Friday, June 08, 2007

Hard Rain Journal 6-8-07: Will They Actually Get Away With It All? Will the USA Choose Reason or Madness? The Long, Hot Summer May Tell

Image: Themis, Goddess of Justice

Hard Rain Journal 6-8-07: Will They Actually Get Away With It All? Will the USA Choose Reason or Madness? The Long, Hot Summer May Tell

By Richard Power

Will they actually get away with it all? Looking the other way before 9/11. Lying the country into an invasion and then turning the ensuing occupation into a debacle. Indulging in criminal negligence before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Suppressing the truth about global warming, and wasting seven years that the human race could not afford to waste. Gutting the coffers and plunging the nation into deepening debt. Politicizing the US Department of Justice. Prostituting vital government agencies like the EPA and the FDA. And, of course, the thefts of Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004, which made it all possible. There is so much more. Will they actually get away with it all?

Hopefully, people across the political spectrum are waking up to the truth that the problem is much bigger than just Bush, Cheney, Rove and their operatives.

With a twist of bitter irony, Fred Thompson, star of the TV drama Law and Order, is embracing criminality as the emblem of his presidential aspiration.

Thompson boasts that he will pardon Libby, and , it is said that he has hired Tim Griffin, Rove's caging expert, who recently resigned as the House Judiciary committee investigation into the DoJ politicization scandal began to catch up with Greg Palast's investigation.

And not to be outdone by Thompson, the other candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, most of whom were tripping over themselves to endorse torture in the previous debate, were tripping over themselves to endorse treason in this one. Their disgusting antics compelled former Ambassador Joe Wilson, a life-long Republican, to dub them "the Treason Party" in an interview with Rachel Maddow on Air America Radio on the day Libby was sentended to 30 months in prison (6-5-07).

We wander in a wasteland between Reason and Madness.

The euphoria of victory was fleeting.

The slim majorities garnered in the 2006 mid-term elections did not deliver enough votes to override the sociopath in the White House or outmaneuver the Cult formerly known as the Republican Party in the halls of Congress.

Fear, disillusionment and uncertainty are rising again.

There is, as of yet, insufficient courage, conscience or common sense -- on either side of the aisle -- to rescue the US military from the Mega-Mogadishu in Iraq. Hundreds more of our young men and women will probably die in this slaughterhouse before September.

Nevertheless, the committee gavels have been taken over by Leahy, Conyers and Waxman; oversight has returned, and like forensic investigators they have begun to dig up the shallow graves into which the tenets of our democracy were shoveled over the last seven years.

Did Cheney block the promotion of a top Justice Department lawyer after the official called into question the legality of the White House's secret domestic spying program, as James Comey has told congressional investigators? Truthout, 6-7-07

Did Gonzalez tamper with the testimony of Monica Goodling? Leahy and Specter want the DoJ Inspector General to find out. Raw Story, 6-6-07

Did Rove push for the federal prosecution of Alabama's former Democratic governor, Dan Siegelman? Time, 6-1-07

Every week, the DoJ scandal deepens and the implications of allowing it to go unpunished grow more ominous for all of us.

In two tense hours of sworn testimony, former Acting Assistant Attorney General Bradley Schlozman faced harsh questioning from Leahy and other committee Democrats over his hiring practices, his handling of a complaint of voter discrimination against Native Americans and his decision as U.S. attorney in Kansas City to seek voter fraud-related indictments days before the 2006 congressional election. McClatchy Newspaper, 6-5-07

Meanwhile, the US mainstream news media's craven punditocracy hallucinates on the air waves; and these hallucinations frame our national debate (what little of it there is), inundating the populace with irrelevant prattle and calculated misinformation.

There was a lot of disturbing news this week.

Two stories involving people in positions of responsibility demand note, Dennis Milligan, head of the Cult formerly known as Republican Party in Arkansas, wished aloud for more Al Qaeda attacks on US soil, and Roger Ailes, the CEO of Faux News, promised that Milligan's wish would soon be granted.

Ailes “had some choice words for Democratic candidates who have decided not to debate on Fox.”
“The candidates that can’t face Fox, can’t face Al Qaeda,” said Mr. Ailes. “And that’s what’s coming.”
Think Progress, 6-6-07

Arkansas GOP chief Dennis Milligan: “At the end of the day, I believe fully the president is doing the right thing, and I think all we need is some attacks on American soil like we had on [September 11], and the naysayers will come around very quickly to appreciate not only the commitment for President Bush, but the sacrifice that has been made by men and women to protect this country.” Think Progress, 6-4-07

If it sounds like the PNAC thirst for another Pearl Harbor all over again, that's because it is.

And just as 9/11 was used as the excuse to invade Iraq, even though Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with it, the attacks that Mulligan and Ailes wax so poetically about will be used as an excuse to launch military action against Iran.

Following revelations of a George W. Bush administration policy to hold Iran responsible for any al Qaeda attack on the U.S. that could be portrayed as planned on Iranian soil, former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinksi warned last week that Washington might use such an incident as a pretext to bomb Iran. ... Brzezinski suggested that new constraints were needed on presidential war powers to reduce the risk of a war against Iran based on such a false pretense. ... Gareth Porter, Could al Qaeda Attack Trigger War With Iran? Inter Press Service, 6-6-07

Meanwhile, the G-8 lists like a great ship abandoned on the high seas, as another summit is broken up by George W. Bush's petulance. No progress on global warming, and a retreat on the many miseries of Africa.

Madness, madness, madness.

Remember these three truths as we wade into the long, hot summer ahead:

1. There is an Assault on Reason in this country, and it is the US mainstream news media and the campaign finance system that is fueling it. Whether Al Gore enters the 2008 presidential race or not (and many of us are as torn about it as he is), the more important issue is that he has found the frame that we must use going forward.

2. If they succeed in getting away with their politicization of the US DoJ it will not be too long before innocent people start being systematically prosecuted as political retribution.

3. We do not have ten years or twenty years. We only have the next few years -- global warming, geopolitical instability and the debasement of our democratic institutions (including the Fourth Estate) are all careening out of control.

What would it look like to take this country back?

What would it take to reinvigorate our democratic institutions (including the Fourth Estate)? We must break the corporatist hold on the US mainstream news media and the campaign finance system. And yes, we must return to paper ballots on election day.

It has nothing to do with ideology, it is a choice between reason and madness.

Richard Power is the founder of GS(3) Intelligence and Words of Power. His work focuses on the inter-related issues of security, sustainability and spirit, and how to overcome the challenges of terrorism, cyber crime, global warming, health emergencies, natural disasters, etc. You can reach him via e-mail: For more information, go to

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