National Park Service: Just following orders

Jonathan JarvisBy Tom Toth

Over the course of the 16-day government shutdown, the National Park Service went out of its way to make life as difficult as possible for as many Americans as they could.

War veterans were locked out of their own memorials, sightseeing locations in front of Mount Rushmore were coned off from the public, and even children’s playgrounds were padlocked by the Park Service.

While the Senate was busy forming the final deal to end the government shutdown, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing taking National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis to task about his agency’s absurd treatment of the American people during the government shutdown.

After passionate demands for the specific reasoning behind Jarvis’s decision barricade national memorials, Director Jarvis testified to the effect that the law requiring him to furlough all staff not necessary to defend life and property during the shutdown necessitated that he close all national parks and barricade memorials. In other words, he was just following orders.

Interestingly, less than two years prior, Director Jarvis sat before the same committee to defend his decision to not issue citations or otherwise prosecute the “Occupy Washington” protestors on McPherson Square who trespassed on National Park land for over 100 days.

Jarvis then testified in response that he had discretion in applying the law and spent the 100+ days of the “Occupy” protest trying to “gain compliance” with those breaking the law.

Together, these two testimonies tell one story:

Jonathan Jarvis is a career park ranger. He doesn’t have a complex political agenda; he’s a career bureaucrat who follows the orders of his superiors.

The National Park Service is a federal agency under the authority of the Department of the Interior and President Obama.

When “Occupy” protestors (comprised almost exclusively of liberal Obama supporters) came to Washington with a leftist message, Obama’s National Park Service did nothing. The President’s agenda could be observed as not wanting to make a scene by forcibly removing thousands of his own supporters from their protest.

When the government shut down, the same federal agency decided to make life as difficult for national park visitors as possible. Barricades and playground padlocks were not images of Bill Clinton’s shutdown in 1995; Obama wanted to make a spectacle and make sure Americans immediately felt the effects of a shut down government, lest anyone not notice.

Orders were followed and Obama’s agenda was fulfilled.

Tom Toth is the Social Media Director for Americans for Limited Government.

  • SniperToo

    You jerk, shame on you. Don’t ever call yourself an American nor a defender of the Constitution. Coward and spineless. All you had to do was tell the Muslim Dictator in the white house of shame and corruption is – “sure I put the road blocks up” and don’t do it. Stand your ground as a Patriot instead of a tool of Islam and Dictatorship. You traitor. Your an imbarresment to the white race and to this country. Pussy.

  • MilitaryVeteran

    NPS rangers were in a very awkward situation – but veterans can report the rangers were not the problem. . . NPS police – also in an awkward position – were directed into unwise positions that many veterans found insulting. From my on-scene perspective in DC on 13 October, most of the NPS police tried to be respectful of the veterans. Some of the NPS tactical commanders, however, need to examine just what it means to respect America’s veterans. The veterans consisted of all ranks and their comradery and deep commitment to America and the Constitution was evident to any observer who did not have an agenda. Unfortunately, the background to this incident is that the NPS is a political tool of the Obama Administration – which is a twisted and perverted use of the guardians of our national parks and memorials. Now we all know.

  • MilitaryVeteran

    It would have been more appropriate for NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis to resign in protest – for the integrity of the NPS and all of it’s employees. The message would have been clear to America and he might have secured some champions on the Hill too. Now the NPS has been compromised as an institution. The American People will never look at NPS employees in the same way in the future. Indeed, some Americans will equate the NPS to just another Obama goon squad. So sad.

  • reggiec

    “I was just following orders” is a dog that just won’t hunt. The Department of Interior (park Service and BLM) and the USDA (forest Service) have been taken over by left wing radical environmentalists. They are in lock step with the Obama Administration.
    I don’t believe I will ever be able to look at another Park Ranger without imagining them in a Nazi uniform. They willingly became despicable thug enforcers for Obama.

  • Caroline Haskin

    Why does everyone include the weekend days and holidays as part of the shutdown? The govt is always shut down on weekends and holidays.

  • DiogenesAmericanus

    I seem to recall the ‘just following orders’ did not work out to well at the Nuremberg trials. Perhaps its time to start putting the ‘just following orders’ crowd in government on trial for violating their oaths of office if they swore to faithfully defend the U.S. Constitution.

  • Don39

    Boo Hoo! Screw you! Following orders when they are against conscience is called COWARDICE! That is the kind of excuse that allowed a fraud usurper to become president of a once great Constitutional Republic! Callie was following orders at Mei Lei! The Occupy movement was following orders. The Nazis followed orders, you scum bag sycophant!

  • walter

    Obama is more of an American enemy then a good leader. I can not wait for congress to start impeachment on him. There are lots of law and false statement,
    he made in the pass that justify them to move on with impeachment.

  • GlockG22shoots40s

    don’t go screwing around with the agenda now… get back in line soldier.

  • GlockG22shoots40s

    Brother Harry in the Senate will never approve. They won’t get the votes they need in the Senate to pull it off.

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