The Bush Scandals
There is growing evidence that America needs to re-institute federal Special Independent Prosecutors. Growing indications of scandals that may reach into the highest levels of the Bush Administration show an immediate need for this action.
The Special Independent Prosecutor programs were dropped late in the Clinton Presidency. During the Clinton years, Ken Starr turned the institution into a mockery of Justice and a partisan tool to promote Republicanism. With Ken Starr, we had a bad Prosecutor instead of a bad legal institution. Both Democrats and Republicans threw the baby out with the bath water! Democrats wanted the non-scandals of the "Whitewater" investigation and "Monica-gate" to never occur again. Republicans never wanted Democrats to have the ability to do to them what they did to Clinton. For Democrats, it was principle. For Republicans, it was tactics.
Unfortunately, we now have no independent way to search for truth and punish corrupt government office-holders that is outside the political control of those same corrupt government office-holders. The Bush Administration has many possibly illegal and definitely questionable activities that should be examined by Independent Special Prosecutors. We are briefly going to discuss several in this column. More potential scandals will be discussed in future columns.
The Enron collapse and Enron's influence on the White House Energy policy has been the subject of extensive questioning since the beginning of the Bush Administration. A Reuters story that appeared in the Daily News on January 8th (see http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20020108/pl/utilities_enron_cheney_dc_1.html) was titled "Enron Reps Met 6 Times With Cheney or His Staff". Cheney has been refusing to release to the General Accounting Office the list of which oil company executives his staff met with while designing the Bush Administration's Energy Policy since early in 2001. Democratic Congressmen have been requesting the information via the General Accounting Office. Enron has been a huge source of campaign donations to George W. Bush and the Republican Party. Donations to Republican causes by Enron are nearly 4 times larger than to Democrats!
Robert Scheer wrote several brilliant pieces in the Los Angeles Times on the Enron Bush ties. On December 11, 2001 he wrote, "Connect the Enron Dots to Bush" and on January 2, 2002 he wrote, "Enron is a Cancer on the Presidency". Both can be read at the Los Angeles Times website at http://www.latimes.com.
Edward B. Winslow ran a story on the Alter net.org website (see http://www.alternet.org) on January 2, 2002 titled "Bush's Enron Ties". He details the White House role in stopping the federal government from exercising regulatory duties concerning electricity price gouging in California by Enron and "Enron's utilization of it's 847 offshore subsidiaries in countries with lax banking regulation laws". Winslow also documents the role of the Republican U.S. Senator, Phil Gramm of Texas, in the Enron scandal.
Investors, workers, stockholders, and consumers all lost billions in the collapse of Enron. The top executives and the Republican politicians who continue to provide their political cover profited. We will pursue this subject in much greater detail as events continue to develop.
The latest potential scandal concerns a French book by Jean Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie "Bin Laden, the Forbidden Truth". The authors are noted intelligence experts. Brisard wrote a report in 1997 for the French secret services on Al Qaeda. Dasquie is the publisher of Intelligent Online and an investigative reporter.
The book details the close background of the Bush White House to Big Oil. They write about Vice President Cheney being President of the oil industry service company, Halliburton. They note that National Security Adviser Conoleeza Rice was a manager for Chevron. They state that Secretary of Commerce, Evans, and Secretary of Energy, Abraham, both worked for U.S. oil companies.
Brisard and Dasquie contend that the Bush Administration crippled the War on Terrorism before September 11th because oil industry goals were given the top priority in dealing with both the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic fundamentalism of Saudi Arabia. The authors claim that FBI Deputy Director, John O'Neill, resigned in July 2001 over this issue.
Brisard claims that O'Neill told the writers "the main obstacles to investigating Islamic terrorism were U.S. oil corporate interest". The book claims that the Bush White House was trying to strengthen the Taliban to gain access to huge Central Asian oil reserves via an Afghanistan pipeline. Those reserves were effectively under Russian control and U.S. oil interests wanted to control them instead of the Russians. Trillions of dollars are a stake!
The book claims that Bush operatives pressured the Taliban to agree to a deal that was very favorable to U.S. oil interests. They claim that at one point these operatives told the Taliban " either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs".
The September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon happened within weeks. We need to investigate, using both the Senate and an Independent Special Prosecutor, any possible ties between the September 11th attacks and the Bush Administration pursuit of an oil industry agenda with the Taliban.
We support the war completely in the aftermath of September 11th but we want to know what, if any, role the Bush White House and Big Oil played in the events leading up to those attacks.
Other scandals may include the lack of anti-monopoly enforcement at the FCC under Michael Powell. Mr. Powell was appointed by Bush and seems to lack any desire to prevent total media control by Big Business.
There is also "Funeral-gate". Did Bush, as Governor of Texas, commit perjury about his relationship with a funeral company concerning governmental regulation of their activities?
Many other subjects bare close examination. We need to start holding all government office-holder accountable for their actions. We cannot rely on a Big Business dominated government or a Big Business dominated media to regulate Big Business abuses. We need an Independent Special Prosecutor law.
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