Monday, November 10, 2008

Obama Could Use Iran-Contra Hearings & investigation as a Precedent And The Bush & Co. Swindle Continues : $140 Billion Handed out to Banks


There is more bad news about that the Bush Regime's corruption and or mismanagement & fraud continues even as Bush meets with Obama today .

So Conservatives and their friends are still reaping in their rewards for backing the Bush Regime so the " Culture of Greed " continues. All those mismanaged investment firms and Banks etc . have enough loot & booty to keep them going til the next Republican gets into the White House. All Hail these true believers and true patriots willing to take the country for all they can get. ( I am being sarcastic of course)

The Paulson /Bush Conservative Swindle Continues as another 140 Billion is handed over to the Banks but can President Elect Obama do anything about it :

A Quiet Windfall for US Banks Monday 10 November 2008 by: Amit R. Paley, The Washington Post

The financial world was fixated on Capitol Hill as Congress battled over the Bush administration's request for a $700 billion bailout of the banking industry. In the midst of this late-September drama, the Treasury Department issued a five-sentence notice that attracted almost no public attention.

But corporate tax lawyers quickly realized the enormous implications of the document: Administration officials had just given American banks a windfall of as much as $140 billion.

The sweeping change to two decades of tax policy escaped the notice of lawmakers for several days, as they remained consumed with the controversial bailout bill. When they found out, some legislators were furious. Some congressional staff members have privately concluded that the notice was illegal. But they have worried that saying so publicly could unravel several recent bank mergers made possible by the change and send the economy into an even deeper tailspin.

"Did the Treasury Department have the authority to do this? I think almost every tax expert would agree that the answer is no," said George K. Yin, the former chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the nonpartisan congressional authority on taxes. "They basically repealed a 22-year-old law that Congress passed as a backdoor way of providing aid to banks."

The story of the obscure provision underscores what critics in Congress, academia and the legal profession warn are the dangers of the broad authority being exercised by Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. in addressing the financial crisis. Lawmakers are now looking at whether the new notice was introduced to benefit specific banks, as well as whether it inappropriately accelerated bank takeovers.

The change to Section 382 of the tax code - a provision that limited a kind of tax shelter arising in corporate mergers - came after a two-decade effort by conservative economists and Republican administration officials to eliminate or overhaul the law, which is so little-known that even influential tax experts sometimes draw a blank at its mention. Until the financial meltdown, its opponents thought it would be nearly impossible to revamp the section because this would look like a corporate giveaway, according to lobbyists.

Iran-Contra Scandal: Lessons for Barack Obama
Update: 1:11 pm Nov. 10

Barack Obama speaks about healing the nation and bi-partisanship and forgetting about the wrong-doing and criminal activities of the Bush/Cheney Regime which may sound good but will not be the best path the nation should take. I'm sure Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, Gonzales, Abrahmoff, Condoleeza Rice would like to encourage such a view so that they never have to face the consequences of their criminal activities. They are all somewhere laughing to themselves and to each other that they have gotten away with underming the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights and the Laws of the Land while pilling up cash for themselves and their friends. This is part of what they were probably counting on that a Democratic, wishy-washy liberal type would take power after them and wouldn't have the moral fortitude to take such crooks as they are to task for their corruption and abuse of power. Its no wonder the Neocons and their buddies are falling all over each other claiming that Obama's presidential victory is an historical victory for America . This is not the tune they were playing a few months or weeks ago when they called Obama a " Domestic Terrorist" and a " Secret Muslim" and the worst thing that could happen to America and as they whipped up their crowds of loyal supporters into a racist frenzy as the crowds shouted " Kill Him ", "Hang Him" , "Lynch Him" etc. Their change of tune is far from sincere but merely more a case of the most cynical form of " opportunism" which is typical of the American Conservative Movement .

(See for instance:" The Wrecking Crew : How Conservatives Rule " by Thomas Frank pub. 2008.)

If we take a look at the Iran-Contra scandal and the public hearings which were held to expose the individuals involved in these criminal acts of Treason and Fraud and Corruption we see that such a public investigation can be held and not necessarily destroy the nation.

This is what some Americans fear is that if Barack Obama were to establish such public hearings with the power to supoena witness it would have a negative affect on the American people and on international relations . But it can be argued that such hearings and investigations of fraud and profiteering about the abuse of power would actully help America's reputation abroad. It would also help America to heal itself by coming to terms with the extent of the abuse of power and corruption of the Bush Regime. The use of deregulation and privatization under the Bush/Cheney Regime was systematic in their desire to undermine the various governmental departments while passing on big contracts with outrageous and obscene profits for these private contracors all at the expense of the average American and the US Treasury.

But if such hearings and investigations shouldn't be merely some form of reconcilliation or a catharsis for the American psyche but it must go further and hold those guilty to account . If the Rebulicans could do such a thing to the Democrats they wouldn't hesitate as we saw in their witch-hunt and impeachment of Bill Clinton for " Lying under oath" while denying his relationship Monica Lwinsky . This whole circus conducted by the Republicans titilated the American public of couch potatoes for weeks. Bush on the otherhand took America into an unnecessary war which has killed over 4,000 Americans and hundreds of thousands possibly a million ( 1,000,000 dead Iraqis and hundreds of thousands wounded American vets or left damaged suffering from PTSD. While doing all this he and other members of the administration used their positions of power to benefit themselves and their friends and their corporatrions with contracts with little or no oversight .

How America armed the Ayotollah of Iran
Will Obama merely stand back and forgive all the wrongdoing of the Bush Regime
Justice Those Who Have Subverted the American Constitution Under The Bush Regime
A Look Back at the Iran/Contra Scandal
Reagan lies, Oliver North's testimony, and the scandal of Iran/Contra are summed up in this short clip.

How covert operations undermine America's International Reputation
"We must not allow the ends to justify the means" Sen. George Mitchell
Iran Contra- "have we lost our way?"
Senator George Mitchell's closing remarks to Oliver North. Have we lost our way?

Given the evidence of Iran-Contra scandal President Reagan should have been investigated and impeached & Charged with crimes against America. But of course most Americans did not then or now want to know about such matters let alone do anything about it. For some the excuse and rationalization is that all politicians and governments by their very nature are corupt so why get upset about such things. For others what Reagan was doing was a noble act which was justified because he was fighting Communism. But Nicaragua was a sovereign country and the US government was not permitted to support the contras. Further the Contras were not some sort of circumspect group of " freedom Fighters" abiding by international laws about the rules of engagement rather they were by their very actions the very definition of " Terrorists Organization ". The contras targeted non-combatants , they kidnaped and tortured innocent civilians including women and children and the old and infirm; they butchered whole villages in order to terrorize and destabalize the Nicaraguan government. Their aim was to overthrow the Sandinista government without any concern for whether the Nicaraguan people approved of that government. They were not simply combating Nicaraguan soldiers on the one hand and when they were sent into retreat they were protected and armed & financed through illegal & unconstitutional covert American operations.It is odd how Oliver North claims to be a true American Patriot and yet he saw nothing wrong with going against the stated policies of America's legislative bodies or the American voters or the American Constituion. Over and over again Conservatives go on and on about upholding the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights and America's founding principles yet when it suits their interests these ultra-conservatives believe that they can act unilaterally and outside the laws of the land. They also over and over again as we see with the Bush administration show their utter contempt for the US Constitution and The Bill of Rights and international laws and agreements to which America has bound itself to. Once again going back to the Iran Contra scandal to the Unnecessary invasion of Iraq and other abuses of power including the kidnaping of suspects not just off of the battlefield but off the streets of cities in countries around the world to the abuse and torture of detainees while denying them their basic legal rights under American and International law etc.
As we have seen the US Government , its military the Pentagon and the CIA time and again have been involved in the most egregious types of covert operations which are a direct violation of of a foreign country's sovereignty. For instance the United States as the official record shows was involved in a prolonged covert operation to undermine the freely & democratically elected President of Chile Salvador Allende. But even today many Americans either have no knowledge of their own history or choose to ignore it . The deaths of tens of thousands of unarmed Chilean civilians by the ruthless American backed dictator is also part of America's legacy. Why did the United States overthrow Allende because he wanted to improve the lot of the average Chilean citizen. He had the audacity to suggest that any foreign company operating in Chile must obey the laws enacted by the democratically elected government. Those companies who refused to obey these laws would have to go elsewhere . The American view of the World as is well known is that the whole world is supposed to be open to American corporations and that those corporations are free to act in whatever way will increase their profits. Human rights and even a basic sense of human decency does not fit in with the "Laissez-Faire " free Market Place which America wishes to dominate the world or at least as much of it as it can. If a company can get five year olds to work for a dollar a day seven days of the week than according to the American Conservative movement than that company is entitled to do so because of American Exceptionalism, or Manifest Destiny or because Americans and their companies and International Global Conglomerates have God's Divine Blessing.

So as Reagan and others in his administration were allowed to get away with undermining the US Constitution and US Laws and International Law or those International Agreements to which America by law was bound.

Rare Video 1987 The Secret Government 1/9

Bill Moyers on the Iran-Contra Scandal

1987 The SEcret Government 2/9

and so it goes,

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