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Bush Family Negligence and Fraud is the Common Thread Between the S&L Scandals, Whitewater, Enron, and 9-11
Bevin Gilmore begilmore1@aol.com

Recently, we have witnessed the predictable attempt by right-wing ideologues to blame President Clinton for Enron's collapse. Even worse (and infinitely sillier), these critics have further embarrassed themselves by claiming that Whitewater was WORSE than Enron. Let us recap why this is such glorious nonsense:

Recall that We The Taxpayers spent millions on multiple investigations of Whitewater merely because it was ASSOCIATED with someone who later ran an Arkansas thrift. Unfortunately for this absurd Red Meat innuendo, intended to keep us busy refitting our pitchforks, ONLY the investors lost money on Whitewater, not the thrift. (Yes, folks, we actually dumped millions investigating how a man lost his own money). The GOP scandal-mongers banked on the magically evil phrase, "Saving and Loans" to taint Clinton's reputation by mere association, no matter how tortured and meaningless the connection. Even the inestimable Rep. Leach, unbelievably, tried to scapegoat President Clinton for the ENTIRE S&L scandal! (Only a psychiatrist could explain this level of jealousy).

Indeed, all the investigations of Whitewater were S&L-like scams in their own right -- political versions thereof whereby crooked political con-artists rolled over the same worthless information, but this time scarfing off POLITICAL CAPITAL instead of actual cash, with the ultimate bill to be dumped on the American people, just like they dumped the bill for all the thrift failures on us. The culture of 80s' S&L fraud and coverup was perpetuated in the Whitewater investigations, and no one cried boo during this time either. It would be laughable if it were not so clearly pathological and costly for our children.

Enron is very different from Whitewater. Enron CLEARLY defrauded their employees and investors with scam accounting practices. Like the S&Ls, there will be an attempt to blame EVERYONE so that NO ONE is held accountable. Avoid the foolishness of falling for this tactic again.

The culture of Enron is the same culture that produced the S&L disaster and the rampant fraud, thievery and false growth of the 80s. In 1984, Bank Board Chairman Edwin Gray begged the administration for help in stopping the fraud occurring in Texas thrifts (Ground Zero for S&L debauchery). Gray was run out of town on a smear campaign, replaced with a more "cooperative" chairman. Thus, the cover-up continued and the fraud flourished. Sound familiar? It should. When it was clear that the head of FERC was cool to Ken Lay's plans for energy deregulation, his retirement from the job and friendly replacement with a more "cooperative" chair was planned and executed by the Bush White House, a virtual Enron subsidiary.

As head of financial deregulation in the Reagan administration, Vice President Bush, who ignored all of Gray's warnings of Texas fraud, was OFFICIALLY responsible for the massive and unchecked defrauding of America, still ongoing today (we have 20-something years left to pay on the cost). Bush facilitated this impending financial disaster, thereby rendering it inevitable.

The GOP would also like to blame Clinton, their favorite scapegoat, for 9/11. Let us recap the fraud in THIS latest attempt:

In the same way that the GOP leadership thwarted the Clinton administration's attempt to stop the shenanigans of accounting firms also serving as consultants for their clients (which led to the Enron disaster), they also thwarted crucial antiterrorism measures proposed by the Clinton administration -- measures that have only recently been enacted in the aftermath of 9/11. Clinton was right. They were wrong.

Just like his father with the S&Ls in 1984, in 2001 Bush the younger ignored all the warnings and predictions of impending terrorism on U.S. soil. He shelved the recommendations of three bipartisan anti-terrorism commissions and is alleged to have actively obstructed FBI investigations on the trail of bin Laden and his threats. Once again, the disaster was allowed to happen.

The accountability for this is clear as crystal.

I may not be the most gifted Native New Yorker, but I can detect a con job now and then. For those of us who followed the permanent war with terrorism prior to 9/11, watching a corrupted Congress trivialize one president's efforts to wage it properly, the recent State of the Union address was a major achievement in propaganda. But even good sentiments are worthless when they come too late. Despite his lies to the contrary, George Bush DID "wait on events, while dangers gather(ed)." He DID "stand by as peril (drew) closer." Yet people without all the crucial facts are willing to reward, not punish, his criminal negligence -- the mindboggling corruption inherent in threatening the enemy with war while at the same time obstructing the FBI's investigation of the chief terrorist.

Everyone knows you do not let your guard down when threatening an active enemy. It is either stupid or calculated.

Everyone except those naïve enough to support this person after the hideous results of his incompetence have become clear. God save America. I know I cannot before the willing surrender of so many Americans against better judgment.

The last person capable of leading this war on terrorism is someone who facilitated our enemy's terrorism, who ignored his most important job, and by so doing, benefited exponentially from it AND a frightened populace. The leader of a war on terrorism MUST BE ABOVE REPROACH, not someone who helps breed terrorists or cynically ignores all the warnings of an imminent attack ON A MAJOR U.S. CITY because his political fortunes will be improved by its execution. Intention is a mere secondary issue.

Writer Paul Begala is correct when he says we must not forget that followers of al Qaeda were responsible for the attacks that compel us to seek justice. But the search for justice must be "whole" to ensure integrity and preserve the crucial component of trust in a society. We KNOW we have external enemies. But I would ask Mr. Begala to understand that our pursuit of external enemies should in no way distract us from the moral clarity that compels us to seek justice against traitors who would manipulate the hostilities of an enemy to further their own power agendas, calculating or disinteresting themselves from the deaths of thousands of Americans as an acceptable cost of achieving that power. The Bush family has acted similarly before (Kuwait, Basra, Baker in the Balkans).

To ignore accountability for calculated or self-serving negligence is not only remarkably generous in spirit, it foolishly ENSURES further abuse by the unscrupulous. Providing the rope to hang one's own citizens is societal suicide. Mr. Bush's record on antiterrorism is not a "policy" failure. Indeed, it is not even good enough to be called "poor." It is a NON-EXISTENT RECORD, illustrating a willful and COMPLETE disregard for the safety of Americans. To call this a mere "policy failing" inflicts a grievous insult after injury on the humanity of all Americans, but in particular those who paid the ultimate price on September 11th. THEY went to war. HE did NOT.

We must have a thorough and INDEPENDENT investigation of this administration's failure to act on behalf of average Americans in the most massive and highly suspect breakdown in domestic security to occur in our history. It is the least we can do to honor our dead.