Scams Away: The Boom Is Fallinggreenspun.com : LUSENET : Exposing Rightwing Corruption : One Thread
by Al Martin
Scams Away: The Boom Is Falling
(May 22, 2001) In an incredible display of arrogance, George Bush said that HE (not the White House, but HE) will no longer tolerate second-guessing on the subject of the growing questions of what did the Bush Administration know and when did it know it regarding threatened terrorist attacks against the United States prior to 9-11. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld then came out with a press release from the Department of Defense, stating that "those who ask questions could face government charges."
The Bush Administration publicly stated that there is one congressional investigation ongoing into this matter, and they will not allow any further congressional investigations to be formed. Nor will they answer any further questions by the media on this subject.
This all happened when Fox News and MSNBC began to leak out some FBI documents, which our inside source had told us about a long time ago. This source actually knew the people who had been dealing with the major media outlets. They were FBI documents including a memorandum, which indicated that the warnings the White House had prior to 9-11 were in fact more substantial than what the White House let on.
The White House has admitted that it did have vague and nebulous warnings of a potential terrorist attack, led by Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda group. But it had numerous such warnings, and as presidential press spokesman Ari Fleischer said, how many times can you cry wolf before people won't listen to you anymore? The White House also claimed that none of the information they had gotten from the FBI and the CIA was in substantive enough detail to put together any defensive plan of action.
As it turns out, there was a key FBI memorandum, which never went up the chain of command. It was written by an agent in Phoenix, in which he specifically mentioned that Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda group may use hijacked aircraft in a terrorist attack against a CIA building or other principal federal offices in Washington. The FBI also believed that potential commercial targets included the World Trade Center and the Sears Tower in Chicago. This document, for some reason, never went up the chain of command.
The Bush Administration is trying to claim that they weren't aware of it. Their attitude is that they didn't know that terrorists were going to hijack aircraft and use them as missiles, and there is no real way to defend against that. However, what has since come out of the Department of Defense is that they took the threats more seriously and did upgrade White House, Pentagon, CIA and Capital building anti-aircraft security capability. But they did nothing to attempt to protect any commercial assets.
The FBI documents in question weren't actually leaked. Originally they were simply sold -- for cash money to a major news outlet.
This news outlet then simply sat on the documents apparently waiting until they believed the time was right. They tried to get other media outlets interested in it, and they couldn't. This goes back to August of 2001. The problem was that they couldn't get the other networks interested in it, and the other networks were frankly frightened. They couldn't get any Democrats in Congress interested in it either because the Democrats were also frightened of raising the subject.
Fox then had to wait for others to catch up to them, a common game in the media. (I played it the same way before.) Sometimes one media outlet or one newspaper has to wait for the rest of the world to catch up to where it is. This is very common in the media particularly when it comes to exposing government misdeeds.
All the newspapers played this game after Iran-Contra. They'd get a hold of something hot. They'd spread it around a little bit. But other media outlets, investigative organization, and congressional committees were still too far behind the eight ball to want to get up to speed that quickly. There would be still too many missing gaps. It's not uncommon in the media business to sit on documents for months or even, in some cases, years. It's often done by individual investigative reporters themselves. They'll sit on information they have - just waiting because they don't want to stick their necks out too far.
John Crudele, a political investigative reporter for the NY Post, and Rodney Bowers, a political reporter for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, were probably the two best players of this game. They used to call it "Texas Hold-'em."- like the poker game. They would talk to everyone they knew, all the other political investigative reporters. They would tell them this is what we've got, then everyone else would start looking into it, and gradually they would get caught up to the lead guy. Then they would actually collaborate on the story.
(By the way, John Crudele recently wrote a great story on the missing half a trillion dollars from the US Treasury called "$1/2 Trillion Federal Deficit for Fiscal 2000,")
The Bush Administration is now circling the wagons. Imagine the arrogance of Rumsfeld to say that those who ask any further questions may face government charges.
Rumsfeld said -- Look at the homeland security act, the so-called USA Patriot Act, which very few people have read all the way through to the fine print.
Bush further said that anyone who continues to ask questions is acting "unpatriotically," and that is a hell of a club to wield, particularly over congressional Democrats -- especially when you have 90% of the people supporting the "war on terrorism."
Rumsfeld said that anyone asking questions (referring specifically to congressional committees and the media) could be charged with giving aid and comfort to the enemy - if they attempt to question the motives of the administration with regards to its war on terrorism.
Senator Lieberman and Senator Daschle are up in arms about it. The Senate Democrat Caucus released a statement saying that they had warned the American people about this problem before -- regarding the USA Patriot Act and all the ensuing legislation that has since been passed. We tried to warn the American people before, they said, that the White House gave us the bum's rush in signing it.
In other words, no one who had voted on the US Patriot Act had actually read it. The only thing they got was a two or three page compendium from the White House press office, but nobody was actually given the time to read this thing.
The White House was able to give them the bum's rush by going to all members of Congress, both Republican and Democrat, and saying, "You'll sign it, you'll sign it now, you won't take the time to read it, and if you refuse to sign it, we'll label you as being unpatriotic" - something which all members of Congress were frightened of.
The Democrats were actually complaining about it. The White House threatened them to sign the bill (which became the USA Patriot Act) before they read it. The threat they used was that the White House would label Congressman so and so or Senator so and so as being "unpatriotic" -- this at a time when 91% of the American people supported what the president was doing. They did complain publicly, but they didn't go into a lot of detail.
Senator Lieberman had a constitutional law expert from Columbia University, who actually read through every word of it, including all the compendium of legislation that had since been passed.
Lieberman, Daschle and Gephardt wrote in a memorandum just released that Congress has effectively given the Bush Administration "near dictatorial powers." Lieberman then made a wise crack saying that, "You know, given a Bush, near dictatorial power is a recipe for disaster." And I doubt there would be many who would disagree with that.
The Administration is using a two-pronged attack. One of the prongs is that if you continue to ask questions you'll be labeled as "unpatriotic." Anybody in the media who continues to ask questions will lose their White House access. And if anybody wants to press it, they can potentially be charged with a criminal act, for giving aid and comfort to the enemy and questioning the motives and the president's decisions and his tactics in the war on terrorism.
It is possible to prosecute someone who continues to ask questions in the tremendous expansion of the War Powers Act of 1947 that the USA Patriot Act has facilitated. This is where the new concentration of dictatorial presidential power now lies -- in the newly expanded War Powers Act of 1947. That's why, in the USA Patriot Act, they did not specifically strengthen the Sedition Acts (S. 792, US Title Code 18) because they were afraid that it would cause too much publicity. The Administration got it in through the back door by dramatically expanding the War Powers Act, which by definition strengthens the Government's ability to prosecute somebody for sedition.
The accounting mess in the United States also continues to grow. The next targets are IBM, Baxter International and Lehman Brothers. We are also hearing about a whole new scheme - not only fudging the numbers, but IBM, Baxter and many other large publicly traded corporations are committing scams against their own pension accounts.
They are creating fictitious trading profits, which they then scalp off the top of the pension plan and add to their bottom line to make their earnings look better. This is not just marginal. This is an out-and-out fraud - creating fictitious trades through employee pension accounts. These are trades, which weren't even actually executed, thus creating fictitious paper profits, then transferring those fictitious paper profits to the corporate treasury.
Nothing is skimmed because no money was actually created. These are just numbers for public consumption to bolster the price of the stock. This is money, which the corporation claims it earned - which it didn't. And who would sign off on this? Their in-house auditors and in-house pension actuaries.
This also illustrates the growing problem of pension fraud in this country. The Bush Administration tries to hide behind the US Government's Pension Guarantee Corp. They try to present this illusion to the American people - "don't worry about your pensions because we have the Pension Guarantee Corp." And a lot of people swallow it.
What they don't know is that the Pension Guarantee Corp. has not been funded since 1986.
Currently the contingent liability of the Pension Guarantee Corp. exceeds its current assets by $3.5 trillion. As I've been trying to point out (Fox News and CNBC have also been reporting on this issue), our nation's public and private pension system is now shakier than it has ever been before -- since the tactic was developed during the Reagan/ Bush years of leveraged buyouts using pension money. This has caused a massive drain in the nation's public and private pension systems.
We are not talking about individual companies' pension schemes, but governmental pension schemes as well, like Social Security, where there is no money. There isn't any money anywhere in these pension schemes.
Steve Forbes, who probably understands that his political days are over, was also synopsizing the situation the way I did. If George Bush serves a second term, we will have a nation with a debt to GDP ratio of 236% and a debt service to budget ratio of 37%. We will also have an aggregate of $10 trillion, which the Reagan Bush Regime and the Bush II Regime cannot account for.
This is ten trillion missing dollars, which the Reagan/Bush people and the Bush Junior People (which are all the same people) cannot account for. It's money that's "missing" from the Department of Defense, the Treasury Department, the Education Department, Social Security, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, etc. The list just goes on and on.
This is ten trillion dollars, which the Reagan Bush/Bush Jr. people cannot account for. This is money, which will never be accounted for.
It should also be mentioned that the Federal Reserve reports (it's hard to find this information since you have to go to the Comptroller of the Currency) describes record outflows of money from the United States. It's money leaving the country from the so-called "Smart Republican Money Set," money that's leaving at record levels. Not only are the "Smart Republican Money Set" transferring their money out of the country into numbered offshore accounts, they are now beginning to expatriate themselves.
In the last six months, a record number of American citizens with a net worth of over $100 million have become expatriates.
They can't use the tax loophole act anymore to avoid capital gains, but what people don't understand is that when the Clinton Administration, over bitter Republican opposition, closed the expatriate tax loophole act of 1995, which said you could flee the United States and become a "tax exile" to avoid paying current capital gains taxes, this included only personal accounts. It didn't relate to built in capital gains in pension accounts, trust accounts and corporate accounts - which is where anyone who has any real money is going to keep their money anyway.
In other words, this tax loophole act that the Democrats like to point to as one of their few successes is really a very hollow victory.
The Bank of International Settlement (BIS) indicates continued record conversion of US dollars by US citizens into gold in offshore accounts.
What does the Smart Republican Money know?
They know that it's all going to fall apart and that the Bush Administration has essentially given up any pretense of prudent fiscal management. It doesn't care how much deficit it creates.
The Bush Administration will make no effort to pay down the national debt and will make no effort to refund Social Security despite its pledges to do so, and it will make no effort to explain $10 trillion of missing money. The only thing the Bush Administration will do from now until the time it leaves office (whether it has one term or two terms) is continuously seek to expand defense spending with all of its rich revenues going to Republican interests, through contract skimming and offshore shadowy research groups controlled by Republican interests.
In other words, the Bush Administration will act with reckless abandon to complete the final phase of their agenda, which, according to George Bush Sr., is "the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands."
As of right now, the top 1% of the population controls 63% of the nation's wealth. That top 1% is 78.3% Republican. If Bush serves two terms in office, the top 1% will control two-thirds of the nation's wealth and the Bushonian Agenda would have been effectively completed in terms of creating a New Ruling Elite.
It should be noted that the majority of the money that the 1% controls has been earned by some fraudulent activity.
Most of the expatriates (those with a $100 million or more) know the law and they know where to domicile. A lot of them are going to their luxurious resort mansions in Guiana. Not as many are going to the Cayman Islands because the Caymans isn't as tight a domiciliary as it once was. It used to be that everyone would simply go to their Caribbean retreats, but now that those retreats are not as tight (either protecting them from extradition or protecting their money) many now are simply going to their Swiss chalets. Their money is disbursed in hidden accounts throughout the world, but Switzerland is still the Haven of Last Resort for Republican Cabalists.
And then there's the recent pullout of the Crusader weapons system scam. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wanted the contract cancelled because frankly the Crusader, the 40-ton self-propelled 335 mm. howitzer system, is ancient technology. None of our armed forces want it, and it's not easy to get it in theater or to move it around. There are also no foreign governments that want it.
Carlucci, the Carlyle Group and their subsidiary, the United Defense Group were simply trying to suck $11 billion out of the US Treasury. This was Carlucci's personal last-ditch effort to pull off a big scam -- an antiquated weapons system that would defraud the US taxpayers. After all, they don't call the Carlyle Group, "Scam R Us," for nothing. Their entire balance sheet has been built gratis of the US taxpayer.
When will the American taxpayers wake up? It is almost too late, if Bush is allowed another term in office. The economic damage to our nation's public purse will be so severe that not even a fiscally prudent government coming in after Bush will be able to correct the problem because of the declining economy in the rest of the world.
Bush understands that it's too late. He's just operating with reckless abandon to suck every penny he can out of the US taxpayer and to consolidate within that one percent through a variety of scams, artifices, cross holdings, trust, limited partnerships, etc. the money and power they've accumulated.
It'll just be Scams Away for them until the end. In our new "War on Terrorism," it's no longer Bombs Away. It's Scams Away.
And whose fault is this? It is the fault of the American People who have supported Reagan, Bush and Bush II. Those who support him should receive their comeuppance.
When you keep scamscateers in power as long as US voters have (aka Reagan/Bush/Bush Jr.), eventually the bill becomes due.
Coincidentally Pfizer announced that there is a record number of depressed people in the United States. The number of depressed people in the United Sates since George Bush Jr. has come to office has increased by 11%. And that is the reaction to the Bushonian form of government. In other words, the American people have given up.
As always, the American people, not knowing what to do, being confused, not understanding what's happening, but understanding that the nation is slowly being bled dry, simply don't know what to do. They're fearful of their pensions. They're fearful for their 401K accounts. They don't know who to vote for. They've heard so many stories, so they simply take Prozac. The people don't know what else to do.
You know it's bad when not only the people take Prozac, but now those who cause the people to take Prozac, the scamscateers themselves, are taking Prozac. Washington, DC is now the Number One metropolitan area for sales of Prozac.
There's nothing like a good fresh scam. People I know from Washington (my old chums I knew from the time I was still in government) call me up and rub it in my face. People call me up and say, "Al, haven't you beat yourself up enough? You know there's no money in telling the American people the truth. Come back inside. We've got a great real estate scam here going against HUD. Everyone's going to make three or four hundred grand. You just move it into your offshore account. Your name will never even be used."
You don't think that gets tempting? I get my old pals in government calling me up and saying, "You know your offshore account has had a zero balance for fifteen years. And that's what you get for trying to tell the truth. Those who tell the truth must be punished."
And then I'm reminded of the words of George Bush who said, "The truth will get you broke."
Or I am reminded of the words of Oliver North who said, "The truth is useless. You can't deposit it in the bank. You can't eat it. It's absolutely useless."
And anyone who is interested in the truth doesn't have any money.
In Washington, there are no limits now. The covers have been blown off. There are no restraints anymore. There's not even a pretense. It's just naked, raw scams against the public purse. Nobody cares in Washington anymore. It's just grab what you can before it all comes to an end?
-- Cherri (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 31, 2002