Warehouse G

Under Every Stone

Is Organized Crime Running The Nation?

By James Donahue

Ever since George W. Bush took over the U.S. Presidency by questionable means in 2001, the nation’s treasury has been openly and aggressively looted while illegal wars, the yet unexplained 9-11 attack and a long list of stories about the strange behavior of our president diverted our attention from the cash box.

It is almost as if a gang of organized criminals masterminded a takeover of the United States government, put their plan successfully in operation eight years ago, and have gotten away with it. Or have they?

While our legislators and the media reacted with horror to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, the disastrous passage of the Patriot Act, the failure to respond rapidly or sometimes at all to the Katrina crisis, the Valerie Plame affair, various sex and money scandals, the strange firing of lawyers at Alberto Gonzales’s Justice Department and wreckage of the Iraq reconstruction project, only to name a few, the money was pouring from our coffers by the billions.

The unprovoked and illegal Iraq War, launched by Bush on a lie that dictator and former CIA operative Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction, opened the floodgates for grand theft. At last count, $117 billion of US taxpayer dollars are lost, mismanaged and/or unaccounted for in Iraq. Also lost in the fog of that war are $549.7 million in spare parts, 190,000 guns, $1 billion in tractor trailers, machine guns, rocket propelled grenades and other equipment.

A New York Times editorial recently identified the pilfering as “a sinkhole of corruption, cronyism, incompetence and outright theft that epitomized Bush management at home and abroad.”

Hired thugs like Blackwater worked as privateers, all hired by the Bush Administration, to “support the troops” but often going beyond the scope of all that is legal and morally accepted. We have not heard the cost of this.

Now have we learned of all the dollars spent on such profiteers as Vice-President Dick Cheney’s Halliburton Corporation and a subsidiary, KBR, hired to provide food and services to our troops and rebuilt the Iraq infrastructure after American forces spent billions bombing them. Horror stories of troops being fed poisoned and rotted food, contaminated drinking water, being electrocuted in improperly constructed bathroom facilities, have filtered out of the smoke and flames.

And after all of this, and the disappearance of billions of dollars for rebuild Iraq, little if anything has been done. The money has gone down yet another rathole. No one in the U.S. government or the Pentagon appears to be standing accountable.

So far was have only written about the mass looting that went on during the fake war in Iraq. Who yet knows what has been lost in the first unnecessary war started by Bush in Afghanistan.

Throughout the Bush tenure, there was a quiet dismantling of government controls, especially the environmental rules affecting big business interests and especially the energy companies. Electric companies were able to expand outmoded coal-fired generating plants without meeting tough EPA clean-air standards. Protected government lands were opened for logging, coal, oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

In recent years the financial scandals involving Senators and Congressmen began to surface. Alaska’s Senator Ben Stevens, Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson and Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich have been among the more outstanding cases, mostly because they got caught.

Now as Bush and Cheney move into their “grand finale” we have the sudden economic crash supposedly staged by our major banks and lending institutions and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson’s cry for our legislators to dump an emergency stockpile of $7 billion dollars into his hands before all is lost. The threat of a world-wide depression was issued as a dire warning.

Before everybody wised up and started calling for an accounting of so much money, half of it was already gone. It is believed it went into the coffers of bankers but nothing has trickled down to state or local levels.

As this drama has been unraveling, we now are told of the $50 billion securities fraud conducted by former NASDAQ chairman Bernard Madoff, followed by the exposure of numerous other smaller “Ponzi schemes” of like kind. It appears that the federal regulatory agencies that should have been monitoring people like Madoff had their eyes shut for the eight years that the scheme was successfully conducted. Remember that George W. Bush took office eight years ago. Is that just a coincidence?

One financial analyst noted this week that the best way to determine that something is wrong with financial securities operations is when you examine the books and see that the business NEVER suffers a quarterly loss. Madoff’s records always recorded a profit. This analyst said his own study uncovered over 30 other securities firms that are not showing quarterly losses, which suggests that there may be many other swindles yet to be exposed.

Have we only begun to see the tip of this massive iceberg?