn’t true.
But not Dennis Rehberg. Not someone who thinks he’s ready to be a member of the Senate Like he so often does, Rehberg fired off a wild accusation, based on nothing more than innuendo and right-wing paranoia…and he doesn’t even have the ethics or decency to acknowledge his mistake.
Perhaps most tellingly, Rehberg’s drone reversal comes just as the House is considering a bill he has championed (H.R. 1505) which would absolutely restrict the rights of Montanans while giving the Border Patrol unprecedented power on Montana’s border.
Here’s some helpful advice for Representative Rehberg. Rather than fighting fantastic and false right-wing rumors about government intrusion, perhaps he should stop pushing for legislation like the Patriot Act (which received his vote five times), REAL ID, and HR. 1505—all of which truly threaten our civil liberties.