Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Your Tax Dollars At Work Theft

Sometimes it seems that I've used up all my reserves of outrage and disbelief at the sheer criminality and depths of depravity that this current administration displays on a daily basis... and then something comes along to make me realize that I haven't even come close to the bottom of the well. It's like that old saying about regurgitation: You can always vomit a lot more than you thought you could when you first thought you were finished.

My pal Marty sent me a link to a story from the current edition of Rolling Stone that has me vomiting a lot more than I thought I could when I first finished. It's called The Great Iraq Swindle, and it outlines, in painful and disgusting detail, just how badly this country and its taxpayers have been defrauded by this most shameless of all administrations and their cronies. I know, I know, old news, right? But take a look at this piece and see if it doesn't make the veins in your forehead stand out (if not burst altogether). Here's just a short excerpt:

Operation Iraqi Freedom, it turns out, was never a war against Saddam ­Hussein's Iraq. It was an invasion of the federal budget, and no occupying force in history has ever been this efficient. George W. Bush's war in the Mesopotamian desert was an experiment of sorts, a crude first take at his vision of a fully privatized American government. In Iraq the lines between essential government services and for-profit enterprises have been blurred to the point of absurdity -- to the point where wounded soldiers have to pay retail prices for fresh underwear, where modern-day chattel are imported from the Third World at slave wages to peel the potatoes we once assigned to grunts in KP, where private companies are guaranteed huge profits no matter how badly they fuck things up.

And just maybe, reviewing this appalling history of invoicing orgies and million-dollar boondoggles, it's not so far-fetched to think that this is the way someone up there would like things run all over -- not just in Iraq but in Iowa, too, with the state police working for Corrections Corporation of America, and DHL with the contract to deliver every Christmas card. And why not? What the Bush administration has created in Iraq is a sort of paradise of perverted capitalism, where revenues are forcibly extracted from the customer by the state, and obscene profits are handed out not by the market but by an unaccountable government bureauc­racy. This is the triumphant culmination of two centuries of flawed white-people thinking, a preposterous mix of authoritarian socialism and laissez-faire profit­eering, with all the worst aspects of both ideologies rolled up into one pointless, supremely idiotic military adventure -- American men and women dying by the thousands, so that Karl Marx and Adam Smith can blow each other in a Middle Eastern glory hole.

That these traitorous bastards could so cavalierly send American men and women off to kill and be killed just so they can reap obscene profits from the bloody debacle they engineered should chill every true American to the bone. How can they so easily -- and so blatantly -- get away with this criminal behavior? Congress, the media and the majority of Americans just don't seem to care. Perhaps many of them are unaware of just how bad the situation is and has been, but it would seem that somewhere, somehow, there must be some lawmakers and reporters outraged enough to make a big deal out of this, to yell and keep yelling until a few people wake up, until someone in authority demands that a stop be put to this obscene spectacle.

Apparently not.

A quote from an article in The Nation puts it succinctly:

But where's the outrage? Where is the leader with the courage to say, as Franklin Roosevelt did during World War II, "I don't want to see a single war millionaire created in the United States as a result of this world disaster"? Democrats in Congress--and Republicans who have not placed their conscience in a blind trust for the duration of the Bush/Cheney years, a group we hope still includes Arizona's John McCain in the Senate and Iowa's Jim Leach in the House--should borrow a page from past wars, when the nation's elected leaders knew what to call businessmen who used hostilities abroad as an excuse to raid the federal treasury. Senator Robert La Follette tagged them as "enemies of democracy in the homeland." During World War II Harry Truman referred to some forms of war profiteering as "treason."

For the record, I do not share the author's optimism that either McCain or Leach will ever stand up to the traitors in the White House. Not one Republican has had the spinal fortitude to call bullshit on these enemies of democracy yet, and it isn't likely that they're going to start now. Hell, for that matter, there are very few Democrats willing to point out just how badly this country is being sodomized by these bloody bastards. It makes me sick.

I urge you to read the entire Rolling Stone article. It's a bit long, but it's something that should be published on every editorial page -- no, every front page -- in every newspaper in the country. And if you want more, Alternet.org has a list of the Ten Most Brazen War Profiteers. Surprisingly enough, Halliburton and KBR don't even make the list (though Halliburton is referred to in the introduction of the story); CACI, Titan, Bechtel, Custer Battles, General Dynamics and ExxonMobil all do, though. Treasonous sons of bitches, all of them. All of them, from the White House on down. As I've said before, hanging is too good for these rat bastards.

Excuse me now, my stomach is rumbling again...
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