Concerto for blunt instrument

An irregular heartbeat from d.o. to you. Not like a daily kos, more like a sometime sloth. Fast relief from the symptoms of blogarrhea and predicated on the understanding that the world is not a stage for our actions, rather it is a living organism upon which we depend for our existence.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nothing new in the Downing Street Memo? How about grounds for impeachment?

Nothing new in the Downing Street Memo? What's relatively new is the corporate medias role as apologists for The Empire and the far-right fanatics steering the ship of state into the iceberg of constitutional ruin. There was a time, not all that long ago, that the Fifth Estate served as a watchdog for citizens of the U.S. It was the journalists duty to ferret out those who would undermine the foundations of government. The recent blip on the media radar concerning the identity of Deep Throat reminds us just how powerful the msm once was, and rightfully so. The freedom of the press to shed light on those who threaten the public trust is enshrined in the Constitution. What happened?

Like bone-chilling science fiction, the worst nightmares of Orwell have come to pass. The offices of the Fifth Estate have been relocated to the Ministry of Truth. The corporate media proved to be nothing short of lapdogs for the Bush regime leading up to and into the invasion of Iraq. No news there, but after repeated displays of soul-searching and various ombudsman pieces confessing some of their sins of omission (if not outright propaganda), those alleged guardians of the public trust have once again backslide into their old ways and onto the lap of the Bush regime. The soft-peddling of the Downing Street Memo is only the most recent example.

Today's corporate coverage of the Conyers hearing in DC takes pains to point out that the event was "unofficial", but fails to tell us why. Could it be that the far-right death grip on Congress wouldn't allow Conyers an official hearing? Then there's the headlines: The New York Times chooses to inform us that "Anti-war groups" organized yesterday's hearing and subsequent rally across from the White House, thus lending more of an air of unofficial activity. But, the Washington Post allows that "Democrats" were the ones pulling the strings, never mind that actual members of Congress or folks with no political affiliation at all may have been involved. Finally, and far closer to reality, the BBC notes that actual "Congressmen" were involved in the events. Imagine that!

But, for those who read beyond the headlines the story in the corporate media remains: nothing new in the Downing Street Memo (or Minutes, if you desire). The "news" is this, dear journalists, dear guardians of the public trust: the present occupants of the White House committed impeachable offences and you have failed to report it. You now have an opportunity to redeem yourselves. Do your job.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We need Deep Throat II

Revelations that top FBI official Mark Felt was the informant who steered Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein toward evidence incriminating the Nixon White House in illegal activities thirty years ago has this observer praying for the sequel. While the Nixon administration may have been a case study of how power corrupts absolutely, the present occupants of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue make the Nixon gang seem like amateurs. In the book "Worse than Watergate", former Nixon counsel John Dean makes plain the argument that the sins of the Bush regime ARE worse than Watergate. "No one died as a result of Richard Nixon's so-called Watergate abuses of power", Dean states "Today, people are dying because of Bush and Cheney's secret abuses of power". And when John Dean made that statement he had yet to learn of all the war crimes committed under the present regime in Washington.

Nixon and his minions (interestingly Cheney, Rumsfeld and other present-day Republican operatives figure among them [1] ) were truly a shifty lot. The ones who actually ended up being convicted, besides the so-called "plumbers" who broke into the Democratic Campaign headquarters at the Watergate Hotel in DC and unlike Nixon who bailed from office rather than face impeachment or prosecution, were busted for crimes such as lying to the FBI, illegal election campaign activities, conspiring to hinder an investigation, perjury, and lying to a grand jury [2]. Had Nixon stayed on he would have faced such charges as obstruction of justice, abuse of power, and contempt of Congress. Those charges were voted on by the The House Judiciary Committee.

One can't help but wonder what criminal and civil charges might be levied against the Bush regime today if Congress had even an ounce of its former integrity left and Washington wasn't under lock down from the far-right. White House and Republican scandals and probable crimes are legion. From war crimes in Iraq to
crimes against nature, the Bush regime and their cohorts do not simply carry on the Nixon tradition of abuse of power, they in fact expand upon them, multiplying the sins ten-fold. Don't tell us about "values" and "morality". The family values of the far-right Republican juggernaut are a sham when viewed in the harsh light of reality. Lies, obfuscation, disingenuous posturing, hypocrisy, breaking treaties, torture, murder; these are not the things citizens of the U.S. value, this is not the stuff of morality. But you know all this. The information is already out there. Smoking guns like the Downing Street Memo have surfaced.
And damning testimony from former White House officials like Richard Clark or Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill and others has been easily available to the public for months if not years. But in the present jaded atmosphere of the nation's capitol those voices apparently are not deep enough.

What will it take to bring justice to the White House? Who will rescue this nation from right wing extremists? Disgruntled Pentagon or CIA officials? A generation has passed since Watergate. We need Deep Throat II


[1]Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney -- were aides to the new president, Gerald Ford. At that time Rumsfeld and Cheney were persuading Ford to veto one of the most important Watergate-inspired reforms, an enhanced Freedom of Information Act,

[2] In August, a tape was released for June 23, 1972, recorded only a few days following the Watergate break-in, where Nixon and his aide Haldeman formulated the plan to block investigations by raising bogus national security claims