Following the confessions of Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the NSA, and of James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, that they had, uh, misspoke, uh, lied, committed perjury and little things like that in testimony before the US Congress, comes the hardly surprising mea culpa of John O. Brennan, that he too had in such testimony, done the dirty deed. This triumverate of the nation’s security apparatus each and every one committed a Federal crime, a felony, when, after raising their right hands and swearing “to tell the truth and nothing but the truth” they proceeded to tell falsehoods, prevaricated, mislead or otherwise lied before Congress. The proper legal procedure for such behavior in our supposed system, would be for these people to be charged with a serious crime, be tried, and since they have more or less admitted to their crime, be convicted and sent off to a Club Fed, there to ponder their misdeeds and be “rehabilitated.”
However this is the United States of America, in the year 2014, and while elements of the lumpen proletariat (rednecks, white-trash, discolored folks of all tonalities, the economically poor and educationally disadvantaged) can be tossed for life in jail for 3 very minor transgressions of the law (like smoking a joint) under the Three Strikes & You’re Out laws which exist in many states, those on the other end of the social spectrum, have been issued a permanent Get Out of Jail Free card. And indeed, just a day ago, our President, the famous Kenyan, declared his full confidence and trust in Mr. Brennan, and his actions with regard to the others indicates the same view of them. While it would be sort of comforting to imagine that the roll-over-&-play-dead response to these professional snoops and liars is owing to the doubtless endless dirt they have on all our honorable politicians, I am inclined to think it is because Mr. Obama, and more or less anyone down the pecking order of our government are all essentially in support of the crimes these folks committed which caused them to commit the crime of lying about it all. The entire cesspool of our political system is in on it all.
At the present moment – though moves seem afoot to alter this modestly – the United States, constituting about 5% of the world’s population, houses some 25% of its prisoners. I suppose it is no irony that the same approximate figure applies to the nation’s share of global resource use: we’re 5% of the global pop, and we gobble up 25% of the world’s resources. Hmmm… Need I note that the disproportion of our consumption of global wealth is rooted in what many in the world regard as great crimes. Recall the adage: “Behind every great fortune is a great crime.”
So perhaps it is only natural that we have evolved into a condition in which the greatest crimes – war crimes, financial crimes, or little Constitutional crimes (after all, the Constitution is, as famously described by our previous President, “just a goddam piece of paper”) such as, uh, lying to Congress in sworn testimony, are all quickly dismissed and forgotten. (Recall also the willfully unsworn testimony of the tandem duo of Bush & Cheney in the commission on 9/11?) So in the new 21st Century America, criminality has become the norm, acts just too big for our little 20th century minds to embrace. Criminality like letting the 9/11 attack occur since it had certain political advantages in the minds of a cluster of people who just happened to be in the government at the time. People who had called for just such an incident, publicly, in their 1998 Project for the New American Century announcement, which they removed from the net after 9/11 and it was noted by many.
So, lying has become – as perhaps it always was – our political and social norm. The news is full of stories of corruption, though usually this isn’t the word applied, which itself is a kind of corruption: refusal to call things what they are. Lies are lies; cheating is cheating; war crimes are war crimes. But for some time now our society was wormed away from such a view: torture is “enhanced interrogation,” war crimes are “we are not going to look back; we are going to look forward;” trillion dollar financial scams built on fraudulent loans and sliced and diced “derivatives” are called “too big to fail.” And the higher one is in the hierarchy of power and control, the more protected one is from failure, indeed, failure becomes a mark for advancement. Failing upwards signals total acceptance and complicity in a thoroughly corrupt system. And so, in the current case, for sure to be forgotten tomorrow, as the rush of today’s hyper-kinetic news smears collective memory and leaves it roadkill, a thin plasma squashed against the windshield of a hystrionic now, Mr. Brennan, having said his “Gee, I’m sorry I lied to you Senators” will retreat into the black hole of our vast “security” apparatus and carry on, as have his partners in crime, General Alexander and Mr. Clapper. Federal felonies simply don’t matter if you are high enough on the pyramid of power in the USA. For taking your part in the vast system of corruption, you will be rewarded. It rather reminds of the old USSR in its terminal days.
How swiftly does time go these days? A mere six months ago the world was enthralled with the Sochi Winter Olympics, thought to be a triumph for Vladimir Putin; a month later Russia seized the Crimea; Malaysian flight 370 went missing and remains “a mystery.” The World Cup came and went; Malaysian flight 17 went down over the Ukraine; Israel invaded Gaza; 50,000 kids from Central America showed up at the US border (owing to things America imposed on their native countries); the Ebola virus returned – the adrenalin race of events finally exhausts, and leaves a vacuum into which the worst is drawn.
Open carry gun supporters; if you ask their politics it is very likely to run to the right: American “militia” or maybe Brownshirts.
The private military-style contractors, Craft International, at the Boston Marathon, whom no one says were hired for anything there, though there they were, “helping” the FBI, and then vanishing. They carried black back-packs of a kind looking just like the one which the FBI alleges held one of the bombs. The balance of the Marathon story is so full of fishy things one must wonder.