Posted on | December 10, 2006 | No Comments
The gates of Hell have been opened.
Or, have been open for decades here in Washington. The Whore of Babylon…open for business…with barbarians at the Gates.
Or Debategate (the Reagan-Bush campaign had a mole in Carter’s campaign passing along Carter’s debate briefing books).
How about Iran-Contragate, sometimes called Irangate.
Remember Iraqgate? Yes, there was an Iraqgate.
Can’t blow by Monicagate, can we?
And the latest Gate…Foleygate.
In fact, we should have Jackgate for Abramoff. WMDgate. Gatesgate, although the only “scandal” regarding the confirmation of Robert Gates is that he was confirmed. Scandalous? Yes, but not really a scandal.
Actually, the Democrats’ big election victory portends an opening of many new “Gates.” At least, that’s what the voters want…or said they want according to exit polling. See, the amazing thing about the election was that “corruption,” not Iraq, stood out as the number one issue for voters.
Okay, let’s try that again…just for kicks.
Corruption beat out Iraq as the issue of greatest concern to voters.
The media, and the blabbering heads that dominate it, have focused on Iraq as the number one issue. They proclaim daily that the vote was a rejection of Bush’s Iraq fiasco.
True enough. But imprecise.
Because “the people” actually had corruption on their minds and housecleaning on their agenda. Really, isn’t it possible that Iraq is just a subset of the idea of corruption: the lies and propaganda that got us there; the no-bid and cost-plus contracts; the lack of Humvee armor and flak jackets; billions of reconstruction dollars gone missing.
The Iraq war is a study in corruption.
Still, the point is that the angry mood of voters requires some bloodletting, some redemptive retribution. Crime cannot be allowed to pay. And there is some crime to pay for. Hey, if lying about fellatio is worthy of impeachment…how about lying to get into a war?
Enter the Democrats. They’ve been given the sheriff’s badge by the American people and they’ve been told, “Clean up that town and get rid of those varmints.”
They’ve got subpoena power and a mandate that grows daily in direct proportion to Bush’s failing approval ratings.
They won’t do it.
Already we have their first, submissive volleys across the stern of the GOP ship of corruption.
Pelosi rules out impeachment, wants to work together for the American people. She may not be able to restrain Rep. Henry Waxman or Rep. John Conyers. But she’s set the tone. Move forward.
Funny, that’s what W keeps saying about Iraq, “We need to find a new way forward.”
Okay, Dems…now you’ve had a week of so-called “truth-telling” by Gates, Jim Baker and the omnipresent Democratic guide through scandals…Lee Hamilton.
Investigate the big lies on WMD and intelligence malfeasance? Stop filling the military-industrial trough with our tax dollars? Stop spreading the American people over a pork-barrel? Follow the trails of corruption from K Street lobbyists of all stripes…trails that lead to every major Department in the executive branch and right into the halls of Congress?
Unlikely. They want to set a positive agenda for the future, not get mired in the past.
But it’s the past that gives us the clues to the future.
Iraqgate is a good example…a lesson from history. The lesson being that when given a perfect opportunity to consign to the dustbin of history those scandalous dirty-dealers in the GOP the Dems will do nothing.
After the great, ballyhooed triumph of George the Elder in the Gulf War some disturbing facts started to rear an ugly, opportune head out of a sand of patriotic fervor.
As it happens, the elder Bush’s Administration had been illegally funneling weapons to Saddam throughout his tenure in the White House. Weapons that would be used on Kuwait and the American-led forces that expelled him. Illegal cluster bombs and pre-cursor chemicals for nasty WMDs. You know, those WMDs that terrorized the Kurds…that keep Iraq in sanctions for a decade…that provided a phantom menace against which Bush the Younger predicated his invasion.
It’s all there in a great, meticulously reported…but widely-ignored…book called Spider’s Web:
Congress had moved to curtail and, in some instances, stop arms shipments to Iraq after the cessation of the Iran-Iraq War. Saddam relied on the Reagan-Bush White House to keep up his end of that bloody conflict throughout the 1980s. He was “our” boy in the Middle East…much like Manuel Noriega was “our boy” in Central America. Saddam attacked Iran, urged on by the incoming Administration in 1980. Saddam had come to power with CIA assistance. Remember the infamous video of Saddam at a Ba’ath Party Conference calling out names, the named then being led away for execution? Many were “internal threats” called “Communists.” Commies who had been identified by the CIA. Saddam gratefully took that list and eliminated Iraqi pinkos.
And we’ve all seen that famous handshake…one that led to a decade of sales: military, biological and chemical.
And Saddam gassing the Kurds? Well, our Cold War friends the Turks gave us regional base of operations and had more than a minor problem in there eastern region with Kurdish nationals…rebels who called themselves the PKK. Saddam had Kurds, too. So, he took some of those nasty chemicals we were shipping him and attacked the Kurdish menace. A menace the Turks were failing to control. It was a big help to there drive to crush Kurdish nationalism in Turkey. Which they did.
But it’s the Iran-Iraq War that exposes some of the darkest corners of the American Way in foreign lands.
As Saddam was unleashing hell on Iran with our support, assistance and weapons, Reagan-Bush was covertly selling weapons and spare parts to Iran. They were selling to both sides of the war that, it is strongly suggested, the Reagan-Bushies asked Saddam to start. In fact, they goaded Saddam into attacking before they formally took office and, not coincidentally, we know the arms pipeline to Iran was established in covert meetings before the 1980 election.
Iraq, though, was openly favored…nothing covert about it. Foreign Minister and eventual Iraqi bad-guy Tariq Aziz was welcomed to the White House by the Gipper himself.
The relationship between Washington and Baghdad was strong and rooted in a history of cooperation when Bush the Elder took over. This, despite the fact that Saddam saw the same Iran-Contra reports that showed his ally in DC was also arming his enemy.
Which, by the way, was our “enemy.”
When Poppy took the hand-off from the Gipper, he was more than willing to sustain the pipelines between the Whore of Babylon and the ancient home of Babylon…oil in and weapons out. Congress tried to use legislation to stop the weapons side, but Bush knew ways around trifles like “law.” He was the “point man” on intelligence in the Gipper’s White House. Make no mistake; he was not “out of the loop” on Iran-Contra.
So the weapons and chemicals kept on keeping on, despite its illegality.
There was a problem, though.
The Kuwaitis were slant drilling into Iraq’s southern oil fields. This pissed off Saddam. In fact, Saddam and many Iraqis considered Kuwait a geographical fiction. They referred to Kuwait as “Iraq’s 19th Province.” Little Kuwait…a country created by post-Colonial mapmakers and, coincidentally, saw its oil industry created with the help of a young, enterprising oilman named…George Herbert Walker Bush.
So there is Saddam…an ally of America…beneficiary of our chemical and military technology. He’s got Kuwaitis drilling Iraq’s oil and, according to Our Boy in Baghdad, driving down oil prices by flooding the market.
Enter April Glaspie…Elder Bush’s representative in Baghdad.
She chats with Saddam about oil prices and the issue of Kuwait comes up.
Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:
HUSSEIN: Twenty-five dollars a barrel is not a high price.
GLASPIE: We have many Americans who would like to see the price go above $25 because they come from oil-producing states.
HUSSEIN: The price at one stage had dropped to $12 a barrel and a reduction in the modest Iraqi budget of $6 billion to $7 billion is a disaster.
GLASPIE: I think I understand this. I have lived here for years. I admire your extraordinary efforts to rebuild your country. I know you need funds. We understand that and our opinion is that you should have the opportunity to rebuild your country. But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait.
Was that the go ahead? Well, if Bush the Elder was still arming Saddam almost to the day of the invasion of Kuwait and then Glaspie says we don’t have a dog in your fight with Kuwait…and Saddam had done so much to kill Iranians…why wouldn’t he think he had a green light?
That’s Iraqgate…because all of this started to come out after victory and the press and Congress began asking questions. Questions that persisted.
Now we get to the problem.
Bill Clinton was elected President. Of course, Poppy pardoned the Iran-Contra gang. Not much one can do about that. But Iraqgate was a unique opportunity to root out the Secret Team, the oil and war profiteers who had manipulated events and flaunted the Constitution since 1980. Clinton was taking control of the Justice Department. The foggy stink of the Reagan-Bush years could finally be lifted and crimes punished.
So, what did Bubba do?
He did George the Elder “a solid.”
When asked about investigating Iraqgate at a 1994 White House power party:
Clinton “didn’t feel that it was a good idea to pursue these investigations because he was going to have to work with these people,” Sender told me in an interview. “He was going to try to work with these guys, compromise, build working relationships.”
Robert Parry…intrepid investigator and journeyman journalist…reported on this exchange in his book Secrecy & Privilege.
Given a chance to investigate, prosecute and tarnish indefinitely some of the biggest names in the GOP….to stop the Secret Team and keep them from, say, coming back into government…Bubba passed. He said no. He wanted to work together.
Work and play together.
It’s just that simple. Which is why it is hard to have confidence in Congressional Dems. The country has been ravaged, the government corrupted and tax dollars spent wildly by many of Iran-Contra’s and Iraqgate’s cast of characters…people who slithered right back into the Executive Branch when Bush the Younger got his turn.
The foggy stink is now a toxic cloud.
Already, though, we’ve seen the bi-partisan inquiry into Foleygate do…nothing. Nothing. Hastert? Nothing. Key players in the cover-up? Nothing.
So, here we go.
We get Lee Hamilton on the 9-11 Commission and the Iraq Study Group. Hamilton stopped Congressional Inquiries into Iran-Contra before they could get to Poppy or the cocaine-dealing Contras working with CIA elements. No, Ollie was enough.
And the language coming from Congressional Dems in leadership positions is all about looking forward, forwarding agendas and moving forward.
Forward, forward, forward.
It’s the Great American Dreamworld…forgetting the past and moving forward. And, in so doing, consigning us to infinite repetition.
Democrats should look back to the election that put them where they are today. Just one month ago the American people said, “Enough is enough!”
But here comes Robert Gates…there goes Hastert unpunished…and here we go again…moving forward and forgetting the past.Tweet